California State University East Bay

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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Local Bay Area Festival Preserves the Good Ole’ Blues

This years Blues Festival served as a means of support for Castro Valley community organizations and schools.

Hundreds of Bay Area citizens gathered at Rowell Ranch in Castro Valley last Sunday for the third annual Valley Blues Festival, where attendees enjoyed the summer weather, gave back to the community, and listened to the good ole’ blues.

This year’s blues festival provided family and friends a community celebration with live entertainment, an assortment of local vendors, smoky barbeque, and activities for all ages.

Hosted by the Castro Valley Rotary Club in conjunction with several local East Bay merchants, the festival served as a way to build bridges between various fundraising groups as well as bring the community together.

“[The Rotary Club] finds the sense of community very important,” said co-chair of the festival Steve Ontiveros.  “In addition to bringing the community together it’s very beneficial to have a fundraiser for the rotary club and other notable Castro Valley foundations.”

All proceeds from the festival went to community organizations for the purpose of funding a wide variety of causes throughout Castro Valley, including Castro Valley schools, Eden Medical Center Foundation, and the Castro Valley Library.

Among the organizations in attendance at the festival were Save Our Schools Castro Valley and The Castro Valley Sports Foundation, who both provided the food concessions for the event.  All proceeds of both food booths went to their respective foundations.

The festival headlined three bands—“The Solmates,” “Georgi and the Rough Week,” and “The Daniel Castro Band”—who performed both original and borrowed renditions of blues hits throughout the day’s event.

The bands featured are no foreigners to blues celebrations.  Members of the bands have played at blues festivals around the world and were highly anticipated by several fans in attendance.  Attendees danced and clapped to the walking bass lines and soulful melodies of the band’s music.

Despite the Bay Area’s love for blues, The Valley Blues Festival is one of few remaining blues festivals in the neighborhood.

Aside from the San Francisco Blues Festival and San Jose’s Blues Week, the Castro Valley festival is the only event keeping blues music alive in the East Bay.

Valley Blues Festival attendee George Dickenson has been a Bay Area resident for over 30 years and has noticed a decline in the number of local blues festivals over the years.

“It’s great that the rotary club started this festival three years ago,” said Dickenson.  “My wife and I have always been big fans of blues music and now we can look forward to a festival that honors it every year.”

The Castro Valley Rotary Club started the blues festival tradition to highlight local blues musicians and members say they look forward to keeping the musical tradition alive.

“Georgi and the Rough Week” said it best during their performance, singing, “The blues is my business and business is good.”

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Local Bay Area Festival Preserves the Good Ole’ Blues