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Click here to read about the summer's FEATURED ARTISTS!


Visit the site's GUESTS page.


Click here for site NEWS.

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     Featured Artists are musicians or concert series drawn from the summer concert performances. Generally two "Featured Artists" are named each month, one for the first half of the month and one for the second half, and the section also includes one featured concert series for the summer. The current Featured Artists remain at the top of the page for a two-week period, then the information remains on the page in chronological order through the end of the summer. The current and final Featured Artists for summer 2017 are the members of the band Cold Duck (70s Top 40/Variety).

     This year's Featured Artists and the month in which they first appeared in the section will be listed below. Click on a link to read more about them or continue scrolling down the page.

FEATURED ARTISTS


Fine feathered friends pictured on this page: Egyptian Geese


COLD DUCK

Upcoming performances: September 24 - Los Angeles (South and East)

Past performances: June 20 - Montclair, June 27 - Puente Hills, June 28 - La Habra Heights, July 10 - Claremont, July 13 - West Covina, July 17 - Whittier, July 19 - San Dimas, July 20 - Azusa, July 27 - Rancho Cucamonga, August 2 - Diamond Bar, August 27 - Monrovia

     Cold Duck is an eight-piece band which has been performing 1970s Top 40 Hits and a variety of other music for over three decades. In 1969 trumpet player/vocalist Jose Cuadra assembled a group of musicians and established the band as one of LA's premier dance bands. After a short hiatus in the 1970s, the band revived itself in the form in which it exists today.

     The band is known for its tradition of excellent musicianship and groovin' rhythms. To date, Cold Duck has performed throughout Southern California at venues like Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, and NBC, MGM and ABC Studios, in addition to the park concerts. The band also hosts a popular annual cruise to Mexico, now booking a tenth anniversary trip.

     The members of the Cold Duck are Jose "Chepe" Cuadra (lead vocals/trumpet/percussion), Gene Chavez (trumpet/flugelhorn/vocals), Saul Chavez (bass/vocals), Eddie Estrada (guitar/vocals), Victor Barrentos (drums/percussion), Tony Mason (woodwinds/vocals), Gregory Smith (keyboards/vocals) and Jeffrey Way (trombone/vocals).

     If you'd like to learn more about the band, you can visit their website at www.coldduck.com. To see them, watch the video below.



* Photograph courtesy of Cold Duck *

2017 FEATURED ARTISTS





SMITH

Upcoming performances: September 20 - San Juan Capistrano

Past performances: June 28 - Tustin, July 5 - Temple City, July 7 - Santa Fe Springs, July 12 - Brea, July 16 - Rancho Santa Margarita, July 19 - Orange, July 23 - Yucaipa and July 26 - Norwalk, August 6 - Dana Point, August 9 - Buena Park and August 11 - Pico Rivera

     Smith is a six-piece pop country group based in Southern California that performs hits by artists from Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert to Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. The band originally was formed in 2014 when chosen by ABC and Disney executives to perform the (now) CMT series "Nashville" soundtrack for Disneyland visitors. Their musical "recipe" is a mix of modern country and country classics, with a splash of rock and top 40 thrown in as well.

     The band has performed for audiences at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Gilley's Las Vegas, at private events for companies like E&J Gallo Wineries, Michelin, ViewSonic, Deloitte, Hulu and Briggs Electric, and at park concerts and other venues throughout Southern California. Band members are seasoned musicians who have worked with Albert Lee, Kenny Loggins, Johnny Lee, Keith Emerson and others.

     Members of Smith are Brandi Smith (vocals/founder), Mike Wallace (guitar/vocals/founder), Jason Smith (drums/vocals), Jim Rubel (bass), Hal Ratliff (keyboards) and Paul Haaker (pedal steel/fiddle/banjo/mandolin).

     If you'd like to learn more about the group, you can visit their website at www.smiththeband.com. To see the band, watch the video below.



* Photograph courtesy of Smith *

AMANDA CASTRO

Upcoming performances: September 16 - Downey

Past performances: June 3 - Anaheim, June 9 - Anaheim, June 30 - Claremont, July 16 - Huntington Beach, July 25 - Puente Hills/Rowland Heights, July 28 - Anaheim, July 29 - La Palma, August 4 - Anaheim and August 25 - Claremont

     Another of the newer artists to the summer concert stages this year is vintage - current jazz artist Amanda Castro. Castro is an up-and-coming singer from Southern California. She specializes in an eclectic mix of upbeat jazz appealing to a wide variety of audiences. Whether it's a song from 1910 or 2010, she re-imagines many of the tunes with her own jazz stylings.

     Amanda Castro has appeared at venues from Southern California to Las Vegas, and she frequently performs at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. While she has been a "regular" at concert series in Claremont and Beverly Hills for the last few years, she will be singing for the first time at several of the summer concert venues this year. She has performed at many private events with clients such as Super Bowl Champions the Seattle Seahawks and Toyota, and she also has had the privilege to perform with 10-time Grammy Award winner Arturo Sandoval.

     Some of the musicians who have appeared with the Amanda Castro Band include pianist Patrick Aranda, Steve Alaniz (tenor sax), Adam Hawley (guitar), Michael Morales (drums) and Richard Lueras (upright bass).

     If you'd like to learn more about Amanda Castro, you can visit her website at www.amandacastro.com, or watch the video below.



* Photograph courtesy of Amanda Castro *

UPSTREAM

Upcoming performances: September 16 - Downey and September 23 - Irvine

Past performances: June 4 - La Canada Flintridge, June 9 - Los Angeles (Mid-Wilshire/Museum District), June 15 - Fullerton, June 24 - Fountain Valley, July 13 - Azusa, July 16 - Monrovia, July 27 - Placentia, July 31 - Whittier, August 5 - El Monte, August 9 - Norwalk, August 12 - Altadena and August 28 - Claremont

     Upstream is five-piece band performing a wide variety of Caribbean music, namely Reggae, Calypso, Soca and Steel Drum Music. The band was originally formed in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1980s and then re-formed in Southern California in the early 1990s.

     The band members are veterans of the summer concert stages and also perform year round at festivals like the Sawdust Art Festival and Art-A-Faire in Laguna Beach, and at a variety of corporate and private events.

     Bandleader and lead singer/guitarist Haile Blackman originally is from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the son of the legendary creator of Soca Music, the late Ras Shorty I. Other members of the band include fellow Trinidad and Tobago native "Derek Brewstafari" (Steel Drums), John McKnight (Bass/Trombone/Keyboard/Guitar/Background Vocals), and Mark Spiller (Drums/Background Vocals).

     Upstream currently has eight CDs available, and a new song collection will be released later this year. If you'd like to learn more about the band, you can visit their website at www.upstreammusic.com, or watch the video below.



* Photograph courtesy of Upstream *

THE ANSWER

Upcoming performances: September 4 - Claremont, and September 14 - Fullerton

Past performances: June 1 - Temecula, June 17 - Cypress, June 21 - Diamond Bar, June 22 - Lakewood, June 29 - Arcadia, July 1 - Huntington Beach, July 7 - Eastvale, July 9 - Glendora, July 13 - La Habra, July 19 - La Habra Heights, July 26 - San Dimas, July 27 - Bellflower, July 30 - Monrovia, August 3 - Rancho Cucamonga, August 9 - Fullerton, August 10 - Garden Grove, August 13 - La Verne and August 18 - Laguna Niguel

     True veterans of the summer concert scene, The Answer has been performing their renditions of classic rock hits for audiences for over five decades.

     Over the years the band has opened on stage for Pat Benatar, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Starship, Journey, Yes, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money and Foreigner, among many others. In addition to the summer park concerts, the band has appeared at venues from the Burbank Starlight Bowl to the Bellagio in Las Vegas, including the LA County and San Bernardino County Fairs, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, night clubs and casinos.

     The "make it happen" guy in the band is Jim Searing (guitars/vocals/keyboards/sound). He is vice president of his own company and owns Searing Sound, a company which managed managed the early years of Beatles Tribute group the Fab Four. He has known Van Mosley (lead vocals/bass guitar) since the sixth grade and recruited him for The Answer in 1965. Southern California native Van Mosley has been playing music since the age of fourteen and also has performed in numerous musical theater productions, but rock and roll - along with his wife and four kids - is still his first love. Dave Slater (lead guitar/vocals/keyboards) is an expert in composing, arranging, performing, engineering and instructing. When not with The Answer he is music department chairman at Los Osos High School. The newest member of the band is Rob Pry (drums/vocals). He has been playing drums for most of his life and started his first band in the late 1970s.

      If you'd like to learn more about The Answer, you can visit their website at www.theanswertoclassicrock.com. To see them in performance, watch the video below.



* Photo credit: Deborah Dodge. Photograph courtesy of The Answer *

2017 FEATURED SERIES - THE ARTISTS OF THE SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES AT THE RICHARD NIXON LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Upcoming performances: Every Sunday all year long

Past performances: Every Sunday

     Few series provide music throughout the year at no cost to the public, and the Sunday Concert Series at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum is one of those. For more than 20 years the doors to the concert hall (pictured above) have been open to the public on Sunday afternoons with performances by both established artists and younger musicians seeking to become known as concert performers.

     In the early 1990s, the initial series consisted of six concerts from May to July and six over the Christmas holidays. However, after it was determined that the theater stage was strong enough to hold a piano, the theater became a concert hall. Performances were scheduled every week, and shortly after that Roger Williams donated his 9-foot Steinway concert grand piano. He had done all his recording on it and even signed the inside, dedicating it to the library.

     The inaugural piano concert at the museum was given by local pianist and music educator Ann Patrick Green, and since that time she has been coordinating the series. She started playing piano at age 8 and received both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance. She is an active member of the Music Teachers Association of California, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the American College of Musicians. She also is principal and chairperson of the teaching faculty at Patrick's Music School in Fullerton, CA.

     September performances are included below. This month the public also is invited to attend the 9/11 Remembrance Event and commemoration ceremony to be held on September 11 in the Library's White House East Room. The program will include patriotic performances by a 200-member chorus, a formal Presentation of Colors and remarks by a 9/11 first responder. See the concert listings for additional details.

     To find the year-round schedule for the Sunday Concert Series, visit the Nixon Library and Museum website at www.nixonfoundation.org. Go to "Plan Your Visit" and click "Sunday Concerts."

* Photographs courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration/Richard Nixon Library and Museum *



     

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