1st “Positive Music Festival” Was A Roaring Success

by Mar 18, 2024Articles, Report

1st Positive Music Festival was a Roaring Success
 


Where: Mojave Junior/Senior High School, Mojave, CA
When: March 9, 2023
Reporter: Stephen Cooper
Photos & Videos: Courtesy of Stephen Cooper
Media Editing : Teacher
Copyright:  2024 – Stephen Cooper


Headlined by legendary Jamaican sound engineer and dub pioneer “Scientist,” also known as Hopeton Brown, the 1st “Positive Music Festival”—hosted by the Mojave Junior/Senior High School on March 9—accomplished its goal. Through the power of reggae, dub, poetry, journalism, mindfulness, and meditation, the community in Mojave, California, came together to celebrate reggae and dub as well as roots and culture; festival-goers left feeling relaxed and renewed—revitalized by soulful, righteous messages of love and calls for revolutionary change.

All of the day-long festival’s performers were impressive, but without a doubt it was twelve-year-old Kailash—nominated Best New Young Artist at the International Reggae and World Music Awards—who stole the show. Precociously talented and poised for his age, Kailash was rhyming, rapping, and singing in staggering synchronicity with Scientist as Scientist worked his usual mastery at the digital console; Scientist smiled broadly throughout Kailash’s set obviously surprised, as anyone would be, at such maturity and outsized artistic skill in such a young singer.

Before the music began, there were a number of informative and moving workshops including one in which members of the High School’s “Mustang” Journalism News Team received a lecture on the continuing power and usefulness of journalism; this was delivered with practical pointers on how to submit “opinion essays” for publication to local and national newspapers. This also dovetailed with a special poetry reading given by actress and poet Gia Scott-Heron; Heron unsurprisingly reminded everyone of her father, famous spoken-word performer Gil Scott-Heron’s unforgettably influential and cautionary advice: “The revolution will not be televised.”

As with any first-time festival, the event was not entirely glitch-free and it had what one might call normal “growing pains.” But, because irie vibes predominated, none of these challenges hampered anyone’s full-joyment; rather, festival organizer and educator Empress Truth Akins expressed she hopes she can organize and produce more events like this one, “and it’ll just get better and better.” For the sake of the community and its children, one can only hope she does.

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