Hoodfest music debuts July 19

On July 19, musicians and fans will converge on Hood River for the debut of the Hoodfest music festival sponsored in part by Rogue Ales. Eight bands, ranging in musical genre from jazz to singer-songwriters to funk, will take the stage at the Marina Green for a 12-hour celebration of people, music, food and the Gorge.

In addition to the musical cavalcade, local businesses will provide a mini “Bite” of Hood River with booths selling everything from tacos to yakisoba. There will be space available for sports shops wanting to provide free clinics as well as space for craft vendors and non-profit organizations with information booths.

Music will kick off at the noon hour. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. The festival will be headlined by The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, and supported by seven other bands.

* Leslie Helpert (www.serpentfly.com) “Closest to Michael Hedges with a little recent Ani DiFranco mixed in for common comparison, Helpert is a free spirit channeling expression through an instrument often relegated to chordal accompaniment.”— Athens Banner-Herald.

* New Clear Days: A Dead-esque jam band, New Clear Days can be found playing at summer festivals up and down the West Coast. Easy tunes for listening and grooving.

* Scott Huckabay (www.scotthuckabay.com) Playing “electrified acoustic trance guitar”, Huckabay is a regular on NPR stations across the nation and his latest release won the Album of the Year (New Age category) at the Independent Music Awards.

* Fourth Plane Jaiant (www.4thplanejaiant.com) Described as Peter Gabriel fronting Pearl Jam, Fourth Plane Jaiant is a Portland based band that brings soul and real rhythm to rock music.

* Django’s Cadillac: Brought together by their shared love of the music of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy jazz they are self described as “Contemporary Vintage Inter-Continental Acoustic Swing.” With Kat Cogswell on vocals and the guitar duo, string bass, jazz mandolin and clarinet one reviewer wrote that “anyone that enjoys live music and has a heartbeat will like this stuff.”

* Alma Melodiosa (www.almamelodiosa.com) A hypnotic blend of flamenco passion with diverse world rhythms originating from California, Spain and Canada. Two female vocalists take you from the hard driving rhythms of flamenco to an electronic groove before you even know what happened.

* Dr. Theopolis (www.drtheopolis.com )“Somewhere between the wacky funk of Parliament, the old-school soul of Ohio Players and modern rap lies the multi-sensory freak show of Portland's Dr. Theopolis. Onstage, the flawless funk is accentuated by kooky pimp costumes and a dancer named Mr. Fabulous, who struts and gyrates like a mutant leftover from the old ‘Dance Fever’ TV series.”

* The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (www.daddies.com) Of “Zoot Suit Riot” fame, the Daddies are adamant that they are not a “swing band”, but a rather a band that can swing.

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