Midwinter Magic: Winter Solstice World Folk Jam

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Congregation Sherith
2266 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115
All Ages. Kids Under 12 Free.
This Venue is Wheelchair Accessible.

A portion of proceeds from this event
will be donated to Alliance for Middle East Peace,
the largest network of Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilders.

“I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the Astonishing Light
of your own Being!” ~ Hafez

The Winter Solstice, shortest day and longest night, has been celebrated since ancient times in many ways around the world.

At this gathering we honor diverse traditions of ritual, reverence, reverie and revelry, including: Persian, Nordic, Jewish, Siberian, Ancient Roman, Chinese, Peruvian, Indian, Tibetan Buddhist, Welsh Druidic, Polish, Aztec, and more.

"Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk's flight
On the empty sky."
~ Ursula Le Guin
The Creation of Éa


AshEL “Seasunz” Eldridge
Opening Ceremony:
7:00 PM  Lauren Arrow (Jewitchy Solstice)
8:00 PM Lydia Violet (Persian Solstice)
Nava Dance with Miriam Peretz (Persian Solstice)
8:45 PM  Barron Scott Levkoff (Saturnalia Coronation)
8:50 PM  Teokalli Aztec Dance (Panquetzaliztli - Aztec Solstice)
9:15 PM  Marya Stark (Mythic Mystic Medicine Music)
10:30 PM  Sowiluf and Samira (Yule - Nordic Pagan Solstice)
11:15 PM  Snow Raven (Arctic Siberian Solstice)
12:15 AM  Vaidehi Amair (Pancha Ganapati - Indian Solstice)
12:30 PM  Oshan Anand (Solstice Poetry)
12:45 AM  Evan Hatfield (Sitar Folktronica)

8 PM  Teya Valentina Chavez (Peruvian Solstice)
8:45 PM  Lama Mike Crowley (Tibetan Buddhist/Welsh Druidic Solstice)
9:30 PM  Uścińska Sisters & Dalyte Kodzis (Koledy - Polish Solstice)
10:15 PM  Bronwyn Ayla (Solstice Sound Ceremony)
11:00 PM  Paul Chengpo Wang
(Dongzhi - Chinese Solstice)
12:30 AM  Amre Leon Dana (Oklahoma Solstice)

7 PM  Soleiluna (Folktronica)
8:30 PM  Sasha Rose
10:00 PM  Duniya (West African Psychedelic Rock)
11:15 PM  Yemanjo (Latintronica)
12:45 AM  Mayvn
(Balkan Bump)

7PM  Xxhe
(Experimental Ice Opera)
8PM  Cello Joe
9:30 PM  Maya Light (Fairy Womp)
11PM  Scott Nice
12:30 AM  Matt Haze

9pm Ganesh Puja
(Pancha Ganapati Altar - Hindu Solstice)
Saturnalia Throne Room
(Roman Solstice)
Shab-e-Yalda Altar & Poetry Sharing (Persian Solstice)
Free Gourmet Tea Service by Tea Tribe

Nature Dreamweaver (Solstice Nature Altars)
Giant Puppets Save The World

Healthy Food
Non-Alcoholic Drinks & Elixirs
Alcohol, incl. Mulled Wine (No Outside Alcohol)
Coat Check
Many Vendors

Musicians will be jamming in the hallways, nooks and atriums. Musicians can apply for free tickets to participate in the jams using the this Application. 

Your open mind, kind heart, and playful spirit.
Beautiful gifts to share! Gift-giving is common to many solstice traditions.
Fruit and nuts for the Shab-e Yalda altar.
Offerings to place on the Solstice altars.
Musical Instruments for the Acoustic Folk Jams.

Sun deity, the Sun, the moon, stars, the night sky.
Natural materials, evergreen branches, laurel, ivy, & mistletoe.
Gnomes, sprites, fairies, nymphs, and elves.
Pileus hat - a conical felt cap traditionally worn during Saturnalia.

Do you have a traditional Winter Solstice performance, ritual, art, or experience for this event? If so, please contact us here

If you're interested in vending at this event, please contact us here.
No fee for facepainters and henna artists.

If you'd like to volunteer, please fill out this form.
Tics for Pics? Photographers/Videographers contact us here.

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page
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You may be recorded and recordings may be used for promotional purposes.
Street parking in the neighborhood. Nearby Parking Lots: CMPC Garage at the corner of Clay and Webster. Open 24/7, $35 daily max. Pacific Professional Building at the corner of Sacramento and Webster. Check their hours, $30 daily max. Steiner Lot across from Mollie Stones on California (near Fillmore). Parking meters. SFMTA Japan Center, 1610 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115 (10 min. walk, closes 2AM)


MC: AshEL “Seasunz” Eldridge
AshEL Seasunz Eldridge is Chicago born, living in Oakland by way of NY. He has West African/Blackfoot ancestry. He's been working intentionally with various shamanic healing practices since 2005, including Dagrara divination, Japanese spiritual purification, and Galactic Language Activation/soul cleansing via Tian Gong. His music groups include hip hop based RebelWise, Sage & Cedar, and Dogon Lights. He is Co-Director of Esphera.Earth (EFAM, Solestial Church, Earth Amplified) providing liberation through restoring ecosystems, regenerating communities, and re-membering our divinity.
More info here

Snow Raven
(Arctic Siberian Solstice)
Snow Raven (Suor) was born in a small village in Sakha (Arctic Siberia) and was three years old when she started to learn the language of the birds and animals. Her voice takes its breath from traditional Sakha culture and is truly an instrument. She is the OG of “Arctic Beatbox” - the reindeer breath and is the creator of “Neoshamanic Healing” ceremonies. Urui-Aikhal!
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Marya Stark
In the space between art and persona there is magic. Marya Stark lives there. Drawing from influences as diverse as Classical, Broadway, Indie-Pop, Storytelling and Folk, Marya crafts a sound that is wholly original. As a multi-instrumentalist and multi-media enchantress, she creates the way she breathes; without choice or hesitation. She is a carrier of myth, mystery, and medicine songs with which she embarks to create a ceremony of the human condition, taking her audience on lucid journey's through the caverns of the soul.
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Evan Hatfield
 Evan Hatfield has become an inspiring new talent within the world electronic music scene. He has become known for his high-energy live performances, where he combines his sitar with a variety of synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers for a truly exquisite and unique musical journey. Evan Hatfield’s explorations of North Indian Classical music and deep electronic beats have gained the support of DJs and producers worldwide, such as Goldcap, Lee Burridge, Mercan Dede, and many more. His music has been released on a variety of record labels, such as Desert Trax, Do Not Sit On the Furniture, Inward Records, and Pinkturban. A genre-defying artist, Evan Hatfield is not one to miss as he dazzles audiences with his sitar and mesmerizing grooves.
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Duniya is an amazing new band, comprised of musicians from Mali, West Africa and California, which fuses together ancient and modern sounds and instruments. Guaranteed to move your body and soul. Lead Singer Mariam Diakate, and percussionists Moussa Camara and Seydou Dante all hail from Bamako, Mali and all have a deeply rooted mastery of traditional Malian music and dance. Greg Fletcher, formerly of Soul Union, writes and arranges the music and plays a 12 stringed harp/lute from Mali called the Kamelengoni. Kit Bailey on drums and Rob Holland on Bass also bring a combined 60 years of experience in African music. Our newest edition Summer, is a young Violin virtuoso who brings a delicious melodic touch to the music. Our music is highly rhythmic and extremely danceable, interspersed  by moments of slower, deeply profound music.
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Sasha Rose
Sasha Rose is a multi-talented Canadian singer/songwriter, musician DJ and producer. Born into a musical family, she started learning to play musical instruments at age 4, and began writing songs at age 12. She got her first taste of international stardom at age 10 while touring Europe as a member of a children's chamber choir. From age 16, she began an extensive professional solo touring career, which has taken her through the U.S, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, South America, and Europe.
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Teokalli Aztec Dance - Birth of Huitzilopochtli (Aztec Solstice)
Teokalli (Casa de la Crecion/Energia) come to share prayers, called xitontekiza (cosmic movements) in the ancient Nahualt language. For the Nahuas (“Aztecs”), the winter solstice was the first day of the Panquetzaliztli, and the birthday of Huitzilopochtli, lord of the sun and patron god of the Mexica.

From Brazil’s pulsating street percussion to Colombia’s shamanic healing chants, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Harris synthesizes the sonic universe of Latin America to create a unique 21st century fusion called “Medicine Beat”.  Born and raised in the rich cultural stew of California’s Bay Area, Harris was exposed to music from around the world at an early age.  He played classical trumpet in various bands and orchestras and also developed an interest in Afro-Latin hand percussion.
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Vaidehi Amair 
(Pancha Ganapati - Hindu Solstice)
9pm Ganesh Puja in Tree of Life Room
12:15 AM Sanskrit & Mantra Bass Music in the Sanctuary
Vaidehi Amair is a creative entrepreneur that loves to share spiritual knowledge and mantra through music and dance. Born and raised in the Bhakti Yoga tradition, she has a love for mantra and hip hop and now produces her own mantra bass hip hop music with ancient Sanskrit chants. Her vision is to bridge the culture of Bhakti Yoga into the world of music and festival culture. She has performed on various stages such as Northern Nights Music Festival, LIB, Love Long Beach Festival, Enchanted Forest, Envision Costa Rica, One Love Fest, BhaktiLoveReunion, Osho Tantra Gathering and more.
Click here for music & more info

Pancha Ganapati is a five-day Hindu holiday held from December 21st to 25th worshiping Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity of culture and new beginnings. During the family-centered festivities, children dress or decorate a statue of Ganesh in a different color every day. On the first day the color is yellow, and the day focuses on family love and harmony.

Jewitchy Solstice Ritual led by Lauren Arrow
Experience the flame of midwinter with the sounds of Lauren Arrow and the Adamah Band, who will grace the festival's main stage opening the Solstice festivities with their Jewitchy Magick. This spirited musical ensemble will transport you to another realm with a unique and immersive Jewitch ritual that combines soul-stirring folk songs with joyful Jewish traditional singalongs. Watch this video of them rehearsing for this event.
Click here for music & more info

Lydia Violet - Shab-e Yaldā (Persian Solstice)
Lydia Violet is an accomplished Iranian-American multi-instrumentalist weaving together Southern blues, American roots, and Iranian folk music traditions. In her live band she combines fiddle, banjo, and luscious 3-part harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience, ushering in a new wave of protest music. She also currently plays with Brooklyn-based dynamic spoken word duo Climbing PoeTree and Lakota songwriter powerhouse Lyla June. Lydia also has studied closely with deep ecology elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy for the past 9 years, learning how we can metabolize our pain for the world into energy for resilience, action, and community. She runs the Music As Medicine Project, a non-profit dedicated to creating access to music and music education as tools for cultivating resilient cultures in our communities. 
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Yaldā Night (Persian: shab-e yalda) is an Iranian winter solstice festival, also celebrated in Armenia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and other countries. It was a night in which Ancient Iranians celebrated the deity of light, Mithra. On Yalda Night, family members get together and stay awake all night long. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons. Prayer is offered. Poetry and mythologies are read aloud. Faal-e Hafez (Hafez Omen) is a Yalda night tradition, added in recent centuries, in which the poems of Hafez, the 14th century Iranian poet, are used for divination and read aloud. Lydia Violet will lead the Shab-e Yaldā and share Persian songs and poetry. There will be a spread of fruits and nuts. Poetry-sharing will continue in the Saturnalia Room.

Nava Dance Collective with Miriam Peretz
Nava Dance Collective is an international community of dancers devoted to cross-cultural dialogue and artistic collaboration through traditional, sacred, and ethno-contemporary dance forms. Under the direction of Miriam Peretz, dancers from diverse cultural backgrounds collaborate in the creation of meaningful projects and performances. Tonight they will be performing Persian centric choreography in honor of Shab-e-Yalda, Persian Solstice, including their signature "Dance of Unity," a sacred circle dance prayer for peace and unity.
Check out Nava's website.

Amre Leon Dana
(Oklahoma Solstice)
Join nationally acclaimed folk musician, educator, and multi-instrumentalist Amre Leon Dana for solstice inspired music from the traditions of the Dana people of Southern Oklahoma.
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(Balkan Bump) Feat. Dance by Juliano Wade Project
Oakland DJ MAYVN weaves a dancy desert set laced with live clarinet, guiding you on a global bass trip. She regularly performs with Balkan Bump. Juliano is a multifaceted performer, showcasing bellydance fusion to Latin styles.
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Barron Scott Levkoff
(Saturnalia - Roman Solstice)
Saturnalia is an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn. Romans spent Saturnalia partying, gambling, singing, playing music, feasting, socializing and giving gifts to one another. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down, and social roles were inverted. Men dressed as women and masters acted as servants. A common custom was the election of a "Ruler of the Saturnalia", who would preside over the merrymaking and give orders to people, which were to be followed. "Yo Saturnalia!" was the characteristic shout or salutation of the festival.
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Scott Nice
World sounds soar over lush beats as Scott merges electronic with acoustic, spanning Global Bass to Latin House, Hip-Hop to Downtempo and beyond. Scott’s roots in Turntablism and Hip-Hop shine with his remix/mash-ups of classic tunes accompanied by live scratching to create a one-of-a-kind sonic journey. Since 2016 Scott has released 6 full length albums and countless remixes working with many amazing collaborators such as The Polish Ambassador, Liquid Bloom, Poranguí, Alex Serra, Wildlight, El Buho, Mose, Ayla Nereo, Uji, Yemanjo, Volo, DJ Taz Rashid, Equanimous, and many more.
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Paul Wang (Dongzhi - Chinese Solstice)
Dongzhi, the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival, is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and other East Asian countries during the winter solstice. The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. It is believed that the longer daylight hours after this celebration create an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching Hexagram 24: ䷗ Fù (Returning). To celebrate Dongzhi, we will have available the traditional dish tangyuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion. There will be a handout on Counting the Nines of Winter (Shu Jiu) - a way to use the number 9 to get through the 81 (9x9) days of winter until spring begins. You start counting on the day of winter solstice.

Paul is the founder of Dao Center, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Board Licensed Acupuncturist, Sifu of WingChun, Chinese Astrologist, Guqin musician, and “Memetic Healer & Cultural Acupuncturist specializing in Clinical Cosmology & Mythopoetic Engineering.”
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Uścińska Sisters & Dalyte Kodzis (Koledy - Polish Solstice)
Three Polish artists will be weaving together ancient Polish solstice customs with contemporary celebrations. Their performance will feature classic Polish "koledy" while exploring the origins and enduring beliefs predating Christianity's arrival in Poland. Join us on this captivating journey as we revive and share the vibrant tapestry of cultural traditions.
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Embodied Peace Activation by Teya Valentina Chavez
 (Peruvian Solstice)
"Honoring this Winter Season Join me for an Embodied Peace Activation honoring the linage of My Peruvian Ancestry.  Together we will create a Sacred Container through the medicine wheel through sacred movement an embodied meditation journey to honor the prophecy of the condor and the eagle to call in Peace. The Peruvian tradition of Qhapaq Raymi (Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) and the Winter Solstice here in the Northern hemisphere will be celebrated as we bridge, unite and harmonize these polarities of feminine and masculine energies so that we may be of greater service and living in balance."
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Maya Light
Maya Light loves to dive into the depths of connection and expression through the unique and captivating conversation that is awakened on the dance floor. She plays as a director of the human experience, offering countless pathways and possibilities of movement through the range of diverse music she shares. Drawn to deliciously wompy, heart-bass world beats, she encourages a rich exploration with a dynamically nourishing and inspiring journey of sound.
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Cello Joe
Joey Chang aka CelloJoe is an anomaly in the world of cellists: cello, singing, beatboxing, live looping, and DJing. He creates fat beats with a cello and his mouth and he does it live! His lyrics weave together sustainability, environmental justice, and social awareness. They entertain, inspire, and make you wonder.  CelloJoe covers many styles of music from folk to dubstep to rock to classical to hip hop. CelloJoe is the world's first long distance musical bike touring cellist. He has ridden his bike over 10,000 miles in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. 
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DJ Soleiluna (aka Rachel Jordana) has been a 5Rhythms teacher and DJ since 2010. She is known for her high energy world music and muti-genre surprises. Come prepared to sweat.
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Lama Mike Crowley (Tibetan Buddhist and Welsh Druidic Solstice)
Michael Crowley was born February 26th, 1948 in Cardiff, Wales. He began studying Buddhism with a Tibetan lama in 1966, becoming an upasaka of the Kagyud lineage in 1970. In order to augment his Buddhist studies, he acquainted himself with Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mandarin Chinese. Mike has lectured at the Museum of Asia and the Pacific, Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been published in Fortean Times, Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture, Psychedelic American, and Psychedelic Press UK. In January 2016, Mike received the R. Gordon Wasson Award for outstanding contributions to the field of entheobotany. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Psychedelic Sangha, a group of psychedelically-inclined Buddhists, based in New York and he teaches at the Dharma Collective in San Francisco.
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Nature Altars by Nature Dreamweaver

Nature Dreamweaver has been creating and building sacred spaces in the form of altars, mandalas, and human-sized nests for 15 years at parties, festivals, weddings 💒 and more. The intention is to create a space of love ❤️ that carries feeling of connection to the self, the earth, each other, and the great beyond.
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Live Painting by Jessica Perlstein
Jessica Perlstein is a visual painter based out of San Francisco.  Born and raised in the Bay Area, she has a deep love for the culture and magnificence of the California coast.  She uses bold and dynamic color as an expression of her playful personality and excitement for the beauty she sees through her eyes.  From epic skyscapes to vibrant portraits of her favorite plants, she aims to recreate the feelings of freedom and joy one experiences when embarking on an adventure into the great outdoors.
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Live Painting by Ishka Lha

Ishka Lha is an internationally celebrated visionary artist, musician, writer, ritualist, and mentor. Ishka is part of a growing visionary art movement that is dedicated to the happiness of all beings, and approaches her creative process as a spiritual practice. Her art explores and celebrates the natural radiance inherent in all dimensions of life through the use of neo-traditional iconography and mythology, and she is especially interested in what universal archetypes have most helpfully guided humankind's passage through time into greater avenues of mutual respect, understanding, and heartfelt livelihood. Her work is primarily featured in private collections, galleries, healing centers, and transformational art and music festivals across the globe.
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Our events celebrate diversity and honor ancient traditions, featuring world-renowned folk music and performance arts. These events seek to nurture and support the Bay Area's world folk communities and to facilitate networking, collaboration, friendship, and cross-cultural understanding. Sign up for our events list here.