Asheba is an engaging musical storyteller who has specialized in family entertainment since 1998. Born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, he was influenced by its spectacular festival, Carnival and the folkloric oral tradition, calypso. Today, he is a renowned world musician who playfully blends reggae, calypso, neo-folk and more.
Asheba developed his love of music at an early age, singing in his primary school choir and helping to form the band, The Creative Ones. He sang calypsos with fellow Calypsonians and reached the semi-finals in the Independence Calypso Competition. He learned the steel drum, Trinidad’s national instrument, and played with Phase 2 Pan Groove, one of the world’s top steel bands.
In 1989, He moved to New York City and joined MUNY’s subway program, Music Under New York in 1991. As a result, two of his live performances were included on Clay Dog Records’ compilation CD, Street Dreams, and he was selected to perform in MADhattan, a musical variety extravaganza about New York City street performers, produced by Feld Entertainment for the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (1997). While in Vegas, he also hosted a children’s show about the history of blues at the House of Blues.
When Asheba moved to Oakland, California in 1999, he began performing family concerts at open air markets, street fairs and birthday parties; focusing on young audiences, particularly preschoolers. He fine-tuned his show with regular performances at Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center in Berkeley, and produced the score for a children’s theatre production, The Caribbean Adventure of Anancy the Spider and Friends, at Children’s Fairyland (Oakland).
Asheba’s first children’s CD, Go Itsy: Music for Kids Caribbean Style, was produced in 2002 and won the 2005 NAPPA Gold Award. Next he produced No More Monkeys: Children’s Songs by Asheba (2004). Both recordings have sold over 2000 copies through CDBaby.com and other outlets, and had songs selected from them for Putumayo Kids’ compilation CDs (Little Anancy on Caribbean Playground, 2004; Reggae Lullaby on Reggae Playground, 2005).
In 2006, Asheba released his third CD, Children Are The Sunshine, which quickly became a Parents’ Choice Award winner. The song, Who Stole The Cookie, was selected by Continental Airlines for their in-flight kids channel, and is being aired on XM Radio, among nine other Asheba hits, including You Are My Sunshine and No More Monkeys (both of which XM Radio included on its in-flight programming for United Airlines). This year, Asheba also headlined the national Putumayo Kids’ Reggae Playground tour (16 states, 13 cities and two Canadian provinces), with concerts at Austin City Limits and Kidspalooza, where he sang Happy Birthday to and performed with one of his inspirations, the legendary children’s entertainer, Ella Jenkins.
In 2007, Asheba’s first music video, No More Monkeys, was released in collaboration with Putumayo Kids’ Records. No More Monkeys is featured on their Animal Playground CD. Asheba headlined the Animal Playground US tour (20 cities, eleven states).
In June of 2008, Asheba headlined with his three-piece band for the ‘Kid’s Show’ at the Sierra Nevada World Music. In addition to his ongoing studio work, Asheba has written several new songs to add to his collection of raw material. We can expect much, much more from this prolific songwriter.
His fourth CD In the Kid Zone, was released in 2009. When he’s not performing at family concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, or across the United States, we can find him in the studio producing his next project.