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The Ray Charles Project

w/ Special Guest Linda Tillery


In tribute to the genius of Ray Charles, a swinging sextet of outstanding Bay Area musicians offers their take on some of the highlights from Ray’s amazing songbook. A band of prominent musicians is perpetuating that legacy and bringing his music to San Francisco. The band is a meeting of elite jazz and blues musicians including 11-time GRAMMY® Award winner and Santana vocalist Tony Lindsay, noted Bay Area guitarist Chris Cain & soul filled vocals from Glenn Walters. A talent-packed rhythm section will back them, including Hammond B-3 player Dave Mathews, bassist DeWayne Pate and drummer Deszon Claiborne.


Linda_Tillery_3Before becoming a prominent figure in women’s music in the 1990s, San Francisco native Linda Tillery began her singing career in the 1960s with the gender-integrated psychedelic/soul band the Loading Zone, which was modeled somewhat after Sly and the Family Stone. After two albums with that band, Tillery released her solo debut, Sweet Linda Divine, on CBS in 1970 to enthusiastic reviews and high praise. She spent most of the ’70s singing and playing drums on over 40 albums. and became a staff musician and producer at Olivia Records, She won a Bay Area Music Award for Best Independently Produced Album; Tillery has twice gone on to win Bay Area Jazz Awards for Outstanding Female Vocalist.


Café R&B


CAFE R&B sound is firmly rooted in electric Blues, but theirs is a tapestry of Blues, Rock, Jazz, R&B, and Americana.  Hailing from Los Angeles, Cafe R&B features the raging female vocalist “Roach” and the blazing lead guitar of Byl Carruthers. They have a large cult following in the US and Europe. They have released 3 Critically acclaimed Albums, and their fourth disc: American Music was released in May 2013.

“Imagine Etta James riding a Harley out of an active volcano, and you’ll have some vague inkling as to the vocal power emanating from ‘Roach’, the front woman of L.A. blues and groove unit Cafe R&B. But don’t take our word for it; the group has earned raves from the likes of Ike Turner and Buddy Guy, who’ve seen a few blues acts in their day… Roach has found the perfect musical counterpoint in the scorching leads of Byl Carruthers, and the ultra -phat organ and piano work of Harry Cohen.” -HITS Magazine


“Knocked me on my butt. I ain’t seen shit like that since me and you-know-who” – Ike Turner


Ferocious Soul Stew. When lead singer Roach hits fever pitch, or sinks to a conspiratorial coo over the funk-happy chassis of her band, the world goes away…” – Dick Shurman, Blues historian


James Harman & Friends


John HarmonThrough his long career starting in the early 60s,  Alabama-born blues legend James Harman has built up an enormous song catalog and had 20 of his original songs used in movies and television. None other than the great Cub Coda wrote. “With roots in the deepest of blues harmonica sources (Little Walter, Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson), Harman scores consistently with genre-correct original material as well.”


He has been nominated for 20 pestiferous W. C. Handy (Blues Foundation) awards. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he is the harmonica player of choice on many ZZ Top releases, as well as live with them on many international TV shows. James Harman has had 33 releases, on many different labels; he currently tours every spring, summer and fall, working in as many as 29 countries. Harman was nominated for a Grammy Award, and won two Blues Music Awards for his contribution to the Blind Pig release, Remembering Little Walter in 2014. He is a one of a kind song writer, producer, musician, showman, vocalist and internationally known bluesman.

Island of Black & White


Island of Black and White. Founded in the Foothills of El Dorado…. Their music is a sweet, humble yet raw blend of acoustic rock, funky reggae, and soulful blues. It is a mixture like no other. They exert high energy performances… . With over 40 originals, the unique sound of Island of Black and White today captures the attention of those young and old: with Chris Haislet on guitar, keyboard, accordion, melodica, flute and vocals, Nawal Alwareeth on drums and vocals. It is apparent for anyone watching, that the band shares an immense love for music. Not only does the band enjoy playing, but their incredible performances engage all who listen; and the energy is shared with the entire crowd.


“If you are already sick of the cold and want to feel as if you’ve stumbled into a magic portal of summer love, look no further than Island of Black & White. This incredibly talented local act will blow your mind oh-so-gently with the smooth rhythms of Nawal Alwareeth and Chris Haislet’s angel-kissed booming vocals. This funky, folky, soulful, acoustic blues duo breaks my heart in the best way every time…” -Rob Brundage,


Zach Waters Band

This high energy Blues/Hard Rock trio thrills audiences of all ages. They came out of the Sacramento Blues Society’s Blues in the Schools after school program at Woodcreek High School, and came to their own very quickly with the force of a Tsunami taking Sacramento by storm. Their shows are a mix of the new and the old with a perfect blending of the two.  The band includes Jacob Hummer on drums, Reilly Olsen on bass, and Zach Waters on guitar/vocals. Jacob is 18 years old and is a freshman at Sierra College, Reilly is 16 years old and is a junior at Woodcreek High School, and Zach is 17 years old and is a senior at Woodcreek High School.


The Zach Waters Band has many influences including Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and are only a few of the groups that have inspired the band. Known for their stage presence and blues blistering rock and roll, the Zach Waters Band never fails to put on a good show.


“Don’t let their age fool you, these guys have the soul and talent of experienced players” ~ David Alcock – Blues in the School Program Director


Gayiel Von – Emcee


Gayiel VonnMiss Von is returning to Sacramento after living on the Mendicino coast for the past 4 years. Miss Von has been called “The Reigning Queen of Cabaret” in the Sacramento region for many years having performed to sold out crowds at Faces, Club 21, The Delta King and others. She has been a champion for many local and national LGBT causes and a well known performer at Freedom Fair and The Rainbow Festival.

















The Ray Charles Project

Cafe R&B

James Harman

Island of Black & White


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