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Featuring Mitch Kashmar, Aki Kumar, Gary Smith, Andy Santana

Saturday, October 13 @ 7 pm

The second annual “Harmonica Slapdown” will feature four of the top, well-known harmonicists in the country that includes the amazing and arguably the best harmonicist on the west coast Mitch Kashmar! Aki Kumar another west coast harmonica giant might have something to say about that, equally showered with praise and admiration. Gary Smith is a west coast legend, and ain't nobody's second anything. Last but not least, Andy Santana (the Aztec Warrior) ain't gonna stand for any of that jive! The show will be very interactive, with a lot of audience participation, using a WWF wrestling theme and serious blues harmonica playing as a competition for a mock World Championship. A world-class backup band will feature Rusty Zinn on guitar, Sid Morris on piano, June Core on drums and Vance Ellers on standup bass. 

The headliner is Mitch Kashmar, a Delta Groove Music (world’s largest blues label) recording artist. He is one of a handful of very accomplished and master harmonica players who has been making a name for himself with recordings and appearances since the late 70’s. Mitch has shared the stage with some of the most influential rock and blues giants, having backed legendary blues musicians such as Albert Collins, Charlie Musselwhite, Pinetop Perkins, William Clarke, Kim Wilson, and Roy Gaines to name a few. Mitch’s wide range of musical influences is unprecedented, and his blues harp playing is second to none for creativity, drive and excitement. He's also an imaginative and creative songwriter. In 2005, just after being signed to Delta Groove Music he recorded and released, "Nickels & Dimes", garnering rave reviews. Mitch was recognized two consecutive years by the Blues Music Awards with nominations in 2006 as Best New Artist Debut and followed in 2007 as Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica. Mitch also toured with the classic 70's funk-rock band “War”, and made rock 'n' roll history appearing onstage alongside legendary British rocker Eric Burdon & War for a reunion concert held on April 21, 2008 at London's Royal Albert Hall. As our headlining musician, we are honored to present this rich and masterful talent that redefines the essence of blues harmonica.

Aki Kumar is a bonafide blues harmonica star and vocalist within the vibrant San Francisco Bay blues scene. Aki has taken off with a number of successful tours throughout the United States and Europe. Aki has a powerful and unique musical style, combining the most exciting elements of Chicago and West Coast blues. But hold on, Aki has made a big splash in the blues world with his ground-breaking record Aki Goes To Bollywood . This presents a fusion of Aki’s Hindi roots and Chicago and West Coast blues that is nothing short of sensational and just has to be heard. No matter the venue or festival, Aki has managed to entice his audience with this unique and mesmerizing fusion of Bollywood and West Coast/Chicago blues. Aki hails from San Jose, and plays consistently with the who’s who of world class musicians.

Born in the early 50s, Gary Smith is a legendary San Francisco-based harmonica player. Since 1973 he has been part of the blues tradition in the bay area, and a featured guest primarily on west coast festivals and venues. Gary and his band were the first opening act at Tom Mazzolini’s first legendary “San Francisco Blues Festival”, and was invited back many more times throughout the years. He has been a featured guest at festivals from Europe to Brazil, and many more too numerous to mention. A Hohner “Master of the Harmonica,” he is considered to be one of the rare "big tone" harmonica players and delivers world class blues no matter whether in a smokey bar or a large festival.

Andy Santana is a Delta Groove Music recording artist. On October 16, 2015, his new CD "Watch Your Step" released worldwide and early after its release garnered rave reviews. With 35 years’ experience fronting bands in Northern California, Andy has been a featured artist in venues as varied as the Monterey Blues Festival & Monterey Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival, the Filmore, the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Battle of the Harps Victoria Theater San Francisco, San Jose Jazz Fest, the Shoreline Amphitheater, venues from Seattle to Belgium and many, many more.


$40 Zone 1 (includes a 1 year membership to Sacramento Blues Society)
$35 Zone 2

Event Length

3 hours and 15 minutes, with an intermission

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