First Night 2018 Performers!

Your First Night Monterey Button includes admission to over 65 performances throughout the night in multiple downtown Monterey venues! Preliminary details, program and times subject to change.

Performance Time Grid

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Rock/Blues/Jazz Bands

DEREK BODKIN'S HOVERING BREADCAT FOLK ENSEMBLE is a spirited group of musicians performing funky folk grooves, bluegrass, swing, gospel and meaningful originals.

Derek is a Monterey Bay singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has performed a variety of music with some of the hottest national groups. (Five Eyed Hand, New Monsoon, Billy Nershi, Trailer Park Troubadours, Joe Craven, New Monsoon, Hot Buttered Rum). Derek brings a special 'mojo' to the stage to make the listener feel right at home. On his first solo album, “True Story”, Derek shared his love for musical tradition, collaboration, and storytelling as well as a penchant for memorable melody writing, putting his own unique twists to the traditional American songwriting genre. Joining Derek will be his friends known as "The Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble." (featuring Brian Vandemark on bass, Colin St. John on keyboards, Tommy Knowles on guitar and vocals, Harry Thomas on Harmonica and Monica Payne on percussion).
Site 18: Alvarado St/Rabobank Stage 8:45- 9:15; 9:30–10:00; 10:15- 10:45 PM

Photo of Derek Bodkin & Hovering Breadcat

THE COFFIS BROTHERS & THE MOUNTAIN MEN are five young men from the Santa Cruz Mountains that have been playing around the Bay Area and beyond since 2010.

The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men play a style of music that is rock and roll in the most classic sense, melodic, rootsy and heartfelt. The band consists of Jamie Coffis (Vocals, Keyboard, ) Kellen Coffis (Vocals, guitar,) Kyle Poppen (Guitar,) Aidan Collins (Bass,) and Henry Chadwick (Drums.) The songwriting duo of Jamie and Kellen show an obvious love for a bygone era of music and for groups like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Neil Young and The Beatles as well as a sense of maturity and experience beyond their years.
Site 20: Golden State Theater 8:30- 9:00; 9:15–9:45 PM

Photo of the Coffis Brothers

**FINALE BAND** THE LEGENDARY CHICANO ALL-STARS are perennial favorites at various clubs and festivals all over the Central Coast.

The Chicano All Stars are all professional musicians with many years of experience in the music business. Known as one of the area's top Latin Rock bands, The Chicano All-Stars are a talented, dynamic and energetic band. Just recently, Chicano All Stars have added a solid and highly polished horn section. Their upbeat, danceable repertoire is rooted in a great mix of Latin rock, Old School, R & B, classic Rock'n'Roll, and danceable Reggae. Their Latin rhythms, strong percussive backbeat and excellent vocals appeal to a wide variety of audiences, young and old alike, and are guaranteed to keep your feet on the dance floor.
Site 20: Golden State Theater 10:15- 11:00; 11:15- Midnight

Photo of Chicano All-Stars

New to FNM, THE PROUDEST MONKEYS is a musical collective operating out of Monterey.

In 2016, band leader Trevor Lucier released the album, "Destruction of the Species" to a welcoming and supportive local music scene. Following a successful first show, declared one of the area's best shows of the year by The Monterey County Weekly, the rest of the group came together around a mutual conviction that music is a potent resource in the movement to bring humanity closer together. With this ideal in mind, The Proudest Monkeys have set out to perform all over the Central California Area in an effort to bring together the many local scenes that exist in the region.
Site 18: Alvarado St/Rabobank Stage 6:30- 7:15; 7:30–8:15 PM

Photo of The Proudest Monkeys

THE FIRESIDE COLLECTIVE will be here to ease you out of the reality you know and into the reality you crave.

Pulling inspiration from the cool jazz of Miles Davis to the modern R&B of Robert Glasper, this group strives not to fit the mold of jazz but rather to appreciate and indulge in the space that jazz creates for true musical exploration. While Jesse Burgess (drums) and James Collard (bass) hit you with the groove that will make your bootie move, Evyn Stratman (tenor sax/flute) will melt your cerebral cortex with licks so hot that 60% of your body will begin to boil, leaving Zak King (piano/keys) to douse the fire with a wave of cool harmony to let your spirit relax into its new state of existence. The Fireside Collective invites you to say goodbye to 2017 and begin the new year on a high note with us.
Site 25: Carleton Hall/Church of Religious Science 9:00- 9:30; 9:45–10:15; 10:30- 11:00 PM

Photo of Fireside Collective

The SAMZ SCHOOL OF ROCK YOUTH BANDS have entertained audiences at many community events, music festivals and fundraisers throughout Monterey County including the Kid Rock Concert!

Samz School of Rock Youth Band is a group of young talented students from Samz School of Music, a local community based non-profit music school out of Salinas, California. Students in our band program range in ages 10 to 18. You will be impressed with their musical style which feature diverse and modern rock hits as well as classic rock favorites. For our students, real performances breed real skill and real stage performance opportunities. Be sure to stop by and listen to their music!
Site 20: Golden State Theater 9:45- 10:15 PM

Photo of Samz Schoo of Rock Band

ACAN LATIN JAZZ ENSEMBLE is a community music class specializing in Afro-Cuban Music.

The ACAN Latin Jazz Ensemble is a community music class featuring young music students from Salinas specializing in Afro-Cuban music. Group is sponsored by the Alisal Community Arts Network, which holds classes for over 1500 youth in East Salinas, Greenfield and Gonzales.
Site 23: Alvarado St./Wells Fargo Stage 7:45- 8:15; 8:30–9:00 PM

Photo of ACAN Jazz Orchestra


Perennial FNM favorite BLACK IRISH BAND opens the night at the Golden State Theater with their highly entertaining and very up-beat and progressive Folk, Americana, and Celtic Pub-Rock music.

Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the Black Irish Band of 28 years have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large complement of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The band's musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.
Site 20: Golden State Theater 6:15- 6:45; 7:00–7:30; 7:45- 8:15 PM

Photo of Black Irish Band

FNM newcomer AMY WARREN is an American Roots journey, embodying the down home spirit of acoustic traditions, from blues to bluegrass and folk to rock.

Amy Warren is a story teller at heart, and her original music touches the soul and stirs the senses, with “deep folk” influences spanning Celtic to bluegrass to gypsy jazz. She brings a rich musical mix that is warm and familiar. Her heartfelt storytelling and expressive flat-picking pair with Harry Thomas’ powerful harmonica and Derek Bodkin’s imaginative banjo make for a fresh take on American classics. With a growing catalog of original music and covers ranging from the Carter Family to Johnny Cash and Gillian Welch to Jack White, this band is a must-see for roots music fans.
Site 15: AJ Davi Stage 458 Alvarado St 7:00- 7:30; 7:45–8:15 PM

Photo of Amy Warren

**FINALE BAND** SAMBA LÉGAL (pronounced 'leh-gao', meaning "cool, hip") plays rhythms from Bahia and Rio de Janeiro: Samba Reggae, Samba Afro, Samba, and more!

Most of the members of Samba Legal have been playing their brand of Brazilian rhythms for the better part of two decades in the Monterey area. Samba Legal (pronounced “Leh-gao”, meaning cool or hip) plays at major events throughout the year like First Night, Parade of Lights, Good Old Days and West End. Often accompanied by the Samba Legal dancers, in full regalia, to help usher you into the spirit of Bahia.
Site 23: Alvarado St./Wells Fargo Stage 9:30- 10:00; 10:15–10:45; 11:15- Midnight

Photo of Samba Legal

Hear the thunder of the drums! SHINSHO MUGEN DAIKO opens First Night Monterey with traditional Japanese drumming.

Experience the exquisite physicality of these Taiko Drummers as they perform traditional Japanese drumming, incorporating elements of martial arts. Shinsho Mugen Daiko was founded in 1999 by Ikuyo Conant, as a group of drummers interested in studying the art of Japanese drumming. Taiko is a traditional form of Japanese drumming that incorporates those elements of martial art which focuses on centering oneself in the grounded position, and the concentration, direction and controlling of energy and breathing.
Site 2: Pacific Street Stage 3:15- 3:45; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Shinsho Mugen Daiko

New to FNM this year, DIRTY CELLO is cello like you’ve never heard before!

From China to Italy, and all over the U.S., Dirty Cello, led by vivacious cross-over cellist, Rebecca Roudman, brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Good Times Santa Cruz says "...what is most spectacular about them is hearing the depth of soul in Roudman’s playing — it goes beyond what most people would expect from the instrument. She plays it with so much heart, you’ll wonder why more bands don’t have a cellist." From down home blues with a wailing cello to virtuosic stompin’ bluegrass, Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!
Site 10: MIIS/Irvine Auditorium 6:30- 7:00; 7:15–7:45; 8:00–8:30 PM

Photo of Dirty Cello

For over 20 years, HEARTSTRINGS has brought their fresh and unique sound to traditional acoustic string music from all over the world.

Begin your New Year celebration toe-tappin' to local acoustic string band Heartstrings, again bringing their versatile smorgasbord style of string music to First Night Monterey. The band plays all kinds of string music from around the world including Celtic, Eastern European, and good ol' toe-tappin' Appalachian string music. Band members are Laura Burian (fiddle), FNM founder Paulette Lynch (hammered dulcimer), Marj Ingram Viales (guitar), Rick Chelew (double bass), and Mike Osgood (mandolin). From beautiful traditional and contemporary waltzes to driving jigs and reels, a high energy performance with top players.
Site 9: City Council Chambers 3:30- 4:00; 4:15–5:00 PM

Photo of Heartstrings

Enjoy a joyful evening of song! I CANTORI DI CARMEL opens the night in the beautiful sanctuary of Carleton Hall.

I Cantori has been performing great choral masterpieces for Monterey Peninsula audiences for over 35 years, frequently touring internationally. Our repertoire for First Night will span the ages: sacred motets to contemporary compositions and songs from around the world. The group is united by a desire to cherish and preserve the heritage of great choral music.
Site 25: Carleton Hall/Church of Religious Science 6:30- 7:00; 7:15–7:45; 8:00- 8:30 PM

Photo of I Cantori di Carmel

Lyrically refreshing and musically diverse, DAN FRECHETTE & LAUREL THOMSEN take to the stage with exuberance!

Meeting via a chance YouTube sighting, eclectic Roots-Folk songwriters Dan Frechette, guitar/harmonica/vocals, and Laurel Thomsen, violin/vocals, prove that musical magic is not only possible, but “a match made in heaven". With broad influences ranging from Folk, Classical, Old Time and Celtic, to Gospel, Jazz, Vintage Country, Rock N' Roll, Blues, and Bluegrass, Dan and Laurel flow seamlessly through genres, tempos, stories, and moods, embodying each style with virtuosic command and keeping music fans on the edge of their seats. Enjoyment is palpable.
Site 7: City Council Chambers 8:00- 8:30; 8:45–9:15; 9:30–10:00 PM

Photo of Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen

GRUMBLING GINGER brings the atmosphere of a British Folk Club to Monterey!

Original acoustic folk-rock with a Celtic twist. Grumbling Ginger bring the atmosphere of a British folk club to Monterey with songs, storytelling, and a variety of acoustic instruments. They've played everywhere from coffee houses and pubs to house parties and festival stages in front of 10,000-plus people. The band has also made many radio and TV appearances. A long-time First Night favorite!
Site 7: City Council Chambers 6:15- 6:45; 7:00–7:30 PM

Photo of Grumbling Ginger

Playing styles range from traditional to contemporary, SADZA MARIMBA brings high-energy dance music from Zimbabwe.

Sadza brings audiences of all ages to their feet with joyful and memorable performances of Zimbabwean dance music. Sadza performs on six large handmade wooden marimbas, accompanied by congas, hosho (gourd shakers), mbira (thumb piano) and vocals in the Shona language. Much of our music has ancient roots in the spiritual traditions of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
Site 10: MIIS/Irvine Auditorium 9:00- 9:30; 9:45–10:15; 10:30–11:00 PM

Photo of Sadza Marimba

Experience four-part harmony with the MONTEREY BAY BELLES women’s a cappella barbershop-style chorus.

The Bay Belles Women’s Barbershop Chorus sings favorite popular songs in the barbershop style. They are a non-profit organization engaged in member education, local school outreach and they perform several times throughout the year in Monterey County, hosting a cappella concerts featuring local and out of town talent. The Bay Belles love experiencing the thrill of singing four-part music and are excited to be performing at 'this great community event.
Site 8: Monterey Museum of Art 3:30- 4:00; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Monterey Bay Belles

LINDA ARCEO’S original songs are some of the best on the Monterey Peninsula.

Linda Arceo and special guest Casey Frazier are both accomplished singers, songwriters and talented musicians who often collaborate to bring a rich musical experience to audiences. Both have over a dozen albums in current distribution. Their exquisite combination of Americana and Vintage Rock-Inspired Indie Music keep listeners wanting more and always expand their following. Linda is currently in the studio recording her next album die out in early 2018. Linda’s original music will pull at your heartstrings, get your toes tapping and leave you wanting more!
Site 15: AJ Davi Stage 460 Alvarado St. 8:45- 9:15; 9:30–10:00; 10:15–10:45 PM

Photo of Linda Arceo

Celebrate our cultural diversity with JAYSON FANN and his newest SPIRIT NEST!

Jayson Fann has a newly created Spirit Nest and is sharing visually dynamic sculptural nest at First Night! Paired with international renowned percussionists makes this a magical performance not to be missed! Ongoing, check the venue sign for performance times while you feast your eyes on the beautiful nest!
Site 16: Alvarado St/Spirit Nest Ongoing, 6:15- 10:00 PM

GUITARS NOT GUNS gives young people free guitars and lessons to encourage their creativity and help divert them from the negative influences of drugs, alcohol and gangs.

Guitars Not Guns is a non-profit program that provides instruments and instruction free of charge to foster kids, at risk youth and other children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers. Each student is assigned a beginner guitar when they come to the first class. They are allowed to take their guitars home with them and are asked to practice 30 minutes each day.The instructors volunteer their time. The Guitars Not Guns Band is made up of students , age 7-17, who meet at the Marina Teen Center. They will perform a selection of music ranging from children's classics to contemporary rock and blues.
Site 23: Alvarado St./Wells Fargo Stage 4:30- 5:00; 6:15–6:45 PM

Photo of Guitars Not Guns class

Join the musical party of the WILDCAT MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS!

From the Summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains and out of the redwoods come the Wildcat Mountain Ramblers - a musical party that brings energy, fun, spontaneity, guest performers, dancing and audience participation to wherever they go. They are a bluegrass/Americana band that ventures into folk, rock, Cajun, country, honkey-tonk and where ever a good time can be found. Join the fun!
Site 23: Alvarado St. Wells Fargo Stage 8:30- 9:15 PM

Be delighted and intrigued by the unique sounds of WILLIAM FAULKNER's handcrafted Jalisco Harp.

He may share a name with the iconic American writer, but harpist William Faulkner has made a name for himself with his gorgeous musicianship and deep love for the classic Jalisco form. You've probably heard the Jalisco harp played in mariachi music, and Faulkner is among the world's leading players of this challenging instrument. His harp is a virtual orchestra of timbral colors enriched by a wealth of overtones. He has played the Jalisco harp for 25 years, performing throughout California and the Southwestern U.S. as well as various parts of Mexico.
Site 15: AJ Davi Stage 458 Alvarado 8:15–8:45 PM

Photo of William Faulkner

World Dance

YAOCUAUHTLI DANZA CULTURAL opens the First Night celebration with stunning costumes and traditional Aztec dances.

Calpulli Yaocuauhtli is an Aztec dance group based out of Salinas, CA. They provide free cultural dance, art and dance classes to the community on Thursdays at the Boys and Girls Clubs and Fridays at Alisal Center for Fine Arts from 7-9:30pm. Members of the group handcraft all regalia; utilizing exotic skins, genuine leather, hand selected stones, beads and naturally molted feathers. They focus on sharing their indigenous culture with the community. Join us for the Opening Ceremony and for their vibrant and traditional dance performances. Alvarado Street venue includes interactive art activities and handcrafted leather goods sales.
Site 1: Colton Lawn 3:00-3:15; 3:45- 4:15; 4:45- 5:00 PM
Site 15: Alvarado Street Art Space 7:00- 10:00 PM

Photo of Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance

Local Youth Company from SPECTOR DANCE will perform several short pieces to celebrate the season.

Since 1997, SpectorDance Company has presented multidisciplinary performances using a signature style that blends music, spoken word, and visual media with dance. Fran Spector Atkins, the lead artist and creative director, creates performance works that highlight themes relevant to the community. The SpectorDance Youth Company is a group of dedicated young dancers who bring their talent and love of dance to the community. The SpectorDance vision is to utilize dance as a vehicle to open doors, ignite creativity and fuel the human spirit.
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 6:15 – 6:45; 7:00 – 7:30 PM

Photo of Spector Dancer Russell

Welcome the New Year with MONTEREY BAY LION DANCE TEAM symbolizing the arrival of prosperity and good luck.

Celebrate the New Year and lift your spirits with traditional Chinese lion dancing, a challenging art form complete with martial art postures and exciting rhythms of drums, cymbals and gongs. Elaborate costumes characterize the Lucky Lion and Happy Buddha. This dreamlike lion mimics human-like emotions and intelligence, symbolizing life and humanity. The lion dance is customarily performed during the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations, for the lion brings prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year. In conjunction with the lion dance team program, Monterey Bay Healing Tao Tai Chi members perform traditional Tai Chi martial hand & weapons forms for self-defense application as well as health and wellness.
Site 13: Alvarado Street/Galleria 8:30–9:00; 9:15–9:45; 10:00–10:30 PM

Photo of Lion Dance Team

Local dance troupe DI FRANCO DANCEPROJECT will partner with their RAGAMUFFIN THEATER COMPANY.

The DiFranco DanceProject, Dianne Lyle's company of dancers, ranging in age from 8 through 17 years, will offer a fun-filled, eclectic and exciting program of dances, inspired by cultures from around the globe. Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company, the summer musical theatre youth camp lead by Dianne Lyle and Michael Blackburn, will perform numbers from their latest production, the famous movie musical, "Singin' In The Rain."
Site 13: Alvarado St/Galleria; 6:15 – 6:45; 7:00 – 7:30; 7:45 - 8:15 PM

Photo of Di Franco Dance Project

The dance team from THE DANCE CENTER in Carmel will present a program of dances.

Students ages 2 yrs. to adult are warmly welcomed into a creative atmosphere of passionate mentorship at The Dance Center - owned by Tia Brown and Laura Jeselnick. Classes include ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, and musical theater. Thirteen competitive teams in different genres and 5 musical theater performance companies complement a curriculum that includes both recreational and pre-professional offerings taught by an exceptionally-talented faculty. TDC is proud to recognize and host the new affiliated nonprofit organization, Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre. MPBT promotes arts outreach and dance education with performance opportunities to the youth on the Monterey Peninsula.
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 3:45–4:15; 4:30–5:00 PM

Photo of Dance Center


The lively and vibrant Greek Village Dancers will perform vigorous, intricate, graceful folk dances of Greece, wearing authentic costumes. Audience participation is welcome: simple dance steps will be taught. Opa!
Site 13: Alvarado Street/Galleria 4:15–4:45 PM

Photo of Greek Village Dancers

Crowd favorite PARK AVENUE BELLYDANCERS will put smiles on your faces! Join in the fun!

Classic belly dance with an American flair! Stylized synchronized dances of both traditional and modern styles. Middle-Eastern Bellydance, which can be traced back to pre biblical times, has been used by both men and women for expression and healing, entertainment and exercise. This beautiful dance form consists of combinations of isolations of the body moved to the exact rhythms and melodies of the music, developed as specific expressions of life, each based on an aspect of our own humanity. They are always a crowd favorite - the audience is encouraged to join in the fun, so don't be shy!
Site 9: Masonic Lodge 7:45- 8:15; 8:30–9:00; 9:15–9:45 PM

Photo of Park Ave Bellydancers

FLASHPOINT ENTERTAINMENT will entertain you with their LED light shows incorporating dance and juggling!

This power trio has a Modern Circus type act focusing on dance with LED illuminated prop manipulation, juggling and eye popping colors. You will be wondering how did they do that! These light artists and street performers juggle to music, dance to lights and have a circus type fun act! A show stopper in the street! Look for their STEGATRON Art Car! The Art Car (is it a car?) is a post-historic pre-apocalyptic robot dinosaur from the future! Music, lights, this car has it all!
Site 13a: Alvarado Street/Roving Artists 6:15- throughout the night!

Photo of Flashpoint