World-class music, food booths and an artisan fair will center around the Big Bear Lake Swim Beach Outdoor Amphitheater (41220 Park Avenue). Gates open at 1:00 p.m.; the concert lasts from 3:00 to 7:00. Parking is $4 and tickets are $35 at the gate or $30 in advance, available now at the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce (630 Bartlett Road/866-4607), at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo Gift Shop (43285 Goldmine Drive) or online. Children 10 and under admitted free of charge. Beach chairs and blankets are welcome for lawn seating, and Swim Beach will be open to concert attendees.
Four restaurants will offer freshly prepared food, including meat on the grill, salads, and dessert. No coolers or pets allowed.
Area artisans will be selling a variety of handmade products, including; ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photography, hand dyed silks, soaps and botanical lotions.
But the core of the event is of course live blues. Boogie-woogie pianist Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, considered one of the links between past and modern-day blues piano players, will open the show.
Also on the bill is the popular Southern California group Cafe R&B, with a lead singer who combines a velvety voice with an electrifying stage presence.
Headliners Windy City Harmonica Breakdown will feature a rare West Coast appearance by harmonica ace Billy Branch, a charismatic stage performer and respected music educator. Branch hand-picked fellow harpists Russ Green and Omar Coleman to showcase the top line of Chicago blues for this event. The three legends will perform original songs, classic blues tunes, and lots of improvisational jams, all backed by a four-piece band.
Zoo Curator Debbie Richardson said of the fundraiser, “We all know music is the universal language…..Music speaks to the human spirit, and this concert really helps generate much-needed funds for our zoo.”