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November 4, 2009 > Winter brings out the Blues

Winter brings out the Blues

By Julie Grabowski

It's not always bad to have the blues. For some it's even becoming an anticipated annual event. On Sunday, November 8, the Newark Chamber of Commerce invites you to surrender to the soulful sounds of Winter Blues 09 at Fremont's Saddle Rack.

The Blues were first introduced to Fremont in March when the Newark Chamber of Commerce partnered with Soroptimist International of the Tri-Cities to present the Tri-City Blues Fest. The event was such a success that organizers didn't want to wait an entire year to put on another show, so arranged a winter session to tide fans over until the Blues Fest returns in March. "There have not been any Blues events in the Southeast Bay and there is a huge fan base in this area that has been overlooked," says Event Coordinator Colleen Ganaye. "They have always had to go out of the area to see events such as this one. We want to keep people interested in music and have a place where they can come together to hear really super Blues."

This intent launched a thorough search of musicians in order to assemble an irresistible lineup. The resulting bill is a proud collection of four outstanding Bluesmen: leading guitarist/vocalist Coco Montoya, slide guitarist and Grammy nominee Roy Rogers, rhythm and blues guitarist/keyboardist and Newark native Ron Thompson, and Bay Area newcomer guitarist Daniel Castro.

While the Tri-City Blues Fest was a partnered effort to benefit school music programs, Winter Blues is helmed solely by the Newark Chamber of Commerce in order to help promote chamber member businesses. About 20 booths will be set up with information from such establishments as Horizon Financial, Entourage Salon, American Laser Centers, Masonic Homes, EmbroidMe, and Grocery Outlet.

Attendees are encouraged to visit booths before the event as well as during band changeovers to discover the variety of services available in their community. "The economy has hit the small businesses the hardest and marketing businesses is very expensive and it is difficult to find places where you can market your business with that personal touch, " says Ganaye. "This event will provide funds for us to continue to help the small business to market and network."

The chamber's efforts are assisted by the sponsorship of the Saddle Rack, Hilton Newark/Fremont, Kreativebones, Sign Zone, Marriott Hotels in Newark, MinuteMan Press, and W Suites. In addition to the entertainment and business booths, a variety of food will be available for purchase at the snack bar, and general attendees can also purchase the VIP dinner donated by La Pinata.

The Newark Chamber of Commerce hopes for a big turnout of Blues fans, ensuring another successful musical event and business boost. "In these tough economic times we need to do whatever we can to support our small businesses and help them in whatever way we can," says Ganaye. Winter Blues is a perfect blend of business and pleasure with an opportunity to help keep our local community strong. And there isn't a sweeter tune than that.

Tickets are $30 when purchased in advance; $35 if bought at the door. Upgrading to a VIP ticket provides a private and quick check-in line, reserved seating, and dinner. The price is $50 and must be purchased in advance. Space is limited so advance purchase is advised for all tickets. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling the Newark Chamber of Commerce at (510) 744-1000, or Colleen Ganaye at (510) 557-7025.

Winter Blues 09
Sunday, November 8
2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Saddle Rack
42011 Boscell Road, Fremont
(510) 979-0477

Tickets: $30-$50
For tickets: (510) 744-1000 or (510) 557-7025

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