Gem & Jam 2022: A Deep Dive into the Full-Spectrum Sensory Experience [BONUS INTERVIEWS]: Maddy O’Neal, ATYYA, Sunsquabi & Hot Buttered Rum Reflect on Festival Experience
Animated attendees gathered for The 14th Annual Gem & Jam Festival (February 4-6, 2022) in the scenic desert landscape of Tucson, Arizona, to be taken away by the audio, escape in the visual, and indulge in a full-spectrum sensory experience—an experience encapsulating even the non-physical depths of community. This art and music festival— with over 250 programmed acts—once again, delivered unforgettable entertainment, education, and natural beauty.
Papadosio, five-piece improv-based jamtronica, curated a comprehensive audiovisual experience to stimulate a full-sensory empiricism. Papadosio was supported by a stellar musical lineup (Random Rab, Atyya, Blossomn), all facilitating the appearance of a hefty Denver-based live painting lineup (Emily Kell, Jake Amason, Krystelyez, Morgan Mandala, Mr. Melty, Peter Westerman, Randal Roberts, Seth McMahon, Stephen Kruse, Sweet Melis).
Random Rab, the master of inventive experimentalism and emotion, will perform a special online concert with live painters Morgan Mandala and Randal Roberts and dancer Alex Tomassian of Block 1750 on Thursday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m. MDT.
With an artfully curated lineup, attendees will be treated to sets by Wookiefoot, Desert Dwellers, David Starfire, Dub Kirtan All-Stars, FreQ Nasty, Random Rab, and Dixon’s Violin to name a few, as well as a Thursday pre-party featuring Prophet Massive (Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident and EOTO) and Chase Makai (of Medicine for the People).
A luminary of the West Coast's psychedelic-bass music diaspora, Random Rab rises to occasion with Formless Edge, his eleventh full-length solo opus, to be released on June 16, 2017 and available for pre-order now. The sommelier of sacred returns to the collective consciousness with 15 songs that unveil an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of styles, each embedded with his idiosyncratic codings and vintage visceral vibration.
This month, Random Rab takes his brand new live act on the road to hubs in the Midwest and on the east coast. A staple of the west coast, transformational circuit, Rab’s latest album Release has rocketed to the top 5 in the iTunes electronic charts, and opened up the rest of the country to his new sound.
ARISE! Those are bold words that I have used in the title of this review, but I have thought long and hard about it, and I can rationalize and explain it. This inaugural festival is one that I will never miss. I was only there for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, but I did not sleep, and in that short period of time, I was able to completely capture the magic and vibe of this festival.
This past weekend, Shadows Ranch, a wooded valley flanked by two steep mountain sides a stones throw away from Georgetown, Colorado was transformed from a tranquil hidden gem of the Rockies into what can best be described as an energy center. On paper Sonic Bloom is a music festival, but in the flesh (so to speak) it is a platform for expression and a point of dissolution of the boundary between artist and audience.