Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival

Performers

Robby Krieger Band Celebrating 50 Years of The Doors Music

Robby Krieger Band Celebrating 50 Years of The Doors Music

Guitarist Robby Krieger is one of the legendary figures in rock. This celebration of the music of The Doors, which Robby had no small part in creating, is a one-of-a-kind experience that could only be performed by the man himself. Guitarist Robby Krieger proved to be an integral member of the band — helping pen the majority of the group’s songs. Born on January 8, 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, Krieger was first taken by classical music, before discovering such early rock & roll artists as Elvis Presley via the radio. When surfing proved to be taking Krieger’s mind off of studying during his teenage years, his parents enrolled him in a private school. Each night, students were forced to study in their rooms for a few hours — instead, Krieger used this time to teach himself how to play guitar. First interested in flamenco guitar, Krieger’s playing style soon expanded into folk, jazz, and blues. But it was a Chuck Berry concert that finally convinced Krieger to give rock music a go, which resulted in the guitarist trading his classical guitar in for a Gibson SG, an instrument with which he would eventually become synonymous. The Robby Krieger Band, Celebrating 50 Years of The Doors Music, will be making their first appearance on Saturday, May 27th, at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.

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The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds are more than a Rock band…they are an institution…which, in the brief period from 1963 to 1968, made an indelible mark on the “Shapes of Things” to come.

To the casual music fan, The Yardbirds are best known as the band that honed the skills of future “guitar gods” Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page; and for their slew of chart hits, including “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul”, “I’m A Man”, and “Over Under Sideways Down”. Led by core members and songwriters Jim McCarty (drums), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar/bass) and the late Keith Relf (vocals/harmonica), the band’s experimental explorations also provided the crucial link between British R&B, Psychedelic Rock, and Heavy Metal, while pioneering the use of innovations like fuzz tone, feedback and distortion. Even their 1968 break-up set the stage for Rock ‘n’ Roll’s future…leading Jimmy Page to form the New Yardbirds, later re-christened Led Zeppelin.

Reuniting decades later, McCarty and Dreja brought The Yardbirds boldly into the 21st Century with the 2003 release of the acclaimed CD Birdland, which featured guest appearances from the likes of Brian May, Joe Satriani, Slash and Steve Vai. Additionally, the band commemorated their 50th Anniversary with the release of their live DVD Making Tracks in 2013.

In 2015, Jim McCarty debuted the new touring line-up of The Yardbirds, consisting of guitarist Johnny A, bassist Kenny Aaronson, singer / harpist / percussionist Myke Scavone, and guitarist / singer John Idan to rave reviews. As Goldmine Magazine stated, “the band’s hallmark of top-notch musicianship remains. There are no passengers in this band.”

The Yardbirds — electrifying, eclectic and way ahead of their time – melded heavy rock, wild jams, and an improvisatory feel, and continue to influence generations of bands. Watch The Yardbirds in action on Saturday, May 27th at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival and experience rock’n’roll history.

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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

2017 marks the 24th anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s remarkable arrival onto the music scene. Since it’s formation in the early nineties in Ventura, California, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date. Early on, during their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world, in the midst of the grunge era no less, that it was still cool to swing. The band, co-founded by singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren, was at the forefront of the swing revival of that time, blending a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s all original core line-up includes Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and arranger). Joining them on the road are Anthony Bonsera Jr. (trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone.)

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s first phase of stardom featured an appearance in the 1996 indie film Swingers, a movie that not only launched the careers of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, but introduced Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to an audience beyond their Los Angeles base. The band’s music has appeared in countless films and television shows. The band has also appeared as special guests with many of the country’s most distinguished symphony orchestras, and has performed for three U.S. Presidents.

After 24 years, 10 records, over 2700 live shows, and countless appearances in film and television, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is showing no signs of slowing down, and is looking forward to celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. This will be Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s 2nd appearance at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. They are on the blues stage on Sunday, May 28th.

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Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

Rolling Stone Magazine has cited Mitch Ryder as one of the five most influential rock and roll singers to ever come from Detroit and has also published a special collectors issue entitled, The Five Hundred Greatest Songs of All Time which includes Mitch Ryder’s Devil With the Blue Dress / Good Golly Miss Molly; which was cut during his short stint with the ever changing back-up group The Detroit Wheels. Mitch Ryder is not an “oldies” artist from yesteryear, but is a vital and on-going part of America’s and Europe’s continuing definition of creativity at its highest levels.
A new CD will be released during Mitch Ryder’s 2017 European Tour. By the end of 2017 Mitch will have completed a new original musical stage play taken from a novel he has written called Hide Your Love Away. Come and rock with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels when he performs on Sunday, May 28th at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.

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Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles

Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux is the leader of the Golden Eagles, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe of New Orleans. In 2016 he was the recipient of the National Endowment For The Arts Award. Born in New Orleans on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941. The New Orleans Black Indians emerged in the late 19th century, appearing as various “tribes” or “gangs,” in stunningly elaborate costumes, or “suits,” that combine the visual aesthetics of 19th century American Plains Indians and Afro-Caribbean Carnival revelers. These handmade suits include brightly colored feathers, intricate beadwork, rhinestones, sequins, satin, and ruffles. Music and movement are as central to the tradition as is symbolic costuming, or “masking.” Boudreaux began masking with the White Eagles tribe as a young man of 16. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a small group of New Orleans students and folklorists worked to bring the Mardi Gras Indian tradition to a wider community. Boudreaux, and several others, eventually became nationally known recording artists by blending their folk traditions with R&B and funk.
Boudreaux’s musical career has spanned nearly a half-century. Though Boudreaux has traveled the world as an ambassador of the Mardi Gras Indian culture, he remains deeply rooted in the traditions of place and family. Today, he focuses his artistic energies on his children and grandchildren, who now form the members of the Golden Eagles. Boudreaux and The Golden Eagles will be performing on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Saturday, May 27th and on the blues stage on Sunday, May 28th.

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The 44s

The 44s

The 44’s are a Los Angeles-based band who play blues-roots-rock music. The raw rough and tough sounds generated by these four expert musicians demands to be heard by Blues music fans World Wide. The 44’s are exploding across the Blues scene as a fully formed and functional unit commanding audiences with their in your face, yet highly contagious musical sound. American Blues News Awarded the Band with The Best Blues Band of 2011 and Blues Underground Network Awarded the Band with Best Debut Album. They play vintage instruments and channel a blues style of winning quartet. For their one-of-a-kind blues, The 44’s successfully mine the tension. American Blues News Says “One of the Hardest working, hardest playing blues outfits anywhere.” Experience The 44s on Sunday, May 28th at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.

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Lazy Lester

Lazy Lester

Leslie “Lazy Lester” Johnson was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012. Leslie Johnson was born June 20, 1933 in the small town of Torras, Louisiana, near the Mississippi state border. As a boy, he worked as a gas station attendant, woodcutter and at a grocery store, where he purchased a harmonica and Little Walter’s famous “Juke” record. He learned to blow harp and strum his brother’s guitar. In the mid-1950s Lester was on the bus riding home when he met Lightnin’ Slim, who was headed to Crowley to cut a record. Lester stayed on the bus and accompanied Slim to the studio. When the scheduled harp player didn’t show for the session, Lester told Slim he could handle the harp parts. Remarkably, Slim gave Lester that chance, and he did not disappoint. A classic pairing was born, and Lester became a mainstay on Slim’s Excello recordings and his gigs. Producer Jay Miller was impressed by Lester’s work with Lightnin’ Slim, and in 1957 Lester debuted as a lead artist on Excello, recording “I’m Gonna Leave You Baby.” Miller had decided that “Lazy Lester” had more of a ring to it than “Lester Johnson.” Miller is said to have come up the nickname based on Lester’s slow, lazy style of talking. And as Lester’s said, “I was never in a hurry to do nothing.” The name’s stuck for almost 50 years now an on Saturday, May 27th, you can see him perform at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.

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Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers

America’s Hottest Accordion winner, Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin, plays a unique, high energy style of Zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.

Dwayne Dopsie first appeared at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in 2014 and he was such a big hit that he was back in 2015 and 2016. At the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in 2017, he’s performing on the Cajun/Zydeco stage both days and on the Blues stage on Saturday, May 27th

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Kelly’s Lot

Kelly’s Lot

Kelly’s Lot weaves a variety of Americana styles on a Blues and Rhythm foundation. Lead by singer/songwriter Kelly Z, the band has released 11 CDs and performed at countless concert venues and events. During their 20 years together this Southern California band has toured nationally and internationally and has been featured on many media outlets including radio, television and in film. In 2013 Kelly and her co-writer/lead guitar player, Perry Robertson, toured parts of the USA and the UK to support their acoustic release “Plain Simple Me.” They joined French artist, Jeff Toto Blues, and toured France in October 2013, August 2014 and September 2015. Their newest release, “Don’t Give My Blues Away” features the full band which includes a horn section and keyboards. Kelly continues to write and record songs including one for the upcoming feature film, “Last Call at Murray’s.” The band includes Kelly Z on vocals, Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Matt McFadden on bass, Sebastian Sheehan on drums, Bill Johnston on Sax, Dave Welch on Trumpet and Bobby Orgel on keys. Kelly and Perry write and perform with heart and an inspiring spirit. With the band behind them, the connection Kelly’s Lot makes with a listener or and entire audience is contagious.

Kelly’s Lot will lead off on Saturday, May 27th on the blues stage at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.

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Alex Nester

Alex Nester

In an industry saturated with fly-by-night singles, auto-tune madness, and packaged artist-development, Alex refuses to conform and instead brings back the musicians to the art of music-making. Her music can only be described as a Hell-hath-no-fury collection of original music chronicling her trials and letdowns with the state of music business today. But the industry is not the only factor surrounding the creation of this musical tour-de-force.

Alex’s bout with cancer has helped shape her unique sound filled with messages of love, faith, positivity, and healing while channeling the retro soul artists of the 60’s and 70’s… Which only makes sense as she is currently touring with Salvador Santana, recently toured with Tito Jackson (of Jackson 5 fame), and has opened as a solo artist for such acts as Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, The Rascals, Evelyn “Champagne” King, The Stylistics, and Dave Mason. Most recently she has added multi-platinum selling artist Rachel Platten to that list as well. Her resume already includes 12 albums, countless jingles, and over 25 theatrical productions, as well as working with established musicians such as Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Fifth Dimension, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Alphonse Mouzon, Brandon Fields, and Eric Marienthal.

As the music industry settles for what’s “safe”, Alex will continue to push the boundaries of music making. Her songs are a musical testament of loss and hope, failure and triumph. It is a promise to the listeners that her music will never be anything less than sincere and honest. And most importantly, it’s 100% Alex Nester groove!

Alex will be performing on the blues stage at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival on Sunday, May 28th.

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Jo-El Sonnier

Jo-El Sonnier

The music of Jo-El Sonnier is a way of life. Steeped in passion and relentless dedication…he has been the undisputed “King of Cajun” for the past 25 years and occupies a significant place in the rich artistic landscape of this country.

Jo-El was born in Rayne, Louisiana to poor, French speaking sharecroppers. He began to play the accordion at three years of age, first as a toy to occupy Jo-El while his parents visited with neighbors. As he grew, so did his love for the instrument and his ability to play it. Singing only in French, his Cajun heritage was very strong and clear. By the middle 80’s, Jo-El had a Grammy nominated recording to his credit with Cajun Life.

The sounds of his accordion can be heard on the albums of such great legends as Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Robert Cray, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Elvis Costello, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton among others. Jo-El has lent his talent on the accordion to more than 100 Artist records. He continues to maintain a regular schedule as a session player. In 2004, Jo-El recorded a duet with Chris LeDoux, on what would be Chris’s last album. In 2006 he was back in the studio, adding a little Cajun spice to the new CD by “Hot Apple Pie.”

In February 2015 he was awarded the Grammy for The Healing Song which he wrote with his Nashville friends Billy Henderson and AJ Masters and recorded with a veritable who’s who of Cajun and Zydeco music.

There is no doubt…Jo-El Sonnier is “The Real Deal!”

This is Jo-El’s second appearance at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. He will be appearing on both Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

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Doug Kershaw

Doug Kershaw

For those of you who may have come in late (and even those of you who may have been around a while): Just who, exactly, is Doug Kershaw? Short answer: The Louisiana Man. Slightly longer answer: The Original Ragin’ Cajun.

Douglas James Kershaw is a Cajun fiddler, singer, and songwriter who cemented his place in American popular music at the height of the ’60s counter-culture movement with two self-penned hits, “Louisiana Man” and “Diggy Diggy Lo.” Those hits combined with an onstage persona that consisted of one-third fiercely proud Louisiana Cajun, one-third Nashville country-music showmanship, and one-third reflections of Sixties’ style—shoulder-length hair, velvet Edwardian suit jackets, and wildly impassioned, energetic performances—created a recipe for indelibly establishing Kershaw’s image as “The Cajun Hippie.” In reality, Doug Kershaw was much more than that; with brother Rusty, he’d been a popular country artist from the mid-’50s through the mid-’60s, selling more than 18 million records before conquering late-’60s popular music. And while the success of the country duo “Rusty and Doug” accurately reflected a widespread Cajun embrace of post-WWII country music, Kershaw’s solo career as The Cajun Hippie bears no sign of cultural precedence or context—save for the malleability of the Cajun music tradition generally—making the distinctive Cajun musician both an anomaly and a trail-blazer for musical developments in Cajun music that would not fully surface for decades.

This will be Doug Kershaw’s second appearance at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. He will be on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Saturday, May 27th.

Cajun Trio: Michael Doucet, David Doucet & Mitch Reed plus a special Guest

Cajun Trio: Michael Doucet, David Doucet & Mitch Reed plus a special Guest

This special Cajun Trio is comprised of Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet, his younger brother Guitarist David Doucet and multi string instrument player Mitch Reed. And they are bringing a special surprise guest! Between the three of them they have multiple Grammy awards and their music styles range from traditional Louisiana Cajun to New Orleans Jazz to Blues Rock to swamp pop to Zydeco to Country and Bluegrass. When these three get together, there’s no predicting which music genre they will be playing as they can seamlessly jump from jazz to country to Zydeco to rock and back again. The 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival will be presenting the Cajun Trio on the Cajun/Zydeco stage both Saturday and Sunday over Memorial Day weekend.
Crawdaddio

Crawdaddio

Every night is Mardis Gras when Crawdaddio is in town. This band brings the spirit and rhythm of the bayou to life with their driving Zydeco beat, performing at festivals, clubs, and corporate events everywhere. For the last four years Crawdaddio has headlined Disney’s Mardis Gras Celebration at Pleasure Island in Orlando, Florida. Bring a little bit of Louisiana to your event with Crawdaddio. Laissez les bon ton roulet!! “I can’t imagine Mardis Gras without Crawdaddio. They always get the crowd going, look great, and are consummate professionals on and off the stage!”-Ron Severini-Walt Disney World Entertainment “The dance floor was packed from the beginning to the end of their set. Great music!”- Mike Maravellis/Cajun-Creole Music Festival “This is the best Zydeco band that’s ever performed on our stage!”- The Cajun House/Scottsdale, AZ. Crawdaddio will be performing for the first time at the 28th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Sunday, May 28th.

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The Bayou Brothers

The Bayou Brothers

The Bayou Brothers started in 1995 with a shared love of Cajun and Zydeco music by founder John Chambers, on accordion and keyboards, and Ric Lee, laying down Zydeco and Cajun dance grooves on the drums.

If there is a feature of Zydeco music that sets it apart, it is the relentlessly upbeat, let’s-party vibe, that permeates so much of it. The Bayou Brothers have established themselves locally and internationally since the late 90s during which time they have been honored by the San Diego Music Awards, performed in multiple festivals and recorded 6 CDs. Their latest CD is “High Roller Zydeco.”

The lineup includes Juhn Chambers (accordion, keys, vocals), Ric Lee (drums), Jack Stephens (guitar/vocals), Danny “Basscat” Perez (bass/vocals) and Judy Seid (rubboard/vocals).

The Bayou Brothers are performing on the Cajun-Zydeco stage on Sunday, May 28th at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. They will also be backing up Lazy Lester on the Blues stage on Saturday, May 27th.

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Notice – Please no Pop-ups.

This year thousands of square feet of additional tenting for shade have been added to the venue at no additional charge. Pop-ups will no longer be allowed in the festival grounds.

Festival Photos - 2017

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    • Location

      5005 Los Angeles Avenue
      Simi Valley, CA 93063

      (This location is the same as the 2016 Cajun & Blues Music Festival)

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