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Monday, March 9, 2009

Yuma Sun writes about Blues & Arts 2009


Seaside town in Mexico hosts popular fiesta

BY DARIN FENGER, SUN STAFF WRITER
March 8, 2009 - 5:58PM

 Yuma Sun - Yumans are invited to head south of the border later this month for a day of music and art in San Felipe, Baja Calif.

  The seaside town will host its third annual Blues and Arts Fiesta on March 28.

  Eleven bands and 60 artists hailing from both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border will be showcased in the popular event.

  San Felipe is located along the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of Mexicali, Baja Calif.

  The Blues and Arts Fiesta is a major fundraiser for the San Felipe Lions Club. The nonprofit group uses proceeds from the event to support a home for abused and abandoned children in San Felipe, according to Kathy Preppernau, a spokeswoman for the club.

  Preppernau said the event offers "amazing talent all encapsulated in cool sea breezes and majestic mountains."

  The outdoor concert and art show will take place at the San Felipe Baseball Field. The fun will begin at 10 a.m. and the bands will play until 11 p.m.

  Tickets are $20, but VIP packages are available, too. For tickets and information on border crossing and accommodations, go to BluesAndArts.com on the Web.

  Many of the bands slated to perform have earned numerous honors in Mexico, and U.S. performer Gino Matteo, for example, was named Best Blues Guitarist at the Guitar Center Hollywood during the King of the Blues competition in 2006. Matteo has opened for B.B. King.

  The band Vatos Locos was the 2008 winner of the Mexico Readers Poll, while Johnny Mastro & Mama’s Boys are past winners of LA Music Awards' Best Blues Band, and Michele Lundeen & Blues Streak has been nominated numerous times for San Diego Music Awards.

  To see the full lineup of bands, go to the event's Web site.

  Art forms on display - and available for sale - will include Mexico's famous string and wax paintings by the Huichol Indians and pottery made by the local Pai Pai Indians. There will also be numerous painters, joined by photographers and jewelry makers.

  "This event provides a unique opportunity to help people and a community, while listening to amazing music and seeing spectacular art," Preppernau said. "We get a large influx of people from the U.S., especially those that live within driving distance, but many who fly to San Diego and drive from there." 

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Darin Fenger can be reached at
dfenger@yumasun.com or 539-6860.