Thursday night is “Locals Night” at California WorldFest


Calling all Nevada County residents!  The 22nd Annual California WorldFest takes place July 12-15 at the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds.   The popular festival that celebrates music and arts from cultures around the globe is presented by The Center for the Arts, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Grass Valley.  People gather in Grass Valley from across the nation to celebrate diversity in music and art, but it is also THE favorite local event for many people that live right here in Nevada County.  Knowing this, The Center for the Arts welcomes their neighbors to enjoy the opening night of the festival for a steep discount; 2-for-1 tickets for locals!


Opening Ceremony

The gates open at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, and the Indigenous Nisenan People of Nevada, Placer El Dorado, and Sacramento Counties kick off WorldFest with a sacred ceremony to welcome all guests of WorldFest to their ancestral homelands.  The ceremony takes place from 4:45-5:15 p.m.,  followed by Indigenous-themed performances by other tribes, and sets the tone for respect, inclusion, and cultural diversity that permeates WorldFest.  The Global Indigenous People’s Village celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018, offering attendees an immersive journey into the world of indigenous art, culture, and traditions, so be sure to stop by and learn more about our local Nisenan people.


Keith Secola

The Indigenous theme continues Thursday after the opening ceremony with a performance by Keith Secola from 5:55-6:45 p.m.  Native folk & blues rocker Keith Secola is an accomplished artist: award-winning musician, guitarist and native flute player; singer, songwriter, and producer. His music is familiar to thousands of fans across North America and Europe. Keith’s famous song,”NDN KARS” is considered the contemporary Native American anthem and is the most requested song on Native radio in the US and Canada. Keith Secola is Anishinabe (Ojibwa) originally from the Mesabi Iron Range country of northern Minnesota, now residing in Arizona. He is a member of the Anishinabe Nation of northern Minnesota and southern Ontario, Canada.   Keith Secola is a seven-time Native American Music Award winner, receiving numerous Nammy nominations in various categories and winning: Artist of the Year, Best Producer, Best Folk/Country Recording, Best Blues/Jazz Recording, Best Independent Recording, Best Linguistic Recording, and Best Instrumental Recording.


In 2011, Keith Secola was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame,  joining Jimmy Hendrix, Hank Williams, Crystal Gayle, Richie Valens among other inductees.


Noreum Machi

Traveling half way across the world musically, Noreum Machi follows Keith Secola and plays from 6:50-7:40 p.m.  Noreum Machi, referring to a performer who is so skilled that no one would dare to follow on stage, is the most widely recognized Korean traditional music band in Korea. Founded in 1993, Noreum Machi brings together traditional singing and enchanting powerful percussion playing in their musical and creative activities. With the WOMEX official showcase selection in 2014, CINARS official showcase in 2016, and Mundial Montreal 2017 official showcase, Noreum Machi continues carving out own path globally. They have so far performed in almost 200 cities in 60 countries and keep developing musical skills and enjoying meeting with people from all over the world, listen to their music and getting endless inspiration.


Noreum Machi specializes in the virtuosic percussion music known as Samul-nori. This exciting music, first introduced to the West in the late 1970s by the legendary ensemble, Samul-nori is a modernized-staged adaptation of the ancient Pungmul-nori, famers’ ritual that had its origin in shamanism and animism.


Joanne Shenandoah

Following Noreum Machi from 7:45-8:35 p.m. is Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D., one of “America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed Native American musicians of her time” according to the Associated Press.  She is a Grammy Award winner with three Nominations, over 40 music awards (including 14 Native American Music awards – Hall of Fame Inductee) with music ranging from solo to full symphony and 22 recordings.  She is a humanitarian, working as a peace and earth justice advocate and has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, and has received multiple awards and praise for her work to promote universal peace and understanding.  She is a direct descendent of the famed “Chief Shenandoah” who is noted to have been given a “Peace Medal” by George Washington and established Hamilton College, Clinton, NY (The Oneida Academy).


Shenandoah has performed for noted leaders such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Huston Smith, Mikhail Gorbachev, and is celebrated with the honor of East – West Interfaith Ministry.  She is also hailed by other musicians for her amazing talent.  “Joanne Shenandoah is one of the finest attributes to Native American Music and Culture,” said Neil Young.



Closing out the evening from 8:40-10:10 p.m. is FulaMuse, a double dose of heart poured over rhythms to uplift the body and soul – the union of two bands who nourish and rouse the collective spirit. MaMuse invokes a musical presence that inspires the opening of the heart. Fula Brothers create an ecstatic groove-based dialogue which the heart – and the feet – cannot resist. The rich diversity between them and their shared love to buoy the spirit creates collaborative magic. Songbird singers, West African hunters harp, fingerstyle guitar, drums, vocals, bass, and ukulele are all part of the bounty.


Fula Brothers is the high spirited meeting of three seasoned touring performers – each of whom has spent decades pursuing the shared heartbeat in music from around the globe. Here is a history filled with international collaborations and colorful apprenticeships, from West Africa and Scotland to Haiti and the US.


With deep roots in the folk and gospel traditions, and their hearts in the present, MaMuse (Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker) create uplifting music for the next seven generations to thrive on. Interweaving brilliant and haunting harmony with lyrics born of honed emotional intelligence, MaMuse invokes a musical presence that inspires the opening of the heart. Playing a family of varied acoustic instruments including upright bass, guitar, mandolins, ukulele, and flutes, these two powerful women embody a love for all of life. The synergy that is created through this musical connection is palpable and truly moving to witness.


“WorldFest is a festival of discovery; music connects us all,” said Kristin Johansen, Marketing Manager for The Center for the Arts & California WorldFest.  You are guaranteed to hear something that you don’t know but will love.”

Don’t miss your chance to fall in love with some new music.  Come to share in the local experience while enjoying some wonderfully diverse, dance-inducing, heart inspiring performances.  To get your 2-for-1 tickets for opening night of WorldFest, visit


The actual Nisenan people’s ceremony is from 4:45 to 5:12 and continues with Indigenous themed performances (NON-Nisenan)….it’s important to both groups that we are clear on the division….not sure how you want to frame it.