May 15, 2008 (San Francisco Bay Area)--Sonoma County’s Harmony Festival, a three day "party with a purpose" that melds new ideas, community activism, eco-awareness, spiritual wisdom, visionary art, and conscious music, has invited a very special guest to its 30th anniversary celebration this year: jazz.
New York-based label Motema Music and first time media sponsor Jazziz Magazine will offer festival attendees the chance to kick back at the Ambiotica Lounge at Harmony Hall, from 9 PM on Friday and Saturday nights, June 6 and 7 from 9PM-3AM. Jazziz @ Harmony After Dark will be the place where the left and right coasts meet in a harmonic swirl of New York jazz and San Francisco world and trance grooves.
Howard "Bo" Sapper, CEO of the Harmony Festival, says that the inclusion of jazz into the festival line up is natural. "The purpose of the Jazziz @ Harmony Ambiotica Lounge is to facilitate jam festival and green and progressive lifestyle audiences’ exposure to the energy of jazz and world music. Many of these fans are not aware that jazz is the original jam band music, and that spirit of freedom and improvisation that inspires bands like the Jerry Garcia Band and Jefferson Starship is the same spirit that infuses great jazz."
Motema, which to date has been primarily recognized for its roster of jazz artists, will bring some of its most noteworthy talent to The North Bay, including guitarist Roni Ben Hur, whose recent release, Keepin’ It Open, was lauded for its "remarkable moments of creativity;" bass wizard Charnett Moffett, who has just recently signed with the label; percussionist Kevin ‘Bujo’ Jones and his band Tenth World, who blend Latin and world jazz and funk grooves; urban folk and jazz phenomenon KJ Denhert, whose Motema debut, Lucky 7, will be released just prior to the festival, on May 27; and label founder Jana Herzen, whose own blend of jazz, pop and world inspired the late NPR critic Tom Terrell to call her "a visionary gatherer of talent on the Duke-Miles-Prince level!"
Fueling the artistic fire at the late night Lounge will be Six Degrees Records’ World Music DJs Cheb I Sabbah, David Starfire, and Jeff Stott spinning between sets, as well as participating in the first ever Six Degrees meets Motema All Star Jazz & Beats After Hours Jam.
The Ambiotica Lounge will also feature Qawwli singer Sukhawat Ali Khan from Pakistan on Friday Night, and Real World Records recording artist Yungchen Lhamo, known as "The Voice of Tibet", on Saturday.
Friday and Saturday nights will kick off with a film screening of "Burning Man: Voyage in Utopia," by Laurent Le Gall, followed by a discussion with visionary artists Alex & Allyson Grey and sculptor David Best.
Harmony Hall will also be the site of Sunday night’s invitation only benefit for ACE, Harmony's non-profit foundation. A portion of the proceeds from that evening’s performances will also go towards The Yungchen Lhamo Foundation. Performers include The Tina Malia Band, Shinshai, Medicine Drum and very special guest Yungchen Lhamo, and other surprises.
A full schedule of the performances at the Ambiotica Lounge can be found on the Harmony Festival website, at http://harmonyfestival.com/schedule/index.html. Admission to the Ambiotica Lounge is included in admission with the purchase of a Harmony After Dark pass which features performances by George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic (Friday) and The legendary Techno_Tribal Dance Party (Saturday) ; advance tickets for the entire weekend are $99 in advance ($139 @ Gate), and individual day and night tickets are $30 and $35 @ gate. Tickets are available on the Harmony Festival website, as well as at retailers throughout the area.