Music News & Reviews

L.A. bands coming to Los Osos for rock festival to benefit school music programs

Cassette Culture performs at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. The rock band will take the stage Saturday, April 1, 2017, at the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos as part of the inaugural Rock N’ Music Festival.
Cassette Culture performs at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. The rock band will take the stage Saturday, April 1, 2017, at the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos as part of the inaugural Rock N’ Music Festival.

Get ready to rock out for a good cause.

Some of Los Angeles’ hottest acts will be on hand for the first-ever Rock N’ Music Festival on Saturday at the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos. It’s a fundraiser for Morro Bay/Los Osos Music Boosters, a nonprofit group that supports band and choir programs at Morro Bay High School and Los Osos Middle School.

“Our goal is to keep music education in school,” explained Music Boosters member and concert organizer Rob Meives, whose 16-year-old daughter, Raven, attends Morro Bay High.

Headlining the afternoon Rock N’ Music Festival is Cassette Culture, a rock band based in Long Beach.

“They’re really good. They’re inspiring,” Meives said, noting that the quartet, which consists of three first-year college students and a high school senior, has played some of Los Angeles’ best-known venues, including the Troubadour, The Viper Room and Whisky a Go Go. “They’re fantastic.”

Also lined up to play is Los Angeles band Fire, known for its high-energy blend of rock, soul, blues and funk.

“They’re just great, great humans,” Meives said of the band’s four members. “They’re really excited to come up and inspire some kids and say, ‘Yeah, you can do this for a living.’ 

Also featured are three solo acoustic acts: Leah Martin-Brown, frontwoman of Australian hard rock band Evol Walks; guitarist and singer August Zadra, who tours with Styx founding member Dennis DeYoung; and Monte Pittman, best known as Madonna’s guitarist.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some sort of all-hands jam that happens in the middle of all that,” Meives said. “Somebody’s going to be playing a song and someone’s going to walk up and go, ‘I’m going to sing on this.’ 

If circumstances are right, Meives might even grab his guitar. An engineering project manager for Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable, Meives moonlights as a member of the production team running Whisky a Go Go’s Ultimate Jam Night weekly concert series.

Students will take the stage during intermissions at the Rock N’ Music Festival. There will also be raffles featuring music-related items, including an OLP Ernie Ball baritone guitar, with wine, beer and food available for purchase.

Meives said the Morro Bay/Los Osos Music Boosters hope to raise about $10,000.

He said the group generates about $50,000 annually to supplement funds from the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. That money pays for everything from musical instruments to transportation and venue rental fees to uniforms, dresses and tuxedo rentals.

The group also hires guest composers to work with students.

“It’s amazing the amount of real talented composers they get,” Meives said.

As the boosters’ main fundraiser, the Rock N’ Music Festival replaces Bands on the Run, a popular race that featured runners pounding past live musicians.

“We decided to shift focus” and return to the boosters’ key mission of music, Meives said.

“It’s an important program to a lot of students and a lot of parents,” he said, which is why the boosters want to get audience members involved. “We need their support to continue the support we’ve been giving.”

Rock N’ Music Festival

Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave., Los Osos

$25, $20 under 21

www.facebook.com/rocknmusicfestival

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