Venice Beach Music Fest

About the 2015 Music Fest

Free Music and Arts Festival:
Venice Beach Music Fest 10
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Full day of art, music, and dance, featuring top-tier local and international talent. Headlined by rock and roll violinist Lili Haydn, and Greg Douglass of the Steve Miller Band! This, a samba parade, community outreach, hula hoops, and lots more—free for all, right in the heart of Venice!

VENICE, CA - The annual Venice Beach Music Fest music and arts festival celebrates a decade of totally free music, art, literature, and dance at the beach on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 11:00 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. in Windward Plaza Park (1 Windward Avenue, between the boardwalk and the bike trail). The festival, sister to the Venice Spring Fling, is and always has been free and open to the public, made possible by local and national businesses. The free music will continue at an after-show following the festival at Danny's Venice from 8:00 P.M. - 1:00 A.M.

The performers in the full day of arts, music, and dance entertainment comprise a multi-genre array of seasoned and talented performers. Venice Beach Music Fest 10 is thrilled to welcome violin virtuoso Lili Haydn, seasoned rock and roller guitarist Greg Douglass of the Greg Douglass Band (with Steve Miller Band, he wrote the #1 hit "Jungle Love"), local punk/ska heroes Meet Me at the Pub, experimental band Spiel (a collaboration of musicians from Venice bands Sugar Bitch, Golden Buddha, and The Aliens), reggae band Jah Faith and the Hashishans, psychedelic funksters Jojo Stella, a special literary reading by Ann Cohen, and dance performances by Ya Harissa Bellydance Theatre and Samba Da Mudanca (Samba for Change). This year's lineup also includes a performance by the ArtQueen ensemble of Sweden, which brings the "Go Wild N' Crazy" art/fashion stage show, featuring the music of Black Diamond. The festival opens with a parade down Ocean Front Walk (arriving at the festival site at 11 A.M.). After the full day of music and arts, there will be an after-show at Danny's Venice, which will feature even more musical entertainment, including a reprise by Jojo Stella and more music to be announced.

Venice Beach Music Fest 10 is proud to support the arts by hosting an art show that is free for selected independent artists. This year's lineup of visual artists showing their works include both local and internationally recognized artists Ra Ra Superstar, Art by Sky, David Art Lawell, Elza Queen, Audrey McNamara, and Ann Cohen. Local author Carlos Allende will be signing copies of his newly released book, Love, or The Witches of Windward Circle (set in Venice in the early 20th century). Other special features of this year's celebration include Sambazon's mobile café (offering açai bowls, Amazon superfood juices, and smoothies for purchase), Humboldt county soil producer Royal Gold, Mystic Rainbow tie dyes, and local performance artist (and fun-bringer!) Eclectic Hoops.

Producer Milton Rosenberg, in his tenth year of free festival production in the community, notes that this year's Venice Beach Music Fest celebration is a special one. "I couldn't be prouder of the world-class level of talent we are able to offer the people of Venice, right here in our backyard. This festival was inspired by the original intent of Abbot Kinney: for Venice as a place to celebrate music, art, dance, and life, right here at the Pacific Ocean. Venice Beach Music Fest celebrates the creative spirit in all of us." Previous festivals have included incredible live performances by Barry "The Fish" Melton (Country Joe and The Fish); Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag); John Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, and Walter Kibby (Fishbone); Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns); Matt Abts (Gov't Mule); and Michael Hinton (Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band), to name some of the international talent over the years. John Norwood Fisher, one of Venice Spring Fling 5's headliners earlier this year, says of his multi-year participation in the festivals, "I love what the Venice Spring Fling and the Venice Beach Music Fest bring to the community. They provide a clearing for another level of togetherness for all of the community. It's important and I'm happy to see that the festivals move forward and grow. It represents something positive for all of Venice."

The free Venice Beach Music Fest 10 is made possible by generous donations from these local and national sponsors that continue to prove their dedication to arts preservation in our community: Venice Beach Suites & Hotel, Sambazon, Earrigation Mobile Recording Studios, Venice Boardwalk Association, The Sidewalk Café, Danny's Venice, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, Fresh Brothers, Volcano Tea House (Los Angeles), Whole Foods Market Venice, Maui and Sons Venice Beach, Royal Gold Potting Soil, Venice Breeze Suites, Zelda's Corner, Venice Paparazzi, Animal House, Free Venice Beachhead, and Meridian Database.

Visit for additional information, and connect with the community at . This event is endorsed by the Venice Chamber of Commerce.
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Festival Performers:


ART BY SKY: ART by SKY brings the sunshine and the rainbows to the Venice boardwalk! People from all over the world are drawn to SKY's paintings and prints, with their vibrant colors and mesmerizing shapes and patterns. SKY has been a fixture on the Venice art scene for over fifteen years, and her paintings can be seen at locations all around town. From the artist: "I believe in a world of joy, peace, love, and good will to all beings. It is my hope and belief that this joy and love is transferred to all who see my paintings. May they touch the light in you."

DAVID ART LAWELL: David Art Lawell currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where the view of the Santa Monica mountains touching the ocean seeps its way into his new artwork, creating a calm and tranquil feeling the viewer is able to experience. After fifteen years of self-taught oil painting, David has gone back to his roots of pencil and paper to create a new series of life-size drawings (some reaching six feet), which are then printed on canvas and set with oil color glazes, thus merging the two worlds of graphite and color into one seamless mindscape. One cannot help but be captivated and drawn into these images of stellar beauty which are now being performed live in front of audiences all over the world. His live performances have spanned huge distances from Los Angeles to Hawaii, Costa Rica to Colorado and back to his once home of Austin, Texas, for a multitude of art/music festivals and events.

RA RA SUPERSTAR: A local fixture in Venice for almost two decades, RaRa Superstar is one of the most energetic and engaging visual artists on the boardwalk. He began his career in New York, where he slept under the Brooklyn Bridge with a drum and a suitcase as he birthed himself as an artist and joined the arts community worldwide. Since then, RaRa has become a true international superstar, with his signature colorful style livening up residencies in Japan, Holland, Italy, Jamaica, Africa, New York City, Miami, and elsewhere around the globe, bringing joy and inspiration to all he meets.

ANN COHEN: In addition to reading poetry and excerpts from the San Francisco Oracle on stage at Venice Beach Music Fest 10, Ann Cohen will also be showing her incredible sketch work in the art show. Ann has been creating quirky and entertaining sketches of live bands in the Bay area since 1990. After taking a moment to listen to the music and dance, her hand goes to the paper and she draws an image of the moment. Ann and her late husband, poet and editor Allen Cohen, have published two books, The Book of Hats and Like a Radiant White Dove (Regent Press). Ann's art is in many private collections and has appeared in Beatitude, Relix, and Split Shift magazines, and on CD covers.

ELZA QUEEN: Elza Queen is a visual artist, mentor, youth art instructor, and jewelry designer. Born in Hawthorne, CA, Elza discovered her creative gift while attending Mt. San Antonio College in 2007. Her innate artistic eye led her to acquire a unique style of expression through the blending of colors. This, in turn, led to the fascination for different cultures that resonates in her unique, distinctive creations - and her use of colors - all of which are enhanced by her eclectic style. She is active in mentoring youth through the arts. "I believe that all youth should be able to creatively express themselves through art, and my purpose is to guide," she says. Elza has showcased her work throughout Southern California, including at the 2014 Venice Spring Fling.

AUDREY MCNAMARA: Born in Denver, Colorado, Audrey was always known for her drawing. Her parents would proudly show her off to friends. She won honors and awards in school. After completing a certificate program for professional sewing at Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver, Audrey focused her attentions on painting. She did many exhibitions and apprenticed under muralists at the top of their fields. In December 2008, Audrey moved to Venice, and since then, has toured doing her art all over the country, while continuing her relationship with the art community in Venice.

CARLOS ALLENDE: Author Carlos Allende will be signing copies of his book, Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle at Venice Beach Music Fest 10. The book is set in Venice from its founding through the late ‘50s beatnik era. The plot follows the misadventures of a nameless woman, the third daughter of a witch who is a resident of Rancho La Ballona and descendent of Californios. Says Allende, "The story is a circus, like the Venice boardwalk. I tried to represent as many ethnicities and characters that actually lived in Venice during the [early decades]: Californios, whites, blacks, Mexicans, Japanese, Catholics, Baptists, Jews, gangsters, poets, drug addicts, beatniks, squares, artists, the Los Angeles Police, closeted gays and, of course, supernatural characters."


LILI HAYDN – Venice Beach Music Fest is proud to welcome back violin virtuoso Lili Haydn to the Ocean Stage! Rolling Stone calls her music "fiery and virtuosic," and George Clinton called her, "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin." Lili Haydn's four critically acclaimed records have been favorites on National Public Radio, and featured in TV and film. She has collaborated with or opened for Roger Waters, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sting, and George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars, to name a few. Lili is also a film composer, with scoring credits on ten feature films and documentaries, a Film Composing Fellowship to the prestigious Sundance Film Institute, and numerous collaborations with renowned composers Hans Zimmer, and Harry Gregson-Williams, among others. A humanitarian and activist, Lili also performs regularly for various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Global Security Institute (for whom she recently performed a concert at the UN). You do not want to miss Lili's electric performance at Venice Beach Music Fest 10!

GREG DOUGLASS BAND - Greg Douglass started playing guitar in 1968 and his band, Country Weather, shared the stage with Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and others at the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballrooms in San Francisco. Greg went on to play and write with Van Morrison, Hot Tuna, Peter Rowan, Eddie Money, Tom Fogerty, and The Steve Miller Band (he co-wrote the #1 hit, "Jungle Love"). He has contributed guitar to five platinum albums, denoting the sale of 13 million units. After having guested with Barry 'The Fish" Melton for Melton's sets at the recent Venice Spring Fling 2014 and 2015, Douglass is back with his own band, which features Rose Cox on vocals and guitar, Hector Toro on drums and vocals, and Joe Hastings on bass and vocals. Greg also tours with The Monsters of Classic Rock, Deva Premal, and The Former Members (members of Country Joe & The Fish and the Blues Project).

MEET ME AT THE PUB - Soon after Meet Me at the Pub formed in Venice in 1999, the trio of Jeremy Parker, Sully, and Jack soon built a rabid local fan base with the local surfers and skaters. Meet Me At The Pub is not just your average party band; Jeremy's humorous lyrics and energetic stage antics keep audiences entertained and amused as well as dancing! Since their 2003 first release, Monday Night, Pub have toured the US, UK, and Japan. Their 2009 album, Tall Can Wednesday, was produced by Lewis Richards (Slightly Stoopid, Sublime). Pub embodies the true sound and spirit of the Southern California style—a mixture of reggae, ska, punk, and melodic rock (with the occasional odd waltz thrown in just for fun). Meet Me At The Pub has shared the stage with Toots & The Maytals, Eek-a-Mouse, Fishbone, The Untouchables, Horny Toad, and many others. Any time Pub plays, it's a party, and everyone's invited!

SPIEL – Spiel is a collaboration of incredible musicians from a family of bands that has been playing in Venice for almost two decades. Spiel is Jeffrey Dimmick (Golden Buddha) and Joey Maramba (Ninja Academy, John Cale) on basses, guitar virtuoso Michael Jost (Sugar Bitch, Scunc), Barry Conley (The Aliens) on super instrument The Out-Of-Control-Atron, and Billy "Look Ma, No Feet" Stobo (Stobo, Golden Buddha) on drums. All have played in various bands with each other, but the moment they all got together in this configuration, they created a tantalizing, free-form sound that seemed to carom off the mountains and fill clouds with air, yank signals from space, and pound waves against shore. And it happily surprised them all into thinking that they could just band together, have fun, and play…Get ready for the experimental experience that is Spiel!

ARTQUEEN FROM SWEDEN: GO WILD N' CRAZY FASHION SHOW FEATURING THE MUSIC OF BLACK DIAMOND– This is the second year that ArtQueen is on tour with her entourage from Sweden, and this year the Go Wild N' Crazy fashion show will be accompanied by the band Black Diamond! The person behind ArtQueen is Rebecca Salomonsson, who has worked with art exhibits, happenings, and events for more than 7 years. The project Art & Fashion: Go Wild N' Crazy came to life after some thinking about how to reach the audience with art in a different and exciting way. In the summer of 2014, ArtQueen met the band Black Diamond at Sweden Rock Festival. Black Diamond was formed in Sweden 2011 by Michael Olsson on drums, Patrik Påhlman on bass guitar, Magnus Bergman on guitar, and Liselott Wernersson on lead vocals. They have performed at Sweden's Helgeå and Killebom festivals. The Art & Fashion: Go Wild N' Crazy show keeps surprising the audience with its unique way of showing art on clothes and other materials in a way unseen before. New for this year is that the dressmakers and artists have been working with recycled materials, like copper, metal and fabrics. With exciting designs from the most fantastic dressmakers and artists, theatrical performances from the models and catchy live music from Black Diamond, Venice Beach feels like the right place to be and "Go Wild N' Crazy!"

ANN COHEN – Ann Cohen will be reading from the San Francisco Oracle in honor of her late husband, Oracle publisher and poet Allen Cohen. The Oracle began in 1966 by poets, artists, and activists who envisioned a revolution of love and peace starting in the Haight and engulfing the whole planet. With the help of the community, the street paper became a reality and was distributed from one explorer of inner worlds to another, as far west as New Zealand, India and Vietnam (The Oracle received Vietnamese marijuana from soldiers in return) and as far east as Prague and Moscow (hidden in the bottom of boxes of second-hand clothing). The Oracle talked about taking care of one's body and one's planet. These Oracle beliefs have proven to be necessary to continue life on this planet. Ann Cohen will read from this revolutionary paper in honor of Allen Cohen and other members of the Beat generation who provided a foundation of free expression that the Venice Beach Music Fest continues today.

YA HARISSA BELLYDANCE THEATER – Ya Harissa is one of the most exciting Middle Eastern dance companies in Southern California. Its repertory merges the ethnic and folkloric traditions of the Middle East and North Africa with a strong theatrical flair using traditional music, dramatic costumes, and distinctive choreographies. Directed by Amaya Mattei, and based in Venice with a company of 15 talented dancers, Ya Harissa transports its audiences to a distant and mesmerizing time and place.

JAH FAITH AND THE HASHISHANS – The Hashishans' gritty and soulful sound has earned them respect as one of California's fastest growing reggae bands. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Jah Faith is one of Los Angeles' most notable reggae performers, known for his hit video "Bun a One" and his residency at the internationally celebrated Dub Club. Jah Faith joined with the Hashishans in El Monte, California, in 2012, and they have since been committed to spreading the Rastafarian movement through uplifting, conscious music and lively performances. They have performed live on KSPC's reggae radio show (hosted by Junior Francis), and on stage with Israel Vibration, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Inner Circle, Don Carlos, and many more. The Hashishans are celebrating the release of their first EP, Hashishans 2014 Bootlegs, a compilation of several recording sessions with various Los Angeles producers.

JOJO STELLA - Jojo Stella is a psychedelic, melt-your-face rock and soul outfit with elements of jazz, funk, and improvisation from Ohio. The ensemble currently holds a studio EP tracked live at Little Elephant Recording, and their first full-length is underway. After making a name performing in the Midwest and earning a slot as a preferred act of the Merry Pranksters for their early 2015 gatherings, their performance at Venice Beach Music Fest 10 will be their first time on stage in California. JoJo Stella is Dan Konold (drums, percussion), Christopher Lee Metchis (vocals, guitar), and David Morris (bass).

SAMBA DA MUDANCA (SAMBA FOR CHANGE) - Samba da Mudança opens the festival at 11 a.m. with a Samba drum and dance parade down Ocean Front Walk and onto the festival site, where festival goers are encouraged to participate in the drumming and dancing in front of the stage! "Mudança" is Portuguese for "change," and Samba da Mudança performs throughout California to help raise awareness for positive, environmental, and progressive events. Come Samba for Change in Venice Beach!

After-show Performers (at Danny's Venice 8:00 P.M. – 1:00 A.M.) Jojo Stella - Jojo Stella is a psychedelic, melt-your-face rock and soul outfit with elements of jazz, funk, and improvisation from Ohio. The ensemble currently holds a studio EP tracked live at Little Elephant Recording, and their first full-length is underway. After making a name performing in the Midwest and earning a slot as a preferred act of the Merry Pranksters for their early 2015 gatherings, their performance at Venice Beach Music Fest 10 will be their first time on stage in California both opening the festival and headlining the aftershow. JoJo Stella is Dan Konold (drums, percussion), Christopher Lee Metchis (vocals, guitar), and David Morris (bass).

Vinnie Caggiano - "Eclectic Guitarist" Vinnie Caggiano has made composition and performance of music the centerpiece of his life. Originally from New York City, he has spent his life pursuing a musical education that includes both formal training and life experience. After receiving his degree in Music Composition from Five Towns College on Long Island, he studied traditional African music with Babatunde Olatunji in Manhattan, and then with Ayo Adeyemi and Sly Degbos in Los Angeles. A seasoned studio musician, Caggiano also performs live rock, blues, and jazz in venues from the bohemian to the high end. He also has done sound design for live theatre, composed music for performance artists, and played live improvisation for poets and experimental artists. Caggiano's new CD, "Loop Du Jour," produced by George Madaraz, employs a musical technology called "looping," wherein multilayered guitar tracks give the impression of more than one musician playing. Look out for his live CD release, coming soon.

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