Thursday, September 14, 2000

WorldJam trades asphalt for Sawyer Point

Emmylou Harris, Koko Taylor head Oct. 7-8 lineup

By Larry Nager
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With bigger names and a new location, WorldJam is ready for its “re-debut” Oct. 7-8 at Sawyer Point.

[photo] Koko Taylor
| ZOOM |
        The free, multicultural music fest premiered last fall on Fountain Square during a very wet weekend. Severe thunderstorms forced the cancellation of the Saturday portion of the event, which included the biggest names. Producer Bob Elias, executive director of Cincinnati Arts Festival Inc., is ready for a fresh, dry start.

        “To be very honest, we got hurt very badly by the torrential downpour that greeted our major day,” Mr. Elias says. “So this year we want to make people familiar with what we're trying to do as quickly as possible. So we did want to load up the event with as many big names as possible, while also retaining a very healthy number of spots for local and regional acts.”

        Oct. 7, the main stage at P&G Pavilion will have a strong blues flavor, as the reigning queen of Chicago blues, Koko Taylor, tops a lineup that includes guitar whiz Chris Duarte and the Columbus jam band Ekoostik Hookah. Chantal Kreviazuk, who toured with the 1998 Lilith Fair is also on the bill.

Saturday, Oct. 7

P&G Pavilion Stage
    1 p.m., Iswhat!?
    2 p.m., Dave Hawkins & Celtic Core
    3 p.m., Ginny Frazier & Circles and Arrows
    4 p.m., Chantal Kreviazuk
    5:30 p.m., Chris Duarte
    7:15 p.m., Koko Taylor
    9 p.m., Ekoostik Hookah
Second Stage
    1:15 p.m., Pike 27
    2:15 p.m., Hadje (unconfirmed)
    3:50 p.m., Lucky & the Zionites
    5:05 p.m., Turkana (unconfirmed)
    6:30 p.m., Mohenjo Daro
    8 p.m., Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
    9:45 p.m., Paula Monsalve

Sunday, Oct. 8

P&G Pavilion Stage
    1:30 p.m., Greg Schaber & High Street
    2:30 p.m., Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
    4 p.m., Angelique Kidjo
    5:30 p.m., Funky Meters
    7:30 p.m., Emmylou Harris & Spyboy
Second Stage
    1:30 p.m., Ricky Nye & the Swingin' Mudbugs
    3 p.m., Robin Lacy & DeZydeco
    4:30 p.m., Lagniappe
    6 p.m., New Europa Troubadours

        Oct. 8, the music takes a turn for America's multicultural port city of New Orleans. Emmylou Harris is the headliner with her band Spyboy, playing a Louisiana-flavored fusion of African and Appalachian music. Also on the bill is Crescent City instrumental band the Funky Meters, featuring Art Neville and George Porter. Afro-pop star Angelique Kidjo (another Lilith alumnus) broadens the musical menu, on a show that includes regional jam band the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

        Local and regional acts on the bill include Lucky & the Zionites, Greg Schaber & High Street, Mohenjo Daro, Robin Lacy & DeZydeco and Ricky Nye & the Swingin' Mudbugs.

        The move to Sawyer Point from Fountain Square further differentiates WorldJam from Mr. Elias' other big show, the rock and pop fest Pepsi Jammin' On Main. WorldJam's performers attract a wider age demographic and more families, and Sawyer Point should be more comfortable than the asphalt and concrete of Jammin'

        “We want people to come down and have a fun, festive experience,” says Mr. Elias. “We want people dancing, we want people moving, we want people feeling a part of the festival.”

        WorldJam is something of a labor of love for Mr. Elias. Jammin' On Main draws crowds with chart names such as the Goo Goo Dolls or classic rockers like Peter Frampton. But the idea behind WorldJam, says Mr. Elias, is “to try to help people break free of the popular, mass-marketing machine and open people up to music that is interesting, not just the music that everybody is hearing because they can't get away from it.”

        In addition to musical performances, WorldJam also will present activities for children and adults, including the return of last year's drum circles and a new edition of the multisensory Hesefetasm World.


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