2016 Sunrise Celebration Headline Performers

Dar Williams
New Dar Williams Image
Dar Williams has had a long-standing and very special relationship with SolarFest. A perennial favorite, she has supported and been with us from the very early days. Dar has been reaching audiences of all ages with her songs, stories and wry humor for more than 20 years. She has performed with legendary folk artists and is now a luminary herself; she has recorded 20 CDs, is a children’s book author and teacher at Wesleyan University. “I’ve made choices about how I lived my life, outside of the world that was going to fit me among the mainstream norms, and I chose to stay with my friends, to stay with my culture. That turns out to have been the sturdiest structure I could have built for myself. And that’s in my songs, it’s in my teaching. I’m a believer in what can happen when we make music together.”

We are thrilled! to have Dar back for her 6th performance on SolarFest’s stage!

Donna the Buffalo

DTB PhotoOne of the most dynamic and determined bands continuously touring America since 1989, their distinctive, groove-heavy, and danceable music is accessible, positive, and memorable. Donna’s music often contains social and moral responsibility as core beliefs, and they are just simply fun to get out and celebrate life with. We are honored that Donna the Buffalo has chosen SolarFest as their only stop in Vermont on this summer, and are delighted to have their energy and creativity. We welcome them and the “herd” to our Sunrise Celebration!

 

Marcia Ball

Marcia BallWelcome Marcia Ball to her SolarFest debut! This Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller and songwriter has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full- scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. In 2010, she was inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall Of Fame and in 2012 into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. She’s received a total of six Living Blues Awards, nine Blues Music Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. “Marcia Ball has a great voice and a rollicking piano style guaranteed to put a smile on your face.” ~Chicago Sun-Times

Performer Schedule

Musical performances run all day – from early afternoon until 11:00 pm

FRIDAY JULY 15th

Bob Warren & Joy MacKenzie
2:00–3:10   Equinox Stage

BobWarrenBandIMG_2383Bob Warren and Joy Mackenzie share a love for singing. Bob is from the mountains of New York; Joy, from the mountains of Northern California. The strength of their musical partnership rises from the diversity of their individual experience, and grows in the union of their voices. Performing as a duo and as part of the larger, Bob Warren Band, their singing has placed them in front of appreciative audiences on various stages including live radio, theaters, clubs, and house concerts. Bob graced our stage as a Singer-Songwriter in our early days!

Wild Adriatic
3:30–4:40  Equinox Stage
Calling to mind the soulful, dynamic sounds of 70s giants such as Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, and Free’s early years, WildIMG_0121 Adriatic has won early acclaim from places such as Rolling Stone, USA Today, Relix, American Songwriter, and Guitar World. The debut album Big Suspicious was released in January 2014 and the band has since stayed on the road in support of the effort, logging an impressive 175 live shows in 2014 alone. From headlining blues festivals in Connecticut for a crowd of 10,000 people to a five week European headlining tour to serving as direct support for an impressive list of rock and roll royalty including Grand Funk Railroad, Robert Randolph, Blues Traveler, and many more… Wild Adriatic is a high energy, riffy power trio to rival any you’ve seen before.The band has built a strong following off of a relentless tour schedule and a powerhouse live show, spending 225+ days on the road and making noteworthy appearances at festivals like SXSW, moe.down, Gathering of the Vibes, and CMJ.

blood drum spirit
3:35–4:45  Arkell Stage
cd cover photo side angle blood drum spirit brings a new global vision to music, exploring deep into the world’s great traditions through the prism of live jazz performance. The ensemble has lived, played and toured throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, and Asia, including four tours of China as featured ensemble at the renowned Beijing Midi Jazz Festival. Percussionist royal hartigan has performed with Kenny Barron and Rudresh Mahanthappa; bassist Wes Brown has toured with Earl “Fatha” Hines and Ed Blackwell; pianist Art Hirahara has played with Akira Tana and Rufus Reid; and saxophonist David Bindman has performed with Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton. Prepare for a magical musical journey!

Sister Carol
6:15–7:30  Equinox Stage
IMG_4253-004Sister Carol was born Carol Theresa East, in Kingston Jamaica. She is also known as the “Black Cinderella” and “Mother Culture.” She is a Grammy nominated singer, DJ, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, educator and humanitarian. She is undoubtedly one of the most talented, hardest working reggae artists out there. She has been working the front line for over thirty years. Sister Carol’s music is rich with cultural values and social consciousness. Over the years she has been a top featured artist on many festivals. Sister Carol is exceptionally talented on the mic and she is also mindful of the importance of her influence as an example to her listeners. She stands as a singer upholding love, truth and rights. Her music career has produced twelve albums, continuous tours and spot dates and numerous network television appearances. Her message deeply resonates with those of SolarFest!

The House Jacks
6:45–7:55  Arkell Stage
housejacks-12The House Jacks of San Francisco are the original “rock band without instruments.” Using nothing more than their five voices (and mouths, and sometimes bodies), they deliver everything from blistering funk to screaming rock to heart-melting ballads. Over the past 25 years the group has become an institution claiming nearly 20 superb vocalists and performers in their alumni ranks, including Garth Kravits, Troy Horne, Kid Beyond, John Pointer, Nick Girard, Austin Willacy, Roopak Abuja, Jake Moulton and many others. These pioneering musicians have performed thousands of shows and have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music. The House Jacks thrilled SolarFest audiences in 2007 and 2009. We are so excited to have a reprise appearance!

Donna the Buffalo
8:00–9:20  Equinox Stage
DTB PhotoOne of the most dynamic and determined bands continuously touring America since 1989, their distinctive, groove-heavy, and danceable music is accessible, positive, and memorable. Donna’s music often contains social and moral responsibility as core beliefs, and they are just simply fun to get out and celebrate life with. We are honored that Donna the Buffalo has chosen SolarFest as their only stop in Vermont on this summer, and are delighted to have their energy and creativity. We welcome them and the “herd” to our Sunrise Celebration!

SolarFest House Band
9:50–11:00  Equinox Stage
The SolarFest House Band has been an audience favorite since 2009. Individual performers bring to the stage their tasty original music sprinkled with some choice covers. Core members Jim Gilmour, Phil Henry, Jerry Dubeau, Deserie Valerio and Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman are joined by Paul Caroccio on drums, Becca Kodis on fiddle, Cameron Gilmour on sax and Katy Czar on bass. A musical collaborative in the truest sense, the SF House Band always has some surprises up their collective sleeve.

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SATURDAY JULY 16th

Singer Songwriter Showcase
11:30 am–2:00 pm Arkell Stage
Ten talented singer-songwriters have earned a spot on the Arkell stage as part of our annual competition.  2016 Finalists are: Carl Cacho, Brendan Eprile, Seamus Galligan, Madeleine Grace, Joanne Lurgio, Louise Mosrie, Richard Ruane, Belle-Skinner, Gail Sparlin, and Denny Tilton. Alternate: Chris Nerney. The winner will be invited back to perform as a featured musician at SolarFest in 2017. Our panel of judges is drawn from professional musicians, radio show hosts, and music columnists.

Connor Garvey
2:00–3:10  Equinox Stage
Connor-Garvey-1011-5Connor Garvey is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine, with the presence of an entertainer, the lyrical depth of a poet, and the enchantment of a storyteller. Garvey leaves audiences uplifted and inspired through a positive message that proves you can be optimistic and self-aware without being boring. His unique sandy tenor and masterful blend of rhythm and melody draw comparison to Paul Simon and contemporaries Josh Ritter and Jason Mraz.  Listeners often are drawn to Garvey’s engaging performance style, accomplished musicianship, and memorable melodies; his lyrics project a depth and sincerity that allow the observant listener to find meaning beyond the catchy hook. The themes of community and living with intention run deep for Garvey. He wins song competitions. He fills rooms. But most of all he moves people.

Freddi Shehadi
3:30–4:40  Equinox Stage
One Man Show - Photo Shoot - close 2Freddi Shehadi is an Emmy Award winning guitarist/songwriter and producer based in New York City and Vermont. He has worked with artists and music industry greats as diverse as Martin Sexton, Jose Feliciano, Debbie Harry, Rob Eaton, Max Weinberg, Bette Midler, L.A Reid. Besides extensive performing he has worked with notable labels Sony, Island, Universal, Motown and Atlantic records. Freddi’s compositions have been heard worldwide on major network shows and films including, Sex In The City, Cradle Will Rock, The Guru, The Today Show, PBS, A & E, MTV, Biography. His song, “One Good Man,” hit 79 on Billboard’s Hot 100. From 1997 to 2007 he co-composed, produced and performed The Today Show themes; his work at NBC earned him a Mobius Award, Golden Eagle Award and New York Festivals Award. Currently Freddi is performing on the East coast, and recording/video taping in the studio and on location. Freddi weaves a wide range of style and influence into his guitar playing, writing and singing. Soulful is the best way to describe him. He loves to capture the energy of performance from spontaneity, working with a very talented and diverse group of musicians; at SolarFest Freddi will be joined by Russ Lawton  on drums and Tony Markellis on bass. Expect to “feel” as much as you “hear” from these dynamic performers!

Lara Herscovitch
3:35–4:45  Arkell Stage
LHerscovitzWebWinner of SolarFest’s 2011 Singer-Songwriter showcase, Lara Herscovitch’s music is an original blend of modern folk with blues, jazz, and pop influences. With her voice “clear and smooth like expensive liquor,” she stands “above and beyond the pack.” Former Connecticut State Troubadour, Lara brings a charm, authenticity, and love of performing that immediately resonates with diverse audiences. She has appeared as a guest on A Prairie Home Companion and tours from Maine to Miami. She also has extensive experience as a policy social worker, and has worked in the US, Latin America and Asia on behalf of disadvantaged individuals – focusing on education, community development, and juvenile justice. Echoes of these themes resonate throughout her music. We are so happy to have her grace our stage again!  “Singer-songwriter Lara Herscovitch doesn’t write songs just for the ears, but also for the heart and soul.” ~Daily Journal, Tupelo Mississippi

Dar Williams
6:15–7:30  Equinox Stage
New Dar Williams Image
Dar Williams has had a long-standing and very special relationship with SolarFest. A perennial favorite, she has supported and been with us from the very early days. Dar has been reaching audiences of all ages with her songs, stories and wry humor for more than 20 years. She has performed with legendary folk artists and is now a luminary herself; she has recorded 20 CDs, is a children’s book author and teacher at Wesleyan University. “I’ve made choices about how I lived my life, outside of the world that was going to fit me among the mainstream norms, and I chose to stay with my friends, to stay with my culture. That turns out to have been the sturdiest structure I could have built for myself. And that’s in my songs, it’s in my teaching. I’m a believer in what can happen when we make music together.” We are thrilled! to have Dar back for her 6th performance on SolarFest’s stage.

Pitch Blak Brass Band
6:45–7:55  Arkell Stage
unspecifiedHip Hop music has always been unafraid to push boundaries. Perhaps because it simultaneously came from nothing yet came from everything, the genre stands alone in how creatively outside influences can be incorporated into its musical mix. PitchBlak Brass Band uses the epic sounds of tubas, trombones, saxophones and other typically non-hip hop instruments in the spirit of The Roots and some of rap’s iconic live bands, to deliver an energy that samples, loops and breakbeats can’t always capture. We’re looking forward to Pitch Blak lighting up SolarFest’s stage! “Their blend of soundscapes and lyrical exuberance creates a grand adventure in listening, one that can hold the attention of music fans from across a fairly wide spectrum.” ~Manny Faces, Birthplace Magazine

Madaila
8:00–9:15  Equinox Stage
madaila+woodchuck1One of Vermont’s hottest new bands, Madaila’s tight arrangements, vocal skill, and multi-instrumental performances showcase musical minds at work. Tight spandex and technicolor attire showcase a different side. Playing live, both powerful and playful elements of Madaila are present as the 5-piece finds the deeper possibilities within their concise recorded material.  When the pop juggernaut is on stage, spontaneous expression and contagious melody coexist. Madaila has shared the stage with The Flaming Lips, Mac DeMarco, Grace Potter, Delicate Steve, Valerie June, Rubblebucket, Slow Magic, and is part of Future Fields, an artist-run, musical creation and amplification group based in Burlington, Vermont. This is their SolarFest debut!

Marcia Ball
9:45–11:00  Equinox Stage
Marcia BallWelcome Marcia Ball to her SolarFest debut! This Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller and songwriter has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full- scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. In 2010, she was inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall Of Fame and in 2012 into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. She’s received a total of six Living Blues Awards, nine Blues Music Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. “Marcia Ball has a great voice and a rollicking piano style guaranteed to put a smile on your face.” ~Chicago Sun-Times