2006.06.29: June 29, 2006: Headlines: COS - Mali: Music: Chico News Review: Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mali: Peace Corps Mali : The Peace Corps in Mali: 2006.06.29: June 29, 2006: Headlines: COS - Mali: Music: Chico News Review: Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals

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Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals

Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals

Everyone would play an instrument. Inspired by the social cohesion he saw in Mali's music scene, DeWayne started California WorldFest in 1997. He said seeing people from usually disparate walks of life unite over music is his favorite part of being the festival's co-director.

Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals

California WorldFest

Caption: Waifs on the Meadow Stage - WorldFest 2003 - Photo credit: Alan Sheckter

Dan DeWayne gained a new perspective on music in 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, where playing music wasn't reserved for just professionals.

'Music and dance were just a part of everyday life," recalled DeWayne, director of Chico Performances at Chico State.

Everyone would play an instrument. Inspired by the social cohesion he saw in Mali's music scene, DeWayne started California WorldFest in 1997. He said seeing people from usually disparate walks of life unite over music is his favorite part of being the festival's co-director.


Michael Franti will headline this year's California WorldFest.

Julie Quarterman, a local high school teacher, praised the event's food, camping amenities and workshops (as a clarinetist, she enjoyed local musician Sid Lewis' seminar on the etiquette of jamming and improvising with other musicians), but she said the congeniality in the air was the festival's best asset.

'There is a culture to WorldFest. It's hard to describe. The atmosphere is very loving," she said.

Not only has she brought her children to be among Worldfest's 4,000-strong crowds, she feels safe enough to let them roam around on their own, even her youngest, who was 3 when the family first started attending seven years ago. ('They're not allowed to do that anywhere else," she noted.)

'I thought I was going to lose my kids to the henna lady," Quarterman joked, explaining how they easily made new friends. Last year, her four children, who range in age up to pre-teen, hung out with the sketch artist and played soccer with the guy who runs the barbecue stand. Her 12-year-old, no more easily impressed than any other 12-year-old, was impressed with the teens-only drum circles and by the fact that WorldFest organizers called a meeting of teenagers to get their feedback on what would be cool to include in future festivals.

While family-friendly to the extreme, the festival doesn't ignore adults' needs; microbrew by the plastic cup and spicy Asian and Indian food are easy to come by, and Quarterman said she appreciated the full-service coffee bar in the camping area. Concession lines can be long, but many of the vendors are close enough to the stages that concertgoers don't have to miss much while they're waiting to be fed.

At night, the nearby camping area is lively but mellow. Jam sessions around tents and RVs are easily joinable, or, for those who prefer to sleep, easily avoidable.

This summer's lineup includes acts from most corners of the Earth on eight stages, spanning genres from headliner Michael Frante & Spearhead's hip-hop funk 'n' roll to Nickel Creek's acoustic-pop bluegrass to Jake Shimabukuro's fusion-ukeleke. Among the 50-plus acts on the bill are Afro-Cuban, country blues, West African and mariachi acts, most of them playing two or three shows each.

DeWayne said sometimes the most positive feedback he receives from audience members is about bands they've never heard of.

He laughed, 'Maybe you go home with a new way to shake your booty a bit."

Tips: Camping is available, but RV sites are sold out. Bring mosquito repellent; Grass Valley is more humid than Chicoans are used to, and therefore home to a few more bugs.





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Story Source: Chico News Review

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Mali; Music

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