Seattle Band Publish The Quest Headed to Cape Verde Islands in September
Part of Local Effort to Preserve the Country’s Rich Musical Traditions
Seattle band Publish The Quest will be heading to Cape Verde in September to perform at Festival Santa Maria, an international music festival, on the island of Sal. They will also conduct music workshops for local children and collaborate with local musicians. Cape Verde is an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, off the coast of Senegal. Most of the islands’ inhabitants are descendants of Portuguese settlers and African slaves, and this heritage is reflected in the diverse culture, music, and dance.
Publish The Quest’s music is a combination of Blues, Rock, Ska, World Pop of some-kind and something else mixed and then decolonized; dance music melodies and powerful lyrics.. thumping bass, and stout snare shots coupled with sassy horns and some wicked guitar lines. Band members Jacob Bain, Jeffrey DeMelle, Mark Oi, Samantha Boshnack, Izaak Mills, Adam Kessler, and Chris Poage will be traveling with Johnny Fernandes, director of Salt, a effort to preserve the musical traditions of a people whose daily struggle is to put food on the table. Salt is a project of A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity (A W.I.S.H.), an international non-profit organization registered in Washington state that helps to provide models for solutions to poverty while fostering self-reliance.
Salt was established after Fernandes visited Cape Verde in 2000 where he saw incredible talent being overshadowed by poverty. “How can it be that such gifted musicians do not own any musical instruments?” said Fernandes. “What will happen to their musical traditions that have been passed down for generations?” The project’s mission is to provide practical resources and training as part of a long-term approach to economic empowerment.
In 2005 Fernandes lead a successful trip with Quasi Nada, another Seattle band. On that mission they collected dozens of instruments that allowed the music school to be formally launched. The group will be joined by Mell Dettmer, a music producer and engineer, and Shannon Welles, a photographer that is collaborating with Johnny on a book to raise funds for the project. TACV, the Cape Verdean airline, is assisting with travel, and the municipal government on the island is providing accommodation.
Fernandes has long-term plans as well, for which he requires more support, including funding and awareness as well as the ongoing need for musical instruments. “I want the world to experience with me the beauty and soul of the Cape Verdean people and their music.” Some of Salt’s other initiatives are to build a library, a workshop for luthiers, and a recording studio, and to form a musician exchange between the US and Cape Verde.
This is not Fernandes’ first such project. Born in Zimbabwe, he came to America to get his Bachelor’s degree at Gonzaga University and his Master’s degree in Computer Science at Western Washington University. He worked in the high-tech industry for 15 years before committing most of his time to social issues. His first project, A Wall for Social Consciousness, which he is still very much dedicated to, was established to help orphans of the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe.
Project Salt : http://salt.nimekula.org
Publish The Quest: http://myspace.com/publishthequest
A Wall for Social Consciousness:http://barefootworkshops.org/projects/awfsc.html
Cape Verde: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Verde
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