A truly unique fusion of South American shamanic music, Afro-Latin rhythms, soul-tinged vocals and electronic beats, Medicina is the brainchild of singer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Harris, who performs under the name Iemanjo. This name signifies a masculine embodiment of Iemanja, the Brazilian goddess of the sea to whom Harris feels connected.
From parading with the Samba blocos in Brazil’s capitals to studying sacred plant medicines with shamans in the jungles of Colombia, Harris has soaked up the sonic universe that is Latin America and spun it into something completely his own. Medicina brings the ancient concept of music as medicine into the 21st century and is designed to heal the soul as much as move the body.
Born in Berkeley, California, Ben Harris grew up in the cultural melting pot of the Bay Area, where he developed an insatiable musical appetite and a discriminating ear as he learned to play the trumpet and various Afro-Latin drums. A move to Seattle in 2007 led to Harris expanding his oeuvre, playing everything from Mariachi and Samba/Bossa Nova to orchestral rock, jazz and Balinese Gamelan music.
He was a member of soul singer Allen Stone’s band and the famed Seattle Rock Orchestra and toured internationally with the NYC rock band Outernational, playing trumpet, keyboards and percussion. Harris is now based in Brooklyn but continues to travel and tour frequently.
The first seeds for Yemanjo were planted while Harris traveled through Colombia in 2013, absorbing not just the diverse music and culture he encountered on his journey, but the knowledge and teachings behind it. It’s Harris’ deep understanding of the history and intent behind the music that sets him apart from a cultural tourist and qualifies him to express and expand the traditions that continue to inspire him.
"Pachamama" is the second album by Yemanjo. This album is a love letter to Planet Earth and a prayer for humanity to re-harmonize its relationship with her. It was recorded in California, Guatemala, New York City, Bali, Colombia and beyond in collaboration with world-class electronic producers including:
Scott Nice (@scottnice)
and Biomigrant (@biomigrant)
Guest live musicians:
Don Keller (guitar)
Juan Carlos Arevalo (charango and flutes)
Sebastian Zundel (guitar)
Axel Gottschalk (guitar)
Reggie Riverbear, Diana Egizi, Matia Kalliangas (vocals)
Mastered by Sergio Brentan at Fluxfield Studio, Brazil
Additional mixing and mastering by Christian Sanchez, RED studios, Mexico