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arts & leisure

Mazfest: Peace, love and music in Roscoe

Katie and Miguel from the Secular Sextets

By By Lucy Jan-Turan
August 9, 2012

ROSCOE, NY — What began as a small, one-day music festival has grown into a mini Woodstock-esque event hosted by the Livingston Manor-based rock group Mazmyth. In explaining the name of his band, guitarist Matt Smith said, “Matt Smith sounds like Mazmyth when you’re slurring your words. It had us laughing and it just stuck around.” And from there sprang the name for the entire music festival, Mazfest.

The third annual festival was held at the Fireman’s Field on August 3, 4 and 5. Live bands and solo performers of many musical styles began performing at 12:30 p.m. on Friday and continued until 4 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Despite the heavy downpour of rain on Sunday, the event persevered until 10 p.m., with performers smoothly alternating between the smaller IDA stage and the more extravagant Abott stage. Many local solo musicians and bands performed including Kaahele, The Secular Sextets, and Jazzmosis, alongside the more widely known bands from New York City: O’Death, Consider The Source and Dopapod.

Tents of all sizes and colors were pitched within view of the Abott stage. Some campers, it seemed, never slept. A fire pit drew people to the center of the site each night and sunrises were accompanied by the mellow sound of drum circles. At around 6 a.m. on Saturday, a team of campers worked together to build a dam in the stream, which was used throughout the weekend to cool off from the sweltering heat. Later that day, an orb-shaped decoration that hung by the food stands was taken down and ripped open by staff members. Inside was a giant beach ball, which campers kicked around in the open field. It was also bounced throughout the crowd during performances that evening.

“I am Papa Maz,” boasted Douglas Smith, father of Matt, Danny (Mazmyth’s drummer) and Bryan (who, though musically talented, is not in a band). Douglas also performed with his brother Kevin, nephew Jeff and niece Allison in “Dadzmyth.” He went on to say that the members of Dadzmyth have done a great deal to inspire the musical talent in Mazmyth. The boys were raised around music and grew up learning and improving together. “Every Memorial and Labor Day weekend we go to my grandfather’s property and we do this [have our own music festival], but its just family,” said Matt.