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Surfer Musician Donavon Frankenreiter Treats Nosara with Exclusive Concert

By Fritz Elmendorf

Donavon Frankenreiter marries perfectly the worlds of surfing and music. The folky pop artist is set to visit Nosara for a surfing camp, and while he is in town he plans to treat Nosara with a concert November 18. In Frankenreiter words it's the surfing that keeps him alive and the music that keeps him grounded.

While his friend Jack Johnson may be better known, both dish out similar styles of soulful acoustic folk-pop that reflect a laid-back ethos. Donavon has put in his time on the pro-circuit and appears in a variety of videos as well as a popular Xbox program, but now prefers a more relaxed schedule that includes concerts and the Billabong sponsored "Surf with a Pro" camp that connects him locally with the Safari Surf School in Guiones beach. The local sponsors are hoping his appearance in Nosara will become an annual event.

"We got him down here with the Billabong Surf with a Pro thing for a week (Nov. 12-19), and the concert is icing on the cake," explained Peter Lewis, who is helping arrange the concert, presented at La Estancia, which only opens its grounds near the five-corners intersection for special events.

The concert will double as a fundraiser in support of the Surfing Nosara Foundation and Nosara Animal Care, with a silent auction starting at 7 pm and the concert to follow at 9. Tickets are available for $20 at Casa Tucan, the Frog Pad, and Surfing Nosara, and will be $25 at the door.

Donavon, now 37, was already a pro surfer at age 15, but sponsorship by Billabong has allowed him to achieve his ultimate dream of being a 'free surfer,' getting paid to surf but not required to surf in competitions.


He grew up surfing the San Clemente (California) pier and carving up the faces of waves all across the Southern California Coast.

Donavan began his musical career at 17 and quickly developed a passion for it that equaled his love of surfing. In the mid '90s, he joined Sunchild, a five-piece "good time rock and roll" band, which gained acclaim in Southern California for its laid back style, reminiscent of the late '60s and early '70s LA sound. During its time, Sunchild opened for The Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson, Ben Harper, Social Distortion and The Descendants, and joined the Vans Warped Tour.

When Sunchild took an extended break after more than ten years, Frankenreiter released a solo disc in 2002. According to his website, "Spurred by the coupling of his desire to say something original along with a new found musical maturity, Donavon boldly rode the wave into the world of the acoustic singer/songwriter." Donavon then partnered up with Ben Harper band members Dean Butterworth and David Leach. The group called itself the Donavon Frankenreiter Band and toured with The Dave Matthews Band in the fall of 2003.

Donavon's fourth studio album and single, "Glow," was recently released on his own label, Liquid Tambourine Records. Described, as "warm, organic, and overwhelmingly hopeful, Glow's 10 tracks are the perfect antidote to trying times."

Coming off such tour stops as New York and California, Donavan will surely be happy to relax in Nosara, a place that suits his style and the efforts of his new album, before moving on to Brazil and New Zealand in the coming weeks.


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I walk in the gate of a well known vacation rental here in Guiones and before I see a soul I'm certain I found the right place. It's midday at Safari Surf School's "Surf with a Pro" camp. Boards of all shapes are scattered all around the pool, rashguards are hung from gutters, and guitars are napping on folded board bags. 

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On Monday, October 31st, Nosara and Samara celebrated Halloween. Here we present the three winners at La Vela Latina Bar, Gilded Iguana’s excellent decorations and the best costumes at La Banana Bar.

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Fidel Gamboa, proud Nicoyan and excellent musician, was the leader of the Costa Rican musical group Malpais. On August 28th, Fidel died of cardiac arrest, unexpectedly ending a chapter for his followers, but the humble legacy of this man, who for 30 years was dedicated to music, will remain forever in the hearts of the Ticos.

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