Moomba movement 

All day, all-ages festival features Maceo Parker, family events

What: Zoophorus, all day music festival

When: Aug. 31; gates at noon, music 1-9 p.m.

Where: Fairgrounds of the Boot Pub

Moomba is from the Australian Aboriginal word which means "joining together to have fun." The first Zoophorus Festival aims to do just that.

"And it’s not going to rain!" says Boot manager Paul McNaught.

Zoophorus is an all-day, all-ages outdoor festival featuring four bands, vendors, and a beer garden.

Funk godfather Maceo Parker, formerly with James Brown, Michael Franti’s Spearhead, The Living Daylights, and San Francisco’s Los Mocosos bring zest and joy to the lineup.

"What we’re trying to do is create a family-oriented, fun festival," says McNaught, who together with Derek Arrowsmith of Upstream Entertainment came up with the festival concept.

Parents attending other Upstream concerts expressed interest in bringing their children along, and the idea for an all-ages festival in Whistler was born.

Proceeds from the event and ticket sales go to the B.C.-based program Camp Moomba, the summer camp sponsored by the Western Canadian Pediatric AIDS Society.

"Concert goers are guaranteed to have the best Labour Day weekend they’ve ever been too, with eight hours of top quality music for a good cause," says Arrowsmith.

"We’re super-stoked to have Maceo," adds McNaught.

Tickets for the four-band festival are $45. Considering tickets to see Parker at the Commodore in Vancouver are $38, Arrowsmith says the Zoophorus package is a sweet deal.

"There’s a good range of jazz fusion, Latin and funk music," says Arrowsmith.

Michael Franti’s Spearhead brings socially conscious hip hop to the festival.

Franti consistently serves up fresh versions of his own songs, that talk about everyday people in everyday life as he sees it. His improvisational sets generate audience magic – he brought down the house this past season with his performance at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Always a treat from the joyous and the serious lyric, Franti performs songs from Stay Human (2001), in addition to previous album including Live at the Badbab (2000).

The Living Daylights and Los Mocosos are bands three and four in the festival. The Village Voice said of the Living Daylights: "the Seattle sax trio Living Daylights blow hot spaghetti-Western funk and deep Bulgarian pop."

They blend soul jazz and world music with their jams from new CD, Electric Rosary . The Living Daylights appeared at the 25th Annual Atlanta Jazz Fest in May.

Meanwhile Los Mocosos, or the "little Latin rascals" as they like to call themselves, are the San Francisco barrio rock band whose latest album is called Shades of Brown .

But they’re not simply Latino.

"We wanted to say that we’re all in the same boat," they say at their Web site.

"That’s what a barrio is all about – it’s not about being Latino. Our barrio includes old Irish, Asian immigrants, dot-com kids... It’s not a ghetto, it’s more like a fertile garden, a place for people who are just starting off."

Festival organizers have been distributing flyers through neighbourhood mailboxes to announce the event, at the request of the municipality.

"We haven’t had any return calls about it. The best thing is everyone is in favour of having a good time," said McNaught.

Camp Moomba, and the children living with HIV and AIDS who attend the camp, are the beneficiaries of Zoophorus.

Camp Moomba is a service of the Western Canadian Pediatric AIDS Society, which was established in 1997 to "better the lives of children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS."

Executive director Maxine Drucker, formerly in marketing with Nesters Market, works to promote the camp programs that give children a week’s respite from living with the disease.

"Whistler’s been incredibly supportive of our society, in fact there are children that participate in the camps in the Sea to Sky corridor, as well as from across Canada, " notes Drucker.

Ben Horne, owner of the Shoestring Lodge and the Boot Pub fairgrounds, is a board member for WCPAS.

"I really like the idea of having an outdoor festival," says Horne.

"This was a much bigger scenario, but in talking with Paul (McNaught) I realized the number of people we could draw to the event," he adds.

Ticket sales will be limited to 1,500. The event is being promoted in both Vancouver and Washington.

Adult tickets are $45, $20 for ages 13 to 18, and anyone 12 and under will be allowed in for free. Tickets are available from the Boot Pub, as well as Highlife and Zulu Records in Vancouver and Ticketmaster. Online tickets are available at www.jambasetickets.com and www.upstreamentertainment.com .

 

Funk in brief: Maceo Parker

Saxophonist Maceo Parker, who owns a gold plated and a lacquered Selma Mark VI, headlines Zoophorus and his show promises to be full of his usual panache.

"I look at entertaining and this whole spectrum of entertainers like a buffet… you go around and choose whatever you feel like," says Parker.

A new documentary about the musician, now age 67, is due out by October and is simply titled, My First Name is Maceo.

Management is mum about the film, but will say footage includes live concerts from 1994, with appearances from renowned trombonist Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and George Clinton.

Parker, who played with James Brown and Clinton in the ’60s and ’70s, was named Billboard’s jazz artist of the year in 1990 for his solo album, Roots Revisited .

In an interview with Seconds Magazine, Parker chatted about growing older as a musician but added, "as long as I continue to be me, funky music will be a part of it."

The godfather of funk and jazz, this musician continues to tour in 2002 with modernist singers like Ani diFranco. As part of this year’s tour he also plays with German jazz artist, Candy Dulfer in Aachen, Germany.

He cites David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford as influences on his music.

"Two per cent jazz, 98 per cent funk" is how he describes his music.

A Maceo Parker discography

2000 — dial: MACEO, ESC Records (Europe)/ What Are Records? (USA)

1998 — Funk Overload War, ESC Records (Europe)/ What Are Records? (USA)

1994 — Maceo, Minor Music (Europe only at this time)

1993 — Southern Exposure, Jive Novus/ Minor Music

1992 — Life on Planet Groove, Verve/ Minor Music

1991 — Mo' Roots, Verve/ Minor Music

1990 — Roots Revisited, Verve/ Minor Music

1989 — For All the King's Men, 4th & Broadway

1975 — Funky Music Machine, House of Fox/ El Cello

1974 — Us People, PVine (Japanese Import only at this time)

1970 — Doing Their Own Thing, House of the Fox/ Charly

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