On Saturday, September 16, 2017, the 24th BOWLFUL OF BLUES will return to Ojai's magnificent Libbey Bowl! We're about to roll out our exciting lineup for this year so please stay tuned.

Our 2016 Performers

Bowlful of Thanks


On behalf of the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krewe and co-producers Shane and Kelli Butler of Ojai Concert Series, the Bowlful of Blues wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the Ojai community and blues lovers from all over Southern California for the wonderful support and positive energy put forth for the September 17 festival in Libbey Bowl. Major efforts of the artists, staff, and volunteers — delivered with a smile — are much appreciated, as are the contributions from this year’s sponsors: Ojai Community Bank, Ojai Valley Imports, Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria, Attitude Adjustment Shoppe, Westridge Family Markets, Pacific Western Bank, Ojai Images, Thrive Market, VC Reporter and Santa Barbara Independent. Our own Ojai Valley News’ ample coverage of our homegrown event was extremely helpful. We’d like to thank the City of Ojai and event manager Amber Young for their encouragement and general helpfulness in our quest to revive the “Bowlful.’”

To the ticket outlets who took time out from their businesses to handle our advance tickets — Ojai Creates!, Cardinali Brothers Music, Studio Sauvageau, longtime mainstay Salzer’s Records, Very Ventura Gift Shop, Jensen’s Guitars in Santa Barbara, Instrumental Music, and Island Outfitters in Carpinteria, whose owners, Sal and Anne Lucido, once owned Blue Sky Music in the Arcade, our original ticket outlet — muchas gracias!

We owe a huge debt of thanks to artist John Parker of Parker Graphic Design for all of the artwork. Thank you, James Antunez of A to Z Musical Service for the stellar job as stage manager, Ken Hobbs for bringing and running the sound system, Doojie Seliger for his electrical and other expertise, Rondia’s Kitchen for the delicious chicken dinners, and Joan Kemper for sharing her invaluable advice and assistance.

Thanks to the always generous Khaled and Sheryl Al-Awar for offering space on the Ojai Playhouse marquee to announce the festival. A “green” blues thank-you goes out to BD’s Earthtrine Farm for graciously allowing us to display our banner every week at the Ojai Farmer’s Market, even though it draped across access to their produce truck. That’s love and community spirit, folks.

To the great musicians on the program who dedicate their lives to music, particularly blues, and brought their considerable talents to bear, we say, “Bravo!”

Space does not permit us to thank every individual volunteer or business who donated time or silent auction items but please know that you are appreciated and not forgotten. We are grateful for everyone who attended and enjoyed the concert, the good feelings that were generated, and are elated to be back on the annual Ojai event calendar.

Please watch for announcements here on our website about the new music and arts education program now in development by the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krewe with the net proceeds from the event. And mark your calendars for Saturday, September 16, 2017, for the return of the 24th Bowlful of Blues.

Michael and Lanny Kaufer



Press Release: Fans Prompt Ojai Bowlful of Blues Return

Lanny and Michael Kaufer, Ojai’s real-life “blues brothers” at Libbey Bowl. Photo by Megan Lee (Dualistic Photography)

August 17, 2016 – On Saturday, September 17, after an 11-year hiatus, Ojai’s Bowlful of Blues will return to Libbey Bowl, in Ojai’s Libbey Park, with performers scheduled from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m., including headliner, blues legend Arthur Adams, and featuring Mitch Kashmar, Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan, Calire-Marx Organ Quartet, and rising star Jade Hendrix. Gates open at 2:00 p.m. with popular locals Richard Kaller and Annieville Blues on the lawn stage.

“Part of our reason for the return of the Bowlful of Blues after all these years is due to the fans,” says Michael Kaufer, Co-Founder/Producer of the festival in 1983, with the late Clarence Sterling. “Since the last concert in 2004 after Clarence’s death, people have continually stopped me on the streets asking for the concert’s return. Due to the event’s immense popularity, and the circumstances being right, the decision was made to reinstate the concert.   The September 17 event will mark Bowlful of Blues 23rd year.”

Those circumstances include the other half of the duo known as the “Ojai Blues Brothers,” concert promoter Lanny Kaufer, rejoining the team as Assistant Producer, and the addition of new team member, Shane Butler, Concert Promoter & Producer of the Ojai Concert Series.

“The other piece that fell into place,” Michael Kaufer says, “was finding the right non-profit sponsor and we now have the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krewe.”

“Together, Michael, Shane and I went out and signed up the best blues legends we could find,” Lanny Kaufer says. “For instance, our headliner Arthur Adams worked with a legion of prominent blues, soul, R&B and jazz artists, including long-time friend, mentor and stylistic influence, B.B. King.” He adds that Adams also performed with other greats such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Chuck Berry, Elmore James and Lowell Fulsom; penned tunes for Quincy Jones, Sam Cooke and Albert King; and recorded with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Smith, Jerry Garcia, the Crusaders, Dr. John, and others. He received a Blues Foundation Award nomination for his Stompin’ The Floor (Delta Groove).

Mitch Kashmar, harmonica player and vocalist, who once played with the supergroup War, is a Bowlful of Blues veteran, with his band, the Pontiax, performing at the first event in 1983.

Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan are also veterans of this event, and when not performing on stage, they work on film scores, TV soundtracks and commercials including the “Levi’s 501 Blues” advertisements.

The Calire-Marx Organ Quartet is led by local Jimmy Calire on Hammond B-3 organ, John Marx on guitar, Mario Calire, formerly of Wallflowers and Ozomatli, on drums, and Craig Thomas, just off the road from touring with Jimmy Messina, on sax.

Upcoming star Jade Hendrix is following in the footsteps of her famous mother who has worked with Tom Jones, Natalie Cole, and Barry Manilow.

Food will be on hand, including fried and roasted chicken dinners by Rondia’s Kitchen. The Shrimp vs. Chef and All American Softy food trucks will also be onsite. Premium beer, wine and snacks will be available. There is space for additional vendors, and there are opportunities for business sponsors, including a silent auction. Volunteers are also needed for this non-profit event.

Tickets may be purchased on this website; from businesses in Ojai, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Thousand Oaks; via mail; or at the box office on the day of the show.

Arthur Adams live!

Mitch Kashmar live!

Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan

Jimmy Calire Organ Quartet (2011) featuring Craig Thomas on sax

Jade Hendrix Band

Annieville Blues original song