Ojai Valley News photos by Ken Brown
Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan got the dancers on thier feet early in the day.
Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News
The spirit of blues music came alive again Sept. 17 at the Libbey Bowl, about a decade since the Bowlful of Blues last graced that stage.
“It was great to see this Ojai tradition back in the Libbey Bowl,” said Amber Young, analyst with the Ojai City Manager's office. “It seemed to be very well attended, and it was very well organized.”
Blues lovers began arriving around mid-afternoon, Young said, for a list of performers including Mitch Kashmar, Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan, the Calire-Marx Organ Quartet, Annieville Blues, Jade Hendrix, Richard Kaller and Arthur Adams.
“It was a great lineup, and I knew they'd deliver,” said event co-organizerMichael Kaufer. “It was a respectable turnout, too, and was very gratifying to see so many people come and have a great time.” Total ticket sales were yet to be tallied, he said Sept. 19, but the Bowl looked to have been about two-thirds full.
Organized by Kaufer and the late Clarence Sterling, the first Bowlful of Blues hit the Libbey Bowl stage in 1983. This year's event was put together by Kaufer and his brother, Lanny, along with the assistance of Shane Butler's Ojai Concert Series and the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krew.
It was a community effort, too, according to Michael. “The whole community was supportive and we want to thank all the businesses and organizations that lent their support and good will — the city of Ojai included.”
Michael said the Sept. 17 revival represented a new beginning. “Our goal was to bring back the Bowlful of Blues, to bring back a positive experience and some good feelings to Ojai,” he said, “and we were able to do that.”
Not only that, but the date has already been set for the next Bowlful of Blues: Sept. 23, 2017. “It's here to stay now,” Michael said.
Local favorite Jade Hendrix takes her turn at entertaining the crowd.