Local musicians jam for Brisco Art Wing

A private residence owned by Zurial Devine on Oak Street was the site of the first annual Devine Artists of Ashland Back Yard Jam, a fundraising event to support the Briscoe ArtWing, a cooperative of local artists and musicians.

The idea came to Devine one day while she was working in her garden and she quickly got to work planning and organizing the event.

"The vision is really one of bringing people together," Devine said.

The atmosphere was like a family barbecue, albeit a very large and culturally broad family barbecue. Children bounced up and down on a huge trampoline in the corner of the spacious backyard next to a large open tent where many pieces of art were on display. A young couple laid contentedly on a large hammock rocking back and forth and listening to the music.

Many of those present wore henna or body paint, which was being applied near the fire pit adjacent to the refreshment area.

The evening went smoothly — with very few technical difficulties or other snags inherent to these types of events. Partygoers were treated to not only live music and a display of local art work, but also wine tasting courtesy of South Stage Cellars and a very lavish spread of grilled delicacies which included quesadillas donated by El Tapatio, kabobs, and several ethnic dishes. The food was provided by Village Farm, The Wellsprings, and Pamela Joy of Food Angel.

After a discussion with a neighbor about the noise, amplifiers and mixers were unplugged, during a set by local musician Momo Smitt — but the show continued. Smitt was joined by Frankie Hernandez and others for an acoustic session off stage among the audience members. They formed a circle around the musicians who also played hand drums and a didgeridoo while Smitt laid down his verses.

After Smitt wrapped up his performance at about 9:45 p.m. many of those in attendance headed for their vehicles.

The remaining acts included Frankie Hernandez, Cornflower and Brynna Dean and the Sympathetic Strings, who closed out the night but were forced to perform acoustic versions of all of their songs.

The hardcore music heads in attendance didn't mind and the keg of amber ale from Standing Stone Brewery continued to be depleted until things were officially wrapped up around midnight — an hour or so later than planned.

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