Whether you enjoy country, reggae, gospel or rock music, you'll find the nation's top entertainers in the San Diego County Fair Summer Concert Series on the Grandstand Stage.
Heroes of Woodstock
June 12; starting at 7:30 p.m.
It's the 40th anniversary of the most influential concert in music history, Woodstock.
Heroes of Woodstock: starring Jefferson Starship, Canned Heat, Melanie, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Tom Constanten of the Grateful Dead, hosted by Country Joe McDonald open the 2009 Summer Concert Series.
Free with Fair admission for unreserved seats. Limited reserved seating. Dinner package is available.
Jefferson Starship includes songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner and vocalist David Freiberg, both of whom founded Jefferson Starship. In 1965 Kantner formed Jefferson Airplane, which became Jefferson Starship in 1974. This group reigned as one of the most artistically and commercially successful rock groups for a decade. Since reforming in 1992, Jefferson Starship has performed more than 1,000 concerts in 21 countries.
Canned Heat was founded in 1966 and secured its niche in rock 'n' roll history with performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival. Their Top-40 country-blues-rock songs, "On The Road Again", "Let's Work Together", and "Going Up The Country" became rock anthems throughout the world.
Melanie wrote one of her biggest hits, "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" as an homage to the Woodstock experience. Among her other hits were "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)," and "Brand New Key."
Janis Joplin's original band, Big Brother & the Holding Co., was formed in San Francisco during the psychedelic music movement of the mid-1960s. Joplin debuted with Big Brother in 1966 and catapulted the band into the national spotlight. The band reunited in 1987 and since then, has traveled around Europe, appeared at large hippie festivals, large clubs and theaters. In 2006 the band released its first live recording since 1968's "Live At Winterland" with a new lead vocalist, Sophia Ramos.
Tom Constanten was the Grateful Dead's keyboard player from 1968-70. He met founding Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh at UC Berkeley, where both were studying music. He played keyboards on the band's albums "Anthem of the Sun," "Aoxomoxoa" and the "Live/Dead" live album.
The show will be hosted by Country Joe McDonald. McDonald was the leader of the band, Country Joe & the Fish, which had a huge hit with "I'm Fixin' To Die Rag," a protest song of the Vietnam War era. Its chorus, "One-Two-Three-Four, what are we fightin' for?" was sung at rallies across the country. Starting in 1982, Joe began actively working with and for Vietnam Veterans Against The War, Swords To Plowshares and Vietnam Veterans Of America to further the cause of the thousands of veterans who had become disenfranchised by the system's neglect.
This show is licensed by Woodstock Ventures Ltd. and is free with Fair admission for unreserved seats on the third and fifth levels.
Melissa Etheridge: Live and Alone
June 13; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Melissa Etheridge, a two-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, is a singer-songwriter whose music has been admired for nearly two decades. Always a Fair favorite, she returns to the Fair's Grandstand Stage for the third time.
Admission to this concert requires a ticket.
Los Tucanes de Tijuana
June 14; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Los Tucanes de Tijuana was formed by vocalist/guitarist Mario Quintero Lara, vocalist/accordionist Joel Higuera, drummer David Servin and bassist Mario Moreno.
The quartet began recording and soon signed a contract with Alacran Records, which released 14 Tucanazos Bien Pesados and Mundo de Amor in 1995. The albums fared so well that Los Tucanes de Tijuana earned a contract with EMI Latin.
The group has also recorded for Unisono and Cintas Acuario, releasing Amor Platonico in 1998; their Nuestras Primeras Canciones Vol. 1 collection appeared the same year, as did Los Mas Buscados.Me Gusta Burlar la Ley was issued in September 2000. Mi Gusta Vivir de Noche followed on Universal Latino later that fall and Claves, Masacres Y Fugas and Mission Especial were both released in early 2001.
June 16; starting at 7:30 p.m.
With his fourth studio album, "Prayer Of A Common Man," Phil Vassar adds several more layers of artistic expression to his deepening repertoire.
The Virginia-born singer, songwriter and musician took his seat as country's leading piano man with the success of songs like "Just Another Day In Paradise" and "Six-Pack Summer." Vassar's embrace of life's richest blessings is apparent on lead single "Love Is A Beautiful Thing." At the same time, his writing has grown more introspective and personal, as "This Is My Life" and the title track can attest.
June 17; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Bret Michaels built his fame from the ground up after his first debut solo album, "Songs of Life." Michaels' road to success has not been easy while living as an insulin-dependent diabetic since the age of 6, alongside writing and producing all of his own work. This challenge has not stopped Michaels; instead he has managed to take care of himself and stay in top-notch condition while gaining inspiration for his lyrics. Michaels will continue his promotional tour of "Songs of Life" throughout the summer.
June 18; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Millions of people around the country fell in love with rock belter David Cook while watching him on the seventh season of "American Idol." Cook won the competition with his rich voice and passionate performances. With the release of his self-titled major-label debut, this gifted 25-year-old is eager to show those fans what he can do.
It's a statement-making album, filled with bold, keenly felt songs that showcase Cook's powerful vocal chops and considerable songwriting talent, as well as the versatility that made him a star on Idol. The first single "Light On," with its Southern rock vibe, is light years away from the gut-wrenching ballad "Permanent," which couldn't be more different than the swaggering shredder "Bar-Ba-Sol."
Admission to this concert requires a ticket.
June 19; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Loretta Lynn, the queen of country music, will make a rare West Coast appearance here at the San Diego County Fair.
For more than four decades now, Lynn has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful-and as culturally significant-as any female performer you'd care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner's Daughter - the tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning film, and to Lynn herself - has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.
Her Grammy award-winning album, the Jack White-produced "Van Lear Rose," reminds the world yet again of Lynn's power as a vocalist and her skill as a songwriter. As she puts it on "The Story of My Life," the album's closing track: "Not half bad for this ol' KY girl, I guess...Here's the story of my life. Listen close, I'll tell it twice."
Her many hits include "You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)," "Don't Come Home A'Drinkin' (with Lovin' on Your Mind)," and of course, "Coal Miner's Daughter." By the time of her last major hit - "I Lie" - Lynn could count 55 Top 10 hits, 27 of which hit the top spot.
June 20; starting at 7:30 p.m.
The runnerup in last season's American Idol competition, David Archuleta is a crowd favorite and the winner of several talent competitions, the first of which came when he was just 10 years old.
Admission to this concert requires a ticket.
Banda El Limón with Los Creadorez
June 21; 7:30 p.m.
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón
was formed by clarinet player Rene Camacho, who became involved in local traditional Mexican music in the mid '60s.
This Mazatlán, Sinaloa-based act got international recognition during the '90s, becoming a top-selling group.
Also known simply as Banda El Limón, this 17-piece band's album, "Más Arrolladora Que Nunca," (More Sweeping Than Ever) achieved gold status in 1998. After issuing Corridos Arrolladores, Fernando Camacho produced "Simplemente...Arrolladora," (Simply... Sweeping) which was released in 2000 by Sony Discos.
Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense
is a Chicago project headed by Alfredo Ramírez Corral, who in 1996, alongside co-founder Ismael Mijarez, put together one of the very first stateside duranguense groups, with great success. At first the group was called Grupo Montez de Durango, which became the best-selling duranguense act in the U.S., achieving legendary status in the regional Mexican music world.
Ten years after their formation they re-emerged, revamped and renamed, armed with a new image and concept. The group basically stayed the same, as in their former incarnation, including founders Alfredo Ramírez Corral and Ismael Mijarez alongside Armando Aguirre, Francisco Lopez, and Cesar Ruelas.
Their hits include "Que Lastima" and "Quisiera Ser una Lagrima," both of which made appearances on Billboard's regional Mexican charts. Los Creadorez's debut record, "Recio, Recio Mis Creadorez," was released in late January 2007.
The Guess Who with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels
June 23; starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Guess Who, which has been rocking the stages since the mid '60s, is the first Canadian rock group to have a No. 1 hit in the U.S. for the song "American Woman." The band became Canada's first international rock music superstars.
Since the 1960s, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels have been providing high-octane rock 'n' roll instantly recognizable to rock fans of all ages. "Devil With A Blue Dress On" is the band's signature hit, but "Jenny Take A Ride" and "Little Latin Lupe Lu" are among a long list of hit singles.
June 24; starting at 7:30 p.m.
The quality of sharing the humor in everyday situations has made Bill Engvall one of the top comedians today. Engvall has starred in his own sitcom for TBS, hosts one of the top-rated shows on CMT, "Country Fried Home Videos," and has been in the movies "Bait Shop" and "Delta Farce,"
Prior to his big screen debut, Engvall was one of the stars of the sketch comedy show, "Blue Collar TV," on the WB network. The ensemble cast included Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. He also has had two solo specials which aired on Comedy Central - "15° Off Cool" and "Here's Your Sign, Live." The album "Here's Your Sign" won the "Best Selling Comedy album" award at the annual NARM convention, outselling albums by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler.
June 25; starting at 7:30 p.m.
It has been said that The B-52s are as quintessentially American as The Beach Boys. Twenty-five years and over 20 million albums into their career, the B-52s remain the among the most beloved rock stars ever.
Any mystery concerning the longevity and ongoing appeal of The B-52s is immediately solved when exposed to The B-52s unique concert experience. From the timeless gems of "Rock Lobster," "Planet Claire" and "Private Idaho" to the more recent classics of "Channel Z," "Love Shack" and "Roam", The B-52s' unforgettable dance-rock tunes start a party every time the music begins.
June 26; starting at 7:30 p.m.
The members of Switchfoot - Jon Foreman (vocals, songwriter, guitar), Tim Foreman (bass, backing vocals), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keys, backing vocals) and Drew Shirley (guitar) - are excited to return to the Fair in their hometown of San Diego.
The alternative rock band gained national attention when four of their songs were featured in the 2002 movie "A Walk to Remember." Since their first album release in 1997, Switchfoot has sold well over five million albums and more than three million concert tickets worldwide since 2003.
5th Annual Gospel Festival: Israel & New Breed with Tonex and more
June 27; starting at 7 p.m.
Israel & New Breed will headline the 5th Annual Gospel Festival, which features day-long uplifting gospel music performed by talented members of the Southern California community.
Appearing with Israel & New Breed on the Grandstand Stage will be Tonex, Eddie Baltrip & Fulfillment, and M.A.N.D.A.T.E Records Family featuring Jehsyn Lavelle.
Intocable with Patrulla 81
June 28; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Grammy award winning superstar group
(Untouchable) is a Tejano/Norteño musical group from Zapata, Texas that was started by friends Ricky Muñoz and Rene Martínez in the early '90s.
Within a couple years as a band, Intocable had already risen to the top of the Tejano and Norteño fields with a musical signature that had fused Tejano's robust conjunto and Norteño folk rhythms with a pop balladry.
Currently, Intocable could very well be the most influential group in Tejano, and their tough Tejano/Norteño fusion has become the blueprint for dozens of Tex-Mex groups.
started in 1981 in the city of Durango, in the Mexican state of the same name. Led since its origins by Jose Angel Medina, the band named the group based on the popular '80s TV Program 'CHiPS," in which Mexico was called "Patrulla Motorizada," then added the number 81 for the year it was founded.
The band reaches its breakthrough moment when it manages to hit it big in the audience's preferences, leaving behind the stereotype that their music genre was for those in the farm lands and rural country.
The '80s brought on a wave of immigration and many of their followers came to the U.S., establishing mainly in the state of Illinois where the Duranguense genre has nearly as strong a following as in Mexico.
Patrulla 81 hits include "Tu Mirada", "La Hora de los Ausentes", "El Troquero", all of which include a strong drum beat and Fast paced rhythms.
June 29; 7:30 p.m.
If only one word was allowed to describe Clint Black, "profound" would cover a lot of bases. He has written, recorded and released more than 100 songs. An astounding one-third of the songs eligible for single release achieved hit song status at country radio. He has had nearly two dozen Number One hit singles, and almost as many Top 5 and Top 10 hits, all of them original compositions.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited
June 30; starting at 7:30 p.m.
Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford may not have intended it, but their band Creedence Clearwater Revisited has taken on a startling life of its own. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section (bass and drums respectively) from the legendary group Creedence Clearwater Revival launched the Creedence Clearwater Revisited project in 1995 to once again perform live Creedence Clearwater Revival hits. Though the pair initially only planned to play private parties, Creedence Clearwater Revisited now performs up to 100 shows a year and has released the album "Recollection."
KC and the Sunshine Band
July 1; 7:30 p.m.
Starting off originally as a duo, and then progressing into a full band, KC and the Sunshine Band is still as widely popular today as they were when they first danced into the music scene 35 years ago.
Their first major U.S. hit, in the early '70s, called audiences to "Get Down Tonight" and paved the way for future number-one hits, including "Shake Your Booty" and "That's the Way (I Like It). "Please Don't Go" was actually the first number-one hit of the 1980s.
KC and the Sunshine Band fuses R&B and funk, mixed with a hint of Latin percussion groove, producing songs that are bound to get the crowd dancing.
The Music of ABBA
July 2; starting at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Arrival, from Sweden, is the largest touring ABBA show in the world, having toured in 20 nations. The show is 100 percent live, and is the only ABBA show with exclusive rights to create identical versions of ABBA's clothing. Their sound is so authentic that ABBA fans on Swedish National Radio proclaimed Arrival's version of "Dancing Queen" as being the original ABBA version.
This show will be performed twice, once at 2:00PM as part of the Fair's Solid Gold Series, and again at 7:30PM as part of the Summer Concert Series. Both shows will take place on the Heineken Grandstand Stage.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
July 3; 7:30 p.m.
Joan Jett is an accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist with eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including "bad reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and "Do You Want To Touch Me."
One of only two women listed on Rolling Stone magazine's Top 100 guitarists of all time, Jett is a force in the rock world and has influenced many rockers, male and female alike.
This show also will include the finals of the Fair's Musicpalooza contest, where the best band and best singer will each win $25,000.
Smokey Robinson with Navy Band Southwest and Fireworks
July 4; starting at 7:30 p.m., Navy Band Southwest, 9 p.m., Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. (approx.), Smokey Robinson
Smokey Robinson is the undisputed "King of Motown." A legend among R&B singers, Robinson has recorded hit after hit, bringing him legions of fans from several generations.
Robinson will be the headliner for the Fair's July 4 show, which also features the Navy Band Southwest and the Fair's traditional fireworks display.
July 5; 7:30 p.m.
With her fourth album, "All I Ever Wanted," Kelly Clarkson demonstrates her eagerness to push her music in new and different directions. Clarkson has sold more than 20 million records, landed eight singles in the Top Ten, and has won Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards.
Most of these shows are free with admission to the Fair for unreserved seats; however, if you want to guarantee your seat, you may purchase reserved-seat tickets for any show. All reserved-seat tickets include Fair admission.
Many shows also include a gourmet dinner package in the famed Del Mar Turf Club. Please see the individual shows for details.
Reserved seats for these shows are now on sale.
Tickets for Summer Concert Series shows can be purchased at the Del Mar Fairgrounds ticket office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The ticket office is located on the north side of the Fairgrounds' Main Parking Lot, located on Jimmy Durante Blvd.
If you buy tickets on a day with paid parking, you will need to pay for parking and get your parking pass stamped at the box office for a refund.
You also can buy tickets for:
Del Mar National Horse Show, April 16-May 3;
Professional Bull Riding, July 25-26;
Best Pass Ever (Fair season pass)
San Diego International Beer Festival, June 26-27 during the Fair.
Online or by phone with Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000.