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Jazz&BluesView – May 2014

Jazz&BluesView By Eric Benson

What’s new with Jazz and the Blues news

And so it goes, spring flows quickly to summer and tomatoes are ripening on the vine before you know it. Still a chill in the air but soon we will be cowering, basking in the shade of 100 degrees under our umbrellas. Get ready for the summer concerts and farmer’s markets and long days of sunshine and heat, oh and hopefully a little rain. Spring break for those who can get away and well for the rest of us well it’s nice to have a job. Getting on with the business at hand despite a drought and still an economic drought as well, there is still much to be thankful for. Come out for some music or art because as Art Blakey, drummer for the Jazz Messengers said, “music wipes off the dust off of everyday life”, amen to that!

Blue Monday monthly Jam continues at the Barkin’ Dog Grill with Cinco De Mayo, or May 5th in Engles with special guest Derek Rolando on Timbales, and congas. Derek has played with the Escovedo family, Dave Mathew’s, Oreste’s Vitale’s, and some of the hardest hitting musicians on the scene in the East Bay. Yes you guessed it, Blue Monday Jam goes Latin which will be served up with a heapin’ portion of Blues and R & B as well. The flav de Jour will feature our house band playing standards with Johnny Valdes on Jazz guitar, vocals & Kelly Ramirez on drums, the mighty Tim Allen on bass, vocals, Darnell Robinson on sax’s, and myself Eric Benson on keys and crowd control. It is an invitational Jam session so come down and sit in, network and hoist a glass to some good music. There may be some surprise Latin dancers coming down also.

The State Theatre continues with community friendly booking with lots cookin for May. May 3rd: the Good Luck Thrift Store outfit with Pine Box Boys; May 9th Asleep at the Wheel; Paula Poundstone on the comedy side May 16th; Strunz & Farah May 23rd, and It’s a Beautiful Day May 24th. I be hangin a lot at the State this month!

The Gallo Center for the Arts continues with their diverse booking in May with Keb’ Mo’ on the 6th, one of the better Delta Blues based acts on the scene today.

On the West side, the West Side Theatre in Newman has a Bluegrass blowout on May 3rd with Red Dog Ash, featuring the Earl Brothers, May 17th: Sourdough Slim & Saddle Pals. Red Dog Ash is a hard swinging 4-piece that will get folks out of their chairs to do the Texas Swing dancing. For more info: 862-4490.

Okay I’m excited! I’m a little impartial since I book the room but DEWZ Wine Bar features some of the best local music in the area in a quality intimate environment. And DEWZ wine bar has increased their serving up of weekly music featuring the best of our local musicians to two nights a week. In May: Friday 2nd: the fab Patty Castillo on vocals, guitar; Sat 3rd & 17th: Tim Allen vocals, piano, with some Elton & Billy Joel; Friday 9th & 23rd Francesca Bavaro piano & vocals; Sat 10th: Third Party Acoustic Beatles with Chris Murphy and Gary Nelson; Friday 16th: Randy McMillan vibraphone duo; Sat 24th & 31st: Josh Rosenblum guitar and vocals; and Pat Durr of Homegrown with friends Friday 30th. The Wine Bar is a nice casual intimate setting to hear music with food and bar available. Best to call ahead for wine bar seating as seating is limited.

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.

Need to get at me with some info or questions: email me at:, or cell 209-918-7033. Peace out, Eric Benson



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