In a continued effort to support the conversion to solar and renewable energy technologies Rustie Woods of
Blusion® for World Fusion once again jumped on board to assist with the planning
and production of Solar Sonoma County's 2010 Solar Energy and Efficiency Fair. The new name for the event was
the first noteworthy change that we at BFWF applauded.
At early planning meetings Rustie and others lobbied hard to make the point that solar alone was not suffcient
in reducing our environmental footprint and a wider breadth of sustainable practices and technologies needed to be
included in the event concept and activities. The Solar Energy and Efficiency Fair became the new template. Hats off
to everyone who spoke up and challenged the 'solar only' concept. The result, a much higher profile on efficiency
and reduction than at last year's fair.
With that sticking point carryover from last year resolved it was time to get on with the business of putting on an
event. This year Rustie was officially handed the reins as Entertainment Director. She wasted no time and did an
The Main Stage
The main stage was, as last year, fully powered by solar. And as last year the entire system was provided by
Jerry Shafer of
Affinity Solar Energy.
The system ran flawlessly delivering clean, quiet energy to the main stage throughout the duration of the day's festivities.
If you want to have a main stage with great music you really need a great sound system. Patrick Warner, owner and audio
filled the bill and then some. Patrick and his crew were a delight to work with and the audio results were stunning. Crisp,
clean sound, well balanced mixes and a volume level and ambience that was present enough to create an engaging musical
experience near the main stage area, but quiet enough just outside the music area to allow normal conversation. BFWF will
be looking for more opportunites to work with Patrick.
The entertainment at the main stage featured a great lineup that covered a wide range of styles and represented several
different cultures. Let's check it out:
The Solstice Singers are an Acappella women's chorus from Sebastopol. With ten members from various backgrounds they began
singing together simply for the love of music. That spirit is heard in every note. They deliverd a beautiful performance
in ther trademark style, blending traditional and contemporary folk songs. Many in the audience were hearing this group for
the first time, and were touched and impressed with the beauty of their sound.
Tito y su Son de Cuba
Heriberto "Tito" Gonzalez writes and performs original music in an authentic Cuban folk style. Born in Cuba and raised in
Havana Tito's music is inspired by the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. He and his six-piece group of acomplished players
delivered a passionate and impressive set. Their irresistible dance rhythms of Rumba and Guaracha y Son resulted in much
dancing and many smiles. This was Tito's first visit to Santa Rosa and it was most definitely a huge success. Many thanks
to our new friends Tito y su Son de Cuba.
Blusion delivered a set of our politico funk jazz fusion music to an appreciative audience, and we enjoyed the experience
immensely. We were joined for a brief moment by a surprise guest, Boo, and we couldn't have been happier to have shared the
stage with him. Here'a a quick glimpse of
Boo and Rustie,
admittedly he made her a little nervous. Good times were had by all so here's to a solar renewable future. BFWF would like
to see the vision complete with an equitable economic system, an internationalist approach to global political, social and
environmental problems, and lots of good music, great food, dancing, art and merriment for all. Is that too much to ask for
all in one sentence?
West African Highlife Band
In their first ever appearance in Santa Rosa, Baba Ken and his Oakland based West African HIghlife Band played a superb set
as a finale to the festivities. This authentic all-star group of distinguished West African music veterans brought the crowd
to their feet in non-stop dance and high spirited joy. The group revives the Palmwine dance hits of the 50s, 60s,and 70s with
a fusion of African and world musics. Their colorful costumes, rich vocal textures, powerful uplifting grooves and an overall
great performance capped a day of excellent music and good times.
All of this wonderful entertainment was magically threaded together in the spirit of the event thanks to the grace and charm
of Amy Contardi. Keeping the fair patrons up to the minute on all of the great activities in both Spanish and English, Amy
did a fantastic job as emcee maintaining the sense of movement and excitement on the stage even during set changes. If you
haven't seen her you have certainly heard her and if not you might consider checking out her shows. In addition to her work
on KBBF Radio she also hosts the weekly KRCB show "Crossing Borders".
The Beer & Wine Garden
Every event has one and this year's Solar Energy and Efficiency Fair was no exception. Just a short step outside of the main
auditorium was a beautiful courtyard where delicious local beer and wines were being poured. All the while on the wine stage
some very fine quality jazz was provided throughout the entire afternoon.
Kai Devitt-Lee Jazz Quartet
The power of our youth and our ability as adults to empower them was one of the themes brought to the fair this year. Choosing
Kai Devitt-Lee for the wine stage entertainment was no accident. This 16-year-old guitar prodigy put together and led a group
of outstanding professional veteran jazz players for an afternoon of cutting edge music that received nothing but rave reviews.
The group consisted of Kai on guitar, internationally acclaimed drummer Akira Tana, awesome Bay Area bassist Chris Amberger,
and the outstanding keyboard talents of Sacramento area Aaron Garner. It was really an inspiring musical experience.
Keeping the wine stage hot between jazz sets was the spirited, lovely, bilingual Raquel Gomez who did an amazing job as the
emcee. Raquel is one of those members of our community that we are lucky to have. Bursting with energy she gives tirelessly
to efforts addressing environmental issues, human and civil rights, equality and peace. Raquel works regularly with the
Committee for Immigrant Rights in Sonoma County.
As always, an event like this doesn't happen without the efforts and generous assistance of many volunteers. This year the fair
had an abundance of amazing folks who were truly the life force of the event's success. Rustie particularly wanted to thank
those folks that were instrumental in keeping her stages running without a hitch.
Melinda Stewart * Jacob Paradise * Lee Beale
JonRay San Agustin * Leslie Horner
From Rustie's lips, to our ears, to this page, a huge heartfelt Thank You!
And finally Blusion® for World Fusion would like to once again thank everyone that
participated in this event. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to pull something like this off. The commitment and
pursuit of excellance by all of those involved is a testament to the strength and vision of this community.
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