About

THE MUSIC     Listeners will find a Sun Festivalmellow, upbeat mood here. Melodies with flavors of Folk, Blues, Africa and other cultures coalesce, underlined with compelling rhythms.

English and Swahili lyrics in this music by Kris & Lark (formerly Kuimba) transmit messages to remind you life is good.

The clear, earthy quality of Lark’s lead voice and Kris’ exuberant tenor blend in an unusually lovely way. Add to this, guitar, trombone, African harps and drum, and spicy percussion.

Kris & Lark communicate the significance of cultural and biodiversity diversity through a colorful and informative, story-telling style of presentation. This unique music with its bold sensual rhythms, lyrics, rap, and trombone solos is feel-good stuff. The audience is at times invited to participate, singing and clapping.

 

 

Kris & Lark have performed to enthusiastic response in a wide variety of venues.

• House concerts

Universities and Community colleges

• Community concerts and festivals

• Programs for Seniors and Youth

• Environmental organizations & Campfire groups

• Teachers conferences

• Wedding celebrations

• Art, Wine and Music festivals, and outdoor marketplaces

• On radio (KQED & KPFA) and television (KPIX & KTVU) in the S. F. Bay Area and other locations including Xi'an, China

• School Assembly Programs

Their Africa - Rhythm & Singing school assembly program was brought to over 220 schools and reached over 110,00 students up and down the West Coast of North America from Chula Vista, California to Point Roberts, Washington (from border to border) from 1992 through 2002.

"The musical performance by Kuimba was sensational. The students were completely enthusiastic and entertained. The program was very educational about Africa and the music was very peaceful and energetic. Adults and teachers had a wonderful time. Thank you..."

— Kristi Figone, Teacher, Meadow Homes Elementary, Concord, CA

House Concert, Elmira, OR

In November, 2002 Lark and Kris packed up for an adventure, left California, and moved to the Czech Republic, staying five months. Then in 2003 they moved to China for two years. They played in Xi'an at The Manhattan Bar (Man Ha Duen) and The Music Man Club. 2005 found them moving to BC, Canada where they continue to perform and record.

Their recordings are, Mawingu — I Remember Africa (1990/94), Salimu! Heshimu! (2001), Mount Diablo (2009), Mystic Quest (2011), and their new release The Ballad of the Salmon People (2016). They have also just released a collection of their songs for children of all ages, titled Promise of a New Day (2016).

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Book a performance in the Greater Vancouver Area

 

THE DUO   Kris and Lark met in 1982 through their mutual interest in music and philosophy. Inspired by the great natural blend of their voices, they immediately began to collaborate as a vocal duo and songwriting team. It took a number of years of experimentation to combine the composing styles of a formally trained trombonist and an ear trained, self-taught vocalist, but ultimately each of the two different approaches enhanced the other, producing some very unique music.

 

Their first major performance as a duo came as a concert in 1988 in the Oregon Shakespearean Festival’s Summer Pleasures Series (Ashland), and KUIMBA was born. The group was joined in 1994 by Bay Area drummer, John Waller and in the summer of 2000 by a long time associate of John’s, bassist and guitarist, Don Keller. John and Don played with Kuimba until Kris and Lark's departure to Europe in 2002. Kris and Lark changed the group's name in 2016 and are back in duo mode.

 

LARK BOWERMAN     Born of Caucasian, Canadian and larkwithkinubidec08tsawwasse.jpgAmerican, Parents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre), Lark belongs to a group of people known by anthropologists as Global Nomads. Far from being mere ex-patriots, people like her are a dynamic multilingual, multicultural force with the potential for healing wounds created by political, racial and religious misunderstanding.

Lark’s original music and personal stories are drawn from her unusual and colorful life experiences. Her musical education has roots in the Tribal as well as Gospel music she heard and sang in the Ituri Forest village where she grew up.

  Lark began to sing as a small child, and to write poetry and play musical instruments at age twelve. She composed her first song then as well. Her lyrics in English and Swahili provide many of the basic formats for the Duo's collaborations. She accompanies her vocals with guitar, African harp/kinubi, and percussion. 

". . . the syncopation on the kinubi and percussion instruments, and Lark's clear unaffected voice singing in Swahili establish a mood that is both fresh and new and so ancient that it touches the core of being."

Verlene Schermer, The Reel Fling (Harper's Hall newsletter)

 

Book a performance in the Greater Vancouver Area

 

Kris singing

KRIS BOWERMAN, a native Californian, began  study of the trombone at age ten.

His passion for improvisation was first ignited when he played in the Stan Kenton clinics in high school. During this time he made his first public appearances, including performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, in Musicals, with The Jazz Quintet and The San Francisco Bay Bones, and in 1978, he received a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from San Francisco State University. Kris continued to play in a large variety of groups and events including Musicals, Big Bands, Small Group Jazz and Renaissance music. He has performed with, among others, the Antiquarian Funks (Santa Cruz,CA), in the Oregon Shakespearean Festival (Ashland, OR), Sweet Papa Lowdown (Vancouver, BC) and The Jazzers (Delta, BC). Kris currently leads the Smooth Jazz group Kris Jay Trio.

With Kris & Lark, Kris’ ability to pick extraordinary melodies “out of the air” as an improviser on either trombone, recorder or bamboo flute adds just the right feel to many of the songs. He also plays West African Djembe and Talking drums. Kris harmonizes his distinctive tenor voice with Lark’s lead vocals, sometimes composing and singing the lead vocal as well.

 

 

On The Fraser

"We are the mirror as well as the face in it." -- Rumi

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WHAT FANS ARE SAYING

“We have received your new CD and want to thank you.  We love it!  I forgot what a beautiful voice you have. Just so you know, I don't think you sound like anyone.  You are just your own amazing artists.  But for the sake of the request I suggest Angus & Julia Stone.  I think people who enjoy them will enjoy you.”
Melissa Matthews, British Columbia

“Thank you Lark & Kris for your inspiring, beautiful music! With much appreciation…"
Karen McCombe, New York

"The cord that THE BALLAD strikes in my heart is one of music that brings out a deep sense of community, people saying: Hey, this is us. …. The human spirit that will never be snuffed out – no matter the adversary."                                                    Samm Musoke, Nova Scotia

"I fell in love with Lark and Kris’s music the first time I heard it. It has an uplifting, inspiring quality which as a musician and songwriter I appreciate. Subsequently after my grandson was born I started playing him songs and he loved them. We had many a good time dancing to songs and once he was walking and talking he would request the music again and again and loves to dance and/or drum along. Thank you Lark and Kris for your gift of music to the world."                                    Suzanne Lichau, Oregon

"Dear Lark and Kris,
 
I'm writing on behalf of the South Fraser Gogos (stephenlewisfoundation.org) to thank you so much for your fantastic contribution to our Potluck Evening. You made the Grandmothers welcome quite spectacular and one I'm sure they will remember.

Everyone enjoyed the rest of your music and singing and seeing everyone up dancing is a sight I'll always remember. Wishing you all the very best,                       Jesse Pringle, Go Go Grannies Co-coordinator, British Columbia

"Kuimba weaves a magical spell with their enchanting melodies, mesmerizing harmonies, and penetrating lyrics. The music is at once universal and uniquely personal . . . the musicians share themselves with their audiences in an intimate and moving manner."                                       Julia J. Heydon, PhD. Music, Former Music Director, Oregon Shakespearean Festival