The Rocky Tatarelli Band will be performing for the festival opening event on the veranda of the Bliss Mansion. Music begins at 4:00 p.m. with the Rocky Tatarelli Quartet, followed at 6:30 p.m. by Cherie Shipley with the Take This Band at the Governor’s Mansion.
Legendary Detroit saxophonist Rocky Tatarelli has assembled a star-studded band for the opening event, including Craig Fletcher on guitar and Tom Stryker on harmonica. For more information on Rocky, see Rockytatarelli.com.
Seating is limited. Audience is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
Jazz soloist and composer Rocky Tatarelli, originally from Detroit, has appeared on more than 30 CDs and has played with such greats as Louis Hayes, George Bohannon, Joe Messina, Roosevelt Brown, Markus Belgrave, Bobby Anderson, Orthea Barnes, George Chambly, the Chisel Brothers, and many, many others. Rocky is the 2007 Tahoe “Musician of the Year” and a 2016 Forté Award winner. He has been playing with the very best in Reno/Carson/Tahoe since he moved here in 2006. Over his many years as a performer, he has come to love many genres (jazz, contemporary jazz, Latin, fusion, R&B, rock, blues, electronic, and techno, for instance). Some of these diverse interests are reflected in his original work, much of which is thus very difficult to classify precisely.
Chromatic harmonica master Tom Stryker traces his early influences back to 1954, when he began performing with iconic “Harmonica Rascal” Johnny Puleo. A bit later, once bitten by the jazz bug, Tom has been performing on chromatic harmonica in the U.S. and around the world (Taiwan, mainland China, Frankfurt, London, to name a few), as soloist and with a variety of groups, from symphonies to harmonica trios and jazz bands, both in person and on TV and radio shows. He was also the lead player with the Harmonica Aces, featured on Holland American Cruise Lines. In recent years he has been playing throughout Reno-Carson-Tahoe with his own band, Impromptu.
Singer, guitarist, and composer Craig Fletcher started when young in the Bay Area, working light shows with Bill Graham for artists like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Having become well-known as an all-around musician, for instance with Sal Carson and the SF 49ers band, he soon had a 6-piece funk band in Oakland, Sweet Success, featuring Sam Cox, Rocco Prestia, and Mark Russo. In 1995 he came to Carson City, where he has produced highly complex studio tracks involving every instrument involved in his music. He has performed with many local musicians, most recently including 19 years at Glen Eagles, as well as festivals and community events.
Drummer and percussionist Bill Heise is from Truckee, CA, and has been active in the Reno/Tahoe/Carson music scene for over 40 years, performing at multiple venues and special events. He is regularly called upon to perform a large variety of musical styles at private events, concerts, conventions, weddings, casinos, restaurants, and night clubs. Bill has a great love for Latin music and travels south of the border whenever he gets a chance. He incorporates these experiences into his playing, adding a distinct flavor to the music. Apart from working with many of the excellent musicians in the area, Bill has also performed with The Drifters, The Four Freshman, and Lydia Pense and has been involved in a number of recording projects.
The Rocky Tatarelli Quartet’ performance is generously sponsored by Steve Brenneman.
The festival opens on Friday, August 9, 2019, at the historic Bliss Mansion, northeast corner Mountain and Robinson Streets. An art show and sale on the porch at 4:00 p.m. features artists from the Nevada Artists Association. For more detailed information, see the Opening Event page.
House tours of the Bliss Mansion (across Mountain Street from the Governor’s Mansion) are available. Please use the Elizabeth Street entrance for the Bliss Mansion Tour.
Runway mannequin “My Personal Peacock” by Cyndy Brenneman will be auctioned off during this event at approximately 5:30 p.m. See our Mannequin Auction page for further information.