Monkeying around with music 

First annual Reggae Festival grooves to sunny beat with bands, DJs, MCs, slide show

What: Summer Splash Reggae Festival

When: Sunday, July 2

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

Tickets: $9

In the words of The Village from the Kostaman’s newest album, Setting Down Roots, local musicians are inviting Whistler to "Come be a Monkey with me" at the First Annual Summer Splash Reggae Festival on Sunday, July 2 at Buffalo Bill’s nightclub.

Monkey translates to anyone who feels the love of music and the festival promises a barrel of them both on and off the stage.

"Come be a monkey with me," Kostaman (alias Kostas Lymbertos) sings on an MP3 downloaded from www.myspace.com/kostaman123 . "Clean to the beat of the drum. Yield to the rhythm of your dancing feet. Nature and spirit are one. Come to my island in the sun."

From the Monkey Village of Miami — a place where musicians lived, worked and recorded together — Kostaman has created a new monkey village in Whistler, a new island, bringing musicians, turntablists, MCs and photographers together for a reggae festival to create their own musical isle for the night with a drum circle, slide show and plenty of live music to dance to.

"This is the first of hopefully many," Kostaman said. "Hopefully, we will get community support and make the reggae festival into a real outdoor one."

The evening concert line up includes everything from reggae to house music with the world-beat reggae grooves of Kostaman, the punked-out reggae of Redeye and the rock-hard reggae of Dub Empire along with turntable trickery from DJs Phroh, Tone and Buddha. MCs Jigalo and Rainbow Leigh will also pump the crowds up.

Switch gears into live beats with a drum circle from Erin and So Lovely Solah followed by a slide show by Anastasia Chomlack Photography and friends.

The presentation will include photos of children from around the world. Chomlack has many globetrotting friends who are sending images via cyberspace for the show from everywhere, from India and Nepal to Iraq and Africa.

"Both of us have served as missionaries for the last eight to ten years and have traveled extensively," Chomlack said of herself and fellow slide show organizer Abbie Orpia. "When we heard about the event, and how they are trying to (combat) world hunger, we wanted to support it anyway we could. Together, with friends all over the world, we have tons of images to share."

The Bands Against Hunger event carries on Kostaman’s "Spread the Love" anthem. The non-profit group founded by Kostaman and Jana Marie Dupuis aims to nurture a global musical family while at the same time collectively work together to raise funds for humanitarian causes. Proceeds from the Friday night event will benefit the Whistler Food Bank, Bands Against Hunger and the Society.

So bring your drums and get ready to dance for a great cause. Advance $9 tickets are available at Buffalo Bill’s. Doors open 8 p.m.

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