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June 17, 2009 > Tuning up for summer

Tuning up for summer

By Julie Grabowski

The beat is back in Union City as the Summer Concert Series kicks off June 20th in Old Alvarado/Cesar Chavez Park. In conjunction with the year-round Farmers' Market, summer Saturdays invite you experience "A Taste of Culture" with diverse offerings of fresh food and local music.

Operated by the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA), the Union City market is a thriving source of fresh produce from the fields and orchards of California farms. The welcoming tents of over 30 vendors tempt with cherries, navel oranges, lemon grass, onions, raspberries, eggplant, Japanese yams, Taro root, mushrooms, and dried fruits and nuts that arrive each week from Hughson, Sanger, Watsonville, Orosi and other farms in the Central Valley. Tamales Martha Claudia, The Hummus Guy, and Gold Rush Kettle Korn provide some of the delicious specialty foods on hand. PCFMA's information center provides pamphlets on their organization and California grown food, and offers an array of recipes to liven up your table.

The 10-week concert series weaves together a variety of musical styles from Bay Area musicians, from the familiar worlds of jazz, rock, and Latin, to the lesser-known territories of electric gypsy rock and South American grooves from newcomers Electrika and Mucho Axe. Recreation Program Coordinator Jesus Garcia is responsible for the task of narrowing down hundreds of submissions to the handful of bands that will best fit the series. "I try to get a little bit of everything," says Garcia. While he likes to keep popular sounds such as Latin music on the bill, Garcia also tries to work in "different music" as well as community voiced interests, which country fans will see in this years' appearance of Twang Ditty. The lineup works out to an even split of newcomers and old favorites; concert staples Pep Sounds and Mariachi San Jose will be returning to the stage, along with the glitzy rock n' roll of CoverGrrlz.

Embarking on its 12th year, the goal of the Summer Concert Series remains unchanged: simple enjoyment and community support. "We want to draw people over to the Alvarado side of town," says Garcia. "Bring business to local businesses." He acknowledges the great partnership of PCFMA and co-sponsors of the event, Union City Leisure Services and Paddy's Coffee House in making Saturdays a success. Whether interested in orchids, olives or oysters, radishes or rock, country or carrots, there will certainly be something to fit every fancy on Saturdays in the park.

For more information about the Summer Concert Series contact Jesus Garcia at (510) 675-5482. To learn more about the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association visit

Summer Concert Series and Farmers' Market
Saturdays, June 20-August 22
Farmers' Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Concerts 10 a.m.-Noon
Old Alvarado/Cesar Chavez Park
3871 Smith Street, Union City
(510) 675-5482

Concert schedule:
June 20: Pep Sounds (Cool Jazz)
June 27: Mariachi San Jose (Regional Latin)
July 4: Lakay and Mystic Man (Reggae, Fusion, Latin, Calypso)
July 11: Grupo Coimbre (Salsa, Meringue, Tropical)
July 18: Electrika (electric gypsy rock)
July 25: Rewind (Rock 'n Roll)
August 1: Twang Ditty (simple honest country)
August 8: Andy Allo: Alternative, Hip Hop, Soul)
August 15: CoverGrrlz (rock hits with a glitz)
August 22: Mucho Axe (South American World grooves)

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