2019 MUSIC LINEUP
. Billie Fortune III . Bernie Heidman . Mad Hallelujah. Friday On The Phone
. HigherGlyph . Chaitanya . Thus Comes One. Mike Wird. Mr Malone. Darshan Dance tribe.
Robintix . Chris Patchett . Leela Kirtan. Luna Slater. Penn Johnson. Om Jaya.
Tribal Vision Family Band
Musical Artist Bios
LUNAR FIRE, based in Denver Colorado, takes audiences to new heights with spectacular dance and musical performances. Pre-Columbian flutes, multilingual vocalists, powerful drummers and a wide range of bass and guitar styles tell stories reflected in dance. Aerialists fly, drop from the sky, crawl into a cocoon and emerge a warrior, a nature spirit, an animal guide. Multiple dancers meld into one multi armed being, circle, battle and dance in the form of dreamcatchers, antlers, machetes, staff, ropes, multi poi, fans, fireflies and other surprises. Paintings come to life mysteriously hovering in the air. These mystic images by visionary painters MARTINA HOFFMANN, ROBERT VENOSA, STEVON LUCERO and ADAM FU twist and bend under the movement of dance, a very enchanting and psychedelic visual effect.
LUNAR FIRE COLLECTIVE co-creations involve a multimedia trans-cultural musical spectacle whose aim is to inspire, connect and empower people to create positive change in the world. With a dynamic blend of the arts, Lunar Fire enacts the tales of the ancestors bridging the past and present while foretelling a future in which humankind reaches its fullest potential. In 2012, The Lunar Fire Collective begins production on CORAZON DEL VENADO, a DVD and a live touring spectacle, of which a portion of the proceeds will benefit arts, arts education and sustainability projects by women and indigenous people across the globe.
World class musicians glide smoothly from structured song to improve exploring latin hip-hop, tribal drumming, gypsy rock and epic psychedelic trance jams. Performers glow in handmade indigenous and recycled fabrics from around the world, reconstructed by dancer and designer AKAYATE of Root Structure to embody a visual symbol of solidarity for the uniting of the tribes. Magic and myth-makers ARTSMYTHS create by hand ethereal masks, crowns, as well as elaborate and unique costuming.The theatrical dancers of Lunar Fire build all their own props from fabrics to fire including unique design by MaQi of Syrius Fire. Lunar Fire graphic design by Modo Rodo features inspiring artwork in posters, at shows and on the web. Inspired by personal voyages leading to direct encounters with global music and dance, performances by Lunar Fire pay homage to the ancestors and future generations of urban and ethnic cultures worldwide.
Originating in 2002 as "Fuego Lunar" on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, multiple members of Lunar Fire have toured over a decade together in various projects (INTI, Lil Sum'n Sum'n, Dub'l Dragon, Future Simple Project, Miraja, Kan'Nal, GSP, LYNX) at hundreds of festivals (Burning Man, OCF, Faerieworlds, Symbiosis, Envision Costa Rica, High Sierra, SF Sea of Dreams, Lightening in a Bottle, Tribal Stomp, Tribal Visions, Dreamtime) from eco communities to underground warehouse parties across the U.S. and deep into the jungles of Hawaii, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Central America.
Ashland Oregon/ Hawaii Big Island
The hand drummer for world roots rock band, Medicine for the People (Nahko.com) since 2007, Hope has been playing percussion for over twenty years. Her first teacher was Babatunde Olatunje, and she has studied with master drummers in West Africa, Peru and Brazil. She is honored to use indigenous instruments on a modern stage. Hope has also facilitated drum circles and taught rhythm classes to over 2,500 participants. She also has her own solo music projects, her most recent is her third album, 'Bring to Light'!
Touring, playing around a campfire, meeting new folks and talking story from the heart, listening to water as it flows gently and powerfully, and learning to be wiser each day...
~Percussion, World, Feminine, Alternative, Neo-Soul, Meditative, Dance Music!
This trio creates a fresh new world soul folk with world percussion groove. Their voices weave three part harmonies supported by sophisticated strings & a beat that makes you dance! Banjo, guitar, ukulele, bass, cymbals, djembe, Cajon
“Humanity is in a state of turmoil. The earth is changing, and people are experiencing deep unrest,” explains frontwoman Koral Delatierra of the Rocky Mountain reggae band, Niceness. “We want to create a space for people to come together in the spirit of oneness, and join us in creating a world we all want to live in.”
Niceness is a familial gathering of vibrantly diverse personalities rallying around personal, socio-political, and environmental issues. Among its ranks include activists, an organic farmer, a life coach, a permaculture designer, a Buddhist bodybuilder champ, two music teachers, an adventurer, an arborist entrepreneur, and a Doctor of Psychology. The Colorado-grown band also has the rare distinction of being fronted by a firebrand female vocalist who oozes shamanistic charisma hypnotizes with seductively stirring vocals and upholds a fierce commitment to “art in action” ethos.
“We want people to come to Niceness shows for the quality of the music and our message, and because we have something to say,” Koral affirms.
The Niceness band consists of frontwoman and songwriter Koral Delatierra; drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Michael “Mikey G.” Gomberg; guitarist Dustin Wilson; keyboardist and vocalist, David “Bassie” Christeson; bassists Mike Enriquez; percussionist Jonathon “Johnny B” Barfield; alto sax player John White; trumpeter Jared Wright; and tenor sax player Jeff Gutierrez.
Together, this collective is more than a band; it’s a state of mind. Mikey G., who coined the group’s moniker, explains: “‘Niceness’ is a colloquial outburst that translates to ‘Right On!,’ ‘Sweet!’ or, as Jamaicans exclaim, ‘Irie!’. The name is a proclamation of jubilance.”
Niceness grooves on island time for sure, but these restless spirits confidently and authentically integrate a United Nations gathering of musical cultures and traditions into its signature aesthetic. The group’s bold, exploratory impulses find them seamlessly integrating elements of soul, funk, Latin and hip hop while staying true to roots reggae vibes. Niceness has garnered favorable comparisons to John Brown’s Body, Trevor Hall, and Nahko And Medicine For The People.
The Telluride, Colorado-based purposeful posse consistently sells out regional venues capping 200-300 fans. In 2017, the band released its self-produced debut, Sunshine, along with a joyous slice-of-life themed video for the song’s title track. For Niceness’s album release, the band sold out its hometown’s venerated venue, the historic Sheridan Opera House. In addition, Niceness has had the honor of sharing the stage with a diverse array of iconic and beloved artists, including Black Uhuru, The Itals, The Wailers, Common Kings, Nahko, Anuhea, Passafire, Monophonics, Blackalicious, and Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, among others.
As soon as he enters the stage, his blissful smile, laughter and contagious happiness ignite audiences into jubilation. Fantuzzi's African-Caribbean roots and phenomenal international travel experiences meld into ecstatic, dramatic, transformational, interactive performances.
Fantuzzi's music is "Mystic Latin, Reggae, Afro-Funk" - infused with the energies and rhythms of Afro-Caribbean Nyabinghi, Latin Salsa, Merengue, African drums, Devotional Kirtan, giving voice to unique chants, soul-rich songs and electrifying sensual dance. Fantuzzi's best selling CDs include 2014's eclectic Ease & Grace, (labelled "Good Medicine" by Emanuel Lieberfreund, extraordinary Australian musician), the celebratory Tribal Revival and the uniquely ethereal "soul butter" of Divine Inspiration.
A near-mythical creature whose natural habitat often manifests as a haze of ecstatic music, dance and joyous vibrations at conscious festivals around the globe... Fantuzzi is a world-class musical star, MC and workshop host who is charismatic, funny, sensual, super-energized and will definitely get you moving!
A unique combination of spiritually inspired mystic rhythms, Latin, reggae, funk, and heart-songs, Fantuzzi's music is sure to elevate your soul and move your body!
Of Puerto-Rican parents, born into Spanish Harlem in the '50s, a young and inquisitive Fantuzzi discovered the joy of dancing, singing and performance, using this as a means to escape the New York city streets. Leaving New York at the age of 16, he hitch-hiked around the United States for three years before heading to England, Europe and beyond.
Pursuing a journey of ecstatic exploration and a mission to share joy, love & delight in life with others wherever and whenever he can, Fantuzzi has been a part of many musical and spiritual consciousness festivals for years, including Burning Man, BhaktiFest (Joshua Tree, CA), Earthdance (global), Bali Spirit Fest, Into The Wild/Wildheart (UK), Glastonbury(UK), and Harmony Festivals (USA). He was at the first Woodstock festival and his iconic photograph was used by Newsweek magazine as their front cover to symbolize the essence of the sixties generation.
Xerephine will captivate you. Using her enchanting harp & bodhran, she will then loop up a storm or bathe you delightful electronic blissful bass. Her voice is like no other. Born and raised in the UK she carries celtic undertones and plays in an array of styles from upbeat ambient dance to entrancing meditative soundscapes. There is always something to dive into. Her potent lyrics unfold like fairytales to reveal messages about life here on earth. Activism and a thirst for healing the earth and its inhabitants weaves its way through her lyrical web and lies at the heart of many of her songs.
With special guests such as Fiddle player and Violinist Bridget Law from Elephant Revival, Co based Producer Totem and Drummer Gilly Gonzales of Kan'nal, Lunar Fire, INTI & Lil Sumn Sumn she weaves her sound in a slightly unique way each time.
Xerephine has been performing on the Festival Circuit for some years with main stage performances at Arise Festival (CO), Sonic Bloom (CO), Tribal Vision Festival (N.M), Earth Dance Festival (CA), LoveSeed Festival (CA) and many other stages large and small along the way. She can taper her set to the crowd (more accoustic, folky or electronic based) and has co-hosted musical based workshops with Ayla Nereo, Peter May and opened and /or collaborated with members of Elephant Revival, Rising Appalachia, Katie Gray, The Luminaries and Lunar Fire amongst many others. Xerephine is currently touring around Europe with upcoming shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Russia) and Reykjavik (Iceland). Her Album "Mass Creation" currently has tracks being re-mixed and released by Russian producer Mindex and is being released under the record label "Time Resonance Music".
"Xerephine's music is creative and refreshing. Hypnotic songs dipped in magic and steeped in beauty. I love it."
-Kurt Bauman (Sea Stars, Kan'nal and Adam Freeland Live Band)
"Channelling the spirit of the divine feminine in her ritual form, Xerephine offers us a ceremonial celebration shared in her uniquely beautiful modern expression. Through poetic chants, and layered vocal harmonies, she moves audiences to connect deeper to the vulnerable part of the human heart. Her willingness to stand firmly liberated on stage leaves women feeling empowered, and captivates her male counterparts. Xerephine is Goddess reincarnate"
- J. Brave (Luminaries)
homegrown ska and reggae tunes inspired by mountain living - the alcapones is a group from the front range, co area with a mix of vocal and instrumental music that brings a new-school feel to what was made popular in jamaica during the 1960s. from raw originals tojazz/ska/reggae fusion, you will find that the alcapones' styles continuously inspire your feet on the dance floor. raise your spirit and celebrate life like a gangster of love!
“this boulder-based band hits the stage like a traveling minstrel show, determined to breathe as much life and fun into (insert your town name here) as they possibly can, and they do just that with their driving rhythms, delirious horn harmonies, and pointedly silly/ridiculous/wise singalong songs. the group is relentless in their determination to have as much fun as they possibly can, and to make sure their audience feels as much a part of the madcap show as the band itself.”
“Banshee Tree makes a surprisingly original and enticing mix of gypsy jazz, folk pop and swing.” – Westword Magazine (Denver)
Currently located in Boulder, Colorado, Banshee Tree has quickly developed a reputation as one the west’s most multifaceted young touring bands. Combining the sounds of acoustic instruments with a diverse blend of EDM, jam, & early jazz, Thomas LaFond’s intrepid lyrics & compositions serve as a platform for hot swing and deep trance grooves. Fans of Gogol Bordello, Caravan Palace, and Django Reinhardt will appreciate this driving, earthy acoustic dance music. Their newest release, “In the Company of Crows”, is currently available through Bandcamp, Itunes, and Spotify.
hi i am jiiniikwe,
i am a native american anishinabe singer and musician who lives among the lakota oyate in south dakota. i have studied music, art, and dance since a young age and since october 2007 decided to put my skills to work. i like music, art, education, writing, photography and film. i hope you like my tunes and i hope you will leave a message and tell me how you like my music.
The Copper Children
We are here to curate an adventure inward and calibrate a celebration of all that is great. With a soulful, rhythmic melody softly sweeping you to the dance floor, resistance is futile.
The Copper Children is a folk band from Denver blending original soul and psychedelic rock into a moving performance. Like a roller coaster, their “Psychedelic Gospel” experience leaves audiences feeling transported to the rail-yards of freedom. Over the past three years the band has performed for audiences at Summer Camp, Northwest String Summit, Arise Music Festival, and several national tours around the United States. Driven by rhythm, and vibration, the band formed in July of 2015 and released their first album as a group in June 2016, What We Are. Their third upcoming album Speaking in Spirits will be a strong followup to their growing online presence and continued listener support.
Andramada is an imagined concept of the first ever human colony off the world!
This has allowed us to create a story that evokes an imagined future based on the spiritual and creative collective within all humans.
That story has given us the freedom to spread it across many practical platforms, such as music, dance, theater, jewellery, clothing, art, and much more….. Music set and Fashion Show
Mad Hallelujah is a band of mystic multi-instrumentalists and songwriters who have been touring the globe for over four years, sharing their all-original music at dozens of festivals & hundreds of venues across three continents.
Innovatively weaving together elements of folk, rock, psychedelic jam, funk, bluegrass, and tribal music into their own unique sound, Mad Hallelujah crafts heartfelt songs with the power to inspire and uplift people.
True to their name, Mad Hallelujah playfully embraces the paradox of life. Their live shows include both the whimsical & the profound, and everything from simple folk songs to epic sonic journeys.
The group was originally formed as a collective of busking troubadours in New Zealand in 2015 as “Mad Hallelujah Tribe.” They have gone on to record four albums, headline festival stages, and embark on multiple tours in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US, earning a dedicated following along the way and a reputation as ecstatic dance-floor igniters, crafters of deep musical journeys, and crowd favorites at festivals, music clubs, and intimate venues alike.
Mad Hallelujah is currently recording their most in-depth album to date and planning an extended U.S. tour in summer and fall 2019. Stay tuned — lots of announcements and new media are brewing!
Kansas City, MO & Paonia, CO
Fierce le' Fey is a poetic musical project by Zoë Clare, Owner and Founder of StarWater Magick Productions, Elixir Bar, and Collective.
FIERCE OF THE FAERIES
SHATTERS ILLUSION UPON THE BACKS OF FALSE DREAMS TILL
ONE DAY SHE FINDS HERSELF
AS A CULMINATION OF ALL SHE'S EVER BEEN.
iDENTITY AS FLEETING AS OUR EGO'S NAME
THEORETICALLY SPEAKING SHE's IS THE POET WHO'S SONG GOT
CAUGHT IN THE WEB OF HER OWN EXPERIMENT CASTING PURPOSE
UPON PAGES SHE's THE SPIRIT WHO iS
THE UNDERCURRENT OF ALL
HER STRANGE EXPERIENCES
DELERIOUS AND OVER-EXPRESSED SHE IS
She has always been fierce le' fey is a poetic musical project by zoë clare, owner and founder of starwater magick productions, elixir bar, and collective.
Totem is the solo project of Boulder based producer, Phoenix Clay Michael. Phoenix has been playing eastern-style instrumentation for over a decade(tabla, doumbek, darbuki, didgeridoo, ric, etc), while also exploring digital synthesis and sound design. Totem culminates these two passions into a modern interpretation of ancient instruments. The sampling style is deep and visceral. Blending sequences of thick bass and instrumentation with live production. Live production includes: Didgeridoo, vocals, synth, keyboard, percussion, and bass. Phoenix's debut album with the project is titled, The Bonfire of Life, and was written and Totem/motion of solidarity with the native tribes of North America. Totem sees the immense potency that dance has for healing in our culture, and also sees the reverent nature of ancient and native style music. The ultimate thrill is fusing these two things into a continuous musical experience shared amongst listener and maker. Totem is humbled to bring thy dance medication. Aho
Phoenix Clay Michael Hollingsworth has been interested in sound for his entire life. He began his musical journey long ago, but intentionally almost six year ago in San Marcos, TX where he played in various groups. He started in the singer-songwriter genre inspired by his early influences in funk, classic rock, reggae and funk musics. He was introduced to various style hand percussion such as djembe, doumbek and later tabla. He then joined a belly-dance troop called Hands of Fatima and Shunyata and played at private venues and Renaissance Festivals. Hands of Fatima included three hand percussionist and Phoenix, playing guitar, drums, didge and mandolin. They played traditional style Lebanese, Turkish, Iraqi and middle-eastern music. This style of playing opened Phoenix to a entirely new way of expressing music. He played with HOF for three seasons, and then with a few members joined the group Shunyata, a world-renowned belly-dance troop in Texas. He played InternationalFest and TRF(Texas Ren Faire) with Shunyata as well as other shows. After almost four years of learning traditional beats and melodies from around the eastern hemisphere, Phoenix bowed out of the traditional middle-eastern music to begin his own journey as a solo artist in the fusion genres.
David DeVine (Davi-D) holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Naropa University, where he focused on music, art, and Buddhism. He is an accomplished drummer, having been featured on seven recorded albums, and a professional DJ who actively plays popular venues. private events, and music festivals. Using diverse musical genres, David translates his conceptual ideas into rhythmic visions as a solo-producer. His style has become more complex over the years adding more dance temple beats with world music influences. In addition to continuing to develop his artistry, David currently works as the Media Manager at Naropa University. He is also passionate about martial arts, which he began practicing at age seven, sustainable living, and the environment. David lives in Boulder, Colorado where he enjoys gardening, cooking and creating art.
david devine is the artist higherglyph. a world, bass, electronic, music producer originating from boulder, colorado. david originally was born and raised in los angeles where he discovered his passion for all things music. becoming a drummer at the age of 14 and starting his band "inmemory" a couple years later, that took him on a whirl wind of tours and shows. he quickly crystallized his purpose and intentions with music. after his band "inmemory" disbanded he became extremely infatuated with everything dj'ing. with his first purchase of turntables and dj equipment he was all about dropping beats and creating yummi altitudes. now with over 10yrs experience in dj'ing he has designed a unique dj rig and hybrid style. david moved to boulder colorado to pursue a higher education at naropa university, a contemplative buddhist inspired university. using his perspective and unique lens on life he was able to explore the different sides of music and meaning while setting intentions for future pursuits. with these teachings he acquired an interdisciplinary studies degree with focuses on buddhism, visual arts and music, incorporating multiple disciplines to create sonic intentions. while finding himself within his studies at naropa david quickly found a new love for music producing and how electronic music is capable to move masses of people in such a way that is life giving. now with all these tools and ideas implanted into his being there was only one thing to do create music for such purposes. from this higherglyph was birthed for such a purpose and this is where his new story begins.
treaphort cultivates a positive, uplifting and present space through organic electronic sound. vibrations of meditative patterning bring the listener to a platform of direct experience while maintaining a playfully light vibe.
audio production is a form of active meditation for me; a way to center my mind and cultivate creativity. the music that is channeled reflects the state of alert calmness that one receives from practicing presence.
as my experience and knowledge of sound, vibration, energy and life deepens; so my music develops as well. i am constantly learning more about frequencies, vibration, intentional tone, etc. and how they interact and affect our bodies and minds, weaving these ideas in to the audio production.
i am fascinated/obsessed with clean and true sound, nice quality speakers and heavy bass frequencies. i love music that can be played loud enough to feel physically but that does not hurt or cause damage your ears, causing the sound vibrations to caress your body and stroke your mind; and i love the speakers that allow us to do so.
Buddha Bomb has devoted the greatest part of his life to elevating consciousness and using music as a transformational conduit to bring healing and joy to thousands. His sets are inspired, seamless and often mystical. A Sonic Shaman he provides the fuel for the dance journey, which can bring you to your deepest depth and your highest height. Whether spinning Ambient, Psytrance, IDM, Old School or his own compositions Buddha Bomb gives it his all. Buddha is formless wherein all possibilities have space to occur. Bomb is Form - action, motion, heat, and beats. Buddha Bomb takes you there.
Andy Babb and the Big Beautiful Band
Fun, Funky, Folk Rock out of Denver, Colorado. An ever evolving group of musicians with the purpose of spreading the good news and bringing a joyful connection through music.
Andy Babb and the Big Beautiful Band is a fun, funky, folk rock project from Denver, CO. Their positive message and conscious lyrics has brought joy to fans at venues big and small from L.A. to Stockholm. Andy Babb's vibrant personality and contagiously bright outlook shines through his songs and performances. His concept for the The Big Beautiful Band is an ever evolving community of musicians, whose focus is to spread good times through good music. Their interactive and inclusive shows will have you singing, dancing, and clapping in no time! Check out their new full length studio album "Strange Existence" at http://www.andybabbmusic.com/
Pioneer Mother is an eclectic Newgrass/Country band from Nederland, Colorado. Their traditionally inspired music features lyrics about modern nomadic western living, and is built upon a foundation of classic bluegrass instrumentation. Nostalgic anecdotes, melodic hooks, and heartfelt harmonies bring the group's songs to life. Pioneer Mother is drawn together by a love of music, magic, and desire to make authentic, soulful living contagious.
Mike Wird is an advanced permaculture designer/consultant/teacher, artist educator, natural builder (as a certified Earthship Biotect) and is an educated real estate investor, promoting environmental stewardship and financial literacy. His campaign ‘Build Your Own Dreams’ is designed to help people actively reach for their goals while having fun.
Mike shares his dedication to social and environmental justice thru cultural arts and regenerative practices .
Grand Junction, CO
Quantum Beings of the Miraculous
Based out of Denver, Colorado, QUANTUM BEINGS OF THE MIRACULOUS pursue a transcendental path towards music and performance art. Blending world-fusion with cosmic jazz, trip-hop, and electronica, chanting and ethereal vocals are accompanied by heavy, down-tempo trance grooves, deep bass, and tribal instruments for a unique sonic alchemy. Live performances further add global dance and psychedelic visuals to create a hypnotic, mind-expanding performance art experience that transports the audience to a different place and time…
"Los Mocochetes are a 7-piece Chicano Funk band from Denver, CO. This colorful cast of characters fuses thoughtfully brazen, socio/politically charged song lyrics, groovilicious melodies and high-energy stage antics to create an immersive experience unlike anything you've ever seen before. Much like a machete, which can be used either as a tool to build or a weapon to kill, they have chosen to use their music to inspire and encourage positive social change, and they have a ton of fun along the way. Every show is different, but it’s always a dance party!
Los Mocochetes were the recipients of Westword Music Showcase award to Best Latin Band of 2017. They also were featured in the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase and have played numerous iconic Denver venues such as the Bluebird Theater, Oriental Theater, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Larimer Lounge, Syntax Physic Opera, Aztlan Theatre, Lost Lake, Hi Dive, 3 Kings Tavern, Herman’s Hideaway, Lion’s Lair, and recently sold out Ophelia’s Electric Soap Box. The band has a strong connection to New Mexico, and often tours the state, having played as far south as Acapulco, MX.
The current lineup features artists with a wide variety of influences. They are poets, singers, painters, rappers, actors, musicians, dancers, producers, composers, dreamers, doers, thinkers. They are gente who make music together and enjoy all forms of creativity. The Mocochetes are here to ignite a fire in every audience member to enjoy the moment and then go out and make a difference!"
Billi Fortune III and The New Foundation
Glenwood Springs Colorado
The Indigenous Soul Music of Omani Nagi. Omani Nagi is a Shamanic music composer, singer, songwriter, poet and teacher of The Ancient Wisdom. Mysteriously blessed with many gifts, including music, Omani Nagi shares the compositions and messages of his Indigenous Soul. Unable to read r write music and unobstructed by music theories has allowed Omani Nagi to embrace diverse forms of his art. This has resulted in a musical fusion ranging from indigenous to reggae to hip hop to blues, among many other styles. Omani Nagi is of Afro-Native (Choctaw, Saponi-Catawba Nation) heritage and recently based out of Southern California. He is composer and producer of his debut album “Native!” and forthcoming albums, “Medicine Man” and “Prophet” respectively.
From his ancient Pueblo (basket weaver) flutes, traditional Native American flutes, to guitar and vocals, the eclectic sounds of Omani Nagi can be enjoyed by everyone as it incorporates the ancient wisdom of the indigenous culture that will usher in the new world mindset.
Come one, come all and be refreshed by the mystical music of Omani Nagi. InLakesh!
Iriebellion is a 5 piece conscious reggae root's band from Taos, New Mexico. Catchy hooks, memorable progressions with high energy bass lines and electrified guitar solos along with gritty vocals, hip hop lyrics with a positive message and horns.
Valentino Tzigiwhaeno (LIGHTNING) Rivera was born April 6, 2008 to George Rivera (descendant of Pojoaque Pueblo and Spanish families, born in Santa Fe, NM) and Felicia Rosacker-Rivera (descendant of Spanish and Italian New Mexico families and Danish families from Kansas, born in Santa Fe, NM). Valentino's DNA can be considered a triptych of Santa Fe Blood and Culture. His soul and his life here on Earth can be considered a perfect example of a beautiful appreciation of life, culture and love of humanity and New Mexico.
Valentino's uniquities became apparent even before birth, during an ultrasound when the tiny strawberry-sized fetus turned 360 degrees, fast as lightning. At this moment, his father, George, knew this energetic soul would bear the name Tzigiwhaeno, the Tewa name for the phenomenal force of nature we call Lightning. Valentino's natural energy, rhythm and love for his place on Earth did not go unnoticed. Before he turned 1 year old, he was able to stand long enough to bust out dance moves with his sister PoQueen. By 2 years old, he was running the Pojoaque Pueblo Butterfly Run, 1-mile, with his brother, PaaWee, and Mom and Dad. By 3 years old, he was dancing his traditional Pueblo Buffalo Dance at the Feast Days. Also by 3 years old, he promised to teach his new baby sister, Iris Paloma, everything he possibly could.
Many saw the willing teacher and student in Valentino, and in his appreciation of others, he has become a healer. Valentino was 4 years old when he first saw Nakotah LaRance perform the traditional hoop Dance. The meeting coincided with his admiration and study of Michael Jackson's music and specifically Michael's dance abilities. Valentino's love and appreciation of dance was already well established. After seeing and meeting Nakotah, Valentino said "I am going to be a Hoop Dancer!" A few months later, Steve LaRance, Nakotah's father, approached Valentino's Mom, who was the Director of Education for Pojoaque Pueblo at the time, asking if a hoop dance workshop could be planned. With Valentino's proclamation in mind, Felicia said "Absolutely!" That conversation birthed the creation of the original Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dance Group, of which Valentino was the youngest member at 5 years old.
Valentino immediately started sharing Nakotah and Steve's instruction, showing gratitude and blessings for the well-being of others any time he was able: at family parties, at school, in the park, for relatives, when they were sick or well. During one of the group's fundraising dances, Deborah Abeita Torrez inquired about the identity of the littlest dancer of the group and his parents told her "that's our son!" Through Deborah, Valentino was offered the amazing opportunity to dance at Pearl Harbor for the Homecoming of the USS Santa Fe. Valentino performed with his fellow dancers around New Mexico, in San Diego for National Indian Gaming Association and in Phoenix at the World Hoop Dance Competition. In 2014, the Hoop Dance Group set their sights on a larger goal: to travel to Europe and share their gift of hoop dance. They succeeded and performed in Paris and La Rochelle, France, then to Geneva, Switzerland where they were honored guests and performers at the US Embassy for U.S. Ambassadors. The audience included the U.N. Human Rights Council, Keith Harper, and Ambassadors from many other countries, where they were presented with a generous scholarship from the US Embassy. The world wind trip finished up in one of Valentino's motherlands, Florence, Italy. Valentino left a lasting impression everywhere he danced. While many are advised to "dance like no one is watching" to help with the inhibitions of dancing in front of a crowd, Valentino danced like the whole universe was watching, much like his instructors, Nakotah LaRance and Michael Jackson. He performed the same way, alone, in the kitchen at home, filming himself, as he did for an audience of over a thousand people. Valentino performed here, in Santa Fe, on Museum Hill, in the dance circle that now bears his name, graciously allowed and supported by Museum donors.
The serious spinal cord and brain injuries that were acquired for the car accident in Spring of 2015 did not change Valentino's soul. With his parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family and friends by his side, Valentino's integrity never faltered. When he couldn't speak, he smiled and laughed. When he could speak, he told everyone that he was willing to put in the work to recover. He never complained or blamed anyone for his tragic fate. There were many notable and strong leaders in Indian Country and beyond, who came to support and love Valentino during his days of recovery. In turn they left positively changed by the strength, love and warrior spirit he exhibited. When he knew he wasn't going to recover and upon his impending transition into the next world, Valentino was clear about how he wanted his loved ones to learn and grow from this unfathomable tragedy. He wanted to be remembered as he was: a dancer, a teacher, a student, and a healer. His family and friends are following through with his wishes and coping with their loss, in this very way: through creation of art and a Foundation in his name, Lightning Boy Foundation. The Foundation's mission supports a tribally inclusive Lightning Boy Hoop Dance Group and other youth performance and visual arts objectives, and above all, trying to love others and our place on Earth unconditionally as Valentino did.