It’s tough not to be impressed by Fenix, Merl Saunders Jr.’s place in San Rafael. In addition to offering the North Bay fine cuisine and drinks in a companionable atmosphere, the nightspot also has a thriving music calendar with an emphasis on blues, R&B and jazz. Consider this weekend’s lineup, for example.
Get ready to sing “Happy Birthday” Friday night as Fenix hosts a birthday bash for Bay Area blues staple Alvon Johnson. That’s followed on Saturday by an evening of Latin jazz, Brazilian and funk rhythms as veteran guitarist Roy Obiedo performs with Mistura Fina. The group features Sandy Cressman (vocals), Phil Hawkins (steel pans), Alex Murzyn (saxophone) Bob Karty (keyboards), David Belove (bass), Phil Thompson (drums) and Derek Rolando (percussion).
Sunday morning Fenix hosts the Bluesy Brunch Benefit. The music starts at 10 a.m. and features slide guitarist Roy Rogers and special guest Carlos Reyes. Tickets are $50 and include a choice of gourmet brunch dishes and mimosas. Proceeds benefit Bread & Roses and the Ritter Center.
Bread & Roses is dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free, live, quality shows to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. B&R performances brighten the lives of children in classrooms and hospitals; inspire the lives of those working to turn themselves around in rehab centers, detention facilities and homeless shelters; and uplift the spirits of our seniors, often alone and immobile, in senior day care centers, convalescent homes and health care facilities. Ritter Center is a strategic leader partnering with the community to foster self-sufficiency for low-income families and to end homelessness in Marin County. The agency provides primary health care, specialty care coordination, integrated behavioral health services, housing assistance, comprehensive case management and safety-net services to help Marin’s less fortunate become stable and lead healthier lives.
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