JazzBluesView – March

What’s New with Jazz and Blues?
By Eric Benson

There seems to be brighter moments coming as the weather gets warmer & things heat up. A recent night of salsa at the Fat Cat Music House featured local based Orchestra Dharma lead by Trombonist, arranger Jamie Dubberly featuring Cuban greats Carlos Carro on percussion, and virtuoso pianist Gustavo Ramirez on keyboards up from LA. The show started with Javier from You Can Dance Company teaching Salsa and performing with his choreographed dancers spinning and twirling enough to make one dizzy. The gig was well attended and a great time was had by all. Jamie is also involved with the Jazz Vespers, Jazz played in a spiritual/church environment, that will feature a smaller version of Orchestra Dharma on Sunday March 10th, 5 PM at the First Methodist Church on 16th St. Modesto. I don’t know if appropriate to Cha-Cha-Cha in the aisles but if you come I know you will want to. Check out: www.orquestadharma.com<http://www.orquestadharma.com/>

Also on the Cuban front, John Griswold is doing a benefit fun-raiser for the Mistlin Gallery on July 27th, that will feature Cuban music, Cuban food, dancing and even Cuban cigars! If will be held at the M. Peterson Event Center in the downtown Modesto. Mo info soon, check out www.havanafocus.org<http://www.havanafocus.org/> which will be up soon. John’s at Sambaarts@live.com. More bright moments in store for the month.

The State Theatre continues with quality musical offerings. Coming March 10th Journey Tribute band, (unauthorized), 24th Ozomatli. We are also excited that our local bands are doing things at the State! So come on down and check out the show. Check out www.thestate.org<http://www.thestate.org/> The Gallo Center continues with some quality shows, in March: 6th Los Lonely Boys, 12th, Ana Moura, 13th Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie & Sammy Kershaw, (roots & Boots tour).

On the esoteric Jazz side of things my friend Jazz guitarist John Stowell returns March 3 afternoon at Kyle Barker House on 3400 West Point street off Standiford and McHenry with a master class at 4 PM, Johnny Valdez with Stowell at 5 PM, on the menu: crab cakes, red beans and rice, Jambalaya, Arugula salad with creamy cilantro dressing, and hors d’oeuvres and of course BYOB. Call if interested in Jazz with catered food with all-star musicianship; call me at cell (209) 918-7033. West Side Theatre in Newman for March brings in, 2nd Tempest, 9th Caravanserai, (Santana Tribute), and my pic for the hell I’m going show is Dennis Johnson & Mississippi Ramblers, (if you love slide guitar a must see). For the info: www.westsidetheatre.org<http://www.westsidetheatre.org/>. Reg Evans of Central Valley Music group continues to promote a showcase of local bands at the Clarion on Friday nights. Saturday nights a DJ spins Soul music for listening and dancing. Tuesday offers Salsa with DJ and Wednesdays with Dixieland with the Creole Jazz Kings at 6:00 p.m. On the clubbing & night life: 1st; Fuzio Fridays with Joe Barretta & Tim Allen; Johnny & Kelly Fridays at the Boardroom. And new on the scene: Center Stage Conservatory opened a performance venue the Lower Level Studio in the downtown: March 2nd Joe Barretta Jason Winfree & Keith Davis, Czar Chasm, Madie Boyd, & Dust Bowl Children.

Hero’s Sports Lounge now has a nice elevated stage and is booking local and regional acts with even a dance floor!. The lineup: 6th Prof Mazz smith & Soda Gardeki, 13th Whitey Slim, 20th Jeremy Norris & Dangerous Mood, 27th Rob Will Band. On the family friendly side: all age venue, the Barkin’ Dog Grill in downtown Modesto serves up some good food with a side of great music. March highlights: March 1stMofo Party Band, 8th Faux Gitant Gypsy Jazz Kings, 13th Earth wire presents vintage sounds, 15th Good vibes with Bill Sharp, 29th Super Avengers, (surf rock), 30th Blue & Beige with Marti Martinez. David Dow continues the Thursday night Jazz Jam from 7 PM with some great players sitting in. saw Josh Rosenblum on guitar slinging hangin out and myself Eric Benson pounding the ivories, so come on down.

Need to get me, Hit me at: mbenson@fire2wire.com, or give me a holler at (209) 918-7033.

Peace out Eric Benson

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