Penguins Rock the World
Traveling, exploring, understanding, and celebrating the joy of life have always served as the heart of Eric Maring's musical life and songs. For the past 10 years he has performed and shared his love of music for all ages of audiences. In that time he has made four major recordings - his 2001 debut solo release Birdsong (praised as one of the top 20 local releases of the year by the Washington Post); his 2004 release Penguins Rock the World!; and his collaborative efforts with Jawbone (Amikaeyla, Eric, and Greg Heelan) including the exuberant and highly acclaimed all-ages record Holy Guacamole!In the years since his first CD release, he has had the honor of finding himself onstage at the Birchmere, Iota Cafe, Blues Alley, HR-57, The Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, and the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Of the truly magical performance experiences of his life, Eric counts being invited with Jawbone to perform for His Holiness The Dalai Lama at the festival of Sacred Chanting and Singing in Delhi, India and opening for Dar Williams at the Birchmere near the top. Eric has been making music his entire life. He began piano studies at the age of six and continued through high school until finding the guitar. He has studied guitar for 17 years in which time he has developed a unique style of playing by combining a host of alternate tunings with techniques that he has picked up on many enlightening musical studies - at a Flamenco institute in Granada, Spain, at the home of renowned guitar virtuoso Pierre Bensusan in France, and more recently in workshops with Australian legend Tommy Emmanuel. He has continuously been drawn to musical virtuosos, and not just guitarists. On one of his many trips to India, he learned about tabla great Ustad Zakir Hussain, and his musical life was never quite the same. His most recent musical adventure, in 2006-2007, was spending eight months in Varanasi, India with his family where he studied the awesome percussive art that Zakir Hussain inspired him to pursue. These studies have infused yet another layer of intricacy to Eric's approach to songwriting, the guitar, and his musical life in general. Eric is known as "Mr. Maring" by many young people in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland, where he served as an elementary teacher for many years. Eric credits these years as truly helping him to understand the deep power that music can have in the lives of young people and their communities. Eric's musical studies in the University of Life have taken him far and wide. He also holds a Master's Degree in Education and is certified in the early childhood music program Music Together. Most importantly, he is a proud father.