Fourth Annual Baja Blues Fest Comming

Here’s the lineup, the dates, the cost
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

Open your pocketbooks! Late summer is all about the children – uniform drives, school supply drives, and that standby cultural event on which we wind-up summer: The Baja Blues Fest.

For three days, August 21 – 23, all of Rosarito will be jammin’ at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Tickets are $35 for the three day event, purchased in advance; $20 for Saturday only; $10 for either Friday night’s meet-and-greet, or Sunday’s informal jam session.

Scene from last year’s BluesFestKeeping with the tradition of Helping Kids With The Blues,  and increasing public awareness of the needs of our local children, this 501(c)3 nonprofit will donate funds to organizations that offer  food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care, rather than to a set number of institutions as in the past. This year’s sponsorship includes several southwestern television stations including KSWT 13, KYMA 11, and Estrella 13.3.

The first event of the weekend is the ever popular Meet-and-Greet on Friday night, 7:00 – 11:00 pm, or whenever the musicians peter out. The gates open on Saturday at 10:30 and again, the music will carry on until 8:00pm or whenever the musicians peter out. Sunday’s informal jam session will rock 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  All are encouraged to participate in this event.

The lineup of bands iis phenomenal this year. Headlining is Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, a contemporary blues/rock band known for their hard biting and gritty sound. They were the house band for three seasons on NBC’s late night Comedy Showcase, and Castro has opened for B.B. King during his summer concert tours.

The Backwater Blues Band is back for its third year as the host band. They are well known in the San Diego area for their original and classic arrangements, and have performed all over the world and are a key reason the Baja Blues Fest iis able to acquire such great blues musicians.

Dianna Bogart, a contemporary blues artist who has coined the term blusion to describe her sound of integrating boogie-woogie with country/jazz. This multi faceted performer is the winner of many music awards.

Missy Andersen, known in the San Diego area for her soul and blues renditions, has received several awards and was nominated in 2015 for BMA soul female blues artist.

Hola Soy Lola of Tijuana is known for their joyful rock and classic blues. Fairly new to the scene, they have shared the stage with many of the blues greats. They lead the cultural movement known as Border and Blues Jam, which promotes the blues in reviving the Tijuana music scene.

The Bayou Brothers offer a unique blend of the Zydeco and Cajun tunes of the Louisiana dance clubs. Enthusiastic performers, they bring the rousing, heart-thumpin’ musical gumbo.

Michelle Lundeen, the Queen of Steam,  blends R&B with swing in her dazzling vocals and soulful performances. Well known in the San Diego Gaslamp District, she’s been nominated for Best Blues in the San Diego Music Awards multiple times.

The BBF will also feature many local artists and artisans displaying their wares on Saturday. Food venders will include popular local eateries including Susanna’s, Bobby’s By the Sea, the Mongolian Grill, and Santa Brigida Cheeses.

Tickets are available online at www.bajabluesfest.org or at Click-On.com (KM 44.4 on the free road), or at the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

For more information: www.bajabluesfest.org; email: admin@bajabluesfest.oirg; phone: US: 1-800-520-5471; MX: 01-661-614-0513.  There are special weekend rates at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, available at www.rosaritobeachhotel.com.