By Randi Somers
The 12th annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival, featuring performances and workshops by numerous musicians including headliners from Los Angeles and Santa Fe, starts Thursday.
Participatory fun starts en route to Seldovia Thursday as the headliners conduct a song circle aboard the M/V Tustumena ferry which leaves Homer harbor at 11:45 a.m. Then that evening, visitors will be invited to participate on open mic at 8 p.m. for performers who are not in the festival line up.
Friday starts with a yoga session at 8 a.m. and then 10 a.m. activities include a contra dance workshop, writers’ workshop and workshops in song writing, which will be conducted by Robin Hopper, Paul Thompson and Jamie Michaels.
The action gets underway in earnest Friday evening at 7 p.m. with main stage performances at the Susan B. English school.
Yoga is scheduled again Saturday morning at 8 a.m. followed by a Tide Pool Song Circle at 10 a.m. and workshops from 1 to 4 p.m., performer dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. and main stage performances at 7 p.m.
Sunday there will be a gospel jam at 2 p.m. and the Nelezan Dancers will perform.
The festival is an eclectic mix of music, dance and workshops that will appeal to a variety of musical tastes. This year’s headlining acts include:
Moira Smiley and VOCO, a trio of singers who push the edge of a cappella music redefining harmony with the power and physicality of folk song, the avant-garde fearlessness of Bela Barok and vaudevillian cello, accordion and banjo. Named number one a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, Moira Smiley and VOCO create lush arrangements of American and European songs and light up the stage with body percussion and warm wit.
Jaime Michaels is an award winning singer songwriter from Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a long career of writing songs, playing in rock and roll bands and touring the world with his body of songs. As Mark S.Tucker remarks in his FAME review of Jaime’s newest album, The Man With The Time Machine, “Michaels watches the side currents of life, not the frantic noise and images … far more the missed opportunities, the mistakes, the wrinkles in the heart. We may be living through the 21st century, but work like his takes us back to a Mayberry that’s a lot scruffier around the edges, an indeterminate era when our fantasies about such things danced a little differently.”
Alaskan performers include Robin Hopper, Dan McElrath, Mt. Echo, The Acoustic Banana, Seldovia’s own Betsy Scott, the Rob Rurka Band and Brian Slover. Also appearing are Paul Thompson from the United Kingdom, Bianca De Leon from Austin,Texas, Don and Karen McNatt from Nashville, The Rough Diamonds from Illinois and dance teachers Anne and Rob Nelezen from Wisconsin.
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