Junglewood is a worldwide artistic community based out of the 11,000 acre Mamoní Valley Preserve, in Panama.
The collective of musicians, visual artists, dancers, healers and educators collaborate on nature-inspired works that promote the conservation of our vital, fragile swath of rainforest deemed one of the top 20 ecological hotspots on Earth.
Visit junglewood at our umbrella non-profit earthtrain.org.
"There's a rhythm and an order to nature. There's also an order to music, one that emanates from the human heart and spirit. I think it's fantastic that through Junglewood people are able to draw this parallel."
- Jazz legend Herbie Hancock
Think Tanglewood in the Jungle Of panama
In the Summer of 2008, through mutual friends, I found myself at a fundraiser in Brentwood, CA for a non profit that was somehow going to use the arts to save 11,000 acres of ecologically rich and therefore quite important rainforest in The Central Mamoni Valley of Panama. At the fundraiser, were Jazz luminaries Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter along with Danilo and Patricia Perez who were Skypeing from Panama. All are huge supporters of the cause. Needless to say, I found the evening to be quite exhilarating. The night was capped off by a talk from Nathan Gray, the Executive Director of Earthtrain. He was extremely enthusiastic and painted a picture of a beautiful land that was in need of help from concerned environmental activists. I knew right then and there that I needed to get involved with this project.
A month later I flew down to Panama to meet the Earthtrain team and to see the Mamoni Valley Preserve. I fell in love with the people, the land and the cause. Over many trips back and performances at The Panama Jazz Festival, masterclasses at The Fundacion Danilo Perez, presentations with Dr. Jane Goodall, co-leading performance and educational visits from The Crossroads School and Leonardo School from LA, CA, and hiking and working in the rainforest, I was asked by Danilo Perez, one of the founders and The Artistic Director and Nathan Gray to become the Educational Director of Junglewood. I graciously accepted and I am now even more committed to pushing the mission forward.