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Joe Ferrara

music LYLBYou might know Joe Ferrara from his cameo in The Lost Boys, or as the Yoda figure at Atlantis Fantasyworld who knows everything about superheroes. Or maybe you know him as that guy at Shadowbrook who serenades you with Sinatra classics. The silver-haired celebrity began playing guitar at an early age, and has developed a loyal following in Santa Cruz in the last few decades. “My parents are Italian and they were pushing me towards accordion,” he recalls of his childhood. “There was a waiting list for lessons, and one day my mother said, ‘You were accepted for accordion lessons,’ and I said, ‘Ma, I want to play guitar.’”

After attending college in Santa Clara, Ferrara bounced around coffee shops in Los Angeles with his guitar in tow. But his perspective on music changed when he saw Joni Mitchell perform. “That’s when I realized that singing and playing was more than just doing your own version of something; it’s about communicating something greater than yourself,” he says. This Sunday at Kuumbwa Jazz, Ferrara will do just that at the fourth annual Songfest for Prostate Cancer Awareness, a benefit concert featuring The Breeze Babes, Constellation, The Barcellos and guitarist Steve Kritzer. A cancer survivor himself, Ferrara and members of his support group (true superheroes) have worked to open up conversation about men’s health. To get the attention of the local community in 2008, Ferrara performed 185 different songs, without sheet music, in 12 hours at Shadowbrook. “My idea was to do something splashy—a marathon—and set a world record by playing and singing nonstop and never repeating a song,” he explains. “I could do it again and sing a different 185 songs.” But instead, this year’s event will feature several acts performing on behalf of the cause. “I envisioned a hootenanny,” he says, “where different types of music joined together for a show.”


INFO: 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. No cover. All ages welcome.

Comments (2)Add Comment
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written by Linda M, September 07, 2013
Great memories of Joe and his guitar when we were both college students at Santa Clara.....how many years ago????
...
written by Gail C, September 05, 2012
Love Joe at The Cats in Los Gatos too! He is a fantastic entertainer!

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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