Friday, June 16, 2017

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Elvin Bishop headlines 36th Annual Fountain Blues Festival presented by Metro

If you are a fan of Blues music, mark your calendar for June 24th. Silicon Valley's longest running music festival is coming to Downtown San Jose and features an amazing lineup of musicians including Elvin Bishop and Bettye LaVette. All sorts of supporting events will also be hosted throughout Downtown (list below).

To feed your appetite, the festival has Southern food from Poor House Bistro, Smoking Pig BBQ, and Seymert's along with a full assortment of craft beers. 

Tickets range from $20 to $75. For more info, check out the press release below or head over here.

San Jose, CA – Silicon Valley’s longest running music festival returns to downtown San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez, June 24. Back for a 36th year, Fountain Blues Festival Presented by Metro, supported in part by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, will feature performances by well-known blues musicians and craft beer tasting from over 20 fan favorite craft beers. Fountain Blues Festival provides a one-of-a-kind, laidback atmosphere that is perfect for blues fans and musicians alike.

  • Legendary blues guitarist, songwriter and singer Elvin Bishop
  • Three time Grammy nominee R&B singer Bettye LaVette
  • "The West Coast Godfather of the Game" blues vocalistFillmore Slim
  • Dynamic front man & traditional blues harp player Aki Kumar
  • Soulful vocalist, guitarist and prolific songwriter Maxx Cabello, Jr.
In addition to an impressive lineup of local blues artists playing the SJZ Mobile Boom Box Stage before and between main stage acts – courtesy of Silicon Valley Blues Society, festival promoters are bringing the Brews to the Blues – festival goes can sample over 20 craft beer selections Abita, Allagash, Ballast Point, Drakes, Elysian, Faultline, Firehouse, Firestone, Golden Road, Lagunitas, Lost Coast, North Coast, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Stone, Tilt, Wildcide Hard Cider and more.

“We support blues musicians by facilitating live performances of blues music for seasoned and emerging artists while providing programs to expose and promote blues music to a broader music community; says Fountain Blues Foundation President Bob Gonzalez. “It’s gratifying to be a part of something so positive in a cool downtown San Jose location.”

Southern inspired food will be featured: Poor House Bistro (New Orleans staples); Smoking Pig BBQ; Seymert's (catfish); Nita B's Tasty treats (cobblers and funnel cakes); Crab Fiesta; and Carmen's Taqueria (South of the Border favorites). Picnic-style games and cool fountain for families to enjoy - kids 12 and under are free with paid adult.

General admission tickets are $20, VIP tickets $75 and can be purchased at There’s VTA light rail stations nearby and free bike valet 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. near main entrance, courtesy of Silicon Valley Bike Coalition.

  • SundayJune 182 – 5 p.m.: Tebo’s Howlin’ Wolf Revue, San Pedro Square Market, 87 N. San Pedro Street, San Jose. FREE.
  • MondayJune 197 – 10 p.m.: John Nemeth CD Release Party, The Studio at Poor House Bistro, 91 S. Autumn St., San Jose. Donations welcomed.
  • TuesdayJune 207 – 10 p.m. Aki’s Downtown Jam, Poor House Bistro. FREE.
  • WednesdayJune 215 - 6 PM: Make Music Day: Fountain Blues Foundation board member Ned Kraft will lead free harmonica lessons. The first 75 lucky participants will receive a free harmonica, Discovery Meadow (West San Carlos Street at Woz Way, San Jose) FREE.                         
  • WednesdayJune 21, 8 p.m.: Matt Schofield with A.C. Myles and Terri Odabi, Club Fox, 2209 Broadway, Redwood City. Tickets:  $20 general admission / $35 VIP
  • Thursday, June, 22, 6 – 9 p.m.: Big Blues Week Jam with special guests and hosted by Chef Ramon, Poor House Bistro, donations welcome
  • Friday, June 236 – 10 p.m.: Jerry Miller Band (founding member of Moby Grape) at Poor House Bistro, FREE.
  • Saturday, June 24, 9p.m. – midnight: Post Fountain Blues Fest special event with Daniel Castro Band, The Studio at Poor House Bistro. FREE to Blues Festival attendees who show their Fest wristband, or $20 donation to Fountain Blues Foundation at the door.


Elvin Bishop: A lot has happened since guitar legend Elvin Bishop released his last album, 2014’s Grammy-nominated Can’t Even Do Wrong Right. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and soon after into the Blues Hall of Fame. He won the Living Blues Award for Best Blues Album Of 2014 and three 2014 Blues Music Awards: Album of The Year, Song Of The Year (for the title track) and The Elvin Bishop Band took the award for Band Of The Year. 

Now, Elvin–along with his friends, guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan–launches The Big Fun Trio. Preparing for one of the first live gigs with his new trio, Bishop told The San Jose Mercury News, “Every time I pick up the guitar, something new comes out of it. I guess you’d call me a late bloomer. When you get to be my age, you’re not expecting to be progressing or coming up with any new ideas, but for some reason, I’m lucky enough that that’s what’s happening to me.” His new album – Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – is among his very best musical ideas ever. The music is rootsy, spirited and soulful, performed by serious musicians hell-bent on having a good time.

Bettye LaVette: Three time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette is no mere blues singer. She is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric. Her career began in 1962 at the age of 16. Now 71 years old, she is still performing with the ferocity of a woman half her age. Her voice has only gotten better with age. She is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 60s and is still creating vital recordings today.

Fillmore Slim: He grew up on a farm picking cotton and plowing the fields utilizing a mule. As a youngster, he discovered music from his grandmother. He moved to the Los Angeles area in 1955, performing with his band Eddie and the Blues Slayers; he relocated to San Francisco opening shows for the likes of BB King and Dinah Washington; his first single released in the late 50ʼs, was a song entitled ‘You Got the Nerve of a Brass Monkey’ on the Los Angeles based Dooto record label.

This VIP of the music and underworld would go on to be revered by the members of the hip hop world including Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, Big Daddy Kane and MC Lyte. Among other celebrated musicians, he has toured with Joe Tex, Harmonica Slim and Little Willie John, performed with Sly Stone and T-Bone Walker, and recorded with Joe Louis Walker, Bobbie Webb and Rick Estrin. “Fillmore Slim” continues to master his gift of storytelling as singer/guitarist/songwriter. He is currently working on his 7th blues c.d. titled “Playa’s Ball” on the Mountain Top Label.

Aki Kumar: Dynamic frontman and harp player Aki Kumar is a rising star among the next generation of SF Bay Area blues artists. A master of the amplified Chicago blues sound, Kumar inherits his style from the harp legends of the 1950s and 60s. Aki has a unique voice in the blues, blending elements of blues harmonica pioneers of yesteryear with a signature sound of his own.

Born and raised in Bombay – India, Kumar established his mark on the West Coast blues scene starting in 2009 as frontman of the SF Bay Area’s highly acclaimed blues outfit Tip of the Top. His latest venture, The Aki Kumar Blues Band, involves several Bay Area blues luminaries and has been the culmination of his journey through American roots music. The band performs vintage blues with tremendous skill and energy and is guaranteed to entertain audiences across all venues, from intimate listening rooms to large festivals.

Maxx Cabello, Jr.: The American music flame will never go out as long as young artists such as Maxx Cabello Jr. take the torch and keep it burning. This young amazing guitarist, soulful vocalist, and prolific songwriter, hails from the streets of the San Francisco Bay area where he is turning heads and bending the ears of the most jaded veteran musicians and music aficionados. Straight out of the South Bay, this quiet-spoken young man turns into a powerful and captivating artist when he begins to play the guitar. We expect his star to be on the rise in the musical sky before long.

About Fountain Blues Foundation

It all started in the spring of 1981 with a sold-out concert at the San Jose Civic Auditorium by the rock group, Ambrosia. San Jose State University Associated Students wanted to do a Free-of-Charge show to repay their fans for their support during the year. The board of directors decided on a blues festival format for the following year. In 1982, John Lee Hooker and the Coast to Coast Blues Band was hired to headline, over 2,500 people came and the rest is history.

Fountain Blues Festival is organized to preserve and promote blues music. Preservation activities take a variety of forms, including live performances, broadcasts, lectures and community education about the history of the blues, culminating in the annual Fountain Blues Festival.

The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supports blues musicians by facilitating live performances of blues music by seasoned and emerging artists; providing programs to expose and promote blues music to the broader music community; providing education for musicians, including mentorships and music industry experiences that promote professional artistic exchange; partnering with local venues and merchants to promote a community that supports the blues art form.

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