The world's funkiest diplomat creates infectious melodies with a depth and harmonic complexity that make him a favorite amongst beat aficionados and festival curators worldwide. His sound dips and swirls through a staggering range of styles, with each album exploring uncharted sonic territory. Warm, analogue dream wave; mind-altering glitch; world-infused groove; bass-fueled breaks; sexified down-tempo, electric lullabies; and psy-fi funk are just a few of the genres that have poured from the Ambassador's soul into earbuds and ghetto-blasters across the galaxy. Despite the political connotations of his name, and the Ambassador is not a political partisan. Rather, he is a diplomat for a new paradigm rooted in creative joy, self-expression, and ecological principles. As part of the mission, the Ambassador has committed to carbon-neutral touring, instigating exploratory dance, and igniting fan participation. For 2015, he is hand picking a select few festival engagements... dig him live on Saturday night in the magical mojave in May !
The Last Internationale picks up the torch carried by Rage Against the Machine, Marley, Nina Simone, Public Enemy, Woody Guthrie, Dylan, and hundreds more rebel rockers. That torch is deployed to illuminate the dark spaces of injustice as well as to light up a path toward freedom. Edgey & Delilah, along with drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, AudioSlave), deliver an explosive live performance. Music with a meaning that packs a punch. Fresh off a European tour opening for Robert Plant, a new album produced by Brendan O'brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and poised to slay festival audiences this summer, The Last Internationale will be bringing IT to Joshua Tree on Saturday night.
Hailed by Santana as “The voice of the street and the band of the future!”. Blue King Brown, ARIA nominated artist, is Australia’s premier live urban roots powerhouse. Their cross generational groove and socially conscious sound is lead by the multi talented, relentless energy of Natalie Pa’apa’a. Powerful vocal & lyrical delivery’s meet a dancehall, roots, rock & afro groove mash-up built on an irrepressible percussive foundation.
Brothers Matt (producer/guitarist) and Mark (drummer) Hill deliver a show that swings hard with neck snapping, knee breaking dirty funk. A bold display of livetronica with unbreakably deep pocket grooves and mad-scientist macro musical tastes that make their sonic explorations truly unique. With major festival plays and sold out shows under their belt, and international tours scheduled (Rainbow Serpent Festival in Aus), the brothers musical ascent is happening now. Dig their headline set on Friday in the magical mojave in May !
A global bass party extraordinaire…..Mas Funky ! “Subsuelo, one of Los Angeles’ illest, underground parties, has garnered the reputation as the melting pot between cumbia, electro, tropical funk, moombahton, trap, hip hop, and all points in between” Mutlitple turntablists, musicians and dancers (from flamenco to hip hop) combine to create a full throttle sweat inducing dance floor happening. More than a performance group, Subsuelo is a growing family of experimental modern global music enthusiasts bringing BIG love from the heart of LA to the high desert for the late night Saturday night set!
German vagabond meets Ghanaian queen. Eyes and ears (and hearts & souls) will go on a journey with the electronic hymns of MOLLONO.BASS melting into the African beats, the virtuosic violin and the breathtaking voice of AVA ASANTE. While the heart of MOLLONO.BASS beats with electronic music for the ages, the musical milestones of AVA ASANTE, the great-granddaughter of an Ashanti king, are diverse – as support of Zucchero or Seal to a solo project named AVA ROCKS. Together they enchant dancing crowds from Berlin to Accra with a rousing live act.
These Grammy Award nominees happily meld global influences into music that is both freshly modern and deeply Brazilian, which means irresistibly danceable. They've given bossa nova & samba new life and vigor through the application of funky breakbeats, skillful turntablism, electronic manipulation, and adventurous mixology. The idea of fusing the smooth sounds of classic bossa nova recordings with up-to-the-minute electronic elements wasn't exactly brand new, but Bossacucanova's approach to Euro-Brazilian fusion was unusually respectful of their home country's traditions, putting the bossa first and the electronica second, and the international music press took notice quickly.
“He doesn’t speak French, and I don't speak English. But through music, we communicate” Sekou Kouyate. Driscoll contributes the rapping, looping, beatboxing and songwriting talents. Kouyate, already a phenomenon in African music circles, has blown minds and ears with his hypersonic electrified riffs on the kora, bringing the exalted West African harp into the 21st Century with use of distortion peddles, effects and previously-unimagined technical prowess. Together, Driscoll and Kouyate blend hip-hop, spoken word, funk, and soulful, accessible rock with Afrobeat, reggae and irrepressible African grooves.
This biodynamic trance dance project feeds the dance floor flame with the natural vibrations of their air fueled instruements. A didgeridoo, jews harp and a beatboxer make for an ancient tribal throwdown of natural rhythms and sounds. As Aron (jews harp), Markus (didj) & Dome (beatbox) say, “We make music that sounds electronic, although it could have been played the same way thousands of years ago, too. No samples, no computers, no loops, only human voice, didgeridoo, Jew’s harp and air."
Full throttle energetic southern rock meets garage punk. Longtime friends (since kindergarten), Eric (drums) and Kevin (guitar/lead vocals) are locked in rocket ship tight, creating a solidified sonic assault that'll move you to the marrow. Live, the dynamic duo deliver a series of blues infused roundhouse wallops mixed with down and dirty funk. Potent !
West African Malian grooves filtered through the rugged grit of New York city. In the Bamana language of Mali, Benyoro means meeting place, and that’s exactly what this group is. It’s the meeting of traditional and modern instruments, Malian and American musicians, centuries-old songs and modern arrangements. The band’s unique sound packs dance floors wherever they go, and originates in a deep love for the music of Malian jelis (praise musicians) combined with a strong desire to modernize it.
Atash is not a typical band. The members of the group, each of whom collaborates in the creation of Atash’s music, come from many corners of the world. They are unified by a religious devotion to their craft, and a love for making people dance in a celebration of life that borders on ecstatic mysticism. Sounds of east and west, of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, meld seamlessly into a sound which is both hypnotic and vibrantly danceable. This is music about breaking down barriers, building bridges, connecting and celebrating.
The mad-musical scientist known as saQi is a trumpet wielding maestro and a sonic samurai of soul. Utilizing acoustic and synthesized sounds of all sorts, saQi creates intoxicating concoctions of groove that rock the party while still maintaining a grace and musical sophistication to engage the listener. Striking the delicate balance between darkness and light, major and minor, fast and slow, joy and sorrow is his specialty. He will be bringing the full live band ensemble to Joshua Tree once again to fully flesh out his finely tuned funktastic new release, “The Well”.
Echoing the sounds of the Nordic coast and urban dance halls, cinematic sonic bass producer/violinist HANNAH blends folk songs and improvised instrumental/vocal music with cutting edge electronic sounds, counting Massive Attack, Phaeleh, Trentemøller, and Ólafur Arnalds as influences in crafting her sound. The resulting sonic palate takes listeners on a mystical journey whose destination is a crossroads between classical and contemporary, organic and man-made, familiar and mysterious. HANNAH has shared the stage with musical giants (The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Bassnectar, MOBY, The National, EOTO) and appears on records by Irma Thomas (Simply Grand), Beats Antique, and Random Rab.
Soul Power Supreme. Fronted by 21-year-old phenom Ziek McCarter (a gifted showman whose presence screams of a young Michael Jackson or James Brown), the band’s sound traces a clear lineage from the dirty funk, blues, and psychedelic legacy of Bay Area legends like Sly and the Family Stone, with a nod toward ‘90s neo-soul trailblazers like D’Angelo, but with an eye to the future, With a deep drive for experimentation and for reaching beyond the familiar Con Brio is dishing out funkdafied R&B with an ambitious, progressive sensibility.
High energy, and highly inspirational, The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers began as a collective of friends getting together to sing out. A choir of up to 15 revived the old gospel spirit with songs like “I Shall Not Be Moved”, “12 Gates”, and “In My Time of Dying”. They are committed to keeping the spirit of gospel music alive, influenced by gospel musicians such as The Dixie Hummingbirds, Washington Phillips and Sister Rosetta Tharpe as well as current bands like The Black Keys, Wilco, and Calexico.The band is creating a unique style of blues, indie rock, folk, and bluegrass infused with banjos, kickdrums, hand clappin’, foot stompin’, and sing-alongs.
Soul-Hop. Where Soul & Hip-Hop collide. Five souls fused to bring the heat, to move the feet, to groove the beat: welcome to the the Revival.....the Dirty Revival. Powerful vocals and rhymes delivered precisely with passion and flare. The mesmerizing vocal stylings of Ms. Sarah Clarke take a DR show from phenomenal to magical. Guitartist and Emcee, Evan ‘evv'n'flo’ Simko, is poignant and on point. With the heart and mind behind the matter, the Dirty Revival is for real dirty deal.
Ayla Nereo’s voice hits straight to the heart. With an array of loop-pedals by her side, she layers vocal melodies into majestic, sweeping harmonies and weaves magical threads of guitar, kalimba, piano, and percussion into each live performance. Her lucid storytelling and lyrical imagery are water for the thirsty soul; sounds embodying the many folds of our own selves.
Fusing world, funk, folk and jam rock into a high-energy performance, Green's music has a strong universal appeal. The versatile musician who makes use of vocals, guitar (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 guitarist's free form artistic ability combined with enthusiasm and apparent love of cultured music is showcased in a raw, live, unedited fashion. In addition to his performance, join Trevor for two intimate didjeridu playshops at the festival.
Balkan vocal pyrotechnics from Brooklyn. This otherworldly, haunting and spellbinding a capella trio draws inspiration from the rich traditions of Balkan folk song. The group gathers material from master singers, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, creating original, complex three-voiced compositions. The sometimes strident, sometimes unearthly textures and overtones characteristic of Black Sea Hotel’s sound evoke ancient yet potent stories which still resonate today.
Delicious soulful grooves delivered by a group whose hearts beat as one. Fronted by a brother and sister duo, you cant help but be moved by their blood harmonies and touching lyrics. If you witnessed their performances at this past festival, then it’s clear to you that they’ve got that elusive “it” that so many aim to create. The real deal personified, back to jam two full sets in the sand at the Roaming Sounds Recording Studio.
Singing in both English and French, her songs dip from jazz-tinged folk to odd-meter soul, to twisted pop ballad and delicately dark fairy-tale. Canadian-Californian songwriter Madeline Tasquin was raised in Northern British Columbia by her opera singer mother and Austrian gold-miner father. She learned to play the piano as soon as she could reach the keys, and many years later in 2011 she picked up a concert ukulele, (“much easier to carry around town than a piano,” she says). Madeline’s acute sense of melody and harmony was forged singing with her mother and two younger sisters for hours on long car trips from the country to the city as a child. In her teenage years, Primus and Mr.Bungle played alongside Rachmaninoff, Satie and Chopin.
The son of a French Bluesman, Sangally was schooled for 8 years on Jazz and the Saxophone before picking up an old guitar his dad brought home from a concert one night. Influenced by artists like Keziah Jones, Erykah Badu, Patrice and Ben Harper, Sangally began to create his own unique melodic vintage soul. Spending time in London producing other artists, he cultivated a taste for a mix of analog and modern sounds. He’s performed in the UK and his home country to rave reviews, now dig him live in Joshua Tree for one of his first US performances.
A singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Willy is co-frontman of The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and spends his time writing, recording and perpetually touring. He’s a hell-raiser, poet and storyteller who's driven to take people on a musical journey. His recent solo album, 4 Strings, was lauded by No Depression, and Willy is noted as one of ‘7 Songwriters that will change your life’ (alongside Bonnie Prince Billy, Chris Knight) by Saving Country Music
Rachel is a genre-killing songwriter and musician of small stature and epic proportions. A pioneering rock star who defies classification, her music is consistently staggering in its realness and unrelenting in its power. She's made a name for herself as the musical muse of San Francisco's counterculture, creating songs with bawdy humor to create an irresistible and timely perspective. She has showcased her electronic-inspired live-looping set at many bay area venues such as Boom Boom Room and The New Parish, recently opening for live-looping legend, Zach Deputy. In March 2014 she released "I Wouldn't Worry" her debut EP which featured 3 songs and musical cameos by guest musicians including Gabby La La and local beat boxing legend, Infinite.
California Psybient Trance House Dub Tech Mix artist, DJpt, will be taking a detour from his current project - providing high quality sound to conscious remote communities - to bring the technophile experience to JTMF, for the friday late night owls. Buckle up !
The entrancing psychedelic adventures of wife & husband duo Maryrose & Brian Crook. Friends and neighbors who found their way to the high desert from New Zealand, like many of us; accidentally on purpose. For 25 years they’ve been creating haunting, soul searching, and noirish music that explores the depths of the mind, body and soul. Part Velvets, part Mekons, part John Cale, and positively mind-blowing.
Ridiculous electro booty-and-the-beats breaks for maximum dance floor extrapolations and ruminations. You have boogie’d with Ian on numerous occasions here at the festival; his sets are infamous for their four-on-the-floor non stop shake it til you make it passion. Dig his new wave of positive vibrations on Thursday evening.
Barefoot with his banjo and guitar swirling love vibrations, spencer sings desert home grown melodies that harmonize reality and dream. he threads dusty chords with sweet vocals and steady lyricism, creating energizing fields of intentional joy, Come Smile with dude, along with his very talented friends (that show him how beautiful we all are).
A Dirty Blues & Dusty Boots rollickin’ roadhouse revue. Song and dance, wild west romance, and girls that will kick up a row. Frivolity guaranteed, this late night, locally produced cabaret features luminaries and love-lights Piper Robison, Kali Poulin, Gene Evaro Jr, Liesl Clouse, Chris Unck, Gabba Evaro and more. The thin line between artist and audience will get particularly blurry once the Cactus Wine Experience commences. A real “hog killin’ time" to be had !