Looking for a quick day or weekend trip out of Venice next weekend? Head an hour and twenty minutes north up PCH to Ojai for the 3rd Annual Ojai World Music Festival! If you have never been, Ojai has a similar”vibe” to Venice, as it has an active artists community. (There are quite a few Venetians with 2nd homes in Ojai as well as Venetians that have sold in Venice and moved there!)
The festival, held in the newly remodeled and beautiful Libbey Bowl amphitheater, will feature slack key guitar master Keola Beamer, Carlos Nakai playing Native American flutes, the jazz piano stylings of famed musician Geoffrey Keezer and the flowing dances of Moanalani Beamer. This group performance was initiated by the PBS special “Malama Ko Aloha” (Keep Your Love).
From the Ojai World Music Festival organizers:
This performance celebrates the many facets of aloha harmony with beautiful songs from a mix of cultural traditions that will be exciting and inspirational. In addition to the performance, two workshops will be held during the day on October 12 at the Kim Maxwell Studio (226 E. Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA) one at 11am featuring hula master, Moanalani Beamer ($15) and the other at 1 pm with slack key guitar master, Keola Beamer ($20). Advance Tickets for the evening concert are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors (65+) and $15 for children under 15, tickets are $5 more at the door. A special VIP ticket is available that includes a reception with the performers and a pre-concert talk at La Fonte with hors d’oeuvres, wine, coffee and dessert and reserved seats in the first 5 rows for the evening concert ($50 adults, $48 seniors (65+)/students). Additionally there are VIP Seating Only tickets available for those who are not able to attend the VIP Reception, but wish to take advantage of the special first 5 rows of seating ($35). Tickets are available at 805-646-8907 or online at www.ojaiworldmusic.org
KEOLA BEAMER, slack key guitar & vocals Keola Beamer enjoys recognition as a “Master of Slack Key Guitar.” He has been described as “[t]he best slack key guitar player on the planet!” by the legendary Willie Nelson. One of Hawai’i’s premier singer/songwriters, arrangers, and composers, he was one of Hawai’i’s first recording artists to integrate Hawaiian chants and instruments into contemporary music; he has produced over a dozen recordings. He was nominated for a Grammy in Hawaiian Music in 2011, and was honored with a Nā Hōkū Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, among many other Na Hoku Awards (Hawai’i’s “Grammy”). His film credits include featured songs on the soundtrack for The Descendants, nominated for 5 Oscars. His well of talent springs from five generations of one of Hawai’i’s most illustrious and beloved musical families. The Beamers trace their roots to the 14th century. Keolamaikalani Breckenridge Beamer was born in Kamuela, on Hawai‘i Island.
MOANALANI BEAMER, hula and ancient Hawaiian instruments Moanalani began her hula training at the early age of four with Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Johnny Hokoana, and continued training extensively with several different hula masters; she herself became a “Kumu Hula” in 2011, following a rigorous process of study and graduation (“uniki”). In performance with Keola, she dances, chants, sings background vocals, and plays several ancient Hawaiian percussive instruments, including `ili`ili (river stone “castanets”), ka`eke`eke (cut bamboo) and Ipu (gourd drum). She also teaches, sharing her hula knowledge with students on Maui, across the U.S. and in Japan and Europe.
R. CARLOS NAKAI, Native American flute R. Carlos Nakai is of Navajo-Ute heritage and is one of the world’s premier performers of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, since 1983 he has released over 35 albums on the Canyon label. In addition to appearances throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, R. Carlos has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras. R. Carlos’ collaborations have explored musical influences including new age, world-beat jazz, and classical genres. R. Carlos has received two gold records for “Canyon Trilogy” and “Earth Spirit” and he has received nine Grammy Nominations.
GEOFFREY KEEZER, jazz piano
This project began in 2005 when Keola began recording with world-class jazz pianist, Geoffrey Keezer. Geoffrey started playing piano at age three. Born, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he has been one of the most in-demand pianists in jazz since the late 1980s. Like Keola, he comes from a rich musical heritage. He studied throughout his school years and in 1988, matriculated at Boston’s Berklee School of Music. Since then, Geoffrey has kept extremely busy both as soloist, with eleven highly rated releases and in collaboration with a stellar array of artists: Diana Krall, Chris Botti, David Sanborn, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Ray Brown, Kenny Barron, Benny Green, Chick Corea, Jim Hall, and vocalist Barbara Hendricks. As a composer, Geoffrey has received commissions from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Saint Joseph Ballet, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.