Komasket! A Point of View

Komasket! A Point of View

The lovely Jayme McKillop, who has just joined the oook contributor team (see her bio to learn more about Jayme) recently attended  the Komasket Music Festival. Here’s a taste of what Komasket is all about.

Driving down the dusty hillside that is Westside Road just outside of Vernon was always a thrill growing up. Right on the lake with the golden rolling hills on either side, such a lovely summer drive! Heading to the Komasket Music Festival along that same road every year has brought a new sense of anticipation. Nestled next to the lake on Okanagan First Nations land, this magical spot has led to many amazing musical moments in the last 10 years.

This year, the 10th anniversary celebration brought some remarkable talent that I don’t think anyone expected. The big name bands, like the Wailers from the 9th annual Komasket Music Festival, weren’t there. Instead, we had obscure names like Jon Anderson from the band ‘Yes’ and N’kulee Dube (daughter of the late and legendary reggae star Lucky Dube) to totally blow our collective minds and really enhance attendees’ appreciation of all Komasket has to offer.

Jon Anderson may be obscure to me, but to many ‘Yes!’ fans worldwide he is renowned… and he didn’t disappoint, in my opinion. I first heard Jon Anderson at the Vancouver Island Music Festival earlier in July. I wasn’t close to the main stage, but when I heard this very unique high-pitched male voice come over the PA I was completely captivated. He then busted out the ukulele! Through simple lyrics and sheer heart, Jon Anderson was able to completely delight a thousand people. At Komasket, under a gorgeous Okanagan sky, the 300 or so listeners were fascinated by what they heard.

Earlier in the week, before the festival, I was able to have a quick chat with Thomas Thomas, the technical director and co-founder of Komasket Music Festival. Jon Anderson is his idol and bringing Anderson to Komasket was a total dream for Thomas. The moment was shared and appreciated by long time Komasket participants. Those of us who really know Komasket Music Festival know that that was an epic performance.

The vibe from the whole weekend is always wonderfully charged by families and sunshine seekers alike. But this year, with the addition of the Yurt Jam stage, hosted by the Cipes brothers of Kelowna, all the aspiring musicians needing a stage were delighted by the opportunity to share riffs, licks, and skills alike. Even the talented and ever-young Buffy St. Marie graced the Yurt with her concise, trill vocal prowess!

Every year at the end of Komasket Music Festival I feel like I have participated in something unexpected, something collectively awe-inspiring, and yet something that isn’t what I ever anticipate being a part of. The passion that resonates from Komasket is unique in its urgency. It’s almost like some kind of divine musical intervention takes over and forces talents from all over the world and all different styles of music to melt into one another and spew out raw, inspiring musical moments in the intense Okanagan heat.

One Response to “Komasket! A Point of View”
  1. Sheila Snow says:

    WOW! Amazing writing Jayme!!! Nice perspective!

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