Monday, May 13, 2013

Bush, others beat out cancer at weekend festival

Cancer survivor and bluegrass veteran Sam Bush and Asheville Afro-jam quintet Toubab Krewe will headline drumSTRONG this weekend. The three day music festival, which benefits cancer awareness and research, takes place at Misty Meadows Farm in Weddington Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Toubab Krewe with special guest Kevin "Kalimbaman" Spears headlines opening night of the seventh annual drumSTRONG. Friday kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with S.L.O. Stop Light Observations followed by Raleigh roots singer Jeanne Jolly, Djesben with Nathan Graham, and the Mid-East Magic Dance Ensemble bellydancers.

Saturday's lineup includes local reggae rockers Of Good Nature, Moses Jones, Spears, DEP3,  buzzing Asheville band The Broadcast, jazz saxophonist Ryan Saranich with Alex Bailey, and local jam outfit Bubonik Funk. The Jeff Sipe Trio and Bush headline.

Saturday also marks the 2 p.m. kick-off of the 24 hour drum circle, which extends into Sunday morning and afternoon. The drum circle is the heart of the event and circles back to the festival's beginnings. The fundraiser was created in 2007 by the Swimmer family whose son was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. The family founded DrumsForCures, which produces drumSTRONG with the idea of literally beating cancer through the positive energy and focus created through music. Simultaneous drumSTRONG events now take place as far away as Bangladore, India and The Ukraine.

Sunday's live music includes a breakfast jam with Kalimbaman, Virginia Schenk, Corey Wells, Jim Brock, and Rick Blackwell followed by the SuperSpontaneousCombustjam with Sipe, Red Richmond, and others.

The kid-friendly festival includes a Kidz Parade Sunday, a maypole dance. hoopin', face painting, puppets, and percussion instruction as well as a YogaThon and bellydancing. There's also plenty of healthy living information on hand.

Tickets range from $15 for volunteers and team members to $30 for individuals and $50 for families with kids under 12. You can purchase those by registering online here. Find out more at