Rhythm and Joy Festival: A Celebration of Music and Transformation

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Rhythm and Joy Festival, or RAJ 13, will be held Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6 at the Hummingbird Ranch Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. The brainchild of Ricki Byars Beckwith, music and art director at Agape International Spiritual Center, RAJ 13 will bring together top performers from an array of genres including urban contemporary, roots, world music, R & B soul, jazz, kirtan, spoken word, dance and yoga.

“I was inspired by Lightning in a Bottle’s (LIB) ‘fun in the sun,’ watching all the young people having fun,” explains Byars Beckwith. “The idea was to organize a palette of artists in the spirit of oneness, growth, expansion and inclusiveness.”
 
Artists include Chaka Khan, Earth Wind and Fire, Declaime, Leon Mobley & Da Lion, The Grandmothers (formerly Mothers of Invention), Brenda Lee Eager, Jami Lula, Dwight Trible Cosmic Band, Niki Haris, Deva Premal & Miten, Don Miguel Ruiz & Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., Nu Family, Peggy Callahan, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Rickie Byars Beckwith, The Agape International Choir, Rich and Carin Clayton.
 
Another LIB inspiration for Byars Beckwith was the number of artists that appealed to a younger audience. She wanted to make sure RAJ 13 featured several such artists. Below are three.
 
Los Angeles-based Arielle (Facebook.com/The.Official.Arielle) is a 22 year old on the rise. At 15, she met and played for her idol, Queen guitarist Brian May, at a book signing—creating a friendship that lasts today. She has recently joined forces with a Boston businessman to create Open E, a music label to market Arielle’s music. “My mission is truly to make this world a better place in every way through connecting and empowering people by their feelings and experiences,” explains Arielle. 
 
British singer-songwriter Sheila Nicholls (SheilaNicholls.com) was born in Colchester, Essex and now lives in Echo Park. Her song “Fallen for You” was featured on the best-selling sound track for the movie High Fidelity starring John Cussack. Another single, “Faith,” written with Glen Ballard, hit the pop charts. Her latest album is entitled Songs From the Bardo.
 
Los Angeles native Georgia Anne Muldrow (Facebook.com/GeorgiaAnneMuldrow) was born to musically accomplished parents, late jazz guitarist Ronald Muldrow and Byars Beckwith. According to Stone Throw Records, Muldrow approaches her music with labyrinth of keyboards, synthesizers and various instruments with a fresh perspective every time. 
 
Hummingbird Nest Ranch is located at 2940 Kuehner Dr., Santa Susana. For more information about the festival, visit RAJFestival.com. To purchase tickets, call 888-319-5327 or visit BrightstarEvents.net/show.cfm?id=4295.
 
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