Independence Day In Downtown!

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By Zachary Hulsey

There’s no better way to celebrate our national Independence Day than in downtown Stockton with your beloved family and friends, located at our Weber Point Event Center for the annual 4th of July parade and festival.

Hosted by the United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County, this perfect day of festivities and fun will begin with an annual 4th of July parade show in the morning at 11:00 a.m. At 12:00 p.m., the gates of the Weber Point Event Center will open up, where you’ll find a mix of diverse food trucks, creative vendors, a special guest, live band music, constant entertainment, and various other family-friendly activities!

Photo by Shaun Chatrath
Photo by Shaun Chatrath

Then later on in the evening, at 9:30 p.m., the amazing firework show will begin and last for approximately 20 minutes. This event is the perfect time to engage with your diverse local community for an entire day of fun, festivities, and the best entertainment activities!

Don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity to celebrate our national independence here in downtown Stockton with your family and friends! The weekend after the 4th of July festival only gets better.

The Fourth of July weekend is full of many creative and fun things to do here in downtown Stockton. On Saturday, July 6th, the Stockton Ports have a ball game against the San Jose Giants. From 7:05 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., you can attend this game to cheer on the Stockton Ports! Lots of food and drinks will be available at this game; there will also be a great view of the downtown Court House and the Waterfront.

Later the next day, Coach’s Lounge in downtown has open-mic smooth jazz music with the Sizzle Band. If you love jazz, head on over to the Coach’s Lounge from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 7th.

Main Street Market 🎶

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🍔 Happening June 11th at 242 E. Main Street, Stockton, CA! 🍻

By Alvin Cho

Hello!

I’m Alvin, the new intern at DSA from Korea. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the Main Street Market, which has become a cultural staple in our downtown area. This market – held outside the Bob Hope Theater and hosted by the Downtown Stockton Alliance, Parents By Choice, and ASM Global – is incredibly popular among both locals and visitors. Its charm can be divided into three main attractions: lively bands, delicious food, and various business promotions.

Lively Bands

The first thing that captures your attention at the Main Street Market is the live music. Several local bands take the stage to perform a wide range of musical genres. From jazz and blues to rock and pop, you can enjoy music that suits your taste. The passionate performances of the bands and the enthusiastic responses from the audience create a vibrant atmosphere. Walking around the market while listening to the music can make all your daily stress melt away.

Delicious Food

Another major attraction of the Main Street Market is the delicious food. The market is dotted with a variety of food trucks and stalls, offering a diverse array of cuisines. From fresh, locally-made dishes to street food from around the world, the wide selection can make it hard to decide what to eat. The handmade beverages and desserts available here are particularly worth trying. Sharing tasty food with friends and family while having a great time makes the Main Street Market a paradise for food lovers. This year, the market also features a beer garden, serving refreshing drinks from 4:30 – 7:30 PM.

Business Promotions

Main Street Market is more than just a marketplace. It’s also a platform for various businesses to promote their products and services. Numerous small business owners seize the opportunity to showcase their brands and directly interact with customers. There are product demonstrations, special discounts, and various activities aimed at business promotion. This not only helps in selling products but also builds trust with customers and contributes to the local economy.

Dates

Main Street Market is happening TONIGHT, June 11th from 4:30 – 7:30 PM (featuring music by Nick Elwood)!

Come on Out!

Main Street Market goes beyond being just a place to buy and sell goods. It’s a special space where the local community comes together. With lively music, delicious food, and various businesses coming together, it offers visitors an unforgettable experience. If you’re ever downtown, I highly recommend visiting! You’re sure to fall in love with the charm of the Main Street Market.

This has been Alvin, the intern from Korea. I’ll be back with more interesting and informative news next time.

Thank you!

Downtown Stockton’s “Bourbon Street”: Dreaming Tomorrow’s Downtown

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by Shaun Chatrath

Throughout the 21st century, Downtown Stockton has improved substantially, in large part due to the many businesses, people, and organizations who have helped revitalize this area.

Since the 1990s, the Downtown Stockton Alliance has played a massive role in marketing, informing, and giving life to Downtown. Through this effort, many projects, such as musical events and the restoration of Mun Kwok Lane, have seen the light of day.

With that said, we have only scratched the surface of Downtown Stockton’s potential.

We believe that Downtown Stockton one day can become one of the premier landmarks in the state of California.

This belief is due to the picturesque port that flows across Downtown, the convenience of Stockton’s geography, and the vast amount of land Downtown suited for businesses and entrepreneurship.

To reach Downtown Stockton’s full potential, why not look at the following American cities for inspiration: New Orleans and Reno?

Like Downtown Stockton, New Orleans has rich architecture and history, many of which oversee a body of water that cuts through the city (Mississippi River).

According to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, 58% of tourists to New Orleans tour these historic sites and architecture.

In that same study, they found that tourists to the city of New Orleans spent an average of $50 more than the average tourism spending in the United States.

Thus, growing the economy of the local area. elements of New Orleans into its urban planning, we’d be drawing from a proven foundation of success and establishing a tourism-friendly culture for Downtown.

Now obviously, the area size of Downtown Stockton is significantly less than New Orleans, but that’s where a town such as Reno comes in. Reno, Nevada, is billed as “The Biggest Little City in the World.”

Like Las Vegas, the city has several casinos and shows such as Circus Circus Resort or Atlantis that draw visitors each year. According to a study by Travel Nevada, Reno has seen a $95 increase in average tourism trip spending between the years 2016-2019. Las Vegas has seen an $88 increase in the same time period.

Reno is a successful mini–Las Vegas.

To entice tourists, Downtown Stockton needs its own mini–Bourbon Street or North Virginia Street. A stretch of road where food, history, music, and most importantly, people gather at every corner together to celebrate.

What features would make Downtown Stockton the next tourist hotspot? Which street could be our Bourbon Street?

SOURCES

Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism 2019-2020 Study: https://crt.state.la.us/Assets/Tourism/research/documents/2019-2020/2019%20Louisiana%20Visitor%20Profile.pdf

Reno 2016 -2020 Travel Nevada Study:

Reno-Tahoe-Territory-CY16-20.pdf (travelnevada.biz)

Las Vegas 2016 -2020 Travel Nevada Study:

Las-Vegas-Territory-CY16-20.pdf (travelnevada.biz)

Live music returns to downtown Stockton for new series

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by Ben Sanchez

The Downtown Sounds music series launched this past month with some amazing rockin’ sounds from Haywired. While their weekly music set is coming to an end, we had a variety of questions regarding this new, outdoor music event downtown. We wanted to take all your feedback and answer as many questions you have about Downtown Sounds. We all know you are curious about who is performing next in downtown. Let’s take a look at how this event has evolved over the past year.

What is Downtown Sounds?

Last year, the Downtown Stockton Alliance hosted a series of music events downtown with local musicians. The open space in Janet Leigh Plaza was a great opportunity to present a free outdoor event for the community. In May 2021, University of the Pacific’s Patrick Langham Jazz Sextet was the first group to appear in Janet Leigh Plaza performing live jazz outdoors!

The first outdoor music event was dubbed ‘Jazz in the Plazz’ and throughout the month had more attendance every Tuesday. With the success of the outdoor music series, two more monthly events would appear in 2021. The Mike Torres Jr. band would play in September for Torres Tuesdays and Phillip Bailey Moncrease appeared in October to bring more amazing sounds to downtown.

Initially, the music series did not have an official name tied to each monthly event downtown. Each musical performance was tied to a different, monthly title. This year, we wanted the music series to fall under one title as we introduce Downtown Sounds in 2022. With more performances planned throughout the year, you will want to follow our social media platforms to stay updated on who is playing live on Tuesday nights.

When is Downtown Sounds?

Our music series is every Tuesday night at Janet Leigh Plaza.

Live music starts at 6 PM and will run until 8 PM.

Is there a charge for this event?

No. This event is FREE to the public.

Jazz in the Plazz highlight from 2021.

Will I need to bring a chair?

Plastic chairs will be provided. You may bring your own chair to this event. The plaza has plenty of space for you to sit and enjoy music.

Who has performed this year?

We reached out to Haywired, a “Rockin Americana” style band with dynamic vocals that are welcome sounds to downtown Stockton. With a versatile musical style, this band is inspired by country, rock, pop, folk, R&B and blues.

Haywired performing downtown

Will Jazz in the Plazz return to downtown? 

Absolutely! We heard all the feedback from the community and are happy to announce that Jazz in the Plazz returns in May for our Downtown Sounds series. Langham, Professor and Program Director of Jazz Studies at the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, is excited to perform for our community in downtown Stockton. You can catch live jazz downtown starting on May 3rd at 6 PM.

Mike Torres Jr. band

Are restaurants open during the live event?

Yes! All restaurants in the surrounding area of Janet Leigh Plaza will be open. Grab food during the show! Drinks are also allowed outdoors! Here is a list of restaurants in the plaza serving tasty food on Tuesday nights.

Grab food and drinks at the Plaza!

Share your #DowntownStockton experience 

While you’re exploring downtown – snap a photo and share it on social media with us! Be sure to tag us in your photos at @Downtownstockton and use the hashtag #DowntownStockton for the chance to be featured on our social channels. 

Check out the downtown vlog episodes on our YouTube channel!

Subscribe now and catch all new episodes in downtown Stockton.

Where to Perform Downtown?

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By Nissi Guiao 

As fun as it is to enjoy live music, it’s also quite thrilling to be the one jamming and performing on stage. Recently, we shared the best live, local spots downtown to listen to great music (click here for all the juicy “deets” in our previous blog!). This time around, we’re covering how to book some of these places if you’re an aspiring musician. In addition to venues, we’re sharing other special resources and opportunities you’ll want to take advantage of downtown, along with a few stories to leave you inspired.

EMPRESSO COFFEEHOUSE 

For years, Empresso has struck the right chords within our community. They’ve always harmonized with the music scene, naturally creating “vibey” atmospheres whenever they host local musicians/artists. Continuing this tradition, they hold open mics every other Thursday at their El Dorado location (pending holidays, of course). This is a great location to begin branching out, especially if you’re just wanting to get your feet wet and test the waters. What are you waiting for? Share your music; don’t be shy. Pop in and talk to Juan Espino or any other manager, or call (209) 451-0788, to get something set up for the next open mic. The line-up won’t be complete without you. 

TERRA COFFEE  

Speaking of open mics, Terra holds their own on the last Friday of each month! Mark your calendars because this is a growing scene you want to be a part of. There’s such a strong and steady heartbeat for the artist community here. Evidently, their desire to highlight and support local artists sings a resounding “welcome.” They eagerly invite artists and musicians of all kinds to sign up. All you have to do is show up and perform! Stepping out also gets you inadvertently plugged in to the realm of other artists that decide to show up, too. Don’t hesitate—add to the hustle and buzz under Terra’s creative umbrella by making yourself known. Do it for the people, but most importantly, do it for your soul. Show up, sign up, and sing an original or two! 

CAST IRON TRADING CO. 

Home of the eye-catching (super aesthetic), mouth-watering eats and great pairing brews and drinks is Cast Iron Trading Co., where local artists are welcome to perform live on a consistent basis. Really, we’ve got nothing but great things to say about this downtown fave! They really know what they’re doing, and the momentum keeps building. That should encourage you to get plugged into their steady stream in the local music scene. With a great variety of live performances every month, they don’t skip a beat. Be part of their tribe and grow yourself as a musician/artist. Call (209) 227-8585 for more details on booking. 

CHANNEL BREWING CO. 

Channel is the place to be, with great vibes guaranteed! Their brews are next level; and what takes them over the top is the way that they support the music scene downtown. You can tell they take pride in showcasing local artists. So if that’s you, pick a good sample to send over (preferably via SoundCloud or YouTube) and reach out to Brandon at (209) 373-6483. 

DELIBERATION ROOM 

Known for more than good eats and great drinks, Deliberation Room creates the kind of atmosphere you want to settle into, especially on the nights they showcase local bands and musicians. Check their IG page: @deliberationroom; there’s always something happening at this local favorite. If you want to add to the excitement with your live music, call (209) 910-9477 to contact Melanie for booking opportunities. 

STOCKMARKET (+ GOODSTOCKCA) 

Stockmarket is the talk of the town, every time Weber Ave. is graced by this highly-anticipated event. Shopping—#supportlocal. Good eats and drinks. Live music! To join in on the fun is a no-brainer, but have you thought about being showcased as one of the local bands/artists? As this event is only growing more and more popular over time, it’s an ideal place to share your music with the community that eagerly wants to support you.  

They’re booked through October, but there are still slots for the holiday market come December. They say, “We keep all applications on file for future opportunities!” and “We are always looking for new talent to highlight at many different types of events. All genres of music are welcome to apply. . .Any artist who is interested in playing Stockmarket or any of our other events can do so by visiting www.stockmarketca.com or goodstockca.com.” 

THE VIBE WORLDWIDE 

The Vibe Worldwide “is for every artist that is passionate about their craft whether they’re a celebrity or a first-timer,” says founders Brandon “Tiger Owndabea” Wiggins and Andrea “Kitten” Perry. It’s truly a powerful movement that promotes artistic growth and unity in the creative community in Stockton, especially around downtown. How do they do that? One of the ways is through the Your Voice Singing Competition they host quarterly. Each one, featuring the talent within the community (hopefully including you next time), is packed thick with high doses of inspiration. 

Both Tiger and Kitten share the same passion, as they’ve “committed [their] time and resources to putting on 40 open mics, competitions, showcases, workshops, and cultural events.” “We set out to be for artists the people we would have wanted to be there for us,” they share. “When we started The Vibe Worldwide in 2017, our mission was to provide a platform for talented performing. . .artists in Stockton. . .[since then,] The Vibe Worldwide shows have become a melting pot of talent, passion and inspiration…and although we have awakened the arts in the Central Valley, we want Stockton artists to know that their crafts are universal. . .” 

TVW as a whole is a tremendous resource in the downtown community. They also provide “other workshops. . .throughout the year [which are geared to] help artists with their creativity, stage performance, breathing techniques, memorization, and creative writing.” One of the most powerful workshops they provide (in my opinion) is all about the inner voice. The duo explains “The inner voice is something that we all possess, whether we internally say something as small as ‘I’m gonna go fix a sandwich’ or something as big as ‘I believe I can do it.’ We like to focus on how to help people (specifically creators) utilize that inner voice as a benefit.  

In doing so, we teach creators to trust their inner voice and to apply daily, positive practices. . .The inner voice is like the master key to the soul, but it will only work when one notices it and uses it.” Is your inner voice telling you to jump into the next event? Feed that thought and stay in the loop by following their IG account: @thevibeworldwide. And send them an email to [email protected] to sign up when the next event is posted. An encouraging community, of aspiring artists where you can truly express yourself, awaits. 

THE PRESS RECORDING STUDIO  

It’s one thing to create a work of art. It’s a whole other beast getting to the stage of recording your music. Thankfully, downtown Stockton is home to The Press Recording Studio. With professionals that seriously care about developing quality sound (out of their own passion for music), you can guarantee you’ll be in the best hands every time you book a session with them.

We asked the man himself, Matt Young (The Press owner/engineer) “What words of encouragement would you give to an aspiring musician/singer/songwriter who’s maybe nervous about the recording process?” 

He says, “Don’t be! When opening the studio, one of my biggest goals was to make sure people feel comfortable and inspired when recording at The Press. (I had some bad experiences when I was coming up as a musician and working in other recording studios.) When you’re here, you will not encounter any ego, negativity, judgement, etc. All of the engineers working at the studio are easy to work with and will help make the recording process as smooth as possible. Our goal is the same goal as yours: making awesome music! We will help (or just push buttons and keep our mouths shut if that’s what you want) you get an awesome product even if you come in a little unsure because you’re new to recording. Everybody has to start somewhere and we are the perfect place for that.” 

And he’s right—you’ve gotta start somewhere. If recording your music is a dream you’ve been hanging onto, we encourage you to not give it up before you even give it a try. Book a session at The Press; feel things out. Let them walk you through the process and help you create the sound you’re hoping to achieve.  

GRACE NOTES MUSIC PROJECT (@ THE PRESS) 

Next is a golden nugget for all of our young, aspiring artists. Grace Notes, founded by Brandon James and made possible by Matt Young, is a phenomenal program aimed towards the fresh batch of creative youth in Stockton. “But what is it exactly?”

We asked Matt, “Can you please share how Grace Notes has helped young artists spread their wings a bit? In other words, have you seen their confidence in their own music build because of the opportunity you’re giving them at Press?” 

He shares, “First of all, I’m so lucky to be in a position that allows me to give back to my community. Shoutout to Brandon James (Piasecki) for creating Grace Notes. I love being able to inspire younger artists and help the local music scene thrive in any way I can. To answer your question… Most of the young artists we have given studio time to, have been high school age.  This is a good time for them to get in the studio because a lot of them will go onto college, or get a job and put music on the back burner. Catching them when they’re still young and passionate could literally help them realize a dream. Also, it might not be financially feasible for some and allowing them to get the experience as sort of a trial creates an awesome opportunity. I mean, they get to record on the best equipment in the world for free! But yes, they definitely come in to the studio a little nervous. On one occasion, a young songwriter took about an hour before they were even comfortable enough to play their song. But, after hearing the playback, they were a lot more confident and inspired.” 

Yes, you read that right! Free! Students get an opportunity of a lifetime to record for free at The Press to give them a real taste of what it’s like to create their sound in a high-quality studio. As Matt said, catching them young could make all the difference when it comes to deciding which dreams to hold onto as they finish high school.  

According to their website, “Students who apply must fulfill the following requirements: 

  • Be a Stockton resident.
  • Be a student no older than 18. 
  • Post a video of yourself playing an original song on Instagram and tag @gracenotesmusicproject
  • In the caption of your post, answer the following question: 
    • How will you use your music to positively impact the community?”

Just hearing about this project is inspiring, to say the least. If you or someone you know would be a great fit, apply and/or spread the word. Visit www.thepressrecordingstudio.com/gracenotes for more details and to peep the incredible backstory on how it all came to life. 

Lastly, we asked Matt, “Is there a Battle of the Bands in the near future?” 

He states, “Absolutely. The first Battle of the Bands was a success and I’m anxious to do more of them. It’s another way to give back to the music scene and say thank you for all support we’ve received. I also have contests for rappers and singer/songwriters in the works as well. I don’t have dates locked in yet but I’ll be sharing them when they’re available. Follow @thepressrecordingstudio on IG or join our mailing list at www.thepressrecordingstudio.com to stay in the loop.” 

Music makes the world go round—we all know this. What’s so incredible is that there’s room for everyone, and every genre. If you’re an aspiring artist in the area, we’ve given you a mother lode of options to spread your wings and grow your craft. Own your creativity; we hope to see you recording your originals. And keep filling up these restaurants, bars and stages as you take advantage of the booking opportunities that are waiting for you in the heart of downtown. 

Live Music Spots

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By Jessica Nguyen

Searching for Live Music? Here Are Some Downtown Stockton Locations That Won’t Fall Flat!  

Relaxing on your couch after coming home from a long day of work seems like a great way to spend your evenings. Just picture it: you walk in through your door, kick off your shoes, throw your keys down, and sink into your couch while flipping on the TV. As you watch old episodes of Friends, you think to yourself “Ahhh yes. Peace and quiet.” But after binging half a season, you realize something is missing…. It’s too quiet… Do you want to laze in quiet, unexciting evenings for the rest of your life?? Probably not. Consider breaking up a string of monotonous evenings once in a while by heading downtown and basking in the exciting sounds and vibes of live music performances in Downtown! We’ve listed a couple great venues to get you started: 

Mama Coon at Channel Brewing

Channel Brewing Co. 

One of downtown’s hot spots, Channel Brewing Company is a local nano brewery and taproom with inviting service and great drinks. A center for community camaraderie, Channel Brewing Co. often hosts weekly events such as trivia nights (how well do you REALLY know The Office?) and live music performances. Whether band or solo artist, local performers shine in the spotlight and bless our ears with their rich voices and musicality. The most recent group to perform was the Whiskey Slough Band, a local band with a talent for singing the blues. Don’t feel BLUE that you missed out- there are many great upcoming live performances at Channel Brewing Co for you to attend. Cheers! 

Live Music at The Deliberation Room 

Local bar and restaurant, The Deliberation Room, with its brick walls and polished wood bar, offers a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. However, the entertainment experience here is anything but outdated- the talented modern soloists, bands, and DJs who perform here will make you want to show off  your version of the latest dance moves! Need an example? Performer Morgan J. was one of the most recent artists to showcase her beautiful, soulful vocals and raw talent at this venue. No need to deliberate any longer- make your way to 19 N. California Street for upcoming live performances by the best local talent! 

Live Music at Cast Iron Trading Co. 

Neighbor to Channel Brewing Co., this gastropub hosts various events and live music every Friday and Saturday night. From genres including but not limited to jazz, acoustic blues, and rock, there is something for the jazz lover, rock enthusiast, music aficionado and everyone in between. Not only does live music bring people together, it also creates opportunity and exposure for local performers. Michael King, guitarist for Stockton band The Weabz, recounts their experience performing covers and original songs at Cast Iron last year: “performing at Cast Iron was really fun. It was a very valuable experience for us. It gave us a better understanding of what to expect when we play [at] more established venues.” He continues, “The owner and manager were really friendly, too. They bought us drinks after our set was over and encouraged us to come back and play again.” Great music and friendly service? Can’t beat that! 

StockMarket

Live Music at Stockmarket

You can hear some of the best live music Stockton has to offer at the Stockmarket, a lively community festival that combines the best in local makers, street food, and of course, music.  The Stockmarket typically features two live bands during the event and occasionally fits DJ’s in the slots between. Anne Wilcox, Stockmarket organizer shares, “We have tried to feature all different genres of music. Everything from country to hip hop artists. We have so many talented people in this city and we strive to highlight as many of those people as possible.” With only a few Stockmarket events left this year, you definitely don’t want to miss them! Browse the vendors with your friends and family. Then, hit up one (or several!) of the many tasty food trucks. With a mouthwatering donut in one hand and delectable tacos in the other (or elotes, hot dogs, gyros, etc.- seriously, you’ve got so many options), settle in to enjoy the live ‘tunes permeating the atmosphere.  

Open Mic & Karaoke Nights at Various Downtown Spots 

If you’re looking to scout amateur poets, rappers, musicians, or comedians (or maybe interested in performing yourself!), there are also open mic nights and karaoke nights for you to enjoy downtown: 

  • Terra Coffee – Open Mic Night – last Friday of the month, 6:30 – 10:30 PM 
  • Empresso on North El Dorado – Open Mic Night  – Thursdays, starting at 7:00 PM 
  • Port City Bar & Grill – Karaoke Night – Thursdays, 8:00 – 10:00 PM