2021 Musicians

We thank Kevin Hellman of SDS Events for producing our terrific musical lineup year after year!

Kimmi Bitter – With a strong affinity for the roots of American music, Kimmi Bitter is a throwback mixed between 1960’s western twang, sultry twelve-bar blues, and old fashioned rock n’ roll. Styling her songs around the classic sounds of Patsy Cline, Elvis, and Linda Ronstadt, the San Diego native’s music features a California take on traditional country and soul.

Kimmi Bitter may be considered an artist born in the wrong era. Struggling to connect with the modern top 40 hits, she drowned herself in the various genres of the ’50s through ’70s analog era and took a plunge into the roots revival scene. She was nominated in her hometown for San Diego Music Awards best country/Americana artist of 2020. She now resides in Nashville, TN and frequently tours the US.

Amanda Cogan – Amanda Cogan is a San Diego native who has been playing in the music scene for 10 + years and running local open mics for almost as long. She is known for folky originals combining acoustic guitar fingerpicking, story-telling lyrics, and a soulful voice that makes you feel all the feelings. She has been nominated for Best Americana/Blues/Jazz Song in the upcoming 2021 San Diego Music Awards for her original Heart Pocket. You can find her music on every streaming platform.

Evan Diamond – With a powerful, soulful voice and a three-octave range, Evan Diamond is a two-headed titan of live music, playing 20+ live acoustic solo show a month as well as doing regular plugged-in gigs with her full band, Evan Diamond & The Library.

Evan has garnered a lot of attention for her live performances and music which use live looped guitar, drums and vocals to create an eclectic blend of pop, rock and r&b. She has a unique talent total popular cover songs and put her own spin on them to make them completely her own.

Evan’s, music has proudly been featured on 91x, San Diego’s top Indie radio station, TV’s KUSI News, the Indie Spoonful blog, she recently opened for Broadway star, Megan Hilty at the San Diego symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights concert Series and she has been nominated for Best Singer-Songwriter at the 2019 San Diego Music Awards. Evan and her band have also showcased at San Diego’s House of Blues, Hard Rock Hotel, the Viper Room and the Hotel Cafe.

With her debut EP “Intersections” out now, Evan Diamond is more passionate than ever about inspiring her audience and having her music and lyrics resonate with a new generation of listeners.

Enter the Blue Sky – Indie folk trio Enter the Blue Sky has stories to tell and paints a pretty picture doing it. A blend of poetry and original melodies inspire reminiscing and reflecting, and once you’re there you’ll want to stay. Held aloft by warm instrumentals and three-part harmonies, the sincerity of the lyrics and delivery is subtle and compelling. Their album Wanderlust is nominated for best Americana album of the year in the 2021 San Diego Music Awards. The trio won Best New Country Band of the Year with the 2020 West Coast Country Music Association.

As rhythm guitarist and lead singer for Enter the Blue Sky, award-winning vocalist and songwriter Sandé Lollis has an undeniable glow, a powerful beacon of a voice, that attracts you to the light.

Karen Childress-Evans on viola creates innovative and sonorous accompaniments result in a mix of rich ambience, playful motifs, and a unique sound.

Tina Dee sings backing vocals; her voice is smooth and easy on the ears, and suited perfectly to the arrangement of each song and to the rest of the trio.

Each member of Enter the Blue Sky is committed to creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere of sound that becomes their own musical universe.

Marissa Grace – Born and raised right here in San Diego, 18 year old Marissa Grace is a teen pop artist on the rise. She was highlighted in Nickelodeon’s national campaign, YOU BE YOU, and has been featured in numerous radio and television new shows as well as multiple publications. This emerging singer-songwriter is focused on one thing – to share her music and inspire others. Marissa’s introduction to music came to her at a young age, starting with piano and later being followed by vocals, guitar, ukulele and bass. She now has a full band that performs regularly in her hometown as well as venues across the country. Marissa Grace has been reviewed as ‘one to take notice of now’.

Marie Haddad – Marie Haddad is a piano-based singer-songwriter from San Diego. Her latest full-length release was honored as Best Pop Album at the 2018 San Diego Music Awards. It’s been written that Marie has “a voice and lyrical landscape all her own” (San Diego Troubadour) whose voice “can hold your attention whatever she is singing” (North County Times). Her songwriting and piano style have been described as “somewhere between Kate Bush and Leonard Cohen” (San Diego Downtown News). Her songs have appeared on several national television shows and movies, and music she created for a short film took home the award for Best Musical Score at the 2019 48-hour Film Project, San Diego.

Robin Henkel – Blues guitarist and two-time winner of “Best Blues CD” at the San Diego Music Awards, Robin Henkel performs slide guitar and country blues with an intensity rarely seen in Southern California. Drawing from the music and the styles of Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell and Elmore James, Robin has molded his own intense and entertaining personal style. Don’t miss this for anything!

Astra Kelly – Astra Kelly is a pure talent with a lyric-based, melodic sound and soaring vocals. She infuses metaphysical and psychological metaphors into her lyrics: mirroring the genuine human experience and all the beautiful grit that goes with it. Her performances are passionate, full of energy and a powerful expression of her art and sound. Eclectic in style and genre, her original music draws from her soulful Chicago roots fused with indie folk and americana, and she uniquely pays tribute to other artists.

She’s a career artist who has toured the country extensively, performs well over two hundred shows a year and has released nine records on her own label. Influenced by folk, country, and bluegrass, her latest release, “Chasing the Light,” is a journey of transformation from the inside out and connects to a universal heartbeat.
She’s been nominated numerous times for a San Diego Music Award. Her music video “All I Got” was showcased in the San Diego Film Festival. She’s toured the country extensively and has shared the stage with artists such as; Sara Bareilles, Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins, Widespread Panic, Marshall Tucker, and Meshell Ndegeocello.
As a vocal/songwriting coach and songwriting workshop facilitator at Donovan State prison, she thrives on helping others to connect with their true voice, express their stories and find healing thru song. She also writes and produces music for other artists, is a national voice over talent, launched and DJ’d the Homegrown Hour on 102.1 KPRI in San Diego, and has promoted and hosted numerous showcases to support the local music scene.

Jessie Lark – Armed with a commanding voice and a soulful style, Jessie Lark candidly explores love, loss, and life through the universal language of songwriting. She began performing as a child in her hometown of San Diego, honing her skills and performing the National Anthem for professional sports teams before she was old enough to enter most local venues. In 2018, she released an acoustic EP (After Hours) that was praised by reviewers, including being awarded San Diego Citybeat’s prestigious EXTRASPECIALGOOD nod.

Jessie has been nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter at the San Diego Music Awards, and was endorsed by Logitech Ultimate Ears, the top in-ear monitors for musicians. She has opened for artists including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Blake Lewis, and Rick Springfield.

She will be joined onstage by her husband who writes music and plays guitar. They developed their duo set during quarantine, performing weekly livestream shows, many of which featured other local musicians as guest artists, including Evan Diamond and Lindsey White who are also on the ArtWalk bill this year. Those livestream shows can be found on her Youtube.

Dave Preston – Dave Preston and the Grownups is a reflection of the familiar Folk, Country, and Americana that we all know and love, but also folded into the mix, to taste, is a blend of original songs that touch on the soul of America with its authenticity and earnest delivery by Preston, supported by his band, the Grownups. He is a mere child without them, he knows this, but he does his best to go to bed early, eat all his vegetables, and put on a good show.

Rosa’s Cantina – Rosa’s Cantina is an Indie-Americana outfit based in San Diego, California. They draw their inspiration from roots music such as bluegrass, blues, honky tonk, and classic country.

In the winter of 2015 songwriters Carissa Schroeder (vocals/washboard) and Josh Renner (vocals/guitar) paired up to create the base layer of material for their self-titled, debut release. Nick Shores (upright bass) became a founding member of the band shortly afterward. The band’s March, 2018, release featured the trio, along with Adam Ainsworth (fiddle) and Brent Gutzweiller (banjo). Rosa’s Cantina’s second studio album is in the final writing stages, and will feature Ben Zinn (pedal steel / Telecaster) as the lead soloist.

When you listen to R.C. play, you can expect rich vocal harmonies, foot tapping rhythms, and lyrics that will transport you down a riverside dirt road. They have a way of transporting the listener to a place that feels old and familiar – yet remains modern.

Lindsay White – You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll call your therapist. With influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Ani DiFranco, Lindsay White’s (she/her) songwriting has earned recognition from Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, and American Songwriter. Her latest record Lights Out debuted #2 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts, was named #1 Album of the Year by Global Texan Chronicles, and earned her a San Diego Music Award for Best Singer-Songwriter. White was recently named one of “15 Lesbian/Bi/Queer Musical Artists You Need to Know” by AfterEllen.com. She has opened for notable acts such as The Lone Bellow, David Crosby, Steve Poltz, Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), Raining Jane featuring Jason Mraz, and more.