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March 30, 2006

LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT

Zilla: Not just another electronica hammered dulcimer trance band

Colorado trio Zilla performs improvisational live-electronica hammered dulcimer trance band music Tuesday at 9 p.m. at The Mobius, 281 Fourth St. Ashland.

A 100 percent organic, improvised creation, each Zilla concert proves to be a completely unique occurrence, with even the band members having no idea where the music will take them night after night. Relying on their uncanny ability to listen and incorporate their individual talents into a group focused brand of live electronic dance music, Zilla is sweeping the world by storm with their rare breed of beats, bass and uncontrollable musical fury making each performance exactly what live music is all about: Spontaneity, flow, grooves and a damn good dance party.

Formed in Boulder, Colo., Zilla has three-man roster comprised of acclaimed musicians: Michael Travis, Jamie Janover and Aaron Holstein.

Michael Travis (drums, percussion, keyboards, sampler, mallet Kat) has spent more than a decade as the driving percussive force in the band, The String Cheese Incident. Travis continues to be an innovator of improvisational drumming, managing to play hand percussion and/or melodies while simultaneously keeping incredible time with the kit.

Aaron Holstein (guitar, bass, sampler, keys) has had a long and lush musical history, playing guitar with bands such as Boogie Shoes and Vibe Squad. Holstein&

s progression has transformed him from the notion of a typical guitar player, to an applauded adapter leaving behind the traditional notions of what it is to &

jam&

with a guitar or bass.

Jamie Janover (hammered dulcimer, Mini-kit, electric kalimba, mini-sitar, sampler, percussion, tamboura, tongue drum, water) is a world-renowned hammered dulcimer innovator whose long list of band credits is more than impressive. Winner of the 2002 national hammered dulcimer championships, Janover continues to expand the limits of all his instruments by creating a fusion between their sounds and the call of today&

s modern dance scene.

While each individual&

s accomplishments are impressive, the group identity theory behind Zilla is what truly makes the band unique. The constant focus of the group is to create a whole, complete sound devoid of fragmentation, tangential wandering solos and other characteristics that plaque improvisational music today. The music strives to serve all those participating, including the audience. No one in the band has any idea what is going to happen a nanosecond ahead of time; they rely on their instincts and musical history together to create a sound that rarely strays from its intended direction. The collective whole is truly the dominant force in this band.

The music itself is a plethora of grooves, beats and highly percussive breaks, which cause the listener to become engulfed within the sonic vortex of sounds encompassing them. From down-tempo to jungle, from trip-hop to break-beat and trance the band plays on pure emotion, so each night is different and varied, and no song is ever the same.

The show is all ages. Tickets are $12 general, $10 students. For information call 488-8894 or see the Web site www.themobius.com.

Around town

New Monsoon at The Mobius

New Monsoon plays world rhythms with rock bravado Friday at The Mobius, 281 Fourth St. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., with the show starting at 9:30 p.m. This is an all-ages show, and the price is $10.

New Monsoon&

s original compositions are an experience of musical textures, rhythms, ideas and moods. New Monsoon's percussion and acoustic and electric instruments come together in a blend of sophisticated songcraft, musical exploration and down home rock-n-roll.

The music's heavy Latin and Indian vibe, with progressive use of melody and rhythm woven into the mix, is designed to encourage dancing.

For information call 488-8894 or see the Web site www.themobius.com.

Do your friends think you're funny?

The Lithia Fountain Grill, located at 303 East Main St. in downtown Ashland, is looking for fresh faces in the local comedy scene. Come on down for the Comedy Open Mike, hosted by new MC Bondo Monday at 9 p.m. Sign-ups start at 8:30 p.m. The kitchen will remain open with a limited menu for the event.

Call the fountain at 488-0179 for information.

Book discussion group meets

"The Elastic Mind," an open book discussion group, will be discussing Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. Margo T. Howe, Professor Emeriti of Tufts University, will lead this lively exchange of ideas and thoughts. All are welcome, so please join the newly-formed group on Thursday, April 6, from — to 2:30 p.m. at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland.

Next month, on May 4, the group led by Joanna Fenn, will examine Ursula Hegi's Stones From the River. The Friends of the Ashland Public Library host this book discussion group held the first Thursday of each month at 1p.m. Join them. Call 774-6996 for more information.

Local poets read their poetry

To celebrate Poetry Month, local poets of Ashland will share their new work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at Bloomsbury Books. Readers include Mitzi Miles-Kubota, Michael Brewer, Jason Hoopes, Craig Wright, and Mike Young.

Horizon Institute&

s annual poetry evening will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28. The events are free and open to the public at Bloomsbury Books, 290 East Main St. For information call 488-0029.

Chi Healing Center offers spring awakening

— — — Mingtong Gu

Events include open house community practice Tuesday through Friday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. with additional sessions Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 to10 a.m. The sessions are open to all levels and age groups, and beginners are welcome. Bring a friend and you both receive a free practice class.

Chi Healing Center invites participants to learn and cultivate positive changes for their life and the earth planet through energy practice called Qigong. Chi (Qi), means life energy and Qong means cultivation and its benefit. Through gentle movement, visualization, sound and conscious intention, Qigong is an experiential way to address the underlining causes of your life challenge, totality of the body and its connection with emotion, mind and spirit. Changing the energy within oneself sends out new and vital streams into the flow of life. This creates a dynamic movement in energy, which affects the world. The group practice amplifies the web of positive changes.

Together with his wife, Master Mingtong Gu leads the group to activate and feel the substantial presence of life energy and its creative power. Through this ancient practice, you can acknowledge and cultivate your natural gift of healing, which is the creative energy of your conscious intention and effort. You can dedicate your practice to yourself, your loved ones and the community at the large. Through out the ages in China and recently in the West Qigong has been acknowledged for its powerful healing benefits. It also works with the conventional medical treatment and nutritional program to address the totality of healing.

CHC has recently relocated to Ashland, and offers a full program of energy healing service including free Qigong Healing Circles every Wednesday, 7to 8:30 p.m., daily practice classes, weekend &

healer within&

training and individual healing sessions.

Born in China, Master Mingtong Gu came to U.S. 20 years ago. He received his MS in math and MFA in fine arts, and studied many traditions of spiritual and healing practice. He received the highest level of training from Dr. Pang Ming, director of the famous medicine-less hospital in China, the Huaxia Zhineng Qigong Clinic near Beijing where Wisdom Healing Qigong was developed. This hospital has a high success rate of treating over 200,000 patients and over 185 wide-ranging diseases. For over 25 years, the hospital&

s work is documented in many Chinese scientific journals. Master Gu is an adjunct faculty at UCSD School of Medicine.

For information call 482-5038 or see the Web site www.chicenter.com.

Siskiyou Views: Local poets celebrate National Poetry Month

Hosted by Grants Pass poet Michael Jenkins, the next free Siskiyou Views event at Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library will feature local poets sharing work of their own as well as favorite poems by living writers Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Hannon Library Meese Meeting Room 305.

In this informal gathering, poets will share work that inspires them as they engage each other in a creative exchange.

The impromptu evening will encourage the camaraderie found in poetry conferences, as working writers offer readings and commentary on the living power of contemporary poetry.

Featured Rogue Valley poets will include Craig Wright, Vince Wixon, Patty Wixon, Pepper Trail, Mitzi Miles-Kubota, Michael Jenkins, Judson Hyatt, Joyce Epstein, Jonah Bornstein, and Edie Berry.

This reading marks the nationwide celebration of National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.

The library is located on the S.O.U. campus in Ashland. This presentation is co-sponsored by Friends of Hannon Library. For further information, contact Anna Beauchamp at 552-6835.

Holly Near plays the Unitarian Center on Monday

Singer-songwriter-activist Holly Near will perform at the Unitarian Center at Fourth and C streets at 8 p.m. Monday in conjunction with the Grandmother Council Project.

For 30 years, Holly Near has been a voice for world peace and is one of the founding mothers of the genre "women's music." Near's songs continue to astound, exploding with freedom, maturity, wisdom, and relentless hope. Holly will perform an intimate concert and &

Song Talk&

evening. The event is presented by Living Earth Circle&

s Grandmother Council Project, whose annual public conference and celebration will be held the preceding Saturday at Ashland&

s Middle School.

Near is a combination of entertainer, teacher and activist. An immense vocal talent, Near&

s career as a singer has been profoundly defined by an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality. Near has released over 20 recordings and performed across the globe for decades.

A peace activist and advocate for human and civil rights, Holly has linked the multitude of issues that are our lives, refusing the idea of separate "causes. When asked how she keeps her energy for this work, she smiles. "I am selfish. I reach for the world I want to live in. And I believe in leaving our best we can do to our children".

Near has received numerous accolades for her work for social change. Most notably, she is part of the nomination for &

1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005.&

She has also received honors from the A.C.L.U., the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, N.A.R.A.S., Ms. Magazine (Woman of the Year), and the Legends of Women&

s Music Award. And her strength and versatility as a performer has led to creative collaborations with such artists as Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Inti-Illimani, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, and Linda Tillery.

Information for both events at www.grandmothercouncil.org. Tickets for Holly&

s concert are $25 and available at The Music Coop (in the &

145;A&

street Marketplace) in Ashland.

Imagine Awards on Sunday

Mediation Works&

2006 Imagine Awards presentation event features entertainment and special guest speaker Barry Kraft

The recipients of the 2006 Imagine Awards for Community Peacemaking will be honored at a festive brunch celebration at the Rogue Valley Country Club, Medford, on Sunday at noon.

Recipients of the 2006 Imagine Awards for Community Peacemaking who will be honored April 2 are Tom Cole, Executive Director of Medford&

s Kids Unlimited; Fred Perloff, volunteer mediator for more than a decade; and Connie Saldaña, disabled and senior services worker and volunteer with the local Multicultural Association, all named Honored Peacemakers; Amber Shannon, named Young Peacemaker of 2005/2006. Community volunteer Elizabeth Udall, of Gold Hill, will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to the awards presentations, entertainment by local artists and remarks by community members will highlight the program. Special guest speaker for the event is Barry Kraft, known to local audiences as an actor/dramaturg at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Jeff Golden, host of Jefferson Public Radio&

s "The Jefferson Exchange" and former Jackson County Commissioner, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Entertainment will feature singer Beth Baker, guitarist Ed Dunsavage, storyteller Lindagail Campbell, and accompanist Brent Olstad.

Brunch will be served at 12:30. A no-host champagne and wine bar will be available during socializing beginning at noon.

Tickets are $40 per person, $400 for a table of 10 seats. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships benefit the services of Mediation Works.

Grady Singletary, president and publisher of Mail Tribune, and Patsy Smullin, owner of California-Oregon Broadcasting, including KOBI NBC5, serve as honorary co-chairs of the celebration event for a fourth consecutive year.

Mediation Works, Jackson County&

s Community Dispute Resolution Center, in Medford, has presented the awards annually since March 2003.

During October 2005, the Board of Directors of Mediation Works initiated a countywide search for nominations for the 2006 Imagine Awards in order to continue this new, positive community tradition of honoring those who "actively and constructively advance peaceful conflict resolution in Jackson County." A panel including distinguished community members reviewed the nominations and recommended honorees to the Mediation Works Board of Directors.

Mediation Works is a non-profit organization funded by grants, contracts and donations, and it is a United Way participating agency. Its mission is to "empower individuals and organizations to resolve their differences peacefully&

133;" and "teach conflict resolution skills and provide mediation services to build understanding and respect in our diverse community." For additional information, visit the Mediation Works Web site at www.mediation-works.org.

Recipients of the 2006 Imagine Awards for Community Peacemaking include:

— — Udal

Elizabeth Udal

Lifetime achievement Award recipient

Elizabeth Udall&

s lifelong commitment to peace began with her career as a young teacher in the Oakland inner city schools where she helped diffuse racial tensions. Always aware of the power of education to bring peaceful change, Elizabeth was one of the original members of Women for Peace, a group credited as a key factor in President Kennedy&

s decision to cease the unhealthy practice of atmospheric testing of atomic weapons.

Elizabeth is being honored today for her consensus-building work here in the Rogue Valley. She has graced many boards of directors with her bountiful generosity of spirit, her discerning talent for inclusion and her ability to help build bridges of agreement. Thousands of Jackson County residents continue to benefit from Elizabeth&

s commitment to find creative solutions to conflict while she served on the boards of the Jackson County Library, Britt Festivals, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Mediation Works.

Tom Cole

— — —

Tom Cole is teaching our community&

s kids to fight for what they believe in by using their minds instead of their fists. He has a ten-year history of creating and delivering programs for young people, many of whom have experienced violence in their homes and neighborhoods. Tom is the dynamic force behind the successful establishment of the first Boys and Girls Club chapter in Jackson County. As Executive Director of the Kids Unlimited Main — Center for the Arts, with its extensive youth programming, Tom has created a structured, caring safety-net system for intervening and diverting a growing number of at-risk youth. Tom Cole&

s work is resulting in more young people in our community finding positive alternatives to violent behavior and gang membership.

Fred Perloff

— — — PERLOFF

Fred Perloff&

s interest in peaceful resolution of conflict grew out of his experience refereeing more than 1,000 regional soccer games! Over ten years ago he took Mediation Works&

Basic Mediation Training and he has been functioning as an unpaid staff member in many of its nine programs ever since. Fred helped launch Mediation Work&

s school program in the mid 1990s. He was there at the beginning of the family program and took the first Parent-Adolescent Advanced Mediation training. Fred was also in the first group of volunteers at Mediation Works&

Victim/ Offender Program at the Jackson County Juvenile Department. With his open heart, great passion and vibrant sense of humor, Fred has worked closely with Mediation Works&

past five Executive Directors and served as trainer, mentor and coach to our novice mediators. Fred also volunteers his time at the state penitentiary to work with adults in their Victim/Offender Mediation for Violent Crimes program.

Connie Saldaña

— — — SALDANA

In an amazingly broad range of community activities, Connie Saldaña works with extraordinary patience and persistence to reveal the profound commonality linking all of us. Connie says that, for her, peacemaking is about building community. In her work as a planner for Senior and Disabled Services at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments she forms bonds of understanding between disabled persons and those she calls "the temporarily able&

150;bodied." Last year her extraordinary efforts earned Connie a trip to Washington D.C., where she stood at President Bush&

s side while he signed a bill giving new support for disaster services to people with disabilities. Connie is well-known as "the person everyone trusts" in bringing reconciliation when rifts arise within the Latino community in the Rogue Valley. In addition, Connie volunteers with the Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon to create opportunities for people from different backgrounds to interact without fear.

Amber Shannon &

150; Young Peacemaker of 2005/2006

— — — SHANNON

We honor Amber Shannon for three years of distinguished conflict resolution activities while she was a student at Phoenix High School. Amber founded a group called Students for Unity in response to hurtful and racist comments found on campus restroom walls. The group painted the restroom walls and replaced the bigoted remarks with quotes from songs urging tolerance. Then, working with school administrators, they sponsored a "Tolerance Week" on campus which included planning part of a school-wide assembly. Later, when tensions at the school were enflamed in response to a Gay-Straight Alliance Club, Amber led her Unity group in orchestrating a lunchtime discussion forum designed to give voice to the conflicting views in a safe environment. Amber is a trained mediator who has successfully resolved issues of prejudice, harassment, hazing and homophobia.

Sponsors of the 2006 Imagine Awards include Mail Tribune, Lithia &

150; America&

s Car Truck Store, Batzer, Inc., and Larson&

s Home Furnishings, Event Sponsors; and Patsy Smullin &

150; KOBI NBC5, Sue Naumes, Cindra and Ogden Kellogg, Jr., Cucina Biazzi, and The Thorndike Family, Community Sponsors.