New summer DVAC Music at the Center programs in Hemet announced

The best local art, exciting and moving musical presentations and opportunity for youth to expand their artistic talents are offered at the Diamond Valley Art Center in historic downtown Hemet this summer.

The summer programs at the DVAC are well underway with the special Jeff Tower Alumni/Friend Jam and Benefit Thursday, July 13, being presented to help the Tower family who lost their renowned musician and retired Hemet High School Band and Orchestra leader July 4 following a short illness. The family was to receive all the proceeds from the special event to help them with Towers final medical expenses and funeral arrangements.

The Craig Yancy Band will be performing live for the DVAC Wine, Art & Jazz event Saturday, July 15, at 7 p.m. on the center stage at 123 N. Harvard St. in downtown Hemet.

For more than 30 years Yancey has worked as professional musician and educator much like Jeff Tower. After a period of tutelage with Grant Wolf, Yancy continue his studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Yancy’s credits as a woodwind musician include 27 years of playing music in Las Vegas where he played in all the major showrooms, lounges, Broadway productions, clubs, studios and multiple concerts. He has performed with many artists including Joe Williams, Donna Summer, Wayne Newton, The Four Tops, the Temptations, Kenny Rogers, Mariena Shaw, Clint Holmes and many others.

Local favorite Sandii Castleberry and Hot Flash, are set to perform on the DVAC stage Aug. 5 who specializes in Bluegrass and modern folk music always with a little bit of American music history tied in for both old and young to enjoy. Hot Flash members are three female musicians over the age of 50 with a sense of humor, as their band name insinuates. Sandii Castleberry (guitar), Kathleen Johnson (Autoharp and vocals) and Anne Finch (bass and vocals) have been making and playing music in Idyllwild since 2012, and long before that in many different groups.

Joining in for many of the performances is Anne’s husband renowned jazz pianist Barnaby Finch, who contributions give the band an extra flair. Sometime Don Reed from Idyllwild also joins in on the mandolin and dobro, along with banjoist Gordon Acri. The audience never knows what a music delight they may find with the group. Sometimes even the audience gets to pick up a historic music instrument and play along..just for fun.

Two weeks later Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. the stage will spotlight the Super 300 Blues Band. Super 300 consist of Brad Radis on harp and vocals, Jerry (Short Dog) Feldman on guitar, Allan Hearn on bass and Jim Snodgrass on drums. The group performs dynamic arrangements of Chicago and traditional blues, as well as their own high energy boogie and swing-inspired original material. The Super 300 band shows the influence of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson and Magic Sam.

Admission for the DVAC’s music stage shows is $20 for DVAC members and $25 for nonmembers. General Admission tickets include two beverages. Student tickets are $10 for presale and $15 at the door. Guest may receive two glasses of wine or other beverage.

During concert breaks patrons may enjoy browsing through the adjoining Diamond Valley Arts Center Gallery where the fine works of talented local artist are on display. Running through July 31 is the David Jesse McChesney “Wild Desert” Exhibition. His photos are as breathtaking as actually being at the desert locations where they have been taken.

Another guest artists works will be announced and presented in August.

There is an opportunity for fourth through eighth grade beginning the week of July 17 to attend the DVAC Summer Drama Workshop that will be held daily from 9 a.m. to noon. More details and registration information is available on the DVAC website or [email protected] Call (951) 652-3822 for ticket information.

The DVAC board says each year we reach out for donations to fund scholarships which will allow more students to participate. A general “Donate” button is available on the website. Donors are asked to designate where the donation should be applied.

The DVAC says there is still time interested high school and college age youth to enter their art into the second Annual Art for Youth Competition. Entrants are asked to bring an “Intent of Participate” form to the Arts Center at 123 Harvard St. by the end of August. The form must be for each piece to be entered. The forms are available at the center or at or by email request to [email protected].

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