The last time Casper Lomayesva was in Taos was almost by accident. It was in September 2009 and Richard Archuleta, Taos Pueblo’s then-tourism director, said the idea for a show at the tribe’s community center was put together only the day before. “I thought it would be just a couple of guys sitting here on chairs strumming their guitars,” he said at the time.
He said he was pleasantly surprised when a large truck showed up carrying $20,000 worth of sound and light show equipment in support of national Native music acts Keith Secola and Casper Lomayesva.
Now, Casper Lomayesva and The Go2 Band are back and set to perform for the Concert for Kids Coalition. The show is planned Saturday (Aug. 26), 6 p.m., at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. Tickets are $15, $20 at the door, youth 12 and under are free.
Sharing the bill will be Boomroots Collective with special guests Dre Z, DJ Dynamite Sol, Ras 1, and Christof, with sounds by DJ Ram, Silko and Rasta Stevie.
“Backed by the Mighty 602 Band, Lomayesvas first release, ‘Original Landlord,’ dropped on the music scene in 1997,” Mihio Manus wrote for the Arizona Sun in 2004. “In 2001, his self-released ‘Sounds of Reality’ took home the award for Best World Music Recording at the Native American Music Awards. His latest effort, Honor the People, is tentatively scheduled to be released this year. As his music gained popularity, it furnished the opportunity for Lomayesva to travel the nation and abroad.”
Casper and the 602 Band have graced the stages of both the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He’s opened for reggae greats The Wailers, Burning Spear and Culture. And, his influence just keeps growing.
All proceeds for the show will go to support the DreamTree Project, Rivers & Birds, and the Red Willow Farming Project.
“For the long-rooted people of our area, our primary values have always been family and our connection to the land,” Roberta Salazar of Rivers & Birds said. “We are land rich and family rich. Nurturing children, raising food and giving thanks to the Earth that has nourished us has been our focus for hundreds of years. Those priorities have shaped our land-based cultures of New Mexico and give us spiritual and physical sustenance — something which newcomers to this area find inspiring.”
She adds that it is ironic today that “too many local families struggle to survive here with today’s cash-based economy where family quality time is now limited and children are often left out of enrichment opportunities as parents struggle to make ends meet with little time or opportunity for their children to interact with Mother Earth or even to have a safe place to live.”
Red Willow, DreamTree and Rivers & Birds are three independent organizations that are working to provide economically disadvantage youth with opportunities to feel supported and to engage with Mother Earth. As registered nonprofit organizations, “we are philanthropists working from the heart to empower our local youth as community-loving leaders for the future. We are here for our kids — whether or not donors come through. The reality though is that with less funding fewer children are reached,” Salazar said.
All three organizations have demonstrated their effectiveness at “bringing joy and confidence into the lives of our youth.”
• Red Willow Farm is a Taos Pueblo indigenous youth-based farm that integrates traditional growing practices with modern technology teaching future leaders the importance of sustainable farming, food, sovereignty and its impacts and benefits for our community.
• DreamTree Project is guided by empathy and integrity to provide a respectful, safe and structured environment to support youth in crisis.
• Rivers & Birds advocates for public land conservation for the benefit of future generations and provides experiential environmental education to inspire the generation of Earth stewards.
“We want to give special thanks to local activist and musician Ras-I who created this event. We thank Casper and the Go2 Band and all the business sponsors of this benefit concert. We also thank everyone who has supported our efforts in the past. Now we invite everyone to support our youth and Mother Earth through joyful reggae music and dance … If you cannot come to the concert you may donate to these organizations at Red Willow Farm (on Facebook or by calling 575-770-1362), www.RiversandBirds.org and www.DreamTreeProject.org.