By Stephen Vance, Staff
He’s known as Bambalamb, and he’s got quite a summer in store for area music enthusiasts. The Meaford percussionist has had a long career in music that has taken him across the continent to perform and record, but these days Bambalamb (Wesley Kidd) is focused on his own backyard.
With two major festivals to produce and a recurring gig at Blue Mountain, where he can be found filling the air with the at times haunting sounds of his drums, his backyard will certainly be grooving this summer.
First on the festival schedule is Mazelpalooza, in support of My Friend’s House – an organization that provides safe haven for abused women and their children. Mazelpalooza will take place June 14 and 15 in Kimberley.
The eclectic music festival features one of Montreal’s most electrifying guitarists, Cécile Doo-Kingué, who blends blues, soul and afro-folk to create a unique sound. Other acts on the Mazelpalooza bill include HoneyRunners, Too Nice, Drew McIvor, and Bambalamb himself.
“The people who have gone in previous years know what to expect. It really is one of those festivals that you want to be at, and if you go to it once, you’ll be back,” says Bambalamb.
One of the events planned for this year’s Mazelpalooza is a “Yomp on Baldy”, which will see festival-goers hike 45 minutes from the festival site to the lookout at Old Baldy. Pipers and drummers will assemble at the Old Baldy parking lot and will play music along the route to the lookout.
Bambalamb is hoping that the energy created at this year’s Mazelpalooza festival will carry forward to August when he will be presenting Funkengruvin at Blue.
The Blue Mountain Village will be shaking from August 23 – 24, as Bambalamb and his friends create a high energy musical weekend, featuring a range of performers, interactive drumming, children’s shows and other top Canadian talent often featured on CBC Radio 2.
With those major festivals and his many performances and drumming workshops taking place this summer, Bambalamb says that he is thrilled to be able to help contribute to a thriving music community on the shores of Georgian Bay rather than in major North American cities.
“It’s about passing it forward, not keeping opportunities to yourself. Spreading it out through the community so that we all win,” he told The Independent. “The biggest thing I hope people get out of it is a sense of community, how we’re all connected. Not how we’re separated, but how we’re connected. Once we figure out that we’re all connected, then the greatest possibilities exist.”