FAIRfest: Three days of free music
One of the biggest free events this year in Fairfield kicks off a weekend of live music with six bands featured Friday at the second annual FAIRfest, described by organizers as “Three days of free music and sustainable fun.”
Friday’s music begins at 4:30 p.m. with vibraphonist Mike Dillon, Glenn Haartman, James Singleton and friends on the main outdoor stage on Main Street between the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and the Jefferson County Courthouse.
“FAIRfest picks up where it left off with last year’s closing act, Mike Dillon, who not only brought the house down, he brought the heavens down, too, in a torrential rainstorm,” according to the website www.fairfestiowa.com. “A fitting tribute to a man who drove 1,000 miles overnight last year to play the inaugural festival because of his love for Fairfield. He’ll be joined by Glenn Hartman, accordionist of the storied New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, who inspired dancing in the street as main stage headliners last year, and James Singleton, one the best and most sought after bassists in New Orleans.”
Headlining Friday night, scheduled for 9 p.m., is acclaimed triple Grammy-winners Los Lobos, best known for their remake of the 1958 Ritchie Valens’ hit “La Bamba” which scored a No. 1 hit, writes Roland Wells on the blog at FAIRfest website. “The band is composed of original members who hail from the same neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Love of community, pride of neighborhood and commitment to family are major themes in their songs. Los Lobos is on its 40th anniversary tour and have played the White House several times.”
After Dillon and friends, and before Los Lobos, Charanga Tropical, a nine-piece Cuban salsa band from Minneapolis, is scheduled at 6 p.m. and David Lindley, Jackson Browne’s trusty slide guitar player, Grammy nominee and world music lover plays at 7:30 p.m. on the outdoor stage Friday.
Skunk River Medicine Show perform indoors on the Stephen Sondheim Center for Performing Arts stage at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Paul Weddle will perform indoors at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Mardi Gras style parade Saturday
New features have been added to this second annual musical fest.
Fairfield will have its own Mardi Gras style parade, with public participation encouraged. About 8:30 p.m. Saturday, as Bambu finishes its performance on the main outdoor stage, the Rebirth Brass Band with instruments in hand, will lead a public parade from in front of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, around the Fairfield square and back to the main stage, where Rebirth will perform the closing act Saturday.
“Come as you are or in Mardi Gras flair, with or without an instrument of your own,” said Jean Greco, FAIRfest marketing manager. “Just be prepared to fall in behind Rebirth Brass Band as they form a parade line.”
Right in line with Rebirth Brass Band will be Fairfield’s own burlesque group — Feist Club Burlesque Troupe — in family friendly attire.
Joining Rebirth in musical accompaniment during the Mardi Gras style parade will be Iowa City’s Dana T. Brown Horns and members of the Fairfield All Star Big Band.
The Fairfield All Star Big Band will have its own stage performance at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Sondheim center.
“Many band members will play in the Mardi Gras parade behind Rebirth on Saturday night,” said Rodger Gillaspie, front man for the Fairfield band.
Members of the Fairfield All Star Band include: on trumpets — Fred Hucke, Sue Hucke and Arvin Bogaards; trombones — Jim Edgeton, the band’s musical director, Tim Nelson, Claudia Sloat and Jim Wotherspoon; saxophones — Gary Roth, Sarah Flinspach, Ken Burns, Gillaspie and Mark McCabe; piano — LeAnne Edgeton; bass — Gerry Runyon; drums — Ken Norton and Eric Henderson; and vocalists — Mary Rose Kitch, Fred Hucke and Burns.
Radio personality Carmen Pratt of La Onda Latina, an all-Spanish speaking radio show on KTWA FM in Ottumwa will co-emcee in Spanish on Friday’s main stage.
A third stage in Fairfield’s Central Park will showcase music Saturday and Sunday.
A beverage garden will be set up on Briggs Avenue, south of the courthouse, between Main and Court streets, open 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
After parties and jam sessions are possible in Fairfield venues after the main performances Friday and Saturday.
• The Arbor Bar will host Tires at 11 p.m., Mr. Nasti at midnight, Friday and Christopher the Conquered at 1 a.m. Saturday. Saturday night, the Arbor Bar hosts Control at 10 p.m., Utopia Park at 11 p.m., Dear Rabbit at midnight and Dana T. at 1 a.m. Sunday.
• Café Paradiso is hosting Mike Dillon, Glenn Hartman and James Singleton at 11 p.m. Friday and Bambu at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
• Orpheum Theater will host Threefifty in its lobby at 11 p.m. and Charanga Tropical on the theater stage at 11 p.m. Friday; and Mike Dillon, Glenn Hartman and James Singleton at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
• Steve McLain & The Jefferson County Green Band will play in Red Rock Tavern’s alley from 10 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
James Moore of KRUU FM in Fairfield, musician and FAIRfest founding member, said this weekend is, “Three days of fabulous free music in a vibrant community renowned for its cultural arts and smarts — that’s FAIRfest in a nutshell. We may be small, but we got it all. But there’s nothing small about this year’s musical lineup.”
Having it all also includes nonmusical events this weekend, such as:
• Art Fifty Two Gallery hosts a Geoffrey Baker exhibit opening at 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.
• FAIRfest Write-In Quiet Time for people to work individually on writing or drawing projects will be 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Earth & Water Tea Lounge & Pottery Shop.
• Author Bruce Hopkins will host a book talk and signing from 10-11 a.m. Saturday at a Fairfield Arts & Convention Center classroom. Hopkins is an environmentalist discussing the importance of sense of place in writing and life.
• Author Beth Howard will present “From Blog to Book,” from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday in a Fairfield Arts & Convention Center classroom. She is a best-selling author, including a New York Times best-selling author, helping writers create action plans for turning blog posts into books.
• Author Jeanette Hopkins hosts a children’s story time with juggling, singing and dancing and a storyboard demonstration from 2-3 p.m. Saturday at Fairfield Public Library meeting room. Parents are also welcome.
Other bands performing on stage Saturday:
• Noon, David Zollo in Central Park; and Mt. Pleasant Jazz Quartet at the Sondheim.
• 1 p.m, All Souls on Deck at the Sondheim.
• 2 p.m. Jason Carl and the Whole Damn Band in Central Park; Host Country at the Sondheim.
• 3 p.m. Truckstop Souvenir at the Sondheim.
• 4 p.m. Christopher the Conquered on the main stage.
• 4:30 p.m. Little Ruckus on the main stage.
• 5:30 and 7 p.m. Mike Dillon & friends at the Sondheim.
• 6 p.m. MODOC on the main stage.
• 7:30 p.m. Bambu on the main stage.
8:30 p.m. Rebirth Brass Band on the main stage.
Sunday’s schedule includes:
• Noon, Chad Elliott in Central Park.
• 1 p.m. Fairfield All Star Jazz Band at the Sondheim.
• 2 p.m. Milltown in Central Park; and Yojimbo in the Sondheim.
• 3 p.m. Natalie Brown & Mirage in the Sondheim.
• 4 p.m. Apocalypso Tantric Boys Choir & Dana T Horns on the main stage.
• 4:30 p.m. Robert Reeder Project on the main stage.
• 5 p.m. Steve McLain & The Jefferson County Green Band on the main stage.
• 5:40 p.m. Frank Cenatori at the Sondheim.
• 6 p.m. Pieta Brown on the main stage.
• 7 and 8:30 p.m. Threefifty at the Sondheim.
• 7:30 p.m. The Pines on the main stage.
• 9 p.m. Mike Dillon Band on main stage.