When RoSfest founder George Roldan approached me to consider taking on the task of leading RoSfest into a new era, I was deeply humbled and excited. I had been both a long-time patron of the festival and a core benefactor since the reorganization as a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through access to great music and the support of musicians. As a musician, scientist, and entrepreneur, I hope to utilize my skill set to both maintain the incredible tradition and quality of RoSfest and to lead the organization to greater future glories. The Board that we have organized represents a wonderful group of highly experienced, talented, dedicated, and selfless individuals whose only desire is to see RoSfest continue and grow. We will be expanding our search for charitable contributions and will aggressively seek grant monies to provide a stable financial foundation for future performances. RoSfest is reborn and music lovers everywhere will benefit. John Blangero (Sun King Rising, Harlequin Reborn)
I’m thrilled to say the future of RoSfest looks bright, some may call this the rebirth of one of the top music festivals in the USA if not the world. I would call this the next step in the evolution of greatness we hope to continue to build on the time-honored traditions laid out by our dear friend and founder George Roldan, as well as his wife Beth and the RoSfest staff. I am part of what I would consider an elite team of musicians and music industry professionals who are not only my colleagues but friends sharing one vision; to continue to grow a festival that is as much about the people who attend as it is the musicians who pour their heart and soul into their art. Anyone who is familiar with me knows that I am passionate about music and dedicated to the people that create and support it. It will be my privilege to respect what RoSfest is and will continue to become, and what it means to those who embrace it. We will continue to bring you the same quality festival that you’ve all come to expect, love, and enjoy over the past 17 years. Nick Katona (Melodic Revolution Records, PeacockSunrise Records, Power of Prog, ReZonatZ)
I am so out of this world excited to be a part of this team for RoSfest. So it seems only fitting to honor the past, the present, and the future of this amazing festival, with this opening… “Prog, the final frontier. These are the voyages of team RoSfest, the Musicians, and Prog Fans everywhere. Our mission is to explore new Prog Bands, to seek out new Prog music, and to boldly go where no Prog has gone before!” Rebecca Avelar (MRR Music Group)
So, RoSFest lives to see another day and I get to be a part of making those days happen. It’s going to be a pretty steep path and an arduous task to take over from where George left off; one need only consider the fact that it’s taking 6 of us to even attempt to do what he did almost single-handedly (not forgetting the help of his wonderful wife, Beth, and support from his Crew). But keeping the RoSFest torch burning is something we all feel ardently about and we will do our very best to keep bringing you a quality event and occasion to momentarily be part of something which goes beyond our common love of music. The RoSFest 6 are a dedicated and close-knit team that will be putting their very different and individual skills together to ensure RoSFest continues for many years to come. We look forward to seeing many old and new faces along the way! As the French might say, Le festival est mort, Vive le festival! Octavia Brown (2Days of Prog+ 1, RoSfest)
In this post-Covid world, where the live music scene has been hit hard due to global lockdowns, very few festivals have escaped unscathed. Fortunately, with the help of a base of loyal devotees and a vision to the future by founder George Roldan, RoSfest will get a chance to rise from the ashes of the wreckage, and return to the standard of excellence people expect from one of the world’s most beloved progressive music festivals. I am honored to join such a devoted team of creative friends, each bringing a unique experience to the table in order to meet the new challenges that we face as concert events gradually reopen. It is a new era for RoSfest, and an exciting future awaits. Following George’s fearless example, let the tradition continue! Lisa Wetton (Edison’s Children, United Progressive Fraternity)
As the new Board member on the ground in Sarasota, I will be responsible for a lot of the day-to-day local legwork that is required throughout the year to organize and run a successful festival. My background in entertainment management and business will come in handy! I have always loved attending RoSfest and helping musicians achieve their dreams. I am honored and excited to be working with the excellent people here, and I am thrilled to be part of the ROSfest future! Tony Anzalone (Music Manager Sun King Rising, Harlequin Reborn)
RoSfest (The Rites of Spring Festival) made its debut in 2004 at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania until 2007, and then moved to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania for 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the festival moved to the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in 2019, the festival moved to its current location at the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida.
2019, the festival moved to the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida. The festival is known for importing some fantastic talent from around the world including Flor de Loto (PE), Anglagård (Sweden), Spock’s Beard (US), Riverside (Poland) IQ (UK), Magic Pie (Norway), Unified Past (US), Pain of Salvation (Sweden), Lazuli (France), RPWL (Germany), Ambrosia (US), Kinetic Element (US), The Flower Kings (Sweden), Evership (US), among others.
December 26, 2020, George Roldan announced on the official RoSfest Facebook page that; “The Rites of Spring Festival says “Goodbye, for now,” the COVID -19 pandemic had made continuing the festival unsustainable. However, on February 1, 2021, George Roldan posted another announcement stating that RoSfest would continue under new management. New event dates have yet to be announced.
Change We Must, to Live Again! In the words of Jon Anderson, “Change we must, to live again”, we find hope, resolution, and a renewed sense of excitement. With these lyrics in mind, it is my great pleasure to announce that with the change, RoSfest will continue to produce one of the best progressive rock festivals in the world located in tropical Sarasota, Florida, but under new leadership and board of directors to further support and grow this endeavor.
The Rites of Spring Festival has been a treasure in the progressive rock world for the last 17 years and it has been my pride and privilege to create, produce, host, and share the experience with you, our RoSfest audience! New to producing RoSfest, but not to the world of progressive rock, our new leadership team have been supportive members of our festival’s family for years. I feel honored to be able to pass the torch to such a dedicated group of musical masters.
Please give a warm RoSfest welcome to our new leadership team and read below for more detail about their background and accomplishments; John Blangero, Nick Katona, Tony Anzalone, Rebecca Avelar, Octavia Brown, and Lisa Wetton.
The team will follow up with information regarding everything RoSfest as the information becomes available. I will continue to support the festival as a consultant and remain its biggest fan. As I’ve previously mentioned, it has been an honor to interact with such accomplished and inspiring musicians and music lovers in the progressive rock community. Long Live RoSfest! George Roldan
John Blangero A scientist, musician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. John is well known as one of the world’s leading biomedical researchers with a focus on complex disease genetics. As a singer/songwriter, he recently released his first solo album under the moniker of Sun King Rising on Peacock Sunrise Records and fronts the progressive rock band, Harlequin Reborn. He also is a co-founder and Board member of 4TellX, an Austin-based predictive analytics company.
Nick Katona Is an iconic figure in progressive rock music circles as the President of the Melodic Revolution Music Group which includes record labels, Melodic Revolution Records, and PeacockSunrise Records. He has experience developing and managing small festivals as the owner and operator of an independent music store. As a music promoter, he also owns and operates Power of Prog and ReZonatZ, both internet music blog publications, and has worked as an internet DJ since 2011.
Tony Anzalone Has a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has served in a variety of administrative and management roles in private industry. He has been active in the music business since the 80’s when he managed his first band. Currently, he is the manager of rock acts, Sun King Rising and Harlequin Reborn. He is also an administrator and officer in the World Prog Project. Tony now lives in Sarasota, Florida, and will take on much of the local leg work and financial management associated with RoSfest.
Rebecca Avelar Is currently the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the MRR Music Group and is Street Team Manager for House of Prog and Power of Prog. She has extensive experience in accounting and human resource management.
Octavia Brown Better-known for her close involvement with Italy’s 2Day Prog + 1 Festival, has already been a member of the RoSfest crew making her a familiar face to many prior RoSfest attendees. Based in Italy, she works as a freelance translator (recent works include the English version of Mario Giametti’s ‘Genesis – 1967 to 1975: The Peter Gabriel Years ‘) while spending most of her free time…. Hang on, what free time?
Lisa Wetton Is a Syracuse transplant, Lisa Wetton routed herself firmly into the progressive music scene after co-founding Smokewind Music, an agency that specialized in world and progressive music bookings, and which has recently transitioned into audio and visual production. In 2015, she retired from practicing medicine and moved to the U.K. to be closer to her beloved husband, the late music icon, John Wetton. She currently spends her days drinking tea, making compost, and getting paid to hit things. Her most recent work has been with Edison’s Children, United Progressive Fraternity, and Southern Empire.
The Rites of Spring festival or RoSfest is an annual progressive rock music festival taking place at the end of April or in early May.
Established in 2004, the festival was first held at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania until 2007, and then moved to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania for 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the festival moved to the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in 2019, the festival moved to its current location at the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida.
On December 26, 2020, co-founder George Roldan announced on the official RoSfest Facebook page that RoSfest would end its 16-year run as of 2020. Increasingly expensive production and travel costs, combined with tighter visa restrictions for international artists traveling to the United States, plus financial losses resulting from the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic had made continuing the festival unsustainable.
However, on February 1, 2021, Roldan posted another announcement stating that RoSfest would continue under a new organization. New event dates have yet to be announced. From Wikipedia
The festival is known for importing some fantastic talent from around the world including Flor de Loto (PE), Anglagård (Sweden), Spock’s Beard (US), Riverside (Poland) IQ (UK), Magic Pie (Norway), Unified Past (US), Pain of Salvation (Sweden), Lazuli (France), RPWL (Germany), Ambrosia (US), Kinetic Element (US), The Flower Kings (Sweden), Evership (US), among others.
About ZIGGY BLACKSTAR (A Tribute to David Bowie)
During the time we were working on the most recent Ten Jinn release, Sisyphus, came the very sad news about the passing of David Bowie. At the time (though we were very busy working on the album and dealing with the upcoming release Sisyphus in 2017) we decided that as soon as Sisyphus was completed, we would record a David Bowie tribute record before preparing for live shows or recording the next Ten Jinn Record: “Worlds (the Four Worlds of the Hopi).” While the band was very excited about the prospect of playing live again and getting on to Worlds (John even completed the first draft of the hour-long score) we felt very strongly about taking this detour in order to pay my respects to an artist, who was a very important musical influence for all of the band members in general, and the single most important influence in John’s evolution as vocalist in particular.
Choosing the songs for the record was not an easy thing (as there are so many great Bowie tunes) but one thing we decided on right away was to avoid any of the major hits from the 1980s or things we thought a lot of other people might do (since John was the one doing the lead vocals on the record, we mostly supported him in the suggestions he made). At one point we thought it would be really cool to do a version of Blackstar, but since it was from Bowie’s final album, it seemed perhaps a bit disrespectful to do so soon after his death. In the end, we decided on material mostly from the 1970s (with a couple of tunes from the late 1990s thrown in) that have very deep meaning for us.
ZIGGY BLACKSTAR (A Tribute to David Bowie) Track List
1. I’m Afraid of Americans 04:48
2. Aladdin Sane 05:48
3. Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide 03:04
4. Dead Man Walking 04:06
5. Fame 03:57
6. Future Legend 00:57
7. Diamond Dogs 05:00
8. Life On Mars 04:01
Ziggy Blackstar Album Credits:
The Band: Ten Jinn
John Paul Strauss – lead and backing vocals/keyboards.
Mark Wickliffe – drums/bass/electric guitar/backing vocals.
Ken Skoglund – electric and acoustic guitars.
Mike Matier – electric guitar.
Matt Brown – piano solo (Alladin Sane).
Joe Geiger – fretless bass (Dead Man Walking).
Helena Skoglund – backing vocals (Life on Mars/Fame/Future Legend).
J.T. Holmström – saxophone (Diamond Dogs).
Arranged by: Ten Jinn.
Produced by: John Paul Strauss, Mark Wickliffe, and Ken Skoglund.
Mix engineers: Ken Skoglund (Sound Control Sweden). John Prpich (Radd Studios, Los Angeles).
Mastering engineer: Ken Skoglund (Sound Control Sweden).
Cover Art by Nick Katona (Melodic Revolution Records). Revolution Studios, Orlando, Florida
Vocal editing by Steve Deutsch.
Other Ten Jinn Releases Sisyphus (2018) Melodic Revolution Records CD & Digital Alone (2003) Sweden Rock Records / Musea CD & Digital As On A Darkling Plan (1999) Wildman Records CD & Digital Wildman (1997) Wildman Records CD & Digital
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