Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise to Take a Year And Not Present the Cajun & Blues Festival in 2020

Simi Valley, CA – At a recently held Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise meeting, members voted to take a break in 2020 and not stage the two-day Cajun & Blues Music Festival.  After 30 years, club members felt that it was time to step back to reassess the event and possibly refresh the festival.  This decision was not made lightly.  The club thanks the hundreds of volunteers throughout the years who have helped make the festival a memorable and fun experience for attendees.

The Festival presents live Cajun, Creole, Zydeco and Blues entertainment on two stages, offers more than 150 food, beverage, craft and sponsor booths, and attracts attendees locally and from throughout the county. Festival profits have been donated through the years in support of charitable, educational and humanitarian causes. Thanks to the generous and vital support of our corporate partners, profits from The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival have resulted in total charitable donations in excess of $1,600,000.

We want to thank the community, the city and the Rancho Simi Recreation & Park for their support throughout the years and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2021!

2019 Performers

Jefferson Starship

Jefferson Starship

Jefferson Starship rose from the ashes of another legendary San Francisco band, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, Jefferson Airplane.

Founder Paul Kantner (who died in January 2016 at age 74) knew that combining powerful creative forces, personalities and talents could create something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Between 1974 and 1984, Jefferson Starship released eight gold and platinum albums, twenty hit singles, sold out concerts worldwide and lived out legendary rock and roll escapades.

“Jefferson Starship was my creation…and it has this nice fluidity about it that allows any number of people to come in and do things with whatever Jefferson Starship is.” – Paul Kantner

Today’s Jefferson Starship remains dedicated to breathing new life into the living catalog of the Jeffersonian legacy, going to the edge, pushing the sonic boundaries and staying true to the original spirit of the music.

Featuring original and historic members David Freiberg (also a founder of San Francisco luminaries Quicksilver Messenger Service) and drummer Donny Baldwin, along with longtime members Chris Smith on keyboards and synth bass, Jude Gold on lead guitar and GRAMMY Nominee Cathy Richardson anchoring the female lead vocal spot made famous by the inimitable Grace Slick (who invited her to sing in her place as Jefferson Airplane accepts their Lifetime Achievement Award at the GRAMMY Merit Awards Concert.)

The band keeps a hectic touring schedule bolstered by several television recent appearances including My Music: 60s Pop, Rock and Soul on PBS and live with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra on AXS Network. The Freiberg-penned 1979 hit Jane is the theme song for the Netflix Original Series Wet, Hot American Summer. In 2014-15, the band played a series of free concerts for America’s Veterans and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the US Department of Defense. Jefferson Starship has traveled the world playing in 20 countries across the globe in the last 3 years alone.


The music that defined a generation and spanned decades is alive and well and more relevant than ever in pop culture- songs such as Volunteers, White Rabbit, Wooden Ships, Somebody to Love, Today, Miracles, Count on Me, Fast Buck Freddie, Jane and Find Your Way Back continue to reverberate throughout the collective consciousness today.

Spin Doctors

Spin Doctors

The band’s Epic debut EP Up For Grabs was recorded live at Wetlands in Lower Manhattan and released in January 1991. In 1992, these EP tracks were remixed and supplemented by additional live recordings to form the album Homebelly Groove.

In August 1991, the Spin Doctors released their full-length debut album Pocket Full Of Kryptonite, co-produced by Peter Denenberg and Frankie LaRocka. Relentless touring and a wave of positive press kept the album alive into the next year, when sales began to increase dramatically.

Pocket Full Of Kryptonite was certified gold in September 1992 and received an additional boost from the band’s October appearance on SNL. Reaching the one million mark in January 1993, Kryptonite entered the Billboard Top Ten one month later.

By June 1993, the album was triple platinum and had breached the Top Five among Billboard Pop Albums while spinning off two major hit singles: “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and the No. 1 Rock radio song of 1993, “Two Princes.” Ultimately, Pocket Full Of Kryptonite sold over five million copies in the US and another five million overseas.

“[Their] popularity is based on universal rock & roll virtues,” said Rolling Stone, which put the band on the cover of its January 7, 1993 issue. “The Doctors aren’t trying to blaze new trails-they know we’ve been down this way with the Stones, Curtis Mayfield, and a few of their other touchstones. But the proof-plenty of it-is in the party.”

In June 1994, the Spin Doctors released their second Epic album, Turn It Upside Down. Once again co-produced by Peter Denenberg and Frankie LaRocka, the album featured new originals like “Biscuit Head,” “Bags Of Dirt,” and “You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast.” The band set out on a three-month headlining tour, and played to immense crowds at the Woodstock and Glastonbury festivals. Their cover of the Creedence Clearwater classic “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” was a highlight of the multi-platinum Philadelphia soundtrack.

Deeply weary of the road, guitarist Eric Schenkman left the group in September ’94-just as Turn It Upside Down was certified gold-and was replaced by Anthony Krizan for their fall tour of Europe. In November-December 1994, the Spins opened for the Rolling Stones on a series of eleven North American stadium shows. In March 1995, their album hit the one million (platinum) mark in the US, moving an additional million copies overseas.

The Spin Doctors’ next Epic album, You’ve Got to Believe In Something, was produced by Danny Kortchmar and released in May 1996; more touring followed. After Anthony Krizan’s departure, the band soldiered on with a new guitarist and a new label (Uptown/Universal) for the 1999 album Here Comes the Bride. But during these sessions, Mark White left the band. Later, Chris Barron lost his voice to an attack of vocal cord paralysis-and soon the Spin Doctors called it quits. (In October 2000, Sony Legacy released the 17-track retrospective Just Go Ahead Now.)

Mark White moved to Houston, Texas to practice and teach bass. Eric Schenkman earned two degrees from the New School University in New York before moving to eastern Canada. He has played and/or recorded with Natalie Merchant, Carly Simon, jazz composer Kip Hanrahan, Canadian songwriter Jimmy Rankin, and his own groups Cork (with drummer Corky Laing) and High Plains Drifter (with the late Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan).

Chris Barron undertook what he calls “a journeyman songwriting experience,” composing tunes with Blues Traveler’s Jon Popper and with former BMI executive Jeff Cohen. Aaron Comess produced and/or recorded with Joan Osborne, Chris Whitley, Mark Cohn, Rachel Yamagata, and Bilal, among others. He is one-third of the New York Electric Piano Trio, and appears on the albums New York Electric Piano Trio, War Oracle and Citizen Zen.

3 Sista Blues

3 Sista Blues

Three blues divas take the stage together for a set of rockin’ blues and rootsy soul music, backed by some of the best musicans in the business. Deb Ryder, Shari Puorto and Kelly Z are three sista’s who share a love for powerful vocals and an appreciation for each other’s original songs.

Deb Ryder
2016 and 2017 Grammy Ballot for Best Contemporary Blues Album and Blues Blast Music Award Nominee – Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Born just outside Chicago, Deb began appearing on stage at an early age at her step father’s famous nightclub the Topanga Corral, opening for such legends as Etta James, Big Joe Turner and Taj Mahal. Deb’s vocals have been described as powerful, whiskey soaked, a force of nature, reminiscent of her major influences, Koko Taylor and Etta James. Her stage presence is captivating! She takes you on a sonic journey of pure energy, serving up a savory blend of R&B, soul, and roots based blues that have garnered rave reviews and sustained chart topping acclaim throughout the U.S, Canada and Europe. Deb writes all her own material with lyrics that paint a personal and gritty picture of life and love that lead you from the very heights to the depths of the blues With her signature arrangements and impeccable songwriting, you can expect her to continue to imprint her indelible mark on the blues world now and in the future.

“Her vocal ability puts her among those great female blues singers that preceded her. There is no reason why she shouldn’t ascend to the higher ranks of the blues elite!” GREG ” BLUESDOG” SZALONY – BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE

“Glorious vocals from Deb Ryder, her performance an amazing treat from start to finish, and well worthy of your attention” GRAHAM RHODES – BLUES IN THE NORTHWEST

“This is an artist that deftly combines polished musicianship with a deep respect for blues tradition. Deb Ryder deserves a spot on every blues fans radar.” – JON KLIENMAN – LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE

“Turn her all the way up and have some oxygen or an ambulance at the ready. Whew!” – MIDWEST RECORD

Shari Puorto
Shari Puorto is an award-winning singer/songwriter, who has been Pre-nominated by the Grammy committee in 3 categories and up for nomination for the 59th (2017) Grammy’s, Winner for her song ‘Free’ in the Americana Blues, Roots song of the year category @ the 2011 L.A. Music Awards, & won Best Female vocalist at the 2010 South Bay Music Awards. You would think Shari’s been doing this forever. She has the sensibility of an old soul reborn and is undeniably passionate. She possesses a deeply expressive and soulful voice; one that catches you off guard. She is a powerful and dynamic live performer who quickly and quite naturally connects with her audience. She has been compared to the likes of Janis Joplin (due to her performances), Bonnie Raitt, and Bonnie Bramlet, due to vocal tone / ability and control. Her infectious enthusiasm overcomes you, you have no choice but to get pulled in. (She’s likely to steal your heart if you get too close!)

“Shari has always provided an honest and powerful musical experience that strikes at the core of what music is all about. Great energy, original material, a true group performance, and a talent that reaches off the stage to touch the audience.” Joe Wagoner AKG/Harmon.

“It’s my belief that women singers will be compared to her. Her chops are silky smooth, or gritty depending on the song; but they are always filled with soul. Her emotion is flat out in your face and there may be precious few that can do it better.” John Porter, Time for the Blues

Kelly Z
Kelly Z is the lead singer and songwriter for the band Kelly’s Lot. Her music weaves a variety of Americana styles on a Blues and Rhythm foundation. In 21 years Kelly and her band have released 13 CDs including a live album recorded in Brussels, Belgium. Since 1995 this Los Angeles based band has toured nationally and internationally, played and hosted countless charity events and had their music featured in television and film. The energy Kelly brings to the stage is contagious and energizes any audience. Her songs shoot straight to the heart of anyone who has ever cared about life or love and will bring a smile to anyone with a sense of humor. Kelly’s Lot has played at The Simi Cajun Blues Festival the last 2 years and returns this time with a couple friends to serve it up HOT!

“What do Taylor Swift, Adele, Madonna, and Southern California native Kelly Zirbes, of the band Kelly’s Lot, have in common? They’re all female dynamo singers who are the main showcases of their respective bands. In time, these first three have ascended the pop charts to become some of the country’s best household names. Hopefully the fourth will as well, in the dual arenas of R&B and straight blues.” – Blues Blast Magazine

“Lead by the gloriously rough and ready vocals of Kelly Z, the band performs sizzling and stomping originals, coming across like the best alternative to Tedeschi-Trucks with a dash of Bonnie Raitt, with Kelly Z using delivery, power and timing like Mariano Rivera as she belted out the blues served on a dry rub platter. YUM!…” – Jazz Weekly


ACADIANA a local Southern California band, takes its name from a twenty-two parish region of southern Louisiana, home to the nation’s largest Cajun and Creole population and the cradle of Cajun & Zydeco music and cuisine. This band has been evolving since 1992 playing the music of Louisiana greats like Buckwheat Zydeco, Dr. John, Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, Beausoleil, and many more. With these influences, Acadiana blends its original songs and style with traditional and contemporary cajun/zydeco music. Led by band leader Teresa Russell, Acadiana has been invited back to favorite venues like the Strawberry Festival and the Simi Valley and Long Beach Cajun Festivals as well as appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show for her Mardi Gras celebration. Their latest CD release is entitled “Fiddle Around At The Mardi Gras”. The “all star line up” includes Teresa Russell (guitar), Doug Lacy (accordion), Phil Salazar (fiddle), Roger Reid (drums), Rick Borella (bass), Brent Dyer (rubboard). Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!


In the year 1970, four young musicians from the South Bay of Los Angeles, came together to create a new invigorating style of music.

Exploring the possibilities of progressive, classical and world influences, yet rooted with the soul of the blues and R&B, Joseph Puerta, Christopher North, David Pack and Burleigh Drummond created a new sound that was defined and recognized as “Ambrosia”.

Originally labeled as America’s answer to the progressive invasion of such English acts as “Yes” and “King Crimson”, the group quickly proved it was all that and much more as it’s albums painted aural landscapes covering the gamut of musical styles and attracting the collaboration of such cultural icons as, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Alan Parsons.

In it’s brief recording history, Ambrosia garnered 5 Grammy Nominations, 5 Hit Singles, Heavy FM Airplay and the admiration and respect of the musical community. All this was in addition to Sold Out concerts around the world.

Today, the band is more alive and compelling than ever. With three of the original members in tact plus the addition of guitar ace Doug Jackson on electric guitar and backing vocals, Mary Harris contributing amazing keyboards and vocals, and the powerful and contemporary lead vocals and acoustic guitar of Ken Stacey…Ambrosia is exploring new musical territory and continuing to wow life-long fans and new converts alike!

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).

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Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band

Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band

Grammy-nominated Zydeco innovator Corey Ledet is a world traveler, having performed in 15 countries. He’s done numerous tours across North America, including countless festivals, private parties, major company corporate events, and weddings. In 2012, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his “Nothin’ But the Best” album, which is available on all digital distribution stores.

Having studied his Creole culture and music thoroughly, Corey’s versatile and traditional sound guarantees to please and rock any audience. Corey remains true to his roots. He keeps one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the “Best of Both Worlds.” He is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco and blues into his own unique sound.

Backed by full band or playing a solo gathering, you as a listener will always be highly entertained. He finds joy in giving his audience a true dance/music experience, so come and enjoy the music tied to tradition.

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David Sousa & Zydeco Mudbugs

David Sousa & Zydeco Mudbugs

Since 1998, the Zydeco Mudbugs have been bringing the heat of Louisiana Zydeco music to the festivals, dance halls, clubs and parties all over So Cal and beyond.

The Zydeco Mudbugs play authentic Zydeco, using the Cajun single row and triple row diatonic accordions, and with songs in Louisiana French and English.

The Zydeco Mudbugs music features the best of Zydeco from the early Zydeco pioneers Boozoo Chavis and Clifton Chenier, up to the modern innovators such as Beau Jocque and Keith Frank.

Delgado Brothers

Delgado Brothers

Driven by fierce independence, unified by family, and fortified by the brotherhood of music, the Delgado Brothers deliver the musical goods; topical anthem-worthy songs complemented by call-to-action lyrics, and East L.A. Soul.

For over 30 years the Delgado Brothers have been music makers, collaborators and ordinary citizens; raising children, grieving the loss of parents, marrying & divorcing. All of this life experience may explain their flare for illuminating everyman’s joys, sorrows, triumphs and losses.

The Brothers’ music has long been embraced both locally and globally by a wide spectrum of people undivided by culture, age or socioeconomic status.



DSB has been highly revered as the “next best thing” to Journey. They have captured the lush and signature sound of renowned vocalist Steve Perry and Journey in their prime. Complete with a band of world-class musicians, DSB remains true to Journey’s musical legacy and delivers the nostalgic concert experience that will keep you believin’!
Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers

Dwayne Dopsie & 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, 2016 & 2017.

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Lightnin' Willie

Lightnin' Willie

Lightnin’ Willie was born Willie Hermes in Texas, United States. In his early twenties, Hermes performed on the Southern Chitlin’ Circuit, as the sole white member in a rhythm and blues/funk-based band. His guitar playing was inspired by T-Bone Walker, Albert King, and B.B. King, plus Muddy Waters, whom Hermes saw perform on numerous occasions and was introduced to. He formed his backing outfit, the Poorboys, in the early 1990s, and has continued to tour, perform and record to the present day.

His debut album was released by 145 Records in 1994. The follow-up, American Made, was not issued until 1998, by which time a change in backing personnel had occured. The album also featured guest appearances by the Irish harmonica player, Hurricane Jake Fitzgerald, plus Mississippi Slim, Billy Watts, and Edward Tree. The new Poorboys included Pete Anderson, Skip Edwards, and Taras Prodaniuk. Tree produced the collection and Willie wrote all but one of the 12 tracks.

Further albums were issued including Buy American (2000), Lucky as the Devil (2001) and the live album, Got it Live If You Want It! (2004). The albums were supported by touring, including appearances at festivals such as the Edinburgh Blues Festival, Stanley Blues Festival, Maryport Blues Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival, Zottergem Blues Festival (Belgium), Bardies Festival (France), Portland’s Riverfront Blues Festival, and the Gray Sky Blues Festival (2016). Photographs were taken of Lightnin’ Willie performing with the Poorboys at the Brecon Jazz Festival, in Powys, Wales.[3] In addition, the band played in the “Ignite Series” at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in Fort Worth, Texas in 2005, where they appeared alongside Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, The Doobie Brothers, Leon Russell and Robert Cray.

By this time, Lightnin’ Willie had become an accomplished and hard-working guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, and was based in Los Angeles, California. Lightnin’ Willie’s original music has been included in soundtracks for television series/programs such as Whatever It Takes, 1-800-Missing, The L Word, and Mysterious Ways; and for film soundtracks including Route 666 (2001) and The Final Cut (2004).

Their next recording, 2008’s Roadworks Tour was recorded at the end of their tour in Europe in that year, which finished in Nottingham, England. The band was also an International Blues Challenge finalist. At the Topanga Canyon Blues Festival in 2012, some of the acts that appeared at the festival were Jimmy Johnson, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, and Lightnin’ Willie & the Poorboys. By now the Poorboys were self-billed as “the Biggest Little Band on Earth”, and consisted of Lightnin’ Willie on guitar and vocals, plus Michael Murphy on keyboards, Skip Edwards on keyboards and accordion, Jesper Kristensen or Jerry Olsen on drums, with Ron Dzubla playing saxophone.

Pete Anderson produced their latest album No Black No White Just Blues (2017). One critic noted that the album contained the track, “Note On My Door”, which “has a late-night Chicago club tone, probably influenced from his time hanging out with Muddy Waters some years ago”.

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Lisa Haley & The Zydekats

Lisa Haley & The Zydekats

Since beginning in 1995, Lisa Haley & the Zydekats are today the world’s most joyful Americana/Cajun/Zydeco band.

She is charted three times on Billboard, and nominated for the GRAMMY®

With eight albums including newest, “Joy Ride,” Lisa’s original tunes and Louisiana Bayou, Jazz, French Celtic, and R&B rhythms represent Zydeco for Sir George Martin’s film “Rhythm of Life,” American Music Abroad, Hollywood Bowl Summersounds, GRAMMY ® Museum, and festivals in over 20 countries.

This fourth-generation fiddler, dancer and three-octive vocalist is an adventure sure to make us laugh, cry… and above all, DANCE!

Among her fans are Keb’Mo’ and Little Richard.

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Mark st. Mary

Mark st. Mary

Mark St. Mary was born in lake Charles, Louisiana and has been playing the accordion and zydeco since the age of 15. A purveyor of the double pump beat ACCORDION STYLE, Mark toured with Clifton Chenier while mastering the idoms of traditional Creole-Cajun Zydeco as well as Louisiana Blues & R&B. He has performed from New Orleans to Houston and all through California where many Creoles settled during and after World War II. He has recorded for Goldband Records and performed with such notables as Doug Kershaw, Barbara Mandrell. Queen Ida and Big Mana Thornton, to name a few. He is a regular at zydeco dance halls and concerts, Mark was honored once again when he accepted the award “Best Zydeco Band of the Year” at the Bay Area Blues Society Hall of Fame Awards and was crowned the “Delta King” of Zydeco by the Isleton Crawfish Festival. ETOILE’
Pete Anderson

Pete Anderson

Long considered one of the world’s best-of-the-best Tele-twangers,  musical pioneer Pete Anderson has never been satisfied with maintaining the status quo.  The last 20 years has found Anderson focusing on his solo career – perfecting his craft & honing his musical vision.  On “60’s With A Twist” the Detroit native delivers his unique take on six classic tunes from the 60’s.  — a rich roots music gumbo of blues/country twang with a splash of jazz.  And TONE — always tone…

Pete Anderson is most widely known as the musical partner to Dwight Yoakam, (a little ‘side project’ that wound up helping to change the face of contemporary country music!)  whose records he produced/arranged/and played on from 1986-2003 resulting in sales of 25 Million+ recordings..  Anderson is well known as a pioneer in the roots-rock genre and was an early champion of the Americana movement, where he had a hand in introducing the world to artists such as Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Michelle Shocked and Rosie Flores. He is also a renowned bandleader who has appeared on “Saturday Night Live”, “David Letterman” , and “The Tonight Show” (19 times since 1986) and has played over 3,000 live shows in upwards of 15 countries around the world.   While Pete Anderson’s work as a producer/arranger/guitarist has resulted in acclaimed records in the Country, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Red Dirt genres of music, his focus as a solo artist has always been his first musical love – The Blues.

Also new for 2019, is another addition to Pete’s signature Reverend Guitar line. Reverend Guitars now has 4 Pete Anderson signature guitar models. The latest is the Baritone Eastsider. Its predecessor,  Reverend’s PA-1 — first introduced in 2010 — received the “Editor’s Pick” from Guitar Player Magazine as well as rave reviews from all other guitar magazines.  Also available from Reverend are the Pete Anderson Eastsider S and the Eastsider T.

From the blue collar, mixed race neighborhoods of Detroit to Hollywood’s early roots-rock scene and country music stardom to the new digital music industy and beyond, Pete Anderson’s talent and innovative spirit have not only set him apart from the herd, but ensure his continued presence as a bright spot in the future of the American roots music scene.

Queen Nation

Queen Nation

There is little doubt among the pure rock community that the legendary band Queen and lead performer Freddie Mercury earn high ranks as one of the most powerful and iconic groups in rock history. Queen, the kings of arena rock, performed to packed stadiums around the globe for over two decades. Upon his death in 1991, a huge void was left in the rock concert world, which to this day has not yet been matched. Queen Nation, a tribute to Queen, was formed in 2004 by DMHE Music & Productions. The mission of the show is to carry on the musical torch and pay homage to the golden age of vintage Queen concerts.

Queen Nation’s live 90-minute production of Queen’s greatest hits preserves the image, sound, and stage persona of vintage Queen. Audiences are amazed at the accuracy of Queen Nation’s live retrospective journey through such Queen songs as “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

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Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps

Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps

Teresa James has always considered herself a blue collar singer, a working musician. “I was never just going for the label deal. I came up in the world where you worked six nights a week,” she explains. Whether it was singing for tv sitcoms (“The Ellen Show”, “Step By Step”, Reba”), contributing a song to the Disney movie “Holes”, or touring with Eric Burdon. James has paid her dues in order to sing the blues. She has earned her current status as a well-respected member of the Los Angeles music scene while retaining the down-to-earth qualities which leads Mike Finnigan, a longtime friend and collaborator to say “she is just folks”. All of that dues paying has paid off with the release of Teresa’s 10th cd the 2019 Grammy nominated “Here In Babylon” on JesiLu Records.

The Houston native grew up with parents who hosted hootenannies in their home. With her father on guitar, an aunt on piano, and the guy from down the street on bass, the family filled the house with old-timey tunes from the 1930’s and ‘40’s that inspired the little girl to learn piano and guitar to add to her vocal talent.

Called a singer’s singer by many. (When the SAG Singer’s Committee got together to honor composer Randy Newman, Teresa was chosen as the soloist to perform his favorite song to him.) She has recorded with Walter Trout, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Tommy Castro, Stephen Bruton, Randy Newman, LeeRoy Parnell, Neil Diamond, and many others. She has performed live with lots of other artists, including: Al Anderson, Marcia Ball, Levon Helm, Delbert McClinton, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Curtis Salgado, The Band of Heathens to mention just a few.

Downbeat Magazine has given each of her last 4 CDs 4 star reviews (not an easy thing to get) and her latest CD “Here In Babylon” has been nominated for a Grammy for “Best Contemporary Blues Album” for 2019. Downbeat has also included each of her last few albums in their “Best of the Year” releases.

Rootstime – Belgium – Teresa James has once again created a completely timeless blues record of unprecedented levels with “Here in Babylon”, and is certainly the best thing we have heard in the genre for a long time. So it is high time to embrace this great blues singer in a much broader circle.

Blues Matters magazine in the U.K. is quoted “the girls voice does the talking alright with a knife edge when she wants rip your ears off or your heart out!”

The Pasadena Weekly said…”She is one of the most honest, gutsy, incredible singers you’ll find. The Texas-bred James takes creative chances, investing amazing soul and spirit in her music.”

Levon Helm of “The Band” said “Teresa James is a true original. When she sings you can feel it in your bones.”

Indie Music Blog Review of “Here In Babylon”

Review: “The first thing you notice about this album is the sweet and smooth voice of Teresa James, which rises above the instrumental background. The band James has assembled are some of the best in their field, and time and time again they provide her with the perfect accompaniment for her voice and the well-crafted songs. Recommendation: Get this one like there’s no tomorrow. It will appeal to just about everyone.”

Here’s a little of what Bill Bentley from Sonic Boomers said about Teresa and her “You Know You Love It” cd. “This is the stuff they don’t teach you in school….. These are the keepers of the unknown language. Teresa’s voice is all-knowing, like she’s been to the places most of us aren’t able to go. It is a mixture of rejection and redemption, … be glad there are still people like Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps who care enough to do this and share their spirits. Each and every one of them should receive a letter jacket with a big “S” for soul on it. Class dismissed. “

Teresa and her band the Rhythm Tramps are a Los Angeles based band 6 piece band made up of players that have either played or recorded with such artists as Eric Burdon & the Animals, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Reed, Lightin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Vaughan, John Martyn, Big Al Anderson (NRBQ), Johnny Nash, Taj Mahal, Jennifer Warnes, Smokey Robinson, Tom Jones, Tower Of Power, just to name a few and have had their songs recorded by Paul Rodgers, Kathy Mattea, Eric Burdon, Tommy Castro, Marcia Ball and others. As one critic said, “there are no clichés in this band”. They move easily through Texas style grease and blues into Memphis soul or New Orleans flavored grooves and all points in between with fun and abandonment.

Teresa and the band have toured all over N. America and Europe and have played such music festivals as The Nottodden Blues Festival in Norway, Moulin Osprey in Holland, Tampa Blues Festival, iFest in Houston, Tx. Main St Arts Festival in Ft. Worth, Tx. Portand, Oregon’s Waterfront Festival, New Hampshire’s The White Mountain Boogie & Blues Festival and she has been one of the featured acts on Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beaches Cruise for the past 16 years along with Delbert, John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Lyle Lovett, California Honeydrops…to name a few. She was nominated by the Blues Foundation in ’08 for “Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year”. She is now working on her 11th cd which will be a live cd from 5 nights of live recording in Los Angeles and should be out by mid-spring 2019.


Pop-up/Canopy tents are allowed if they are properly secured by weights or heavy duty stakes. The decision to not allow them based on weather conditions and to ensure the safety of all guests can be made by festival organizer’s.

Find out more info regarding becoming a volunteer at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival!


    • Location

      5005 Los Angeles Avenue
      Simi Valley, CA 93063

      (This location is the same as the 2017 Cajun & Blues Music Festival)

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