The entire High Desert is in for a treat with the Adelanto New Blues Festival, coming to Mavericks Stadium/Heritage Field on Sunday, May 24. Presented as “the coolest music festival in Southern California,” it features some of the best bands of the new blues movement happening nationally and internationally.
Headlining the event is legendary 1960s blues/rock band, Canned Heat, including some of its original members, which tours annually in the U.S. and Europe. Also performing will be The 44’s, New Blues Revolution, The Mighty Mojo Prophets, Boxcar 7, The George Foster Band and other local and regional favorites such as the Blue Henrys, the DJ Parker Band, and Victor Crain.
Adelanto’s new mayor Rich Kerr and city council members are committed to making Adelanto an up-and-coming destination. What better way to bring attention to this area than to hold a large blues music festival at Mavericks Stadium during Memorial Day weekend?
With the success of the Adelanto Grand Prix back in January, city officials put their heads together to come up with other event ideas that are well-suited to the stadium. That’s how the vision to hold an annual music festival came about. City officials approached veteran arts presenters, GIG, International, and convinced them of their vision. Soon thereafter, the new Mavericks’ general manager Ben Hemmen, came on board and the idea became a reality.
The New Blues Festival concept fits perfectly with a new phenomenon happening locally, and something that people from the Victor Valley and beyond can be proud of. This quietly building movement is bringing people together for art and music events. Adelanto’s visionaries recognize this major regional shift, and expect it to continue to draw fans of music and other activities from all over Southern California for years to come – a legacy for the people of Adelanto and the whole high desert community from one end of the Victor Valley to the other.
The New Blues Festival headliner band Canned Heat is sure to rock your socks off. They’ve been a consistent talent for 50 years, with 38 albums to their credit. The group is still going strong, anchored by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra. Joining “Fito” is original bassist Larry “The Mole” Taylor, New Orleans legend Dale Spalding on harmonica, guitar and lead vocals, and John “JP” Paulus on guitar. The day before the Mavericks stadium event, they will be returning to headline at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. Last year, before headlining Simi Valley, they performed at the Coachhouse in San Juan Capistrano, where Spalding was reunited with his long time friend, Chap Cooper, of the New Blues Revolution who opened for Canned Heat that night and introduced to frontman Bill Grisolia and GIG, International. The bands will be reunited again on the stage at Stater Brothers Stadium.
Los Angeles-based band “The 44’s” is one of the brightest rising stars on the American blues roots scene, commanding audiences with their “in your face,” yet highly contagious musical sound.
They’ve become a favorite band of club and festival crowds, all across the U.S. and flew to Moscow in April on their current European tour.
The New Blues Revolution Band plays a genre of modern contemporary music, leading the vanguard of the new blues movement in the U.S and internationally. Akin to the boom in the British Blues in the 1960’s, they work to broaden, deepen and contemporize the blues. Recent performance highlights include playing the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip and at Downtown Disney, concerts and festivals from San Francisco to San Diego. They open for a diverse range of music legends including Tab Benoit, Macy Gray, Leon Russell, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer, David Lindley, and the late, Michael Burks.
Formed in 2007, the Mighty Mojo Prophets have toured the U.S. and internationally, playing their mix of West Coast Blues. This past year, they were honored by The International Blues Challenge, and in 2012 were nominated for Best New Artist Debut by the National Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Boxcar 7 is a seven-piece show band from Southern California. Their passion is blues, soul, old school R&B, classic rock, swing and a taste of funk, and playing inspirational music by B.B. King, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Blues Brothers, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and more.
The Blue Henrys are a long-standing local High Desert tradition, playing premier rockin’ rhythm and blues that covers many styles from all eras. If you love rock and blues, you’ll love their great sound.
Nothing happens without seasoned promoters, marketers, and a superior team of technicians. The city has involved a large-scale arts and music event producer, Bill Grisolia, to manage the festival. He is also the producer of the New Blues Festival in Long Beach.
Grisolia is a 20-year member of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), an organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. His contributions in music are as a singer, band leader and songwriter. Some of his many charitable activities include the Long Beach Unity Festival, and creating and producing the “Wish Upon a Song” Concert Series to benefit the Miller Children’s Hospital with pop legends like Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach and Johnny Mathis. (More on Bill’s extensive background at: www.WilliamGrisolia.com).
A solid business plan is behind the promotion and setup for this event. The dedicated event team comes with many years of experience and expertise under their belt, working hard to build relationships with top music acts. The large 20×40-foot canopy covered-stage at Maverick Stadium’s second base site will be professionally lit and wired for great mixed sound by Shawn Ellis, of Harmony Sound, Talent & Production.
According to Adelanto Councilman John “Bug” Woodard, Jr., art and music are both talents that Bill possesses, and he is also a businessman, which allows him to make it happen in a more logical way. “This is one of the things that got me to run for office. I wanted to bring some culture for people to enjoy in our city,” he said.
Woodard also believes the event will bring positive attention to Adelanto. “We don’t need to go down the hill. We can get culture right here in our town, save the revenue for us, and use the benefits of the stadium that we own. I can’t wait to see people out there dancing in the aisles. It’s never been a better time to bring this type of event to the Victor Valley area.”
Grisolia stated, “This music festival plays into this area’s renaissance of arts and culture, which helps drive economic development. Companies want to locate and do business where their families can enjoy arts and entertainment. We’re looking forward to creating a legacy for Adelanto and the entire Victor Valley.”
Adelanto Planning Commissioner Jessie Flores said that city officials are pleased to work with the promoters of the New Blues Festival of Long Beach, and believe an event like this has not transpired at the stadium since it was built.
The stadium is the largest in San Bernardino County’s First District, located between Needles to Kern County to Riverside. The venue is a local gem, benefitting the entire area, and it’s important to find a way to get all local community leaders working together for its success.
“Mayor Rich Kerr has been very actively engaged in promoting and bringing economic development to the city of Adelanto. The stadium has been one of his priorities, as well as reaching out to commercial and industrial sectors to improve the area’s economy and job development,” said Flores.
The mayor’s drive and integrity is wrapped up in one big package that’s new and successful. The council is proud of their city and is working together to make it a well-oiled machine. They truly understand that job creation and the economy are what will turn their city around, according to Flores.
This big event expects to draw not only High Desert residents, but also folks traveling from Lancaster and other areas of Southern California. The Mavericks concessionaire hopes to offer a variety of food options, including some BBQ choices, and other items that are a step-up from standard stadium fare. The city may be able to bring in additional food trucks, and possibly offer overnight RV parking and camping out in the parking lot.
For more information, call (562) 762-8317. “Like” the Adelanto New Blues Festival on Facebook. Buy tickets online at: www.ticketreturn.com – enter “blues” in the searchbox and press the “+” by General Admission or VIP!.