This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!

Letters from Mexico

Letters - Where Expats Blog

A Musician in Tepoztlan

Oct. 26, 2019

For many years, Jim has been researching the work of the ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras. While in college he began to understand that master's intuitive sense of the connection of music and sound with geometry and healing. Jim started experimenting with the properties of different frequencies and their healing properties.

He invented special harps with Pythagorean tunings. Here are recordings of him playing them. For more information you can go to his site.

In the video below, Jim's teaching children in a percussion workshop. This is to be a parade with other children on stilts.

I met Roxana, a colleague of Jim's, in Boston before I came to Tepoztlan. She lives here in Tepoztlan. This workshop was sponsored by the Boston group that puts on the annual Wake Up the Earth Festival, where I first met Roxana.

Tepoztlan, Mexico. A harp class.

In this interview (below) with Jim, he tells about his experiences playing jazz when he first came to Mexico. It's interesting to note that at that time there were very few expats playing jazz regularly in Mexico. He mentions how he started in Guadalajara, moved on to San Miguel, and eventually landed in Tepoztlan.

Jim Doney is a drummer extraordinaire! I met Jim Doney when I first moved to Mexico, in 2003, and perhaps even earlier during my visits prior to moving to Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico. Not only is he a skilled and creative jazz drummer, but also a good teacher, and an inventor of a special musical instrument, based on his research of tunings.  

Tepoztlan, Mexico. In this video, Jim plays with his son, Eli, a gypsy jazz tune by Django Reinhardt.

Tepoztlan, Mexico. Jim with his Pythagorean harps.

Tepoztlan, Mexico. Percussion workshop. Video by Roxana Bentes de Moura

Tepoztlan, Mexico. Jim Doney at this trap set.

Tepoztlan, Mexico. Interview with musician, Jim Doney Video by Don Karp

In a previous blog, I described the work and life of Alejandro Aguirre, a Mexican artist in Tepoztlan. Notice the similarity to Jim's in terms of the creativity that Mexico fosters, and Tepoztlan in particular. Creative people in Mexico are treated with much more respect than in the US.

If you'd like to know more about Jim and his work, you can find him on Facebook.

I am open to your ideas for future blogs. Please feel free to email me, or write them in the comments section below.


Researcher and Inventor