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Members of the local Vallejo community are invited to come to the Empress Theater on Saturday for an evening of Jazz, Blues and Food, a charity project hosted by a major local charity that provides meals to those in need, at an event that also promises to put on some delicious tunes and hearty noodles at the scene.

Faith Food Fridays, a non-profit organization that helps neighbors in need in Vallejo with free boxes of food and other essentials, as well as referrals and positive support, will feature saxophonists Paula Atherton and Dean James, Suspects of Soul and guitarist Joel Del Rosario and his group.

Faith Food Fridays estimates they help over 600 families each week and are open to the public at 826 Solano Ave. in Vallejo from 11:00 to 14:00 on Tuesdays, from 11:00 to 17:00 on Fridays and for travel only from 11:00 to 13:00 on Sundays.

“I am very excited about our first Saturday fundraising concert! We invite everyone to join us and enjoy unusual music performed by very talented musicians and singers. This promises to be a great time for a good cause!” said Benjamin Baggs, founder and director of Faith Food Fridays.

Paula Atherton, originally from New York, released her sixth album, Can You Feel It? in 2020, and over the years, five singles have charted on the Billboard Top 30 Jazz Charts. After appearing on a show put on by local promoter Jerome “Triple J” Widman last December, he invited her to return for the charity he is helping organize.

“I try to do good in the world through my music, so when he told me it was a good thing to help feed those in need, I said, ‘OK, I’m in!’ Atherton said.

Although Dean James grew up in San Jose and San Francisco, he appeared to perform little in the Bay Area, settling in the Houston area after attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music and later working as an accomplished session musician. in Los Angeles for many years.

James’ family still lives in the area and he is also looking forward to helping raise money for a good cause.

“I’m all for what Faith Food Fridays means and everything that supports families like them,” James said. “As for the concert, I will be surrounded by great musicians, so I’m looking forward to it.”

“Many of my classmates also come to see my performance!” James laughed.

Jazz saxophonist Dean James performs Saturday night at the Empress Theater in Vallejo (with participation).
Jazz saxophonist Dean James performs Saturday night at the Empress Theater in Vallejo (with participation).

Widman, who also hosts a jazz show on Ozcat Radio, will also guest host the event and help bring talent together for the evening.

“I want to do things that help veterans because I am a veteran,” Widman said. “And I love doing community service because Vallejo is such a beautiful city.”

If You Go: Jazz, Blues & Food will take place at 5:30 pm on Saturday. June 25 at the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia Street, Vallejo. Tickets start at $27.50. For more information, visit empresstheatre.org.

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