We are very excited to introduce the Fall Festival T-Shirt design. Artwork done by Leslie Goodrich and printing by our great friends at Planet Love! They are available in a variety of colors and sizes. Pick up yours at the Merch Tent by the Meadow Stage throughout the festival!
The autumn breezes bring ghosts of many things to life. Musty memories get swept up with the cobwebs of time. But the most cozy and comfortable memories for many of us are those of the places we have called home.
Home can be a building, a town, another person, a specific place folks gather, or just the feeling you get when you know you’re in the right place at the right time. Not long ago, I went to visit a house that had been in my family since the early sixties. The house is under contract to be torn down, the land purchased by a new family who may live in that spot as long as my family has, but probably will not. I went to say goodbye, to turn down the road, climb the steep driveway, and again the steep steps and stand inside the walls one last time.
We become attached to our homes, not as much because we care about the boards that make up the walls or even about the stuff that we’ve filled them with, but because we have grown and we have changed there. Memories of things that have happened in these places make us the humans we are now, and I don’t know about you, but when I visit a place I once called home for one reason or another, the ghosts of my memories are palpable. I feel, if just for a moment, like I did when I called it my home. A part of me, once forgotten, comes out to breathe.
I suspect that a lot of us would consider this place, surrounded by these hills, a home of sorts. I know I do. Happy ghosts of my memories walk the grounds here, especially during the festivals, and they interact with so many others’. Like you, I have memories of late nights with the very closest of friends, of songs and chords heard here that still mean the world to me, of falling in love, of meeting new people who have expanded who I thought I was, and of once in a lifetime moments that could only happen here. But not only memories, current joys and intentions toward the future are also cradled here for us. Those also, make a home.
Some homes need their inhabitants just as much as we need our homes.
Like a home, Shakori Hills has comfort, its edges get worn and some corners temporarily forgotten.
Let us become its guardians, its home-makers and its fixer uppers.
Like a home, Shakori Hills has great potential for the future, so many lives still to be affected, so much still to be done and experienced here.
Let us task ourselves with sharing what we have learned here and pass it on to those that follow us so that they may feel for it the same joy we do.
Like a home, Shakori Hills is chock full of joys, secrets and memories. We lose our shoes in the mud, we track our children’s height in inches on the walls, we remember and we forget.
Let us be its memory keepers and story sharers. Finding old treasures in the backyard and hiding more for others to find.
Like a home, Shakori Hills welcomes our family, all who come here can feel like it belongs to them.
Let us work to understand each other and open each other’s eyes to who we can become. Here in this place. And beyond.
Love & peace,
Co-Coordinator, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance
If you plan to have a fire at your campsite this fall, it is very important to remember not to bring firewood in from outside the county. Insects and diseases live inside wood and introducing these to new areas can be very dangerous to local trees! We have firewood for sale on site at the General Store! Please either purchase your wood there, or make sure it was store-bought and labeled as safe. There is often brush and wood around your campsite as well.
For more information, read this email sent from NC State and NC A&T with details about the emerald ash borer, which is a particular danger right now!
And make sure to check out our tips to Stay Warm & Breathe Easy with a campfire at your site!
Come out to Shakori Hills on Saturday, August 29th for our 6th Annual NC Stars in the Round fundraiser. It’s the perfect way to spend a full-moon summer evening with friends & festival family! All funds from the event will go toward the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center to carry out our mission of being a center for arts education and community-building for Chatham County and beyond.
The event will feature local songwriters Dave Wilson (of Chatham County Line), Kamara Thomas, Brett Harris, Mary Johnson Rockers, Steph Stewart, and Lakota John Locklear! The Happiest Bluesman, Big Ron Hunter and his band will open the show and festival favorite Dr. Bacon will close out the show. Find more information & tickets here.
At Shakori Hills, we want to do our best, not only to keep our grounds clean and our staff happy, but we also want to help make everyone understand the direct effects of taking care to handle our waste as best as possible! If you are camping at Shakori Hills, please collect your trash, recycling, and compost and sort it into separate containers. We want to help you remember to do this, so we’re running a program in which people who bring their sorted bags of trash and recycling directly to our Trash Field at certain times during the festival will be entered to win fun prizes, including a 4-day pass to the next festival! Read below and give it a try…
A pair of 4-day passes to the next Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance!
A 7 Hour Glassblowing Class from Locally Grown Art! Jonathan’s studio is located in Chatham County in the Rock Rest Artist Community. He will also have an interactive piece displayed at Shakori Hills under the oak tree next to the Coffee Barn.
A Portable Massage Table from TouchAmerica, Inc!
Pottery Goods from Bass Mountain Pottery!
An Outdoor Personal Training Session with Todd Fain in Saxapahaw, NC!
A Private Social Dance Lesson, dance of your choice, from Aubrey Griffith-Zill! Born and raised in North Carolina, Aubrey Griffith-Zill is a professional dancer, dynamic performer, and enthusiastic instructor who has trained and taught both in the United States and abroad. During her dance career she has worked with such respected groups and individuals as Cobo Brother Dance Company (NC) Juan Matos (Barcelona), Mouaze (Paris), Santo Rico (NYC), and Gresille Ponce (NJ). Her diverse education includes formal training in rhythmic-tap, clogging, modern, jazz, hip-hop, contact improv, and certified in American smooth and rhythm forms of ballroom, though it was the vibrant energy of Latin social dance that led to her specialization in salsa, cha cha, and bachata. Extensive travel and training in Latin America has allowed Aubrey to learn these disciplines from their sources and then integrate her diverse dance education into a unique, innovative style. This style emphasizes isolations, fluidity of the body, mind-body connection, cultural expression, personal empowerment, and meaningful connections with the floor, self, partner, and core.
(Aubrey & Adam)
A Private Social Dance Lesson, dance of your choice, from Adam Philips! Adam grew up right here in Saxapahaw, North Carolina. He began dancing to the live music of his peers before he was a teenager. As a youth his closest friends were passionate young musicians who have also grown into the top of their field. These lasting friendships continue to be a source of artistic inspiration. Adam started teaching and performing Ballroom when he was 19. He has trained and partnered with other champions from around the world. Through Ballroom, Adam was introduced to the world of social dancing, where he fell in love with the connection and improvisation of the art. He continues to teach, perform and choreograph many different styles of dance for events around the world. Adam and Aubrey are now their own dance company, traveling, teaching and performing their creative, expressive style of partnering.
A 60 Minute Massage from Massage From The Hart!
A 1-Hour Guitar Lesson with John Westmoreland! A native North Carolinian with deep roots in the blues, John Westmoreland is a multidimensional musician. He studied jazz and classical composition at Berklee College of Music where he was also a recipient of the BEST scholarship. ?In 2011 He became a founding member of the West African fusion band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba.
As a solo artist he plays his own dynamic, and sensitive interpretations— interweaving jazz standards, African traditional music, Blues, Bach, the American Songbook, as well as his own original compositions. ?Outside of traditional performance contexts he also provides musical accompaniment for yoga classes, and is currently exploring other ways that music can facilitate healing. In July of 2014 with the help of an Emerging Artists Grant from The Durham Arts Council he traveled to Peru to study ceremonial healing music of the Mestizo culture in the Upper Amazon.
Notes from the other desk…
This festival is going to be special, I can feel it. Of course, it always is. Spring, to me, is a season of discovery and newness which is why it suits this festival so well. We seek to be a place where people discover new things both in the outside world and within themselves. Art is so often the first step to discovery, it makes us step out of ourselves and find inspiration in what we see and hear and in the creators who make it. There are some familiar bands in this spring’s lineup, I’m sure, but I’d also like to think that a lot of it isn’t familiar, and that most of it inspires you. I’d like to share with you some of our artists that have inspired me, and I hope you get a chance to experience them as well.
Of course, all of our bands are great! The Wood Brothers are going to start it off right, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars will take us to far off places, Feufollet and Preston will help us dance the night away. I’ve compiled a short list, however, of some that I don’t think should be missed that you might not have heard before. I do realize I’ve asked you to watch two bands at once, but you’ll figure it out…
I’ve heard them described as a mix between Gary Clark, Jr. and Cream. So, that should really be enough for you to catch their set on Saturday night at 9:30 pm. These guys have been holed up in New York City for a few years. They started in 2008, and apparently stuck around, playing local shows and blowing local minds, and now they are finally hitting the rest of the country, and we are lucky for it. Put some flowers in your hair, and be ready to live out some of those music festivals of yore with the soul, psychadelia, funk, and of course, rock and roll of The London Souls!
“Old Country Road” – The London Souls
There’s a neat little Americana scene that’s been coming out of Boston for a while now. It includes Lake Street Dive, Crooked Still, Aoife O’Donovan, and many others. Beantown’s most recent delectable, musical child is Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. Laura, however, has been to many festivals with various bands. I met her when she was in the John Paul Jones produced Uncle Earl with Abigail Washburn. She’s also just cool, she has special online shows in which she and her bandmates bake goodies and play music! When you buy your tickets to watch online, you can also purchase the goodies they make! Innovative, fun, super talented, that’s Laura Cortese! She’ll be playing the Cabaret Tent on Friday at 8:15 pm. There’s some other great stuff of hers on youtube, including this one, but I just love this song! Let’s go dance!
“Heel to Toe” – Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards
My new favorite band out of Raleigh! You may have caught Jack the Radio at last fall’s fest, their brand of swamp rock is both catchy and alluring. New Revielle has George Hage in common, and while he brings some of the swamp with him, they’ve washed off some of the mud and added some amazing harmony, three strong female voices, and a banjo. Put your cowboy boots on for this one, and be ready to watch these guys climb to fame. Catch them in the Cabaret Tent on Saturday at 9:30 pm.
“Heavy Hands” – New Reveille
Her bio calls her the “best kind of trouble the South needs.” Claiming to be from both New York and North Carolina, Laila strums her guitar, searches her soul, and shares with us her “Revolutionary Love Music.” Active in the art world, the LGBT community, and anywhere there needs to be a voice for justice and love. Her songs express both her passion for life and the world around her and a sense of a commitment to make both of those better. Have a listen for yourself on Sunday at 6:45 pm in the Dance Tent. You may need it more than you know.
“The Untitled Song” – Laila Nur
Love & peace,
Gratitude is a pathway to freedom!
Being thankful is not to be complacent or accepting of the limits of our existence but an act of centering. Haudenosaunee give thanks to the Sun, Earth, Moon, Animals, Plants, Wind and Waters, in this way taking rightful possession of humanness and our place in the Universe.
Even at the very last moment of our time on Earth we must give thanks for the chance to have lived; liberating ourselves for our ultimate flight into infinity…
Why is being grateful liberating?
No matter who we are or where we are from, from the moment of our birth until the moment we die, we have nothing. We are perceivers. Our opportunity is to perceive the wondrous worlds around us, to add a glow and a gracefulness to our being.
We can share our grace and our beauty, we can dance and we can sing about it. When we give thanks, no one and nothing can take this from us – we are free.
Join us to celebrate your thankfulness, your beauty and your freedom at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance!
Co-coordinator of the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.
One of my favorite things to do at the festival is, while watching a band on stage, taking a moment to watch all of you watching and listening. Joy is contagious. Music can fascinate, soothe, make us reflect, learn, and make us bust a move. I LOVE watching people experience all of these feelings while standing in front of our stages. Here are some bands I can’t wait for you to hear…
Everyone needs some New Orleans spirit in their lives! In that city, they know how to dance, they know how to eat, they know how to party, they even know how to have funerals better than anyone else! Last spring we had the Dirty Dozen Brass Band who were so much fun and definitely brought us to New Orleans. The Soul Rebels continue in the DDBB’s traditions while adding a newer, younger approach. The Village Voice claims they are “the missing link between Public Enemy and Louis Armstrong.” A bridge between present day New Orleans and always New Orleans. Try not to move your feet in front of the Meadow for this one on Saturday night at 10:30pm!
The Soul Rebels Play “Let It Roll” a the New Orleans hotspot, The Blue Nile
These guys are an up-and-coming band out of Brooklyn, NY. They are sweet and mellow and man, she has great hair! She (Kari Spieler) also has a powerful and captivating voice. They’re young, but they’ve got a mature and reflection-filled weight to them. These guys met in college and have been touring all over since then. They have that indie-folk vibe that everyone’s looking for these days (think Lumineers), but there’s something new and pure about them too. Their harmonies are infectious, and their live show is sure to be a treat! See ’em on Saturday in the Meadow at 2:45.
Swear & Shake “Hum Our Tune”
This folk duo from Greensboro calls themselves a “multisensory artistic collaboration,” using visual art, print, and even smells in their performances, allowing the audience to be a part of their show; “reducing the space between artist and listener.” With just percussion (toe tapping included) and a guitar, they bring their sweet harmonic songs to life and tell us tales of travel and turmoil. They bring a message of peace through music and art, and their love for the craft and for each other is visceral. You’ll get two chances to experience them, Friday in the Meadow at 4:30 and Saturday in the Cabaret Tent at 3:45, so don’t miss out!
Lowland Hum, “Twine” from their living room
Based in LA, 7-member Las Cafeteras uses Afro-Mexican rhythms, zapateado flair, and a good amount of fun to convey thier community-focused political message. They have a unique and engaging mix of punk, hip-hop, and rock, but you can still hear their traditional immigrant folk roots. As their bio expresses, they “tell stories of a community who is looking for love & fights for justice in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles.” This is the type of band Shakori Hills is known for, you haven’t heard of them, but you will leave glad you found them! See them on Saturday in the Cabaret Tent at 11:45pm.
I can’t help but share their version of one of my favorite songs!
Las Cafeteras, “This Land Is Your Land”
Don’t just stick with the ones you know…we promise you’ll find a new favorite!
Love & Peace,
I’ve been thinking lately about the idea of play. Real, rough and tumble, backyard with your brothers and sisters, knees dirty, deep laughter play. Sometimes I think we’ve lost the idea of play, as adults, as creatures of an intensly modern world. Then I get a chance to hug my nephew, just back from playing outside with his cousins, feel his heart beating fast and smell the dirt and sweat, and I think, I hope, “it can’t be too far away, we just need to find it again.”
Ever have trouble sleeping? Do you remember, after a full day of play, how easy it was to fall into bed and wake up only to another day? Ever feel alone? Do you remember joining a team or laughing with your best friend until you peed your pants? Feel stumped or trapped? Remember finger painting, or writing a poem, or making up a new game, finding inspiration and freedom through letting go and playing? Maybe more play is the answer we need!
This festival embodies play! After a 4-day adventure at Shakori Hills, so many people say to me that they are sad to go “back to reality.” I notice, while walking around back in the “real world,” that we don’t talk to one another, we don’t give random high fives in the grocery store, or stop to really observe what other people are doing for each other. People aren’t helping each other out of the mud, we don’t just sit around on the sidewalks and pull out our instruments for a jam. But here, we can do that. We can play! Our mission here, our agenda, our to-do list only includes playing together.
Now that these festival grounds belong to us, to the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center – which is to say – to You, I am hoping that we can bring this escape from the “real world” into our every day lives. Maybe we can even reverse the trend and make THIS the real world. We want to invite you to become the guardians of this space and to use it as you wish, as it should be used. Have you ever wanted to have a camping Yoga retreat? There is a space where you can. Want to bring more planets and constellations to your children’s nighttime gaze? Throw a celestial sky-watching convention! If you have a talent or a dream you’d like to bring to life, remember that Shakori Hills can provide a place, a reality, to let your ideas play – and to share with others.
It’s the truth. This is why we started this whole thing! Let us help you use the space you so dearly love here. We offer affordable ways to help people and organizations enjoy the magic that this place holds throughout the year. Please stay in touch, and share your intentions and ideas with us.
Life, really, should be play. Not that we shouldn’t deal with the hard parts, not that we shouldn’t help those who need it – but we should act more like we’re inviting others to play along. Sometimes when we play we get holes in our jeans, we get bruises and scrapes, we sweat and get muddy, but we are all the better for it! Begin to dream about how to bring more play into your own lives, and don’t forget that we are here to help you do so.
SHCAC Presents: NC Stars in the Round
Come out to Shakori Hills on Saturday, August 23rd for our 5th Annual NC Stars in the Round Fundraiser. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer evening with friends & festival family! All funds from the event will go toward the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center to carry out our mission of being a center for arts education and community-building for Chatham County and beyond.
The evening’s highlight will be a singer-songwriter circle featuring some great local musicians and songwriters. This year we have the special treat in our host of the circle, Jim Lauderdale! Jim will introduce each songwriter, each will share his or her unique musical talents one song at a time, then pass the mic to the next. The stars include: Laurelyn Dossett, John Howie, Jr., Daniel Justin Smith, Nikki Talley, & Shannon Whitworth!
Opening the show will be R&B / Blues showman Ironing Board Sam. Sam has charmed audiences all over the Triangle with his soulful and engaging performances, he was a songwriter in our circle last year, and we could not resist having him back to begin the evening.
Following the circle, Jim Lauderdale will wow us with his own style of country and Americana songwriting (and outfit, surely)!
There will be pizza from the Shakori Hills Pizza Shack, beer from Carolina Brewery, and the Lil’ Coffee Barn will be open with ice cream, coffee, and snacks. This is a family-friendly event and all are welcome to camp overnight on Saturday.
Tickets are $15 advance or $20 at the gate, camping is $15 per site (which includes a vehicle and two tents) and can be purchased online or by calling 919-542-8142. Kids 12 and under get in free! Tickets are available from now until the day before the event. Gates open at 4pm, show starts at 7pm.
**For folks going to the Donna the Buffalo show at the Haw River Ballroom on August 22nd, Shakori Hills is offering FREE camping on FRIDAY night WITH the purchase of a ticket to the NC Stars in the Round show. Here is the deal:
- Please come BEFORE the Donna the Buffalo show to set up. Ticket booth will only be open Friday before the Haw River Ballroom show and at 4pm on Saturday.
- When you arrive at Shakori Hills on Friday, show us your Donna the Buffalo ticket, and either verify that you bought your NC Stars ticket online (we’ll have a list) OR buy your ticket upon arrival.
- Does NOT include camping on Saturday night, that can be purchased along with your NC Stars ticket. Camping for Saturday night is $15, which includes 1 car and 2 tents.
- We will not likely have food or other refreshments until dinner-time on Saturday. Pittsboro and Saxapahaw both have lovely dining options during the day.***