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Chef Ramon’s Blues Week Jam featuring Gary Smith, Sammy Varela, Dave Chavez, & Tim Richards
June 22 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us for a fabulous night at PHB in support of San Jose Blues with Chef Ramon’s Blues Week Jam featuring Gary Smith, Sammy Varela, Dave Chavez, and Tim Richards!
History of San Jose Blues Week
San Jose Blues Week began in 2005 to shine a spotlight on the 25th Anniversary of the Fountain Blues Festival presented by the Metro Newspaper. Created with the support and encouragement of Fountain Blues Festival promoter Ted Gehrke and the Associated Students of San Jose State by 90.5 FM KSJS on-air personality Ramon “Chef Ramon” Johnson, San Jose Blues Week had very humble beginnings.
The inaugural San Jose Blues Week began with the development of “Chef Ramon’s Talking Blues” 6 PM Wednesday May 10, 2005 in Hugh Gillis Hall at San Jose State. Talking Blues featured a sophisticated discussion about the state of the blues followed by live musical performances. NITECRY was the house band and the evening featured performances by Tommy Castro, Lara Price, Laura Chavez, Shane Dwight, Gary Smith, and David Jacobs-Strain. There were also complimentary hamburgers and sodas and the whole event was broadcast live on 90.5 FM KSJS. Since then Talking Blues has been held at the University Theatre at San Jose State, the San Jose Improv, and the Poor House Bistro.
JJ’s Blues Club had a week’s worth of special entertainment that included an opening night all-star jam May 10th 2005, with the KSJS promotional team adding to the festive environment that featured a slew of prize giveaways.
This all led to the 25th Fountain Blues Festival featuring the legendary Etta James and the Roots Band, the Tommy Castro Band, Chris Cain, Craig Horton, the Lara Price Band, and David Jacobs-Strain on Saturday May 14, 2005 at San Jose State University. Etta was ailing but still brought down the house!
Each year Ramon Johnson selects artists to be commended by the City of San Jose for their respective contributions to the arts. The first award winner was Gary Smith known as the “Godfather” of the San Jose blues scene. Since then award winners have included, J.C. Smith, Ron Thompson, Tommy Castro, Koko Taylor, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Canned Heat, and Elvin Bishop. The City of San Jose also issues a proclamation of “San Jose Blues Week”!
San Jose Blues Week slowly grew to include additional venues but then with the economic downturn sources of funding dried up and San Jose Blues Week was forced to go on hiatus after 2010.
Now thanks to San Jose District 3 Councilman Sam Liccardo, the Associated Students of San Jose State, San Jose Jazz, and the San Jose Downtown Association, San Jose Blues Week is bigger and better than ever, featuring over 15 venues in San Jose and throughout the greater Silicon Valley area in Northern California.
We look forward to continuing to grow San Jose Blues Week and hope that one day it will become a destination for blues fans from all over the world. If you dream, dream BIG!
Please don’t forget to support live music and the venues that host live music. And, as Canned Heat would say, AND DON’T FORGET TO BOOGIE!