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Part 2 of the Rialto Drop-In Jazz Fest Review

Sheila E.

Sheila E.

By Anthony Garcia

11174934_1607561346157968_4992549697075868977_nThe group Latin Express had just finished their performance for the Rialto Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 25th. This seemed to be the perfect time to speak with some of the musicians performing.

Pete Ortega, saxophonist performing with the Sounds of Sunrise Group. A musician “gunslinger” mentioned to me he recently was on the road with Stevie Wonder’s USA tour band. Mr. Ortega is an excellent player and a gentleman’s musician.

From The Frenz Band, Sir Ronnie Wells (guitar player) and Gabriel (trumpet player) were happy to perform at the festival and felt positive of their performance. Concert goer Gabby agreed.

The David Benoit Trio, world class musicians were absolutely amazing. The trio was on a roll when the Eisenhower High School choir stepped onstage, the rain stopped and the sky turned a beautiful spring blue with puffy white clouds. A beautiful, exciting performance. David Benoit is a class act on and off the stage.

Sounds of sunrise, aspiring performance, good music and vocals.11155015_1607561429491293_4727270569257504152_o

The Latin Society Orchestra local IE music legends have been performing for at least 30 some odd years. They are one of the Inland Empire’s favorite groups. Moe (bass player and leader of the 13 piece Latin group), mentioned his drummer Mike Coyazo has been with the band for over 20 years. Richard Ramos (horn player extraordinaire) is second in seniority. They are the heartbeat of the group. Legendary Latin Society 13 piece orchestra; well tuned orchestra, two trombones, great rhythm and singing English and Spanish.

Now to the headliners! Byron Millers Tribute to George Duke All Star Band were funky, funky, funky. The band consisted of some of the music industry’s most sought after hired guns. George Duke himself would be proud of their performance. I met Byron Miller and Sheila E. in Sao Paulo. Brazil. They both were in George Duke’s band. I was playing bass for Raul De Souza’s Jazz Funk Brazilian Band. Byron and Sheila E. were amazing then and even more so now.

10404122_1607559122824857_3304688476344126042_nThe all star performance this evening was an overwhelming musical treat. The audience seemed to be digging the tribute to the master George Duke. Byron took time between tunes to mention that Stevie Wonder was with George Duke when he passed. They were best of friends. The band played one of Stevie Wonder’s songs. Byron also mentioned he performed with Luther Vandross for 15 years.

My schedule did not allow me to catch the beginning acts of the festival, but I spoke with many people who saw the early acts snd were more than satisfied to have such an event in their own backyard.

Sheila E., one of the premier percussionists in the music world, has performed with Prince, George Duke, her father Pete Escovedo, her godfather Tito Puente, and many more legends of Jazz throughout her successful career. She is no stranger to the big stage, and took control of the final set. I have to admit the audience was graceful, patiently tolerating the elements. Rain, wind,and mud could not drive them away. Sheila E., who started an hour late on this cold, wet day, had us die hards ready and pumped up. She had an awesome backup band, catering to her every move. Halfway through the show, she stopped and asked why were there people behind the white picket fence. These were the general admission seats. She then asked the promoters if it would be OK if these people could come up to the VIP section. Soon after her request was granted. Now that’s the Sheila E. I remember. From that point on, her performance was awesome. Performance for the people.Hosted by Tommy Davidson and Josefa Salinas made possible a successful evening of important and beautiful music.

Rumor has it the next festival will be a 3-city project with the Mayors of The City of Colton, Rialto and Fontana merging for the cause.

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Applications Now Being Accepted for Opportunities to Serve on Committee Boards for City of San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO, CA. – Rikke Van Johnson, City of San Bernardino, Mayor Pro Tempore/6th Ward Council Member, would like to notify the public that there are vacancies in the 6th Ward to the following Boards, Commissions and/or Committees for Animal Control Commission, Historical Preservation Commission, and Volunteer Citizen-Based Charter Committee

The City of San Bernardino has Boards, Commissions and Committees which advise and assist the Council in dealing with specific issues. Prospective members are nominated by Council Members and appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council.

If you are interested in applying for consideration for an opportunity to serve the 6th Ward on a Board, Commission or Committee, please feel free to contact the Council Office or visit the City of San Bernardino website’s City Clerk’s page for an application at www.sbcity.org. For additional information please call (909) 384-5378.

Essence Announces ‘Peace, Prayer & Purpose’ Rally at 2015 Essence Festival

NEW YORK, NY– In ESSENCE’s groundbreaking February 2015 ‘Black Lives Matter’ issue, ESSENCE editors and a myriad of esteemed contributors focused attention on the daring modern-day civil rights movement unfolding across the nation and set the agenda for ‘What We Must Do Now’ with a bold dialogue in the pages of the magazine. ESSENCE recently announced a slate of empowerment programming and a ‘Peace, Prayer & Purpose Rally’ to bring that conversation to life during the daytime Empowerment Experience at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival, July 2-5 in New Orleans.

“Communities across the country are rallying for justice, as Black Americans face systemic inequalities and troubling disparities with respect to police brutality, employment, education, earning power, health and upward socio-economic mobility,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.  “In an effort to shed light on the issues, address the pain, explore solutions and advance the movement in these critical times, Essence is unveiling a series of powerful keynotes and in-depth conversations that will culminate in the ‘Peace, Prayer & Purpose Rally’.

The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience programming will extend the conversation on race relations; addressing where we are now and where we go from here with a wide range of the nation’s foremost leaders, activists and influencers—including Deepak Chopra, Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, Iyanla Vanzant, Donna Brazile and many more.

In addition, prominent mayors, including Karen Freeman-Wilson (Gary, IN) and Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans, LA), will join a Mayor’s Panel for a deep-dive conversation on the critical issues and best-practices in communities around the country; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, will deliver a keynote address entitled Moms on a Mission: Mothers Turning Tragedy Into Triumphant Change; and leading experts, including Senator Karen Carter PetersonDr. Steve PerryNicole Paultre Bell and more will weigh in on the educational, policy and social issues impacting our communities for a discussion on Where Do We Go From Here: Black Lives Matter.   The Empowerment Experience Sunday Prayer Vigil and All-Star Gospel Tribute round out the weekend programs with poignant moments of reflection, rededication and inspiration.

For more information about schedules, ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival, visit ESSENCE Festival www.essencefestival.com, join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2015 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.