Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 11/23 – 12/6

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Welcoming the Holidays!
by Pam Baumgardner

HolidaysI can safely say the holiday season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with one of my favorite fundraisers, the 4 Kids 2 Kids Toy Drive. The event will be held at the Ventura Beach Club on Sunday, November 26 from 3 to 11 pm with honorary guest and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Nick St. Nicolas (Steppenwolf, World Classic Rockers). On the bill to perform will be Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers, Michael John & the Bottom Line, Tom & Milo, Preston Smith, Tommy Marsh, Sean Wiggins & IOne gOat, Kelly Zirbes, Joy Burnworth and more; plus, you won’t want to miss a special appearance by Santa (aka Gary Gordon Goff). The price of admission is only $15 and an unwrapped toy. You can learn more about this unique and important non-profit organization at

The following weekend, one of my favorite events hailed as “The social event of the year” will take over Main Street downtown on Saturday, December 3, for the Ventura Winter Wine Walk which also includes a holiday street fair. You’ll find all kinds of great gift ideas at the street fair which runs from Noon until 8 pm and is free to the public. There will be snow fall at 6:45 at the corner of California and Main with live music and of course the highlight itself, the Wine Walk between 4 and 7 pm, you can get ticket information at

Don’t miss Smitty and Julia performing with the Ventura Jazz Orchestra at the band’s holiday dance at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Saturday, December 3. Tickets are $15 at the door. Then the next day, the Old-Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Association will be presenting their annual Christmas music show at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Sunday December 4 from 2-4 pm. All ages are welcome, there is no cover for this one.

Dirty Rice recently opened for Tribal Theory at the Ventura theater. The band has a new EP called “Heart of a Lion” and features songs about struggle, abandonment, surviving and overcoming, to fighting the battles that life spontaneously brings you, including bullying, childhood cancer and something as simple as love. You can get in on iTunes.

Aron Van Alstine, music teacher singer/songwriter in Ojai recently released a new single, a protest song, in honor of election day called “Both Sides of the Fence.” He’s working a new album for 2017 called “The Revenge of Rock’’Roll.”

And finally, you know I’m always interested in new projects and one that sounds pretty interesting is called Bromero Captain Q & Flashman featuring members of The Jelly (Brandon Romero and Jaymes Quirino) and Goodnight Kiss (Rene Ponce). Their first gig at Amigos will be Sunday, November 27 at 5 pm.

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

Grammy In My District

Article in Ventura Breeze 11/9/16 – 11/22/16 issue
Written by Pam Baumgardner

Robert Fisher, Congresswoman Julia Brownley and John Baffa.

Robert Fisher, Congresswoman Julia Brownley and John Baffa.

One of the highest musical accomplishments one can earn is the Grammy awarded by the Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. And though most people think of the Grammys as just an annual televised event featuring their favorite artists, the organization actually goes above and beyond with advocacy and helping to effect public policy. One of those advocacy groups is “Grammys in my District” launched in 2014 and is now held throughout the United States in order to bring music creators to the local offices of elected officials in their own districts. The purpose is to let lawmakers know that music creators are an important part of their voting constituency and to discuss the important issues in their industry.

On October 26, music professionals from our area including Bevan Manson, Toni Jannotta and Grammy winner John Baffa (TV Tray Recording Studio) met with Congresswoman Julia Brownley who represents the 26th District of California at her office in Thousand Oaks.

The Fair Pay Fair Play Act (H.R. 1733) – The Fair Play Fair Pay Act is bipartisan legislation that will reform music licensing for sound recordings. The bill modernizes music licensing in a logical, comprehensive way. It will ensure that all music services play by the same rules, while protecting small broadcasters, so that music creators receive fair market value for their work.

The Allocation for Music Producers Act (H.R. 1457) – Music producers are an integral part of the creative process for a sound recording, yet they have never been mentioned in copyright law. The AMP Act would allow producers and engineers to get direct payment of their digital royalties through SoundExchange. This bipartisan bill has no opposition and is non-controversial.

And Reforming the Consent Decrees for Songwriters & the Songwriter Equity Act (H.R. 1283) —Songwriters are subjected to decades-old consent decrees that restrict how ASCAP and BMI, the two largest performing rights organizations, license their work. This summer, the DOJ issued a harmful decision making the consent decrees even worse. Congress should ensure that songwriters ultimately get the reforms they need to receive fair compensation. H.R. 1283 is step toward reform that modernizes the rate setting process for songwriters.

The meeting went extremely well. Baffa felt that the Congresswoman was very receptive to the concerns brought to the meeting. He said, “I feel like she is already a champion of the arts, but it was good to meet with her and to confirm that.”

As far as the bottom line goes, Baffa explained, “Ultimately, we need to ensure consistency and fair pay for musicians and music creators, especially in this digital age. These laws will better protect us and provide a more modern structure for the business of music.”

Baffa won his Grammy a couple of years ago for “Plectra and Percussion Dances,” by Partch in the Best Classical Compendium category. He said, “It’s an amazing alternative avant-garde classical album, performed on hand-built instruments constructed specifically for this music.”

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 11/9 – 11/22

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing!
by Pam Baumgardner
Swing Dancers artwork
You won’t want to miss Fortunate Youth when they open for Slightly Stoopid at the Ventura Theater, Friday, November 11.  They’re the creators of one of the biggest and most successful reggae compilations in the world, with all proceeds donated to different charities that the band tries to support from Cancer Awareness to helping Children who have lost music programs due to under funding.  Also at the theater will be the local favorites Dirty Rice opening for Tribal Theory on Saturday, November 12 and then the following week it’s Pennywise with Strung Out and Unwritten Law on Friday, November 18, and of course Suicidal Tendencies with Good Riddance on Saturday, November 19.

Congratulations to Rachel Flowers who was interviewed for the November issue of Keyboard Magazine (the one with Norah Jones on the cover).  Her film “Hearing is Believing” by Lorenzo DeStefano was just featured at the 17th Annual Ojai Film Festival.

I’m all about good causes especially when good causes are in conjunction with great music, and so it goes with the fundraiser on Saturday, November 12, at the Ventura Beach Club for The Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) in Ventura.  The event will run 6-10 pm and will feature Deb Ryder, Ray Jaurique & The Uptown Brothers and Kelly’s Lot. You can always count on Kelly Zirbes for going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking care of abandoned cats and dogs. Admission is only $10 and all proceeds will go to C.A.R.L.  As a side note, Kelly and husband Perry just opened for the iconic Don Mclean at the Rose in Pasadena.

I’ll be honest, I’m really looking forward to “The Pretty Things,” a David Bowie tribute band at O’Leary’s November 12. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “My teenage years would not have been the same without Bowie.”

The Barrelhouse Wailers will be hosting another Speakeasy swing dance night on November 19 at the Ventura Beach Club.  The evening will start with lessons at 8 pm with Kim Clever and David Frutos, then live music from 9 to midnight.  Of course, costumes are encouraged but not required.

Goodnight Kiss are currently in the studio recording their first EP; Medicine Hat will be going back into the studio soon; Hard Six just finished a video soundtrack recorded at Megasound Studios; the Rubberneck Lions just released new music via social media with their first single, “Head Case by Case”; Ashford Gordon’s CD release party has been postponed until after the New Year; Smitty and Julia’s new CD, “Made in Ojai” is now available on CD Baby; and congratulations to all of the Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients with a big shout out to local musician/teacher, Jodi Farrell.  It’s well deserved my friend!

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