Just Be Patient
Nonno Lee: A High-Energy Trip Around the Planet Don't try to nail down Nonno Lee or his music, they're equally evasive. By the time you think you've pinned him to one musical style, you're dancing to another. Just when you're slipping into an island reggae groove, he flies you back to the pop sounds of Miami. As he's grinding out a punta rhythm from his native Belize, you spin around and you're at a street dance festival in New York City. The Latin-flavored ballads come as an added bonus. Composer, singer, producer, entertainer Nonno Lee is truly an international package: a high-energy world tour jammed with emotion and experience. His life and his music run parallel down an entertaining groove around the planet. Born in Belize, Central America, and molded by a range of cultures, his influences turn your dance card into a passport. 'Like a lot of other people, my father, who is Creole, and mother who is of African Garifuna descent, migrated from Honduras to Belize,' says Lee. 'Being born into this part of the world exposed me to a culture filled with all kinds of music. You name it, I listened to it.' Lee absorbed a world of influences: Latin dance, reggae, punta, pop, techno, jazz, rock, Caribbean rap, Tex-Mex, Cajun, African, Latin ballads. His music, produced in both English and Spanish, is a fusion of entertainment and culture-a dance around the globe. These musical influences started busting out at age 12, when Lee formed the Superstars, an all-original band that performed for children's charities. A year later, he was singing Caribbean music with a 13-piece Honduran group, Band Costa Brava. Next he played keyboards with the New Professionals on a tour of the US, Mexico and Guatemala. After organizing the Earthquake Band and playing keyboards and singing for two years, he set out on his solo journey, writing, singing, arranging or producing music for himself and an extensive list of Belizean artists including Joseph Wagner, Shirley Bowen, the Foreign Exchange Band, Andy Palacio, and MohoBub. Lee also had his musical passport stamped in South Florida. 'I learned a lot about Latin-flavored pop in Miami while performing and recording there in 1998,' says Lee. But it was New York that offered him the perfect estination to put all his influences together. 'I'm comfortable recording in English and Spanish,' says Lee, and New York City is the perfect backdrop. Lee's culture runs through all his musical grooves. 'What makes a difference to me is who I really am, and you hear who I really am in my music.' Listen. He's in there. e: mail firstname.lastname@example.org.