ART BEAT: Music festival in Duluth features lineup of Ga. musicians

Holley Calmes

Holley Calmes

The Duluth Festival Center Amphitheater Stage will showcase nine musical acts beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday in what is hopefully the first year of many for the Duluth Music Festival. What is special about this festival is that all the performers are Georgians and they represent a variety of musical styles. Best of all, there is no admission fee.

The fun isn't just on the stage, however. The entire Duluth Town Green will be filled with fun things to see and do for the whole family. For example, from 2 until 8 p.m. the "Kid's Zone" will offer young ones pony rides, inflatables, games, activities, a Kindermusik demonstration, face painting and more.

From 3 until 6 p.m., Open Mic Atlanta will be on-site to host a special stage for aspiring vocalists and other musicians. But get there early to sign up for a performing time!

Of course, there will be food. Vendors will be serving American, Asian, Mexican, Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine. (Beer and wine cannot be brought into the park but will be available for purchase at the festival.) Specialty vendors will be on hand as well for your "shopping pleasure."

But the spotlight is on the music itself. Beginning at 2 p.m. a roster of diverse musical acts will entertain the crowd on the main Festival Stage. First up is Katelyn Pope, a 15-year-old country singer from Powder Springs. Her debut album, "Unshaken," was released May 1. Visit her at www.myspace.com/katelynpopemusic.

At 3 p.m. the mic will be turned over to ZAKA and her style of "glam rock." Also known as Kate Powell, ZAKA was inspired by David Bowie, Grace Jones and Lady Gaga to name a few. Check her out at www.myspace.com/kateka.

The Green Flag Band performs at 4 p.m. This Celtic folk group is Athens-based and stays "close to the heart" of traditional Irish and Celtic music. Visit them at www.greenflagband.com.

The Metro Jazz Club will take the stage at 5 p.m. This 17-piece band plays many different types of jazz and features vocalist Maxine Cummins. For more about them, visit www.metrojazzclub.com.

The 6 p.m. slot will bring James Weaver to the mic with his unique presentation of "rock, surf and country" guitar. He is also an award-winning songwriter. Visit him at www.jwsmusic.com.

Angel "La Tumba" Estrella will hit the stage at 7 p.m. Raised in various parts of the world, Estrella is billed as a reggae/tumba artist and is the pride of the Dominican Republic. Learn more about him at www.tumbamusic.com.

Valentine and West will perform at 8 p.m. as a hip hop/pop act, featuring Atlanta and Athens city-wide "Battle Rap Champion" Tommy Valentine. Visit www.valentineandwest.com for more about this dynamic team.

The final act at 9 p.m. will be Gary Harris and Friends performing R&B, jazz and pop. This group has performed at the legendary Cafe 290 and has been featured on CNN and PBS. Visit www.cafe290atlanta.com for more information.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.