January 18th, 2020 12am Stage 2
Umphrey's McGee After-Party
Mojohand is a Monmouth County, New Jersey based band, who's modern take on Cosmic American Music blends together the Folk, Country, Blues, and Improvisation infused Rock n Roll of the late 60's and early 70's with the Neo-Psychedelic sounds of today. The band is comprised of Elijah Klein (19) on Guitar and Vocals, Ian Darcy (21) on Keyboards and Vocals, Joe Dinardo (19) on Bass Guitar, and Jasper Mahncke (19) on Drums. The story of Mojohand began when childhood friends Joe and Elijah found themselves at a Dead & Company concert in the summer of 2016. The two were instantly blown away by the environment and the sense of community surrounding the music of the Grateful Dead, and instantly became determined to create something that included those same virtues for their own generation.
The two then recruited their good friend Ian to play keyboards for the group, the three instantly bonded over the goals they wanted to achieve with their music. Over the next couple of years, the trio, along with a constantly evolving lineup of musicians began to create a name for themselves and form a community around Mojohand. Despite Ian, Elijah, and Joe’s shared goals they had trouble finding band members who were able to keep up with their daring vision. Luckily in 2018 Elijah met drummer Jasper Mahncke at the New School of Jazz in NYC. Not only did they bond over their love of music, also to their dedication to its power to make change and bring people together. When Jasper first played with the rest of the group, something clicked. Despite having been a band for two years at this point, this was the first time Mojohand felt like they were moving as one organism.
Since forming, Mojohand has accomplished a variety of feats such as playing at The World Famous Stone Pony, selling out shows at the Asbury Park Music Foundation, hosting an annual “New Years Eve-Eve” celebration at the Brighton Bar, and having a consistent presence in the music scenes of New York City and Vermont. But what Mojohand is most proud of is their grassroots community building efforts, most notably their annual summer music festival dubbed, “Mojofest”.
Mojofest is the culmination of everything that Mojohand represents to their community. It’s a festival that brings together multiple mediums of artwork, many genres of music, and people from all walks of life. This year’s installment, “Mojofest III: Cosmic Jamboree” is set to be the biggest one yet as the band expands on what made last years event so successful. This years festival brings the addition of 10 new vendors and visual artists presenting and selling their work, 5 bands making their Mojofest Debut, Camping, a Potluck, a late night acoustic jam, a Costume Contest, a special Mojohand & Friends 50th Anniversary tribute to Woodstock to cap off the night, and a crew to help us bring the whole thing to life. Mojohand has also recruited the efforts of their longtime collaborator, and acclaimed live-visual specialist Spaghetti Jesus to provide his psychedelic-lighting-expertise to the event. The first mojofest drew a crowd of about 100, last years, “Mojofest II: Electric Boogaloo” drew 300 people and the goal for this years fest is to double last years attendance, and break the 600 attendee mark.
Along with Preparing for Mojofest III, Mojohand is also gearing up for the release of their newest single, “Heaven’s Gate” on July 17th. This single sets the stage for what’s to come for the band and it's a community of followers. The band feels that this single represents their intentions musically and socially better than any of their previous works , as it evokes their influences while still remaining completely original, and conveys a message of substance that resonates strongly with struggles plaguing their generation. The next steps are exciting ones, as Mojohand aims to continue full speed ahead with full, and unrelenting force leaving the world with only one option, to climb aboard and #letthemusicsetyoufree!