By M. Fisher
The first Todos Santos Music Festival, held throughout the first three weeks of January, is receding in the rear view mirror of our memory, but before we look ahead to the Arts Festival—our next cultural explosion—let’s look back to the impact that Peter Buck, co-founding member and lead guitarist of American rock band R.E.M., and friends had on our community.
The sizeable contribution of the proceeds for the event to the Palapa Society, nearly USD 50,000, will enable many young people in the area to continue their educations, paving the way for better lives and a richer community.
For music lovers like me, the joys of seeing such an array of first-rate talent on display in such a beautiful venue, at such an affordable price, will not soon be forgotten. The lead artists lived up to their hype, but for me it was the discovery of new talent like Kev’n Kinney and known artists who turned up unbilled like Chuck Prophet who made the show a memorable event.
While grocery shopping in Guluarte Mercado earlier this week, I ran into Cowboy of the popular classic rock combo Flashback. He was still glowing from the rare privilege of sharing the stage with the visiting musical luminaries. He spoke of their accessibility and generosity and how they all made him feel comfortable as fellow music makers. Flashback opened the festivities for the festival finale in the plaza, but they were not the only local talent in what became a multicultural celebration. One of my personal special moments came when mariachi horns were introduced to spice up a cover rendering of an Arthur Lee (from the 60’s group Love) favorite.
And accessible they were, these makers of gold and platinum recordings, as they moved through Todos Santos, in the restaurants and shops, without the entourages you’d expect from successful performers. Members of other headlining groups The Baseball Project and The Minus Five, along with other special guest performers Mike Mills, Kraig Johnson, Blake Sennett and the Elected, Fernando Viciconte, and Dave Depper could all be seen in town. They were always willing to stop for a photo or to be chatted up by old and young fans alike. I found out from Robyn Hitchcock (who has played for the Queen) when I encountered him enjoying breakfast at the Todos Santos Caffé, that he shared my admiration for the comic art of Robert Crumb.
These talented musicians came at their own expense, with no pay (other than the natural beauty, warm climate, and warm welcomes of the natives) to raise money for a worthy cause.
The rumors for next year’s festival are already swirling around town: bigger talent, bigger sound, more funds for Palapa Society scholarships, additional sponsors. I cannot wait to see what Peter Buck and Company will come up with in 2013.
Michael Fisher is a retired Early Childhood Educator, who now has time to pursue his hobbies, blogging, writing and comic art. Currently he is able to do this for two months of the year in the paradise that is Todos Santos, BCS. The rest of the year he resides in Monte Rio, CA, with his wife, Gail, and pocket Ewok, Aldo.
Images courtesy of Chris + Lynn Photographers
Possibly Related Posts:
- Have a Baja Moment! If the Surf is Up, Class is in at Mario Surf School
- Have a Baja Moment! Dive into the Seasonal Marine Scene With Todos Santos Eco Adventures
- Have A Baja Moment! Todos Santos Hosts 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival
- Eco-Adventure of a Lifetime: Saving the Leatherback Turtles in Todos Santos
- Heaven on Earth in Todos Santos: