Friday, November 22, 2013

A couple of new links to the Professor World Band

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Years professor World Band still spreading joy!

Even the weather cooperated this past Sunday. It was a bit cloudy but warm. It didn't start to drizzle until later when the party was over.  The same thing happened in Bern 10 years ago for Professor World Band's 20'th birthday party.  Surely a sign that we should keep going at least another 10 years.
Thanks to all my friend, family and fans who made it down to help me celebrate the occasion. And thanks for all the fine chocolate y'all brought me.

My trip to San Diego was also a blast. The mini Peace Wave Generator I'm working on travels easily by plane and train and bus and sets up really quickly on arrival.  I played on the Ocean Beach farmer's market and also in Balboa park. I also played for the special needs kids that my niece is working with.  The mini not be quite as sensational as the bigger version but in some situations it may work as well or even better. So I'm planning more future travel with it this winter.
I also spent a lot of time practicing ukelele and cruising the beaches with my nieces dog. Ocean Beach is real dog haven. It seems everybody has at least one and some have 2 or 3.
And of course the weather was warm and sunny every day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

30 Years Professor World Celebration!

 Here I am playing at the Seaport Convention Center
 I've got Pumpkins 4 Peace and Skeletons Against War demonstrating with me for a while

The new mini peace wave generator

Greetings Professor World Fans! I'd like to invite you all to Professor World's 30'th birthday celebration  on Sunday November 17th in the Boston Public Gardens; most likely at my favorite spot there near the corner of Arlington and Boylston Street. Since Professor World made his first appearance in New Haven Connecticut on the day of my 30'th birthday, I will also be celebrating 60 years on the planet! I will be setting up some tables and I'll organize a Professor World Peace Wave Cake and drinks and treats. You are welcome to bring something to share if you like but most important is just show up and wish us well. ( Don't forget that I do love chocolate!) We'll sing Happy Birthday, blow out the candles and cut the cake about 2:00. I'm hoping for nice weather and sunshine but dress warm! In case of really inclement weather we will meet at the Bolocos on Charles and Boylston. A big thanks to Bolocos for offering also to supply some coffee and tea and snack age! I usually have my morning coffee there whenever I play in the Public Gardens because the people working there are all so friendly and they let me practice my awful Spanish on them.

It's been a really good fall thus far for the Professor World Band. The weather has been pretty good on weekends and it's lots easier to play when it's cooler. I had an awesome day yesterday in the Gardens because the pumpkin fest was going on on the Commons which brought hundreds and hundreds of kids in their Halloween costumes. A big thank you to whoever it was that dropped the $100 bill in my bucket! That doesn't happen very often and it sure is appreciated. Thanks as well to all who have contributed smiles and laughter and words of encouragement.

I've been working on a new "mini" Professor World Band Peace Wave Generator to do some traveling with in my 60'th year. I'll be playing drums and xylophone and ukelele and harmonica all at the same time. It's probably not quite as spectacular as my full size machine but it's a lot easier to transport and quicker to set up and break down and lots of fun to play. I will upload a beginning photo of it here but it is still in developmental phase. I'm really enjoying learning the ukelele. Next week I'll be flying to SanDiego with the new set-up to test out how it feels to travel with it. I'll be back just in time for my birthday celebration. I've been playing with it a few times now in Harvard and Porter Square and it seems to work quite well although it doesn't draw as much attention as the big machine. I'm still getting better at it and improving rapidly.

I'm posting another photo from a gig I did recently at the Seaport Convention Center for a medical research company. They wanted a baseball theme so I played in front of a fake Fenway park scoreboard and sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame. It was a bit of a fiasco because they had an Aerosmith cover band at one end of the hall and Oriental drummers with huge megadrums on the other. I was in the middles next to the brass band. So since I was getting paid to do it, I turned up the volume and blasted out my tunes. People did seem to enjoy it though despite the noise level.

I'm hoping for a mild winter so that I can go on playing my big one man band in the Public Gardens. I'm pretty hardcore so I'll be out there unless it's way below freezing and snowing. I do appreciate any indoor gigs I can get in winter though so keep me in mind for special occasions and give my card and website to teachers and tell them about my show. Some school gigs would be really nice. Kids love my show and find it very inspiring. Also when the weather is miserable it is nice to have the option to play in the T here in Boston with my smaller set-up.

Enough said for now. I hope to see you all at Professor World's 30'th birthday celebration!

Here's a recent link a friend sent to the PWB                        

Friday, August 16, 2013


Wow, has it really been two months since my last blog? It feels like the hottest days of summer are over and it'll soon be cooling off. At least I wont be sweating so much when I'm performing. Playing one man band in a heat wave is pretty exhausting work sometimes!  It's been a really fun season for me and the Professor World Band though. I've come up with some great new additions to the Peace wave Generator and things continue to evolve. I've been getting large and enthusiastic crowds all summer in Harvard Square and especially the Public Gardens, where I continue to play on weekends. It still seem to me that the more I play the more fun it is and it's been almost 30 years now since I first created the Professor World Band!

I just played at the last day of summer camp celebration for a local camp. I guess that means that school will soon be starting and the tourist season in Boston will be really slowing down. I usually continue to play up until Christmas and New Year if the weather is not too severe though.  There's still plenty of people around in the Public Gardens to play for. In January and February it's often too cold and I will probably make a new show that I can perform in the T.

 I will be trying to line up some gigs as well so that I can continue with the Professor World Band all through the year. I would love to do more schools and private parties. Please feel free to give a copy of my post card to teachers and tell them about my show.  It often inspires children to make music and create crazy music machines of their own! I can supply plenty of references from schools that I have played for all over the world.

Thanks to everyone for your continued donations which keep me going and your positive and constructive feedback which is just as important to me. Special thanks to those who have sent me photos and also to those who have given me chocolate! I'll continue to keep you posted on what's going on with the Professor World Band.

End of summer camp celebration in Cambridge with the Professor World Band!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Why Chocolate?

Here's one of my favorite songs for one of my favorite treats. And it's a true story. I traveled all over the world for 30 years looking for the world's most delicious chocolate ; and the search still goes on today.
(see video below in last post)

Another true chocolate story;

 I always play with an "I Love Chocolate " sign in my case. One day, while playing on a street corner in the old town of Zurich,  a beautiful Swiss Miss came up and tipped me a very tasty fair trade dark chocolate bar. On the wrapper she had left me her email address. Naturally I wrote her to say thank you and we ended up getting together, falling madly in love and traveling all over the world together for seven years. That's another reason that I love chocolate! Who knows? Perhaps it will happen again someday!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Look who's digging the Professor World Band!

I don't often play weekdays in the Public Gardens but I did today because this weekend may be a bit wet. Today was nice and sunny and there were lots of people enjoying the park and listening to my music. I was taking a break and this guy came up to chat with me because he really enjoyed the show. He says to me, "I'm a songwriter too. You may have heard of me. I'm Kris Kristofferson."
Wow!!!!  He's even more famous than the Professor World Band!! His partner took this photo and sent it to me. So Kris; Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello and for remembering to send this photo. It means a lot to me that you took the time to do that. Next time bring your guitar!
By the way, Kris Kristofferson gets some credit for the biggest tip I ever got. I was playing in Skagen, up at the tip of Denmark. This guy came up and requested "Me and Bobby Mcgee", written  by Kris. I had actually played it earlier in the day but I aim to please so I played it again. This guy listened for a while, then started crying and pulls a bill out of hiss wallet, puts it in the case and walks away. It turned out to be a 1000 kronor note, worth about $250 at that time! My Swiss girlfriend Sonja was playing bucket bass with me at the time so we split the tip and went out to celebrate together.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Peace Wave Generator and Boston Marathon Terror Attack

It’s been a very intense and tragic week for Boston. There are difficult days ahead but at least in times like these we see that people do stick together and help each other out. I was very lucky. I passed by the finish line much earlier to check out the  busy scene there before setting up to play in the Public Gardens. It was a fairly sunny day but there was a bit of a breeze that made it actually a bit chilly. It’s great weather for playing one man band though because I move around a lot and stay warm. I was having a good day and lots of kids and their parents stopped by to join the band. I remember last year’s Boston Marathon was hot and humid and much more difficult to play.
I was taking a break and talking to the father of one of my biggest little fans when I heard a couple of distant rumbles; a bit like thunder. Although it wasn’t the weather for thunder, nobody seemed to react as if anything was amiss. Perhaps it was just distant enough so as not to be alarming. In any case, just before three I was getting ready to start the show when all the emergency vehicles started  passing by with sirens blazing and people came rushing through the park, many of them trying to get through on their cell phones. I asked someone what was up and they told me there were two explosions and many people hurt.  I decided it was time to pack up for the day.
I was lucky. None of my direct friends were physically injured but this is a small enough city and we are all connected. At least several of the victims have no doubt stopped to watch my show and possibly even joined the band for a song or two.
You can’t undo what’s already been done but now that the perpetrators of  this terrible crime are either dead or in custody, the healing can begin.
I was out in the Public Gardens with the Professor World Band this past weekend and we got a tremendous reception. It seems that the Peace Wave Generator is very much appreciated in times like these.
I continue to work on my show and to put my heart and soul into making it even better.  I am attracting many more new fans who continue to come out and help generate  Peace Waves on my weekly appearances in the Public Gardens. I am very thankful to them.
I am also thankful to Thomas Cooper,, who sent me this photo he took of me in the Public Gardens shortly before the Boston Marathon. I’m thinking of using it for my next postcard.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Send me more photos please!

Thanks to Barry Sugarman ( for this latest batch of photos of me and a young fan  in Porter Square

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Here I am playing my hang drum in the Burger King passage of Cancun center. That's Henrietta up there in front of my cymbals. She was very popular in Mexico! Photo is courtesy of Rodolfo Chan

Back from Mexico!

It looks like I booked my return a bit too early! I missed the big snowstorm but the weather's been pretty miserable since I got back. To think that this time last week I was lying on the beach and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico!
Ah well, I don't mind the cold that much and here in Boston I can always busk in the T. The trip to Mexico was a success. I arrived safely with all my gear, without having to pay any extra to the airlines for extra baggage. Busking in Mexico was fun but not the most profitable. I managed to cover most of my expenses but I wanted to save some time to travel around the area and see the sights. My hostel was right in the center of Cancun and a real bargain at just ten dollars a night! I played several times at the nearby Mercado 28 and in the Parque de Palapas. The town of Playa del Carmen was less than an hour away. They have a very nice long walking zone with lots of tourists but I got stopped by the police there. You need to get a permit and it's not that easy and costly there to obtain.
I also played in a local school . I made three shows for three different classes and they all loved it. A teacher took some great photos for me on my cell phone. Unfortunately I lost the phone a couple of days before coming back and along with it, all my Mexico pictures. I'm hoping to get a teacher from the school to email me some photos and I will post them when they arrive. A couple of other folks have sent me photos of me playing and perhaps I'll get a few more. So it goes. I had a great trip and the memories are still fresh in my head. Since it worked out well I am ready to start thinking of future trips, perhaps back to Europe to visit old friends. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Here I am playing my Hang drum band down in the Red Line at Porter Square.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Get Ready Mexico! The PWB is on it's way.

As I mentioned in my last update I've been planning a winter getaway to a warmer climate. So I recently booked a ticket to Cancun Mexico and a hostel room for two weeks. I've been working on a brand new all acoustic one man band using my "hang" and several tarboukas, tambourines, cymbals and assorted gizmos. The "hang" is a very melodic sounding steel drum that was first invented in Switzerland in the year 2000 by a man I met there. It has such a rich sound that it is often used in meditations. Just to make sure it will be lot's of fun I am also bringing Henrietta, my rubber chicken, and Professor World Junior, a marionette that I made out of recycled materials. I've been working on this new show for the past couple of weeks and testing it out in the T stations; mostly Porter Square and Downtown Crossing. It's a completely different busking experience playing in the T but I'm starting to figure it out and it has been fun. It's nice that when the weather is too cold to play out doors in Boston I can still play underground. After the recent cold spell and snow though I am really looking forward to a bit of sunshine. My last trip to Mexico was over 30 years ago and it was such a fun adventure that it launched me on my world travels. No doubt things have changed quite a bit since I was last there. I don't think Cancun even existed. It's a city that was built recently as a tourist haven so I'm not expecting the real traditional Mexico experience but it will be interesting and fun in any case. I'll keep you posted and put up some pictures and video of my new show as soon as someone sends me something or I find it on youtube. I leave early Monday. Hast Luego, Ramblin' Dan

Monday, January 7, 2013

29 years of Professor World Band!

Happy New Year to one and all! 

 2012 was an interesting and busy year for Ramblin' Dan and the Professor World Band. I've been playing quite a bit in Harvard Square and the Public Gardens. I always make sure to tweet my whereabouts(Twitter @ ProfWorldBand ) and I have several followers that have found me that way and come to join the show.

 I really love playing in the Public Gardens. The squirrels there have been getting in on the act as well. Once during break, one of them came up and started playing my tambourine with his little paw. I wish I had my camera with me! And twice now a squirrel has come up after the show and put a walnut in my tip bucket!!! I swear that this is really true and I have witnesses as well. 

 My new portable machine that I built for my trip to Hawaii kept getting bigger and bigger as I slowly added more and more things to it. It started out weighing 20 pounds two years ago but a few months ago it weighed almost 40 pounds. It was no longer really portable and I was starting to worry about my knee joints. After dancing around with it on my back for hours my muscles were often sore and I was pretty tired out.

 I decided to build a new light weight model. While cleaning out the basement I found an old pair of cross country skis. They were light weight and strong; the perfect thing to use to make the frame for my new machine. I used a five gallon plastic bucket for the bass drum which is also very light. I was able to build a functioning one man band that weighed only 8 pounds! I added a few more things to make it more interesting and for now I'm calling a halt to further expansion. The current version weighs only 14 pounds though and so compared to my last machine it feels very light. I can play longer and not worry so much about my knee joints! It's not quite as big looking as the old machine but it has many of the same features and even a few new ones that I've added. People seem to like it just as much and it will be improved on the more I play with it.

 I've also built a new smaller version of the Peace Wave Generator that I use to carry it and I'm contemplating a trip somewhere warm this winter to see if I can fly with it without incurring too many overweight and oversize fees from the airline.

 If all goes well I may start planning an even longer and more difficult journey for the Professor World Band. Last November I turned 59 which means Professor World turned 29. For my 60'th and Professor World's 30'th year I would like to do a really special trip . I've got a few ideas but I want to check them out further before I talk about them here.

 I'm hoping to make more use of this website and other social media in the coming year as well. I plan to try and keep this updated a bit more frequently. Please keep sending me your photos and links so that I can embed them in my website. They are much appreciated. Heres a link that a BU graduate student in photography sent to me recently. I'll get some new video up as soon as possible of my new machine.