Belinda Underwood is a life-long musician and dancer who brings elements of the world's folk art traditions together with her own Western training and luscious soul-creation. An artist and traveler, she has enjoyed visiting other lands in order to study the roots and living masters of those traditions.
Childhood dance lessons included ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. Since then, Belinda has explored salsa and other Latin dances, ballroom, burlesque, tango, American and Egyptian cabaret, tribal belly dance, Turkish oriental, ritual sacred dance and more. She considers dance to be one of the most natural expressions of music and the body to be the instrument for that expression.
Belinda got her earliest musical training from her jazz-pianist mother, followed by years of childhood lessons in classical violin. She taught herself baritone ukulele starting at age ten, then benefitted from high school and college jazz education programs as she studied upright bass, voice, theory and composition.
In adulthood, she has continued musical/dance studies around the world, particularly in Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, and on the West Coast of the USA. She has picked up other instruments such as the Arabic oud, baritone uke, banjo, keyboard bass pedals, arabic drums, finger cymbals and more. She is adept at artfully blending the elements of her training along with folk and world music influences to create art that is uniquely her own.
The last several years she has developed a body of work as a solo artist, playing the bari uke and keyboard bass pedals while singing original songs. She has also worked (a lot!) as a sideman in other bands, mostly playing upright bass and/or singing.
A believer in music without the borders created by genres or cultures, Belinda composes and writes equally passionately about love and human evolution as she does trees and animals, using a clever wit to reveal the interconnectedness of all things.
"Ancient wisdom tells us that music has the power to heal, to enlighten, and to raise the consciousness of the masses. We have seen the power of music affect change in our own age by inspiring people to ask questions about the paradigms that keep our society from growing. Questions are good because through questioning ourselves and the world we are expanding our awareness. I want to create music that lifts people up, gets people down, causes beautiful feelings as well as uncomfortable feelings... whatever it takes to help people (myself included) break free from the habitual ways of thinking about ourselves and about life.
With everything that is happening in the world I think it is important for us to raise our voices. If we really believe in a society run by "we the people" then we have to take responsibility for what is going on. It is our duty to overcome the ignorance that is the norm and to overcome the brainwashing we have received.
Through music I attempt to raise my voice, to overcome my ignorance and conditioning. I feel that I have been called to create music to put some positive energy into the universe and also because making music is a journey that takes me deeper into myself. My ultimate goals are to approach knowing who I am and hopefully to inspire others to want to learn who they are too."
~ Belinda Underwood