Culled from six years of his eco-minded music festival, Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival, highlights onstage collaborations with legendary musicians like Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Mathews, Ziggy and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and more.
Johnson and his band team up with more than a dozen guest artists to perform both original works and spirited covers of classic songs. The album features several of Johnson’s breezy folk-rock gems, including “Constellations” (with Eddie Vedder), “Mudfootball” (with Ozomatli & G. Love), “Breakdown” (with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro), and “Better Together” (with Hawaiian singer Paula Fuga).
Elsewhere on Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival
, Johnson joins his guests for stripped-down renditions of their own songs: Taj Mahal offers his bluesy “Further On Down The Road,” Jackson Browne revisits “Take It Easy” with the help of singer/guitarist John Cruz (who also shares his Hawaiian anthem “Island Style”), and the Marley brothers bring the reggae with Ziggy’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” and Damian’s dancehall banger “Welcome to Jamrock.”
Rounding out the record are an eclectic collection of covers, including Bob Marley’s “High Tide or Low Tide” (featuring Ben Harper), Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” (featuring Eddie Vedder) and Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at Forty” (featuring Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds). Willie Nelson, meanwhile, delivers a Harper-assisted take on “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” the Fred Rose-penned classic he popularized.
Held on Earth Day weekend at Honolulu’s Waikiki Shell since its inception in 2004, the Kokua Festival serves as both a community-centered celebration of music and environmental awareness and as the major fundraiser for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation (a nonprofit organization founded by Johnson and his wife Kim in 2003 to support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii). Like the festival itself, Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival
spotlights artists who share the Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s mission of protecting the planet and cultivating environmental consciousness.
Not only a showcase for live music, the Kokua Festival offers a major educational component. A clearinghouse of over fifty eco-friendly businesses and local environmental groups interact with fans in the Kokua Village, which features sustainable products, alternative-energy demonstrations, local food and beverages, and activities for kids.
As a leader in low-impact concert production, the Kokua Festival also reduces energy use and minimizes waste through a number of green measures, including:
• a bike valet service
• biodegradable concession-ware
• zero-waste stations for recyclables, compostables, and food waste
• free water refill stations to encourage the use of reusable water bottles
• festival generators and vehicles powered by locally sourced biodiesel
What’s more, the Kokua Festival offsets any carbon emissions by funding clean-energy development in Hawaii.
Aiming to foster environmental stewardship in children, the foundation partners with local schools and offers hands-on programs that engage students in place-based and outdoor learning that instill an appreciation for their environment. ‘AINA In Schools, a farm-to-school program of the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, empowers students to make healthy food choices, cultivates a school garden as a learning laboratory, supports fresh, locally grown products in school lunches and snack programs, and offers field trips to nearby farms, all of which connect children to where their food comes from.
In addition to heading up ‘AINA In Schools, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation has implemented recycling programs in nearly 50 schools on Oahu, launched initiatives like Plastic Free Schools (created to cut back on single-use plastics on campus), and given a number of public-school teachers “mini-grants” to support their own environmental education endeavors. The foundation also regularly hosts beach cleanups, recycling drives and garden parties, which Johnson himself participates in, along with his frequent visits to schools for in-cafeteria concerts.Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival
is Johnson’s follow-up to his fifth studio album To The Sea
, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart when it was released in June 2010. After the album’s release, Johnson will head out with John Cruz and Paula Fuga for a seven-date, all-acoustic tour of Hawaii. The tour will include stops on Kauai (April 19 at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center), Oahu (April 21 and 22 at Hawaii Theatre), Maui (April 25 and 26 at Castle Theater), and the Big Island (April 28 and 29 at Kahilu Theatre).Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival track listing
1. Better Together - Jack Johnson with Paula Fuga
2. Cry, Cry, Cry - Ziggy Marley with Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga
3. A Pirate Looks At Forty - Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
4. Mudfootball - Jack Johnson with Ozomatli & G. Love
5. Constellations - Jack Johnson with Eddie Vedder & Kawika Kahiapo
6. Take It Easy - Jackson Browne with Jack Johnson & John Cruz
7. Island Style - John Cruz with Jack Johnson & Jackson Browne
8. Breakdown - Jack Johnson with Jake Shimabukuro
9. Further On Down The Road - Taj Mahal with Jack Johnson
10. Welcome To Jamrock - Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley with Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga
11. High Tide or Low Tide - Ben Harper & Jack Johnson
12. Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain - Willie Nelson with Jack Johnson & Ben Harper
13. I Shall Be Released - Jack Johnson, Eddie Vedder, Zach Gill & FriendsJack Johnson Hawaiian Island Tour Dates:
An acoustic evening with Jack Johnson, John Cruz and Paula Fuga
April 19th Kauai Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center
April 21st and 22nd Oahu Hawaii Theatre
April 25th and 26th Maui Castle Theatre
April 28th and 29th Big Island Kahilu Theatre www.jackjohnsonmusic.com