The DB Cooper Music Festival
"Just give me the music, and no one gets hurt."
Exit 104 Media and the Weekly Volcano join forces with twelve local business sponsors to bring this one day outdoor music festival to Olympia on the grounds of the Medicine Creek Winery in Nisqually. Taking its name from the fictional moniker of the suspect from the notorious and still unsolved 1971 Portland-Seattle skyjacking case, the festival will feature performances by several local, regional and national rising stars in different musical genres.
Clay Swafford, visiting from Alabama, released his debut CD Rooster on the Olympia-based Lost Cause Records label in April and quickly became the talk of the blues world, the album debuting at number 17 on national blues charts and earning rave reviews from blues publications all over the country as well as getting a Critic's Choice nod from the USA Today and being dubbed by Downbeat magazine "one of the best blues albums in years." Featured in the boogie-blues piano documentary Falsifyin' with Jerry Lee Lewis, Marcia Ball and the late PineTop Perkins, Swafford was already recognized as being among the top boogie blues piano players in the world. The release of the recording has solidified that position, his album release concert at Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Club in Clarksville, Mississippi in May drawing not only a huge crowd of blues enthusiasts but many of the best blues musicians in the world, including Grammy winners and seven Handy Award winners. Swafford will be joined by legendary guitarist Billy Flynn, a fixture on the Chicago blues scene for four decades. Their performance will make up the evening portion of the festival program, tickets for which are being sold separately or as part of a full festival pass. Longtime local favorite Mudcat will open the evening show with a blend of acoustic blues and Americana.
The high-energy sextet Bump Kitchen, with members from throughout the Puget Sound area, is one of the premier R&B/funk bands in the Northwest, playing festivals and clubs throughout the region. Their most recent recordings Who Ordered the Waffle? (2009) and Live at the Yale (2011) have both been met with critical acclaim, and the group's founder and drummer Everett James has been dubbed "the blues drummer of the millennium" by the Tacoma Blues Society. The soulful power vocals of Tony Harper is the main dish on the Bump Kitchen menu, but in an age of the cult of the lead singer, Bump Kitchen distinguishes itself from the crowd with its selection of side dishes in the form of top notch players including, in addition to drummer James, veteran guitarist Dave Broyles, keyboardist Mark Bittler, saxman/flautist Aaron Dressler, and bassist Marc Miller.
With the release of their album Soulpocalypse late last year, Olympia's The Brown Edition has gained international attention, earning nominations for two and winning one Independent Music Award for Best Album in the funk/fusion/jam genres. They've also signed with Spectra Jazz Records and expanded their touring to include the whole West Coast, with their eyes on Europe and Mexico, expanding on local and regional success that has earned them the title of Olympia's Best Band for the last two years from the Weekly Volcano and Seattle's Musicians of Year for 2012 from RAW Natural Born Artists.
Brittany Kingery with her band Game Six released her debut recording Edge of the Ocean in March of this year. The English-Spanish beach-themed CD has earned her airplay and rave reviews from the world of tropical rock and fans in the US, Canada and Mexico. Beachfront Radio calls her "amazing fresh new voice in trop rock" and The Shore Radio called Edge of the Ocean "the best debut trop rock CD of 2013". Her festival performance will be one of the last, if not the last, local performance before she changes her center of operations to the Puerto Vallarta area, where her music enjoys a strong following among beach bums, parrotheads and other American and Canadian ex-patriates in Mexico.
Olympia-born Ethan Tucker may be barely old enough to drink a beer, but he has been touring and building a following as a singer-songwriter since he was 16. On the brink of releasing his third self-produced CD earlier this year, Tucker was snatched up and signed to a multi-album contract by Capitol Records, who will release his CD on that label later this year. The upcoming album includes tracks produced by Michael Franti, with whom he has toured nationally, and who co-wrote the fan favorite "Cool Kids", bound to be the album's first single. Tucker, whose music blends blues, reggae and folk influences, embarks on a national tour days after the festival, so his performance at the festival may be the last before his star rises out of sight.
The Oly Mountain Boys have become one of the region's top bluegrass bands, named among the headliners at bluegrass festivals throughout Washington and Oregon. Their performances blend bluegrass standards, bluegrass covers of pop songs, and a wealth of original music from this prolific quintet that has released three albums since 2010, including their most recent CD Through the Sky, released in 2012.
The festival will be hosted by the Medicine Creek Winery and is co-presented by the Olympia-based Exit 104 Media and the Lakewood alternative newsweekly The Weekly Volcano. A dozen local arts-supporting businesses have helped make the event possible with financial support. They are Carr Law Offices, Stifel, Cornerstone Home Mortgage, the Redford Law Firm, Eastside Big Tom's, Heritage Meats, Bay Center Chiropractic, Networks Real Estate, O'Bee Credit Union, A-Plus Septic and Plumbing, Capital West Limousine, and the Morgan Hill Law Firm.
"DB Cooper" is a media epithet commonly used to refer to an unknown man who boarded a Northwest Orient AIrlines Seattle-bound flight in Portland on November 24, 1971, having purchased a ticket under the name Dan Cooper. The polite, well-dressed man then handed a note to a flight attendant which claimed that he had a bomb in his bag and demanded that the plane be refueled upon landing in Seattle and that he provided with $200,000 in cash and four parachutes. The man was described by one flight attendant as polite and "rather nice", and he reportedly paid his drink tab and insisted that the flight attendant keep the change. Upon his demands being met on the ground in Seattle, he released the flight crew and all the passengers, none of whom were aware of the hijacking while it was happening, leaving only the cockpit crew on board. He directed that the plane fly at low altitude in the direction of Mexico City but parachuted out from the rear of the plane over Southern Washington state. It is unknown whether "Cooper" survived the jump, and his identity remains a mystery 42 years later. In 1980, three packets of the ransom money were found by an 8 year-old boy vacationing near Ariel, Washington. None of the ransom money has ever been spent. The DB Cooper incident remains the only unsolved aviation crime in American history.
In the days following the hijacking, a Portland man with a minor criminal record named DB Cooper was interviewed by Portland police on the off chance that the hijacker had used his real name. The man was quickly eliminated as a suspect, and in reporting on the incident, an inexperienced wire service reporter confused his name with the pseudonym used by the hijacker. Before the error was discovered, it had been released to and repeated by numerous other news outlets, and the mistake became cemented in history.
The DB Cooper hijacking led to changes in both airport security procedures and aircraft design. There were numerous copycat hijackings in the following year, but by 1973, the FAA required airlines to search passengers prior to boarding, drastically reducing incidents of hijacking, which had become a fairly common occurrence by that time.
Despite the criminal nature of Cooper's actions and the fact that he put 42 lives in jeopardy by his criminal actions, his unprecedented crime inspired a cult following reflected in song, film and literature. To this day, town in Southern Washington state hold promotions and events to remember and celebrate the event, including an annual "Cooper Day" held by the town of Ariel, Washington near the anniversary of the hijacking each year.
The Washington State Historical Society is opening a five-month "DB Cooper" exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma on August 24, where many of the artifacts of the criminal investigation will be viewable by the public.
Medicine Creek Winery in Nisqually Valley (View)
947 Old Pacific Hwy SE
Olympia, WA 98513
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|