Boundless Gratitude

Boundless Gratitude launched his self-taught and self-proclaimed musical storytelling career by entertaining his children. As his children grew old enough for more sophisticated entertainment, Boundless Gratitude started tuning his guitar, writing new songs, and entertaining other adults at open mics. He eventually also served as open mic co-host in venues such as the old Freight and Salvage location on Addison St., the Berkeley Art Center, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, and the UU Fellowship Hall in Berkeley.

During this time, Boundless Gratitude also shared his musical storytelling in community and educational programs (that included a couple of “Guitars not Guns” groups as well). In school programs he was often known only as “Mr. B.G.” In his real-world professional life as a writer and editor--which included contributing freelance articles to Acoustic Guitar magazine and editing the bi-annual journal of the Children’s Music Network through its transition from print to digital publication--Mr. B.G. was known by the legal name he received at birth, Hassaun Ali Jones-Bey. His early musical storytelling pseudonyms also included Ali Ibn Musa, and HAJB the Mad Poet.

For several years now, the Boundless Gratitude pseudonym has been set aside, due to a shift away from songwriting and performing, and toward academic study of the functional role of music and storytelling in religious and cultural communities--particularly in communities of the African Diaspora. Of late, a growing respect for how real people actually express “boundless gratitude” in various cultures, and a longstanding desire to improve previously recorded works both musically and lyrically, is bringing the pseudonym Boundless Gratitude back to the fore.