Jazz and Blues Views By Eric Benson

Venues for the arts come and go but always refreshing when one appears that is in a quality environment with seasoned musicians. One new place that fills the bill in DEWZ Restaurant’s Wine Bar. The Saturday night music is from 8:00 to 10:00 or so and features solo and small groups of musicians playing at acoustic volumes in the informal environment with folks enjoys wine tasting and a little noshing bites. I’m doing the booking bringing in Jazz & popular music with vocalists. In October we have: 5th: Francesca Bavara, (my fav!), 13th Marirose, (of Marirose & the Gypsies), piano and vocals, 19th: Jazz guitar duo with John King & Robin Montgomery, 26th Patrick Durr on guitar & vocals from the group Homegrown.

Well before it’s too chilly to enjoy the great outdoors it’s time to throw one last house party for the year with one of my favorite Blue Monday bands Johnny Valdez & Straight Ahead on Sunday October 27th. Location is at the house of the rich and famous Kyle Barker’s with Koi ponds and expansive backyard. The party starts at 4:30, with food served at 5:30. Johnny’s CD is not out yet but the music will feature some straight ahead Jazz, and groove tunes to listen or dance to. The food will be catered by my son Christopher Benson who will bring back some of his New Orleans soul food, Gumbo, red beans and rice, crab cakes with a whole lot of appetizers, and Crown Cake for dessert. There is no cover charge and it is an all age event, just bring yourself & beverage of choice. If you want to come call me or email me and I’ll hook you up.

The Gallo Center continues bringing in quality acts: the Yellow jackets!! Oct 4th, MSO: Latin Fire Oct 4th, and 5th, Suzanne Westenhoefer Oct 5th, Three Dog Night Oct 12th, and Blues Traveler Oct 18th.

The new invigorated Hero’s sports Bar is booking rock, punk and some world shows

One the one night side in town: Jazz guitarist Steve Oliver plays the Del Rio Country Club for a good cause, a fun-raiser for Parents Resource Center on Oct. 11th. The event will also feature catered food and wine. Call 549-8193 for tickets. Also John Griswold is back at it with celebrating Celtic New Year with Golden Bough, and Tempest at the Mistlin Gallery on Oct 26th. Call John for info: 543-4261 The 22nd annual International Heritage Fest Oct. 5th: will take place at Modesto Junior College East, check out wwwinternationalfestivalmodesto.org for the lineup.

On the west side of town: West Side Theatre brings in some Blues and roots music with Volker Strifler Oct 5th, All My Brothers Band Oct 12th, southern rock from Skynyrd to Allman Brothers, and Joni Morris doing her Patsy Cline thing Oct 6th. A little drive but worth it once you get there with a wonderful vintage theatre converted into music & arts venue.

On the kickin out the jams side: Barkin’ Dog Thursdays with Dave Dow, (Jazz), Queen Bean Sundays hosts jam with acoustic, rock music.

Need to get, give me some input at: mbenson@fire2wire.com, or cell 209-918-7033. Peace out, Eric Benson



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.