By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Two major blues festivals are coming up that will satisfy the appetite of even the most avid blues lover. The first is the Urban Blues Festival on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, benefitting Ascencia.
The idea for the fundraiser came from Ascencia Executive Director Natalie Komuro’s husband Cranston.
“Between sequestration and shifting homeless policy, government funding for Ascencia’s homeless programs has been shrinking and we needed to find another source of revenue,” said Komuro. “The idea for a blues festival arose because Los Angeles does not have a standing blues festival. The blues, roots, and gospel music at our festival capture the essence of life – hardship, heartbreak, survival and joy. We feel this genre is a perfect fit for what we do in helping people out of homelessness.”
Funding raised will be used for Ascencia’s 40 bed year-round emergency housing program for families and single adults.
The line-up includes esteemed bluesman Walter Trout who will take the stage at 6 p.m. and legendary guitarist/vocalist Guitar Shorty will be playing at 5 p.m. Other artists throughout the day include Arthur Adams, The Americans, Little Faith, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, The Scorch Sisters and Trout Brothers Band. Food will be available for purchase.
Tickets are available online ($35) and at the gate ($40). VIP ticket ($100) sales are expected to sell out in advance. Please visit www.urbanbluesfest.com for more information.
On Labor Day weekend, a two-day blues festival is being held at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia. The 1st Annual Southern California MADCatfish Blues Festival celebrates the origins of the blues and features a star-studded line-up that includes Barbara Morrison, Ray Bailey, Brenda Lee Eager, Jay Jackson, Sunnie Paxson-Mark Vincent All Star Band, Leslie Baker, The Delgado Brothers, The Scorch Sisters, Marguaret Love, Yu Ooka, Kenyatta Mackey (aka Babydoll), Corney Mims & The Know-It-Allz Band and introducing Richard Cameron Lovely.
Festivities are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day plus there will be an
After Hours Juke Joint, An Evening of Comedy & Blues hosted by Ernest L. Thomas with comics King Kedar, Keith Morris & Edwonda White and singer and song stylist Marguaret Love held in the Santa Anita Park Concourse Room on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Santa Anita Park will be offering food and thematic drinks for purchase throughout the day, including MADCatfish mimosas, margaritas, Bloody Marys and Metropolitans. The Blues Festival is named after the festival’s official Chief Mascot Officer (CMO), Cecil Ray Bailey, aka MADCatfish.
Tickets for one day admission passes to the Blues Festival are $40 each for a general admission ticket; $65 each for a premium ticket which includes access to the preferred parking section; and $150 each for a VIP private terrace ticket which includes VIP seating, valet parking, a gourmet lunch and non-alcoholic beverage and admission to the Juke Joint event.
Tickets for two-day admission passes to the Blues Festival are $75 each for general admission, $115 each for a premium ticket and $250 each for a VIP private terrace ticket. Tickets for groups of eight or more are also available at a 20% discount per ticket; please visit the website, www.madcatfish.net for more information.
Tickets for the Juke Joint event on Saturday evening are $15 each for general admission, and $25 each for the Juke Joint with a red carpet reception. Tickets for the Juke Joint event are separate from the Blues Festival.
Tickets for both the MADCatfish Blues Festival and the Juke Joint event can be purchased 24/7 through Brown Paper Tickets by calling (800) 838-3006, and then pressing Ext. 1 for the Call Center to purchase tickets for these events, which are listed as Event Number 2018738.