Anton Mizerak's extended biography

Anton was born in the Los Angeles area in 1951. His mother, of German descent, was a very creative person, making ceramics, counseling fashion clients, designing clothes and the three houses that she lived her adult life in, and teaching opera. Anton's father, of Hungarian descent, was a conscientious objector during WW2, a printer for one of Los Angeles' large newspapers and played violin. At an early age Anton began playing piano, mostly by ear. In high school Anton played piano and harmonica with bands that opend up for Canned Heat and Chicago Transit Authority. Anton's berst knowband was at the time was the J A Mizerak Blues Band which he played in from 1968-1970.

Anton attended UCLA from 1970-1976 earning a BA in History and an MA in History of Religions. He primarily studied with Kees Bolle atteneding short graduate symposiums with Mircea Elliade and Joseph Campbell. He studied Sanskrit with Hanns-Peter Schmidt and Hartmut Scharfe. Other history teachers included Kenneth Chen (Chinese Buddhism), Gustave von Grunebaum (Islamic Studies), Ken Morrison (Native American History) and Giorgio Buccelatti (ancient Near Eastern History).

In 1976 he moved to Mount Shasta where he built his own house and recording studios. He worked for a decade in the construction trades as a mason supplimenting his income teaching history at College of the Siskiyous and playing in Rock and Roll and Country and Western bands. In 1985 he and Vanessa Kimberly Bloodsworth founed the band "Shasta" which appears on tracks on the CDs "Riddle of the Sphinx" and "Pacific Rim".

In 1986 he opened Shastasong Recoring Studios with Michel Genest where he recorded such artists as Aeoliah, Erik Berglund, Matisha, Stephen Baird, The Invincible Blazing Lotusheads, Gary Cooper, David Akash and Manose. Anton and Michel released a joint CD "Riddle of the Sphinx" with Narada Records. They also collaborated on Harmonic 33 and Angels in Our Midst for Narada Records. These and Anton's solo Narada project Mystic Journey are currently out of print.

In 1992 Anton started his own label "Shastasong" under which he has released his subsequent recordings: Pacific Rim, Unwind, Desert Bloom, When Angels Dream, When Angels Dream 2, Harmonica Sunset and When Angels Dream 3.

Since 1985 Anton has travelled to Nepal many times, studying tabla first with Huttraj Sharma and later with Homnath Upadhyaya. In 1998 he met Manose Singh Newa, a wonderful bansuri (bamboo flute) player. Anton and Manose toured extensively together for six years stating in 1999, sometimes adding Natalie, Kim Lorene or Laura Berryhill with whom Anton still tours. Manose is featured on Anton's Harmonica Sunset CD and all of the When Angels Dream CDs.

In 2003 Anton began collaborating with Olof Soderback, a Swedish violin and acordian player rom Ashland, Oregon. Anton and Olof still play whenever they can at Three Rivers Indian Restuarant in Ashland, Oregon. Olof is also, featured on Anton's Harmonica Sunset CD.

Anton has been collaborating with Richard Hardy since 1997, recording and playing festivals together. Richard is also featured on Anton's Desert Bloom and Harmonica Sunset CDs.

In 2005 Anton and Michael Mandrell began touring together extensively. Michael is featured on Anton's Harmonica Sunset and When Angels Dream 3 CDs.

Anton played for many years at the Mount Shasta Wesak celebration with musicians such as Matisha, Richard Hardy, Kathy Zavada, Erik Berglund, Manose, Natalie, Gary Cooper and Kim Lorene.

Starting in 2011 Anton started touring again with Laura Berryhill, whom he originally toured with in 1993. Anton and Laura have collaborated extensively since then, co-writing music, touring and recording CDs together. Laura is featured onthe When Angels Dream 3 CD.

In 2019 Anton began actively playing tabla for Kirtan chanting. His colloborators include Ganeshadas, Madhurai Sumhara and Christoper Daniels.

In 2023 Anton and Laura began collaborating with vocalist Alyssa Narum and the three of them co-founded the Kirtan group Parvati.

In 1998 Anton began playing at Unity, Unitarian and Centers for Spiritual Living. Anton has performed at over 250 of these centers including Agape, Mile High Center for Spiritual Living and Seattle Center for Spiritual Living. In 2001 Anton began playing at their annual Asilomar gatherings providing meditation music (including a live three hour meditation) and playing harmonica. In 2009 Anton received the Hazel Holmes award for furthering the Asilomar experince. During this period Anton has performed with Karen Drucker, David Ault, Daniel Nahmod, Rickey Beyers Beckwith, Jami Lula, Michael Gott, Lisa Ferraro, Marianne Heime and Eddie Watkins Junior. In 2009 Anton was the recipient of the annual Hazel Holmes Asilomar Award which is given to honor lifetime service towards the Centers for Spiritual Living Asilomar gatherings. Anton and Laura Berryhill have been music directors at the New Thought Asilomar Gatherings facilitated by Reverend Kristina Collins.

Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill have been staff musicians at Unity Church in Redding since 2018 and music directors at the Center for Spiritual Living Rogue Valley since 2020.

Besides his own recorings, Anton is featured on CDs by Gary Cooper, Stephen Baird, Eddie Watkins and the Human Revolution.

Anton and Laura Berryhill speak at church services for both Unity and Centers for Spiritual Living and UU Fellowships. They have developed a multi part series on Music and Mythology. Anton has led chanting workshops at yoga studios and at the 2009 and 2010 CSL Asilomar gatherings. He and Laura have lead workshops at the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023 New Thought Asilomar gatherings.

Anton's recordings include (chronologically) Riddle of the Sphinx, Mystic Journey, Pacific Rim, Unwind, Desert Bloom, When Angels Dream, When Angels Dream 2, Harmonica Sunset and When Angels Dream 3. Anton also appears on recordings by Erik Berglund, Matisha, Eddie Watkins Jr., The Human Revolution, Angelleyna Bresee and Wayne Powell.

Old band member reunions from a 2009 photo:

Left: Bill Speckart, bass player from J A Mizerak band 1968-1970.

Center left: Don Wardlaw, rhythm guitar player from J A Mizerak band 1968-1970.

Center: Anton Mizerak

Center right: Manose Newa: Anton's primary tour partner 1999-2003 and bansuri player on When Angels Dream, When Angels Dream 2, Harmonica Sunset, When Angels Dream 3, and a vocal CD collaboration with Laura Berryhill.

Right: Tsering Speckart: Tibetan singer, who collaborated with Manose on her solo CD.