OAKLAND MAGAZINE: December 2009
Who: Stephen Kent, 51, of Oakland
What: He’s a professional didgeridoo player with his own Music of the World radio show on Berkeley’s public radio station, KPFA-FM, 94.1.
When: He performs with his trio Baraka Moon throughout the year and has just released a CD by the same name. His radio show airs live on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m.–noon and is archived for two weeks on kpfa.org.
Where: The world is his stage, with performances scheduled across several continents.
Why: As a kid living in Africa, he grew up hearing native instruments, but it wasn’t until 1981 when he became musical director of an Australian circus that he started studying the didgeridoo. “It’s a very primal sound and yet it has a level of sophistication within it that’s quite extraordinary. Part of the reason I play it is people are very attracted to that sound. It roots the listener and some part of ourselves that we’ve lost in our culture.”
How: Kent’s studio is next to his home on a large lot in the Oakland hills. His family supports his endeavors, and his wife is also a musician (vocalist) and recording artist.