KSBR to celebrate 20th Birthday Bash on Memorial weekend

The artists all on stage at last year’s KSBR Birthday Bash (Brian Runner / www.bkrunner.com/KSBRBash2008/)

MaryAnne Shults

If you are looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend, bring your lawn chair or blanket and stake out the best seat on the Village Green in Mission Viejo’s Oso Viejo Community Park. Here you will be able to jam out with 50 musical groups playing music ranging from funky rhythm and blues to cool jazz to metro jazz in an outdoor venue. For fans who come year after year, this equates to the 20th annual Saddleback College KSBR Birthday Bash 2009.

The Bash will be held on Sunday, May 24. The doors open at 3 p.m. and the concert begins at 5 p.m.

“This year is probably going to be one of the best line-ups ever,” said Terry Wedel, director of radio operations at KSBR. “As usual, the surprise artists we can’t announce are just as impressive as the ones we’ve already released.”

Artists on the roster so far include Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Bill Cantos, Chieli Minucci, Boney James and Gregg Karukas, with more artists to be announced as the Bash draws near.

Greg Adams is the founding member of Tower of Power, a group that came out of San Francisco in the late ‘60s when groups such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Santana were emerging on the changing music scene. Afficiados of the genre have called the band “the founders of urban soul” due to their funky horn section. Add East Bay Soul’s lead vocalist Phil Perry, 2007 Soul Tracks Male Vocalist of the year, and eight others to pull together a Soul/Jazz/Funk sound sure to get the audience on its feet.

The KSBR Birthday Bash began in 1989 as an informal gathering and fundraiser held at the Dana Point Resort. However, a few years later, the crowd got so huge that the show had to move outside to the lawn.

In 1997, the Bash made the move to Mission San Juan Capistrano, where they stayed for the next 11 years.

As word spread, the crowds continued to grow and once again the event had outgrown the venue. The Bash moved to its present home in Mission Viejo last year, which has plenty of room to accomodate even further growth.

Wedel said that this year’s event actually commemorates two birthdays: “This year is extra special because not only are we celebrating the 20th Birthday Bash event, but the 30th anniversary of us playing jazz on KSBR.”

General admission tickets are available from the Saddleback box office, and are also for sale at Tommy Bahama in Newport Beach, McCool Flower and Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point, and the Norman Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo. VIP passes are also offered, which include stage-front reserved seating, reserved parking adjacent to the venue and more. VIP Platinum and Gold seats are available at www.KSBR.org or at the box office.

KSBR (88.5-FM) is a commercial-free contemporary jazz and community information station serving Orange County from Saddleback College.

In addition to training Saddleback’s communication arts students, KSBR is a community service station focusing its attention on Orange County news, traffic, weather, and entertainment. Its primary format is contemporary jazz, but it also has weekend specialty shows featuring other musical styles like reggae, folk, ragtime, rock, Latin jazz, blues, and hip-hop music.

Visit their Web site at www.ksbr.org for information on the Birthday Bash, a live, to-the-minute program schedule, and links for those who like to listen to smooth jazz via a stream on the Internet.  In addition, for students considering a career in radio broadcasting, Saddleback recently launched OCRockRadio.com.

Listen to live, streaming alternative rock on the www.ocrockradio.com. (Courtesy of KSBR radio, 88.5 (Terry Wedel))

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