I love the Harmony Festival! I’ve been to many, it’s always a great time.
It’s right in the middle of Santa Rosa, which isn’t my home, but feels like it – my mother lived here in her latter years, and I took her to Harmony a few times. (that’s her hooping in the picture, from 2007)
Harmony has a 33 year history of new ideas and diverse musical entertainment, attracting people of all ages and flavors.
Harmony always presents new ideas for life with greater Health and Happiness and Harmony for us all.
And… there is always a “Grateful” vibe there, and usually something special for the Sonoma Deadheads to groove on.
In past years they have had Melvin Seals & JGB , Bob Weir and Ratdog, Mickey Hart and Planet Drum, Bill Kreutzmann and 7 Walkers, as well as Zero, Steve Kimock and Friends, Moonalice, and many other musical friends of the deadheads have played at this festival.
This year, in what is being called a “NOD TO ITS ROOTS”, the festival is hosting a special combined tribute to our brothers who’ve gone… Bear and Jerry.
Owsley “Bear” Stanley, famed chemist, audio innovator, was always a proponent of new ways of thinking and being. Sadly, after beating cancer, he lost his life this year in an automobile accident. Goes to show, you don’t ever know. One thing Bear was well known for was his work as an innovative audio technician – and his contribution to the awesome live sound of the Dead.
While Grateful Dead guitar player and singer Jerry Garcia has been gone for nearly 16 years now, the spirit of his music lives on in the hearts of those of us who bent our ears to hear his tune… and the music of Jerry Garcia is frequently heard at the Harmony Festival, the influence of the music of the Grateful Dead is pervasive.
Much of what Bear did was to help us hear Jerry better. The two friends had a deep influence on each other, and on so many of us. With their inspiration, many of us decided to pursue life in new ways, seeking fun and higher wisdom. And music!
Harmony Festival 2011 presents a musical and visual tribute to these two visionary legends as part of their Late Night/Harmony After Dark festivities!
“A Tribute to the Life of Owsley “Bear” Stanley and the Musical Spirit of Jerry Garcia”
featuring performers Steve Kimock, the David Nelson Band, Jesse McReynolds, members of Railroad Earth, and Moonalice. The show will be held Friday, June 10 in Harmony Hall on the festival grounds at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California.
In the Harmony Festival tradition, the visual arts grab just as much spotlight as the sonic, and Harmony Hall will overflow with Rock Art by TRPS; live art and installations by Tribe 13 featuring original art by Jerry Garcia, Owsley Stanley, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, The Merry Pranksters, Alex Gray, Mati Klarwein, Martina Hoffman, and more; a collection of Original Blotter Art curated by Shady Backflash and Rick McCloud; live painting by Stanley Mouse and Mark Henson; visuals by Jonathan Singer; and ambience and interactive experientials by Johnny Dwork and Peak Experience Productions.
Access to this very special Late Night attraction is included with a Harmony Festival Three Day Plus, Whole Festival or VIP ticket OR a separate Friday Night Ticket ($45 online in advance), which includes all of the other Late Night concerts and after hours attractions.
BEAR’s CHOICE – RECREATED LIVE!
In addition to being the legendary chemist behind the psychedelic adventures of mid-60s San Francisco, Owsley Stanley, became the Grateful Dead’s soundman, and in 1973 produced the Dead’s last album with Warner Bros., Bear’s Choice. Kimock, Nelson, McReynolds and their friends will re-create the album, a long-time Dead Head favorite. This unique resurrection will cap an evening of performances by musicians who were part of Jerry Garcia’s legendary playing career and extended musical family, including:
Steve Kimock, unquestionabl
y one of the pre-eminent guitarists in the jam-band explosion that emerged after the Grateful Dead stopped touring, so it’s appropriate that in the early ‘80s Garcia himself identified Kimock as his “favorite lesser-known guitarist.”
David Nelson, whose first professional show at the San Francisco State Folk Festival of 1962, was in a band called the Hart Valley Drifters led by Jerry Garcia. David went on to fame as a founder of the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Jesse McReynolds, an icon of bluegrass, a peer of Bill Monroe’s and a personal hero of Jerry Garcia’s, recently released a tribute album to Garcia and his lyricist Robert Hunter called Songs of the Grateful Dead.
Railroad Earth, one of the leading jam bands on the current scene, and members from the band will be playing.
Moonalice, which features the considerable talents of Roger McNamee (Flying Other Brothers), Ann McNamee (Ann Atomic), Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna), Barry Sless (Phil Lesh & Friends, Kingfish), and John Molo (Bruce Hornsby & the Range, John Fogerty, the Other Ones).
In short, musicians from all facets of Jerry Garcia’s musical life will converge on the stage at Harmony Hall to make music in the tradition of all traditions. In anticipation of the considerable attention this line-up will garner, music industry heavyweight Guitar Player magazine has joined forces with Harmony Festival to sponsor this once-in-a-lifetime event.