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Curtis Salgado, Vicci Martinez and others at DB Cooper Music Festival

Aviation criminal mastermind produces musical festival with top talent

Vicci Martinez will perform her new single "Otra Cancion" and songs from The Voice at the DB Cooper Music Festival Aug. 2. Press photo

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He hasn't been heard from since parachuting from the Northwest Airlines plane he hijacked in 1971, landing in Southwest Washington with a duffel bag full of $20 bills. But D.B. Cooper, the mastermind of the only unsolved aviation crime in U.S. history, has resurfaced in the last year to promote a music festival in the middle of the path of his legendary flight. The DB Cooper Music Festival lands at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds in Chehalis Saturday, Aug. 2. 

"It's my way of giving back to the community," Cooper (not his real name) told the Weekly Volcano. "I feel bad that the feds have spent so much taxpayer money looking for me for the last four decades, so I figured the least I could do is throw a big party for the people and invite some awesome bands to play for them." 

The festival will operate three stages throughout the day Saturday, primarily featuring acts from along the Portland-Seattle path of the hijacked flight, including main stage blockbusters such as "2013 Blues Entertainer of the Year" Curtis Salgado from Portland, Tacoma native and The Voice finalist Vicci Martinez, Capitol Records rising star and native Olympian Ethan Tucker and blues pioneer Alice Stuart, also from Olympia. The main stage lineup also includes Independent Music Award winners The Brown Edition, the Puget Sound area's premier funk band Bump Kitchen, and six-time Grammy nominee Maria Muldaur.

"That's what I'm talking about!" Cooper yelled. "I mean are you kidding me, Maria Muldaur? I would jump out of airplane for a music lineup like that, and I'm pushing 80 years old!"

Fortunately, Cooper said, festival goers will not need to pack parachutes for the event and instead can simply drive up to the fairgrounds and park. And, he added, thanks to a number of local sponsors who pitched in for the event, ticket buyers won't need a duffle bag full of cash to attend. Tickets for the full day of music are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate. Food and beverage, including adult beverage, will be available at the festival, and attendees must be 21 or older. 

The festival's South Stage lineup is headlined by local roots music treasure Mudcat and also features: Puyallup's Southern rockers SweetKiss Momma; Olympia blues funk septet Sour Owl, featuring the ageless Joe Baque on keyboards; Brittany Kingery, originally from McCleary, whose new album Dream in Blue is earning raves and nationwide airplay; and The Pine Hearts, whose alternative bluegrass sound is catching fire and making them one of the busiest acoustic acts in the region. 

The festival's Singer-Songwriter stage will feature nine solo and duo acts performing sets of original music, including: Kelly McGuire, owner of multiple Texas Music Association awards and nominations for his songwriting and recordings; The Hinges, an acoustic duo made up of Northwest music veterans Danny Kelly and Karen Hancock; and Tacoma's Champagne Sunday, a duo version of the band LeeAnn Rimes once called "the best band I've ever heard that isn't famous yet." 

"I'm bringing in a great mix of artists, some of whom are well known because they are awesome, and some of whom I want people to see because they are awesome and deserve to be well known," said Cooper. "We're going to squeeze about twenty hours of music into less than ten hours in one day, and not one second of it is going to suck."  

DB COOPER MUSIC FESTIVAL, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, 21 and older, Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 N. National Ave., Chehalis, $35 at Rainy Day Records in Olympia and, $40 gate


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