By November 30, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

JazzView – December 2012

By Eric Benson What’s New with Jazz and Blues? The slow and steady acceleration to Christmas is upon us and then racing on to New Year is under way. The bird has barely grown cold from the day of giving thanks and now the shoppers, bargain hunters and people of merriment are on the move.

Yes, there is plenty we all need, and then plenty we desire. Ghosts of Christmas past are looking down and ghosts of present waiting in the wings. Let’s hope that Ebenezer will give all the Cratchet’s of the world some time off to cool the goose with family and friends. Let’s hope that ghosts of yet to be will bless us and help us remember the reason for the season.

More bright moments are in store for the month. The State Theatre continues with quality musical offerings including Cruise’n Good’s Acoustic Christmas on Dec 5th with Flying Blind, Shaylin Nicole, and others to benefit Center for Human Services. Tommy Castro and the Painkillers come through for their annual gig Dec7th. Tommy sells out early so get ‘em while they’re hot. The Ill List poetry slam will feature eight renowned spoken work artists steeped in a battle of word and verse, and oh yeah- money! Tower of Power plays on Jan. 13th.. Buy tickets early to experience their old school vibe and sweet of soul music. Check out for more details.

The Gallo Center for the Arts continues featuring quality shows. Catch Straight No Chaser on Dec 3rd. They are an a cappella pop group that delves into Jazz, Doo Wop and Pop.

Turlock community Theatre has another Christmas pleaser with the legendary Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers focusing on the New Orleans side of things on Dec 14th.

CSUS music department hosts a Carolfest Dec 2nd with their choir and chamber orchestra. See for more details.

If you want a little bit of church on the Jazz side, the Jazz Vespers with the Fred Randolph Trio rejoice in spirit and music Dec. 2nd at First Methodist Church on 16th street in Modesto.

On the non-sectarian side: The Acoustic Rock Society showcase features the Josh Rosenblum Band, Patty Davis, and others at Center Stage Conservatory Theatre on Dec 8th: The theatre is located at 948, 11th street.

What could be more Christmassy with a good vibe than a Beatles Tribute Dec. 21st at the Fat Cat? Acts announced so far for the event include Elementary Penguins, Josh Rosenblum Band, Third Party, Marirose Powell and Patty Castillo. This is gonna be fun, fun, fun!

Reg Evans of Central Valley Music group continues to promote a showcase of local bands at the Clarion Hotel on Friday nights. On Saturday nights a DJ night of spinning Soul music is on tap for listening and dancing. Tuesday is Salsa night with a DJ, Wednesdays feature Dixieland Jazz with the Creole Jazz Kings starting at 6:00pm.

Highlights for T’s Cocktails on 9th Street include a Dec 14th show featuring guitar slinger Jeremy Norris and The Dangerous Mood, a Dec 15th show featuring Big Earl and The Crying Shame and the Poor House Millionaires on Dec 21st.

The Barkin’ Dog Grill on 11th Street serves up some good food with a big side of music for people of all ages. The Dog’s highlights in December are Big Earl and The Crying Shame on Dec 3rd, Christmas Sampler on Dec 8th, Art Walk on Dec 20th with David Dow running the Jazz Jam and Nappy New Years with Ernie Bucio’s Little Big Band.

Contact me at:, or give me a holler at (209) 918-7033. Peace out.



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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.