Salt Life is more than just a slogan; it’s a lifestyle that’s reflected in everything from the surfers, anglers, boaters, sun worshipers, and simple appreciators of island time. It’s Pura Vida. The first annual Salt Life Music Festival will celebrate it all Saturday, June 18 at the SeaWalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach.
Festival director Sam Veal has assembled an eclectic lineup of artists to reflect the nature of the salt life with Dirty Pete, J Collins, DANKA, Ramajay Intercoastal, The Band Be Easy, Split Tone, and headliner Roosevelt Collier. “First and foremost, [Salt Life] will be reflected in the music. Our lineup is such a terrific array of talent. Everything from the steel drum group Ramajay International. We’ll be closing it out with Roosevelt Collier. I don’t know if it gets much better than that. And of course, we’ve got the Split Tones and Be Easy,” says Veal.
South Florida-bred Roosevelt Collier does his hollering on the sacred steel guitar. Collier built his reputation alongside his uncles and cousins in The Lee Boys, known for their spirited, soul-shaking live performances and lightning-fast slide work on the pedal steel. He has performed alongside such heavyweights as the Allman Brothers, the Funky Meters, Los Lobos and the Del McCoury Band.
In Trinidad/Tobago the word Ramajay means a “spirited jam session”. Ramajay Intercoastal plays a unique blend of island rock with infectious beats, catchy melodies, and reggae rhythms that will leave sand in your shoes. Ramajay Intercoastal features Alonzo Lewis on Drums, Klee on Bass, Michael Robertson on Percussion, Quincy on Steel Pans, and Tall Paul on guitar.
Country crooner J Collins is an accomplished writer, producer, publisher, and singer. He has released a self-penned debut EP, and his new CD demonstrates an authenticity that is quickly making a mark as an artist.
Split Tone is an independent band that hails from Jacksonville Beach creating a vibrant blend of reggae, hip-hop, soul, and rock. The band is comprised of Ryan Campbell on vocals, Joey Peters and Jevon Hill on keyboards, Will Neal on trombone, Nick Causey on trumpet, Stefano Di Bella on saxophone, Jimmy Hill Jr. on drums, and Jason Pierce on bass.
Dirty Pete and the Thunder Chief are sharing their brand of “love-making, booty-shaking, walls quaking, music, and shenanigans” throughout the region.
DANKA has a mix of reggae-punk style with southern blues roots. The band stays busy in the studio and spends time on the road regularly on regional and national tours. Lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Matt Henderson, percussionist Richard DeVaughn, and bassist Adam Kenneway have opened for Slightly Stoopid, Ballyhoo, Agent Orange, and more.
The festival will also feature sunrise yoga on the oceanfront, organic food, a local marketplace, and an essay contest describing the meaning of Salt Life. Essays must be between 50 and 100 words. The contest is open to all ages.
“Between the music and everything else we’ve got going on, I can sum it up in two words; pura vida. To me, that would be it. It kind of embodies all of the elements that go into the salty life. We have an abundance of natural beauty and grace here, and we have a lot of folks here that benefit from and are blessed by that abundance. We celebrate that in the form of music and community coming together.”
There will be VIP passes available for festival goers to enjoy exclusive food and beverage tents, restrooms, and opportunities to win a pair of tickets to the Connection Fest. “Relax with your family and friends and enjoy the performances on stage with an unobstructed view. Rub elbows with the performers and have your own armchair seating. Everyone who gets a VIP pass will receive a ticket and we will be doing a drawing every hour to give away tickets to the Connection Festival,” says Veal. He adds that winners must be present to claim their prize. For those who pick up VIP passes at the Salt Life retail store on Third Street South in Jacksonville Beach, they will receive a free Salt Life license plate cover while supplies last. Passes are $20.
“I’ve got a feeling there’s going to be a lot of dancing going on. We want it to be very representative of what the salt lifestyle is. I really believe in the festival life.” Shake it like a salt shaker at the Salt Life Fest on June 18. For more info, check out www.saltlifefest.com.
Event: Salt Life Music Fest
Venue: SeaWalk Pavilion
Date: June 18
Tickets: Free; VIP Passes $20