Rick de Yampert is a freelance writer and musician who has been on the Pagan path since the early 1990s.
He plays sitar, Native American flutes, guitar, djembe (African hand drum), and other percussion. Previously he was a daily newspaper journalist, including 23 years as the arts and entertainment writer at The Daytona Beach News-Journal in Florida, and 2½ years as the rock/pop/hip-hop writer at The Tennessean in Nashville.
During his daily newspaper career, he covered everything from rap music to monster truck shows, from classical musicians to circus clowns. He also profiled local Pagans and Witches, wrote about Pagan Pride Days, and reported on such Pagan luminaries as Phyllis Curott, and Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone when they visited the Daytona area.
Rick has interviewed such musicians, writers and creators as Janet Jackson, Kurt Vonnegut, Yoko Ono, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Tori Amos, Harlan Ellison, and many others. He estimates he attended more than 3,000 music and theatrical performances during his 30-year career at daily newspapers. He has reviewed concerts by U2, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Tina Turner, Prince, Marilyn Manson, Tool, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Robert Plant and others.
Rick describes his sitar and flute music as East-West fusion – a blend of Indian raga, ambient New Age, Buddha lounge and British rock (his sets include his arrangements of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Within You Without You” and “Norwegian Wood,” plus Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”).
Rick also presents numerous lectures on sacred music at Pagan gatherings and Unitarian-Universalist churches throughout Central Florida. His talks, such as “Going Om: Nada Brahma – Sound Is God” and “Sacred Drumming: Riding the Shaman’s Horse,” feature instrumental demonstrations and field recordings, and explore the many ways that cultures around the world have used music to alter consciousness and access the divine.
He lives in the Daytona Beach, Florida area. His website is rickdeyampert.com.