Hustle and bustle cities such as Los Angeles or New York move with such intimidating and tremendous velocity, that it’s easy for us to step on each other’s toes without even realizing. We’re wrapped up in latest fashion trends, new apartment listings and Starbucks’ seasonally changing menu that it feels like we’re consistently reinventing ourselves.
Some people enjoy the thrill of living day to day differently, while others prefer to slow down and embark on self-exploration before jumping ship into the sea of “a new day is a new you” mottos. One man who can proudly say that he — for the most part — is stuck true to his roots is the talented musician Tomás Doncker.
In the early 1980’s, Doncker made his mark on the music industry as a guitarist for groups such as James Chance and The Loose Jointz. Even in a rushed and speedy city such as New York, Doncker stood his ground as a soulful, blues musician to this day. He’s even helped fellow artists establish their footing in the cutthroat industry as he produced and co-wrote songs with Yoko Ono and Prince Charles Alexander.
Fame hasn’t seemed to change Doncker, either, but rather inspired him. Moreover, Doncker’s international tours and CNN appearance haven’t distracted him from his homey, down to earth blues, but instead, added influences of culture from regions such as West Africa and the Caribbean.
Of course Doncker’s music has made natural progression from his July album, Moanin’ at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project to now, but listeners cannot deny his genuine, classic spirit.
One addition to Doncker’s newest album, Big Apple Blues, is the voice of prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who possesses humble roots as well as he was raised by a family of carpenters. Tomas Doncker’s guitar rhythms represent the suave 80’s scene of downtown New York City – with all that jazz. The same way Ron Burgandy’s jazz flute embodies classy San Diego, and the same way Ron Swanson, disguised as Duke Silver, courteously plays the sexy saxophone for all of Pawnee, Indiana to hear.
If there’s anyone who knows how to pay tribute to home, it’s Mr. Doncker. Take a look at his track titles: “Coney Island,” “Big Apple Blues,” “Ground Zero” and “Hellfighters of Harlem.” If for whatever reason his cool-as-a-cucumber vocals and jet black Ray-Bans don’t do the trick for you, his national pride should, especially if you live in New York. And if you don’t, let each song exemplify an audio tour of the city.
New York truly lives up to its nickname, the city that never sleeps, because around every corner, you’ll find pedestrians headed to their own, unique destinations. Uninhabited streets in the city are nowhere to be found, and Doncker’s smile-curling use of the harmonica creates such an easy going and simply fun atmosphere that could have you strolling all the way from NYC to LA.
Sophie is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. Born in London, and raised in Prague, she is a natural born traveller, which led to exploring Southeast Asia and most recently, Alaska. Whilst traveling, she’s expanded her knowledge and passion for foreign film and music. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she’s worked on television sets, a 2014 Sundance short, and participated in a live taping of “America’s Got Talent.” Sophie’s attentiveness for music began at seventeen, when she first gained access to the senior lounge’s speaker system, and often got into trouble for blasting explicit lyrics through her high school’s hallways. In her free time, Sophie spends countless hours at the movies, tattoo parlors, and local dog parks.