Wednesday, September 17 2014
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About Us
Mountain Lions International

“Making this World a Better place to Live” is the mission of the Mountain Lions International.

Sierra Leone West Africa, Wisconsin USA, and Mexico are the homelands of this culturally diverse group of musicians who met in the unlikely place of Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Mountain Lions International’s roots go back to 1997 when Dan and Joe as two UW-Whitewater students began assembling lyrics. Jon began jamming with them in the basement in 1999. Chris was sent to sit in with the Lions in Nov 2003 temporarily. Juan was added in the summer of 2005. Each of the Mountain Lions contributes their unique skills, talents, temperament, and culture to this musical group.

The MLI first played out at the Friends of Africa Picnic in July 2000 at Dretzka Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Another 2 years of writing lyrics and putting them to music brought the Lions to being chosen to perform in an annual “Battle of the Bands” event on the UW-W Campus. The Lions receiving first place for their 45 minute set in that event was the impetus for starting to gig. It was a very exciting time for the MLI and they made sure they could perform for the three plus hours required of solo band performances in Wisconsin taverns. During 2005 MLI performed 106 times in eight states in a variety of venues to a diversity of audiences.

MLI’s “Afre-rok” music (a blend of African, Reggae, and Rock) is unique to them and displays the diversity of their musical and cultural backgrounds. Mountain Lions International music also represents their attitude about life; it is about all peoples of the world getting together and solving their differences, about joy and respect for one another. The MLI lives and breathes this concept; it is evident on their faces, how they treat one another and others, and in the lyrics of their original compositions they call ‘positive vibrations’.

MLI infects their audiences with the message “‘we must love one another”. Spend time with the Mountain Lions International and you will be keeping time, smiling, and asking, “When are these guys coming back”?

MLI’s 1st full length CD “Vybrayshuns” is available at shows, their website and other locations on the internet.

Rick Schneider aka Papa Lion was adopted as “manager” in September 2002. He handles most of the booking as well as other band business matters as they arise.

More info about Mountain Lions International is available on their website

For booking contact Rick Schneider at
Phone: 608-289-6001
Band Members
Mtn Lion member bios

Jon Schneider (Bass Lion) was born in Madison, WI and raised on a dairy farm in Orfordville, WI. Jon began his music immersion in 4th grade with the alto saxophone and continued with it through 12th grade. Jon started playing bass in the fall of 1996 just before the start of his final year of high school. He organized a ska influenced band and played in it for three years. Jon met Joe working in a factory in Whitewater during the fall of 1999. Discovering they both had interests in music, the basement jam sessions began and the Mountain Lions International took form. Jon has an Associates Degree from UW- Rock County, his curriculum included music classes where he met Chris Dencker.
Classical, rock, jazz, blues, funk, punk, ska, reggae, heavy metal etc.

Joe Seisay (Ruff Lion) was born on Bonthe Island, Sierra Leone, West Africa. Joe’s interest in music comes to him naturally. Joe put this natural interest to use by performing with the Freetong Players (a folk cultural UNICEF group) of Sierra Leone. With the group he toured playing djembe drum and danced in countries in Africa and Europe. He moved to Wisconsin, USA in 1996 to attend school. Joe received his BA in Graphic Design in December 2003. He will received his MA in Art Education May 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Joe’s love of music helped him find others with like interests. After many basement jam sessions the Mountain Lions International was born in the spring of 2000. Joe believes he will be able to marry his music, graphic design, and educational interests in a vocation. Peace and Love
Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Peter Tosh, Ijah Man, Burning Spears, Culture from Jamaica, Jimmy Cliff, U Roy, Alpha Blondy, Bunny Wailer, Steel Pause, UB40 etc.

Chris Dencker (Cool Lion) was born and raised in Beloit, WI. At age 10, he took up drumming, at 14, he began playing bass, but 18 months later began studying guitar on his own. Chris has played in garage/basement bands, mostly punk and heavy metal, for almost 8 years. Chris was asked to do a fill in spot with Mountain Lions at a gig in November 2003. His formal music education includes beginning theory and jazz classes at UW-Rock County. He received his BA in Education at Beloit College where he majored in history, minored in music and played with the BC Jazz Ensemble. He also composes classical music on the side.
Punk, Ska, and Metal. UB40, Sublime, Operation Ivy, Bob Marley

Mtn Lion member bios cont.

Daniel Mustapa (Key Lion) was born in Kono District, Sierra Leone West Africa. Mountain Lions International is his first band experience. He played the keyboard and flute recreationally in Africa. Daniel enjoyed singing songs in his native languages (Mende & Kono) when he visited his grandmother during holidays/break from school in Sierra Leone. He has especially fond memories of singing on the farm with his grandmother. Dan arrived in Milwaukee, WI in 1996 and met Joe in school at UW-Whitewater. Together they began writing lyrics and experimenting with instruments for their positive vibrations. Dan received his BA in Computer Programming in May 2003 and an MA in Safety from UW-W in December 2005. Dan also serves as webmaster for MLI’s website.
African sounds and reggae are the most he listened to when he was in Africa. Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Jamaican Culture, country music by Don Williams

Juan Rentaria (Dr One) was born in Zacatecas, Mexico (West Central Mexico), Juan started playing bass guitar when he was 14 years old, added drums when he was 18 because the group he was with needed a drummer. Juan played with a number of "garage" type bands of the hard/punk rock, hip hop/rap styles. Juan met Chris and Jon at Mountain Lions International shows and became a fan of MLI's afre-rok style original reggae music. Juan was asked to gig with the Lions July 2005 with his congas. It is intended that Juan will sit in for members at times during shows so they can perform musical offerings using other instruments. Juan is currently behind the drum kit at times so Joe can perform out front. This summer he will probably take a turn at bass to allow Jon some time with his sax
Favorite Bands
Bob Marley,Lucky Dube, Don Williams, Culture
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