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Musical luminaries Chaka Khan, Mandrill, Common, Roy Ayers and Meshell Ndegeocello join Dr. Rickie Byars Beckwith at the first Rhythm and Joy Festival, RAJ 13, starting Friday, October 4, through Sunday, October 6, at Hummingbird Nest Ranch, 2940 Kuehner Drive in Simi Valley.
“The Rhythm and Joy Festival is a celebration of the soul’s desire to live in absolute joy, free from all the negativity constantly knocking on the door of our imagination,” said Dr. Byars Beckwith, festival founder.
“It’s an acknowledgement of who we are as spiritual beings. Now, add the music of Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind and Fire and you’ve got RAJ,” she said.
The three-day event includes Dwight Trible, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jimetta Rose, Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, Luc and the Lovingtons, Nailah Porter, Tim McAfee-Lewis and other artists from jazz, R&B, Kirtan, hip hop, spoken word, sacred and world music genres.
Arts, dance, speakers, yoga, workshops and new techniques and technology for eco-friendly living are featured as well as parades, drum circles, meditations, Health and Wellness Oasis, and a Sages Salon for seniors ages 75 and up.
Dr. Byars Beckwith, the wife of Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles (AISC), will also appear with her Agape International Choir. The choir has performed for President Barack Obama and with Grammy-winning artists John Legend and Will.i.am.
RAJ speakers include Dr. Beckwith, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., Peggy Callahan, Hans King, Robert Dee McDonald and Rich and Carin Clayton.
“We are also composting and recycling,” added Byars Beckwith, who said that a key focus is earth-friendly and green living with vendors showcasing the latest green products and practices. The RAJ Festival will use biodiesel generators, solar power and eco-friendly bathrooms and showers.
RAJ 13 will contain a green food court with vegan, vegetarian and raw food trucks and restaurants. Plus, water at RAJ will be free and filtered, allowing festival-goers to fill up at water depots located throughout the grounds.
According to Byars Beckwith, young people will have a festival all their own in the Kuumba Children’s Village. Activities include performances, talent shows, drum circles, storytelling, art projects, juggling, yoga, guided play, dramatic play, cooking, urban gardening, games and more.
“It’s really an opportunity to learn and grow together while listening to amazing music in a lush field of green. RAJ is an experience the whole family will enjoy,” Byars Beckwith said.
RAJ 13 sponsors include The Guitar Center, Naam Yoga, Agape International Spiritual Center, Whole Life Times magazine and LA Yoga magazine.
Sponsorship, vendor details and general information are available by emailing