Music

Monday, June 17, 2019

UPDATE: Reggae on the River Cancelled

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 6:46 PM

The High Times sign was a popular backdrop for selfies last year. - FILE
  • File
  • The High Times sign was a popular backdrop for selfies last year.
UPDATE:

Dusty Hughston, a Mateel Community Center board member, confirmed that the 2019 Reggae on the River show has been cancelled. “It’s real. They called me and the treasurer,” he told Redheaded Blackbelt.

The Mateel Board will release a complete statement but at this time Hughston said that though the board won’t have the money from Reggae this year, they have continued to pay down the Mateel’s debt.

Hughston said that with the closure of the big event, the Mateel will put on a smaller event at its hall in Redway. “We’re going to do something that weekend at the Mateel,” he said.

PREVIOUS:

The perennially troubled event, Reggae on the River, has been cancelled as of 5:30 p.m. today.

While little information was immediately available, last year’s ticket sales were dismal.

High Times stepped in to produce the event in May of 2018 after the Mateel Community Center landed in desperate financial straits when the previous year’s festival lost $140,000, leaving the Redway nonprofit facing a $430,000 budget deficit.

According to the Reggae on the River’s website, ticket holders will be refunded within 10 business days.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

A 'Dark Day' at KHSU

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely.
The first sign arrived yesterday afternoon, when KHSU staff members received an email from Craig Wruck informing them there would be a mandatory meeting for all paid staff today at 9 a.m.

“I apologize for the extremely short notice, but this is an important meeting,” Wruck wrote.

When staff arrived for the meeting this morning at the new studio space in Feuerwerker House, however, they were separated. Morning Edition host Natalya Estrada and Development Director David Reed were sent to another building on campus, where they were informed of the changes and the fact that they would be the only staff members spared in the reorganization, with Reed being named interim station director. Meanwhile, Wruck was informing the balance of the staff that their positions were being eliminated, effective immediately.

As this was happening, 32-year volunteer Ed Campbell, who hosts “A Wandering Ear,” showed up to prepare for his 10 a.m. show to find his keycard no longer worked.

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
He knocked and Wruck reportedly agreed to let him in to do his classical music show. He played about an hour’s worth of music before putting on Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Requiem Canticles.” As it played, he walked out, later explaining that Wruck and administrators could deal with the dead air. Campbell said he chose “Requiem Canticles” as the last thing he’d ever play over the station’s airwaves because it was the last significant piece Stravinsky composed and has “a bunch of finality to it.”

Outside, KHSU Producer Jessica Eden smiled and hugged volunteers who stopped by to inquire what was going on. A University Police Department patrol car sat parked nearby.

“It was a great station and we really put our hearts into it for years and years,” Eden said. “They’ve just destroyed a beautiful community resource. Shame on them.”

The upheaval included Peter Fretwell, whose tenure as general manager was fraught with controversy after the sudden firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside in May.

Along with the staff reductions, which the university press release states will result in “significant savings,” all volunteer-run programs are under “indefinite suspension.”

Eden pointed out that administrators announced this decision just days after KHSU finished a community pledge drive trumpeting how listener’s donations would support local programing. The pledge drive hadn’t fully met its goal but was widely considered to have been successful, staff said, noting that some donors and sustaining members who had walked away from the station last May in the wake of the controversial firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside firing had come back.

“Then they do this right after they took people’s money,” one volunteer grumbled.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate the Life of Merv George Sr.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 4:11 PM

Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of Merv George Sr., a Hupa religious dance leader and frontman of The Merv George Band, which for decades kept local dance floors buzzing at venues big and small. George was remembered Sunday as a talented musician with an easy smile who was dedicated to the communities he was a part of.

Check out local photographer Mark McKenna's slideshow below of images from Sunday's celebration of George's life. To read more about George, see past Journal coverage here. Donation's in George's honor can be made to the Merv George Memorial Music Fund at the Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524.

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Popular Musician and Tribal Leader Merv George Sr. Dead at 74

Posted By on Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s. - PHOTO COURTESY MERV GEORGE JR.
  • Photo courtesy Merv George Jr.
  • L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s.
Merv George Sr. — Hoopa tribal member, religious dance leader and popular musician — died yesterday afternoon after suffering a severe stroke earlier in the week. He was 74.

According to a post on Merv George Jr.’s Facebook page, his father was being transported home from Redding Mercy Hospital when he died. “He had my mom by his side and he went peacefully,” George Jr. wrote, adding that “he waited until we got near Weaverville and could see the Trinity River before he left us.”


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Friday, June 15, 2018

Eureka High Gifted Strings and Things from Sara Bareilles

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Sara Bareilles chats with Eureka High School students on Skype. - VIA INSTAGRAM
  • Via Instagram
  • Sara Bareilles chats with Eureka High School students on Skype.

The music department at Eureka High School has a little more string in its step after a gift from a famous alum yesterday. Music, Broadway, TV and soon-to-be Apple TV star Sara Bareilles teamed up with Yamaha Entertainment Group and Eastman Strings to send her fellow Loggers some string instruments and audio equipment. Bareilles posted a video about the donation and her Skype chat with students on Instagram (watch below) in which you can hear the EHS band cranking out her hit "Love Song."     

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mateel, High Times Create Partnership to Save Reggae on the River

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Last year's Reggae on the River. - FILE
  • File
  • Last year's Reggae on the River.
The Mateel Community Center’s board of directors voted last night to approve a partnership with High Times Productions to put on Reggae on the River.

The deal was announced in a press release this morning with few details, other than that the production company, the event-management arm of High Times Media, will “assume responsibility for the upcoming festival’s talent lineup, marketing and monetization efforts.” In the release, Mateel Board President Garth Epling says the partnership will give the Mateel “the resources to continue growing and developing the festival.”

A story on www.kymkemp.com that posted last night notes that the deal has been in negotiations for six months.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

One Billion Rising and Rising

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza.
More than 100 Arcata Elementary School and Sunny Brae Middle School students sang and danced to "Home We'll Go" at the sixth annual One Billion Rising event on the Arcata Plaza on Friday afternoon. "We're making a statement through dance to rise, resist and unite to make change happen so our homes and workplaces are safer for all of us," said event organizer Jessie Hobba. See a slideshow of photos from the event below.

Hobba and others from the local V-Day Humboldt movement started the local One Billion Rising dance event in 2012 as part of their activities on ending violence against women and girls. In her introduction, Hobba explained the origins of the "One Billion Rising" term by citing the United Nations statistic that one out of three women worldwide will be beaten or raped. That works out to about 1 billion women worldwide.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Poor Reggae on the River Attendance Leaves Mateel Community Center's Future in Question

Posted By on Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 9:33 AM

This year's Reggae on the River. - FILE
  • File
  • This year's Reggae on the River.
Redway’s Mateel Community Center is in a state of crisis after its biggest annual fundraiser, Reggae on the River, not only failed to meet revenue projections but left the center with a “significant” debt.

“Very challenging times lie ahead, there are difficult decisions to make, and the future of both ROTR and the MCC is at stake,” Mateel General Manager Justin Crellin wrote in a letter to to the Southern Humboldt community, inviting it to a Sept. 19 meeting when he will share further detail of the Mateel’s financial state and what options are being considered.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Scenes from the Folklife Fest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:55 AM

Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival.
The week-long Humboldt Folklife Festival in its 39th year drew large crowds to its events this year, according to Patrick Cleary, one of the many Humboldt Folklife Society members who organized the event. Cleary said this year's festival was dedicated to the memory of Susan Anderson, one of the original members of the Humboldt Folklife Society back in 1978 who died this past year.

Personal highlights for me included Thurday's Bluegrass and Beyond show that included Clean Livin', Jenny Scheinman and The Compost Mountain Boys at the Dell'Arte Amphitheatre. Scheinman's virtuoso skills on the fiddle and singing of her creative and sometimes very personal lyrics were outstanding.

Scheinman first played solo on tunes from her latest release Here On Earth (a tribute to fiddle tunes). John Wood then accompanied her on his keyboard for songs that she has written that were very personal, funny, sad and a few based on her memories of growing up in Petrolia behind the "redwood curtain."

The Folklife Festival came to a close on Saturday in Blue Lake with its All Day Free Fest of workshops and18 bands performing on two stages. Check out the full slideshow below.


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

UPDATED: One Time at Band Camp

Posted By on Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 2:05 PM

None of this for a while. - FILE
  • FILE
  • None of this for a while.

UPDATE:
The Humboldt State Lumberjack's only learned the allegations that led to the band's suspension through a university press release, according to a statement issued Friday.

The Lumberjacks claim university "representatives" have failed to respond to requests from band leadership for details regarding the allegations facing the band, which include boozing it up, graffiti and "inappropriate printed materials and photographs" in the on-campus band room.

"The band is growing increasingly frustrated with the university's lack of official communication," the Lumberjacks say in the statement. See the full release copied below.

PREVIOUSLY:
Cue a sad trombone sound. The rollicking, helmeted Marching Lumberjacks have been benched. Humboldt State University sent out notice that it's investigating policy violations regarding booze, graffiti and "inappropriate printed materials and photographs" at the band's on-campus digs. For now, the band kids are on suspension. HSU reps had no further comment beyond the statement below.

From Humboldt State University:

Humboldt State University has placed the Marching Lumberjacks Band on suspension while it investigates possible violations of University policies. The investigation may extend well into the spring semester.

During the suspension, the band will not be allowed to represent the University locally or outside the region, and it will not have access to campus services that are available for recognized student organizations.

The suspension follows the discovery in the band’s on-campus space of inappropriate printed materials and photographs, graffiti, open containers of alcohol, and numerous safety and building code violations. The space has been locked and secured, and the University has begun the process of returning personal belongings to club members.

In the California State University system, if student organizations or individual students are found responsible for policy violations, they face disciplinary action ranging from a warning to expulsion. In order to protect the rights and privacy of both students and employees, the University will only be able to provide general information on the investigation.
From the band:

The Marching Lumberjacks are aware of the press release from Humboldt State University
on December 14, 2016, regarding our organization’s suspension.
To date, University representatives have not responded to requests from the band’s student
leadership for details regarding the specifics of the alleged violations.
The band is growing increasingly frustrated with the University’s lack of official
communication.

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