Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/27 – 6/9

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Geared Up for Summer!
by Pam Baumgardner

Vivino Quartet

May 16, 2015: Jerry Vivino Quartet at Squashed Grapes with Bernie Dresel on drums, John Leftwich on bass, Jerry Vivino on sax and Mitch Forman on piano.

With the end of the school year, summer vacations planned and the outdoor music season quickly approaching, there is much to cover on Ventura’s music scene. Let’s start with the Pierpont Inn’s 2015 Summer BBQ and Concert Series which kicks off on Thursday, June 4, featuring Fish Fry and the Vonettes. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a BBQ dinner that can’t be beat, the series will run the first and third Thursday of the month from 5-9 pm. No admission either!

Squashed Grapes had yet another hot night of jazz recently when Jerry Vivino (Conan O’Brien orchestra leader) came to town and brought with him monster players including Bernie Dresel whose work on the movie Whiplash is becoming more known. It’s so very cool, to be so close and intimate with such amazing jazz players. Don’t forget Doug Webb returns with Danny Carey of Tool on Saturday May 30.

Jackie Greene plays Discovery on Friday, May 29. Jackie is out promoting his first studio album in five years with “Back to Birth.” The album was recorded in Portland and produced by Los Lobos member, Steve Berlin. “Musically, this record is kind of a return to the simplicity that I started with, although I feel like I have a much better idea of what I’m doing now,” Greene observes. “I think the lyrics are the part that’s really evolved.” Tickets are on sale at

Tickets for the third annual Nardfest have gone on sale for the two-day event at the Ventura Theater August 29 and 30 with all the usual suspects including Ill Repute, Dr. Know, Stalag 13 and dozens of local punk favorite bands.

The final concert of the Ventura County Concert Band’s 51st season will be held at the Ventura High School auditorium on Sunday, June 7. Doors open at 2:30, it’s free to the public and the final program, “As Summer Was Just Beginning” will be full of cool musical favorites including marches and musicals along with big band and hot popular hits.

And finally, on any given day of the week, you’ll find amazing live music downtown Ventura and all within 4-5 blocks, yes people, that’s walking distance for most. It’s not easy running a business and then on top of that booking bands and ensuring quality entertainment for patrons. But kudos go out to Amigos, Bombay’s, W20 at the Watermark, Sans Souci, Café Fiore, Grapes and Hops, The Wine Rack, Saloon BBQ, The Tavern, Peirano’s, The Star Lounge, Hong Kong Inn as well as El Rey, Rookies, Dargan’s, Padrino’s, the Sandbox Coffeehouse and Shanghai Beer Gardens for stepping up from time to time.   These venues are responsible for making our Downtown vibrant. Keep up the good work!!

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