Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2014  June 20-22
Review and Photos by Agnes Patak
Once again Warren Smith has brought world class artists and performers to Boonville in Mendocino Co for the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Beginning on Friday night with reggae revival artist and newcomer was Kabaka Pyramid on the Village Stage and continued with Chuck Fenda, Josey Wales and Clinton Fearon. On the Valley Stage the festival began with an opening  prayer by a Pomo Elder and continued with Brazilian music. Ester Rada (Ethiopian/Israeli) followed with an incredible set. Her voice and movements reminded me of Janelle Monae. Afrobeat music was next with an outstanding performance by Seun Kuti, son of the late Fela Kuti. I have seen Seun numerous times but this was the first time he seemed like a reincarnation of his father which I had the honor of seeing before he passed on. The night came to a close with the very high energy of Ozomalti, an East L.A. latino band who at the end of their set went into the audience with instruments in hand and performed in the middle of the crowd that had everyone there jump with excitment.
Saturday began with roots reggae artist Jahdan Blakkamore from Jamaica, his first time to Ca. He was followed by the Zvuloon Dub System from Israel which was one of the most talked about performances. They did not disappoint. Songs were sung in English and Hebrew. The Valley Stage began with Raging Fyah, another roots group from Jamaica making their first USA performance. Following them were Hollie Cook from England, The Tamlins, 3 brothers from Ja who have been together for many many years. The elder U Roy was as alive as any young performer. Prez Brown, who replaced John Holt came thru like he always does. Sly and Robbie were up next and then they backed Bob Andy, Bitty McLean and Mykol Rose. All three of these artist gave us great sets. Shaggy closed the night but I only stayed a short while because he was just TERRIBLE!
The elder Derrick Morgan began the day on Sunday on the Village Stage and he was just a delight to see and hear. The Valley was jumping with Morgan Heritage, Cultura Profectica from Puerto Rico, Tarrus Riley and Dean Frazier and the Black Soil Band. The audience loved it!!!! I left as Barrington Levy was starting and I didn’t hear anything good about Rebelution who closed the show. It was a great weekend of world music. Next big reggae festival is Reggae on the River, July 31-Aug 3 at French’s Camp.

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Photos by Agnes Patak. Review to follow.

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Photos by Agnes Patak. Review to follow.

Summer Arts and Music Festival. Benbow, Sat, May 31, 2014. For some reason Tumblr will not allow me to add captions to the photos below. I’ll be checking later to see if I can.

Bruce Cockburn's long anticipated return to the Mateel Community Center was without disappointment. He may
have aged but his music has not. Catering to his long time fan base, he played many of his best known songs from
many years ago. They sounded as new as the first time you heard them. Call it Democracy, Stolen Land, Mama Just
Wants to Barrel House All Night Long, Lovers in a Dangerous Time and many more. He had us all singing along to his most
cherished and known song Wondering Where the Lions Are. He closed on a happy and positive note with Rumors
of Glory. He played on four different guitars, a dulcimer and four sets of pipes controlled with foot pedals. (check out the photo)
He was so much more than a one man show. With several songs he used reverb that made long time KMUD programmer and
long time Bruce Cockburn fan, Brian Elie, remark that it made Bruce sound like Bruce Springsteen. Another person told me that
the reverb reminded him of Pink Floyd.

He let the crowd know that he would be signing autographs after the show and he would sign on what ever the person wanted.
His real world sense of humor is still very much in tact. With a glass of wine in hand he shared many happy moments with the
fans who waited with pens in hand to personally talk with him.

Once again The Mateel Community Center has brought a different and unique act to So Hum. On April 6, A Tribe Called Red , three Native American DJ’s and a hoop dancer wereout there representing indigenous people in a new way. With VERY modern electronica beats mixed with traditional Native chants and songs to heavy drum beats they had the crowd dancing and stomping their feet. Included in the mix was a collection of videos that specifically deal with the misrepresentations of Indigenous people.  A Tribe Called Red is one of a rare indigenous group to make an in road into the mainstream music scene. Redway was the their second stop of their tour which includes Europe, The Heritage Festival in New Orleans, and one of the biggest outdoor festivals in the U.S., Bonnaroo.

Photos and review by Agnes Patak