He was completing a Master of Arts degree in San Francisco in creative writing and African drum and folklore when he began looking to cultures that maintain oral histories for connections between rhythm, music, and the spoken word. Upon learning of the melodious music of the Mbira and the corresponding poetry of the Shona people he travelled first to Zimbabwe, then Ghana and the Gambia, staying long in each place, living and moving within the society of the traditional musician while expanding his own musical vision. To further facilitate a sharing of ideas he worked as a teaching assistant finding he could learn as much from the children as he could from the masters.
His popular west coast band the King Tide helps bridge these influences back home. He has toured extensively, recorded with award winning artists, and his songs receive national radio airplay. He has taught songwriting, percussion, and guitar at festivals and workshops with many top musicians and instructors.
Peter Joseph Burtt and The King Tide’s new 10-track album ‘Mermaid’s Curse’ is now available.