A San Diego Gem. Some of the best music presented anywhere in San Diego over the past ten years has been as part of the Bluegrass and Beyond Series presented by the Del Mar Foundation, with assistance from the San Diego Bluegrass Society, at the beautiful Del Mar Powerhouse located right on the beach in Del Mar.
The series has presented the John Jorgenson Quintet, the Barefoot Movement, the Claire Lynch Band, Rob Ickes and Jim Hurst (and Rob Ickes in duos with Trey Hensley and Joe Craven), the Desert Rose Band, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, the Gibson Brothers, Missy Raines and the New Hip, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Philips, Grier and Flinner. If you follow bluegrass and related acoustic music, this is a stunning all-star list of performances.
The Powerhouse faces the beach in Del Mar, and performers can see the waves breaking from the stage. The venue is intimate, seating only 120, with no bad seat in the house, giving attendees a unique chance to hear top flight music in an up-close and intimate venue. Concerts sell out quickly, for good reason. The Del Mar Foundation, a non-profit serving the Del Mar community, produces the concerts lead by Betty Wheeler, a former DMF Board member and former chair of its Cultural Arts Committee, who has been the driving force behind bringing this great music program to San Diego. Check it all out on the Del Mar Foundation website at http://delmarfoundation.org/bluegrasshistory.html. To sign up for e-blasts about upcoming Bluegrass and Beyond concerts, including the forthcoming Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands concert (Oct. 19), sign up for the DMF’s email list, and check “bluegrass” as an interest category. The sign-up box is here: www.delmarfoundation.org.
Julian Family Fiddle Camp Evening Concerts. The Julian Family Fiddle Camp kicks off April 9 through 12 with instruction on fiddle, bass, mandolin, guitar, old time banjo, and flat foot dancing. In the evenings the faculty will present concerts open to the public. Take a drive to
Camp Cedar Glen outside Julian, have a nice diner in Julian, and enjoy one of these great concerts. Thursday April 10 is old time banjo master Chris Coole and Friends, Friday April 11 is mandolin virtuoso Sharon Gilchrist with guitar master Scott Law, and Saturday April 12 is fiddle champion Katie Glassman and Special Guests. A flash jam is planned for Sunday in town as well, with everyone invited to bring their instruments and join the fun. For more info and tickets visit: http://www.familyfiddlecamp.com/springconcertseries.html.
Spring Camp Out. The annual spring bluegrass campout is coming over the weekend of April 18-20. The event is at the beautiful KOA Campground in Chula Vista. Pickers and grinners are all invited. There will be lots of jamming, a pot luck dinner on Saturday, and other activities—all ages and all abilities welcome. For info email Phil Levy at: email@example.com.
The Ramona Bluegrass and Old West Festival is coming over the weekend of May 3-4. Three stages and 25 bands will make this year’s Festival a great time. Hot Club of Cowtown will be back, as will Bluegrass Etc. along with many of the top local and regional bands. Visit http://ramonabluegrassfest.com to see the full lineup and for ticket information. Look for more info on the Ramona Festival in next month’s column.
Air Travel with your instrument. A couple of years ago the federal government, as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act, and at the urging of musicians unions and other music organizations, passed a law that requires—yes requires—airlines to allow you to carry your musical instrument on board so long as it will fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment. Importantly, this carry-on is not counted against otherwise applicable carry on limits. The new law should end the vagaries characterizing the airlines, where some (for example Southwest) have been good about allowing carry-ons and others have denied, or charged extra, for carry-ons.
The bad news is that two years ago when the law was passed the Federal Transportation Department was directed to draft implementing regulations, but they have yet to promulgate the required regulations. The Department asked for money in this year’s federal budget so it could hire more staff to write regulations, but Congress denied the request. So, we wait.