Fatoumata Diawara 

Global Superstar. Women’s Rights Activist. African Angel.  Fatoumata has become the voice of a generation of young African women and artists yearning for a life driven by art. Her live performance is stunning and potent; positively life changing.  As a singer, actress, songwriter, and activist, Fatoumata has studio and stage with notable artists such as Oumou Sangaré, Rokia Traoré, Herbie Hancock, Roberto Fonseca, Bobby Womack, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Habib Koité, and Paul McCartney. Her debut album Fatou was released in 2011 to immediate critical praise. We’ve been trying to have Fatoumata perform here for the past 7 festival – she’s been at the top of our list of faves. This show is not to be missed!

Matador! Soul Sounds 
 UK / SF / Everywhere
Alan Evans (Soulive), Eddie Roberts (New Mastersounds), Chris Spies (Honey Island Swamp Band), Kevin Scott (Jimmy Herring), Adryon de Leon (Orgone) and Kimberly Dawson (Pimps of Joytime) dish up some slow cooked steamy retro funk and soul. The New Mastersounds, Soulive, Orgone & Pimps of Joytime are four of the tightest funk/soul bands on the festival scene, and have been since the early 2000’s. To say this SUPER group is steeped in all things funkastic, is a gross understatement. Soaring hard bop guitar lines & interlocking grooves for sweaty dance floor moves. And then there’s the seriously outrageous vocal stylings of Adryon & Kimberly – bad-assery personified !

Jupiter & Okwess

Hailing from Kinshasa, Jupiter Bokondji is remarkable for the sense of danger and urgency he puts into in his music, and for the way he matches an extraordinary variety of Congolese rhythms against western influences in a band dominated by percussion, bass and electric guitars. Seasoned performers. A locked in rhythm section. This is a dynamic Afrofunk band of the highest order !  They stole the show at the Globalfest in NYC in January with a frenetic, joyful performance. Jupiter is long on charisma, and has created his own musical style; these guys are one of a kind. Watch videos of J&O, and you will get a sense for the sweat inducing set they will deliver here in October.

House of Hamsa
Bay Area

Members of Hamsa Lila, Dirtwire, Liberation Movement, Heavyweight Dub Champion, & Dogon Lights – experimental musical mad scientists all – meld ancient instruments, samples, live mixing, loops and electronics to create a one of a kind improvisational aural feast for the intergalactic sold. Their late night performance on the Boogaloo Stage at JTMF last May was legendary. Vir McCoy (Hamsa Lila), Grant Chambers (Liberation Movement), Inks Herman (Hamsa Lila) and Evan Fraser (Dirtwire), along with guest vocalists, comprise the House of Hamsa.  A Shamanic Global Odyssey.  Multi-instrumentalists who do NOT think ‘outside the box’, because they didn't know there was one to begin with. 

San Francisco
“One of the best live soul bands I have ever seen!” Al Bell (co-owner of legendary Stax Records). Monophonics are just hitting their stride as one of the premier soul bands in the country. They deliver cinematic songs with timeless hooks, anchored by Kelly Finnigan’s soulful organ and powerhouse vocals. Their sound is inspired equally by classic soul, heavy funk, psychedelic rock, and classic American songwriting. The Bay Area residents revere and honor the multi-racial, funky grab-bag of Sly & the Family Stone, and the highly diverse psychedelic revolution of the Haight.  Soulful vocals, funky drum-breaks, psychedelic guitar licks and fuzz bass intermingle effortlessly. They were phenomenal here at JTMF (way back in ’09), and have been honing their craft razor sharp ever since.


Denver based and Boulder born, dream rock trio Evanoff is no doubt a force to be reckoned with in the Colorado music scene. The group has pioneered a unique, electrifying blend of analog and digital sounds they call “Dream Rock.” Dancey break beats, symphonic guitar riffs, powerful builds, and face melting jams define the increasingly popular genre.  Containing both heavy rock and soft melodic styles, the groups most stand out feature is their ability to capture the crowd’s attention while creating heartfelt tension accompanied by groovy dance beats that release unimaginable amounts of energy. There is an energetic joy and purification that comes from seeing an Evanoff show.....

Speed Caravan
Algeria, France
If you've never regarded the oud - the fretless lute at the core of so much traditional Arabic music - as a rock'n'roll instrument, then you've clearly never heard Speed Caravan or the frenetic and joyous playing of Mehdi Haddab. Once part of Parisian-based global electronica trio Ekova, Mehdi then formed the experimental oud duo DuOud with Jean-Pierre Smadja. Now working as Speed Caravan, Mehdi is joined by bassist Pascal Teillet, former Ekova electronic beat mistress Hermione Frank, and Mohamed Bouamar on percussion and vocals.  Speed Caravan create music that references The Cure and The Chemical Brothers alongside Algerian rai and other Arabic influences in a glorious collision of global sounds and styles. To call Mehdi Haddab the Jimi Hendrix of the electric oud would, of course, be a hopeless cliché. But it's not that far from the truth!

Afrolicious & Mustafa Akbar
Bay Area
Dance fusion collective, Afrolicious is a dance party instigator combining rhythms from Africa and Latin America with electronic breaks and deep club beats. The band emphasizes the organic elements, instrumentation, and energy of a live ensemble and this is combined with club heavy beats and textures ensuring booty shaking ensues. 

Joining Afrolicious is Fort Knox Recording artist Mustafa Akbar, who has rocked the stage here at JTMF with Thunderball, Fort Knox Five, Junior Marvin, Everyman and more. His soulful vocal stylings will move you through and through.  

Selah Poitier
Bassist, vocalist, composer.  Poitier majored in bass performance at Berklee, finishing her degree in just two years by taking on extra classes and studying straight through the summers.  Her sound is a fresh and passionate blend of modern jazz/hip-hop fusion, blues, neo-soul and R&B to funk, gospel, Afropop, and reggae, as well as traditional Bahamian music.  To her, music acts as a powerful tool for emotional healing, social change, spiritual transformation and to explore the profound aspects of the human experience. Selah describes herself as a storyteller and uses her music to not only relate to listeners from all over the globe but also to reflect the times.  We listen to thousands of new artists here at JTMF world headquarters, and Selah clearly stands out as someone with an uber bright musical future.  It’s an honor to have her grace the stage.

Guadaloupe / New Orleans
From Guadeloupe to Louisiana to the Mississippi Delta.  Where Delta Blues meets the Carribean Lament. When Napoleon reinstated slavery in the Caribbean Island of Guadalupe in 1802 many people were exiled or fled, some of which went to New Orleans.  It is from this perspective that Delgres, made up of Pascal Danae, Rafgee and Baptiste Brondy, revisits the blended songs, dances and tears of the long-lost, drifting souls of New-Orleans.  Through an old Dobro guitar, voices of forgotten heroes wishpered at Pascal Danae’s soul. Soaked in blues though urban and open to the world. Dobro, Drums & Sousaphone – a new breed of power trio with sounds ala Tinariwen, Ali Farka Toure and the Black Keys.

Jungle Fire
Los Angeles
 The explosive Jungle Fire sound digs deep into the Afro-Latin sonic worlds. The Los Angeles based, 10-piece Tropi-Funk juggernaut pulls its influences from the music of legends such as Irakere, Ray Barretto, James Brown, Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango, creating a melting pot of Afro-Caribbean and West African rhythms with a heavy break beat funk, all spiced with a dose of uniquely Angeleno grit. The members come from diverse musical & cultural backgrounds, and have played with Stevie Wonder, Breakestra, LCD Soundsystem, Ozomatli, Quantic, Greyboy Allstars and more. Rest assured that the Jungle Fire set at the fest will not require, or allow, seating.    

Los Angeles
Keep the party HEARTED. This uber versatile MC drops his razor-sharp rhymes over a kaleidoscope of beats, fusing conscious “Golden Era” hip hop with future funk. His latest collection of songs (Good Deeds) will have you rocking with him from start to finish. His ‘Tribute to Pumpkin’ set at JTMF last October was thunderously funky & positive. EVeryman (Evan Shafran) and Pumpkin (Nic Alvarado) created music together as Little Giants, prior to Nic’s tragic passing.  EVeryman has dedicated and honored Pumpkin with his music, and his love-filled performances. Ferocious lyrics and propulsive beats from the heart 

Balkan Bump
Balkan Bump is the newest project from trumpet player, producer and ethnomusicologist Will Magid.  Balkan Bump launched to an unexpecting audience in late 2017 with his debut track “Aymo” alongside superstar collaborators Gramatik and Talib Kweli. Finding an affinity based in his own Balkan roots, Gramatik has championed the new project; debuting Balkan Bump’s first live performance at Gramatik’s anticipated NYE show at Terminal 5; taking Balkan Bump’s live show on the road for the Spring 2018 Re:Coil tour; and releasing Balkan Bump’s debut EP via his Lowtemp label imprint.  Musically, Balkan Bump is a fusion of live instruments, world influences and lush electronic production. His debut EP flaunts experience as an instrumentalist and arranger, fusing energetic Balkan brass with heavy electronic production and hip-hop/trap influences.

Spain / Argentina
Svper is Luciana Della Villa (Argentina) and Sergio Perez (Spain) are truly a dynamic duo.  Formerly Pegasvs, Svper creates haunting, inspiring, often bouncy electronic synth dreamscapes.  Armed with synthesizers (korg ms20 and korg micropreset), sampler, echoes, vocals and mad improvisational skills, Svper mines the similar musical veins as Kraftwerk and OMD.  They performed at South by Southwest in 2014, and this is their first performance back in the states since.  Otherworldly aural treats for late night under the stars. 

Jesika Von Rabbit
Joshua Tree
Dubbed “California’s ultimate postmodern, intergalactic pop provocateur “ by the LA Weekly, Jesika von Rabbit formed the group Gram Rabbit, sparking a creative force unlike any other at the time. Their debut album “Music to Start a Cult To” was released to rave reviews and the LA Weekly hailed them as LA’s Best New Artist.  They performed at the first two Joshua Tree Music Festivals, and on the main stage at Coachella. They honed their live chops touring with Le Tigre, Maximo Park, the Raveonettes, Satellite Party, Kinky, Ima Robot, West Indian Girl, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, The Handsome Family, The John Doe, The English Beat, and many more.  Jesika has now stepped out on her own with a solo project, Journey Mitchell. Part pop princess parody, part desert gypsy, Jesika guarantees to take us on a strange trip, bewitching you long after the music fades.

Whether entranced in a ballad or clawing out some frenzied rock and roll, Whiskerman is seeking the heart of the matter. Lush instrumentation, front man Graham Patzner’s profound lyricism, and unflinching delivery create a soulful, mythical, and raw sound. Patzner’s voice, both smoky and soaring, leads a passionate live show as the band’s classic rock sound seamlessly cascades through realms of bluesy devotion, psychedelic melancholy, and twangy celebration. Whiskerman's shows tend to set spells, either sweeping the audience up in revelation, or dropping them into knee-slapping frenzy. "When they're revved up, Whiskerman sounds like a gospel and soul band that can make you feel like raising your hands in the air in praise of its talent. In their quieter songs, there's a storytelling vibe with intricate melodies." (SF Chronicle)

Tim Easton
Many can sing, many can compose, and many can play.  But when you hear someone highly proficient at all three, the performance stops you in your tracks.  Tim is a prolific storyteller, activist, folkie, multi-instrumentalist, busker, father, writer, & troubadour, channeling the spirits of Woody Guthrie and Doc Watson.  Prolific…..check out his 100 songs in 100 days campaign !  A former Joshua Tree denizen, Tim has graced the JTMF numerous times in the past, including a legendary late night set with Bingo Richey, Wally Ingram, Ben Kennedy, Damian Lester and others (fall 2010). A revolutionary at heart, Tim is a speaker of truths who consistently voices a strong opinion about the many social injustices in the world today.