Magical melody tour: on June 18, the 9th Annual Fête de La Musique will immerse downtown Laguna in music
On June 18 the 9th Annual Fete de la Musique takes place throughout downtown with singers and musicians performing at 35 locations from noon to 4 p.m.
This year’s line-up includes Denmantau, a five-member band now based in San Pedro, whose members hail from Hamburg, Germany. The word “denmantau” is derived from an old north German dialect and translates to “let’s go” or “good luck.” The band has developed a unique genre known as Bohemian/Dance Rock, comprised of folk, funk, jazz, rock and other rhythms.
Since appearing at last year’s Fête, they’ve played numerous shows and street gigs and toured California. Locally, Denmantau played a three-month residency at Mozambique Steakhouse, where they fell in love with Laguna Beach. The group won the Emerging Artist Contest at Rusty’s Surf Ranch in Santa Monica, garnering the opening slot for Jefferson Starship at the Twilight Concert Series 2015.
“That was a great experience and our career has been soaring constantly,” said drummer Milan Carl.
The group also played at The Joshua Tree Music & Art Festival 2016, sharing the same stage with Dumpstaphunk and The Main Squeeze.
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Denmantau brings Bohemian/Dance Rock to the Fete de la Musique
Band members include: Paul Weber, lead vocals and trumpet; Stefan Pomplun, bass; Julian Schonscheck, guitar and keyboard; Jonas Gerigk, guitar and backing vocals; and Milan Carl, drums.
With expressive melodies and theatrical flair, Denmantau promises to rock the Water District Garden again at this year’s Fête.
Also in the line-up, The Budrows have the ability to transform any venue into a bona fide deep-south juke joint, full of revelers having themselves a modern good time in old-fashioned style. Vocalist Macarena Rivera, a 2012 graduate from Laguna Beach High School, lures audiences with her deep, exotic range, soulful instinct and stunning grace well beyond her years, and plays a riveting washboard. The twangy cigar box guitar and foot stompin’ beat laid down by Jason Farthing keeps that front porch country blues feel as harmonica and flute man, “Rippin” Ron Richard brings experience and the unexpected woodwind element to form a powerful and unique Americana experience in the tradition of the masters of the genre.
Since appearing at last year’s Fête, they have done a couple of small tours, including one out in the Midwest where they headlined a cigar box guitar festival in Ohio called the “Handmade Music Extravaganza.” They also toured Northern California and went up to Eugene, Oregon, followed by a gig at the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, Calif.
They have played locally at Mozambique and the Marine Room and performed live in the studio at KX 93.5 radio.
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Prepare to revel in the riveting rhythms of The Budrows
“We love playing at the Fête … always such a fun crowd and a great day for people to come out and see live music,” said cigar box player Farthing. They’ll be performing at Chico’s alcove.
Participating band Bluegrass Country has been playing for 12 years together, for six consecutive years as the Grey Hill Gospel String Band, appearing at Fête de la Musique from 2008 to 2013 (the only performers to do so). This year, they changed their name and added two new members: Al Lowry and Dave Cohen.
The band consists of six blues playing members, each of them unique. Dave Cohen is the talented “John Denver impersonator,” who is the lead singer and plays guitar; Jeff Adams plays the string (upright) bass; John Fitzgerald, originating in Tennessee, plays five instruments and sings; Ralph Hulse plays banjo and sings vocals; Steve Green plays the fiddle; and Al Lowry plays three instruments and sings harmony.
Bluegrass is a special blend of roots and rhythm, something born and bred in the American South. Catch their sounds at Tuvalu corner (Forest and Glenneyre).
There’s bluegrass too!
The Agave Bros., a Laguna Beach band, was formed in 2015, but most of the guys have played together for about 13 years, including with the Blues Offenders, on the Main Beach Cobblestones in the Fête in 2014 and 2015.
Members include Bob Campion on lead vocals; Santi Pierini, on guitar and vocals; Geoff Glass, bass; Russell Pierce on drums; and Steve Reid on percussion. The band plays danceable rock from the 1960s up until today. They put their own spin on music from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Santana, Ryan Adams, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and even venture down the Motown path quite a bit.
Additional local musicians will be making guest appearances throughout their stint. Look for them on the Cobblestones again this year performing from 2:30 – 4 p.m. and at the Closing Ceremonies.
Fête de la Musique Schedule of Events:
12 noon – Pre-opening festivities on the Main Beach Cobblestones with face painting and costuming, followed by a Children’s Parade at 12:30 p.m., with music provided by the Swing Set Band, a subset of the Laguna Concert Band.
1 p.m. – Opening ceremonies at Main Beach with remarks by Laguna Beach Mayor Steve Dicterow, and a representative from the French Consulate in Los Angeles. Sydney Halk, 10 years old, will sing the U.S. National Anthem, and Lisa Morrice will be performing the French National Anthem, La Marsellaise.
1:20 p.m. – Continuing performances at Main Beach by the Swing Set Band, JJ and the Habibis (Laguna Beach’s belly dancers), and The Agave Bros., who will share their danceable rock on the cobblestones from 2:30 – 4 p.m. and during closing ceremonies.
1:30 – 4 p.m. – Singers, musicians and street performers at 35 locations in downtown Laguna Beach.
4 p.m. – Closing ceremonies at Main Beach.
The event is free, and presented by the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association.
Fête de la Musique was conceived by American musician Joel Cohen in 1976 while he was working at a radio station in France. He proposed an all-night music celebration during the summer solstice, which was recognized by the French Minister of Culture, and subsequently held in France in 1982.
The Fête de la Musique in Laguna Beach, which was awarded Laguna Beach Arts Alliance’s “2010 Best New Arts Program,” is held in conjunction with “World Music Day” to celebrate the coming of summer each June. LBSCA has crafted its Fête de la Musique to promote Laguna Beach performing arts through live music by singers and musicians.
For more information, including photos and videos of previous Fêtes de la Musique, visit http://www.lagunabeachsistercities.org