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California WorldFest in Grass Valley

Bands, performers, good vibes, and good times glitter in Gold Country.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gabriel Judet Weinshel
    Birds of Chicago are on the bill at the 19th annual California WorldFest. The Grass Valley music-tacular is on from July 16 through 19.

    A BEAUTIFUL GLOBAL GATHERING... of sounds and performers and longtime mavens and brand-new fans and unusual instruments and yoga and cuisines from around the planet is not a happening that comes along every day, or even every month, even in a magical place like the Golden State. There are bellwethers and beacons of the form, though, that return each year, easily drawing thousands of tune lovers who can't make the Caribbean or Africa or Europe or the South or the Midwest or islands near/far to see some of the best artists live. So those artists journey to Grass Valley each July, where they play for about 6,000 people per day over a long and joy-rhythmic weekend. One of those beacons is the California WorldFest, a very large gathering that's readying its 19th outing from Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, July 19. And the fest's roster is long and starry and diverse and get-up-and-dance-y and discover-a-new-favorite-esque. Lucinda Williams, that delightful doyenne of all things alt-country, will sing in the nature-nice setting, as will Americana-crooning duo Birds of Chicago, legendary activist and artist Buffy Sainte-Marie, 10-year-old country phenomenon EmiSunshine,  folk legend Richard Thompson, Ukranian folk foursome DakhaBrakha, and columns of considerable talents all bringing story-packed song-styles that are hallmarks of such meaningful musical events.

    OFF THE STAGE... there shall be the aforementioned international foodstuffs, stuff for the young fans to do away from watching the shows, yoga, and workshops for musicians covering vocals and instruments. Plus? This is all set among the Ponderosa pines and black oaks of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a postcard-worthy spot to plant some good sound seeds in, year after year. If your travels have been too light lately but your heart is with the world, Grass Valley isn't all that far from your home. Find your way there, global-minded journey-makers. "Music Connects Us All," is the theme, and isn't that the truth?