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.