Musicians

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

Bayou Brothers – With a sound straight out of Louisiana’s dance clubs, bayou festivals and backyard crawfish boils, the BAYOU BROTHERS will rock you right on into “Fat Tuesday” with their extensive experience and endless enthusiasm to deliver a rousing, rollicking, heart thumpin’, foot stompin’ musical gumbo y’all won’t soon forget!

Start with a blend of accordion, keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and rubboard, add three-part harmonies, mix it up with a lot of rockin’ Zydeco, blues, R&B and that great Mardi Gras sound, toss in dazzling showmanship and a big old dance floor and you get the hot, spicy musical jambalaya that IS the BAYOU BROTHERS!

Big Tree Brass Band – Biography Coming Soon!

 

 

Billy Lee & the JuketonesBilly Lee’s “Gulf Coast Gulf Coast Review” is an evolution of the Swamp Critter Band, (website still in progress).  A gumbo of New Orleans Vintage Jazz & Mardi Gras, with a helping of Cajun & Zydeco.  Billy Lee was raised in the “Cajun Triange” of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, where the Texas Bluesmen and the Cajun bands came to play due to the good money found along these two states border from the oil men in the area in the 40’s and 50’s. Billy has performed in one some of the biggest festival in the world, included Glastonbury, U.K., festivals across the states, and has been commissioned to write, perform for impressive venues such as “Six Flags America”-the largest theme park on the planet.  He holds a Music Degree from UCSD, is the dance teacher and a manager of the Bon Temps Social Club, which is instrumental in helping put on Gator by the Bay, and has taught dance for the largest  festivals, and also for the SDUSD, and the SweetWater School District. Billy Lee says “this is a DANCE band! And Billy is known to be able to “read” and audience and be able to give them the right tempos for the right songs that the dancers seem to gravitate to.  You will NOT be able to stop your feet from moving to this band. 

Bonneville 7A high energy San Diego based band. The Bonneville 7 are a trio with a big sound playing Alternative Rock, Rock-n-Roll and Rockabilly music. Starting off with that sound is Bryan Kelly who is endorsed by Gretsch Guitars. Bryan has played all over the world with his blazin’ Gretsch guitar and vocals. Kurt Rosenbaum on the Dog House Bass has played all over the world on the Electric Bass, took a break to play Guitar and came back to slap the Stand Up Bass. Becky Russell keeps everything together with a solid groove. Beck is endorsed by ‘Pork Pie Percussion’, ‘T-cymbals’, ‘Los Cabos Drumsticks’, ‘Aquarian Drumheads’, ‘No Nuts Cymbal Sleeves’ and ‘Drumflip’. This is a must see band who plays music from Cash to the Clash, the Ramones to the Stones…

Brian Jones Rock ‘n’ Roll RevivalBrian Jones Rock’n’Roll Revival is a local San Diego all-star band, founded in 2015, which honors the revolutionary music, legacy, and spirit of “The 1969 27 Club” of iconic musicians including Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison of THE DOORS, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, “Pig Pen” of The Grateful Dead, and more… Since 2015, Brian Jones RocknRoll Revival has released 3 original EP albums and performed at premier music venues across Southern California.  

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.

Bobo CzarnowskiRaised on the beaches of Southern California and tempered in some of the most remote mountains on the planet, the songs of Bobo Czarnowski speak of a love for travel, a love for the mountains and the ocean, a love for people and a deep gratitude for all the above. While playing as part of a duo, he was privileged to open for folk music veterans like David Wilcox, John Gorka, Dougie Maclean, Chris Smithers, and others. He has been a frequent performer at all of San Diego’s coffee house venues, including a several year stint as sound man, stage manager, and open mic host at Java Joe’s. His voice is warm and inviting, and a comfort to listen to. His musical style is classic singer/songwriter with complex open tuning guitar melodies and lyrics that reflect the large value he places on social causes, the environment, and the long list of people he loves.

Evan Diamond Born in Alberta, Canada, Evan Diamond moved to the United States to pursue music. Her songs draw from a confluence of music styles, from singer-songwriter and pop through indie and rock; The result is a boisterous and powerful alt-pop sound drawing influences from the likes of Metric, The 1975, Phoebe Bridgers, Charly Bliss and Sylvan Esso. The San Diego Music Award (SDMA) winning artist has played stages such as KAABOO, Coachella, Petco Park, and the Casbah and she is excited to be adding to the evolving pop landscape with her second EP, “Why Don’t You Sit Down” available now!

Enter the Blue SkyAmericana trio Enter the Blue Sky has stories to tell and paints a pretty picture doing it. A blend of poetry and original melodies held aloft by warm instrumentals and three-part harmonies; the sincerity of the lyrics and delivery is subtle and compelling. Just nominated best Americana artist of the year at the 2022 San Diego Music Awards, the trio won Best New Country Band of the Year with the 2020 West Coast Country Music Association. 

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Sandé Lollis writes all songs for the band. Her performance is soulful and wholly uplifting; her lyrics are thoughtful and heartfelt. As rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the trio, Lollis has an undeniable glow, and a powerful beacon of a voice. 

Karen Childress-Evans, on viola, creates innovative and sonorous accompaniments resulting 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. 

Euphoria Brass BandCritically acclaimed and award winning San Diego based musical collective that serves up a contemporary mix of old school New Orleans traditional brass band jazz, funky street beats and new school edginess with a West Coast feeling! Euphoria Brass Band has become a Southern California favorite, playing many high profile music venues, festivals, parades, corporate events and weddings.

EBB was created in 2011 by two New Orleans transplants, Ron Bocian and David Bandrowski and local jazz radio DJ, Drew Miller. They quickly assembled a top notch, hard-hitting horn section: Steve Ebner (trumpet), April West (trombone), David Jackson (tenor sax), JP Balmat (baritone & alto sax, clarinet) and Wayne Rice (sousaphone). Euphoria Brass Band is proud to have been nominated 5 years in a row for various San Diego Music Awards since their inception in 2011! Embracing the exciting spirit of improvisation with a hard funk edge, Euphoria Brass Band has become known for their incendiary high energy shows…. guaranteed to get a crowd smiling, dancing and having a good time. EBB always leaves ‘em wanting more!

Nina Francis2020 San Diego Music Awards “Best Singer-Songwriter” Nina Francis is a versatile singer and an accomplished guitarist. Drawing from personal experience and how she connects to the world, Nina’s music blends timeless songwriting with modern sensibilities to create a sophisticated sound all her own. She is indeed “an artist to watch” (Bart Mendoza, Beach & Bay Press).

Tom GriesgraberTom Griesgraber is one of the world’s most active performers and composers for the Chapman Stick, a unique 12-string instrument that combines guitar and bass strings with a playing technique more like piano. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe as a soloist and as a member of the California Guitar Trio. Until you’ve seen it performed live, his music sounds too big to be coming from just a solo performer. There are acoustic guitar or piano-like moment, funk rock bass lines, ambient synth and soundscape textures, rock guitar leads, jazz solos and even small bits of percussion sometimes all happening simultaneously.  He has opened numerous shows for artists like The Tony Levin Band, Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Al Dimeola, Stanley Jordan, Paula Cole, Andy Summers (The Police), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band) and many more. With Tom Griesgraber, The California Guitar Trio recently toured across the US opening for King Crimson. 

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!

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.

Jefferson Jay – Simply put, Jefferson Jay does things that nobody else would even try. On Thanksgiving 2011, Jay completed the largest “365 project” in the history of the worldwide web. He posted three music videos every day; an original song, a cover song and an archive performance by Jay or one of his friends at a live show. He blogged along with this artistic experiment for a full year. His Operation 365 2 is ongoing. He also produced his 24 Hours of Free Music concerts in four occasions.

Whether with The Jefferson Jay Band, or hosting Open Mics and other events, Jay’s showcases are exciting, unpredictable adventures. He is an optimistic idealist with Woodstock-era beliefs, working hard to bring about the positive change this world needs. His 6 CDs are available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, or at www.jeffersonjay.com

Paige KohlerPaige is a San Diego based singer/songwriter with a beachy soul and a loop pedal. Combining the two leaves you with a setlist of catchy, indie pop songs that will have the crowd moving and singing along.


Manny Cepeda Orchestra TrioPerformer percussionist, composer, singer and arranger Manny Cepeda was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. His mother “Maria Isabel Cepeda de
Rivera, and his father Leonides Rivera Cabrera were both a great
influence on Manny’s musical development. Manny’s mother was the sister of the famous Folklorist “Rafael Cepeda” and during her visits at her brother’s house, Manny learned the tools of music from his cousins and his uncle Rafael. Manny has been making music all of his life. His cousin Modesto Cepeda got Manny’s first drum at the age of 5 and by the age of 7 Manny was already performing professionally.

Manny currently has his own Salsa band in San Diego, CA and he composes his own music and also arranges Latin Jazz music for prominent musicians in San Diego, New York and Puerto Rico.

He was the leader of the famous Navy Steel Band and the world traveled U.S. Navy Show Band. His passion and love for music was developed as a young boy and it rooted in a rich family history of musical professionals from the famous “Cepeda” family.

His musical experience of over 50 years makes him a fountain of knowledge in the Latin Music genre. He was the leader of the famous Navy Steel Band and the world traveled U.S. Navy Show Band. He toured the entire continent of South America, West Africa, South American, the Caribbean and Europe.

While touring in South America, he did 7 deployments performing 164 concerts and festivals within a 7 year period. His knowledge and expertise as composer/arrangers blends his unique music styles gathered throughout his world travels.

MarauakWe tend to make plans in life, but the reality is that we never know what fate has in store for us. In 2011, Marauak (Mário Gomes) arrives in Los Angeles, California with a suitcase of clothes and no musical instruments, other than his voice. The singer and guitarist from Bahia until then was the lead singer of the band Semente da Paz for 10 years. That’s when Love crossed his path taking him to a destination that was out of his plans. Starting from scratch in a new world, with a wife and daughter, in a city with a different culture and language, his plans were to reactivate his music career as soon as possible. However, just 2 years later, the performances in bars and streets of the city started. Voice and Guitar and sometimes percussion. In the old Brazilian fashion.

In the following years, Marauak worked with musicians from the most diverse nationalities and musical genres, as a guitarist and vocalist in front of some bands. This coexistence and interaction inspired him to create a fluid musical style, with influences from black American, Caribbean and Brazilian Popular Music. A world music / fusion feel.

Faith and positive thinking are impelled in his music work and lifestyle since he was little. “What I’m looking for is also looking for me. It’s just a matter of continuity and time for the meeting.” Believing in this mantra, in 2018 Marauak started producing the album NATURAL at Studio West, with the help of producers Todd Hunsaker and Bonzai Caruso (6 Grammys Winner).

After 3 years of hard work, the album is finally ready and with release scheduled for the first half of 2022. With a number of 28 to 32 shows per month, Marauak resides in Ocean Beach in San Diego, California and is already planning a release tour of the album with his band and also with solo performances of looping, a technique mastered by the artist.

Lauren Leigh Martin – Lauren Leigh is a San Diego singer/songwriter and session singer, as well as one of the most-hired performers for cover and tribute bands in the county. She is a three-time Nominee for the San Diego Music Awards, most recently for “Best Pop Artist” and “Best Pop Song” in 2022 for her single “Trust Fall.” You can often catch her live with local tribute acts Pink Floyd and Back to the Garden. Most recently, she has been added to the cast of Six Strings Society’s 27 Club in the role of Janis Joplin.

Moonlight Miles – Moonlight Miles has been playing their unique form of jazz/funk fusion for over 20 years in San Diego.  Heavily influenced by improvisational jazz greats like Miles Davis and Freddy Hubbard, they explore where jazz and rock intersect.

 

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.

Corina Rose – Corina Rose is a mystic musician, music teacher, yogi, activist, world traveler, and a native of San Diego. Her latest album, Our Love is Freedom, (available on all digital streaming platforms worldwide), is nominated for Best Pop Album by the 2019 San Diego Music Awards. Rich in musical influences that span from jazz to reggae, her new album is an 8- song journey through the arch of humanity’s love story. Corina’s transcendent love songs capture the journey of finding, experiencing, and connecting with the love that is inside us all. She spreads love and light all over the world with her groovy guitar playing and catchy melodies! Her unique blend of soul-pop will have you singing along, swaying and shaking your hips, and feeling the positive vibes from the message of love, joy, and hope. Playing music with her band is one of her greatest joys in life.

Sea Monks – The Sea Monks play a good-time mix of honky tonk, rockabilly, and blues.  This family band is fronted by Noah Kapchinske and includes Brother Kai on drums, Dad Jason on bass, and “Uncle” Jeff Houck on guitar.  Put on your dancing shoes, whip out your can of jive sauce and come party with The Sea Monks!

SD Rep Theatre – Biography Coming Soon!

 

 

Amelie Simpson – Amelie Simpson is a 17-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist. Born in London, England and raised in California, she earned an international following at an early age. She is known for her bluesy-style vocals and rhythm guitar playing.

Amelie made her debut at the San Diego County Fair in 2017, at the age of 13, playing a 90-minute set on the Showcase stage. In 2019 she wrote and recorded her first original song, What My Name Is. The song was released on Spotify and iTunes, and is currently available on all streaming platforms.

Simpson has played with numerous professional musicians, including YouTube guitar star Marty Schwartz, jazz drummer Myron Cohen, blues guitar player Larrie Noble, Sr. and percussionist Jon Otis. In 2018 she performed in Cajon Valley’s Got Talent, along with The Voice finalist Michael Sanchez.

Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra – Known world wide as the Queen of Boogie Woogie, Sultana of Swing, and Lady Who Skates on the 88s, Sue Palmer has been a presence on the live music scene in San Diego and the world for over 30 years. She was inducted into the San Diego Music Hall of Fame in 2018, had a day named after her by the city in 2008, and won numerous San Diego Music Awards for her bands and albums. She has recorded over 12 albums under her own name, securing an international award from The International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis for Best Self Produced Album (Sophisticated Ladies).

She was the beehive wearing music director and longtime pianist for blues diva Candye Kane, through the 90s, appearing on many of her albums, touring world wide (France, Germany, England, The Czech Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, and more) as well as all over the US and parts of Canada. Sue has also toured Switzerland, Russia, The Netherlands, and Argentina under her own name. Her current high energy band, the Motel Swing Orchestra, is up for a 2020 Music Award for Best Jazz Band, and her latest album GEMS volume 2, is up for an award for Best Blues Album.

She had a radio show for 3 years on San Diego’s local Jazz station KSDS 88.3FM, and now hosts a podcast called “The Motel Swing Happy Hour KSUE San Diego.” ( suepalmer.comSpotifyGoogle PlayiTunes ) According to Claudia Russell, DJ Extraordinaire on KSDS 88.3FM, “When her heavily jeweled hands hit the 88s, you’re in for a ride!” WATCH OUT: YOU may become a slave to the dance floor!!

Whitney Shay & Robin HenkelWith sparkly dresses, fiery tresses, and a talent rivaled only by her unstoppable hustle, Whitney Shay is one #busylittlesinger.  In her hometown of San Diego Whitney Shay has been honored to win 5 San Diego Music Awards (2 for Best Blues Artist, 2 for Best Blues Album, and one for Artist of The Year), and a San Diego CityBeat Magazine “Best Of” Award.  Abroad Shay has toured extensively throughout Europe and South America, and was nominated for a national Blues Music Award in 2019.

Shay’s latest release on Ruf Records Stand Up! debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues charts and also reached #1 on the Roots Music Report.  Shay has received high praise from music critics calling the singer “a future blues icon” (Blues Matters!), “one of the next best things in soul music” (Blues and Rhythm Magazine), and “the epitome of a rising star” (Elmore Magazine).  Shay’s tracks have been placed in TV/film, including shows on NBC, Fox, HBO, Bravo, BET, Hulu, and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral.

Whether in studio, on screen, or stage, Whitney Shay’s electric energy, soulful style, and powerhouse pipes keep listeners connected and coming back for more.

Theo & the Zydeco PatrolTheo & the Zydeco Patrol is a Cajun blues band fronted by Theo Bellow, who grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, a mile from the famous Hamilton’s Club mentioned in Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Major tours include a 1995 west coast tour with Boo Zoo Chavis, and a U.S./Canadian tour with Buckwheat Zydeco in 1997.