Musician and producer Jonathan Korty has been a part of the Bay Area music scene for three decades, performing in groups like Vinyl and Soul Ska, and offering booking, production and performance services for private and public events with his company Korty Productions.
Meanwhile, his brother Gabriel Korty has pursued his art and become an in-demand creator of custom stage backdrops for artists such as Chris Robinson, events such as Huichica Music Festival in Sonoma, and more. Gabriel’s major achievement is the Parachute Days community project at Love Field in Point Reyes.
“My brother had been experimenting with military parachutes just for fun,” says Korty. “He put one up (on Love Field) and had a party under it. It attracted a lot of attention.”
What started as a small, local event grew into a summer music series with popular indie-rock headliners like Explosions in the Sky and Animal Collective. Gabriel and his team install a huge cargo parachute over the field with 10 pyramid-shaped supports, along with a large stage, a backdrop and a lantern centerpiece above the soundboard/DJ booth (which is a work of functional art).
“Being a veteran of the Bay Area music scene, I can’t imagine a better setting or vibe for a concert,” says Korty.
This weekend, the Korty brothers’ creative endeavors come together at Summer Stomp II, the all-day music festival under the parachute at Love Field on Saturday Sept. 7 that coincides with Korty’s birthday and features his hand-picked lineup of bands including headliners the California Honeydrops, zydeco star Andre Thierry, Korty’s bands Soul Ska and Koolerator, and Bolinas-based reggae DJs Epicenter Sound System.
Ten years after forming as an Oakland busking duo, the California Honeydrops are now one of the most Bay Area’s most popular bands, offering a danceable soul music that draws on diverse musical influences.
Growing up on French Creole and Cajun Zydeco music, Andre Thierry is a virtuoso accordionist and bandleader of Zydeco Magic. “He’s the real deal,” says Korty. “He brings a special type of contemporary soul zydeco to the stage.”
As for Epicenter Sound System, Korty says the act takes the Reggae knowledge to a whole new level.
The music is the focus of the fest, though Summer Stomp II will also feature delicious local food trucks on site, beer and beverages by Iron Springs Brewery, local arts and crafts vendors, Oyster Bar, kids activities and more. Last year’s event sold out in advance, so Korty recommends advance tickets.
More than anything, Korty looks forward to spending his birthday with family, friends and like-minded music lovers.
“It’s really special for me to be able to work with my younger brother,” he says. “And for us to be able to bring our art together.”