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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Aug 2, 2010

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Shodekeh

Friday, July 23rd was a particularly hot night; not just because of the 100+ degree temperatures. The Baltimore Symphony Opera brought the heat when conductor, Maryn Alsop, featured a local musician alongside her world-class orchestra.

The Musician: Shodekeh Dominic Talifero
The Instrument: His voice

I first met the beat boxer about ten years ago when he performed on one of the West-facing stages at the SoWeBohemian Arts and Music Festival. Of course, a decade ago he had an unfulfilling day job to pay the bills while he hustled to get face time on the stages across the region.

Today, Shodekeh works for himself. In the years between our first meeting and this most recent performance at the Meyerhoff , Shodekeh toiled tirelessly to push his music into ever growing arenas. His regular gig—of the last four years—is as the accompanying percussionist to a renowned ballet studio. He’s been on stage with KRS-1, numerous hip-hop elite, classical and world beat musicians, and emerging performance artists. He’s been interviewed on NPR and lends his voice—speaking and percussion—to promote the arts wherever he goes.

Check out part of the performance, https://vimeo.com/18653408

 At the Friday night concert, my jaw dropped when I heard the newest addition to his repertoire. Shodekeh does an uncanny rendition of a didgeridoo. The technique put me in mind of the throat singers of the Caucasus Mountains, but my ear was convinced that it was a five-foot long wooden pipe being blown into by an aboriginal Australian. I was literally gape-mouthed throughout the concert. Shodekeh has something that all would-be entrepreneurs need, confidence. This unwavering confidence in himself and his talents led him to get free of the nine-to-five shackles.

Another tool in his bag-of-tricks is his inexhaustible energy. Anyone who chooses to work for themselves knows that it means trading in the eight-hour daily routine for a 24/7, perpetual process of self promotion. It’s exhausting and rewarding. We recently had drinks at Tapas Teatro in Mt. Vernon. Shodekeh, not content to take a break, told me of his plan to take his classical-meets-contemporary performance to audiences nationwide. It’s an enormous undertaking. He knows that he can do it.

Frankly, so do I.

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