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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Monterey Music Scene

Monterey is a beautiful coastal tourist attraction with a healthy night life at Cannery Row, which features several clubs and restaurants near the beach. Sardine Factory is a restaurant/night club that features live entertainment throughout the week by David Conley, who also creates original music. Monterey has the feel of a quiet resort town, so it's not known for its music scene, leaving the door wide open for a seasoned indie act to dominate the market. The history of the Monterey music scene is somewhat overshadowed by events such as the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967.

Monterey Music Acts

Angelica Hayden * BeDope * Carla Blackwell * Casey Frazier * David Conley * Deepstone * Delirio * Dirty Penny * Dominic Camany * Eric V * Eric Vargas * Fetcher * Flames of Ice * Kevin Smith * Lauren Shera * Mark Banks * Psycho X * Relative Face * Ron Wright * Shadowalk * Stephen Covell * The Locksmith * Tumbleweed * Untamed Gorillaz * Ushers

Monterey Local Music Scene History

Most Monterey residents celebrated Independence Day in 2020 without live music, due to the strict social distancing guidelines set by the County to fight the coronavirus. People had the option to attend "Drive and Dine," a midday parking lot music event in Downtown Pacific Grove on Saturday, July 4. Local acts that performed included Firefly, Brendan McLaren and Kevin Smith.

Local organizers have put together a benefit CD for the nonprofit Monterey County chapter of Guitars Not Guns. The organization is run by by volunteers and works together connecting youths 8-18 with guitars and music lessons. Since 2000, the group has given away over 1,600 guitars.

The annual Monterey Jazz Festival held at Monterey Fairgrounds, was voted best jazz festival in a 2013 JazzTimes Readers Poll. In September 2017 the festival was in its 59th year. The festival was also voted number one by the JazzTimes readers in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It is currently the world's longest running jazz festival.

Monterey is a legendary music city in many respects. The Monterey Pop Festival of 1967, for example, was the first rock festival of its kind. There had been folk, jazz and blues festivals pulling big crowds and the Beatles had begun to fill stadiums until they quit touring a year earlier, but the Monterey Pop Festival marked a new chapter in music history. It ushered legendary names into the mainstream, such as The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix and Otis Redding. It also inspired the song "Monterey" by Eric Burdon & The Animals. The festival set the stage for Woodstock in New York and all other rock festivals that followed.

The event was held at Monterey County Fairgrounds for three days from June 16-18 and was attented by as many as 90,000 people. It marked the quintessential beginning of what became known as "The Summer of Love." Even though it is generally remembered as the first big rock festival, there was actually a fairly big rock festival a week earlier in Marin County called the "KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival." The KFRC show featured some of the same acts such as Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds and Country Joe and the Fish.

The Monterey Pop Festival was organized by four music industry professionals including John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, who were performers at the show. Other acts who played the legendary festival included Ravi Shankar, Simon & Garfunkel and The Association. The Moog synthesizer was showcased at the event, ushering in a new era of sound. The Beatles were invited to play but declined and instead recommended The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The rest is history. The city celebrates the 50th anniversary in 2017.

David Conley is the number one local artist in Monterey, according to ReverbNation. Conley performs live regularly at the Sardine Factory restaurant. He has released several CDs and sells them at his shows, which includes popular cover songs. His latest CD is called Under The Radar, featuring 16 original songs. His music is pop/rock spirited with a modern flavor and elements of traditional pop.

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