Venice Spring Fling

The Fourth Annual VENICE SPRING FLING will kick off springtime at the beach in Venice with a free, full day of art and music in Windward Plaza Park on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Featuring Barry “The Fish” Melton, Rated X, Meet Me at the Pub, members of Sublime and Zen Robbi, samba and belly dancers, Dr. Bronner's Magic Foam Experience, and more in the heart of Venice!

VENICE, CA – Back for a fourth year of fun, Venice Spring Fling music and arts festival returns to the beach to rock the heart of Venice with a free, full day of art, music, and dance on Saturday, May 31, 2014, from 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Windward Plaza (1 Windward Avenue, between the boardwalk and the bike trail). The festival features musical entertainment, an art show, food trucks, Dr. Bronner's Magic Foam Experience, and more. The festival is free and open to the public. An after-show immediately follows at Danny's Venice.

This year's festival features musicians aged 17 to 73! Samba Da Mudança dance and drum troupe leads a samba parade down Ocean Front Walk to kick off the festivities at 11 a.m., and a non-stop day of music follows on the Ocean Stage featuring a range of local and international talent, including: Allie Kay Band (high school-age female rocker); Roots Collective (multi-genre world beat); Jelly of the Month Club (children's band founded by members of Sublime and Zen Robbi); Missus Jones (Amy Winehouse tribute); Rated X (tribute to the punk band X); Meet Me at the Pub (local ska/surf-punk favorites); and Barry “The Fish” Melton (of Country Joe and The Fish) with an all-star band that features Lowell Levinger (AKA “Banana”) from The Youngbloods, David and Linda LaFlamme from It's a Beautiful Day, bassist Tony Saunders (Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band), Grammy-winning drummer and producer Andy Kravitz, and saxophonist Brad Jenkins (Lester Chambers Band). The show closes with Venice's finest experimental band, the Venice Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Tovi Khali (also featuring guitar virtuoso Michael Jost and Milo Gonzalez of Insects Vs. Robots). Musical sets will be interspersed with dance performances by Samba Da Mudança, Ya Harissa Bellydance Theater, and ATS (American Tribal Style) Bellydance and Drums. Visit for details on VSF4 performers.

The arts are truly represented at this festival. Visual artists showing works include: art by sky, Audrey McNamara, Sebastian Carrillo, Brandy Orvis, Kimberly Eaton, Alex Avila, Ra Ra SuperStar, and more TBA. Venice author Steve Bevilacqua will be signing copies of his recent book, Kafka at the Beach.

Food trucks include Schmuck with a Truck (New York Delicatessen on Wheels), Cambalache's Gourmet Argentinean Food Truck, and WAFL Truck (Fresh baked gourmet waffles). Sponsor Angel City Brewery will be set up with games, giveaways, and the ACB Canvas Project, a community art project. Eclectic Hoops will have hoops available for play and purchase. Once again, Venice Spring Fling 4 welcomes Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps as they return with the Magic Foam Experience, an ecological and exhilarating foam shower that covers you in foam and leaves you feeling refreshed and tingly–clean so bring your bathing suits!

Venice Spring Fling 4 is proud to support the following community organizations: Sound Art L.A., Los Angeles Trade Tech Sustainable Architecture Student Club (LATTC), and Venice Art Crawl. Sound Art has provided excellent music education since 2002, giving over 16,000 K-12 children their first exposure to musicianship throughout Los Angeles. LATTC Sustainable Architecture Student Club focuses on designing through nature and implementing Biomimicry and sustainability to design eco-friendly neighborhoods and communities. Venice Art Crawl produces mixers and art events throughout the community to foster and reinvigorate the creativity that makes Venice vibrant and dynamic. Stop by during the festival to learn more about these groups.

An after party will be hosted by Danny's Venice (23 Windward Avenue, Venice, CA 90291) from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., featuring the Venice Philharmonic Orchestra and many special guests.

This free festival is made possible by generous support from local and national businesses that wish to help keep the arts alive in our community: Earrigation Mobile Recording Studios, Venice Beach Suites & Hotel, Al & Ed's Autosound Marina Del Rey, The Sidewalk Cafe, Venice Boardwalk Association, Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, Danny's Venice, Angel City Brewery, Volcano Tea House, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Fresh Brothers, Sound Art LA, Galactic Drifter, Maui and Sons Venice Beach, Bartels' Harley-Davidson, Free Venice Beachhead, Whole Foods Venice, Venice Paparazzi, Yo! Venice, Zelda's Corner Deli, Animal House, Moses Jewelry, and Venice Breeze Suites.

Over the past three years, Venice Spring Fling has grown to take a strong place next to its sister festival, Venice Beach Music Fest, a beloved annual community event. Previous VSF festivals have included performances by Barry “The Fish” Melton, Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Michael Hinton (Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns). According to local arts advocate and producer Milton Rosenberg, “Both festivals are dedicated to showcasing the best of Venice musicians, artists, and dancers, as well as preserving Abbot Kinney's vision of Venice as a place to enjoy world class arts and entertainment at the beach.”

Visit for additional information. Connect with the community at This event is endorsed by the Venice Chamber of Commerce.

Free Music and Arts Festival: Venice Spring Fling 4 May 31, 2014


11 a.m. - Samba da Mudança (Samba for Change) – The festival begins with a samba drum and dance parade down Ocean Front Walk and onto the festival site, and festival participants are encouraged to participate in the dancing in front of the stage. “Mudança” is Portuguese for “Change”! Samba da Mudança performs throughout California, at L.A. venues like the Hollywood Bowl and Club Nokia, and anywhere the group can help raise awareness for positive, environmental, and progressive events. Come share and celebrate group drumming and dancing in a fun and supportive environment–come Samba for positive change in the world! Venice Spring Fling 4 welcomes back Samba da Mudanca for another fun performance.

11:25 a.m. - Allie Kay Band – Hard rocker Allie Kay, 17, leads this band of high school and college students as the principal singer, guitar player, and song writer. Often compared to Joan Jett, Kay is supported by her band mates, Jonas Wisner (guitar), Willy Goshorn (bass), and Austin Blyth (drums). These Southern California natives perform regularly at many venues around the southland like the House of Blues and M-15 Concert Bar and Grill. The band cites Alice Cooper, My Chemical Romance, and David Bowie as some of their inspirations. Venice Spring Fling 4 welcomes Allie Kay and her band for their debut performance on the Ocean Stage.

11:50 a.m. - ATS Bellydance and Drums - ATS Bellydance and Drums, also known as the TDJ Collective (Tribal Dance Jam), performs a style of bellydance that ranges from folkloric-inspired to fusion of ancient dances from North India, the Middle East, and Africa. Dancers interact with each other while improvising a simple movement vocabulary with the same stylization among all members. Dancers come from all over Southern California for the troupe's annual appearance at the Venice Spring Fling. Welcome back to the Spring Fling, dancers and drummers! 12:01 p.m. –Roots Collective – Come explore a rich mixture of reggae, dub, ska, cumbia, funk, soul, and bossa nova with Roots Collective! Beginning as an open mic house band for Soup Kitchen Inc.'s Irie Tuesday in Pomona, this ensemble flourished in the communal vibe, becoming the resident band at Rockers on 1st for over a year and moving on to a weekly residency at Alibi's in Corona. The current lineup has helped break Roots Collective out of a strictly traditional Jamaican roots reggae format, and includes longtime friends and bandmates Anthony "CAsoulnova" Ramirez (Benny & the Gardners, Downbeat Allstars) on soulful psychedelic guitar and vocals, and Luis "Upriser" Flores (Jah abiding citizens, Grand Marquis) on Latin jazz-influenced guitar. Filling out the band are guitarist Greg Hernandez (Mezklah Mezklah, Concepto Tambor), bassist Robert Campos (Buen Estar, La Santa Maria), percussionist Terrell Smith (Fountain of Roots, One Drop Redemption), Tyrone Rudolph (Christafari, One Drop Redemption) and vocalist Milan Wills “Mickey Taelor” (Soul Motion), who interweaves influences from Billy Holiday, Lauren Hill, and Erykah Badu. Roots Collective embodies a diverse sound that not one genre can describe. True to their name, they embrace musical roots of all nations. VSF4 extends a warm welcome to Roots Collective for their debut performance on the Ocean Stage.
12:50 p.m. - ATS Bellydance and Drums – 2nd performance

1 p.m. – Jelly of the Month Club - What do you get when you combine original members from Sublime, the Ziggens, Zen Robbi and Mr. Crumb? A new super band–Jelly of the Month Club! Their music provides a wildly entertaining and eclectic mix of genres aimed to inspire the creative tastes of children and their parents, their grandparents, and great-grandparents! With songs like "Brand New Friend," "Welcome to the Carnival," "Lemonade Standoff," and "Waffle Boogie," Jelly of the Month Club challenges developing minds to absorb a diversity of musical instrumentation, melody, and style. Members are musical ambassadors who promote art appreciation, education, and service to others through an interactive show. Bring the whole family and come join the club! Featuring Bert Susanka (The Ziggens) on vocals and guitar; Michael “Mic Dangerously” De La Torre (Zen Robbi) on vocals, lead and bass guitars, banjo, harmonica, percussion, and MIDI xylophone; Christopher “Mr. Crumb” Capian on vocals, piano, organ, ukulele, accordion, spoons, and guitar; Todd Forman (Sublime) on saxophones, clarinets, organ, and back-up vocals; and Scott Wittenberg (Zen Robbi) on drums. Venice Spring Fling is honored to welcome JOTMC to the Ocean Stage!

1:50 p.m. - Ya Harissa Bellydance Theatre - This Venice-based dance company performs a mix of different styles from traditional to cabaret. The ladies of Ya Harissa are veterans of the Venice Spring Fling and are welcomed back for several more intriguing dance sets in front of the Ocean Stage.

2 p.m. – Missus Jones - Missus Jones performs the ultimate tribute to the late, amazing Ms. Amy Winehouse! The full-suited, retro-styled band has several configurations, which may include up to a ten-piece band, with drums, bass, guitar, keys, horns, and backup singers, but always will include a drop-dead gorgeous Amy with stellar voice and a very serious beehive hairdo (drink umbrellas included). The multi-talented band members are seasoned in a vast array of genres and have performed internationally, on television, on recordings, and in film scores. Performers at VSF4 include Saya Novinger (vocals), Aja George (background vocals), Patrick Simon (keys), Jon Ilaw (guitar), Steve Chavez (bass), Chuck Orozco (drums), Frank Clayton (baritone sax), Nick Gomez (tenor sax), and Shant Keuroghelian (trumpet). Venice Spring Fling welcomes Missus Jones for their debut performance on the Ocean Stage!

2:50 - Ya Harissa Bellydance Theatre – 2nd performance

3 p.m. – Rated X - Rated X pays tribute to the infamous first-wave L.A. punk band X, and takes the audience on a journey back to the late '70s/early '80s L.A. punk scene, influenced by people like Ray Manzarek and Charles Bukowski. The band features Jenny “Jenny Bomb” Moller on vocals, Masao Miyashiro on bass and vocals, Sean Conniff on guitar, and Greg Cecconi on drums. Venice native Jenny Moller is a vocalist for the up-and-coming, dark digital electronic group Bottled Candy, and collaborates with Kevin T. Williams (Bonedaddys, Untouchables), Meet Me at the Pub, and with Tone Def as a Tone Def Allstar. Sean Conniff has performed with Battalion of Saints and the defunct X cover band Blue Spark. Greg Cecconi performed and recorded with the Rock En Espanol band, LIK, which signed to Sony Music. Venice native and beach resident for over 25 years, Masao Miyashiro has played with Non-Oxynal 9, an OG punk band out of Venice whose touring took them through Japan with Beowulf, Horny Toad, and pro-surfer Christian Fletcher's band, Mutalage. He now plays with the bands Tone Def Punk Rock Karaoke and The Pinata Shorebreakers. Expect to hear X hits like “Los Angeles,” “Soul Kitchen,” “We're Desperate,” “Nausea,” “White Girl,” and many more. VSF4 welcomes Rated X for their debut performance on the Ocean Stage!

3:50 p.m. – Ya Harissa Bellydance Theatre – 3rd performance

4 p.m. – Meet Me At The Pub - Soon after Meet Me at the Pub formed in Venice in 1999, the trio of Jeremy, Sully, and Jack soon built a rabid local fan base with the local surfers and skaters, throwing off-the-wall parties at their weekly shows at the Malibu Inn. But Meet Me At The Pub is not just your average party band; Jeremy's satiric-but-real lyrics and energetic stage antics keep audiences entertained, amused, and dancing! In 2003, the band released their first major album, Monday Night, and with help from SurfRock Int., the band released their first Japan Import in 2006. They have toured the US, UK, and Japan, performing over 1500 shows in the past twelve years. The band's third album, Tall Can Wednesday (2009), was produced by Lewis Richards (Slightly Stoopid, Sublime). Pub embodies the true sound and spirit of the Southern California style–a mixture of reggae, ska, punk, and melodic rock (with the occasional odd waltz thrown in just for fun). Meet Me At The Pub has shared the stage with Toots & The Maytals, Eek-a-Mouse, Fishbone, The Untouchables, Horny Toad, and many others. Any time Pub plays, it's a party, and everyone's invited! Welcome back to festival veterans Meet Me at the Pub!

5 p.m. - Barry “The Fish” Melton featuring Banana and David and Linda LaFlamme – Venice Spring Fling 4 is proud to welcome back Barry “The Fish” Melton (of Country Joe and the Fish) featuring Lowell Levinger aka “Banana” (The Youngbloods), David and Linda LaFlamme (It's a Beautiful Day), Tony Saunders (Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band), Andy Kravitz, and Brad Jenkins:

Barry “The Fish” Melton - In 1965, Melton and “Country Joe” MacDonald began playing music at Berkeley protests against the Vietnam War. Soon they were recording and touring as Country Joe and the Fish, performing at the ballrooms of San Francisco in the psychedelic music scene, and by 1969 had performed their classic antiwar anthem, “I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin' to Die Rag,” at the Woodstock and Monterey Pop festivals. Since then, Melton has had an active career as both a musician and lawyer! He played guitar and sang in The Dinosaurs, a band of '60s veterans that included Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company, John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, David LaFlamme of It's a Beautiful Day, Jerry Miller of Moby Grape, and the incomparable Merl Saunders on keyboards. Melton, a veteran of the Venice Spring Fling, is a longtime fan of Venice. “I remember going there as a kid to see the King of the Beat Generation, Big Daddy' Nord,” says Melton. “Venice was the center of the counterculture in the late '50s and early '60s, and it has maintained a continuing counterculture tradition. I am delighted to be playing the Spring Fling!”

Lowell Levinger, aka “Banana,” is a founding member of The Youngbloods, and the original “Hippie From Olema.” Since the Youngbloods disbanded in 1973, Banana has recorded five solo albums with sterling songs that delve into the roots that formed his musical landscape. From down-n-dirty blues to rollicking good times, Banana presents a varied palette of colorful stories paired with irresistible melodies and rhythms. His vocals deliver sincerity, warmth, and humor, and are solidly supported by engaging instrumental arrangements. Banana utilizes many gems from his collection of vintage acoustic instruments to fully accentuate his style. He has recorded and toured with many musicians over the years, including Mimi Farina and Zero (with Steve Kimock and John Cippolina).

David and Linda Baker LaFlamme have been performing together for forty years. David began studying violin at age five, and was a soloist for the Utah Symphony in his young adult life. He became an icon in San Francisco in the '60s as the only violinist on the rock scene. His bands included The Electric Chamber Orkustra, an early version of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, and It's a Beautiful Day. LaFlamme produced a self-titled debut LP for that band, which was released by Columbia Records in 1969 and contained the band's biggest hit, "White Bird.” Linda joined David's band as a singer in 1973 and has been the female voice of “White Bird” for the past forty years. Raised in Brooklyn, she experienced the '60s in Greenwich Village and performed as a dancer at the Fillmore East. The couple has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe, experimenting through the years with different sounds–everything from five vocalists, horn sections, electric drums, and the Zeta violin system. The couple lived in Southern California for sixteen years while David made appearances on television and in film. He and Linda continue to compose and create music together, including at the 20 Years After Woodstock Festival, a three-day event featuring Leon Russell, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Country Joe McDonald, Melanie, and Johnny Winter. Recently, they performed with Jefferson Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company on an East Coast tour.

Tony Saunders is the bassist who can play all styles of music. Growing up around his Dad, the legendary Merl Saunders, Tony learned to play with Jerry Garcia one day and Johnny Mathis the next. Tony graduated from the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco and has received two Emmy Awards, one for the PBS children's special Soul Is, a project he worked on with his father. Tony has composed for television, film, and theatre, and has produced many albums out of his own studio. His charitable efforts include work with Seva Foundation, the Rex Foundation, the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, and the Rainforest Action Network. Tony's solo CD, "Romancing The Bass," remains on charts throughout the world.

Andy Kravitz has played drums and percussion, and produced and remixed music in the studio for a wide range of award-winning artists, including Cypress Hill, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Joan Osborne, James Taylor, Taj Mahal, Shawn Colvin, Los Lobos, and Daryl Hall, to name a few. Andy received the 2010 Grammy Nomination for his participation on “Best Pop Instrumental Album,” Robby Krieger of the Doors's Singularity, featuring Andy on drums and percussion.

Brad Jenkins began studying and playing music at a young age in Canada. He is a versatile saxophone and flute player, who has recently played with legends such as Lester Chambers (The Chambers Brothers), Big Brother and the Holding Company, Barry “The Fish” Melton, Jerry Miller (Moby Grape), David LaFlamme (It's A Beautiful Day), Laurence Juber (Wings), Gary Duncan (Quicksilver), Les Dudek (Allman Brothers), and many more. Brad developed his unique, soulful style while touring the country with several bands during the '70s and '80s. In the '90s, he went back to school as a Music Major, studying classical, jazz, pop, and blues. He is currently involved in efforts to keep music in schools, as well as offering private lessons in his Miranda, California, studio. He is currently playing with Lester Chambers's and Barry (The Fish) Melton's bands, as well as EZ Money, a Humboldt County band.

6:20 pm - The Venice Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Tovi Khali - The first use of 'philharmonic' was in London in 1813, when an organization was founded called the Philharmonic Society. The word 'philharmonic' translates to 'music lover,' and the Venice Philharmonic Orchestra is truly an ensemble of Venice's finest and most eclectic musicians celebrating their love of music! The music itself is as diverse as the band members, which include local favorites Tovi Khali (Scunc) on vocals, Michael Jost (Sugarbitch) on guitar, drummer and producer Andy Kravitz, Milo Gonzales (Insects Vs. Robots) on sitar and guitar, Barry Conley (Aliens) on Outta-control-a-tron, Samuel Correa on bass, and Matty D. on woodwinds, keys, and percussion. Classically trained guitar virtuoso Michael Jost has been a mainstay on the Venice scene for fifteen years, playing, composing, and producing his original mix of flamenco, funk, and psychedelia. Tovi Khali joined Jost over ten years ago, and Jost's classical European guitar stylings and Khali's smoky and captivating lyrics and vocals were a natural fit for each other. Venice Philharmonic Orchestra is a highly improvised, free spirited, mind-bending journey through space and time, delivering a danceable and thought-provoking mix of funk, rock, soul, and spoken word. A big welcome to VPO on their debut performance at Venice Spring Fling 4!

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Venice Spring Fling 7, A Free Music and Arts Festival
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11am - 7pm
Windward Plaza Park, between the boardwalk and the bike trail at the west end of Windward Avenue in Venice, CA, 90291
Free music and arts festival to kick off spring at the beach in sunny Venice, California!
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