By April 5, 2011 Read More →

What’s New with Jazz and Blues?

Gabriel Manzo

Gabriel Manzo

With the changing of the seasons we are sad to see the change in format of Live 105.5, “The River” radio station which provided the Central Valley with a smooth Jazz format and helped promote a lot of the acts many of us promoters have brought into town over the years.

Well I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m ready for some sunshine and to see folks flocking to the downtown for a good time and some music. I encourage all of you to send me your info and I will send it out on weekly email and in the Modesto View. Hit me at:, or give me a holler at (209)918-7033.

The Clarion Hotel located on 1612 Sisk Road continues with some quality Jazz and R & B showcases. Featured are: the Cartel Band, (seasoned R & B band), rotating with Valley Rhythm Section with dance floor to get your groove on. The event is promoted by Jai of Thin Line Productions and goes from 8:00-12:00 p.m. The Clarion also now has Reg Evans as house promoter for regional and national acts. Reg and Central Valley Music Group are bringing in Slim Man on April 9th at the Clarion and will host “Hot Latin Nights” on May 7th with artists to be announced. He’s also bringing in Latin Essence April 1st at the Whitmore Mansion in Ceres. Reg is also doing an urban Hip Hop show May 20th at the Fat Cat with Rappin Fourtay and Dru Down holdin down the mike. Call for mo info: (209)521-1612 or (877)237-8013.

The new Jax on H Street, (formerly Clayton’s Restaurant), continues to host the Blue Monday Jam session every Monday night featuring the best in local bands hosting the jam playing Jazz, R & B, Funk, Rock, Reggae in an all-age venue. The lineup for April: Monday 4th Valley Rhythm Section, Monday 11th MALO’s lead guitarist and singer Gabriel Manzo will guest with Johnny Valdez & Straight AheadBand, Monday the 18th TBA,Thursday 21st Art Walk with the mighty Tim Allen on piano and keys, and Monday 25st MCW Band. The MOFO Party Band will be back at Jax on Saturday April 16th for a Blues Party show.

The Barkin’ Dog Grill has Threlle Productions & John Black Presents great Blues showings on Fridays. April 1st Threshold, classic rock, April 2nd DJ Slate & Rocket 88, April 9th Les Rainey & Bill Macpherson. John Griswold is also bringing in a blend of Global music, (we won’t use the term smooth Jazz anymore), and international acts to the venue. On April 8th Matt Marshak guitarist is coming in. Call John at: (209)491-7185, or The Dog also continues to have quality Jazz on weekends and a Jam session Thursday nights led by Ernie Bucio and Dave Hawks. Call the Dog for more info: (209)572-2341

The West Side Theatre in Newman is bringing in Tom Rigney & Flambeau on April 30th. The group plays a fiery Cajun music and Zydeco with some 2-steps, low down Blues and New Orleans R & B thrown in. Call (209)862-4490 for the low down on the hoedown.

Tom Rigney & Flambeau

Tom Rigney & Flambeau

Manhattan Transfer is returning to the Gallo Center April 2nd. Modesto’s own, the late Dave Wallace, used to play with this smoking Jazz vocal harmony group.

One of our local Blues promoter Pinkie Rideau of Blind Resistance is doing a monthly Blues showcase at the Fat Cat. April 3rd bands featured are Laurie Morvan Band, Pinkie & Blind Resistance, and Great Oglee Moglee Blues Band headline.

And don’t forget Nino’s Place, a bastion of live local bar bands that rock the house. The bands rarely disappoint for a dose of live music and dancing your backside off. Call (209)544-2050 for the lineup.

The Board Room located on the corner at J Street and 16th Street is now open for business. The Boardroom is a nice upscale Bar catering to the workingprofessionals with promises of live music for listening upstairs in an intimate showcase.

All the best, Eric Benson, Peace Out.



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