We thank Kevin Hellman, of San Diego CityBeat, for producing our terrific musical lineup year after year!
Barrie Dempsey – Singer/songwriter Barrie Dempsey has a strong Americana and Folk/rock feel to his music. Born in North Plainfield New Jersey he enrolled at the School of Visual Arts, New York City to study fine art. Actively pursuing music through high school and art school. He moved to California in the mid 70’s and played in the Amber Band, a very popular local band here in San Diego. Over the years Barrie has worked with a few exceptional songwriters and has collaborated on many songs. His unique voice and ability to write songs from the heart has made him a popular musician here in San Diego.
Bart Mendoza is a lifelong San Diego based musician who has toured the world over the past three decades as a member of the bands, Manual Scan (the 80’s), The Shambles (the 90’s) and currently, True Stories. He’s just returned from a tour of Spain, celebrating the release of a new Manual Scan album, with a new True Stories EP also recently released. Mendoza’s songs have been covered by dozens of artists around the world, including Earl Thomas, Anna Troy, The Kingpins and many more. In addition he has also penned the “Tim Pyles Theme” heard at the beginning of the weekly 91X show, Loudspeaker.
Bayou Brothers – Start with a blend of accordion, keyboard, guitar, bass, drums and rubboard, add three-part harmonies, mix it all up with a lot of rockin’ Cajun and Zydeco, blues, R&B and that great Mardi gras sound, toss in dazzling showmanship and a big ole dance floor and you get the hot, spicy, musical jambalaya that is the Bayou Brothers!!! If there is a feature of Zydeco music that sets this hybrid of blues apart, it may be the relentlessly upbeat, let’s-party vibe that permeates so much of it. Where a traditional blues may be about a lowdown woman doing a man wrong, a Zydeco song will more likely be about how she makes a great jambalaya and is fun at barbeques. The Bayou Brothers have established themselves locally and beyond as a fixture of the form since the late ‘90s, snagged awards (2013 SDMA Best Blues Artists among them), been regulars at festivals, and recorded – including their new CD, High Roller Zydeco.
The lineup includes John Chambers (accordion/keys/vocals), Ric Lee (drums), Jack Stephens (guitar/vocals), Danny “Basscat” Perez (bass/vocals) and Judy Seid (rubboard/vocals).
Charlie Imes proudly calls San Diego home, although lately he’s been spending up to 3/4’s of the year on the road. The feel-good vibe that Charlie brings with his brand of laid-back, jazzy beach-folk-rock has been earning him fans in clubs and house concerts around the country. A 2009 San Diego Music Award nominee for Best Americana or Country Album (On An Island), Charlie returns to the Artwalk for the first time in a few years ready to highlight his latest CD, “Summer’s Here”. As comfortable as your favorite t-shirt and shorts, Charlie’s music is sunny weather for your ears.
Christine Parker – Raised in Southern California, Christine Parker began playing piano at the early age of 4 when her parents noticed her affinity for all things music. She fell in love with songwriting as a teenager after composing her first song on the guitar, and continued to write and play music as she pursued education and a career. After realizing music and songwriting needed to become more center stage, Christine began playing venues while living in the Midwest. Drawing on such musical influences as Colbie Caillat, Ingrid Michaelson, and Brandi Carlile, Christine has won over crowds with her pure and soulful vocals and engaging lyrics. Her self-released debut EP, “The Journey Home,” was released in January 2012. The six songs reference simple and complex themes of life, loss, love, and change. In order to further pursue a music career and reside in sunny weather, Christine relocated back to San Diego to gain exposure and record a full length studio album. Working with producer Marti Amado and the staff at Studio West, the album released on October 12, 2013 and is now available on CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon. Recently, Christine has been back in the studio recording 3 new singles, as well as working on a couple projects that have resulted in song placements in TV and film, including shows on Nick Jr. and TLC, Jimmy Kimmel Live, a French film, and Mitsubishi Outlander commercial airing in Taiwan. Be on the lookout for new music to be released by Christine this spring and summer. “As soon as I heard her first song, I jumped at the chance to work with her.” – Marti Amado, producer, San Diego, CA
Dani Bell and The Tarantist – There’s a driving haunt at the center of the album Dark West. A painted scene where escape, loss, and longing travel down hallways in antique reverbs and ripple out in rings from the core of a curious voice. Dark West is a sonic journey where the light at the end of the tunnel is not quite as important as the tunnel itself. Dani Bell sighs over every genre. Easily moving from the spooky diner blues of Crave to the soulful Motown strut of Nightfall to the whispers of mournful melodies over the ethereal atmosphere of Hired Hands. Dani Bell composed the songs of Dark West on guitar bass and keys and is joined by the All-Stars of The Redwoods Music Collective to make an album that is at once cinematic in scope, eclectic in sound, and focused in vision.
Gabriela & La Buena Onda – Gabriela Aparicio recently transplanted from one sunshine coast to the other… moving to San Diego from Florida two years ago, she first met Kimo Shim, world percussionist/hip hop/beat boxer extraordinaire, at Rebecca’s open mic in S. Park. This dynamic duo had an instant, undeniable musical bond that had to be shared with the world. Together they became the core of Gabriela & La Buena Onda, a Latin soul project that fuses Gabriela’s South American roots, her American pop sensibilities, and Kimo’s hip hop and percussive edge. It combines world rhythms including, reggae, funk, rock en Español, R&B, hip hop and Spanish folk, topped with Gaby’s soulful & jazzy vocal delivery. The intention behind the music is to share the good vibes of life, while spreading the message of love & positivity to all. Be a part of La Buena Onda… idale!
The Jamacha Project – based in San Diego’s East County, is composed of four local musicians Mark Phillips, Chris Anderson, Tom Williamson and Barry Cogdill, who focus on writing and performing their own original compositions. The songs are an eclectic blend of Americana, jazz, rock, country and blues featuring their distinctive musicianship and multi-part vocal harmonies. Mark plays guitar and has gigged up and down the southern California coastline, and sang his way to San Francisco, Tulsa, the Poconos, New Orleans, and locally with Telegraph Canyon. Chris, on guitar and bass has been playing and performing in the San Diego with a number of local bands, most notably Headfirst, Blue Wind, Metro, and The Balladmongers. Tom on bass and guitar, has performed in showcase and cover bands throughout the San Diego area, including gigs with Paul Cotton, Thom Landt and Telegraph Canyon. Barry brings his varied musical tastes to the keyboards and his distinctively earthy vocals. He has performed with local bands Metro, The Lomatones, The Molemen and The Balladmongers.
Jeff Berkley – Jeff Berkley has been called a San Diego legend whose musical contributions include not only his work in Berkley Hart and Citizen Band, but the many musicians he has produced in his own studio, Berkley Sound. An accomplished songwriter – he won the Kerrville New Folk Songwriter award in 1999 – Berkley puts you at ease with his good humor then engages you with his heartfelt songs and amazing guitar work. Jeff Berkley is a native San Diegan who has made music his life.
Jesse Daniel Edwards first language was music. JDE has recorded four studio albums and two live albums, both solo and with his band. Touring professionally on the festival and college circuits, Jesse has shared the stage with such notable acts as Matt Costa, John Prine, and First Aid Kit. His music has been featured in radio, TV, and film and is available on Itunes, Pandora, and Spotify. “As a child I loved hearing my grandad sing songs from the “Sound of Music” while strumming his old ukulele. I learned by watching and listening at his feet before I could talk,” JDE explains. Born with a natural talent for singing and picking up any instrument he got his hands on, Jesse began composing his own music with his six brothers and sisters in their family coal cellar at the age of 10.
Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels – In February 2009, singer/songwriter Jesse LaMonaca was about to play a solo set at a club in downtown San Diego. Before going on, he invited the house band, Maddox Revolution, to join him on stage for a song, on Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” they did. With Jesse calling out the chord changes for a few of his own songs, the talented group of musicians; Brandon Conway on guitar, his brother James Conway on drums, Matthew Thompson on bass and Ed Kornhauser on piano, played the songs as if they had already rehearsed them a dozen times, and Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels had played its first gig. JL & The DN are five time San Diego Music Awards Nominees, including Winner, BEST AMERICANA ALBUM, 2012 San Diego Music Awards for their second album “The Lament of Tumbleweed Hawk.”
A well-crafted mix of earthy Americana and vintage R & B at its best – George Varga, San Diego Union Tribune
….an enlightened sense of pop songcraft and a voice that the listener just can’t help but believe.-Seth Combs, San Diego CityBeat
Joshua Taylor just released his debut album, About Time, and toured the album nationally alongside San Diego-based Folk/Americana duo 22 Kings for their Bringing Me To Life tour. Josh’s work on About Time bends a few genre lines while remaining grounded within the soul/blues soundscape. With the heart of the album cut live in the studio with a core band, Josh called on some of Southern California’s finest musicians to deliver electrifying performances for his debut record: Josh Weinstein is on keys, with Kory McAfee playing bass and Shane Fitzgibbon behind the kit. Supporting the album are incredible performances by Sandi King of 22 Kings on backing vocals, Ron King on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Ed “Muggles” Croft on tenor sax and flute. About Time is produced by San Diego’s own Sven-Erik Seaholm, whose musicality, expertise, kind mentorship, and incredible investments in time and energy are in the soul of this album.
L.A. Edwards has shared the stage with First Aid Kit, John Prine, The White Buffalo, The Blow, and Matt Costa. His music has been featured on radio, television, independent films, and can be heard on Netflix, Spotify, Itunes, and Amazon. With classic and honest American songwriting, seasoned performer L.A. Edwards captures the spirit of young America and sings about love, loss, hardship and triumph.
The Left Coast Quintet was formed in 2014 by a group of dynamic professional musicians with the purpose of expanding audience enjoyment of classical music and creating new repertoire. The group is committed to removing the traditional boundaries that exist between the performer and the audience, bringing the best music available to the public through festival performances, private concerts, and life-cycle celebrations. The musicians strive to present exciting and diverse programs, and are committed to performing music that is relevant to our time. The LCQ library includes a wide range of music styles, from classical and traditional, to swing & rag-time, patriotic Americana, Broadway, and new wind quintet compositions.
Many Cepeda – Manny has been performing since the age of 7, first as the “Timbales Player” in the highly acclaimed variety TV “Show de Vigoreaux” in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Channel 4, and then with other famous bands such as “Babo Jimenez, Ricardo Ray, Willie Colon and others. Manny has performed at festivals and for dignitaries throughout South America, Africa, and Europe. His passion and love for music was developed as a young boy and is rooted in a rich family history of musical professionals from the famous “Cepeda” family. 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 and West and South Africa, Caribbean and Europe doing 7 world tours and performing 164 concerts and festivals within each 7 year period. His knowledge and expertise brings the art of Latin music to life. His unique music style enriches your life culturally as well as socially with lives and sequenced music resulting in an amazing blend of technology and live performance unequalled in the entire West Coast.
Marissa Grace – As quoted by the Daily Californian, Marissa Grace is ‘the one to take notice of now’. This young San Diego based singer/songwriter/musician and her band have been featured on KYXY radio’s Jeff and Jer show, KUSI-TV’s Good Morning San Diego, and have performed for large crowds on stages across the county, including Petco Park, the 2015 San Diego County Fair, 2015 America on Main Street Festival, San Diego Waterfront Park, Belmont Park’s Summer Family Nights, Oktoberfest in the Village, and more. This past year, they opened for the 10th Anniversary of ArtWalk NTC. Known for her ‘radio ready vocals’, Marissa accompanies herself with a signature Riptide Ukelele, as she and her band entertain with unique versions of pop covers and their own original music. They also infuse choreographed ‘live’ dancers to some of their onsite performances. Marissa Grace has donated her time and talent to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities, SHARP Hospital, and United Way. To learn more about Marissa Grace Music Band, visit www.marissagracemusic.com
Nina Francis – Nina Francis is a “promising young singer-songwriter” (San Diego Union Tribune, December 2011), a versatile singer and an accomplished guitarist. Laced with undertones of jazz, blues, and folk, Nina’s music blends timeless songwriting craft with modern pop sensibilities to create a voice all her own. In May 2014, Nina received her degree in Popular Music Performance (singer/songwriter emphasis) from the University of Southern California. She was one of just under thirty students out of an audition pool of hundreds to be accepted into the elite Thornton School of Music’s educationally groundbreaking “Pop Program”, the first of its kind at the conservatory level. At Thornton, Nina worked with Lamont Dozier (writer of multiple Motown hits by artists such as the Supremes and Marvin Gaye), Randy Newman, Glen Ballard (multiple Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer, notable credits including Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette and “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson), Patrice Rushen, and Melissa Manchester. In the spring of 2012, she was featured in Thornton’s Songwriter Showcase at the Grammy Museum in Downtown LA. In the summer of 2012, Nina played several well-received shows on a mini-tour in London, UK with other Thornton students as part of a study abroad program. In December 2013, she sang background vocals for Glenn Frey at the USC Thornton Charles Dickens Dinner. In San Diego, Nina’s hometown, she frequently performs with world-renowned jazz guitarist Peter Sprague, who regularly tours with jazz vocalist Diane Reeves.
The Ordeal are a group of friends who have been playing acoustic folk/rock music for 15 years. They write catchy tunes you’ll want to sing along to. Cathryn Beeks, Matt Silvia, Marcia Claire and Rob Garbowski hope you enjoy the show.
Raelee Nikole – The twenty year-old Pop/Soul Singer/Songwriter from San Diego with a serious knack for creating honest music. After five years of making waves in her local music scene, the young performer released her debut album, “Answers,” in May 2015, and was soon after nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter in the San Diego Music Awards. Influenced by similar artists such as Emily King, Andy Grammer, Jason Mraz, Allen Stone, ZZ Ward, and John Mayer, there is no doubt that Raelee Nikole is well on her way to joining them at the top. In 2016, follow Raelee Nikole as she embarks on #183daysoutloud -a new years resolution to spend half of the year out on the road playing music and chasing adventure.
Robin Henkel – Blues guitarist and two time winner “Best Blues CD” at the SD 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!
Sam Bybee – Sam has spent the better part of 20 years as a singer/songwriter making music his priority, funding his dream with all kinds of jobs ranging from government contracting all the way to managing an upscale bakery. With 3 solo albums under his belt, another 2 along with his successful San Diego group, 22 Kings, and 5 successful tours Sam has made his passion his full time job.
Savannah Philyaw is a young singer, songwriter, and performer from San Diego. Writing a blend of indie pop, folk, Americana, and country style songs, Savannah has recently written a collection of songs for Warner Bros TV Productions. After releasing 3 EPs over the past four years, Savannah is working on her first full length CD for release in the summer of 2016. Since beginning her music career at age 15, she has shared the stage with many acts such as Howie Day, Tyler Hilton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Kate Voegele, Max Frost, and Lee DeWyze. She has co-written with San Diego’s Calman Hart and Multi-Platinum Songwriter Michael Natter. Savannah quotes, “Music is not what I do, it’s who I am.”
Steven Ybarra One of the most gifted, honest musicians to emerge from San Diego’s thriving singer-songwriter scene in years, national recording and touring artist Steven Ybarra has captivated crowds across North America with his voice, guitar, and keen ear for that perfect melody. An accomplished and innovative standout, Steven has released 5 prior albums with his former nationally touring band, and in April will be releasing his 3rd CD as a solo artist. Along the way he’s earned not just devoted fans, but numerous accolades, including 4 San Diego Music Awards and 8 total nominations. Most recently he and a co-writer Dianne Waters, received 1st place in the Country category of the 2015 Durango Songwriter’s Contest for his new song, ‘Sum of Two Hearts.’ Steven has toured nationally and shared the stage with Eric Church, Gavin DeGraw, Darius Rucker, Jeremy Camp, Jason Mraz, Switchfoot, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Calling, and countless others. His modern country and pop songs have been featured on MTV, ESPN, and in motion pictures and documentary films. He has lived in Carlsbad and San Diego, and performed hundreds of shows in the greater Southern California area. Steven’s albums Love Love Love and Best Days have helped build his solo career to what it is today. His 3rd CD, What I Really Want to Say, is set to catapult him all the way. It is releasing April, 2015 under the Pacific Records label, and was recently recorded at Castle Recording Studios in Nashville with musicians from the bands of Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood Blake Shelton, LeAnn Rimes, and Josh Turner.
Tolan Shaw has risen in the San Diego music scene as a pop/rock singer-songwriter who will stop at nothing to build a career with his original music. Both a solo acoustic troubadour and the front man of the Tolan Shaw Band, Shaw’s music is catchy and soulful, bluesy and melodic, funky and sincere.
Tom Griesgraber – Until you’ve seen it performed live, the music of Chapman Stick player Tom Griesgraber sounds too big to be real. There are acoustic guitar or piano-like moments, funk rock bass lines, ambient synth and soundscape textures, rock guitar leads, jazz solos and even small bits of percussion sometimes all happening simultaneously. To the uninitiated listener it sounds like an ensemble, but to those who have seem him live, it is the magic of a unique virtuoso. His music and skill on this unusual 12-string guitar/bass/synth hybrid mesmerizes audiences and music industry pros alike. Typically performing over 125 shows a year, Tom has toured throughout the United States and Europe with artists like Bert Lams, Agent 22, The California Guitar Trio, Jerry Marotta, and the Tony Levin Band and has performed several times for Grammy events. If the unusual sight of the Chapman Stick doesn’t draw you in, the music will.
Travis Luce – folk music
Wayne Riker is a veteran guitarist who has played in all the musical trenches since 1967, profiled in his recently published memoirs, “50 Years, 50 Bands, 50 Bucks.” In addition to his career in rock, blues, jazz, country and Top 40, musical theater and show bands, he also presents solo guitar shows, including a one man production titled “The Beatles From Bach to Bebop,” a one hour instrumental symphony of Beatles titles from A to Z, which he will present at this year’s ArtWalk appearance. Since 2008, he has recorded nine CDs under his name, three solo and six full band discs with many top shelf local and national musicians. As a guitar educator and teacher, he has taught thousands of students in the San Diego area since moving here in 1980, as well as conducting guitar clinics around the U.S. with the National Guitar Workshop and Guitar Workshop Plus, plus writing instructional columns for Guitar Player, Premier and Acoustic Guitar Magazines and authoring nine blues guitar instructional books with Alfred Publishing, all worldwide best sellers.