MAY FESTIVAL


Dumpstaphunk
New Orleans

Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to boogie. In Big Easy tradition, dueling basslines from Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III set off one of the dirtiest rhythm sections on the planet, while Ivan Neville lights up the Hammond B3 keys and cousin Ian Neville’s funky guitar riffs send the groove into overdrive. They toss around lead vocals and four-part harmonies the way Sly & the Family Stone did, but with three studio albums under their belt, Dumpstaphunk stands on the merit of their own material. Songs like “Dancin’ To The Truth” off their latest record, Dirty Word (July 30, 2013, Louisiana Red Hot Records), offer an escape into the funky sublime, sharing the true spirit of New Orleans with every note. They funked the stage up here at JTMF in 2008.....we are thrilled to have them throw it down once again in May !

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Dakhabrakha
Ukraine

The name means ‘give/take’ in the old Ukrainian language. This raucous folk rock ‘ethnic chaos’ band combines unexpected elements of sound and soul to take you on an unforgettable aural journey. Completely original with one of a kind melodies that soar, haunt and taunt all in one song. Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian & Australian traditional instrumentation the quartet’s astonishingly potent and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukranian culture. A global music experience in the magical Mojave.

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Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown
Nashville

Rambunctious, raw and real as rock and roll can get. Their sound is a soulful patchwork of roots-infused melodies and muscular riffs, all woven tightly with the thread of their alternative psychedelic mystique. A prodigious guitar player, Tyler was presented the Robert Johnson New Generation award at age 15, and invited by Eric Clapton to play at his Crossroads Guitar Festival at 16. These guys have toured with Jeff Beck, ZZTop, BB King and Aerosmith. To say Tyler and the Shakedown are a thunderous tour de force is an understatement. Their live performance is versatile, melodic, unhinged and inspiring !

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The Main Squeeze
Chicago

Seamlessly blending funk, soul and rock and roll, the Main Squeeze promises to keep your body moving with their infectious, feel good musical gumbo. It’s a high energy Stevie Wonder meets Red Hot Chili Peppers thing, delivered with virtuosic skill by every band member. Regardless of where you are coming from musically, awestruck is where you will be after witnessing the Squeeze live. We are thrilled to have them back in Joshua Tree (they performed here in May of 2013).

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Hamsa Lila
West Coast, South Africa, Morocco, Global Nomads

Hamsa Lila hit the West Coast music scene hard back in 2001 with their infectious ‘world trance grooves’ and earned an instant ‘cult status’ following with their memorable performances, rich in traditional influences from Morocco, West Africa, Brazil, India, the Caribbean and others, with a strong emphasis on Gnawa and Yoruba flavors. Hamsa played magically memorable all night sets at our first three festivals. They infuse elements of hip-hop/spoken word as well as ritual dance, sing in 13 languages, and feature hypnotic polyrhythms led by ultra-tight South African kit drummer Ian ‘Inkx’ Herman (Sting, Hugh Masakela, Paul Simon) and Gnawa bass by Vir McCoy (Dogon Lights, Liberation Movement). The mesmerizing vocals of Nikila Badua and soulful Deja Solis, along with the core tribal resonance of MJ Greenmountain, converge harmoniously to make the blend swoon-worthy. Vir and Brett Jacobson both play goat-gut stringed tribal instruments, and multi-instrumentalist Evan Fraser (flutes, Ngoni, kalimbas, jawharps and more) punctuates what is clearly a one of kind tidal wave of Divine Sounds from around the world !

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Sunsquabi
Boulder

A three piece intergalactic hydro electronic funk experience from Boulder, CO. They’ve shared the stage with Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights, GRiZ, The Floozies, Dynohunter and Ghostlland Observatory. Like those groups, Sunsquabi meld the live and electronic to create explosive yet melodic dance music. They expertly contrast the spacy and the raging, perfectly complemented by sweet melodies. Sunsquabi have performed at Red Rocks, Wakarusa, Sonic Bloom, SXSW, continually elevating their vibrant, animated sound.

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Dam-Funk & the Light
LA

Stones Throw Records recording artist and multi-instrumentalist, Dam-Funk, is the epitome of authentic modern funk. His new album, Invite the Light, features Q-tip, Flea, Jody Watley, Ariel Pink and more, and takes listeners on a wildly varied aural trip. Funkmosphere, a monthly party in LA created by Dam (aka Damon Riddick) in 2006 'to bring the boogie back' is still going strong. While mining the worlds of Slave, Ohio Players, P-funk, Zapp & Prince, Dam-Funk remains a distinctly unique, out of the box, passionate proselytizer of the genre. Dig Dam and his band live on Thursday night under the stars !

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Wondem
LA

East African influenced music by Dexter Story; one of the most revered jazz/funk/soul musicians in Los Angeles. Get transported with the sounds of Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, songwriter, producer and music arranger, Dexter (named after saxophonist Dexter Gordon) has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, John Stubblefield, Ernie Watts and more. He's collaborated with Gaslamp Killer, Les Nugians, Sa-Ra, Ethio Cali and Kamasi Washington. Wondem (meaning 'brother' in Amharic) is his latest ensemble in a storied musical career, and it's an honor to have them perform here in the high desert.   

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Little Hurricane
Tahoe

A gritty, raucous, down home and dirty blues'n'rock duo that truly brings IT. Celeste on the kit, and Tone on guitar, slide, keys and vintage microphones. White Stripes and Black Keys comparisons abound; but think of a Howlin' Wolf, Sonic Youth & Black Pistol Fire session. Raw + Real = Refreshing. Formed in 2010, they have three albums to date, and are playing larger shows and festivals all the time.

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Empresarios
Puerto Rico / DC

Tropicaliente; a smooth tropical blend of salsa, cumbia, reggae, dub and house. Lively dance floor action guaranteed when the Empresarios take the stage. Emerging from the Fort Knox Recordings (Fort Knox Five, See-I, Thievery Corp, Mustafa Akbar, All Good Funk Alliance and more) Studio crew, the Empresarios are creating latin funk tinged hip hop with an edge.

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Greener Grounds
Denver

This super fresh psychedelic funk-tronica band fuses jam-rock, funk, break beats and trance fusion atop an irresistible four-on-the-floor dance beat with sweaty, smiling results. They travel thru the aural grounds inhabited by Lotus, STS9, and the Disco Biscuits, then turn it UP some more. Their 2015 EP and tour was supported by the Untz magazine, and their music has been called 'Jamtronica Gold'. With their positive message of a greener world, they dont just talk the talk, they rock the rock.

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The Accidentals
Traverse City, MI

A band to watch. Billboard's Breakout band at SXSW last year. Winner of the Emerging Artist series at Summerfest. Three young wildly talented multi-instrumentalists who are very busy. In three years they've recorded three original albums, guest artists on 15 others, scored two albuems, landed song placements in commercials and films, all while playing over 700 live shows. THEN they graduated high school !  Savannah (19) and Katie (18) play a dozen instruments between. Quirky, stunning, haunting; a sound all their own. 

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All Good Funk Alliance
DC

Big bouncy bass lines ! Made up of Frank Cueto and Rusty Belicek, the All Good Funk Alliance has opened up for James Brown, DJ'd all around the world, written songs for commercials, T.V. and movies, and have constantly appeared on the Breakspoll Top 50 list. In other words, these guys are no strangers to the funk. And while their musical tastes range the gamut, when Frank and Rusty join forces the end result is always the same: they deliver a sound that is funky, fun and fresh.

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3rd Ear Experience
Joshua Tree

Desert Space Rock. 3rd Ear creates spectaculaly lush and inventive psychedelic soundscapes for a one of a kind magic carpet ride. Melodic, crunchy and powerful all at once. Ear. Their latest release, Incredible Good Fortune, ranked high on numerous BEST OF lists around the globe, and they followed up the release with an European tour with Fatso Jetson, garnering legions of new fans along the way. Home grown and desert inspired - "what do you sing about when looking at the milky way?" asks Robbi Robb (guitarist, instigator). Yet otherworldly. 3rd Ear Experience performed here in spring of 2013 & '14....we are thrilled to know they will grace the stage here once again in 2016.

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Trevor Green
Hungtington Beach

Fusing world, funk, folk and jam rock into a high-energy performance, Green's music has a strong universal appeal. The versatile multi-instrumentalist who makes use of vocals, guitars (6 and 12 string, lap, slide, banjo, mandolin and ukulele), didgeridoo, stompbox and harmonica is a "musical breath of fresh air". The skill set of this finger style guitarists free form artistic ability combined with enthusiasm and love of cultured music is showcased in a raw, live, unedited fashion. Trevor will also host didgeridoo workshops at the Vibration Station. His latest songs were recorded here in Joshua Tree with Robbi Robb (3rd Ear Experience), Chris Unck (Lucky Bones) He's performed at JTMF a few times during the day, now dance under the stars with Trevor late night at the Cafe stage in May. 

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Dhara World Music Quartet
India, Pakistan, Canada, LA

North and South Indian music, West African rhythms, Persian melodies, and Latin percussion are seamlessly melded by these highly skilled players. They all met while pursuing their Master's degrees at CalArts, have performed at NAMM, and with Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi and other notable performers. Drummer Amir Oosman performed here in 2014 with Joomanji, and returns to take you on a trip around the world.

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Stone Soul
Boulder

Raw old school electro-funk infused with hip/hop and rock elements. Producer, DJ, and Musician, Jordan Stone, lays it down thick with his live show, and has been receiving lots of attention for his mixes of tracks by the Floozies, the Fugees, VoKab Company, Artifakts and others. He's creating a unique style that delivers a 70's boogie feel with the flare and bass that lights up the dance floor. He's shared the stage with STS9, Talib Kweli, Nightmares on Wax, Fort Knox Five, the Main Squeeze and more. A Stone Soul set exudes lively dynamism that screams out good vibes. Dig his set late Friday night on the Boogaloo stage.

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Gene Evaro Jr. & the Family
Joshua Tree

The real deal personified. Gene, Piper, Tyler and family get better every time they perform, delivering delicious soulful grooves, raucous guitar fueled funk, and poetic freak folk with equal aplomb. In 2015 they toured the country playing sold out shows with Elle King, won NAMMs John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and delivered potent sets here at the festival in May and October. In a word, they have that elusive ‘it’.




Vir, Inkx & Evan
Bay Area/South Africa

Live-Electronic-Looping D.J. set by Vir McCoy (Hamsa Lila, Dogon Lights, Liberation Movement) along with Inkx Herman (Hamsa Lila, Paul Simon, Hugh Masakela) and Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila, Dirtwire, Stellamara). Creating shamanic textures, with psychedelic and ethnic grooves, Vir loops live instruments over tracks and loops, with special guests joining him for an epic journey. Vir co-founded Hamsa Lila, has recorded with the likes of Mickey Hart & Beats Antique, and has performed at the Joshua Tree Music Festival on 7 different occasions. His musical sensibilities run deep in the world fusion, groove oriented realms. Simply put, Inkx Herman may be the best drummer to ever perform here at the festivals ! Multi-instrumentalist (flutes, Ngoni, kalimba, jawharp & more) Evan Fraser brings kaleidoscopic color to the project. Dig their aural explorations Sunday night on the Boogaloo (back) stage !

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The Rainbow Girls
Santa Barbara

The name Rainbow Girls can be misleading. With soaring harmonies and a slew of instruments, these gals weave their way through multiple musical genres - from rock n' roll to folk, Americana to funk, psychedelic to soul. The ladies came together at an underground open mic in Santa Barbara in December of 2010, then took off for a life changing adventure to the Joshua Tree National Park, emerging as the Rainbow Girls 5 days later. They spent the following summer busking and couch surfing around Europe. Since then they have toured the US and Europe extensively, whilst morphing from an acoustic street band into an electric, foot stomping spectacular, complete with plenty of mayhem, juggling of instruments, and an entire spectrum of original music. Sisters doing it for themselves ! 

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Todo Mundo
San Diego/Colombia

Spanish Rumba, Reggae, Brazilian, Balkan and Middle Eastern styles melded into an irresistible groove that has been moving dance floors and connecting with audiences across the world since 2009.  The band, nominated annually for "Best World Music" band at the San Diego Music Awards, is led by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Santiago Orozco, a native of Colombia.  Through the power of music, Todo Mundo shares their soul and experiences with the world, transmitting their messages of unity, equality, and diversity. A Todo Mundo live show is truly a life celebration.  These cats are walking the walk, and dancing the dance of one love.  

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Royal Jelly Jive
San Francisco

Royal Jelly grooves hard and shakes up a dance party with a super fresh combo of soul, swing, rock & hip hop.  Enigmatic lead singer Lauren Bjelde brings a one of a kind sultry voice along with a powerfully magnetic stage presence. Swingin' horns, gritty keys and a bumpin' rhythm section keep the electric vibe uber high. Born in the Boom Room in SF in 2013, they've devoloped a rabid following via their string of intoxicating live shows. They've performed at Outsidelands and Soul'd Out music festivals, and alongside the Rebirth Brass Band, CA Honeydrops and Franti, and

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Denmantau
Germany / LA

Bohemian dance rock. Five guys from Hamburg, Germany, now residing in LA, who've been playing together for 12 years. They have performed across Europe, NZ & AUS, and busked around the globe. Their experience playing together is evident; Denmantau have melded their own unique melodic, hard rocking, dance grooves with distinctive vocals and tight playing into heavenly harmonic creations. They deliver a potent, positive live show that inspires both your heart and your dancing feet.

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Dani Bell & the Tarantist
San Diego

Dani Bell, Alfred Howard and a boombox named Charlie. Smoldering, atmospheric, California soul from another era. Dani’s versatile voice is captivating, and she sighs over every genre, moving from spooky blues to Motown strut to mournful whispers with ease. Although Dani wrote the songs on their album, Dark West, Al is a prolific writer, musician, performer who has performed at JTMF with the Midnight Pine, Rebecca Jade, the K23 Orchestra, the Heavy Guilt, and Dani Bell. Dig them (once again) live on the café stage on Saturday morning.

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Desert Rhythm Project
Joshua Tree

If you witnessed their set at the last festival, you felt the positive impact of talented musical souls working as one. Mikey Reyes, Bryanna Evaro, Jeremy Jones, Ben Kennedy, and family soundly deliver a unique blend of roots, reggae, funk and soul. The Desert Rhythm Project was born in the magical Mojave, where talent, hard work, and good intentions collide.

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Melaena Cadiz

Melaena Cadiz chronicles the plights of the searchers, of the reachers, and of all those helplessly apart people operating deep below heaven. The landscapes she drafts up in these gorgeous songs are about winning and losing, usually a little of both, which feels natural.” The tremendous voice is immediately evident, but the enchanting, otherworldly aura elevates Melaena into the angelic realms. Her now songs are Joshua Tree inspired, as she spent time here last winter on a songwriting mission.

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Bearcoon
the Road

Solange and Andrea are Bearcoon. They met at on open mic, and have been creating captivating indie folk tinged in southern soul ever since. Their chemistry is undeniable; they took the grand prize at the Buskerfest, have charted on Amazon's hot new releases list, and were deemed OC Weekly's Best Folk Band. They've quit their jobs, gave up their apartment, and are on the road sharing their dynamic, sweet sounds.

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Megan Hutch
Joshua Tree

Megan Hutch’s voice is a torch. She wields it with reckless abandon. She sings a furrowed brow, freshly painted toenails and broken down cars under endless stars. Electric or acoustic, accompanied or solo, she twists tunes out of time unpredictably and entirely unlikely. The world is full of people with guitars singing songs, she is her own world full of hilarious anguish.

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TryStates
Joshua Tree

TryStates is a conscious exploration toward the melting and melding together of the hearts and the minds. Drawing from the fluid and endlessly transformative elemental nature of this earth, Spencer Keizer and Terralis compose TryStates to sonically spin a primal and evolutionary tale. Out of breathing tones, voices, and pauses, a vibration is borne to bathe and expand the light and dark of a past and a future that is ours now.

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Cactus Wine Experience
Joshua Tree

A Dirty Blues & Dusty Boots rollickin’ roadhouse revue. Song and dance, wild west romance, and girls that will kick up a roa. Frivolity guaranteed, this late night, locally produced cabaret features luminaries and love-lights Piper Robison, Kali Poulin, Gene Evaro, Liesl Clouse, Bonnie Britt, Chris Unck, Gabba Evaro and more. The think line between artist and audience will get particularly blurry once the Cactus Wine Experience commences. A real ‘hog killin’ time to be had !

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