Events > 2019 > April > Brian Ernst

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Brian and Katie Ernst a full time touring, music and non profit duo, originally from Ohio (USA). When they met, it was the summer of 2006. Brian was working a 9-5 job and street performing on the weekends while Katie was finishing up university. They both volunteered in New Orleans (post Katrina) and had dreams of one day being able to travel together helping/volunteering.

2007 was the year Brian got “the best promotion” he’d ever receive, he got fired from the warehouse job, which caused him to pursue music full time. They never “settled” or lived in any one place more than four months. Instead of staying in one place and building up a fan base locally/regionally etc. they immediately took to the road and began spreading their music and message around the world.

In the last decade, they have spent almost a year of their lives in Africa, which inspired Katie to get their charity, Journey4YOUth officially registered as a 501c3 non-profit organization. As their fan base has grown, so has their outreach. Every year, Journey4YOUth is able to provide over 100 education sponsorship’s for students. They also provide rain water harvesting tanks and education for women and elders in the village we they lived in – Kaswanga Village, Kenya.

Since 2010, their fan base has donated over $160,000 to these initiatives as well as other causes. They went out twice to volunteer during the refugee crisis, (at Moria Refugee Camp in Greece and with an NGO serving displaced Syrians in Turkey). They also went to Standing Rock in 2016. The work hurts sometimes, but the pain is the fuel to the fire that burns with the urgency to continue using your life-work for that which is bigger than yourself.

As one would expect. These experiences have influenced his music. Brian is a live looping multi-instrumentalist. He uses open tuned and lap guitars with didgeridoo’s, beat-boxing and a bunch of small percussion instruments to create up beat acoustic, soul roots music – with passion and purpose. His music is unique in a way that you might be hard pressed to think of another musician that makes music like he does. Literally building songs organically, using everything from didgeridoos to a thick metal chain link with a whole lot of soul.

In 11 years, the music has taken them around the world. They have toured through 49 states and 35 countries (all throughout Africa, SE Asia, Central America, Europe and Australia + New Zealand). They have sold over 20,000 cd’s, have over a half million views on Youtube, and yet, this isn’t what it’s all about for them.

Brian and Katie have witnessed hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come together in the name of music. And, as a direct result of people coming together, thousands of kids are getting educated and empowered. This is music transforming people. This is making change. And, if two kids from the Midwest, who started out street performing and working on farms can see these dreams become reality… what else is possible?