Medicina is the brainchild of Ben Harris, who performs under the name Iemanjo (yeh mahn JO). His masterful voice, trumpet, ukulele and percussion front a talented cast of guest musicians including Colombia’s Juan Carlos Arevalo.
True to his vision and unique in his sound, Iemanjo’s music has already drawn comparisons to such disparate talents as Manu Chao, Stevie Wonder and Beirut. From parading with the Samba blocos in Brazil’s capitals to studying sacred plant medicines with shamans in the jungles of Colombia, Harris has soaked up the sonic universe that is Latin America and spun it into something completely his own. Medicina brings the ancient concept of music as medicine into the 21st century, and is designed to heal the soul as much as move the body.
Born in Berkeley, California, Ben Harris grew up in the cultural melting pot of the Bay Area, where he developed an insatiable musical appetite and a discriminating ear as he learned to play the trumpet and various Afro-Latin drums. A move to Seattle in 2007 led to Harris expanding his oeuvre, playing everything from Mariachi and Samba/Bossa Nova to orchestral rock, jazz and Balinese Gamelan music. He was a member of soul singer Allen Stone’s band and the famed Seattle Rock Orchestra and toured internationally with the NYC rock band Outernational, playing trumpet, keyboards and percussion. Harris is now based in Brooklyn but continues to travel and tour frequently.
The first seeds for Iemanjo were planted while Harris traveled through Colombia in 2013, absorbing not just the diverse music and culture he encountered on his journey, but the knowledge and teachings behind it. It’s Harris’ deep understanding of the history and intent behind the music that sets him apart from a cultural tourist and qualifies him to express and expand the traditions that continue to inspire him.
1.) Ciencia Ancestral
3.) Venga Pinta
4.) Se Que Vamos A Llegar
5.) O Mama E
6.) Amor Infinito
8.) Sol y Luna
10.) A Vision