Several big name acts will bring their grooves to the Jamboree, representing diverse musical genres from blues and funk to rockabilly, country rock, honkey tonk, and mountain punk, with some acts beyond classification. The Jamboree also hosts local and regional entertainment and fun events for the whole family.
“This is a family event,” said Conrad. “It is logistics-free; everything is right at the venue. There are activities for the kids, and the camping is cheap.”
The festivities begin Friday, June 13 when local band Too Little 02 rock late into the night at The Grand Imperial Hotel. The members of this band are used to the elevation; they have been playing Silverton for 11 years. Their music will get the crowd dancing.
On Saturday and Sunday, the music starts at 10 a.m. and continues into the wee hours at the late night Juke Joints.
“We strive to get bands from every danceable genre,” said Nicole Barr, head of the Silverton Jamboree committee. “Our eclectic lineup sets us apart from other festivals.”
That lineup stretches from the peaks of Silverton to the swamplands of northern Florida, where JJ Grey of the band MOFRO grew up, the music at this year’s jamboree is a welcome mix of styles. Grey comes from a long line of southern storytellers, and his lyrics describe how his culture deteriorated as the landscape was slowly destroyed. MOFRO’s music ranges from straight-up rock and roll to gospel to funk, with plenty of dance-evoking grooves.
Papa Grows Funk is another southern band, and sings of the city of New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. The band originated out of weekly jam sessions organized by “Papa” John Gros at New Orleans’ world-famous Maple Leaf bar in 2002. While much of the New Orleans music scene was displaced after the hurricane, Gros and his band went back to their home to keep the groove going.
Slated for 5 p.m. on Saturday is bluesman Robert Bradley, born in Alabama and blind since birth. Bradley sang in the churches and streets of Detroit for years until he joined with his band the Blackwater Surprise at age 40 to record. His bluesy, soulful lyrics stay true to the sounds of his country roots as they travel the streets of Detroit.The Motet, from Boulder, headlines Saturday night. They have a unique innovative sound that fuses jazz and rock with instrumental improvisation, electronica and funk. The Motet spent recent months exploring and writing music for their new album, melding fresh influences to their solid sound.
The infamous Reverend Horton Heat will bring their grungy, Texas punkabilly to the Silverton stage for Sunday night’s final act. They played their first gig in the infamous Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas almost 20 years ago. Since then they have toured widely, gaining an eclectic following. Their latest release takes them back to their roots in Deep Ellum, record edat the Last Beat Studio, just blocks away from their first gig. Wear your moshing boots for this one.
Silverton will also be entertained by local artists and performers. One of those is SKU, an improvisational, highly original jazz-fusion band with influences from all over the world, including their own backyard of Silverton. Chris Chambers, a local belly dancer who has performed all over the U.S., will grace the stage Saturday.
“We worked hard to put this together,” Conrad said of the Jamboree’s lineup. The dedicated board of locals who make up the Silverton Jamboree Committee meets year round to put together the event. This year’s Jamboree is dedicated to Mac McCormick, who donated the money to bring back the Jamboree in 2007, after a lack of funds and organizational prowess left Silverton without its annual music festival. McCormick was killed in a plane crash before he saw the new festival come to fruition.
The Silverton Jamboree’s mission is to “promote and preserve the musical and cultural heritage of the Silverton Community through live music and events.” Silverton’s remote location and rugged environment create a culture and community unique to the Northern San Juans, not to mention a spectacular setting for this gem of a festival, whose stage sits surrounded by snowy peaks at the Kendall Mountain Recreation Area.
“This venue is about as beautiful as it gets,” said Conrad.
The jamboree will take place June 13-15 at the Kendall Mountain Recreation Center in Silverton. See www.silvertonjamboree.com for a complete schedule.