Jackshit, Rick Holmstrom Band, Earthworm Ensemble, MCs Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy come together to aid children’s playgroup
By Bliss Bowen 04/30/2014
One of the great blessings of life in Los Angeles is the abundance of musical talent available to us. On any given night of the week, you can slip into nightclubs across the city and hear world-class musicians — solo innovators, session veterans, career sidemen/women on breaks between tours — jamming in personal projects or impromptu collaborations. It can be thrilling to witness the variety of creative expression when artists of that caliber gather to just … play.
So it’s particularly fitting that some of LA’s most esteemed ensembles of just such musicians’ musicians are playing a fundraiser for “a pre-preschool playgroup.” Jackshit, Rick Holmstrom Band and environmentally conscious children’s band Earthworm Ensemble (featuring members of I See Hawks in LA) are taking the Bootleg Theatre stage Sunday afternoon to support the Sacred Garden Playgroup.
Conceived by acclaimed trumpeter and longtime private childcare provider Sarah Kramer, Sacred Garden aims to establish a learning structure for children 18-36 months old that utilizes their own play as an educational tool. For example, Kramer says, she will probably have a basket with little instruments on hand to spark children’s curiosity. She is launching Sacred Garden on a Los Feliz property and hopes to build her own location in a year or so.
“It’s about setting up an environment and having things around,” she explains. “Then children choose for themselves what they’re interested in. If one kid wanders off to a basket and reaches in, somebody else might come along and start playing too. Or we might just gather and sing songs. It’s not like music class, but there’ll be elements of music. In the same way, there might be paper and paints or crayons or clay. If somebody’s really into spiders, I might bring in a book about spiders.”
The Jersey native moved to LA in 2003 after eight years living and playing in New Orleans. Not long thereafter, she had a chance encounter with Jackshit (bassist Davey Faragher, guitarist Val McCallum and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Pete Thomas), beloved by fans for their high-octane, hillbilly-style string bending and corkscrewed humor. She’s been sitting in with them at shows ever since.
Kramer has similarly long ties to blues guitarist Holmstrom’s grooving trio, which also features drummer Stephen Hodges and bassist/saxophonist Jeff Turmes. The three have been gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples’ touring band for the past seven years, but before that, Kramer jammed with them in a loose crew dubbed Brohondo. They also play on her 2013 album “Home.”
Asking Jackshit and Holmstrom & Co. to perform at Sunday’s concert was a no-brainer. With Earthworm Ensemble and comedy/emcee team Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy also on the bill, Sunday’s looking like playtime for families and music aficionados alike.
Sacred Garden Playgroup Fundraiser concert with Jackshit, Rick Holmstrom Band, Earthworm Ensemble, MCs Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy at the Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; $20. Theatre info: (213) 389-3856. jackshittheband.com, rickholmstrom.com, earthwormensemble.com, snapperbuddy.com, sarahkramer.com