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



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