A David Gans “solo electric” performance is likely to consist of several elements: country-blues-style fingerpicking; loop-based improvisations created live in the moment; sweetly-sung ballads, original or borrowed; Grateful Dead songs reinterpreted to suit his voice and guitar; wry observations of the music-festival subculture and the larger world; soulful and passionate political commentary; favorites from the folk-rock canon of the last 50 years. Mix and match – it’s never the same show twice, but it’s always worth a listen.
Something for the Parrot Heads, a little R & B, and a whole lot of fun! Our own State Representative Chad Hays teams with Rep. Mike Tryon, Senator Don Harmon, vocalist Carla Modglin and three of central Illinois finest musicians, Tom Grassman, Guido Esteves and Jeff Markland team up to kick off Phases in style.
At 15, Kasey Burton has already set her own challenges for a career in music. Playing guitar since the age of 10, she has already compiled quite a catalog of original music. After enrolling in two consecutive Rock and Roll Camps in Danville, IL Kasey has begun working with an ever-expanding network of established area artists. It is this network that has come together to help her grow her love for music. In October of 2013, she release a self-titled five-song acoustic EP; keeping it simple. She is currently in the funding phase of her full length album which she hopes to have out this summer.
Kasey finds her inspiration for writing in everyone from Taylor Swift to U2; appreciating most, the talent for writing. Yet, for all of her passion, she is still, an average teenager; enjoying school, enjoying sports and excelling at both. Her view of the horizon ahead is wide and it is that vision that never lets her down when it comes to writing.
Kasey’s expression isn’t left to lyrics alone. Her vocal styling is reminiscent of seasoned artists. She owns her voice and the message it carries.
Naked Rock Fight is Dawn Weber – trumpet/vocals, Matt McKeever – saxophone, Nathan Jatcko – keys, Mark Youngbauer – guitar, Donnie Inman – bass and Jerry Mazzuca – drums
Formed from Champaign Illinois’ finest, equal parts showmanship and musicianship engages listeners from casual to analytical. Building momentum from one show to the next, Abnormous’s super-tight beats and huge harmonies explode into a high energy experience that says let’s git down tonight!
If Kevin Bilchik’s music was your last meal, it would be a smorgasbord of styles and traditions, tied together with an undeniable flavor of the blues. Bilchik’s songs range from upbeat rhythm and blues tunes about love found and awkwardly lost, to introspective folk and country songs about life and family. Throw in a few minor-key tales about growing up, and getting lost, in the 21st century American landscape, and you’re starting to get the picture.
With his precise and soulful rhythm on the acoustic guitar, Kevin guides each song with purpose and energy, with an intent to draw the listener into his lyrics and emotions. Combining his wry modern perspective, with the roots and Americana music that he loves, Bilchik can make you laugh, smile, cry, and tap your toes, all in under four minutes. Catch him live, or listen to one of his three CD releases, and find out for yourself.
Kevin Bilchik was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and still calls it home with his wife and daughter.
Hailing from the Heart of Illinois, Steady Flow is a power funk band on the rise, blending new-age/progressive funk, with a classic 1970’s feel. Formed in 2012 by 18 year old guitar prodigy Tanner Brown, his brother Ky on bass, and longtime friend Jonathan Bobo on the drums, this band instantly caught fire. With the addition of a vintage rotary organ and a three piece horn section, they have become the full funk package. Steady Flow was recently crowned champion of the “Dos Equis Toast of the Coast” competition, topping hundreds of bands throughout the U.S. and winning a headlining slot at North Coast Music Festival. The band’s first EP entitled “The Oneoff Sessions” made its debut in 2013 and quickly set the bar for the FUTURE OF FUNK! Give a listen! STAY FUNKY!
The James Jones Trio plays traditional blues with a modern approach and feel. Being a group for a very short time, their debut has been in the making for years. With all members under the age of twenty-six, they play with the maturity of well-seasoned veterans. James, as a frontman, performs with the depth and conviction of someone twice his age. His guitar and vocal work display a maturity and passion that breathes life into the blues. His shows are fiery, and unforgettable to say the least.
Clare Dunn is a fearless performer, dazzling guitar-slinger and a powerfully emotive singer whose unique blend of country and rock references a wide range of trailblazing influences, while maintaining a sound that is uniquely hers. Born where the Oklahoma panhandle meets the sprawling Colorado countryside, Clare grew up driving silage trucks, combines, and eighteen-wheelers long before she was legally old enough to secure her learners permit. Clapton, Strait, The Stones, and The Eagles created the musical backdrop of her youth as she supported her family-owned farm and ranch in a part of the world where nothing comes without hard work and determination. After a brief stint in Texas, Clare relocated to Nashville in 2007 and quickly carved out her niche within a music scene that often expects too little from its female performers. Able to drive a live show with nothing but a rhythm section, Clare is an accomplished entertainer who has appeared in front of numerous crowds across the country.
The Dawn is a seasoned roots-rockin, jam band is based out of the Quad Cities, IL. Their live show experience is tightly gripped in spacious jams, roaring guitar and soulful harmonies. They are currently working on their fourth studio album. The Dawn is Sean Ryan- Guitar, Pedal Steel and Vocals , Jordan VanOpdorp- Keyboards and Vocals, Garrin Jost- Bass and Vocals and Josh Womack- Drums and Vocals.
Go Down Moses first met each other at college in Nashville, TN back in 2010. Since then, they’ve been writing, recording, and touring the southeast, opening for acts such as Love & Theft and Mac McAnally, among others. Following a sold out show at The High Watt in Nashville in January of 2014, they signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville. They released their first full-length album “5 AM Nights” in April of 2014, which was recorded in Nashville and produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley). This album showcases their country-based style with heavy harmonies and folk-rock instrumentation, citing classic influences such as Tom Petty and Ryan Adams to newer artists like Zac Brown Band and Kacey Musgraves. With the completion of this album, they’re excited to be hitting the festival circuit this summer, playing Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, and Phases of the Moon Festival in Illinois later this year.!
Being huge fans of Phish and also heavily influenced by them as musicians, guitarist Josh Pearson and drummer Dan McGreevy decided to put together a band that could recreate the sound and the experience of Phish live. A Live One was born in Austin TX and played their first gig in December of 2010. Since that time the band has found enthusiastic audiences everywhere they go that share the love of Phish tunes played live. The current edition of the band includes Wesley Haynes on keyboards, Andy Harn on bass and Alan Eckert on drums.
The Brothers band is Danny Liston – percussion, Dickie Steltenpohl – bass, Steve Pecaro – guitar, David G. Kalz – guitar, Harold Draper – keyboards, Mark Kersten – drums and Steve Bunck – drums
For Ernie Hendrickson, the hill country is as much a state of mind as a physical locale, as the deep but beautifully casual songs on his new One for the Dreamers eloquently remind us. In the hill country of Ernie’s imagination, the high ground provides an elevated vantage point that enables his listeners to perceive how time can leave important matters unfinished, or tie up loose ends with sometimes heartbreaking finality.
There’s a concordance of topography and emotion at work in his newest record that comes out of Ernie’s life as a touring musician and an intuitive record maker. You might say Midwestern openness meets Nashville experience. Like the great American singers and songwriters who have inspired him—performers such as Neil Young, Jerry Garcia and Willie Nelson—Ernie seeks the light amidst the ever-present perils of darkness.
Flatland Harmony Experiment is a non-traditional vocal driven bluegrass string band from Indianapolis. The band first got together summer 2011. Since then the Flatland Harmony Experiment has toured relentlessly across the midwest building enthusiastic audiences at every stop. Flatland Harmony Experiment is Scott Nelson on upright bass, Kris Potts on Mandolin, and Johnny Plott on Banjo.
Ming’s gumbo of tight and punchy horns, deep rhythms, restless melodies, and emotive singing has garnered this band total respect as a live powerhouse.
While attending the University of North Texas’ College of Music, Roger Blevins, jr. casually asked a few dorm mates to jam on some old soul & funk tunes. Missing that sound that he had grown up hearing, the Mississippi-native quickly found himself surrounded by an eight-piece band, replete with percussion and horn section. That first unassuming encounter lit a fire, and once the college crowd got wind of this old-school sound coming from Bruce Hall, it spread to Dallas’ infamous Deep Ellum, Fort Worth’s legendary Caravan of Dreams and down the I-35 corridor to Austin.
Mingo has supported such artists as Robert Randolph, Trombone Shorty, Parliament, Sting, Little Feat and Earth Wind & Fire. Their current lineup is Roger Blevins, Jr – lead vocals and guitar, Roger Blevins Sr. – bass guitar, Chip Vayenas – drums, percussion and vocals, Dane Farnsworth – keyboards and vocals; Mikel Urdy – percussion and vocals, Dan Bechdolt – saxophone, Steve Butts – trumpet and Zol Waterhouse – trombone.
“We all come from different backgrounds and chase different sounds, but when we play together there’s this weird dark chemistry amongst us,” Johnson notes, adding, “I can hear a song that someone else wrote and know exactly what I can bring to it, and the same goes for the others when they hear my songs.”
Baba Yaga, the second full-length album by Athens, GA’s Futurebirds, marks a milestone in the continuous evolution of the eclectic ensemble. The 13-song album finds Futurebirds – Thomas Johnson, Carter King, Dennis Love, Brannen Miles, Daniel Womack, and Payton Bradford (who has since left the lineup to pursue a non-musical career path) – delivering an expansive yet intimate set that takes the band’s trademark mix of earthily accessible songcraft and free-spirited experimentation into inspired new territory.
The Harmaleighs is a 3 piece folk band that formed in Nashville, TN. They started when Haley Grant, frontwoman and songwriter, joined with instrumentalists Kaylee Jasperson and Kevin Buchanan. The three started mixing their musical melting pot in January, 2013.
Each member of The Harmaleighs brought their separate ingredients and cooking supplies to the kitchen in May, 2013 where they spent the month baking their record at Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, TN.
Their first EP ‘People Line Up’ was released August 6th, 2013. With this Album, The Harmaleighs have concocted a unique recipe filled with sweet rhythms, dark chocolate lyrics, spicy banjo licks, and finished off with rich velvety harmonies. They are eager for their friends, fans, family, & of course musical foodies to take a bite.
The reaction is instantaneous. It doesn’t even matter when they’re the opening act no one in the room has heard before — as soon as Moon Hooch starts playing, it’s as if the room becomes a living, surging, pulsing thing. They call it “cave music”: like house music, but more primitive and jagged and raw. But there are no DJs or manufactured beats here — just one drum kit and two saxophones.
Their “cave music” sound developed around an organic approach to playing electronic dance music. The looping, frenetic sax melodies and James’s furious drumming are fierce and trance-like, as Mike and Wenzl rock back and forth, pushing and pulling each other from across the stage. Sometimes Wenzl switches over to a contrabass clarinet, or inserts a long cardboard tube into the bell of his sax to create the deep, throbbing womp of a dubstep bassline. It’s manic, and thrilling, and perhaps a little bit evil.
By organifying electronic music and producing synthetic sounds with acoustic musical machines, Moon Hooch believes anything synthetic can be replaced with organic goodness.
Formed in Chicago back in 1998, The Steepwater Band’s signature sound is a nod to early British blues, combined with a modern, raw and gutsy musical approach. Founding members Massey, Bowers and Winters have a synergy that comes from years of playing together. Then in early 2012, the long-time trio was joined by Saylors, from Indianapolis, IN, who brought an added depth to the TSB LIVE sound. Although the band got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on their influences, absorbing everything from Psychedelia to Americana, from Jazz to 50’s Rock n’ Roll Music.
With a performance of ‘Dark Side of the Moonshine’!
These Northern Californian outlaw music bards bring a reputation for high-energy live shows and an incomparable fusion of bluegrass, southern rock, and old school jam to stages and festivals world wide. This “High-Octane Hootenanny” will delight those interested in a foot-stompin good time. Poor Man’s Whiskey has evolved into a ragged, spontaneous beast pulling from equally deep wells of original storytelling, expertly crafted covers and zany on-stage shenanigans.
Rumpke Mountain Boys have molded their own style of bluegrass/jamgrass that they call Trashgrass. Using banjo, mandolin, bass, and acoustic guitar RMB plays a wide variety original and cover material. The band’s choice of songs to cover leaves no genre of music untouched. Being a group comprised of four singer/songwriters their list of originals is just as diverse. The passion and drive of their live performance has made Rumpke a favorite at festivals and music venues everywhere they go.
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, 2013 proves to be just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energetic sound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album after almost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influenced by American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the five-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the tradition of the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and live performance.
Real life brothers, Alex Morrison (banjo and vocals) and Ben Morrison (guitar and vocals) of The Brothers Comatose grew up in a house that was known for its music parties. “The Morrison house was a gathering place for local musicians – everyone would bring an instrument, call out tunes, call out changes, and play for hours” says bassist Gio Benedetti. “I learned more in that living room than in any class I ever took.” A band was formed that took this generous, inclusive and rowdy attitude to stages all over San Francisco. With the addition of members Philip Brezina (fiddle) and Ryan Avellone (mandolin) the string quintet present their original string music and the feel of being in house party to audiences across the United States.
Proud to be firmly installed in the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making fusion music “cool” again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters and Weather Report, and merges those ideas with a contemporary EDM informed sensibility. Imagine 70’s funk-fusion meets a modern dance party!
The Main Squeeze is a raging funk experience born within the thriving live music scene of Bloomington, Indiana, and currently residing in Chicago, IL. Since coming together in late 2009, the Squeeze have managed to establish a unique sound and identity in a short period of time.
Their unique ability to tackle and funkify such a wide variety of music makes each show a unique experience in its own right. Their live performances, which fuse soulful vocals, intricate jams, tight grooves, and ripping solos have helped them develop a dedicated and rapidly growing fan base in the Midwest and the East Coast earning them slots at music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, Equifunk, Big Pig, and Glowfest.
Guitarist magazine says, “There isn’t a better British blues guitarist playing”. Matt is gaining a home amongst his peers as one of the world’s finest contemporary blues musicians.
Schofield is expanding his borders with his second US tour. The LA Times stated, “In Schofield, the UK has produced the best blues guitarist from any country in decades. Head and shoulders above the herd.” Vintage Guitar say “His feel for the music is incredible. His playing is so interesting that latching onto his records will reward any guitarist.”
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is an eight-piece powerhouse that puts a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of The Dirty Birds, a flock of seven men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. While each of the Birds are capable of lighting up the stage with jaw-dropping displays of musicianship, it’s clear they’re focused on delivering the band’s infectious music as a single entity. Simply put, the band’s live show is explosive.
Asheville, North Carolina may seem like an unlikely home for a band that blends American and West African influences into a strikingly original and very unique sound. Since forming in 2005, the magnetic instrumental quintet has won a diverse and devoted following at performances everywhere from Bonnaroo to the legendary Festival of the Desert in Essakane, Mali, the most remote festival in the world. The band developed their unique sound over the course of numerous extended trips to Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, where they immersed themselves in the local culture and studied and performed with luminaries.
The Honeydrops’ music speaks not just to the heart and soul, but also to the body; people have no choice but to dance. Drawing heavily on Southern soul and Bay Area R&B with a twist of New Orleans second-line street music, the Honeydrops defy genres. Their style may not have a name, but one thing is certain: The California Honeydrops don’t just play music. They throw parties.
Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton has earned an uncommonly loyal fan base over the past twenty years as a consummate performer and musician’s musician. Martin’s “unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer’s goal: to amplify the sound of the ordinary heart.” (New York Times)
Happily and fiercely independent, Martin built on his first four albums to launch his own label, KTR, in 2002. He has appeared at concerts ranging from pop to the jam scene to classic rock, from the Newport Folk Fest to Bonnaroo to New Orleans Jazz Fest to Carnegie Hall.
The formation of The Revivalists was all about chance, but everything since then has been a combination of hard work, awesome music, and friendship. The septet has been playing nonstop since 2007, crafting a genre-hopping sound that rounds out traditional rock instrumentation with horns and pedal steel guitar and mixes the divergent backgrounds of its individual members with the humid, funky undercurrents of the band’s New Orleans home. The result is like English spoken with an exotic accent: familiar, yet difficult to pin down.
True to their name, The Revivalists lean more heavily on the older styles and warmer sounds of the golden age of rock ‘n roll, but the band isn’t afraid to dabble in electronics and sleight-of-studio when it’s right for the song. The group tends not to bother with questions like “does this sound like us?” or “does this fit with our other stuff?”, instead allowing songs to define themselves and take shape organically, each on its own terms.
There is an evergreen quality to Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers that resonates with music lovers across ages and time zones, fans who are touched by the band’s natural, bright-eyed charm and timeless expression of life and love. “We make music that generations of friends and families can share,” Nicki offers with a quiet confidence. “For me, there is a tenderness, a humanness. It’s about getting down to the basic level of bringing joy. We’re a fun, honest group of people who love traveling and seeing the country. I’m with my husband and my best friends, we’re so lucky to be doing this, and we’re so grateful for those coming out to visit with us.”
Over the past seven years, Monophonics have staked their claim as one of the west coast’s premier bands. Raised amid the rich musical culture of San Francisco, Monophonics has proudly carried on the tradition of music native to their hometown, which flourished during the birth of Funk music and Psychedelic Soul.
Monophonics were formed in 2005 was originally an instrumental ensemble, but in the last 2 years their sound has evolved to encompass incredible vocally driven songs. The foundation of the band is the blistering funky drums of Austin Bohlman and soulful bass playing of Myles O’Mahony, fuzzy echo guitars by Ian McDonald, a powerhouse horn section made up of Ryan Scott, Nadav Nirenberg & Alex Baky and the swirling organ & dynamic vocals of Kelly Finnigan. The result is a psychedelic soul & heavy funk sound, which harks back to the styling of the late 60’s and early 70’s, all while keeping its feet planted firmly in the present.
Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush doesn’t seem old enough to be a musical legend. But he is. Known as the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association. “It’s overwhelming and humbling,” Bush says of his lifetime achievement award from the AMA. “In my brain I’m still 17, but I look in the mirror and I’m 57.”
But honors are not what drive him. “I didn’t get into music to win awards,” he says. “I’m just now starting to get somewhere. I love to play and the older I get the more I love it. And I love new things.” A growing group of mandolin players cite Bush as their musical role model in much the same way he idolized Bill Monroe and Jethro Burns. “If I’ve been cited as an influence, then I’m really flattered because I still have my influences that I look up to,” Bush says. “I’m glad that I’m in there somewhere.” He’s being humble, of course. Bush has helped to expand the horizons of bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues, funk and other styles.
“I’m proud to be part of a natural progression in music. And I hope to still be playing 30 years from now.” says Bush, a two time cancer treatment survivor. “When the ability to play is taken away, it’s humbling. It teaches you a lesson: don’t take it for granted.” Here’s to the next 30 years.
Before launching a solo career as the protégé of Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter began his professional life as a surfer. Born in Southern California on December 10, 1972, he landed a sponsorship with Billabong as a young teenager and moved to Hawaii when he was 14. There, he rented a home from the parents of Jack Johnson, a fellow surfer with an untapped musical talent. The two became fast friends, learning guitar together and hanging out between trips to the beach. Music was always a hobby for Frankenreiter, who began playing guitar in a local rock band called Sunchild during his late teens, but it wasn’t until 2002 that he grew confident enough to try a solo career.
To create his recent full-length album Start Livin’, Hawaii-based singer/guitarist/songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter holed up in a Southern California studio for seven days with his longtime bassist Matt Grundy – and no one else. The follow-up to 2010’s Glow, Start Livin’ is a nine-track selection of folk-infused songs that sweetly reflect the simplicity of their recording. With its smooth showcasing of Frankenreiter’s rich, honey-thick vocals and masterful guitar work, Start Livin’ bears all the intimacy of an impromptu back-porch performance and the tenderness of a treasured love letter.
Soulive has never made any bones about what they do best; it’s right there in their name. Since forming in 1999, the trio of guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and keyboardist Neal Evans has carried the torch for the soul-jazz organ trio—that venerable, funky institution pioneered by the likes of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes in the late ’60s. Rest assured, when the Evans brothers first brought Kraz by their Woodstock studio, there was plenty of old vinyl spread out on the floor. In their 13 years together, Soulive has followed the muse in the direction of hip-hop, R&B, blues and rock, collaborating with the likes of Chaka Khan, Dave Matthews, Talib Kweli, John Scofield, Derek Trucks and so many others, even going so far as to record a full album of covers by The Beatles (Rubber Soulive). But, no matter how they push the limits of the organ trio, they always come back to their bread and butter: blistering solos and grooves that don’t quit.
A decade evolved from their debut at 2003’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Dumpstaphunk offers fans an unforgettable live experience steeped in the Big Easy tradition of a good time. The quintet features Ivan Neville on vocals, B3 and Clav, the double bass attack and soulful voices of Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III, Ian Neville on guitar, and the monster addition of Nikki Glaspie on drums and vocals.
Dumpstaphunk spreads an unmistakably New Orleans groove with hard-hitting performances that dare listeners not to boogie down.
At age 33, Jackie Greene has accomplished what many artists strive decades for. He has recorded seven albums of original work, an EP, DVD, and a recently released book of lyrics. Greene has been involved in many high-profile side projects. Included in his endeavors are performing with Levon Helm at Levon’s famous “Ramble” and featured performer at Warren Haynes annual Christmas Jam. Constantly touring, Jackie has a reputation for putting on an energetic live show and has earned the respect of critics and musicians across the country. He tours 100 to 125 dates a year, playing to a devoted and growing fan base, and has been featured at many high profile venues and festivals.
Rich and glorious…Osborne possesses a voice that rises out of the darkness to the light of a soulful, tremulous wail. He is a consummate showman and shaman, bending successive moments to suit his majestic purposes. Osborne seeks an epic quality to much of his music, crafting layer upon layer of hugely scaled soundscapes.…never lazily derivative…every slashing guitar figure, every cry of a lyric, seems to come from an authentic place.
–New Orleans Times-Picayune
Vintage Trouble is a sensational, soulful four-man band whose very essence screams out loud of the late 1950’s to 1960’s. Turned on by and tuned into the evolutionary period in music and life when there was a razor thin line between Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll, the band reconnects us all to one universal vibration. Their modern day classics transport the mind, spirit and body back to a sweaty, swinging, heart-thumping speakeasy. Their live shows feel like a sweet southern down-home revival mixed with a gritty, downtown edge. Inspirationally, Otis Redding, Chuck Berry and Ike and Tina Turner can all be felt in woven cloth that tailor-suit the band like honey to the bee. When the buzz tells you they’re near, get to them…and be prepared to be moved.
Galactic was formed twenty years ago in New Orleans and cut their teeth playing the biggest party in America: Mardi Gras! The group’s robust, edgy, highly improvisational sound is a gumbo of NOLA sounds, from jazz to brass band, funk to electronica, and hip-hop to fusion. What pulls all the diverse elements together into a coherent sound is that one way or another it’s all funk. Galactic is, always was, and always will be a New Orleans funk band.
Randolph’s unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list, and also attracted the attention of such giants as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, who have collaborated with him on stage and in the studio. Robert Randolph & The Family Band first gained national attention with the release of the album Live at the Wetlands in 2002. The band followed with three studio recordings over the next eight years—Unclassified, Colorblind, and We Walk This Road—which, together with tireless touring and unforgettable performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, won them an expanding and passionate fan base.
In 2011, after more than 20 years of intense gigging and recording, Chris Robinson set off to shape something new, a fresh rock mythology, a breathing kaleidoscopic thing stuffed with chooglin’ soul, bedrock boogie and shuffling wisdom birthed in intimate clubs and amongst the tall trees of the Golden State and eventually taken nationwide as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood evolved. What began as an experiment without expectations turned into a 118-show journey for Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys, vocals), George Sluppick (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass, vocals) that surprised these seasoned pros as music of unshakeable solidity and exuberant reach poured out of them, a New Cosmic California sound with tendrils reaching to the original Fillmore West, Topanga Canyon and outwards towards far horizons.
For nearly three decades, legendary saxophonist Karl Denson has been getting crowds around the world out on the dance floor. Approaching iconic status, Denson has moved bodies and minds dating back to his earliest years with Lenny Kravitz’s band through his ongoing tenure as a founding member of seminal boogaloo revivalists The Greyboy Allstars and his current roll as a member of San Diego dub rockers Slightly Stoopid. Nowhere, however, is this more apparent than with his band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Touring relentlessly for the past 15 years and leaving a massive audience in his wake, fans know that when KDTU is in town a dance party will ensue.
Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
Leon Russell is a legendary musician and songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma who has been performing his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years. His songwriting credits include ‘A Song For You’, ‘Delta Lady’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Lady Blue’, ‘Back To The Island’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘This Masquerade’. Leon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and received the Award for Recording Excellence in March 2011.
Leon led the famous Joe Cocker’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert For Bangladesh. Leon has toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John.
Over the course of six albums and a decade of touring, JJ Grey’s grimy blend of front porch soul and down-home storytelling has taken him around the world and back again. Beating the streets on nearly every continent, he and his band Mofro have sewn a continuous thread of laying-it-on-the-line shows that move folks to dance and at times to tears.
Few bands have a reputation for making music as consistently honest, organic and daring as Gov’t Mule. Now the enduring group fronted by visionary singer-guitarist Warren Haynes returns with their first album in four years – their Blue Note Records debut Shout!, a breath-taking, exploratory double-disc was released on September 24, 2013.
“This album puts a spotlight on the songs and the way that we interpret them, which hinges on the unique chemistry we’ve developed as a band,” explains Haynes, who along with Mule co-founder and drummer Matt Abts, multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson charted Shout!’s adventurous contours.
Some risks are worth taking. When Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi decided three years ago to dispense with their much-loved individual bands and pool their talents, they had no way of knowing what the public reaction might be to the new hybrid. They found out quickly enough when Revelator, Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2011 studio debut, excited their sizable, devoted fan bases and the movers and shakers of the music industry alike, landing TTB both a Best Blues Album Grammy and a Blues Music Award for Album of the Year. Their live followup, Everybody’s Talkin’ documented what many were already regarding as one of the most superb concert acts around not even two years into their existence.
Now, with the release of Made Up Mind, there isn’t a shred of doubt that Susan Tedeschi, her husband and creative collaborator, Derek Trucks, and their superb bandmates are on to something—something very big.
The members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. Since those early days, they’ve gone on to release six critically acclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”
Grace Potter, who has been called “one of the rock world’s reigning elite female vocalists,” and the Nocturnals have cultivated a growing following with a steady stream of releases, tours, and late night TV appearances. They’ve opened for Robert Plant, Dave Matthews Band and the Avett Brothers, played numerous festivals, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Coachella, and have collaborated with members of The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Kenny Chesney, Bob Weir, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Gov’t Mule.
“I think what people love about us is the energy we generate playing together and feeding off each other,” says guitarist Scott Tournet. “There’s a lot of drive in our band. We love the music that we cut our teeth on and it’ll always be part of us, but we’ve reached the point where we’re consciously trying to push things forward.”
What is Lunar Landing Conspiracy? An elaborate hoax foisted on the world? Or a history-making voyage to the moon by an intrepid group of American heroes? Perhaps the time has come to strap on your space suit and venture out in search of the truth. The maiden voyage will lift off at Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival on Friday September 12th, 2014.
Let this be your warning! Don’t be on the outside, looking up. Make the long, strange trip to Phases of the Moon and you can witness the sights, the sounds, the…stuff…of legends. Witness a genuine Incident, featuring a full set of way-out tunes, with way-in collaborations from the talented pool of Phases artists.
In the approximated words of JFK, “We choose to go to the moon, not because it’s easy, but because its hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. Therefore, as we set sail on this new sea we ask for your blessing on the greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked…the Lunar Landing Conspiracy! For If the Moon be made of Cheese, then it must be conquered by even more Cheese. And Cheese there shall be! One SMALL step for jam, one GIANT leap for JAM-KIND.
The most fitting way for THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT to celebrate 20 years as a band is to release their first new studio album in nine years. The Colorado group arrives at a new chapter in their impressively storied history with Song In My Head, an album they recorded with producer Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads. The album, a collection of ten compellingly innovative songs, emerged from an urgency to record tracks they’d been playing live for several years, as well as a desire to document where The String Cheese Incident finds themselves musically 20 years down the road.
The band, formed in the Colorado mountain ski towns of Crested Butte and Telluride in 1993, has built on those 20 years of experience to become the musicians they are today. The band members were initially united only by the fact that they had moved to Crested Butte to become ski bums. Each musician came from a different musical background, with varied influences and ideas, entering into the band with no real rules. The String Cheese Incident started as a democratic hodgepodge, setting the tone for what their albums and live shows would become over the years. The band’s signature has been their distinct stylistic variety–one they’ve never been afraid to evolve and shift.
Since their inception in Athens, Georgia, in 1986, Widespread Panic has risen to elite status among American jam bands. Following in the steps of other Southern rock jam bands such as The Allman Brothers, they have influences from the Southern rock, blues-rock, progressive rock, funk and hard rock genres. Widely renowned for their live performances, as of 2013, they hold the record for number of sold-out performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre at 42.
Visual & Performance Artists
Andrew Carroll is president of Synergy Event Production, and is highly engaged as an Art Director, Lighting Designer and Production Manager in the festival, special event and concert touring industry. Involved in many projects across the country, he production manages national and international tours for artists such as Michael Franti and Spearhead. Andrew was the original designer of the Sherwood Forest at The Electric Forest Festival in 2008, and just completed the 2014 Festival project which featured record-setting attendance. He was the Lighting Designer for The String Cheese Incident for 16 years, and toured nationally and internationally with the band. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons.
DVC is a California based art collective led by founder William “dalabil” Potvin. DVC creates large-scale art installations, environments, stages and visual imagery for festivals and events. Their work acts as a catalyst to raise awareness around environmental issues concerning our world today. They believe in employing recyclable and natural materials to educate on the benefits of reusability and the potential effects of consumerism.
Impermanence Arts is teaming up with SDMP (Subconscious Development Motion Project) to bring two art installations to Phases of the Moon! The Mooncatcher Walkway will be a dream-like pathway of larger-than-life, UV-reactive dream catchers, shaped like different phases of the moon.
Impermanence Arts will also be hosting a live art gallery that will feature local artists painting on moon-shaped canvases as well as painting a collaborative full-moon mural.
Impermanence Arts strives to make visionary art accessible to the festival community through live painting and large-scale art installations. Our artwork focuses on awakening our knowledge of the beauty of the universe by creating pieces that resonate with the viewers’ universal consciousness. We aim to reflect our own visions in others in order to reveal the oneness, or the singularity that is the truth that resides within each individual. We believe that art has the wonderful ability to say what words cannot. It is a universal language that reveals our inner truth. It is our intention to create artwork that speaks but also listens to what the collective universe is saying.
Symbiotic Creations aims to create experiences that are transformative and inspiring, based in a deep respect for our community and environment. We seek to provide a space for the fusion of aesthetics and natural living, in an atmosphere of interactive co-creation. Adam Christoff, head designer for Symbiotic Creations, was born in New Orleans and raised in Washington D.C. In 1998 he founded an event design/decor company. His first gigs were theme parties at large nightclubs and underground raves along the east coast. From there he began designing corporate galas, fashion shows as well as doing interior design in various restaurants, and set design. In 2004 he moved to Los Angeles and embarked on a journey of creating installations and stage design for the multitude of events and festivals there. Today he continues dazzling audiences with his large scale installations at outdoor festivals such as Symbiosis Gatherings, Lightning in a Bottle, Burning Man and many others across the US.
John Jansky is a performance artist who has frenetically splashed, dabbled and spilled his way to quirky celebrity by lighting several-feet canvases to life— producing portraits of recognizable people in mere minutes-–sometimes working on an upside-down canvas, then righting it to the delight of onlookers. John has transcended typical pop art and morphed it into a very rare and engaging display of performance art with a most inspiring reveal. He turns any person of your choice into a piece of artwork within minutes, right before your eyes. Whether he is painting a famous face from the past or the present, or creating a unique way to introduce your special guest of honor, watching John get there is all the fun. His subjects have included presidents, actors, actresses, rock stars, religious figures, professional athletes and even beloved schoolteachers. Most recently, he has worked with former Chicago Bear, Jim McMahon and former Cincinnati Red, Pete Rose. John typically completes his portraits in the time of two songs— approximately eight minutes. The proceeds from his artworks have gone to support notable charities, including Wounded Warriors, First Gig Rock Camp for Kids, Presence USMC Foundation and many, many more.
“Universe” is a contemporary mythological model of the Cosmos. A kinetic light sculpture composed of a life-size, sculpted human figure covered with mirrors. The figure, umbilically tethered to a 20’ tall radio tower, slowly rotates. Lights, gobos, and lenses project different depictions of the figure onto the mirrors, which are then broadcast over the surrounding area.
Born in 1966, from Arlington Heights, Illinois and now residing in Chicago, John E. Bannon is a multimedia visual artist and educator whose work is seen in public and private collections worldwide. An Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he earned a BFA degree in Painting in 1990 from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MFA degree in studio from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002.
Nature Dreamweaver has spent the better part of the last decade touring the country building sacred space art installations at art and music festivals in the form of altars, earth mandalas, and human sized NESTs (New Earth Sacred Temples). Drawing on inspiration from his experience with shamanism, permaculture, yoga, tantra and the visionary art community, Nature strives to co-create heaven on earth through many mediums, mainly Mother Nature herself.
His vision and mission as an artist is to use any artistic medium as tools for personal and planetary healing, awakening, transformation, and evolution.
Chad ‘Fez’ Gaetz is the founder of Alchemy Arts Collective, based along the west coast US. His works vary in scale and imagination from larger-than-life sculptural installations to bamboo environments to computer-aided models. Often his inspiration comes from Mother Nature’s excellence and he drives to push participants beyond their boundaries. If asked, Fez would say, he creates works for people to gather and engage, to meet others and have common ground, if for only a moment to interact… ultimately bringing viewers closer to each other.
Fez has shown works around the US and Australia, some permanent, some temporary.
Mark Lottor is a 3-D lighting artist and engineer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His sculptures have been shown at events and festivals around the world including Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival and Burning Man. He is excited to bring his work to Illinois for the Phases of the Moon Festival in September.
Needless to say, we are living in a very exciting time unprecedented in human civilization. Seven billion people currently live together on planet Earth and new challenges emerge daily on handling all the issues that arise with such a vast and diverse population. It is not difficult to see that our civilization as a whole is on a path towards its own demise with its uncontrolled polluting, rampant warring, unbalanced distribution of resources, and overall disharmony in relationship with each other and nature. We stand at a crossroads, a precipice, and are poised to make a major choice as a whole, which will greatly determine our futures for ourselves and our offspring. It is our responsibility as humans to shift our relationship with the spirit of nature and restore our own connectedness with all that is before we move beyond the point of no return and ensure our own destruction. This shift needs to occur within, deep within our consciousness, so that it can permeate throughout our bodies into our behaviors and life patterns so that the collective may be restored as it once was, in true resonance with the rest of life on this planet and the rest of life in the universe.
I have discovered that the arts are perhaps the most powerful tool towards this goal. I have been deeply inspired by the creative offerings of others, through music, painting, dance, as well as by the art that surrounds us all the time in the form of forests, beaches, mountains and rivers. Through the inspiration gathered from all these sources, I myself have developed the means to channel the current into art in the form of paintings and sculptural installation. The intention, embedded within these works, is to assist in the catalyzation of ones core connection with the source, that which connects us all, to heal the schism between ourselves as humans and the world around us. Our strongest resource is inspiration, and through this means we have the power and ability to steer our society towards the path of love, beauty and peaceful harmony which will ensure our survival on this wonderful planet we are so blessed to live upon.
GuildWorks designs and build Architecture of the Air: tension-integral, sacred-geometrical places with fabric architecture. Using Design from Nature’s Principles, GuildWorks produces beautiful, functional, and inspiring environments with minimal materials for maximum impact.
For Phases of the Moon, GuildWorks will be installing huge fabric prosceniums for projection and lighting around the main stages, an aerials performance rig and fabric rain cover over the Harvest Moon Stage, and a shade fabric array over the Beer Garden. GuildWorks is also building an area called the Sanctuary, with an intricate, multi-colored fabric mandala over the main yoga space, a pair of two-tiered geodesic domes for sound healing and workshops, and fabric-defined areas for healing arts and tea service.
GuildWorks will be using acres of fabric, miles of lines, and tons of steel (and cases of coconut water) to help make Phases of the Moon an epic, beautiful, comfortable and kind event for festival-goers and performers alike!
ALEX GREY and ALLYSON GREY
Alex and Allyson have collaborated on performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that the Grey’s cofounded in 1996. The Grey’s live at CoSM in Wappinger, New York and in Brooklyn since 1984. Their daughter, Zena Grey, born in 1988, is an accomplished actress and artist living in Los Angeles.
Alex Grey is best known for his paintings that portray multiple dimensions of reality, interweaving biological anatomy with psychic and spiritual energies. Grey’s visual meditation on the nature of life and consciousness, the subject of his art, is contained in five books. His two monographs, Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations, follow the history of Grey’s artistic life. The Mission of Art and Art Psalms reflect on art as a spiritual practice. The book, CoSM, co-authored with Allyson Grey, provides a guided tour of the New York City installation of the Sacred Mirrors collection. Grey’s world-renowned career includes exhibitions and keynote addresses from Basel to Tokyo to Sao Paulo, and features on the Discovery Channel, the CBC, in Newsweek and Time magazines. Grey’s art has been used on albums for the multi-platinum bands Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Tool, and String Cheese Incident. A five-year installation of Grey’s best loved artworks were exhibited at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, in New York City from 2004-2009.
Born in 1952, Allyson has been a partner to Alex Grey since 1975. She paints and collaborates with her husband, the internationally acclaimed artist, Alex Grey, and the film actress daughter, Zena Grey. Compelled to create spiritual art since her spiritual opening on LSD in 1970, Allyson has been attracted to abstraction and an untranslatable symbol system of sacred language. Sacred writing of all faiths, however come into conflict through human interpretation as the written word defines the differences of philosophy and traditions, when truly the basis of all religion is unity and infinite love.
Johnathan Singer began performing real-time multimedia light shows for the musicians he’d met while publishing a socially conscious lifestyle magazine in Southern California called “West Side Life.” Pushing the boundaries of technology, his performances lead to a new art form incorporating computer-generated images, texture maps, custom 3D animations and special effects to inspire his audiences visual and auditory experience. Now an innovative Video Performance Artist, Singer is performing around the world, mixing and integrating live visionary art with video to live music.
Peter Hudson is a San Francisco visual artist who channels his technical and set design experience, childlike curiosity and creative passion into life size stroboscopic zoetropes.
Charon is a life sized three-dimensional stroboscopic zoetrope focusing on the last rite of human passage, death. Charon features a gigantic spinning wheel with posed human skeletons mounted on its inner edge. Charon is fully powered by a minimum of 12 people working in unison. Onlookers are invited to pull a series of 6 rope pairs which cause the wheel to rotate progressively faster. When the rope pullers are coordinated enough to get the wheel spinning at the correct speed, a strobe is activated, revealing the skeletons animation.
When witnessed in person, the effect is nothing short of breathtaking.
Subconscious Development Motion Project is a multi-media collective centered around arts activism. Their mission is to spread awareness and promote critical thinking through making art that is accessible to the masses. SDMP produces, thought provoking work that investigates motion from the micro to the macro. They use an array of artistic mediums and thrive on collaboration to bring our creative visions to life. SDMP host community outreach art events ranging from workshops, flow jams, parties, and participatory art installations to create unity through artistic exchange and development. SDMP lives to engage audiences through creating innovative installations, performances, workshops and events. Their work allows them to connect with audiences viscerally, and stimulate new thought processes. SDMP makes art not only to entertain but to heal and inspire.
Experience the unique talents of Jeremiah the Juggler! Blending a dazzling display of juggling and wizardry with hilarious stage antics, his graceful yet commanding presence is sure to have you simultaneously holding your breath and howling with laughter.
Elizabeth “Liz Bits” Fraley comes from a classical dance background. She has trained with the Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Richmond Ballet. Elizabeth has since embraced the circus arts. She is a dynamic aerial hoop, hammock, and silks performer with a particular emphasis on combining floor and air choreography.
Spun Out FIRE Productions (SOFP) is a fire troop that is dedicated to making sure people have a good time. SOFP was founded by Wyld Kyle out of Buffalo NY in 2008. Spun Out FIRE Productions has now been melting minds and sparking your imagination on the main festival circuit for 5 years. SOFP has been seen in 12 different states. Spinning fire with a wide range of over 25 different fire toys and fire magic tricks, SOFP will always keep you guessing what’s next. SOFP is now filled with fire spinners from all over the country that tour together to form Spun Out FIRE. SOFP loves to capture the music notes and transform them into a visual spectacle of fire that will let you see the music in a whole new light….a FIRE light….a SPUN OUT FIRE light!!
“Meghan the Kat” O’Brien is a proud “Avatar of JOY” who embodies Love and Light through conscious movement, education, music/sound healing, and the obvious- circus arts. This artistic muse’s story is an example of a visionary being who has truly “followed her bliss” ( music, dancing, Divine expression) to create that which is her passion.
Meghan the Kat” is an independent , performing artist who specializes in circus arts acts ,such as hoop, fire and stilt dancing on stages worldwide. She has danced amongst the first pioneers of the hoop movement as it developed into an amazing expression of dance in the early 2000s….eventually working her way to join forces with big time production companies such as Madison House Productions, bands such as the String Cheese Incident, and festivals like Phases of the Moon.
The upward spiral evolution of her circus and healing arts career simply began as an SCI fan who hoopdanced “for fun”…. to professionally dancing as a solo artist… to the expansion of an entire BIG FUN Circus family! In the same breath: hula hooping… lead to fire dancing…. lead to stilting ….. and, ( you know how the old saying “glows” –the more, the merrier!–) …… lead to an entire entourage of love-light performers whose ZEST for life is a contagious outburst of LOVE expressed in BIG FUN Circus -ee ways!
Hence, Meghan the Kat is the owner and creatrix of her company called “BIG FUN Circus” . BIG FUN Circus offers everything you need to create BIG FUN at your event or birthday party !! Acts range from next level stilt, hula hoop, go- go and fire dancers ,to roller skaters, aerialists, jugglers, contortionists, magicians,etc . You name it!
Dedicated to opening minds through interactive visionary art, the Astral Gypsies’ Giant Puppet Troupe presents a truly “Larger Than Life” experience! Inspired by the oldest form of theater, puppetry, and the new age of dance music they decided to bring the two together to create a mind blowing experience.
Their first creations where so widely loved by audiences that each year they just keep creating larger and larger fantasy creatures. Excavating from their mystical imaginations what attendees can play with and believe real.
Today they tour the universe full time on a mission to open the door of the mind to a world of waking dreams. Their Giants range from 12 to 35 ft and include characters as blissful as our 6 armed goddess (15 ft tall) or as outrageous as their Octopus from the depths of the deep blue sea (35 ft long). All hand crafted and designed for 24/7 grounds-roving entertainment.
A special circus arts and music collaboration featuring Danyavaad and The Shimmy Sisters. Belly dancing, snake charming, gypsy music, fire spinning, and more.
Jocelynn Rudig dances because she revels in the pure joy of performing. With over 13 years of professional performing experience, Jocelynn Rudig will dazzle you high in the air on Lyra, Trapeze, Rope or Fabric, or down on the ground in Modern, Ballet or Fire Dance. Her diverse dance background creates a unique style on stage and allows her the freedom to play with music. She loves connecting with her audience, especially from 20 feet in the air where she gets the best views! Jocelynn has toured nationally and internationally to Europe and Central America, performing in all types of venues including national theatres, festivals, corporate events and local fundraisers. At Phases of the Moon she will be performing her own solo aerial works and as a guest artist with Fractal Tribe Circus. Please visit www.jocelynnrudig.com to learn more about classes, workshops and upcoming events.
Fractal Tribe is a badass and sexy group (aka tribe) of artists, producers, engineers, and performers focused primarily on circus production. Our high level mission is to inspire individuals to realize their own intrinsic value and actualize their true potential within their individual communities. By doing so we also hope to spread (or fractalize) the model of non-competitive empowerment groups everywhere.
In addition to creating provocative and inspiring entertainment pieces, Fractal Tribe is also interested in leading workshops, developing sustainability projects, and exploring cutting edge performance technologies.
Celeste has always been inspired by movement. She has been enchanted with finding different forms of physical expression for as long as she can remember. Pursuing a life full of movement and dance has given her an appreciation for the courage and tenacity it takes to succeed as an aerialist. Celeste is enamored with Aerial Fabric. She is especially drawn to its unexpected and innovative transitions that help her create a uniquely individual style and flow. Celeste is a passionately dedicated performer. She has performed at weddings, wineries, and music festivals throughout California. She is also an instructor and loves to share the power of aerial arts with her students. Celeste is currently based in the North Bay Area, California.
Laura Dasi has been a performing artist for over 30 years. She recently made a huge impression on millions of people across the world on TV when she appeared as a contestant on America’s Got Talent. Laura mesmerized and delighted the celebrity judges as well as a live audience of 3,000 with her aerial performance. This appearance also gave Laura a chance to share her story of overcoming the challenge of living with Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder which causes one to lose their hair. Moving beyond fear, self-doubt and shame to find peace, surrender, acceptance and self-love, Laura inspired others to live courageously and look within themselves to discover their own greatness.
Laura’s exploration of movement began as a young child with gymnastic and classical ballet, leading her to New York City at the age of 17. While there she trained and danced professionally with The Joffery Ballet, Ballet Hispanico and numerous other freelance companies and choreographers. Feeling satisfied in her professional career after 7 years, she took a hiatus from the stage and became a mother to a daughter then a son. In 1998 she moved to Northern California where she began to study Vinyasa yoga and eventually became a certified instructor. Upon returning to San Diego in 2002 she began teaching yoga full time. Wanting to reignite her love for dance, Laura began studying Samba and Belly Dance. She returned to the stage in 2007, appearing with Danyavaad and The Shimmy Sisters in their Middle Eastern themed shows. In January 2011 Laura ventured into circus arts, focusing mainly on aerial silks and lyra, and felt an immediate natural inclination in this new endeavor. Drawing upon her experience in dance and yoga her skill level grew quickly. Laura continuously thrills audiences with her daring display of strength, agility, grace and passion while suspended high above the ground. Often described as “ballet in the air” Laura feels aerial arts is where she truly excels and that she has found the perfect form of creative expression. She continues to challenge herself with each piece she choreographs, incorporating new levels of technical difficulty while integrating her innate sense of emotion and musicality.
Laura currently performs at various theatrical productions, private events, weddings, corporate functions and music festivals. Her skills include aerial silks, lyra (aerial hoop), contortion, fire arts and belly dancing. She also offers group classes and private instruction in yoga, dance and aerial arts in San Diego, CA.
Gypsy Rock! Danyavaad plays live original Middle Eastern flavored music featuring soaring vocals; electric sitar, saz, violin, and tribal drum beats. They create an atmosphere of Middle Eastern lounge mixed with Indian vibes and rock. The unique songs are originals by vocalist/sitarist Greg Vaughan, percussionist Gabriel Penix, DJ/bassist Sandy Bagri (aka DJ Sandbag). The Shimmy Sisters (Leilainia and Adelaide) embellish aspects of creativity and art in their inspiring belly dance performances. Their diverse show may include snakes, swords, candles, fire fingers, isis wings, glow hula hoops, and traditional belly dance props such as veils and zils. They were born into a culture of creativity by their belly dancing mother and artist/musician father.
The world class juggling talents of Mountain Motion feature spectacular high energy entertainment for audiences of all ages. From mesmerizing light shows, to sizzling fire performances and hilarious antics, this tricky trio will show you a radical new side of juggling, and help you see that “anything is tossible”!
Lei Lei’s passion for movement knows no bounds. She has a lifelong love of dance—its precision and infinite potential for expression. Lei Lei received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Choreography from San Francisco State University. Always searching for new forms of embodied creativity, Lei Lei found the art of aerial dance and was instantly inspired. Her work as an aerialist draws on a diverse background in movement. Lei Lei brings together classical and contemporary dance styles, yoga and circus arts all into one performance.
Tammy Firefly is an internationally acclaimed performance artist whose unique and refined style is rooted in modern dance, circus arts and acrobatics. Inspired by creativity and self expression, each act is adapted to work with the unique themes and spaces of every event whether a corporate gathering, wedding, festival or concert. From fire to LED to aerials and roving ambience pieces, Tammy Firefly’s extensive performance repertoire can enhance the experience of any occasion.
Tammy Firefly’s passion for performance and was sparked early on and has fueled her drive for progression and professionalism. Since 2002, she has cultivated a rich background in performance arts by studying stage theater, circus performance, acrobatics and dance.
Quixotic will present their full spectacular range of art that enchants, invigorates, and awakens the imagination. Hailed as ‘mesmerizing’ by The Atlantic, and ‘one of the best contemporary circus acts’ by The Mens Journal, Quixotic is a melting pot of dance, aerial acrobatics, projection mapping, high fashion, and original live music creating a cornucopia of mystical majesty that enraptures audiences who have never dreamed a night at the theater could be this much fun.