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News and notes: Apple Blossom blues and celebrating Bud Spangler's legacy

Janiva Magness
Janiva Magness Janiva Magness

It’s no surprise many Northern California music fans bypass Sebastopol’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. The event’s name and attendant attractions, including a parade and petting zoo, underscore the festival’s bucolic-community feel and lead many people to assume they’d hear nothing more interesting than a local oompah band.
Truth of the matter is, however, that the festivities unfolding Saturday and Sunday at Ives Park and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts feature a handful of worthy blues and Zydeco acts. And at bargain prices, too, with admission set at $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students 11-17. Children 10 and under get in free.
Specifically, check out Gator Nation at 3 p.m. Saturday on the Back Stage and the double bill of Janiva Magness and Joe Louis Walker starting at 1:15 p.m. Sunday on the Front Stage.

Bay Area jazz stalwart Bud Spangler died earlier this year. Next weekend, some of the region’s top jazz musicians will gather to celebrate his life, music and contribution to Northern California cultural life.
The Bud Spangler Memorial Concert is set for 1:30 p.m. April 19 at Yoshi’s in Oakland. More than two players will gather to celebrate Spangler, including Taylor Eigsti, Clairdee, Mark Levine, Marcus Shelby, Anton Schwartz, Ed Reed, Akira Tana, Dave Ellis, Mike Lipskin and Mal Sharpe.

There is no shortage of websites offering reviews of the latest releases, but let me plug one you might not know about, BlackGrooves.com.

Black Grooves.org is a music review site hosted by the Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) at Indiana University. Our goal is to promote black music by providing our readers with monthly updates on interesting new releases and quality reissues in all genres – including gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, R&B, world music, and hip-hop – as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists. We feature reviews of the best new discs and DVDs, with an occasional book or news item thrown in for good measure.
Black Grooves is targeted at students, scholars, librarians, collectors, and anyone else wanting to learn about the latest black music releases. With that in mind, we’ll include recordings that are of academic interest – such as historical reissues, boxed sets, label and genre overviews – and any other recordings that get us in the groove. Black Grooves is edited by the staff of the AAAMC. Our reviewers include IU students, faculty and folks connected to various non-profit and educational organizations.

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