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Gator 2016 May 5-8 Full (blues) Line Up
Gator by the Bay - California


These are the blues acts, there are some non-blues acts on the bill as well

Alabama Mike

Alabama Mike, AKA Michael A Benjamin is a hard-driving Chicago-style blues singer, who has been called “a force on the microphone, with that first rate ‘church house’ tenor”. Originally from Talledaga, AL he began his singing career as a child singing in the church choir, eventually gravitating to the blues as a young man living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has won numerous prestigious awards.
Rick Estrin
Rick EstrinBlues
Rick Estrin ranks among the best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward.

Jon Atkinson

Although only in his mid-20s, “Big Jon” Atkinson has played with some of the biggest blues stars, and, with an innate feeling for the blues of someone much older and experienced, he’s.been making a name for himself in local blues circles for his smokin’ harmonica and guitar playing, as well as attention-grabbing vocals.
Kid Anderson
Kid AndersonBlues
In 2001, at age 21, Andersen moved to the United States from Norway, joined blues frontman Terry Hanck’s band, and quickly became a figure on the West Coast blues scene. Andersen later played in Charlie Musselwhite’s band and got a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Award) for best contemporary blues album for Charlie Musselwhite’s Delta Hardware. Then, when Little Charlie Baty retired from touring, Andersen took his place as guitarist in the Nightcats, and the new name of Rick Estrin & the Nightcats was formed. Andersen has also done extensive touring with Elvin Bishop on the Red Dog Speaks Tour.

Roy Rogers

Often lauded as the “Master of the Slide Guitar”, Roy Rogers is coming to us fresh off a performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. A California native, Roy took up the guitar at the age of 12, and by 13 was performing in a retro rock’n’roll band, wearing gold lame jackets and channeling Chuck Berry and Little Richard tunes. When his brother brought home an album by blues legend Robert Johnson, Roy’s love affair with the blues, and specifically the slide guitar, was kindled. Over the decades, he’s played on movie and television soundtracks, shared duets with such greats as John Lee Hooker and Allen Toussaint (and toured for 4 years as featured guitarist and vocalist in Hooker’s band), and teamed up with the likes of Norton Buffalo and Ray Manzarek. Today, his distinctive style is instantly recognizable as he continues to tour worldwide.

Johnny 'V' Vernazza

Multiple Gold recording artist Johnny V’s blues and slide guitar history hearkens from the dynamic San Francisco Bay Area music scene of the 1960s, where he played with such legends as Luther Tucker and Sunnyland Slim and Elvin Bishop. Elvin asked Johnny to join the new band he was putting together , and this association led to six albums, endless touring and the #3 song in the nation in 1974, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”. That record turned Gold as did an LP with The Marshall Tucker Band that featured Johnny and Elvin on slide guitar . These days, San Diego is fortunate to call Johnny V one of our own, playing with his own band as well as appearing with numerous visiting greats.

John Nemeth

Hailing from Boise, ID, John Németh began his blues career fronting a teenaged band, gaining his early chops on the harmonica, building on the style of rootsy heroes like Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, and today has multiple Blues Music Awards nominations to his name. He performed as a tour opener for the guitar great Junior Watson, a gig that took him across the United States, to Scandinavia, and into the recording studio for his 2004 solo debut, Come And Get It, featuring Watson. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay area, he was signed by Blind Pig Records to a three-album deal and performed with Elvin Bishop and other greats. In 2013, Németh moved to Memphis and landed a recording contract with American/roots music label Blue Corn Music and released his 8th album, Memphis Grease, which won Best Soul Blues Album at the 2015 Blues Music Awards. He has been nominated for the Blues Music Awards 2016 B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, to be given out on May 5.

Sugaray Rayford

Since 2010, Sugaray Rayford has been the frontman for his band of world-class musicians, the SugarayRayford Band. He began his musical career at the age of 7, singing and playing drums in his Texas church, and his gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music and the soulful gravel in his voice that hints at his firsthand experience with the hardship of youthful poverty. As one of the lead vocalist for the Mannish Boys, he sang lead vocals on Double Dynamite, the winning Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2013Blues Music Awards. He has been a member of noted San Diego bands The Urban Gypsys and Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz, and since moving to Los Angeles, has hosted the Blues Jam at Cozy’s, sat in with numerous well known blues artists, has sung vocals on film and TV soundtracks, appeared at too many festivals to name, and made his stage debut starring in the Tony award winning play “Ain’t Nuthin’ But The Blues” at the Portland Center Stage in Portland OR. performing with the Broadway cast. When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it.

Curtis Salgado Blues Band
Curtis Salgado Blues BandBlues
With a career spanning forty years, award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist/harmonicist/songwriter Curtis Salgado is a one-of-a-kind talent whose music is as compelling as his story. From co-fronting The Robert Cray Band to leading his own band (and recording nine solo albums) to helping transform John Belushi into “Joliet” Jake Blues to touring the country with Steve Miller and Santana, he is widely acknowledged as a true musical giant. Salgado earned a reputation for high-intensity performances and a repertoire inspired by his encyclopedic knowledge of soul, blues and R&B music. He won the 2010 Blues Music Award (BMA) for Soul Blues Artist Of The Year and went on to win the award again in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 he also won the coveted BMA for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year—the highest honor the blues world has to offer—and took the statue for Soul Blues Album Of The Year for his Alligator debut, Soul Shot. The Beautiful Lowdown, Salgado’s new Alligator album, is Salgado’s most adventurous release to date, writing or co-writing the entire album himself and blending classic soul sounds and funk grooves with up-to-the-minute lyrics.

The 44's with Kid Ramos

Los Angeles-based The 44’s—Johnny Main, Mike Hightower, and Jason Lozano–are among the brightest rising stars on the current American blues roots scene. Fabulous Thunderbirds alumni Kid Ramos, is a much sought after guitarist, singer and songwriter, whose bio also includes work with James Harman, Room Full of Blues, The Mannish Boys and Fabuloco. Together, the raw rough and tough sounds generated by these four expert musicians demand to be heard by blues music fans everywhere. They evidence a genuine gift for creating blues in the moment while at the same time showing loyalty to their roots, and this has made them a favorite band of club and festival crowds across North America. Playing vintage instruments, they command audiences with their in-your-face, yet highly contagious, musical sound, garnering a whole new generation of fans, while continuing to impress long-standing ones.

Casey Hensley Band

Performing since she was five years old, and a former “Disney kid” who grew up in the entertainment industry, Casey Hensley is an accomplished vocalist. When she’s not recording for the Universal Movie Department, she fronts her own band, in which her powerful voice does total justice—and then some—to every blues, soul or rock ‘n’ roll song she belts out.
Sara Petite
Sara PetiteCountry
Winner of the 2012 prestigious Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and a San Diego Music Awards winner, Sarah Petite’s country-styled music revives fond memories of history, home and travels, inspired by broken hearts and those full of hope. Her Circus Comes to Town has been named a 2016 Finalist in the Americana Category of the International Songwriting Contest.
Saturday May 7 @ 2:50 PM – Jon Atkinson & Friends Blues All Stars

Jon Atknison

Although only in his mid-20s, “Big Jon” Atkinson has played with some of the biggest blues stars, and, with an innate feeling for the blues of someone much older and experienced, he’s.been making a name for himself in local blues circles for his smokin’ harmonica and guitar playing, as well as attention-grabbing vocals.

Rick Estrin

Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward. The Associated Press calls his harp playing “endlessly impressive” and he’s known for serving up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll.

Kid Andersen

In 2001, at age 21, Andersen moved to the United States from Norway, joined blues frontman Terry Hanck’s band, and quickly became a figure on the West Coast blues scene. Andersen later played in Charlie Musselwhite’s band and got a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Award) for best contemporary blues album for Charlie Musselwhite’s Delta Hardware. Then, when Little Charlie Baty retired from touring, Andersen took his place as guitarist in the Nightcats, and the new name of Rick Estrin & the Nightcats was formed. Andersen has also done extensive touring with Elvin Bishop on the Red Dog Speaks Tour.
Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing Orchestra
Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing OrchestraBoogie Woogie
San Diego’s Queen of Boogie Woogie, has amazed audiences all over the world with her unique style and phenomenal left hand. She’s made her mark with her high energy band, the Motel Swing Orchestra, and her flashy boogie woogie stylings and has performed with many of the legends of the boogie genre, playing double piano with Marcia Ball, Hadda Brooks, Sonny Leyland, Steve Lucky, Deanna Bogart, and many, many more. Sue has won numerous awards and has even been honored by the city for her cultural contributions by having a day named after her (March 25th, 2008). Sue Palmer’s Motel Swing Orchestra is one motel you definitely want to check into.

Whitney Shay

Whitney Shay has been making a name for herself crossing multiple genres, singing tunes that audiences and dancers can’t seem to get enough of! Whitney has been nominated by the San Diego Music Awards for “Best Blues Artist”, “Best Live Performer”, and her debut album, Soul Tonic was nominated for “Best Blues Album”. In 2015 Shay began her international touring career singing Rhythm & Blues in Brazil at South America’s Largest Blues Festival, Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, with acclaimed Brazilian Blues guitarist Igor Prado.

Jr Watson & Billy Watson

Jr Watson & Billy Watson to lead a Kazoo Parade. Billy Watson and the International Silver String Submarine Band is an improvisational, all-star cast of musicians, hand-picked from the California music scene. Harmonica player Watson is an entertainer extraordinaire, capable of throwing down a show that proves that, ultimately, blues music is all about having some fun, dancing, and forgetting about life’s worries. Since all members of the Band also work with their own groups, the “Cast” has been known to change often, adding mysterious excitement and spontaneity to every performance, while NEVER losing the highest of musical standards and professionalism.

FESTIVAL HOURS

Thursday, May 5 - 6:00 - 10:30 PM
Concert with headliner C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band; Opening Bands - Todd Wait's Pigpen & The Palominos

Friday May 6 - 3:30 - 10:30 PM
Gator By Night- "It's a Party" with
Zydeco, Blues, Cajun, Swing & Rockabilly on Three Stages

Saturday May 7 - 10:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday May 8 - 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Full Festival - A zesty gumbo of music, food and "joie de vivre" (a delight in being alive) with 90+ performances, dance lessons,
activities for kids, Cajun cooking demos and southern culinary
delights including 10,000 pounds of fresh, live
crawfish straight from Louisiana.

Visit The Festival Site! GatorByTheBay.com



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