David R. Kohn
The son of seafaring Sephardic Jews, David was born off the coast of industrial New Jersey. As a toddler he spent much of
his time either at sea or encamped along the waterways of the Garden State.
"My earliest recollections of rhythm are my memories of being gently rocked to sleep by the lapping waves of the Lower
New York Bay, as the beam from the lighthouse at Sandy Hook danced across the water."
"I think I first started making music at 5. I had found a small racoon skull in the pine barrens of New Jersey
and became quite fascinated by the various tones that could be produced when rapping it with a wooden tent peg."
"It wasn't too long after that I was playing everything."
After their ship ran aground somewhere along the Kill Van Kull near Bayonne, the Kohns pulled up stakes and traveled west.
His father found work in the snake-oil fields of the Arizona Sonoran Desert while his mother, a jazz aficionado in her own
right, taught piano by day and ran a bawdy house for wayward sailors at night. David was pretty much on his own. Arizona
was as different a place for the young music maker as anywhere could have possibly been, but it wasn't long before he was
getting used to his new surroundings, and adapting the strange and alien things around him to his own particular style.
"My first band in Arizona was a trio for bass, clarinet, and milk can. We played the 5th grade talent show at our elementary
school and took 2nd place. . .we would have won if it weren't for Linda Carter and her twirling batons."
"Shortly there after, the three of us took our act out on the road... well, not right on the road, but really close
to it on the sidewalk or sometimes even out in the median."
"I was hooked!"
At the tender age of 15 David left home and joined The King Ranger Equestrian Roadshow. He spent the next 7 years as their
chief calliope player, and all around roughneck.
"Few people know what a classical instrument the calliope truly is. The name itself, 'Calliope' is from the Muse of
heroic poetry in classical Greek Mythology."
After a falling out with King following an incident on his 22nd birthday, David, together with King's daughter, a bareback
rider and flutist named Oriel King, began a succession of gigs which took the two of them to the far reaches of the globe.
"These were the tumultuous years. A stint in 'El Flatimo's Army'', 'The Royal Thai Orchestra', 'The Merry Brothers Band',
'Bozo's Nose', . . .the list goes on and on."
It was in the early 90's, while on "tour" with the Grateful Dead, when David joined fellow musicians for an impromptu
jam in the parking lot, that his eyes looked across the circle of drummers and met with those of the young waif that would
soon become his young wife. Their first child was born the following Spring. Named for the vegetation so prominent in his
native Oregon, Moss, a gifted performer himself, was reason enough for David to put down roots in the fertile soil of the
"I'd been driving around, looking for this place all my life. Who knew I would find it under the Hood."
Which is where you will find him today. Still writing performing and recording music. His unique combinations of rhythms,
tones, and melodies never failing to fascinate and delight.