Maren

Happy 25th Anniversary to Café Sevilla in San Diego!

Cafe Sevilla's Tapas Bar
Cafe Sevilla's Tapas Bar

Cafe Sevilla’s Tapas Bar features happy hour and live music.

25 years after putting down roots in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Café Sevilla still pleases patrons with a vast selection of authentic Spanish tapas and the longest running Flamenco Dinner show in Southern California.

Stop in for famous sangria and tapas at the ever-popular happy hour – held every day from opening until 7:00 PM, or treat yourself to a Flamenco Dinner Show. Either way, now is a great time to see why Café Sevilla has maintained a lively and festive presence in the Gaslamp Quarter for a 25 years. And as they continue to celebrate their anniversary with a host of special events through October, make sure to check out the last two spectacular events:

  • Porron Competition
    Watch as people compete for the best, most impressive, most creative porron pour. Winners receive a giant porron and torres wine case.
    Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
    Time: 9:00 PM
  • Sunday Brunch Ultimate Prize Reveal
    The winner of the grand prize trip to España will be revealed during the delicious Sunday Brunch.
    Date: Sunday, October 28, 2012
    Time: 1:30 PM

Thanks to Cafe Sevilla for a great first 25 years. Here’s to the next 25!

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do In San Diego: September 27-30

Band Playing at Oktoberfest

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love pumpkin patches, crisp evenings and all the fun things there is to do in San Diego. Here’s my top picks for this weekend. What will you be doing?

1. Cabrillo Festival

Cabrillo National Monument

For the 49th year, San Diego will celebrate the day in 1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed on the shore that is now San Diego. On September 29th and 30th, visitors can learn more about San Diego’s early history at this fun event for the whole family.

2. Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Band Playing at Oktoberfest

Lederhosen, Beer, Bratwurst and Family Fun at the Authentic Oktoberfest in El Cajon.

Head east and partake in authentic German food, beers and liquors at the annual Oktoberfest in El Cajon. Visitors will enjoy traditional folk dancing performances, games and contests, vendor and craft booths and a Kids’ Zone. The fun kicks off September 28th.

3. 40th Annual Poway Rodeo

Girls Carrying Flags on top of Horses at the Poway Rodeo

Western Fun at the Poway Rodeo

Get a taste of the western life as professional rodeo cowboys from all over the country compete at the annual Poway Rodeo. This rodeo has everything including, bareback riding, tie down roping, a clown act, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Break out your dancing boots for the Rodeo Dances on both nights. Rodeo runs Friday, September 28-Saturday, September 29.

4. Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair

Normal Heights sign above the Adams Avenue Street Fair

Music, Food, Rides and More at the Adams Avenue Street Fair

Southern California’s largest free music festival features arts and crafts, carnival rides, food, circus acts and musical acts on six outdoor stages. Festivities take place September 29-30 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday.

5. Trolley Dances

Discover Unconventional Dance Spaces during the 2012 Trolley Dances. Photo by Yvonne M. Portra.

Hop on board and travel to six stops along the MTS Trolley line featuring site-specific dance. New work to be performed by 50 of San Diego’s most adventurous dancers. As an added twist, this year’s event will present WillyGood, a French circus duo. Tickets includes a free all day Trolley Pass with advance purchase.

Brent Bernasconi

Spend Labor Day Weekend on the Embarcadero

Star of India

Cannon battles, monumental sand sculptures, music (some with cannons) and more along the Embarcadero will easily provide enough entertainment for everyone during the 3 day Labor Day weekend. Find out below the great events you don’t want to miss.

Tip: Parking will be difficult along and near the Embarcadero over the weekend. Please consider parking elsewhere, e.g. Old Town or Convention Center, (or just leave the car behind) and taking Public Transportation (Seaport Village and American Plaza Trolley Stops) or the Big Bay Shuttle.

Festival of Sail

Star of India

Already highlighted as one of our top things to do this weekend, the Festival of Sail is the largest tall ship festival on the west coast and should not be missed. Over the course of the weekend, there will be a tall ship cannon battles, children’s petting zoo, treasure-seeking Pirate bay cruises, over 100 arts and craft vendors, food and more.

Dates: Friday-Monday, 8/31 – 9/3, 2012
Cost: $10-$20
> Find Out More About the Festival of Sail

US Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3-D Art Expo

dragon sand castle

Master sand sculptures will find the statue  hidden in a mound sand at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal Pier  just south of the Festival of Sail. In addition to the sandy works of art, the pier will be full of fun with musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers, circus performers, magicians, the best of the buskers and a kids zone with a huge sandbox, sand sculpture classes and more!

Take public transportation and show your transit pass when buying tickets to save up to $5 on admission.

Dates: Friday-Monday, 8/31 – 9/3, 2012
Cost: $5-$14
> Find Out More About the US Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3-D Art Expo

Summersplash – Reggae on the Bay

On Sunday, spend the evening at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier relaxing and dancing while listening to the rhythmic sounds of the ocean and world-class reggae from top artists including Barrington Levy, the Wailers, Midnite, Triston Palma, Pablo Moses, Shoreline Rootz, Piracy, Arise Roots and more.

Date: Sunday, 9/2, 2012
Cost: $55
> Find Out More About Summersplash – Reggae on the Bay

Symphony Pops 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

The San Diego Symphony plans to end summer with a bang during their Summer Pops season-finale 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular. The concert will feature bright young cellist, Julian Schwarz, performing Tchaikovsky’s beautiful Rococo Variations and the evening will end with the 1812 Overture featuring the United States Navy Band, cannons and FIREWORKS! This is a great way to end the summer!

Dates: Friday-Sunday, 8/31 – 9/2, 2012
Cost: $18-$76
> Find Out More About the Symphony Pops 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

Looking for more great events in San Diego, check out the Event Calendar.

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: August 30-September 3, 2012

dragon sand castle

Abounding with BBQs, beaches and bathing suits, San Diego is the ideal Labor Day vacation destination. Spend your holiday weekend participating in one of these fun-in-the-sun activities.

1. Festival of Sail

Star of India

More than twenty tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park. The festival kicks off with a majestic parade of tall ships on San Diego Bay, Thursday, August 30. Parade begins at 11:00 AM and can be seen from the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado. Festival visitors can enjoy touring the ships, live entertainment at the Festival of Sail main stage, food and drink from dozens of restaurant booths, a petting zoo and more.

2. US Sand Sculpting Challenge

dragon sand castle

From August 31 – September 3rd, head downtown to see some astonishing sand sculptures from professional world masters, the California masters team competition to student competitions. Other activities include sand sculpture classes for kids, dancers, musicians, pirates, magicians and more.

3. SoCAL Music Festival

Head over to San Diego’s East Village for the SoCAL Music Festival, Saturday, September 1 from 2:00PM to midnight. Over 25 DJ’s and Bands will be performing on four stages. Tickets available starting at $40 per person, 21 years and up.

4. Julian Grape Stomp

Drive over to Julian to take part in the annual olde-world style grape stomp and festa at the Menghini Winery Saturday, September 1 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. There will be two barrels for stomping – one for adults and one for children. Admission is $10 for adults 21 and over, $5 ages 6-20 and 5 and under are free.

> Find Even More Great Labor Day Activities in San Diego

Alison

Free Sundown Summer Concerts Rock San Diego

> Check out the 2013 list of free summer concerts

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green. Photo courtesy of Paul Grimes

Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being staged this summer:

San Diego

  • The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park will open June 16 with Bluesman Nathan James. More concerts are scheduled June 30, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11. All shows run 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
  • Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 pm June 19 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30 at the park’s Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.
  • Enjoy organ music? Then check out the free Monday evening concerts, beginning at 7:30 pm on June 25 at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Top organists from around the country will perform. The 2012 season concludes on Aug. 27.
  • The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 13 with Atomic Groove and continue on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 10. Shows run 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, picnics and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd. Too tired to pack a picnic? A different neighborhood eatery, ranging from Barons Marketplace to Gabardine, will sell food at each concert.
  • Mission Hills’ Concerts in the Park series opens July 4 at Pioneer Park, 1425 Washington Place. Eleven more concerts are planned through August.
  • Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 22 through August 12. Shows run from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). The Palominos open the season and the Navy’s Big Band closes it.

Coronado

  • Coronado’s Promenade Concert Series opens May 27 at Spreckels Park, 7th and Orange in Coronado. The 90-minute shows start at 6:00 pm Sundays through September 9. Groups on stage range from the Navy Southwest Show Band to Rockola.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series features live music with views of the Bay and San Diego Skyline. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 – 5:00 pm starting on May 26 and ending on September 30.

North County

  • Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd. Shows begin at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of June, July and August. There’s a 5:00 pm concert on Sunday Sept. 9. The Mar Dels open the season.
  • Carlsbad’s TGIF Jazz in the Park is staged at three community parks. The season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 29, July 6 and 13. The party moves to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 20, 27 and August 3. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 10, 17 and 24. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

East County

  • El Cajon Concerts on the Promenade was the first to open its 2012 season (on May 4). Concerts will be staged from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Fridays through September 30, at Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.
  • Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Thursdays, June 14 through Aug. 16 (except July 5), at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive) in Santee. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.

> Find More Great Concerts on SanDiego.org

Did we miss a free concert series in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.

Suzzanne

3 for Free This Weekend in San Diego

MotorCars in Coronado

It is going to be a beautiful weekend in San Diego! Get outside and enjoy these three for free activities in San Diego.

Earth Day Parade in Balboa Park

Earth Day Parade in Balboa Park

1. 2012 Annual San Diego Earth Day Fair

On April 22, EarthFair in Balboa Park celebrates a planet Earth and will feature a children’s parade, booths, educational exhibits, music and earth-friendly food.

Adams Avenue Unplugged

2. Adams Avenue Unplugged

On April 21-22, Adams Avenue all through the “Heights” will become a music haven at its Unplugged folk festival. The event will feature 170 live musical performances staged inside or around, more than 30 restaurant and bars lining the neighborhood. Musicians will also perform on three community stages spread throughout the area. As the name implies Adams Unplugged will feature acoustic music.

MotorCars in Coronado

MotorCars invade Coronado

3. MotorCars on Main Street

Cross the bridge over to Coronado and check out a classic car show featuring 300 pre-1973 hotrods, trucks and custom cars on April 22.

Maren

29 Reasons to Listen Live in San Diego

Take a musical leap! Famed Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, turns 55-leap-years-young today! And if Google is celebrating a musical leap day, who are we to argue? In no particular order, here are 29 reasons to listen live in San Diego.

  1. The Belly Up Tavern– voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” even before it was made famous by a visit from Prince Harry of Wales
  2. Celebrating singer-songwriter Jim Croce with great food, wine and nightly live music at Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar. Here, here!
  3. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at 4th and B on March 30, 2012
  4. All-you-can-eat Southern inspired buffet and gospel performances at the House of Blue’s World Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Hallelujah!
  5. Donning a fedora and pretending you are a part of the Rat Pack at Anthology supper club.
  6. Emerging art and pop culture collide at The Loft: UCSD, with Jenny Owen Youngs on March 2, 2012.
  7. The Casbah’s guaranteed cool factor- whatever you decide to see.
  8. DJ Scooter “playing all the coolest s*%t you’ve never heard of” at Analog Bar every Tuesday at 9 pm.
  9. A place that takes jazz seriously, Dizzy’s: where music matters most.
  10. MIXTAPE– the Greatest Hits of the 80s, at the Horton Grand Theatre, extended through April 29, 2012.
  11. Seeing a concert at Humphrey’s by the Bay, whether you buy a ticket, or pull up a boat. 😉
  12. San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor Summer Pops concert series performed on San Diego Bay.
  13. Flamenco fever at Café Sevilla with rumba guitarist Joef of the Gypsy kings family.
  14. Listening FREE to music ranging from folk to rockabilly at Adam’s Avenue Unplugged, April 21-22, 2012.
  15. Music worth seeing at San Diego Opera with Don Pasquale, March 10-18, 2012.
  16. Catching home grown talent with the potential for national greatness:  The Silent Comedy, Cuckoo Chaos, Hyena perform regularly around town.
  17. Treating club music as an art and a DJ as a god, at Voyeur, voted #68 of the Top 100 Clubs in the WORLD by DJ Magazine in 2011.
  18. Listening to the San Diego Symphony in the original Fox Theatre, opened in 1929.
  19. Van Halen at the Viejas Arena June 14, 2012.
  20. Celebrating the Saxophone with SAXibit at the Museum of Making Music, May 19-November 30, 2012.
  21. The VIP experience of Taylor Guitars Private Dining Room at Anthology, named after the locally based, world renowned guitar manufacturer and Anthology sponsor, Taylor Guitars.
  22. Free shows in the hippest of hoods, Bar Pink in North Park.
  23. Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright at Humphrey’s by the Bay. How to choose?
  24. The balance of intelligence and entertainment at ArtPower UC San Diego.
  25. Close proximity to a slew of buzz-worthy bands at Soda Bar.
  26. The highly entertaining, audience request-driven duel of two talented piano players at The Shout House.
  27. The recently renovated and restored 83 year old Balboa Theatre, hosting a diverse line up of performances.
  28. Street fairs! Whatever the fair, live music is there! Try OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off Festival, Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, Pride Festival, holiday block parties in the Gaslamp Quarter or ArtWalk in Little Italy.
  29. And last but certainly not least, San Diego Opera celebrates birthday boy Rossini’s “55th” with The Barber of Seville, April 21-29, 2012.

What are your reasons for listening?

Benjamin Eastman

Beach Nightlife in San Diego

Club Tremors

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, the beauty of San Diego’s nightlife scene is that there is something for everyone. Whether you’re wearing your best Sean John outfit or would rather party it up in your boardshorts and a t-shirt, San Diego has a place for you to wile the night away. Looking specifically at the more relaxed, beach nightlife of Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, there are a number of great options.

Pacific Beach

Referred to by locals as PB, Pacific Beach is known as the premier hangout region for the under 25-crowd. PB is full of bars, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bars….did I mention bars?

Club Tremors

Club Tremors

Probably the most well-known venue in PB is the PB Bar & Grill/Club Tremors. Part bar/restaurant, part nightclub, PB Bar & Grill caters to all aspects of a great nightlife experience – food, drinks and dancing. With an incredibly active weekly lineup, you can go to PBB&G any night of the week for a good time (Monday Karaoke, Taco Tuesday, Thirsty Thursdays, etc.)

JRDN

For those looking for a more upscale option in PB, head over to the Tower 23 Hotel and their JRDN restaurant/bar. Located along the PB boardwalk, JRDN has an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean with a relaxed but upbeat atmosphere.  On a warm, beautiful evening (and let’s be honest, that describes most evenings in San Diego) you’ll find locals and tourists alike lounging on JRDN’s outdoor patio enjoying the restaurant’s upbeat music, fantastic decor (think color changing wall wave-like mosaic) and amazing sunset views.

Mission Beach

More of a residential area, Mission Beach does have a few great spots for those seeking a more relaxed night of entertainment including the notable Belmont Park. The historic wooden roller coaster, easily seen from afar, is Belmont Park’s iconic centerpiece, however the fun carnival-style games and rides are really what make the night a blast (think bumper cars, rides that flip you around/upside down, mirror mazes and big pretzels). Scream your lungs out as you ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster or my personal favorites – the Octotron and Beach Blaster.

Concert at the Wavehouse

After bringing out your inner child at Belmont Park, pop on over to the Wavehouse right next door to find several flowboarding areas – including Bruticus Maximus, which produces 10-foot waves via 100,000 gallons of water being pumped into the ride per minute. Try your hand out at flowboarding or just watch some of the local pros flip, twist and amaze the audience. With an awesome music scene, firepits, hammocks, picnic tables and awesome views of the Mission Beach boardwalk and the Pacific Ocean, Wavehouse has a great casual vibe, especially enjoyable during the summer months.

Ocean Beach

Referred to by locals as OB, Ocean Beach is known for its hippy culture. OB prides itself on not taking itself too seriously and the nightlife definitely maintains a cool, relaxed state at a handful of dive bars, restaurants and hole-in-the-wall music venues.

Winston's OB

Winston's OB

Personal favorites for a night of fun dining are OB Noodle House, Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar (great french fusion cuisine), the fish tacos at South Beach (which is just steps from the beach) and the beer lover’s favorite, Pizza Port. For those craving some tunes, head over to Winston’s – a dive bar/club featuring live music, DJs or comedy just about every night of the week.

Robert Arends

Deck the (Music) Halls in Coronado!

In addition to Santa Claus serenading guests on “Buon Natale” gondola cruises at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, there are other joyful tunes being heard throughout the island of Coronado this holiday season.

Singing Santa gondolier at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

From sweet and soulful to grand and commanding, the sound of music fills the air. With various venues throughout the “Crown City” – from the scenic bayfront to the seashore – following are my Top 5 Picks of places to hear some magical melodies this month and into the New Year:

  1. Babcock & Story Bar in the Hotel del Coronado is a great go-to nightlife spot to relax with a drink, meet new friends and enjoy live music, Tuesday through Saturday from 7:00 – 11:00 pm
    Coronado Ferry Landing Concert

    Bayside concerts at Coronado Ferry Landing.

  2. The Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series takes place every other Sunday, featuring live music in the afternoon. Upcoming acts include the wonderfully talented Teagan Taylor Trio (Dec. 18 and Jan. 29), Stiletto’s (Jan. 8), Cool Fever (Jan. 15) and Peter Hall Acoustic (Jan. 22)

    Blue 44 performing at Candelas on the Bay.

  3. Located at the Coronado Ferry landing, Candelas on the Bay features Live Music Friday’s at 6:00 pm, featuring Blue 44, plus live music on Thursday and Sunday from 6:00 – 9:00 pm (the music on their website, BTW, is great to lounge to as you’re getting ready for a night on the town Coronado-style!)

    Rockin' out at McP's Irish Pub.

  4. Popular McP’s Irish Pub (fit for royalty, by the way, as in Prince Harry!) has live music every Tuesday through Saturday night, featuring the finest local talent. Check out the lineup here, featuring bands like Harmony Road, Trunk Monkey, 4-Way Street, Ron’s Trio and the Offbeats.

    Jazz it up at Wine Styles

  5. Got a taste for jazz and wine? Head to Wine Styles on Thursday through Saturday to enjoy finger-snappin’ live music, while sampling an expansive selection of wines and craft beer.

Coronado is music to my ears! 😉

Aki

Live Music in San Diego: Nov 26 – Dec 3

Thanksgiving is upon us. And while we’ll all indulge in the bounty of the season – with an oversized helping of turkey or that extra slice of pumpkin pie – the best way to shake off that tryptophan-induced coma is by seeing some live music.

San Diego’s robust music scene offers diverse options for concert goers. From intimate venues and expansive outdoor arenas, to iconic rock clubs and moody jazz halls, you can quench your thirst for good live music any day of the week.

So get off that couch, leave the Thanksgiving leftovers at home and indulge your senses with some lively performances.

Here are some great shows at some of my favorite local venues:

Saturday, November 26
Crooked Fingers at THE CASBAH
w/Strand of Oaks & Little White Teeth
Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
$12, 21 and up

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Led by singer Eric Bachmann, this North Carolina-based band recently released their sixth full length record, Breaks in the Armor.

November 30 & December 1
Boney James at ANTHOLOGY
Shows at 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm
$19 – $98, All ages

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A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Soul Train Award winner and a pioneer of urban jazz, Saxophonist BONEY JAMES combines traditional jazz with elements of R&B and hip-hop.

Wednesday, Nov 30th
B.B. King w/ Walter Trout at Belly Up
8:00 pm
Doors at 7:00 pm
$99.00 / $104.00 day of show, 21 and up

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Don’t miss this chance to see the reigning King of the Blues, B.B. King up close and personal at this local favorite intimate venue in Solana Beach!

Saturday, December 3
The Holiday Hootenanny! at the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD
My Morning Jacket, Two Door Cinema Club, Matt & Kim, Delta Spirit, and the Blackout Party
7:00 pm
$40 +, All Ages

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This annual holiday concert festival has a line-up that will surely get you movin’ & groovin’ for the holidays.