Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/6 – 6/19

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura’s music scene is a giant eclectic mix of music, everything from punk to jazz and all points in between, so we really are lucky to have so many genres of music available to us. One of my favorite events every year comes from higher brow end of the musical spectrum, The Ventura Music Festival. This year’s schedule ranges from the big band sound of “little orchestra” Pink Martini from Portland, Oregon, to lively Latin music with Jarabe Mexicano. Perla Batalla returns with Frida Kahlo’s “Blue House”, John Jorgenson Quintet will offer Gypsy Jazz, there will be traditional chamber music from Trio Celeste directed by Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta and so much more including the traditional Tea & Trumpets brass quintet. Showtimes, tickets and locations are listed on the event’s official website Yeah, I know the Ventura Music Festival isn’t until July, but most events will sell out so don’t wait to purchase tickets.

Local artist, Rachel Flowers will give a performance before a screening of the documentary featuring Flowers, “Hearing is Believing” at the Museum of Ventura County on Friday, June 8th; there will be a post-screening discussion.

Before Shelby embarks on returning to school and focusing her energy on getting her Music Therapy degree, she’s holding what may be one of the last Songbird Serenades, at least for a while. The June 15th installment will feature Jamie Drake, Shelby Figueroa and Brendan Willing James at Ventura Vineyard Church.

Sorry to report that both Wicked’s Brew and Cork have closed their doors. If you’ve never heard of one or the other, that’s a shame. My biggest word of advice to venues that offer music is you have to promote, promote, promote! You have to budget for it, and you should use all free resources available to you including social media, and keeping The Breeze, other newspapers and updated on your music.

Quick notes: Reggae has returned to the Tree House Lounge at Café Fiore on Sundays; Lovataraxx from France plays The Garage on Thursday, June 7; Former Scorpions guitarist, Uli Jon Roth returns to the Ventura Theater, Sunday, June 10; The Mighty Cash Cats celebrate their ten-year anniversary with a show at Bombay’s on Sunday, June 10; MJ Déjà vu, a tribute to Michael Jackson will be at Discovery on Saturday, June 16; D.on Darox & the Melody Joy Bakers play El Rey Cantina on Saturday, June 16.

Finally, Ticketfly suffered a cyber-attack and as a result, most of the websites they support were down including the Ventura Theater and for a time, Discovery. There currently hasn’t been any mention of credit card information being compromised, but stolen information included customers’ names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of nearly 26 million user accounts.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/23 – 6/5

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

One of the highlights we Venturans (Venturians? Venturanites?) look for every summer is the release of the Ventura County Fair music schedule. The fair has updated their website and once again it’s a well-rounded musical roster from Reggae to Country and most points in between. Of course, the biggest perk has always been that the grandstand entertainment is included in the price of admission.

Let’s get to it, the Ventura County Fair music schedule kicks off on the second night (Motor sports on the first night), with UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey on Thursday, August 2; the Plain White T’s return on Friday, August 3; it’s LeAnn Rimes on Saturday, August 4; there’s a full afternoon for your Sunday with what they’re calling Dia de la Familia concert, though the performers have not been named yet; on Monday, August 6, it’s Sublime with Rome (a musical collaboration between Eric Wilson formerly of the band Sublime and singer Rome Ramirez); there are two shows on Tuesday with The 5th Dimension at 1 pm and Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons at 7:30; Boyz II Men perform on Wednesday, August 8, and we’ll most likely be hearing new music off their upcoming October release called Under the Streetlight; it’s country artist, Hunter Hayes performing on Thursday, August 9; and rounding up the music lineup will be Creedence Clearwater Revisited featuring two members from the original line up of CCR, with bassist, Stu Cook, and drummer, Doug Clifford, on Friday, August 10. There will be a professional rodeo over the final weekend in the grandstand arena.

Unfortunately, it happens every now and then that a band has to cancel due to illness, and so it went with Billy Vera and the Beaters Hi Hat Entertainment show on May 11, but they have rescheduled, so go ahead it mark it down for Friday, June 29, at the Hong Kong Inn.

Quick notes: Cubensis returns to Discovery for a show on Saturday, May 26; hip hop recording artist Antwon King has his album release party at Discovery Sunday, May 27; the Star Lounge continues with their Reggae Sunday afternoons with The Question, on May 27 and Bomba Fiya on June 3; Winchesters continues with live music over the weekend including Sunday afternoons now; and Jill Martini and the ShrinkenHeads perform island styled music at the Harbor Cove Café on the first and third Fridays of the month down towards the end of Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor.

And finally, don’t forget to tune in for my local radio show gone worldwide, I call it The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour and it features mostly local artists out of the 805. It airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon on KPPQ-LP, 104.1 FM here in Ventura and on the internet at

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/9 – 5/22

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

I’m loving the effort to liven up downtown with businesses staying open later during May and holding special events like a Mom’s night out or a pub crawl. Kudos to the merchants! But of course, you know nothing livens up a place like live music, and you know who has been doing right? Just take a look at the venues in the Ventura Harbor! The Boatyard Pub is officially providing live music seven days a week so between the Boatyard, 805 Wine Bar, the Copa Cubana, Margarita Villa (also seven days a week), and even the Ventura Comedy Club where Tom Scott and LA Express plays time to time, the place is about as lively as you can get!

Nothing goes with warmer weather like a cold brewski, so you won’t want to miss Surf n’ Suds, the beer festival with a surf twist, on Saturday, May 19, at San Buenaventura State Beach. The daylong event not only has over 50 craft breweries, ciders and wine, but they’ll have entertainment from Crosscut 805, DJ Hecktik and After the Smoke.

It’s always a treat when Hi Hat Entertainment brings Billy Vera and the Beaters to town so you’ll want to get your tickets in advance at for Friday, May 11, at the Hong Kong Inn. They’ll perform their #1 hit tune, “At this Moment” along with “Millie make some Chili” and other favorites.

It’s awesome that the Museum of Ventura County is offering more live music. On Friday, May 11, it’s “Out of the Ashes: Healing in Story and Song”; the chamber music ensemble, Camerata Pacifica, performs on Sunday, May 13; the weekly Munch series continues Thursdays afternoons where local artists perform at lunch time; and two-time Grammy winner Laurence Juber (lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings) headlines a fundraiser for the Ventura County Library Foundation on May 19. For more information and tickets, visit

Quick Notes: cool shows at The Garage include the New Candys from Venice, Italy, on Thursday, May 10, and Jason Steady and the Soft Ponies from Omaha, NE, on Friday, May 11; Topa Mountain Winery in Ojai is hosting a Rose Soiree Event with music from The Salty Suites and The Dales on Saturday, May 12; Grapes and Hops hosts an earlier show on Mother’s day, Sunday, May 13 at 11 am with Stephen Inglis who will perform, “Cut the Dead some Slack” then it’s Dive Bar Steve and Friends at 3 pm; Caught Red Handed plays Plan B Wine Cellars on Sunday, May 13; Oxnard’s Strawberry Festival is over the weekend of May 19-20, and on the Main stage will be Hollywood U2, Highway Starr, Professional Americans, 40oz to Freedom and more; and finally, the Outlaws will be at Discovery on Sunday, May 20 with Crooked Eye Tommy opening.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/25 – 5/8

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
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; on 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

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/11 – 4/24

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

This time of year, we all wait with bated breath for the musical line up for the summer concert season. While the Ventura County Fair has not yet released their roster, tickets for Music Under the Stars at the Historic Olivas Adobe, are now on sale. The series kicks off on July 14 with British Beat, a British invasion tribute band, and winds down on September 1 with Janeen Puente and her Latin Orchestra. Go to for bands and dates.

Ventura’s Earth Day Eco Fest will be held at a new location this year at Plaza Park on Saturday, April 21, from 10 am – 4pm. This free community Earth Day Celebration features all day live music and entertainment, over 100 green vendors, a kid’s zone with recycled crafts & face paint, food trucks, all day free YOGA, green cars and more!!! Music provided by Jade Hendrix, Sea at Last, Anchor and Bear, Grace Fellows, Shelby Figueroa and Pacific Sound. Oh! And of course, there will be a full-time bike valet on site.

If you dig the sounds of true blue authentic Country women, then don’t miss Nashville Gal and her tribute to the women of Nashville at the Rubicon featuring Melissa Hammans on Saturday, April 14, with a Sunday matinee on April 15. Hammans will cover tunes from Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

Hi Hat Entertainment continues to bring the talent to town on Friday nights at the Hong Kong Inn. On April 13, they have the multi-award winning Andy T Band featuring Alabama Mike with Anson Funderburgh; on April 20th, it’s Chicago’s finest blues harmonica with Morry Sochat and the Memphis Kings; on April 27th it’s local favorite roadhouse rock & blues with Kelly’s Lot; and you won’t want to miss the return of Billy Vera & the Beaters performing their #1 hit song, “At this Moment” on May 11. Get your advance tickets at

Quick Notes: Ventura College Performing Arts will perform Gilbert & Sullivan’s musical, The Mikado April 13-April 15; Medicine Hat’s CD release party is Sunday April 15 (2:30 pm) at the Hong Kong Inn; The Hymen Blasters play The Garage on Saturday April 21 with Publik Enema, The Curse is Written (out of Portland) and Rugburn; Rey Fresco’s 10-year anniversary bash will be at El Rey Cantina on Saturday, April 21; and Cranberry Sauce featuring nothing but The Beatles, will return to Grapes and Hops Sunday, April 22.

And as a final note, don’t forget we have a vital FREE service for our musically inclined youth. Notes for Notes, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs, produces tomorrow’s musicians by providing a fully stocked recording studio where blossoming artists can explore, create and record music absolutely free. Find out more online at

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/28 – 4/10

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

I’m so happy it’s finally Spring because with it comes longer and warmer days and just in time for Discovery’s Backyard Bash on Saturday, April 7. The all-day concert kicks off at 12:30 pm with loads of Reggae bands on the bill including Matisyahu, Hirie, Leilani Wolfgramm, Diego’s Umbrella, Rising Son and others with an afterparty that evening featuring Dirty Rice and The Main Squeeze. The following day, Discovery is hosting what they call Triboo Festival with nothing but tribute bands on the bill: Queen Nation, What One’s Pink, Led Zepplica, Pettybreakers, Hollywood Stones, High Voltage, Sgt. Pepper and Santeria.

The Skull & Roses Festival returns to the Ventura Fairgrounds for three days over the weekend of April 6 through April 8 with about twenty performances (and I’m understanding they won’t be overlapping this year). Some of the bands scheduled to perform are Cubensis, Jerry’s Middle Finger, Golden Gate Wingmen, 9 Mile Skid and Circles Around the Sun.

Champagne on Main falls on Saturday, March 31 which begins with the Spring Street Fair throughout downtown starting at 11 am and then the bubbly event starts flowing from 3 to 6 pm at participating venues throughout downtown culminating with a dance party at the intersection of California and Main.

Iron and Resin on Main Street are looking to raise funds for Help California on Saturday, March 31 with an event called Ironstock. In the house will be The Shorelines, Channel, Noble Grizwald, Brother Earl, the Inside Break, Danielle Stacy, Moonily and Western Waters. This one kicks off at noon in their backyard. There is no cover and it falls on the same day as Champagne on Main.

Quick notes: With the warmer weather, Margarita Villa in the Harbor is back to offering more music over the weekend; Ozomatli (and an earlier performance of OzoKidz!) returns to Discovery on Saturday, March 31; B and the Hive have a stop on their current tour at The Garage on Friday, March 30 (they’ve previously opened for Elvis Costello, Chris Isaak, The Goo Goo Dolls…) the opening band His Eyes Have Fangs includes skateboard legend, Tony Alva; Emilio Barkett will be holding his CD release party at Squashed Grapes on Friday, March 30. Stephanie Franco has teamed with up JT Medlen and they’re calling themselves “Two’s Company” with their first gig at Winchesters on Friday, April 6.

And finally, it’s with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that our music community has lost another valued member. The tributes to Ryan Thomas on social media have been truly moving, he touched so many lives; he was one of those consummate musicians who jammed and played on so many different projects and with so much enthusiasm. It’s truly a loss to our music community; he was way too young.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/14 – 3/27

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

You won’t want to miss the return of the Preachers Blues Band when they reunite for Thomas Fire relief show at the Hong Kong Inn on Saturday, March 17. It’s been almost five years and it may not happen again for who knows how long! I’m hearing many musicians who have sat in with the band in the past are on board to perform too including Rick Reeves, Guy Martin, Ashford Gordon, Ray Jaurique, Preston Smith, Kelly Zirbes, Perry Robertson, Glade Rassmussen, John Fincham, Jerry Breiner, Ian McFadyen, Jodi Farrell and more!

A popular event every year as a precursor to the Ventura Music Festival is the Student Jazz competition. Judges will award cash prizes to three of Southern California’s best high school jazz musicians and they’ll be invited to perform during the Festival’s run. The competition this year will be held at Squashed Grapes on Sunday, March 18, at 2 pm. While this one is free, donations for the Young Artists Fund will be gratefully appreciated.

Beware the bagpipers throughout the day at different venues on Saturday, March 17, but as St. Patrick’s Day actually falls on a Saturday, there will also be plenty of music during the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Main Street downtown Ventura. Get the entire family there early so you can get a good seat to cheer on the participating entrees. It’s always a hoot!

Quick notes: Opera Santa Barbara is offering a free performance on Friday, March 16 during the lunch hour at EP Foster Library; Donavon Frankenreiter plays Discovery on Friday, March 16; The Galactic Polecats play Sans Souci on Saturday, March 17;
Cranberry Sauce debuts at Grapes and Hops on Sunday, March 18, offering music by The Beatles; The Majestic Ventura Theater has Flogging Molly on Monday, March 19, and Ministry on Friday, March 23; The Phantom Pomps CD release party at the Hong Kong Inn is on Saturday, March 24; Tickets for Frost and Fire IV have gone on sale for three nights at the Ventura Theater October 4, 5 and 6th with Cirith Ungol, Gygax, Night Demon, Screamer and more on the bill; the Ventura County Concert band holds one of their annual free shows at the Ventura High School Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, March 18, at 3 pm, this one is called “Simply…the Masters”; and ARC of Ventura is holding their annual “Let’s Go Out” event at Bombay’s on Sunday, March 24, with Fish Fry, the Vonettes and Seth Pettersen and Friends.

And finally, is celebrating their 9th anniversary serving the community. There are a number of changes coming soon including the listing of only live music along with the inclusion of venues from neighboring cities.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/28-3/13

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Our community’s heartfelt thanks go out to the Ventura Music Festival for the exceptional talent they brought for the Concert for Ventura on Sunday, February 25 at Mission Park. The free family-friendly concert featured Tom Scott and the LA Express, John Ferguson and friends as well as the VC Singers and VMF Artistic Director, Nuvi Mehta. Both Scott and Ferguson call Ventura home so it was extra special having them perform. The special event was designed to help give thanks to first responders, to solace those who have lost and to celebrate our community through the healing power of music.

JD has announced the dates for this year’s Surf Rodeo and tickets are on sale now at The music line-up is yet to be announced, but know this, the earlier you purchase your tickets, the more you save. The music and surf festival will fall over the weekend of July 14th and 15th at Pierpont Beach at the end of Seaward. Sponsorships, and vendors are lining up as we speak, if you’re interested just go to their website.

I’m sorry to report that we have lost local icon, John Robert Mosby, who passed away on February 19th. Johnny, along with his wife, Jonie, performed as Mr. and Mrs. Country Music recording over a dozen albums, charting seventeen times on the country charts and won two Academy of Country Music awards in the sixties. He was also a life time member of this Academy and served a president for two years in the early 80’s. Though the two loved to tour they decided to buy a club to play in while at home which luckily for Ventura was the Ban-Dar which would continue to be our local Honky-Tonk where the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash would drop in for a spell. Johnny owned and operated the Ban-Dar for over 42 years. There will be a special celebration of his life at the Ventura Beach Club on March 11 with a jam for any musicians who would like to pay tribute.

Quick notes: Dylan Garcia has signed a management deal with Romulo Canizales and he’s gearing up to work with Grammy, Oscar nominated, multi-platinum, Diamond Certified Record Producer Ronnie King for his next single; Wrecking Crew member, Don Randi returns to Squashed Grapes for a CD release party on Saturday, March 3 and then he’ll be performing with Shari Puorto for a Hi Hat Entertainment show at the Hong Kong Inn on Friday, March 16; Tickets are on sale for shows at the Ventura Theater for Flogging Molly on March 19, Ministry on March 23 and the Descendants for May 3; Tickets are on sale for shows at Discovery for Donavon Frankenreiter on March 16 and Ozomatli on March 31; and finally, Winchesters Grill will start offering live music on the weekends starting March 2nd with Dan Grimm.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/14 – 2/27

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

There have been a number of events that have brought our community together over the years but few made as big an impact as the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival did. They were able to raise over $700,000.00 for victims of the Thomas Fire. One hundred percent of the ticket sales along with a percentage of the food, beverage and t-shirt sales went to the fund. Add to that the fact that day was virtually flawless what with the videos in between acts (produced by Mark Gillard), the speeches, the performances by Olivia Newton-John, Kevin Costner and Modern West, Colbie Caillat and all the others, it was an amazing day that brought us together so we could stand with those who lost everything. Mark Hartley told me that for him the most important aspect of the day was that everyone rose to the occasion to help, from City staff, PD, the artists performing for free, the sponsors, all those who rolled up their sleeves and got it done, to the people who showed up to support, he confessed that it was a tremendous feeling.

It truly was cathartic and I couldn’t love this town more.

And yet another event to help our community heal through music will be held at Mission Park on Sunday, February 25. This one features Grammy-nominated, Perla Batalla; Tom Scott and the LA Express; Grammy-winning artist, Diego Garcia; Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director, Nuvi Mehta as well as other special guests. This family friendly event is absolutely free to the public, no tickets or reservations are necessary and you’re invited to bring low profile chairs or blankets to sit on at the park. The concert is expected to run from 3 – 4:30 pm.

I’m looking forward to new music coming from Jade Hendrix, the first single, “Purpose” is set to be released February 15. Hologram Empire has a new album with a June 22 release date. It features other local artists including Danielle Stacy, Lauren Peterson as well as other guest artists; the band had their television debut January 31 on the PBS show, Celebration of Music.

Congratulations to Jon Gindick for pulling off another successful Blues Harmonica Jam Camp at the Pierpont Inn this past week. It was a treat for those who caught a couple of the outings so camp players could perform in front of an audience including gigs at the Hong Kong Inn and a Jam Camp Revue at Grapes and Hops.

Quick notes: Yachtley Crew continues their Thursday night residency at Bombay’s through February; Tribal Seeds “Roots Party” with the original Wailers and the Expanders will be at the Ventura Theater, Saturday, February 17; the Young Dubliners return to Ventura for a show at Discovery on Wednesday, February 21; and the Dive Bar Messiahs make their debut appearance at Grapes and Hops on Saturday, February 24, you know it’s gonna be a scene!

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Thomas Fire Benefit Festival

Saturday, February 3, 2018
Plaza Park, Downtown Ventura

Kevin Costner and Modern West

Olivia Newton-John

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Colbie Caillat

And more!!