Central Post Shipping | Crestone Music Festival rocks dancers

CRESTONE – Tom Dessain, Executive Director of Crestone Performances Inc., steered another Crestone Music Festival to success on August 6 with the help of volunteers, vendors, quality artists and decades of experience in the presentation of public performances.

Before an interactive demonstration of a Brazilian tradition called “Capoeira,” Dessain said, “We’re taking action like you’re about to see in schools in Saguache County, Salida, and the San Luis Valley. The Japanese Taiko drums you saw earlier, this is our most popular number in schools. We’ve done 25 shows in 20 years with the Taiko Drummers.

Saturday marked the 21st anniversary of the festival. Dessain and his team have produced 251 shows over the decades, featuring nearly 50 different presenters. The events featured steel drummers, jugglers, a falconer and many other performers from around the world. Dessain mentioned that they are relaunching Open Mic Night for students this fall.

Two of the acts sandwiched between original songwriters, aerial acrobatics, drums, blues and jazz on Saturdays also highlight the school’s shows. The Taiko Drummers played mid-afternoon and a band from Colorado Springs and Brazil introduced Capoeira before ONDA ended the evening with Latin-infused dance beats. Capoeira is a 19th century Brazilian martial arts practice, a combination of dance and combat movements.

Crestone’s own Malana Ramadei spun for the crowd.

“We started playing music together when she was in sixth grade,” Dessain told the crowd before starting her show. “Just so you know; Malana can really play trap set drums.

Suspended above the ground, Ramadei’s aerial display involved wrapping oneself in fabric while spinning, twisting and unraveling to the ground. She performed twice during the festival.

Blue Rooster featured a few additional musicians on stage for their polished renditions of classic rock covers. Earlier in the lineup, a bass, guitar and cello trio called Rhondavoo shared jazz standards and more. Rhonda Schoenecker played guitar and sang. On cello, Mark Dudrow provided more vocals while Charley Johnson sang and played bass.

The bouncy house buzzed with children throughout the day and groups took turns on two adjacent stages made possible by generous sponsors. Thanks to Amica’s Pizza in Salida, one stage was fully funded.

The Crestone Community Stage has received funding from Crestone Mercantile, The Crestone Eagle, Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa, Shumei International Institute, Alamosa Live Music Association, Crestone Creative Trade, Valley Roots Food Hub, Higher Elevation Dispensary, One Eleven Dispensary , Shaman 1214, Harrell Quality Homes and Shangrilah Colorado LLC.

Gerald R. Schneider