Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Let your Soulshine

Michael Franti and company to fill you up

Express Staff Writer

SOJA,Reggae making an impassioned call for unity and change.
Courtesy photo

    Michael Franti & Spearhead recently announced the launch of the first-ever music and yoga lifestyle tour, “Soulshine,” featuring special guest artists SOJA, Brett Dennen, Trevor Hall and acclaimed yoga teachers, such as Canada’s Ryan Leier.
    And Sun Valley, where the artist has performed before, is one of the stops. He will play here on Wednesday, July 2, as a guest of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
    Soulshine is bridging daytime and evening experiences, including live music, pop-up yoga villages, sustainable living activities and DJ performances. It promises to be a bona-fide family affair, bringing the community together for a full-blown dance party.
    According to its advance press, the Soulshine Tour aims to satisfy and reach some of the more than 15 million Americans practicing yoga. There will be on-premises pop-up “yoga villages” providing 1,000 - 2,500 mats to concert-goers.
    Soulshine incorporates yoga networks from around the nation by inviting the founders, teachers and students of renowned studios to participate in the “yoga villages” in their respective cities.
    Afternoons on the Soulshine tour begin with a mass yoga and acoustic music jam with Michael Franti & Friends, led by some of today’s most inspiring North American teachers. Each yoga session is designed for people of all experience levels, ages, shapes and sizes, and features various artists participating side-by-side with fans. Afternoon activities then give way to four full music sets by the singular headlining acts.
    These days will turn into an evening DJ tent, art gallery and local musicians platform during the main stage performances.
    Headliner Franti has been practicing yoga for more than 12 years, and has graced the covers of numerous lifestyle publications, including Yoga Journal.
    Celebrated yoga guru Ryan Leier heads up the daily sessions, bringing his innovative style of assimilating ancient traditions with a contemporary flow to the masses. Based in Canada, and a yoga ambassador to communities across the globe, Leier is the founder of One Yoga studios and Vinyasa Yoga for Youth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth through the practice of yoga.
    Jacob Hemphill, singer for the band called SOJA, said in a recent interview, “I’m personally excited about the yoga aspect. I’ve never tried it before, so I’m pumped.  Plus, the musicians are all great.”
    Franti is featured on SOJA’s single “I Believe,” an inspirational portrayal of how one can regain the reins of a seemingly out-of-control life. The single is doing well critically, “so it’ll be fun to do this countrywide tour with him,” Hemphill said.
    SOJA’s music is “reggae, with many, many different influences,” he said.
    “The members are from all over the place—D.C., Delaware, Puerto Rico, Venezuela—so there’s a lot going on.”
Soulshine performing artists’ bios:
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Michael Franti has sold more than 2.5 million singles of his hit song “Say Hey (I Love You),” and has charted his albums on Billboard’s Top 40 along with frequent appearances on David Letterman, Leno, Conan, Oprah, Ellen and CNN. In addition to being a leading social activist, Franti has diligently created and supported numerous environmental and humanitarian causes, which speaks to the evolution of sounds featured on his latest album, “All People.”
Reggae making an impassioned call for unity and change.
Brett Dennen
Named by Rolling Stone magazine as an “artist to watch,” and in 2008, Entertainment Weekly called him one of its eight “guys on the rise.”
Trevor Hall
Hall has a song on the “Shrek the Third” soundtrack, as a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, the Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Colbie Callait.

Shine on
Soulshine Yoga and Music Daytime Event
Wednesday, July 2, 11 a.m. Trail Creek Picnic Grounds.
$20, $10 if purchased with a ticket to the concert.
Soulshine Tour Concert with Michael Franti & Spearhead, SOJA, Brett Dennen, and Trevor Hall.
Wednesday, July 2, 6 p.m. River Run Lodge.
$40 for Sun Valley Center for the Arts members and $50 for non.
Details at or by calling 726-9491.


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