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

Visit the site's GUESTS page.

Click here for site NEWS.

*          *          *


*          *          *

Enter the site's "American Gothic" photo contest. CLICK HERE for details!


     Featured Artists are musicians or concert series drawn from the summer concert performances. 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. Many thanks to all the 2013 Featured Artists!

* * * Click on any of the photos above, or continue scrolling down the page * * *

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



Past performances: Tuesdays June 4 through August 6

Upcoming performances: Finished for 2013. See you next summer!

     This summer's Featured Series is the Wine and Jazz series at Hollywood and Highland. Concerts take place on Tuesdays from 7 - 9 p.m. in the central plaza on the second level of the center and feature a wide variety of jazz styles, with both well-known local artists and other special guests.

     The 10th anniversary season of Wine and Jazz kicked off June 4 with the Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra. Upcoming performances include guitarist Coco Montoya and trumpeter Christian Scott. Also coming at the start of July are two local jazz stars - Jose Rizo and Mongorama, and LA composer Geoff Gallegos' GG NineNet. Local music afficiados and summer concert attendees might recognize Gallegos' name from the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra.

     Why is the series called "Wine and Jazz?" The concerts are free; wine tasting samplers (including wine and an assortment of cheeses, fruit and bread) are available for purchase. Proceeds from the wine bar benefit Project Angel Food (, a Los Angeles County-based non-profit organization providing meals to people struggling with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. A recent press release concerning the series notes that to date over $250,000 has been raised for the charity. Last years' concerts attracted over 15,000 people over the course of the season.

     Wine and Jazz is sponsored and produced by radio station KJazz 88.1 FM, and the wine sponsor is Barefoot Wines, with the samplers prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering. Hollywood and Highland is located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard with easy access to the Hollywood/Highland Station on the Metro Red Line. For more information on the series visit


Past performances: June 9 - Marina Del Rey, June 16 - West Hollywood, June 21 - Los Angeles, June 27 - Fontana, July 11 - Whittier, July 17 - Tustin, July 21 - Glendora, July 24 - Norwalk, July 25 - La Mirada, July 31 - Diamond Bar, August 1 - Arcadia, August 4 - La Canada, August 8 - Placentia, August 10 - Altadena, August 11 - Newport Beach, August 21 - Brea, August 25 - Culver City, September 12 - Fullerton and September 15 - Marina Del Rey

Upcoming performances: September 28 - Irvine

     Welcome to the Upstream experience! The band asks you to leave your inhibitions and other real-world concerns at the door, because they have come to party, and they hope you have too - to the sounds of their Reggae, Calypso, Soca and Steel Pan music.

     Upstream, formed in the late 1980s in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, was re-formed in Southern California in the early 1990s. Since then the group has performed at numerous fairs and festivals, casinos, park and private concerts and other venues throughout California and the West. You'll also find them at this summer's Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. Band members say their ultimate purpose is to take audiences on a musical journey.

     Members of the band are Haile Blackman (lead vocals, guitar, drums, record producer and MPC Guardian), Johnny Blackman (drums/background vocals), Derek Brewster (steel pans/bass/background vocals), Andre Morris (keyboards/background vocals), and David King (bass/background vocals), and alternates including Marlon Alegria (keys/background vocals) and Martin Tillett (keys/background vocals).

     Upstream has released six CDs to date. If you'd like to learn more about the group, you can visit their website at To listen to the band's music, click on either of the titles below:

* Photograph courtesy of Upstream. Photo credit: Obie Obien*


Past performances: June 13 - Fontana, July 4 - Brea, July 4 - Santa Fe Springs, July 10 - Duarte, July 11 - Corona, July 17 - La Puente, July 19 - Rosemead, July 24 - Brea, July 25 - Irwindale, August 30 - Santa Fe Springs and September 14 - Corona

Upcoming performances: Finished for 2013. See you next summer!

     Chico has performed for diverse audiences throughout California for the past 35 years. The band has its own style, and the "Chico repertoire" consists of big band music, salsa, cha-cha, merengue, cumbia, Tex-Mex, oldies and more, including songs with both English and Spanish lyrics as well as instrumental music.

     Chico has performed at concerts, at community and church events, and for civic organizations. The band has received recognition for its performances for charitable organizations such as The American Red Cross and the March of Dimes, and other groups the band has performed for include the Hispanic Women's Council, Loyola Marymount University, the USC Alumni Association, Latin Business Association, and the Chicano Music Awards. They also have performed with George Lopez, James Olmos and Vicky Carr, and members of the band were commissioned to compose and perform the music and soundtrack for the movie "Luminarias."

     The veteran group of musicians is headed by bassist and vocalist Joe Espinosa. Other members of the band include Adolfo Martinez (alto, tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet and vocals), Bertha Oropeza (lead vocals/percussion), Danny Diaz (guitar/vocals), Gilbert Avila (trumpet/congas/vocals), and Bill Keis (aka Guillermo Llaves) on keyboards.

     The band plays music from all eras, including songs everyone can dance to. If you'd like to learn more about Chico, you can visit their website at

* Photograph courtesy of Chico *


Past performances: June 26 - La Habra Heights, July 25 - Whittier, August 1 - Westminster, August 4 - Playa Vista, August 7 - Riverside, August 14 - Diamond Bar, and August 15 - La Mirada

Upcoming performances: September 19 - Tustin

     The Kelly Rae Band is a six-piece, Southern California-based, high-energy country band that has been delivering performances to audiences around the world for more than a decade. The band plays a wide range of country music from popular tunes by artists like Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift to classic favorites.

     The band is comprised of seasoned musicians whose credits include, but are not limited to, working with Tanya Tucker, Rascal Flats, Bobby Bare, Johnny Lee, Nelson and Trick Pony.

     Kelly has opened for chart-topping artists such as Miranda Lambert, Melissa Ethridge, Terri Clark, and others. The band performs regularly in Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure and is in the rotation at the brand new, state-of-the-art Ranch Saloon in Anaheim, California. This summer the band also appeared at the Orange County Fair and performs every other Tuesday at Knott's Berry Farm.

     If you'd like to learn more about The Kelly Rae Band, you can visit the group's website at To listen to a sample of the band's music, click on the title below:

* Photograph courtesy of The Kelly Rae Band *


Past performances: June 12 - Temple City, June 19 - La Habra Heights, June 26 - Temecula, June 27 - Lakewood, June 30 - Glendora, July 2 - Costa Mesa, July 3 - Downey, July 7 - South Pasadena, July 10 - La Puente, July 11 - Westminster, July 17 - Fullerton, July 19 - Santa Fe Springs, July 20 - Cypress, July 21 - Rancho Santa Margarita, July 24 - Diamond Bar, July 25 - Rancho Cucamonga, July 26 - Laguna Niguel, July 28 - Monrovia, July 31 - San Dimas, August 1 - Fountain Valley, August 5 - Covina, August 6 - Walnut, August 7 - Upland, August 8 - Garden Grove, August 15 - Arcadia, August 18 - La Verne, August 22 - Bellflower, August 25 - Yucaipa, September 2 - Claremont, September 7 - Santa Ana and September 15 - Fountain Valley

Upcoming performances: September 26 - Fullerton

     The Answer has been performing its renditions of popular hits since 1964, music classified back then as popular rock and now considered classic rock. The band plays to more people in the summer concert series than any other band in Southern California.

     From 2001 to 2005, The Answer was the house band for what was then the classic rock station Arrow 93 FM. Over the years they have 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 park concerts, the band has appeared at numerous venues including the LA County and San Bernardino County Fairs, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, night clubs, casinos, the Burbank Starlight Bowl and the Bellagio in Las Vegas, to name a few.

     Members of the band are manager Jim Searing (guitar/keyboard), lead singer Van Mosley, Ray Garrobo (drums) and Dave Slater (guitar/keyboard). Slater is a music teacher by trade and Garrobo a drum instructor, and Van Mosley's credits include everything from musical theater to singing the National Anthem at venues like Dodger Stadium and the Forum. All of the members of the group have done studio, television and radio work.

     If you'd like to learn more about The Answer, you can visit the group's website at To listen to samples of the band's music, click on the either of the titles below:

* Photograph courtesy of The Answer *


Past performances: July 3 - Tustin, July 10 - Temple City, July 19 - Norco, August 1 - Brea, August 8 - Rancho Cucamonga, August 22 - Fullerton, August 24 - Costa Mesa and September 8 - Brea

Upcoming performances: September 28 - Costa Mesa **

     Blues guitarist and vocalist Griff Hamlin has been appearing on the 2013 summer concert stages with three bands, two blues bands - The Griff Hamlin Band and Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns - and the rock, rhythm and soul band Yard Sale.

     Griff started the Griff Hamlin Band as a blues quartet in 1992. The band has recorded two solo albums, one of original blues/rock songs in 2000, and one live concert recorded in Krosno, Poland in May of 2004. His first album garnered him an Orange County Music Award nomination for "Best Blues." In 2011, Griff decided to "take it up a notch" and add a horn section to the stage, the Circle City Horns. The horn section consists of saxophonist Laura Hamlin, (Griff's wife), Ken Mengel on trombone, and Mike Gaughan on trumpet (all three horn players are also part of the band Yard Sale, In the rhythm section Griff has long time friend and bass player, Mark Smith, who has been in the band since its inception in 1992, Chris Atchley on drums, and newcomer Ty Bailie (keyboards/vocals).

     In addition to performing at community summer concerts, outdoor festivals, and various clubs, Griff's bands appear regularly on the main stage inside Downtown Disney, as well as at venues like the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue Lounge in Claremont and Marquee 15 in Corona. This year the Griff Hamlin Band also was invited to perform at the 2013 Allen City Texas Blues Festival. The band headlined the main stage with Eric Johnson, Billy Cox (from Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsies), Wanda King and the Peterson Brothers from Austin. For the past three years Griff Hamlin and The Circle City Horns have performed a very special fundraiser concert in the Rhythm Lounge, located inside the Fender Center in Corona, to benefit Fender's Kids Rock Free Program. Griff also is known in the blues world as the creator of the "Blues Guitar Unleashed" lesson series.

     Griff has had the honor of performing overseas for U.S. troops in Turkey, Italy, and Korea. He has been a regular performer at Disneyland on and off for more than 10 years and has worked for clients such as ABC Television, the California State University Fullerton Alumni Association, Toyota, Maleluca, Fender and others. To learn more about Griff Hamlin, you can visit his website at To listen to samples of his music, click on the either of the titles below:

* Photographs courtesy of Griff Hamlin (pictured above right; also top left - Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns and bottom left - Yard Sale). ** Sept. 8 performance is Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns; Sept. 28 performance is the Griff Hamlin Band *


Follow on TWITTER!
"Like" on FACEBOOK!

Home |  Poetry | Essays | Free Concerts | Links | 2013 Extras |  About the Site 
Featured Artists | 2013 Website Special Guests | News © 2003 - 2013 Dorothy A. Birsic. All rights reserved. Comments? Questions? Send an e-mail to: