In an ongoing attempt to salvage the official Balboa Park Centennial Celebration, the city's being cool about inviting artists into the park to let them do their thing. Of course, there's no money to pay anyone, but thankfully those who end up helping out do it out of affection for the park.
Gregory Page, San Diego's most well-known troubadour, is the latest local talent to step up to contribute. He's helping organize Gregory Page & Friends, the grand finale of the Summer Centennial Music Series. Happening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Casa del Prado Theatre (1600 Village Place) in Balboa Park, Page says he's putting together a special night filled with all sorts of entertaining shenanigans.
"It'll be sort of like vaudeville," Page says. "A variety show, if you will."
Page himself will play alongside the likes of actor John C. Reilly (who's as good at singing and playing music as he is at being hilarious onscreen), the always-entertaining and lovable folklorist Lou Curtiss and singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau, plus a few other surprise guests.
"I don't know who's going to show up actually," Page giggles. "I'll be surprised by my own surprise guests. I sent my net out to a lot of different musicians."
While Page is confidently comfortable leaving some of the night's events open-ended, he says he does have some elements planned out.
"Lou will be pontificating—humorously perhaps—about the year 1915," he says. "And I'll play a few songs from the era, but not everything will be from 1915. Overall, though, the night will have the feel of an old-timey acoustic variety show. Everything will be centered around one microphone."
The concert doesn't cost anything, but folks should show up early to get a seat.
"A lot of people have asked what's the catch?" Page says. "Like I'm going to sell them on sort of pyramid scheme when I get them in there. But it's truly just a free community concert. There's no catch. We just love the park and this is a way to give back."
Soul and R&B singer Goapele is headlining the second annual Imperial Avenue Street Festival happening from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. She's a fitting performer since "Goapele" means "to move forward" in Setswana, which is exactly what the fest is attempting to do. The nonprofit host of the event, BAME Renaissance Community Development Corporation, wants people to see the greater Logan Heights community—Grant Hill, Logan Heights, Memorial, Sherman Heights and Stockton—as a corridor filled with unique cultural and culinary experiences. From Colombian to Cajun dishes, plus plenty of local arts and crafts, the free family event celebrates the diversity of the neighborhoods by bringing it all together between 28th and 30th streets on Imperial Avenue, L Street and Commercial Avenue in Grant Hill.
The Carlsbad Music Festival has quickly made a name for itself as one of the best single gatherings of diverse, avant-garde musicians in Southern California. Sure, it's right next to the beach, which often competes for our attention, but since there's music in all manner of unconventional venues throughout the town, the element of surprise and interaction is enough to keep it interesting. Pianist Vicki Ray, sitarist Kartik Seshardri and violinist Todd Reynolds headline the mainstage, while artists such as Euphoria Brass Band and Inspired and the Sleep perform in the village. It's less a festival, and more of a walk into a unique musical world. Carlsbad Music Festival takes place at various venues in Carlsbad, Friday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Aug. 30. Mainstage event passes start at $40. All other performances are free.