Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson

The voice of Yes joins Komasket lineup

One of progressive rock’s most famous voices will be heard high upon the hills that surround Vernon when Jon Anderson performs at this summer’s 10th annual Komasket Music Festival, July 29 to 31.

One of progressive rock’s most famous voices will be heard high upon the hills that surround Vernon when Jon Anderson performs at this summer’s 10th annual Komasket Music Festival, July 29 to 31.

Best known as the front-man of the British band Yes, Anderson’s high falsetto can be heard on such classic songs as Roundabout, I’ve Seen All Good People, and Owner of a Lonely Heart. Some may also remember Anderson for his work singing back-up vocals on Canadian singer Gowan’s 1987 Top 10 hit Moonlight Desires.

Anderson joins another well-known confirmed artist coming to Komasket, the return of Canada’s own folk icon, Cree singer/songwriter Buffy St. Marie, who will perform with her brand new band.

“Plans for celebrating the 10th annual festival include bringing back some of the favourite artists of the last nine years, offering over 20 free workshops, from African and samba dance to poi spinning, belly dance, drumming, yoga with live music, and the history of the Okanagan Nation, and increasing the age for free entry for kids to 14 years,” said Komasket’s artistic director Devaki Thomas.

Last year’s festival saw a record attendance with more than 4,000 people, an exciting mix of all ages including festival-goers from all over western Canada, plus a huge crew of artists, volunteers, sponsors and vendors.

Many came to hear the distinct world beat flavour of The Wailers, Delhi 2 Dublin, OKA, Samsara, Cheb I Sabbah, Alex Cuba and many others, said Thomas.

“The KMF is outdoing itself again this year with a lineup that includes some the hottest acts on the international festival circuit on four stages for over 35 hours of world class live music and dance,” she said. “The slogan ‘Okanagan’s world music and dance celebration’ reflects the festival’s increasingly diverse lineup, which is attracting more international, national and regional performing artists of high acclaim, positioning Vernon on the cultural map.”

Other confirmed artists this year include South Africa’s Nkulee Dube (daughter of late African reggae king Lucky Dube) with her nine-piece African reggae band, Australia’s own groove dance band OKA, who return to Komasket for another year, Moscow, Russia composer, musician and multi-instrumentalist Bulat Gafarov, Zimbabwe marimba and percussion master Kurai Mubaiwa, Tibet’s own Jamyang Yeshi, and San Francisco’s Suzanne Teng.

The province will also be well represented with Juno and recent B.C. Interior Music Award winner DJ Adham Shaik and the Wassabi Collective Duo, all of Nelson, along with Vancouver samba, gypsy-folk minstrels Maria in the Shower, violinist Kytami of Delhi 2 Dublin fame, DJ Phonograff, band Aaron Nazrul and The Boom Boom’s, jazz-East Indian fusion group Niktex, Serbian-by-the-way-of-Vancouver gypsy dance party Tambura Rasa, Okanagan-Edmonton multi-award winner hoop dancer and songwriter Dallas Arcand, Vancouver Island’s soul, jazz, blues multi-instrumentalist Emily Spiller, fellow Vancouver Island songstress Ashley Robyn Slater, and Middle Eastern dancer extraordinaire Taiya Curle.

Other local performers include Kamloops’ Mikhal Water’s Band, Kelowna’s Kinshira Fire Troupe and Vernon’s own Cod Gone Wild, Sound Splash, Paperboy, Lorelle Raindown, and Devi Dasi Dance Co.

The ever popular Kidzone will also feature a number of family entertainers including Lost & Found Puppet Theatre, silk aerial artists Evlolutionaries, African drumming with Angela Roy, Marimba from Zimbabwe with Kurai Mubaiwa, Musical Mayhem with Tippy Agogo and the legendary KMF Kidzone procession with the Nelson Samba Band.

“The  festival’s Jam Stage was also a huge hit last year bringing bands together to collaborate on the spot,” said Thomas, adding organizers are now taking suggestions for artists to pair up together through the KMF Facebook page.

“Plans are also in the makings to improve the overall infrastructure of the festival including upgrades to the parking and camping.”

Tickets for the Komasket Music Festival are now available online or by phone through the Ticket Seller at ticketseller.ca or 250-549-7469. A weekend pass is $85 until July 29. For more information, visit www.komasketmusicfestival.com.