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2018 Featured Storytellers & Musicians

Diane Ferlatte - Mistress of Ceremonies

Dovie Thomason

When Diane arrives on stage, you can't help but be carried along with her charismatic style of telling that includes music, sign-language, movement, humor and song. With plenty of audience participation, you'll find yourself smack dab in the middle of her wonderful yarns. As the official emcee of this year's festival, Diane brings joy, spirit and heart to her performance
www.dianeferlatte.com | video


Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling is a playwright, humorist and storyteller extraordinaire. He will have you rolling in the aisles one minute and wiping away a tear the next. Kevin has hopped freight trains, joined a circus, and eaten things before knowing what they were. His stories fall somewhere between Garrison Keillor's homespun humor and the mid-west quirkiness of the Coen brothers' movie, Fargo. His childhood stories and observations touch upon universal human experiences combined with irony, and a sense of the absurd. Listening to Kevin will bring big grins and treasured memories. www.kevinkling.com | video


Scott Ainslie

Scott Ainslie and his Gibson guitar

Ainslie is the rarest of performers — a man who can speak about the Blues with the same compelling passion and authority that drives his musical performances. On stage, he brings the African and American roots, history, and soul of the music alive with a mesmerizing mix of abandon, care and intimacy. During the Ojai Storytelling Festival, Ainslie will be featured as a solo artist, but he will also be showcased with poet Glenis Redmond in excerpts of their acclaimed show, “Southern Voices: Black, White and Blues”. The two performers trade licks, vamp off each other, and weave stories, poetry and music together in a presentation of power and depth that features the works of Muddy Waters and Zora Neale Hurston; Robert Johnson and Fannie Lou Hamer.
www.cattailmusic.com | video


Clare Murphy

Motoko

Clare Murphy is a renowned storyteller from Dublin, Ireland. She will totally captivate the audience with fabulous stories from all over the world. She doesn't just tell stories, she inhabits them and brings them to life in the most fantastic way using humor, movement and interaction with the audience. LIke that Irish pot of gold, Clare Murphy is a treature not to be missed.
www.claremurphy.org | video


Willy Claflin

Willy Claflin

Willy Claflin is a storyteller, musician and professional daydreamer. His award-winning songs and stories have been heard from Ireland to Indonesia, from Hawaii to Maine. Along with his sidekick Maynard Moose, Willy has been featured at the National Storytelling Festival, dozens of regional festivals, and hundreds of schools nationwide. With help from his best buddy, Maynard Moose, the only full-blooded North American moose currently on the storytelling circuit, Claflin uses innocently demoralizing character descriptions and a vocabulary peppered with non-words to reel his listeners into his imaginative world. When not performing, Willy is known for his work helping to save endangered squeaking rubber animals often venturing into the dangerous waters of the Bermuda Bathtub.
www.willyclaflin.com | video


Glenis Redmond

Glenis Redmond

Glenis Redmond performs her original poetry with passion and conviction. She tells stories with her poems — from her life, her family, her African-American heritage — teaching audiences, young and old to claim their place and respect their own story. Glenis has won numerous awards and fellowships as well as regional and national poetry slam competitions She takes her audience to sun-drenched Southern places where family is an accessible inspiration. Her solid voice creates indelible images in the listener's mind and touches the heart in unexpected ways.
www.glenisredmond.com | video


The Chameleons

The Chameleons

This impeccably mesmerizing performance duo will slither their way into the Ojai Storytelling Festival to present their highly unique style of magical motion and thought provoking theatre fun. Through a deft assemblage of movement theatre, mimetic illusion, physical comedy, music, sound effects, intelligence, romance and panache; the mercurial Chameleons lead their audience through a quicksilver world of page-turning irresistible stories in motion.
www.chameleonsmime.com | video



Brian Finkelstein

Brian Finkelstein

Brian Finkelstein is a regular performer at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as the host of the LA Moth Story-slams. He has performed his solo shows in a variety of venues from the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen to the 2012 Summer Nights Festival in Perth, Australia. He's also an Emmy-nominated writer for his work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
www.brianfinkelstein.com | video


Cole Kazdin

Cole Kazdin

Cole Kazdin is a writer, performer and four-time Emmy Award-winning television journalist. She is a regular contributor to VICE, Los Angeles Magazine, MEL Magazine and Refinery 29, and has written for The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Broadly and featured on NPR. She has produced television for HBO Documentaries and ABC Network News. Cole tells stories live on The Moth's Mainstage across the country, on The Moth Radio Hour, and all over Los Angeles where she is a proud, three-time Moth GrandSLAM Champion. Cole is a contributing author in the Moth's new, bestselling book,All These Wonders(March 2017) and coaches and teaches writers all over the world.
www.colekazdin.com | video



Musical Picnics at the Bowl

Alan Thornhill and Martin Young

Martin Young and Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill: While his melodic playing captivates audiences of all ages, from concert halls to festival stages, it is simply a stunning accompaniment to what is called by many one of the most beautiful voices ever heard. Alans a singer admired by his peers and beloved by devoted fans and mesmerized first timers.
alanthornhill.com | video

Martin Young: Martin has written and performed with Jim Messina, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes and Hoyt Axton. Together Martin and Alan Thornhill opened shows for Taj Mahal, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne and many others.
video: Martin & Alan 2011


Cindy Kalmenson

Cindy KalmensonA wonderful singer and songwriter, Cindy Kalmenson, brings humor and a beautiful voice to original as well as cover songs from a variety of music genres. An award-winning songwriter, we are pleased to have Cindy open the festivities for Laughing Night. There are many ways to tell a story, and Cindy sings her tales in an authentic and passionate style. Come early and bring a picnic. www.cindykalmenson.net | video