Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Wind Whispers Peace

Four Bands Launch the 11th Year of Traveling Bonfires' “Bonfires for Peace” at Westville Pub, March 16

FOUR bands from Asheville and two neighboring cities will be the featured acts in “The Wind Whispers Peace,” a night of music and poetry, set on March 16 at Westville Pub in West Asheville.
     The event—which features Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers and Brief Awakening from Spartanburg SC, Black Canaries from Greenville SC, and local jazz-poetry act The Caleb Beissert Band—also serve as launch of the 11th Year of Traveling Bonfires' public community events called “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park.” Singer songwriter Jaime Lauren Webb and poets Pasckie Pascua, TBonfires founder, and Jadwiga McKay will also perform.
     Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers is anchored on lead vocalist and songwriter Sydney McMath's blues and soul/gospel background. The Black Canaries is a lounge blues band, featuring Jen St. Stjarna on vocals and piano and James Heaton on lead guitar. Says their site: “Music you would find in a velvet lined bar in Las Vegas while drinking a dirty martini and talking to a showgirl.” Brief Awakening's members are Kat Arrants on vocals/keyboards; Kara-Lynn Petrucci on acoustic guitar/vocals/mandolin and bass; Beck on bass; Billy Leva on guitar; and Abi Har on drums. They list Fiona Apple, The Cranberries, Tori Amos, Belle and Sebastian, and Ani DiFranco as influences.
     The Caleb Beissert Band, a new poetry/jazz ensemble that spawned from several acts in Asheville, is dovetailed on Beissert's poetry and Aaron Price's musicianship. Jaime Lauren Webb, a harp and ukulele player, has woven a rich collection of songs that belie her youth. Pasckie Pascua is the founding executive director of Traveling Bonfires. His poetry has toured New York City, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and elsewhere—apart from Asheville. Jadwiga McKay, originally from Bay City, Michigan, is an events organizer, now active with the Traveling Bonfires and its sideproject Wander Women.
     A cover charge of $5 entitles patrons to raffle tickets, with prizes donated by local establishments and the sponsoring organization's supporters. Proceeds go to logistics budget for “Bonfires for Peace” events and Traveling Bonfires/Wander Women's continuing breast cancer awareness program and overseas calamity relief.
     The Traveling Bonfires originated in the Philippines but has made Asheville its home since moving here from New York City in 2002. The “Bonfires for Peace,” the organization's centerpiece project, is a movable feast of family fun and community connectedness through music, arts and dancing, held at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. The project had its first event in Asheville in 2003; the program also had parallel events in Baltimore, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Manila and Baguio City in the Philippines through the years.
     “The coming event (at Westville Pub) is also our way of reminding the community that we need to get together more as family and friends in the light of recent spate of violence in the country,” says Marta Osborne, TBonfires supervising producer. “Music and poetry always converge people. And when we converge, we also see hope that we can be one again.”
     The Traveling Bonfires' events enjoyed the support of a number of local Asheville businesses, organizations, and individuals. Projects have benefited non-profit organizations that work with at-risk youths, families of the disappeared, orphans, and disaster victims. For more info, or call Marta Osborne at 828 280 1555 or email



Sunday, January 13, 2013


[1] MARCH 16 (Saturday), show starts 8PM.
THE WIND WHISPERS PEACE (A Traveling Bonfires Gig)

Featuring Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers, The Black Canaries, Brief Awakening, with Caleb Beissert, Pasckie Pascua, Jadwiga McKay, and more TBA.
VENUE: Westville Pub
777 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806. (828) 225-9782
$5 cover charge (for the benefit of TBonfires free “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park” concerts in downtown Asheville)

[2] MARCH 9 (Saturday), 9PM. FOOD POETS SOCIETY (music, poetry, food). Performers: Singer songwriters Liam McKay and Jaime Lauren Webb, with Dave Rowe; poets Brando Chemtrails, Pasckie Pascua, Jadwiga McKay; and bellydancer Claire Dima. VENUE: Vanuatu Kava Bar. 15 Eagle St., Asheville NC.

[3] FEB 1 (Friday), 8PM.
SYDNEY McMATH (singer songwriter) and PASCKIE PASCUA share a bill at Little River Coffee Bar (188 West Main Street, Spartanburg SC 29306). With guest, Jadwiga McKay, Jaime Lauren Webb. FREE

PAST EVENT/s, 2012

[1] DEC 19 (Wednesday), starts 9PM.
Blues-rock singer songwriter SYDNEY McMATH (aka Rev. Syd of Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers of Spartanburg SC) will be the featured guest performer at the start of the Wednesday Open Mic at Vanuatu Kava Bar (15 Eagle St, downtown Asheville. 828 505-8118). CHECK her out and her band at:

[2] NOV 24 (Saturday), starts 9PM
FOOD POETS SOCIETY, 3: “Poetry, Music, Food”
Performers: Riyen Roots, Alex Haskell, and poet Jadwiga McKay
Poet-cook Pasckie Pascua cooks his “culturally interfaced” dishes complement poetry and music.
VENUE: Vanuatu Kava Bar, 15 Eagle St, downtown Asheville. 828 505-8118.
FREE to come in. Dinner fee is donation-basis.

[3.a] NOV 15 (Thursday), 8 to 12midnight
(soul, rhythm & blues, poetry, dance and autumn love)
Second of a series of events for breast cancer awareness, With WestSound, Laine Lewis, Regina Duke, and Deva Laxamana
Westville Pub, 777 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806. (828) 225-9782

[3.b] OCT 27 (Sat), starts 8:30 PM
PURPLE is the COLOR of FIRE (poetry, music, food)
Launch of a series of events for breast cancer awareness
Featuring Dulci Ellenberger, Madelyn Lavender (with Joe Longobardi), Regina Duke, Alisa Danielle Kuumba Zuwena, and Jadwiga McKay

[3.c] OCT 27 (Saturday), 9 to 11 PM
FOOD POETS SOCIETY, 2: “Poetry, Music, Food”
Poet-cook Pasckie Pascua cooks his “culturally interfaced” dishes complement poetry and music—amidst a roomful of Halloween costumed spirits.
Performer: Peace Jones

[4] SEPT, 22 (Saturday), 9 to 11 PM
FOOD POETS SOCIETY: “Poetry, Music, Food”
Poet-cook Pasckie Pascua cooks Pacific Islander dishes to complement kava-kava. ENJOY cool poetry and music from Caleb Beissert, Paul DeCirce, Kevin Evans, Tom Hoa Binh & The Peacemakers, Aaron Price, Bill Ramsey, Riyen Roots, Jadwiga McKay, Michaela Roche, and more awesome local poets and musicians, while you savor exotic cuisine.
Vanuatu Kava Bar. 15 Eagle St, Asheville. Tel # 828 505-8118.
FREE to come in. Dinner plate of island dish is $7. Proceeds go to TBonfires' community projects.

[5] SEPT 15 (Saturday), 4 to 9 PM
Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park”
Featuring Peace Jones, George Terry & The Zealots, The Ones
With Dylan Wilder and James McKay, 
visiting poet from England
Emcees: Caleb Beissert and James McKay

[6] SEPT 11 (Tuesday), 8 to 11 PM
Peace is a Flower”
Featuring James McKay, visiting poet from England. With Laura Hope-Gill, Caleb Beissert, Pasckie Pascua, and Aaron Price.
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar
1 Page Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801. (828) 252-0020
Part of “Peace is a Flower” Summer 2012 Gig Series. FREE

[7] SEPT 9 (Sunday), 4 to 9 PM
Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park”
Featuring Touch Samadhi's ( trance Goa DJs: 
Sensoma, Krikett, Spaghettiman
Downtown Asheville NC. FREE

[8] AUG 19 (Sunday), 4 to 9 PM
Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park”
Featuring Touch Samadhi's Kri, Goadream 
and Sensoma
Downtown Asheville NC

[9] AUG 8 (Wednesday), 8 to 10 PM
Pasckie Pascua (featured poet)
Mind Gravy Poetry, produced by Al Black
Drip Coffee, 729 Saluda Ave at Five Points, Columbia, SC
Part of Pasckie's “Red is the Color of my Night” Summer 2012 Gig Series

[10] JULY 24 (Tuesday), 9 to 11 PM
Caleb Beissert, Pasckie Pascua, Aaron Price, Sarah Phoenix Noel
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar
1 Page Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801. (828) 252-0020
Part of “Peace is a Flower” Summer 2012 Gig Series

PHOTOS: Adults and children at Bonfires for Peace events. Above posters, designed by Jon Seven (art by Duane Lucas Pascua)

INQUIRY: Marta Osborne, 828 280 1555, or email [For Wander Women projects, get in touch with Marta Osborne at