Carlsbad’s “TGIF Jazz in the Parks” concerts return for 26th season

Blues singer John Nemeth

CARLSBAD–The 26th season of the City of Carlsbad’s “TGIF Jazz in the Parks” free outdoor concerts features eight great new bands and one fabulous encore performer covering a range of dance-oriented music from west coast blues to Latin salsa to jazz-funk.

The first three concerts take place at Stagecoach Park, 3420 Camino de los Coches, between La Costa Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road. The concert site is on Baseball Field #1 on the park’s upper level.

The 2011 TGIF concerts begin on June 24 and continue through August 19, presented by the city’s Cultural Arts Office and produced by On the Other Side Productions, Inc. All concerts begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

June 24-Janiva Magness – blues

Janiva Magness is among the premier blues and R&B singers in the world today. Charismatic, gutsy and known for her electrifying live shows, she won the Blues Music Awards’ B.B. King Entertainer of The Year in 2009 – only the second woman ever to win the coveted award. Her voice possesses an earthy, raw honesty and beauty born from teen homelessness and deep experience. USA Today declared, “Magness is a blues star,” and The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “Magness sings superb, potent soul-blues with a scorching intensity.”

July 1-Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band – funk

“Purveyors of original funk since 2002,” Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band zoomed onto festival stages nationwide, fueled by a heady mix of powerful original compositions, triumphant horns, laid-back grooves, and heavy backbeats. Having fun and feeling good is the philosophy of this Asheville, NC six-piece band, and colorful costumes and interactive stage personalities are all part of the show. Proclaiming that their goal is to shake the world, one cheek at a time, when the Booty Band hits the stage, everybody dances!

July 8-B-Side Players – world/reggae

The B-Side Players are a 10-piece powerhouse of bilingual reggae, funk and cumbia. With fierce political lyrics and an overwhelming positive vibration of love, culture and unity, this legendary San Diego-based band incorporates the sounds of Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and Brazil into their funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop rhythms. Described as “War meets Lenny Kravitz by way of Ben Harper,” the Players have been igniting dance floors for 15 years and have shared the stage with Ozomatli, The Wailers, James Brown, Toots and the Maytals, and Maceo Parker, among others.

TGIF moves to Poinsettia Park, 6600 Hidden Valley Road, for three concerts in July. Free shuttle service will operate between 4:30 and 9 p.m. from two locations: south of the park at Pacific Rim Elementary School at the corner of Hidden Valley Road & Camino de las Ondas and north of the park at the Legoland parking lot off The Crossings Road, north off Palomar Airport Road.

July 15-Johnny Polanco y Su Conjunto Amistad – Latin salsa

Johnny Polanco delivers a Latin sound that is adored by salsa dancers worldwide. As the fearless leader of the ultimate West Coast Latin party band, Polanco, who hails from the Caribbean by way of New York, serves as multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger for his band, Conjunto Amistad. Over the years the group has solidified its reputation for a sound described by Latin music chronicler Lina Lecaro as “the kind of infectious, rhythmic, multilayered Latin music that makes even the most timid wallflower abandon all restraint and give it a whirl on the dance floor.”

July 22-The Soul of John Black – soul/blues

Chicago-born soul man John “JB” Bigham blends feel-good grooves of R&B, rock, pop, and electronica into his musical alter-ego, The Soul of John Black. JB’s love of classic soul and blues, old-school funk bass lines, and most importantly, his family, anchor his graceful songs about the joys of domestic bliss. First honed in his eight years on guitar and keyboards in the pioneering ska-funk-punk band Fishbone, JB’s unique fusion has won praise from Rolling Stone and NPR, and he’s toured and recorded with fellow trailblazers such as Miles Davis, Dr. Dré, Nikka Costa, and Eminem.

July 29-Mofo Party Band – blues

Mofo means “More fun!” to brothers John and Bill Clifton, who grew up as well drillers in California’s Central Valley. “Drilling wells is a cold, thankless and dangerous job,” notes singer and harmonica player John, but the experience helped to shape the band’s blue collar sound, retro look and energetic music. “People say they like us because we look like we’re always having fun on stage,” says lead guitarist Bill Clifton. “That’s because we are!” They’ve shared the stage – and their party music – with the likes of Bo Diddley, Charlie Musselwhite, Los Lobos, Otis Rush, Huey Lewis, and many others.

Calavera Hills Park, site of the final three concerts, is at 2997 Glasgow Drive on the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive. Free shuttle service will operate between 4:30 and 9 p.m. from Hope Elementary School, 3010 Tamarack Drive and from Calavera Hills School, 4100 Tamarack Drive at College Avenue.

August 5-Big Sam’s Funky Nation – New Orleans funk

Big Sam’s Funky Nation, led by trombone powerhouse “Big Sam” Williams, formerly of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, is an established presence at the forefront of the New Orleans music scene. The energy level is always high voltage when BSFN takes the stage with its masterful blend of rock, improv-jazz styling and horn-heavy front section. Between the raucous good times you can hear slivers of Hendrix, old Steely Dan and even a little Dave Brubeck “Take Five” – all demonstrating why this ensemble is a leader of the next generation of the New Orleans funk movement.

August 12-John Nemeth – blues

John Nemeth is a singer steeped in the tradition of B.B. King, Ray Charles and Junior Parker, and a harmonica player of riveting intensity and virtuosity who evokes comparison to Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter. In 10 short years, he’s moved up to opening for Robert Cray, Keb Mo’, and Earl Thomas. With his smooth, emotive voice and stellar harp playing, John’s uncanny blend of retro-modern blues and soul music delights purists and young hipsters alike. On top of all that, he writes his own songs. Take it from Charlie Musselwhite: “Boy! John Nemeth can really belt it out!”

August 19-Monette Marino-Keita – world

San Diego-based Monette Marino-Keita began drumming as a kid on her dad’s sparkle blue Ludwig drum set. When he introduced her to the congas, she fell in love with the contact of skin on skin and immersed herself in the world of hand drumming, exploring Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and traditional Korean rhythms and instruments. Her music blends African and Latin rhythms and melodies inside funk and rock grooves and her all-star band includes Grammy and Emmy award-winners Larry Mitchell on guitar, Allan Phillips on keyboards and Mike Holguin on drums.

What to bring, and what not to bring to the concerts

Patrons should bring low-back beach chairs and ground cover to TGIF concerts. Long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and insect repellent with “deet” are recommended as a precaution against mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus. Many patrons bring picnics; light refreshments are also available for sale. Opportunity drawings are conducted during the intermission by the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts to support the concert series and other cultural programs. The use of bikes, skateboards, skates and roller blades is not allowed in the parks during concerts. Smoking, pets and personal barbeque grills are not allowed in city parks by municipal ordinance.

For more information on TGIF Jazz in the Parks concerts, call the Cultural Arts Office Info line at (760) 434-2904 or




Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)