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Harmony Festival Celebration in Santa Rosa, California


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Azar Lawrence
The Harmony Festival is celebrating its 31st anniversary June 12th, 13th and 14th at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California.

The event was born out of a desire by several Sonoma State students to combine music with an exposition of that eras cutting edge lifestyles. According to founder Debra Giusti, the festival was birthed from the passionate core values of the 60s, like global awareness and personal spiritual awakening.

California has long been noted for the willingness of its residents to experiment with and embrace new ideas. This liberality of spirit has, for an equally long period, been the object of mockery from so-called rational people. And yet, with the benefit of hindsight, Californias weirdos have, more often than not, turned out to be visionaries.

To illustrate, the seminars and demonstrations sponsored by the Harmony Festival decades ago included: organic food, holistic health, yoga, ecology and solar power, among others. The value of these once non-conformist social practices are widely recognized today as enlightened solutions to many of societys more intractable problems.

This year, the festival gives music lovers the opportunity to hear a band organized in tribute to arguably musics greatest, most innovative, creative individuals, Miles Davis, an artist whose receptivity to new ideas is legendary. The Spirit of Miles band includes jazz greats such as Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence, trumpeter Dr. Eddie Henderson, guitarist Mike Stern, bassist Charnett Moffett and others. The bands Friday and Saturday night performances will be recorded and filmed for a live album/ DVD.

Other bands that will be performing over the weekend include: Matisyahu, India.Arie, the Dead Kennedys and Sierra Leones Refugee All- Stars, among many others.

There will also be a Crafters Village where a wide variety of artisans from around the world will display their wares and a Kids Village featuring dancing, singing and story telling.

A great time is guaranteed for all!

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