The birth of Worldmusic4life grows from my earliest days as an artist, student and researcher in pursuit of a pathway to celebrate the transformative influence of music and the people around the world who live it, create, practice, and share it.
This project is in memory of my parents. My mother Benita, sang and played timpani in her high school orchestra. Her affinity for the sound of rhythm and blues and gospel performed by women shaped my womanist world views. It inspired my initial interest in ‘all things music’ (in addition to my ever-growing collection of percussion instruments from around the world).
My father Henry “Jimmy” owned a jazz nightclub in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called the Club Chateau Lounge. On extraordinary occasions, he took to work with him where I could hear musicians like pianist Will Green at my dad’s white baby grand piano. My parents, including a host of mentors, instilled in me the value and onus of seeing, experiencing, and embracing the world through the cultural lens of others.
Along the way, a host of others have helped to shape my interests. I’ll add their names down the road.
Most importantly, I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned. And I’ll reveal my insights and experiences on a host of world music-related topics for you to ponder.
In time, I’ll invite you to join me on a journey, virtually and physically, as we explore music in various genres of world music and much more. So pack light with only your imagination and join me as we explore the many diverse sounds from lands near and far.
Thank you for stopping by.
-Jonathan Øverby, Ed.D., is an ethnomusicologist, and the first post-doctoral fellow of Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. Øverby holds degrees in administrative arts, vocal music and choral conducting, a master’s degree in religious studies and a doctorate in Administrative Leadership in higher education. Øverby is the executive producer and host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s world music broadcast, “The Road To Higher Ground with Jonathan Øverby.” He continues to lecture on world music, sacred world music, and the power of music to create a better understanding of diverse groups.