KSBR birthday bash

Here’s a question for jazz fans: what’s better: eating dinner with Joe Sample and Max Bennett, or standing three feet away from them as they jam? Fortunately, I don’t have to answer that question because I got to do both.

Under partly cloudy skies, the Bash celebrated its 19th incarnation at its new home, the Village Green in Mission Viejo. The new venue not only offered concert goers a much larger area than the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, but also brought the event back to its home town just in time to celebrate Mission Viejo’s 20th anniversary as an incorporated city.

“Th[is] concert was one of the best musically in the nineteen year history of the Bash,” Terry Wedel, Saddleback College Director of Radio Operations said. “It was great bringing the Bash back to our home town especially since Mission Viejo [is] celebrating its twentieth anniversary.”

With over 25 headliners and a veritable stable packed with local and upcoming artists, even the most voracious jazz fans went home full. Performances featuring the likes of Nick Colionne, Jessy J, Brian Simpson, Derek Bordeaux, Richard Smith, Max Bennett, Michael Paulo, Billy Mitchell, Jackiem Joyner, Sara Gazarek, Greg Adams, Dan Siegel, Steve Oliver, Nils, Michael Manson, Steve Ferrone, Brian Bromberg, Greg Vail, Ron Powell, Rob Whitlock, Blake Aaron, Evan Stone, Johnny Blas, Keith Smith, Shannon Kennedy, Chris Clark, Mombo Hernandez, Donnell Spencer, Tim Landers, Nate Scott, Gerard Hagen, Joey Sellers and, Rafael Feliciano, lasted from mid-afternoon well into the evening, and offered a continuous and eclectic mix of smooth jazz originals, interpretations, jams and standards. Max Bennett, who happened to be celebrating his 80th birthday, also gave the crowd a special treat when he teamed up with Sample (who had flown in from South Korea the night before), Jessy J, Greg Vail, Tony Guerrero and Richard Smith for a spirited rendition of the Crusader’s classic “Put it Where you Want It.” Jessy J thrilled spectators when she strolled through the group playing her composition “Tequila Moon,” the #1 most-played smooth jazz song in the U.S. at that time.

The event had major support and sponsorship from the City of Mission Viejo, Downey Savings, Cox Communications, Oceans 33 Restaurant, Salt Creek Grill, and the Laguna Hills Holiday Inn. Other sponsors included Effective Events, Orange Coast Magazine, White Barn, Universal Press, Miner Works of Art, Saaga Vodka, Persiano Events, Travel Host, Bens Electrical, Sign-A-Rama, Blue Moon Limo Services, Donna B’s, Gioia Luisa, Welcome Express, Orange County Online Resource, Dana Point Chamber, Mc Cool Flowers, Kabloom, Home at Last, Aqua Mantra, Allstar Music Cruise, Spaghettini, BBJazz, Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters, South Orange County Buzz, and Bob James Art of Wine.

The 2009 KSBR Birthday Bash has already been scheduled for May 24. Mark your calendar, get out the lawn chairs and picnic basket and get ready, as next year promises to be even better! For more information contact KSBR through their website at: www.ksbr.com.

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