Jessica Kashian, the program manager of Los Gatos Music & Arts, Inc., says while Jazz on the Plazz may be wrapping up this week, that doesn’t mean summer musical gatherings are over.

And while the exact location of the upcoming “Sunshine of Love” festival she’s organizing with co-founder Pamela Parker is a secret, the private Paradise Gardens location in the Santa Cruz Mountains fits nicely with the folky, jam-bandy, rock n’ roll energy they’ve got up their sleeves.

“The bands that are coming, some of them I have known personally for years,” she said. “And I want to support them.”

The event goes from Aug. 19-21 and the bill includes psychedelic rock group Spirit Hustler, Santa Cruz jam act Tatiana & Treetop Band, Kim Manning Space Queen and her co-organizer’s group Pamela Parker’s Fantastic Machine.

Kashian says she first saw Parker perform at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco. They got to know each other attending funk music events across the region.

Parker says she first saw Paradise Gardens in March and decided it would be the perfect site for a festival.

“For years I wanted to do it,” she said. “Then Jessica said she’d want to help.”

‘It’s not just about supporting the music scene or the arts scene, but seeing how a whole community can come together’

—Jessica Kashian, promoter

Together they worked to create an event that could help further a “reemergence” for artists after the darkest days of the pandemic.

Kashian says she appreciates the landowner’s approach with them.

“It’s been a really inspirational piece of this puzzle,” she said. “He has a vision to be able to bring people together in a beautiful space.”

Another group that’s set to perform is funk-rockers Collectivity. They originally formed in Shanghai, but are now based in the Bay Area.

Parker says she specifically asked if they could book Collectivity alongside Viveca Hawkins, a vocalist who’s sung with Monophonics, Raheem Jamal, The Coup and Talib Kweli.

Parker was stoked they were able to make that happen.

Jimmy Leslie was someone who Parker had known for years, since he started the GuitarFish festival in North Lake Tahoe.

“It’s a fond memory,” she said. “It was a place where I would always take my daughter.”

Similarly, Parker’s known Kim Manning from when she was studying dance back in the day.

“We were best friends since junior high and we met in ballet class,” she said. “I feel lucky we get to have her. She’s basically just doing me a favor because it’s my birthday.”

Manning is also booked to play as part of a gospel jam during the fest.

(The audience comes up with a subject, and a vibe, they want to hear and the band creates it.)

There will also be a silent disco, to feature DJ Robin Applewood and DJ Illegal Funky Fitzy. Other groups include Mystical Joyride, Tony Glaser & the Party, and Old Wood Players. Yoga is scheduled for Sunday morning at 10:30am.

Kashian says after 12 years in the Bay Area, it’s exciting to be able to host an event like this in the Aptos Hills, since it allows her to spread great music while highlighting local artists and companies.

“I definitely am a networking bee,” she said. “I will facilitate bringing people together, and that’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Kashian says she doesn’t necessarily try to play “the connector”—it’s just in her nature.

“That’s kind of the essence of who I am,” she said, adding she hopes to be able to do this as a career. “It’s not just about supporting the ‘music scene’ or the ‘arts scene,’ but seeing how a whole community—multiple cities—can come together.”

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]