By June 8, 2015 Read More →


What’s new with Jazz and the Blues News
By Eric Benson

Well, I have been living in the downtown with so much to do! Lila Downs, Bonnie Rait, Bos Scaggs and Peter Framptom coming up. It’s live Day on the Green with no green, and a much-appreciated seat to enjoy the show. Yes, we are getting older and standing in a stadium for hours listening to live music is a joy of a bygone era. I personally like the small venues best with Barkin’ Dog Grill with Blues, Brews to Jazz, and Green’s basement venue with recent show promoted by John Griswold, and Café Urbano now opening its doors to live music, and on a sleepy Sunday morning you can hear Patty Castillo playing a breakfast gig at Deva Café. Plenty to do with the festivals and our own ode to cruise Graffiti summer coming up. Plenty of opportunity to partake of some music here in the downtown.

A special event Sunday June 7th from 6PM to 9PM is the One Table event fundraiser for United Way; a fun-raiser with yours truly Eric Benson, Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass and vocals, and Dave Hawks on drums playing ambient Jazz for the event. We would love to have you come down and support this event if you like great food and live music for a good cause. The link is

Blue Monday Party & invitational jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill on the second Monday June 8th, with special guest Jazz guitarist Barry Finerty. Barry is back from tour in Europe and will be playing some tracks off his new album “Nothing’s Gonna Be Allright”. On Blue Monday, the house band Ultra Lounge will be: Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass vocals, Dave Hawks on drums, Eric Benson, Pat Governor on Keys, Jamey Dubberly on Trombone, and Andrew Rosenblum on Sax and Trumpet. The jam this month will features Jazz, R & B, Funk, Latin and a little of everything else with special guests sitting in for listening and dancing. Show from 7 to 10PM with food and drink available in the all-age venue. Call the Dog for reservations: 209- 572-2341. Barry Finerty acid Jazz guitarist who has played with Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorious, BB King, and Brecker Brothers will rock the house playing Jazz, R & B, and Funk. If you play, come on down and sit-in with the best musicians in the area.

In May, for their 80th birthday celebration, The State Theatre brought in Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Bid Sam’s Funky Nation (Big Band Funk), and Robin Ford. June Celebrates Graffiti month with June 6th American Graffiti, 20th Sing-along Grease, and 26-28th dance company Strut performers with Rock of Ages.

Live music in DEWZ Wine Bar in June booked by myself, continues live music on Friday and Saturday nights 7 to 10PM, incorporating the best local musicians playing in the intimate wine bar environment. What I have booked for all you music lovers in June: Friday 5th Josh Rosenblum solo guitar and vocals, Saturday 6th Tim Allen piano and vocals Billy Joel to Elton John and standards, Friday 12th Patt Durr and friends (of Home Grown), Saturday 13th Kent Gripenstraw solo jazz and popular piano, Friday 19th & Saturday 27th John King & Robin Motgomery Jazz guitar duo, Sat 20th Andrew Rosenblum guitar and vocals, and Friday 26th Beatles tribute with Third Party Chris Murphy and Gary Nelson. If you know you’re coming down, call to reserve a table as best seating is limited. Full food and bar available in the wine bar.

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

Remember, please support our local live venues for live music and the arts. Take some time out to hear some live music, and see the arts of our own town. Think globally and act locally.

All the best, peace out! Eric Benson, cell 209-918-7033.



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