by Pam Baumgardner
It’s out with the old and in with the new, but not just quite yet. Before their final week of jazz music in their current location, Squashed Grapes played host to none other than Michael McDonald, yes that Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers and a brilliant solo career which has spanned more than 45 years. The intimate, by-invite-only setting was held Sunday, April 22. What can I say? I love this town.
And speaking of their final week, Adam and Josh of Squashed Grapes have a stellar lineup of jazz before closing their doors while they work on the new location on Main street next to Yolanda’s. Wednesday, June 25 it’s Hans Ottsen Quartet with special guest Jacob Scesney; on Thursday it’s The Ray Mehlbaum Quartet and then finally on Friday, Doug Webb returns with drummer Danny Carey (TOOL) for a huge sendoff party.
The Ventura County Blues Festival will be held this year at the Studio Channel Islands on Saturday, April 28 with Earl Thomas, John Nemeth, Deb Ryder, Alan Wright Band, and Sandy Scott & Blues to the Bone. There will be an after party with Crooked Eye Tommy at El Rey Cantina in Camarillo.
Jeffrey Willerth, is the new director of Namba and he plans to utilize the facility at 47 South Oak Street for what is called the “Music Speaks” series. The first installment will be held on May 5 with Conjunto Tenocelomeh, a band rooted in the Son Jarocho Mexican folk music of Veracruz. Also this month, they’ll have CG Ryche, an amazing percussionist, brilliant showman and filmmaker who will perform and share his inspiring story focused on the importance of ‘perseverance’ as it relates to musicians; Duane Tudahl, author of “Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983-1984” who will explain how he got his hands on the daily recording reports from the Studios Prince visited; and Tim Wickham, a Ventura local with boundless appreciation for Hammond Organs will bring a few of his prized Hammonds and play in a trio in a historical salute to this renown musical instrument. For tickets and information go to NambaArts.com
And finally, if you haven’t already done so, don’t make any out-of-town vacation plans over the weekend of July 14th and 15th; in fact, plan for a “Staycation” for this year’s Surf Rodeo. JD Drury has started to announce the music lineup and I’m super jazzed to learn that not only will Shwayze and The Untouchables be on the bill, but the Long Beach Dub Allstars will be headlining (group features former members of Sublime). I understand a lot more bands will be added over the next month or so but we know that Highway Starr, Kyle Smith, Rising Son, Yachtley Crew, Zepp Heads and of course Raging Arb and the Redheads will be on the bill.
Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to [email protected], and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.