By August 6, 2014 Read More →


Jazz & BluesView By: Eric Benson

Well some of my favorite musicians have left the building this time round on this astral sphere, RIP Horace Silver and Johnny Winter. Horace Silvers music was out of the get it in your soulness groove generation with jazz melodies and rhythm and blues underpinning with great arranging and soloists coming up through the ranks, he will be missed. Even though I’m primarily a pianist, Johnny winter is one of my favorites of all time, in his “Still Alive & Well” albums “Rock me Baby” has one of the best rock guitar solos of all time. I remember burning out countless Johnny winter albums listened to at volume ten. One day as a teen in the doctor’s office he asked me “what I attributed my high end hearing loss to,” I smiled and said “Johnny Winter of course.” And another casualty in our musical world, & our economy is Yoshi’s Jazz Club in SF is no more. It will have a makeover and change will not include Japanese food, Jazz or the name Yoshi’s but Yoshi’s Oakland is still alive and kickin’ so please support this incredible venue for live music. And also 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.

Blue Monday monthly Invitational Jam continues at the Barkin’ Dog Grill on the first Monday every month. It’s gonna be smoking: stellar Jazz guitarist Barry Finnerty is coming! Barry will be getting off tour with the Brecker Brothers in Europe. He is an eclectic modern jazz guitarist along the lines of Mike Stern, Pat Martino who can play Bebop to Funk, Rhythm & Blues with effortless flawless lines. He has played with Miles Davis, Dave Mathews, and the who’s who of west and east coast Jazz musicians. Host band Aug. 4th is Johnny Valdes & Straight ahead: with Dave Hawks on drums, John Adey on bass, and Martin Martinez on sax. Come down you won’t want to miss this Blue Monday Party. Will be playing Blues, R & B, Funk and Latin music for listening and dancing. Show goes 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Call for reservations if you want a good seat.

The State Theatre continues with community friendly booking. In August; 6th and 8th Monty Python Live (mostly), 9th Roy Orbison tribute with Wiley Ray & Big Ol Band, the 27th Robin Ford, and the 29th Allan Holdsworth. The Gallo Center for the Arts continues with their diverse booking in August: the 9th KC & the Sunshine Band, 14th Montgomery Gentry, county superstar duo.

Live music in DEWZ Wine Bar is back in August with live music Friday and Saturday nights 7 to 10:00 PM, incorporating the best local musicians into the intimate wine bar environment. Check with DEWZ for the lineup.

Live music can be found at the: Boardroom, Rivet’s, Nino’s Place, Speakeasy Lounge, the Other Place, and Fridays Jazz pianist Kent Gripenstraw plays Papapolloni Meditarian Bistro in Oakdale. Music in the downtown plaza Modesto continues with its Friday night music series. If you love rhythm & blues, and funk check out the Cartel Band Aug. 8th And local boy does good: Josh Rosenblum & Everything Atlas gets a date, Aug. 8th at the West Side Theatre, and Mic Gillette Band, Mic formerly of Tower of Power plays there Aug. 9th.

On the Jam session front check out: David Dow hosting Barkin’ Dog Grill Jazz jam every Thursday night and the Queen Bean with Indie, acoustic jam every Sunday.

House Party with virtuoso Jazz Guitarist John Stowell and local guitar slinger Johnny Valdes Sunday August 10th for a CD release party of music recorded by this duo when John has toured through over the last several years. Location to be announced, call me or email me for location: email me at:, or cell 209-918-7033 Event is always 5:00 to 9:00 with this time round: Gumbo, red Beans and Rice, Crab Cakes and greens, BYOB. Call me or email me for location: email me at:, or cell 209-918-7033. Peace out, Eric Benson



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