Howdy. My name is Gabe Dominguez, and for the past 17 years I've written and performed my own music under the moniker of SHAKE YOUR PEACE! I'm a Utah boy, but I'm currently howlin' out of the land of the Lenni Lenape (central New Jersey). My family members and the art that we produce are the products of multicultural threads, held in tension: indigenous and immigrant, as well as black and white; part colonizer, and part rebelling colonized; and my music comes from this place of tension, and of reaching, for the ground.
I play a style of music that I like to call "whup music." Whup is a rock & roll hybridization of: Afro-Latin and Caribbean rhythms, bluegrass fiddling, gospel choir, marching band percussion, and ecotopian perspectives. Yep. That's why I call it whup for short. Take a listen.
Here's a way I like to describe it: "social/eco-justice music you can dance to."
If I were trying to write a breathless artist's statement I might say: "a defiant celebration of human cultural diversity and the wilderness."
...and every tree's our country's flag,
air - water - earth - we give rights to 'em,
so you can open your stores, and throw your wars,
my people won't shop or fight for you!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2023, track 6 "Whenever You're Ready")
Another way to put it: "Whup Music" sounds like what you'd get if Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Hector Lavoe, The Mississippi Mass Choir, and eco-anarchist/author Edward Abbey had a baby, and that baby was raised by LA hippies amongst the cowboys of Utah.
"Tie-dye shirt in a country bar,
I was looking 'round the room,
this girl said: "what you lookin' for hippie?"
and I said: "guess I'm looking for you?"
she said: "I'm lookin' backatchoobaby!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2023, track 2 "Backatchoobaby")
Wait hold up. Bluegrass fiddle and Afro-Latino beats!? Yeah so, as a teenager growing up in Orem, Utah in the 90's, I cultivated a deep love for the fiddle music I heard being played by local bands like Kirkmount, Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband, and my good friends in Fiddlesticks. To me, the sound of their fiddles whupping over the strings made me feel like I did when I was galloping up on the peaks of our local mountain, Timpanogos; it sounded like the wind in my ears. It was the sound of unbeatable wilderness to me. That connection between fiddle music, and wild mountain freedom, is welded tight in my DNA.
In total contrast to these wholesome family bands, my charismatic Mexican dad was raised in the rough ghetto streets of South Central LA where he completely absorbed the unique expression of black street culture that surrounded him there. A child of Mexican immigrants, whose parents refused to speak Spanish to him (so that he and his siblings wouldn't have an accent and face discrimination), raised by a slice of black America, my dad imprinted an organic Afro-Latino cultural thang on me that is totally his own. My dad has often joked however, that the first time he met Puerto Ricans, it was an aha moment for him.
All was well with my soul until I moved to San Francisco in my 20's. During this time I'd go to my housemates' Latin music shows (Puerto Ricans) and though I'd be loving the music, my soul would be yearning for a bluegrass fiddle solo that would never come. On the flipside, when I'd go to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festivals in Golden Gate Park every year I'd be loving the fiddle music, but I'd be yearning for the band to just, put, some, BOODIE on it! Whup music was created because I couldn't find the music that I wanted to hear: Afro-Latino with fiddle, Bluegrass with boodie, and sounding like the wind in your ears.
photo credit: Rachel Znerold
Outside of the music, SHAKE YOUR PEACE! has been occasionally noticed for incorporating environmental activism into both tours and live shows (a principle I like to call "harmony onstage/ harmony offstage"). The passion for "harmony offstage" has probably been best exemplified by SHAKE YOUR PEACE!'s many experiments with touring by bicycle (6 tours and counting), and by foot (3 tours and counting), hauling drums, amplifiers, and guitars all without the help of a tour van, and amplifying concerts with a bicycle-powered sound system (pedaled by volunteers from the audience). In 2007, these experiments inspired me to co-found the award-winning Bicycle Music Festival in San Francisco, along with my friend Paul Freedman from Rock the Bike. It was heralded by the press as: "the greenest music festival ever conceived." The festival, as an open-source idea, has since inspired BMF-style events around the world, from South Korea, to Uruguay, to Canada, all produced by autonomous groups of volunteers.
"...with one foot behind us, and one ahead,
who's the leader? who's the led?
freedom's ours in every breath now,
and every step!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2023, track 8 "The Walking People")
In 2018 I launched a Kickstarter campaign for the album "Whup Music." In it I stated that my primary goal with the album was to: "contribute the music to those who are marching - at home, at work, at school, and in the streets - toward what some of us like to call "ecotopia," a culture of ecological and social justice." I hope that it's clear that this "revolution in-motion" as I envision it, is ultimately a movement of inclusion, not division: between hippies and cowboys, between anarchist sons and their realtor mothers, and between every "walking person" who's willing to celebrate a common ground of love, and move forward together on that terrain. I hope I get to walk with you soon. Thanks for reading this long-ass About section!
Every kind of body!
any way you move is praise,
any way you move is walking!
Stand up friends (let's walk together!)
On our common ground (let's walk together!)"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2023, track 8 "The Walking People")
"...now as we ride, in her Lexus SUV...to Costco,
you can bet I still keep a place reserved for her in the revolution anyways!
Cause what I'm trying to say is - is I love my mother, anyways!
I love my mother anyways!
And she loves me...anyways!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2023, track 7 "My Mom the Realtor")
2018 Kickstarter video for "Whup Music"
Velo Visionaries - Gabe Dominguez
looks somethin' like:
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! was accidentally created in 2004 either at a college rooftop party on the Lower East Side, or maybe even in 2002 during a spontaneous jam with Thumpus in Washington Square Park (NYC). Since then SHAKE YOUR PEACE! has been primarily based out of Chochenyo, and Oholone land (The San Francisco Bay Area), and Goshute, Ute, and Eastern Shoshone land (Salt Lake City), though in Fall of 2022 relocated to New Jersey!
The first album "Sing It As You Please" was released in 2006 to universal critical acclaim from the 3 people who played on it. It was recorded in fiddler Chris Jacoby's living room in Salt Lake City using a single mic pointed up at the ceiling in the center of the room, with Chris' infant daughter's sock stuck over the top like a smurf hat to act as a windscreen. It might be that tiny socks make microphones sound better, or worse. See what you think.
13 years, 6 bike tours, and 3 walking tours later in the Spring of 2020, the second album "Whup Music" was finished and posted on this website, as well as on SYP!'s Bandcamp page. Those who noticed, apparently dug it. It was all set to be "officially released" on streaming services and supported by a proper tour with the marching-band-size version of SHAKE YOUR PEACE! that's featured in our original show Ecotopia Now! but then March 2020 happened. It's now slated to be triumphantly released in Fall of 2023 (need to rebuild the band in New Jersey)!
The live band:
Over the years SHAKE YOUR PEACE! has performed in a variety of iterations, from solo act to 14-piece band, and with many different musicians. In all years, and in every iteration of the project, the name has always been written in the same loud-ass way: all-caps with an exclamation point at the end. Because - HEY!
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! is the make/belief of Studio Ecotopia