Duxapalooza Music Festival & Carnival

Fortinis at DuxapaloozaDuxapalooza, an alternative concert and carnival sponsored by the Paul S. Fortini Foundation, was held Summer of 2013 on the lawn at Duxbury Student Union. It was a picture perfect day featuring carnival fun and musical performances all afternoon long. The event was brought to fruition by an army of young volunteers in support of alternative music opportunities for youth at DSU. It was an afternoon of entertainment that exceeded the expectations of all ages.

Kathy and Ken Fortini shared that they “had always dreamed of having a ‘Paul-a-palooza’ event on the Train Field” in honor of their late son Paul, and were moved to see such an event come to life at DSU.  Many of the Duxapalooza performers were lucky enough to have been touched by Paul Fortini during his time at DHS as his classmate or music student.

The event was a fitting tribute for the young man who not only loved music but also was a community activist volunteering his time and connecting with youth of all ages. Duxapalooza was exactly that with volunteers from age ten to young adult volunteering on everything from advertising, ticket sales, managing sound, set up and clean up, supervising kid games and inflatables, and serving food at the concession stand.  Guests were impressed by the engaging and enthusiastic dispositions of all the young volunteers.

Maybe you were driving by and couldn’t help but stop at the sight of five giant inflatables including a water slide and giant jousting ring that had the kids moving all afternoon long. Or, maybe you were drawn to Duxapalooza by the nonstop musical entertainment emanating from the lawn all afternoon with 10 bands taking the stage performing every genre from country, pop, rap, soul, folk and heavy metal along with plenty of original compositions.

The afternoon opened with young rockers Jessie Gervasi and Christian Koomey of Catastrophic Predicament followed by a lineup of acoustic performances from Maddy Clark, who recently auditioned for The Voice television show; Alenni Davis sang some crowd favorites and Kate Cameron, now at Berklee, still has a love for country belting out songs with even greater confidence and experience.   A highlight of the day was the introduction of Dalton and Dylan, Duxbury newcomers who took a last minute spot in the lineup. The 8th and 9th grade brother duo immediately got the audience on their feet and excited the crowd with their rendition of Gangnam Style, followed by You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban.  Bands Badfish, The Fontaine Brothers, Windsor Tree, Sam Katz and his band Dan & the Wildfire and Government Chocolate rounded out the evening with a mix of folk and rock tunes and fabulous harmonies.

The Duxbury Student Union and all of the young musicians who took the stage at Duxapalooza are eternally grateful for the financial support from the Paul S. Fortini Foundation that helped make Duxapalooza a reality as well as their donation of a brand new Bose sound system for use at DSU musical Coffee House events throughout the year.

Proceeds from Duxapalooza will help DSU continue to provide a stage for youth to explore alternative music opportunities, so important to many budding musicians. Just ask DHS grad and professional musician Sam Katz who took the stage with Windsor Tree and Dan & the Wildfire, “When I was in middle school and high school the DSU didn’t exist yet; I really wish it had. It was hard a lot of the time to find a lot of opportunities to play. Being underage ruled out any bars and other typical local venues. I think it’s great that the DSU can offer a place for young musicians to perform in front of others.”  Katz is a graduate of Berklee and is currently working and performing regularly with Dan & The Wildfire and Windsor Tree,  “trying to gain exposure and pump out original material”.

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