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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Napa Live: Inside & Out

Talk about fun – Downtown Napa’s newest event is a music crawl that features forty bands at thirty different venues, offering everything from classic guitar to classic rock, blues to bluegrass, and surf rock to songwriters. This one was born last year, and was so popular that it will be back three times this year.

Check out duo Shelby, Texas at Wunder on Second Street, then listen to Jason Bodlovich, classic guitarist, perform at Quent Cordair Fine Arts on First Street. Hear Full Chizel, a guitar/violin bongo trio that could play just about anything, at Napa Cigars on First. You want blues? Johnny Smith will be playing at the Bespoke Collection at the Riverfront Building. If surf/rock is more your thing, check out the Aqua Velvets at CIA at Copia and the Deadlies at Eye Works.

If you’re looking for a little country flavor ala Graham Parsons, listen to the LoWatters at Ca’Momi. Cajun more your style? Gator Nation will be in Dwight Murray Plaza. Try jazzy pop with Jealous Zelig at the Oxbow Public Market. Want to hear a really tight three piece doing blues? The Cincinnati Ambassadors will serve it up at Back Room Wines. Best part about it? It’s all free, and it’s all local bands. There’s no other way to say it - this event is off the hook.

Credit for booking the acts goes to Thea Witsil, owner of Wildcat Clothing, who moved her business back to downtown, where she belongs, last year. She’s at 810 Randolph, and hosting the Vk’s at the June 4th Napa Live. “There are so many good musicians right here in our own backyard,” she said. “Everybody is jazzed about this event and the chance to play.”

The inspiration for Napa Live came from a changing downtown. The busier it is here, the harder it is to close streets, as it can mean a slow day for some businesses, and inconvenience for Napans who are just trying to get from point A to point B. Downtown has been known as a haven for entertainment for over twenty-five years now, and the board members of the Downtown Association were challenged to keep the music going, and the streets open, at the same time. Finally, someone hit on this idea, and an event was born.

“Change is hard, but this event is a classic case of making lemonade out of lemons,” said Tom Finch, the association’s vice president and owner of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on First Street. “This way we’ll have a ton more bands than we could have before, and people can self select who they want to hear.” Filippi’s will feature The Smart Fellas, a longtime Napa favorite.

“We are really looking forward to this,” said Becky Berger, owner of Yo Belle Yogurt, where attendees can listen to The Diamond T Band. “The last time we had music inside Yo Belle, it was a blast, and everybody loved it.”

Sponsored by Blue Moon and Lagunitas, Team Superstores, Bank of Napa, Napa Valley Marketplace, The Napa Valley Register, and KVON/KVYN. Without their generous support, the event would not be possible. Check out the full music schedule here in the Napa Valley Marketplace, or visit to print a schedule, or view it on your phone as you walk around.

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