by Janet Koed
GAVIOTA: A Celebration
Gaviota provokes different meanings to different people. On January 30, a local Santa Barbara band launched their new album, GAVIOTA, at the Lobero theatre. To Scojo & the Keel, Gaviota represents a joyful musical celebration as well as soulful surfing playground. The band’s leader, Scott Claassen, explained to me that he wanted this event to include a broad community of people who share his reverence for the Gaviota Coast. Speakers were invited to highlight some personal connections with the land we call Gaviota.
Chumash elders, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie and Brenda Mercado, opened the show with a Chumash blessing which reminded us of the original human stewards of this land. Artists, farmers, geologists, storytellers and poets brought layers of meaning to this musical event. Geophysicist, Tanya Atwater, gave coastal geology personality with her lively descriptions. Guner Tautrim spoke to the importance of regenerating soil health on Gaviota farms. Shaw Leonard, recounted his Santa Barbara City College experience – get involved! – that inspired him to create an award-winning documentary, GAVIOTA: The End of Southern California. Doyle Hollister recited his poem and expressed his joy in returning to his childhood homeland on Gaviota. Chris Chapman, Larry Iwerks and Brenda Mercado shared their expressive paintings that reflected their ties to Gaviota. Biologist Meighan Dietenhofer, who works in the office of the 3rd District Supervisor, spoke about wildlife along the Gaviota Coast. People from many walks of life are inspired by our Gaviota.
I was certainly curious of the origin of this band’s name. My Google search gave a name meaning that seemed to fit:
The name SCOJO inspires assertiveness, benevolence and reservation
S steered by trustworthy intuition
C creativity and manifestation
O an emotional response
J equivalent of #1 – as truthful, caring and wise
O works toward a principal of wonderful habits
These qualities were apparent in their music and their desire to honor the Gaviota Coast and those who recognize her special beauty. This was a Gaviota family I felt proud to be part of.
Scott later explained to me that “Scojo” is a nickname bestowed upon him from his Austin Texas days – an amalgam of his name and the Spanish word “ojo” meaning “eye” or “watch out and pay attention”