The Bonita Blues Festival is back and packed with national and regional blues bands ready to bring down the house on March 14 and 15!
The two-day event will feature award winning blues music including international legend Joe Louis Walker, multiple award winning performer Deanna Bogart, Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Moss, Gibson Guitar House Band out of Ohio Dixie Peach, Boston’s own Peter Parcek, renown harmonist Little Mike and the Tornadoes, up and coming award winner Marquise Knox out of St. Louis and many more.
Headlining the festival is Blues Hall Of Fame member, world-class guitarist, passionate vocalist and gifted songwriter Joe Louis Walker.
Walker is among the greatest bluesmen of his generation, and is known worldwide as one of the genre’s top musical trailblazers — a mesmerizing guitarist and soul-testifying vocalist.
“I remember my parents, and my older sisters and brother, used to play their records and have lots of parties. The music got in my mind and my soul,” Walker said.
Walker picked up the guitar as a child, and by 16 was regularly backing touring blues artists rolling through town. He was the teenage house guitarist at San Francisco’s famed musical playground The Matrix, where he played with or opened shows for everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Thelonious Monk. The blues legends Walker accompanied shared not only musical knowledge, but also their personal wisdom with the teenage up-and-comer.
“Mike Bloomfield was my main influence, not so much musically, but in so many ways, such as, playing all kinds of blues and music, playing several instruments, and being somewhat versatile. Mississippi Fred was another mentor. He simply saw a little of himself in me, when he was young so he’d look out for me. Also Willie Dixon and Lowell Fulson who help me with my songwriting and presentation; and finally, Earl Hooker for some serious on the job training when I spent time performing onstage with him,” Walker remembers.
Before joining Alligator Records in 2012, Walker had released 23 albums and toured the world virtually non-stop. He has garnered four Blues Music Awards (and has been nominated 52 times) and holds an international reputation as one of the blues most prolific and talented stars. He’s also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world’s best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.
His Alligator debut, Hellfire, took the blues world by storm in 2012, receiving the Living Blues Critics’ Award for Blues Album Of The Year. And in 2013, The Blues Foundation inducted Walker into The Blues Hall Of Fame. “I am honored to be in the company of the great artists already inducted,” Walker says. “I hope to live up to the honor.”
Joining the ranks of previous while still at the peak of his musical powers, is, as Walker says, “a dream come true.”
His performance at the Blonita Blues Festival will celebrate the release of Walker’s dynamic new CD, Hornet’s Nest, which is equal parts rock-‘n’-roll fire and blistering blues and was recorded in Nashville. The record blends the musicians boundless energy and his myriad influences into a contemporary blues tour-de-force.
He calls the record “fun and filled with high energy guitar playing,” that is matched note-for-note by his fervent vocals. From menacing, hard rocking electric blues to cool Memphis funk to R&B rave-ups to Sunday morning gospel, Walker’s blues — fierce and untamed, adventurous and fun — continue to define the genre.
On March 14, Walker will grace the stage of the 8th Annual Bonita Blues Festival at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs, FL. The singer/songwriter is anxious to share some new and old tunes with Southwest Florida, at a point in his career where he couldn’t ask for more.
Proceeds of the Bonita Blues Festival will benefit the Bonita Springs Assistance Office, Music for Minors Foundation, Inc., providing musical instruments to local youth and The Music Therapy Program at the Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Tickets to the festival are just $40 in advance for a weekend pass, $25 at the gate for Friday, $30 at the gate for Saturday and $50 for the weekend. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.bonitablues.com.
The Village People, one of disco’s most recognizable and energetic hit-makers, will perform at Seminole Casino Immokalee on Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m.
Known as the “kings of disco,” Village People have sold more than 100 million records worldwide since the 1970s with such career defining hits as Macho Man, Y.M.C.A, In the Navy and Can’t Stop the Music.
In 1979, the American Music Awards presented the group with the “Favorite Musical Group” award. They also won the American Guild of Variety Artist’s Georgie Award and Brazil’s 1981 Award for Best Act.
In 2008, Village People received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame between Liberace and Betty Grable. That same year, during the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, the group and 40,148 fans set a Guinness World Record with the largest crowd to ever dance to Y.M.C.A.
Most recently, the group released Let’s Go Back to the Dance Floor, its first worldwide single in 25 years. The song was written and produced by KC and the Sunshine Band’s Harry Wayne Casey.
Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 the day of the show. Tickets may be purchased at the casino or charge by phone: 1-800-218-0007. For more information, visit www.seminoleimmokaleecasino.com.
The Color Vibe, a “vibrantly colorful” 5k fun run company, is hosting the Fort Myers Color Vibe 5k for people of all ages on March 22, 2014 held at the Lee Civic Center.
The Color Vibe is a unique 5k fun run series that is gaining popularity throughout the United States. Throughout the course, participants run, walk or dance their way through color stations, where vibrant colors tie-dye white outfits and costumes. When it’s over, everyone is invited to stick around for a large colorful dance party hosted by a professional sound crew and DJ.
To make this event unique, Color Vibe uses a cornstarch based colored powder to tie-dye participants. The colored powder is made in the USA and made from food grade quality cornstarch using an advanced manufacturing process that’s been custom developed for the Color Vibe Race Series. It’s non-toxic, 100% safe, and biodegradable. It also washes out easily from skin and hair.
The Color Vibe encourages runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels to participate. According to Taylor Spencer, Color Vibe Race Director, “The Color Vibe 5k is full of inspirational stories of runners and non-runners alike coming together to share a life experience, accomplish fitness goals, and become rainbow junkies. We do not time our 5k fun runs so every participant can take their time getting colored.”
A portion of the proceeds from the Lee Civic Center Color Vibe will be donated to support the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
“We are excited to donate and contribute to the 13.8 million meals that the Harry Chapin Food Bank provides to residents in Southwest Florida and help out a cause that affects so many,” Spencer adds.
- For more information on the Lee Civic Center Color Vibe event and registration, visit www.thecolorvibe.com!