By December 9, 2014 Read More →

December JazzBlues View

What’s new with Jazz and the Blues News?
If you love music you’re gonna love this!
By Eric Benson

Did anybody say pray for rain! Halleluiah we got some comin, but keep on prayin’ cause the drought ain’t over yet. “Let it rain, let it pour; let it do a whole lot more…got them deep river Blues.” Well, on to the hollidaze and some nappy New Years’ with family and friends. Lots of festivities in store for the area in the music and arts community.

Blue Monday Christmas Party invitational jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill Monday Dec 8th with the Ultra Lounge Group hosting and sponsored by ModestoView. The group features Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass, vocals, Kelly Ramirez on drums, Pat Governor & Eric Benson on Keys, with special guest horn section Adrian Rosenblum and Pops Rosemblum. With any luck you may see Josh Rosenblum also. The jam features jazz, R & B, Latin, funk and a little of everything else with special guests sitting in. Show from 7 to 10:00 PM with food and drink available in all age venue. Call the Dog for reservations: 572-2341.

I Came out for the Art Garfunkel show at the Gallo and yes, Art has a receding hairline and had lost his voice for 3 years thanks to choking on a piece of lobster but he was back in fine form and was accompanied by an amazing ace guitarist from Nashville. With poems and commentary between numbers, the show was inspiring and musically amazing which goes to show you, when you are in the hands of world class musicians you don’t need all the technology, bells and whistles to reach people, all you need is the music and musician with heart!

The Gallo Center for the Arts continues with their diverse booking in December brings out the Christmas celebration. December features: 2nd with Diamond Rio, 5 & 6th MSO Holiday Pops, 12th; Opus Hanbell Ensemnle, 13 & 14th: an Irish Christmas, 19 to 21 Trumen Capotes: Christmas memories musical, and 22nd David Benoit Christmas tribute to Charlie Brown with expressions Chorale of Modesto. And save the date in January16th: Marcus Roberts’s solo piano.

And my friend and fellow promoter John Griswold who’s retired from promoting more than anyone can count is back at it with “the Brazilians are coming.” The New Brazilian Ensemble will swing and samba through on Sunday Dec 14th at Jacob’s Fine Dining. The band features the marvelous, talented, and gorgeous Fabiana Passoni on vocals, Stephanie Ozer on keys, and Ami Molinelli- Hart on percussion. The band incorporates Brazilian Samba’s, Bossa Novas and well as some World music styling’s. Doors at 4 with show at 5:00 Pm, tickets are 35 dollars general, and call John for reservations: (209) 543-4261, or online: “events” tab, tell them Eric Benson sent ya and I’ll see you on the dance floor.

And new to the downtown is Restaurant Urbano’s, ( in the location formerly of Clayton’s Restaurant) is in process for being able to have live music at that venue with great food and full bar available. They hope to have live music brought in by January. We did Blue Monday 7 years in that location and was a wonderful room for the music.

Live music in DEWZ Wine Bar in December goes dark for music to accommodate holiday parties with music returning in January with live music Friday and Saturday nights 7 to 10 pm

Lowdown on the jam session in the downtown: Barkin’ Dog Thursday night jazz jams with Dave Dow, Queen Bean Sundays open mike night also in an all age environment.

Remember please support our local live venue’s for live music and the arts. So take some time out to hear some live music and the arts of our own town as well this month, think globally and act locally.
All the best, peace out! Eric Benson, cell 209, 918-7033.

Captions – Three Brazilians – Fabiana Passoni, Stephanie Ozer, Ami Molinelli
Michael Allsup of Three Dog Night attended the November Blue Monday Jam for Johnny Valdez CD release party.



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