FIESTA MÚSICA ROUND-UPPA: There are three main stages at Fiesta every year: the De la Guerra Plaza stage, the Plaza del Mar stage down at Pershing Park, and the Mercado del Norte stage, located up State Street in MacKenzie Park. All three stages are jam-packed with dancing action all day long from Thursday, August 3 through Saturday night, August 5, and there’s plenty of music — both of the Latin and traditional American varieties — to keep taco-stuffing faces entertained, at least at the DLG and Norte stages. What follows is a roundup of the musical highlights from those two venues.
First off, in Mercado del Norte on Thursday is KRAZy Country 105.9 FM’s showcase of country music stars, which starts at 6:30 p.m. At 8 p.m., Santa Barbara’s teen sensation Rebecca Chapman will sing her country tunes. And then around 9 p.m. is the runner-up from the regional Colgate Country Showdown. On Friday, the dancing gets out of the way at 5 p.m. for countrified rock from Roy Schmeck and the Schmecktones. Then the KRAZy showcase goes down again, featuring Lauren Carse and then the winner of the Colgate competition. On Saturday, music gets an early start at 5 p.m. with Blues Prophecy and then segues into a showcase sponsored by KRUZ 97.5 FM. That’ll feature Anthony Prieto and his 14-piece band of Santa Barbara locals performing their homegrown brand of Latin-infused R&B from 6-8 p.m. Following Prieto are the Soul City Survivors, who’ll drive home their classic soul, funk, and rock into the wee hours.
Closer to downtown’s festivities at De la Guerra Plaza, the music starts Thursday night with the Andorra Jazz Band at 5 p.m., who’ll be followed by tons of mariachi, norteño, and other Mexican musical styles, courtesy of a stage sponsored by Radio Bronco 1490 AM and La Preciosa 94.5 FM. Maybe you can’t understand the words, but this’ll be the musical highlight for many a Fiesta goer. On Friday, the Repo Band warms up the stage around 5 p.m., and then makes way for the Rick Reeves Band, who’ll rock the night away. On Saturday, Seymour Duncan and Friends bust out their guitars and rip for the crowd from 5 p.m. ’til 6 p.m. or so, and then, on the stage sponsored by Restaurant Roy, the raucous rhythms of Spencer the Gardener will be unleashed ’til they kick everyone out.
Of course, you’ll find more fun music of all varieties in the alleys and on the sidewalks of town throughout the weekend, but this guide should help you plan your musical escapades a little better. So have fun and be safe this Fiesta. For more information about Fiesta, see our cover story, starting on page 6. — Matt Kettmann
FIESTA À LA SOhO: As Santa Barbara’s most reliable live music hotspot, it’s no wonder SOhO’s got a packed Fiesta schedule. Starting off on Thursday is Delta Nove, a band committed to funk, Brazilian samba, jazz, and other varied styles. Booking manager Anna Zamir explained, “They’re a really good, upbeat dance-party band. … People into jam bands will enjoy it.” Opening for the Nove will be Santa Cruz’s roots reggae calypso outfit Naomi and the Courteous Rudeboys. And rounding out the weekend will be Friday’s performance by the Soul City Survivors and Saturday’s showing by Led Zepplica, who’ll be preceded by the Doors tribute band Kingsnake. Said Zamir, “It seems like everyone is out and wants to have a good time. We’re just looking to help them have a good time with the music we’re supplying here.” — Megan Snedden
FIESTA À LA ROCKS: Rocks’ Fiesta activities begin on Thursday with quintessential fiesta-style Mexican music led by Pepe Martinez. Former song and dance Nightingale singer and current Santa Barbara City College student, Amy Nonoshita is also on the bill, as is folk/rock guitarist and singer Tony Park and Lorena Crisenberry. On Friday, Santa Barbara’s modern rock masters Magistir, who describe themselves as a “persuasive, magical stirring of the soul,” lead that evening’s jam session, which is also featuring Ojai’s big-hair-rocking Shades of Day and some solo stuff from Goleta’s Kris Angelis. That night also includes Soul Biscuit, known for belting out classics by artists like the Jackson 5 and The Temptations in a garage-rock style. Dylan Schmidt, Change, and 7-FI are all booked for Saturday, so expect killer drums from Schmidt, ’80s party music covers by 7-FI, and beats and rhythms you’ve probably heard sampled by some of your favorite current pop artists in their original form by Change. — Hudson Hornick