In Search of Ancient Kings 

By Brian Willson 
Foreword by Robert Farris Thompson


The Egúngún society is one of the least-studied and written-about aspects of African diasporic spiritual traditions. It is the society of the ancestors, the society of the dead. Its primary function is to facilitate all aspects of ancestor veneration. Though it is fundamental to Yorùbá culture and the Ifá/Òrìṣà tradition of the Yorùbá, it did not survive intact in Cuba or the US during the forced migration of the Yorùbá in the Middle Passage. Taking hold only in Brazil, the Egúngún cult has thrived since the early 1800s on the small island of Itaparica, across the Bay of All Saints from Salvador, Bahia. Existing almost exclusively on this tiny island until the 1970s (migrating to Rio de Janeiro and, eventually, Recife), this ancient cult was preserved by a handful of families and flourished in a strict, orthodox manner.

Practicing Music - Book

How the Professionals Do It

Morris "Arnie" Lang & Brian Willson


Successful professional musicians—instrumentalists and vocalists alike—are always busy. Performing, teaching, family, and professional responsibilities keep them on the go around the clock, yet they still find time to practice so that they can maintain technique, prepare for upcoming performances, and thrive as a musician. In this eye-opening essay collection, these world-renowned artists share their insights on practice, from practical tips you can use today to the intangible lessons of living a musical life.

Your Music Career Is NOT Over

Surviving Challenges, Setbacks, Injuries, and Failures 

Rick Mattingly


Every musician has had career disappointments, challenges, and even failures. Often, when faced with discouraging experiences, musicians may feel that their career is over—or is never going to start. How do musicians overcome these challenges to find success? In this publication, a diversity of successful musicians relate a variety of situations that seemed devastating at the time, but that they overcame, learned from, and triumphed over. The stories are powerful, motivational, and truly inspiring.