Santa Monica Festival-Greener and Greener
Santa Monica-I arrived at Clover Park at 2600 Ocean Park Blvd. just in time to catch the last couple of tunes performed by Masanga Marimba as they presented a set of popular music and dance of Zimbabwe and Latin America. I had the pleasure of seeing this group on two prior occasions-California Plaza during Grand Performances Concert Series and at Hollywood and Highland. The group has since recorded two CD’s- self titled Masanga Marimba Ensemble and Mas Masanga and added two energetic dancers Ronnie Daliyo and Julia Chiyambo.
The 18th Annual Santa Monica Festival “Revel with a Cause” offered a free eclectic day of music, dance, and visual arts by popular performers and artists in the region on Saturday, May 9th, 2009. The Santa Monica Festival is also popular event that offered full day of fun for families to enjoy that is affordable, worthwhile and featured something for everyone. This event continues to pay tribute to Mother Earth with vendors selling earth friendly artistic wares. All day the Master of Ceremonies from both of the solar powered stages encouraged visitors to reuse, repurpose and recycle. This was in keeping with the festival efforts which are to become a zero waste event in order to reduce its impact on the environment and the community. A Zero Waste zone was set-up in the park to minimize the thrash going to the landfills and maximize recycling and composting. All utensils, plates, napkins and cups in the Global Café were either compostable or recyclable.
Throughout the day, I strolled from the Main Ocean Stage and the Youth Stage that offered alternating performances.
Three different shows of re:Fashion Catwalk with host Paul Zaloom is becoming a popular addition to the festival. Participants got very creative designing wearable couture made from discard paper bags, gift and party decorations and other material that you may have at home. Check out http://santamonicacloseup.com scroll down the screen to see photos from the re: Fashion Catwalk. Think about how much money you can save and also help the environment if you made your own costumes.
The Lincoln Middle School Jazz Band, directed by Mark Hunt performed a program of popular jazz tunes “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Manteca,” “Green Onions”(R&B), “Birdland” and “Baggy Pants Blues” dedicated in pun to the School Administrators. I think that School Administrators all over the country could relate to this tune.
Glank (see photo)-a percussion performance art group mesmerized the crowd with their assortment of musical instruments (found objects). You could see people’s jaw drop hearing the variety of sounds performed on fuel cans, water cooler, helium tanks, axles and other discarded metal objects. There was much audience participation with home shakers and crowd pleasing Binary Ostinato Clapping Patterns portion of the program.
The Santa Monica College Chamber Choir directed by Nike St.Clair is a multi-cultural choir that performed a set of classic choral repertoire that took the crowd on a musical journey thru Scotland, Asia, and South American countries Argentina and Venezuela.
Things got HOT! HOT! HOT! For the next performance. Agua Libre performed a turbo charged set of hip-hop, funk, soul, reggae and Afro-Latin sounds. The crowd was propelled to the grassy dance floor for the infectious salsa tunes. Agua Libre laid down some high powered Latin sounds from the CD’s of the two lead vocalists. Rico Pabon’s Louder Than Fiction and Destiny Wolf Again and Again materials were featured throughout their blazing set.
Additional performers were provided by The Little Ones, Morgan Wixson- Y.E. S. Children’s Theatre Company, Downbeat 720- Spoken Word, Acoustic Guitarist, and Local Teen band, Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra-Woodwind Quintet and Trapeze School New York @ Santa Monica Pier.