Publish the Quest, a band with deep Vashon roots that has made a name for itself worldwide as both a musical and philanthropic force, is coming home to Vashon for the biggest weekend on Vashon. Strawberry Festival!
Jacob Bain, frontman for the group and also a founder of the all-Islander ensemble Trolls Cottage, grew up on Vashon and lives here now. Other band members include Samantha Boshnack on horns, bassist Jeff DeMelle, woodwind whiz Izaak Mills, guitarist Mark Oi, keyboardist and sax man Chris Poage and precussionist Adam Kessler. The group plays an energetic and danceable mix of blues, rock, ska and world pop.
A passion for social and musical outreach has taken the group around the globe. Working with a nonprofit called Learn Africa, Publish the Quest has made several recent trips to Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Mali, Poland, Portugal and Spain, where band members have played in festivals and music halls, recorded with local artists, and conducted music workshops and jam sessions with under-privileged children. On their most recent trip to Zimbabwe, this summer, the band brought along a trove of donated instruments and soccer balls to give to kids in Harare and Hatcliffe Extension, a slum just outside the city.
An impressive roster of international stars has collaborated with the band — Femi Kuti, Nneka Lucia Egbuna, Matt Chamberlain, Eyvind Kang, Radioactive, Oliver Mtukudzi and Vieux Farka Touré have joined forces with the group on recordings and in concert. A recent single, “Sodade,” was recorded with Cape Verdean vocalist Laise Sanches, with all proceeds from the sale of the song going to benefit the cause of arts education in Africa.
Bain said he has found great inspiration in working with kids and musicians in Africa — people he said had “an insatiable appetite for music.” To share the healing aspects of music with children in Africa, he said, has been a joy.
Publish the Quest’s latest album is called “Then What!?”, and Bain said he is currently working on a new album as well as a short film that will document the band’s work in Africa. This comes after a recent successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund these projects.
The show starts at 9 p.m Saturday, July 19 at Red Bicycle Bistro. It’s an all-ages show until 11 p.m., and for ages 21 and older after that. I.D. is required. There is a $5 cover charge.