February 7, 2012
Yes, the Monterey County Fairgrounds was home to the Monterey Pop Fest in 1967 where Hendrix and Joplin made lasting impressions on the music world; Ravi Shankar also blew many minds with his chops on the sitar. And yes, the world-renowned Monterey Jazz Festival has brought everyone from Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie to its stage over the past 55 years.
Last October, Furthur—a Grateful Dead incarnation fronted by original members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh—packed the main stage beyond capacity (more than 6,000). A year before, Bob Dylan also drew a beyond-sell-out crowd. Along with the Pop Fest, 55 Jazz Fests, Furthur and Dylan, the spot has hosted The Clash, Santana, The Roots and many other notables.
In the time I've lived in the area, and the several shows I've seen at the Fairgrounds, I've come to the conclusion that it is one of my favorite places to see live music.
Publicist Wendy Brickman, concert promoter Lenny Leon and CEO of the Monterey County Fairgrounds Kelly Violini, seem to agree with me: The trio is featuring live music at the Monterey Fairgrounds' Turf Club at least once a month through 2012. Tentative schedule below (check the Feb. 16 edition of the Weekly for more info):
Feb. 18: Mardi Gras Celebration with Persephone's Bees
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day Party with Wake the Dead (A Celtic Tribute to the Grateful Dead)
March 31: Country fiddle player Amanda Shires
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Party (Music TBA)