Spring brings Joshua Tree Music Festival back to desert

Thumpasaurus performs on the Inidan Cove Stage on Sunday night. The LA based band gets the crowd up on their feet with their funky tunes.

JOSHUA TREE — The 17th annual spring Joshua Tree Music Festival rocked the Morongo Basin last weekend, bringing thousands to the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground for an array of music and events.

Founded in 2003, the bi-annual JTMF is a four-day funky desert festival that centers around eclectic music, from “dance-world-electro-funk’n groove” to soulful global melodies.

JTMF also features yoga and movement, visual arts, history and kids’ activities.

“Our mission is to foster social interaction on a deep level, creating positive life-changing moments,” the founders said in a press release.

Last weekend’s festival brought back longtime favorites, like local bands The Desert Rhythm Project and Gene Evaro Jr.

Newcomers included a husband and wife synthetic pop duo, DEGA, who are originally from Georgia but recently relocated to Joshua Tree.

The group is comprised of Kalen Nash and Aslyn Nash, who is a solo artist on Capitol Records and performed backing vocals on the Get $leazy tour with Kesha in 2011. They are working on a new album that will include a cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit.”

“This new record is all about having a good time, about having fun,” said Kalen. “We don’t want anyone to over think it. We just want to share it.”

The festival also featured its signature live art, where muralists and artists create pieces throughout the festival.

“For the first time these beautiful murals created for and during the 17th annual spring Joshua Tree Music Festival are available for auction,” said Cassie Morrow. “Fifty percent of the funds go to support the artist and 50 percent go to the Joshua Tree Living Arts.”

 JTLA is a nonprofit run by a group of local artists that promotes art education through classes and large-scale projects. The murals are being auctioned at https://www.32auctions.com/JTLAmurals. The auction runs until May 26 and bids range from $300 to $1,400.

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