'Save the Land Jam' features 3 bands

Proceeds from dance to help group acquire land for greenbelts and wildlife conservation around Gustavus

Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2002

Acid jazz, gypsy music and bluegrass provide the jam at the "Save the Land Jam" Friday night.

The Fiery Gypsies, the Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band and Kudzu will take turns on stage at the ANB Hall for a dance and concert to benefit the Gustavus Land Legacy. The music is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. with the Fiery Gypsies.

True to its name, the band plays Eastern European gypsy music. The band has played in Juneau for about six years in various incarnations the current Gypsies are instrumentalists, with the violin and clarinet as the lead melody instruments.

"We're playing country eastern music," violinist Steve Tada said with a laugh. "We might throw in some new tunes - Dale has come up with some hot new tangos."

Dale Wygant plays accordion in the band, which includes Tada, Phil Miscovich on clarinet, Bruce Simonson on piano and John Staub on bass.

The Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band will play a set of bluegrass and old-time music. The band plays traditional music, as well as original songs. Crabgrass includes Maridon Boario on bass, Erik Chadwell on banjo, Sean Tracey on harmonica, guitarist Johnse Ostman and fiddler Andy Ferguson. All the band members sing.

Kudzu will wrap up the night with a couple of sets of music.

"Acid jazz and hip hop is the vein we're mining," said guitarist and singer Justin Smith. Kudzu also includes Albert McDonnell on bass, Clay Good on drums and Joel Bergsbaken on the turntables.

Bergsbaken is scratching, playing vinyl records on the turntables and triggering digitally sampled bits of music. He'll do a few raps and Smith and McDonnell sing.

The proceeds benefit the Gustavus Land Legacy. The group is working with the Nature Conservancy to raise $4 million to purchase 2,200 acres of land in the Gustavus area from the state.

"We're trying to acquire the land from the (state) Mental Health Trust," said Michelle Sebern of the land legacy. The Mental Health Trust Authority was given the land in 1956 by the federal government to generate money for mental health services in Alaska.

If the groups are successful in buying the land, they plan to draft management plans for six parcels of land, which inlcudes Gustavus beaches and uplands.

The land will be managed for recreational uses and as wildlife habitat and community greenbelts. More information on the project can be found at http://gustavuslandlegacy.org.

Admission to the "Save the Land Jam" is $10, and $7 for students. Alcohol will be served and participants must be 21 or older to attend.

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