New to FNM, singer-songwriter KEITH GREENINGER paints intricate portraits of the human condition with powerful melodic images, deep engaging guitar rhythms and husky, heart-wrenching vocals.
A strong singer, song writer, and band in the style of Bruce Springsteen or Van Morrison with award winning song writing and a broad spectrum of material ranging get up and dance type anthems to deep soulful thought provoking and touching ballads, his masterfully crafted tunes and powerful presence have earned him the top songwriting awards at the prestigious Telluride Blue Grass Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Napa Valley Folk Festival. With nothing more than a guitar in hand and a song with a story to tell, Keith completely captivates his audiences!
Site 15: Golden State Theater 6:30—7:00; 7:15– 7:45; 8:00– 8:45 pm
Also new this year, KIKI WOW AND FIELDS OF EDEN is a classic rock band that will have you on your feet dancing and singing along from the first note!
Fields of Eden is an Acoustic Rock Band that plays the classic rock hits covering the last three decades. This fun loving group delivers timeless songs just the way you first heard them and cover artists like ELP, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Coldplay, The Verve Pipe, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles; a mixed bag of songs and something for everybody. Fields of Eden's members are The Edenfields: Lead singer/guitarist, Kiki Wow, whose engaging vocals and rhythm guitar hit a delightful and familiar chord that has audiences tapping and singing along from the first song on; their emphasis is on fun!
Site 26: Steinbeck Ballroom/Conf. Ctr. 7:00—7:45; 8:00—8:45 pm
DEREK BODKIN'S HOVERING BREADCAT FOLK ENSEMBLE is a spirited group of musicians performing funky folk grooves, bluegrass, swing, gospel and meaningful originals.
Derek is a Monterey Bay singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has performed a variety of music with some of the hottest national groups. (Five Eyed Hand, New Monsoon, Billy Nershi, Trailer Park Troubadours, Joe Craven, New Monsoon, Hot Buttered Rum). Derek brings a special 'mojo' to the stage to make the listener feel right at home. On his first solo album, "True Story", Derek shared his love for musical tradition, collaboration, and storytelling as well as a penchant for memorable melody writing, putting his own unique twists to the traditional American songwriting genre. Joining Derek will be his friends known as "The Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble." (featuring Brian Vandemark on bass, Colin St. John on keyboards, Tommy Knowles on guitar and vocals, Harry Thomas on Harmonica and Monica Payne on percussion).
Site 14: Rabobank Stage/Alvarado Street 6:30—7:15; 7:30—8:15 pm
Perennial FNM favorite BLACK IRISH BAND opens the night with their highly entertaining Folk, Americana, and Celtic Pub-Rock!
Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the Black Irish Band of 28 years have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large complement of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The band's musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.
Site 22: Serra Ballroom/Conf. Ctr. 6:30—7:00; 7:15—7:45; 8:00—8:30 pm
Hear the thunder of the drums! SHINSHO MUGEN DAIKO opens First Night Monterey with traditional Japanese drumming.
Experience the exquisite physicality of these Taiko Drummers as they perform traditional Japanese drumming, incorporating elements of martial arts. Shinsho Mugen Daiko was founded in 1999 by Ikuyo Conant, as a group of drummers interested in studying the art of Japanese drumming. Taiko is a traditional form of Japanese drumming that incorporates those elements of martial art which focuses on centering oneself in the grounded position, and the concentration, direction and controlling of energy and breathing.
Site 1: Pacific Street Stage 3:00— 3:30; 3:45—4:15; 4:30—5:00 pm
For over 20 years, HEARTSTRINGS has brought their fresh and unique sound to traditional acoustic string music from all over the world.
Begin your New Year celebration toe-tappin' to local acoustic string band Heartstrings, again bringing their versatile smorgasbord style of string music to First Night Monterey. The band plays all kinds of string music from around the world including Celtic, Eastern European, and good ol' toe-tappin' Appalachian string music. Band members are Laura Burian (fiddle), FNM founder Paulette Lynch (hammered dulcimer), Marj Ingram Viales (guitar), Rick Chelew (double bass), and Mike Osgood (mandolin). From beautiful traditional and contemporary waltzes to driving jigs and reels, a high energy performance with top players.
Site 7: City Council Chambers 3:15—4:00; 4:15—5:00 pm
Enjoy a joyful evening of song! I CANTORI DI CARMEL opens the evening program in the beautiful sanctuary of Carleton Hall.
I Cantori has been performing great choral masterpieces for Monterey Peninsula audiences for over 35 years, frequently touring internationally. Our repertoire for First Night will span the ages: sacred motets to contemporary compositions and songs from around the world. The group is united by a desire to cherish and preserve the heritage of great choral music.
Site 10: Carleton Hall/Monterey Center for Spiritual Living 6:30—7:00; 7:15—7:45; 8:00—8:30 pm
Lyrically refreshing and musically diverse, DAN FRECHETTE & LAUREL THOMSEN take to the stage with exuberance!
Meeting via a chance YouTube sighting, eclectic Roots-Folk songwriters Dan Frechette, guitar/harmonica/vocals, and Laurel Thomsen, violin/vocals, prove that musical magic is not only possible, but a "match made in heaven". With broad influences ranging from Folk, Classical, Old Time and Celtic, to Gospel, Jazz, Vintage Country, Rock N' Roll, Blues, and Bluegrass, Dan and Laurel flow seamlessly through genres, tempos, stories, and moods, embodying each style with virtuosic command and keeping music fans on the edge of their seats. Enjoyment is palpable.
Site 7: City Council Chambers 8:00—8:30 pm
GRUMBLING GINGER brings the atmosphere of a British Folk Club to Monterey!
Original acoustic folk-rock with a Celtic twist. Grumbling Ginger bring the atmosphere of a British folk club to Monterey with songs, storytelling, and a variety of acoustic instruments. They've played everywhere from coffee houses and pubs to house parties and festival stages in front of 10;000-plus people. The band has also made many radio and TV appearances. A long-time First Night favorite!
Site 7: City Council Chambers 6:15—6:45; 7:00—7:30 pm
Playing styles range from traditional to contemporary, SINGING WOOD MARIMBA brings high-energy dance music from Zimbabwe.
Singing Wood plays the Shona style of marimba. This music offers exceptional melodic and polyrhythmic variety —from the very simple to the extremely complex —and its ancient spiritual roots strike common chords in all people who are open to it. A glorious learning experience and playing experience is what Singing Wood aspires to be; come be a part of it!
Site 9: MIIS/Irvine Auditorium 6:30—7:00; 7:15—7:45 pm; 8:00—8:30
You're invited to sing along with the MONTEREY BAY BELLES women's barbershop-style chorus!
Come and enjoy the beautiful a Capella sounds of the Bay Belle as they harmonize about many colors of love. This group of the bedazzled barber shoppers has song for every occasion. You can join in with the Chorus and bring in the New Year with song because "Harmony Loves Company!"
Site 8: Monterey Museum of Art 3:30—4:15; 4:30—5:00 pm
New to FNM, bicultural music samurai GOH excels in a myriad of musical styles!
Residing in Los Angeles and travelling the world from Japan, GOH (Goh Kurosawa) is a guitarist armed with fresh original songs, electrifying soundscapes, and stunning arrangements of familiar global melodies that “..include everything from Japanese folk and Paco de Lucia-style flamenco to Elvis and Guns N’ Roses!” All throughout his life, Goh has been sharing honest stories and life expressions though music. His current tour is called the Broken Tour, and his acoustic guitar is nicknamed Honey Beast.
Colton Room, Conf. Ctr. 6:15—6:45; 7:00—7:30; 7:45—8:15 pm
AZAHAR FLAMENCO DE MONTEREY will bring us to the southern cities of Spain where Flamenco was born!
Azahar Flamenco de Monterey is a local flamenco dance ensemble. The group has performed at many events throughout Monterey County since its formation in 2014. The ensemble performs lively and colorful group and solo numbers which feature traditional and contemporary flamenco dance in a variety of forms, such as sevillanas, rumba, gypsy tango, and fandango. The group's director and founder travels annually to Spain to study, returning with knowledge to ensure the authenticity of the performances. You will be mesmerized by the colorful costumes, fast turns, rhythmic footwork, and passionate music!
Site 24: Steinbeck-1/Conf. Ctr. 7:45—8:15; 8:30—9:00 pm
Learn folk dancing with GREEK VILLAGE DANCERS OF THE MONTEREY PENINSULA!
The lively and vibrant Greek Village Dancers will perform vigorous, intricate, graceful folk dances of Greece, wearing authentic costumes. Audience participation is welcome: simple dance steps will be taught. Opa!
Site 13: Alvarado Street/Galleria 6:15—6:45 pm
FLASHPOINT ENTERTAINMENT will entertain you with their LED light shows incorporating dance and juggling!
This power trio has a Modern Circus type act focusing on dance with LED illuminated prop manipulation, juggling and eye popping colors. You will be wondering how did they do that! These light artists and street performers juggle to music, dance to lights and have a circus type fun act! A show stopper in the street! Look for their STEGATRON Art Car! The Art Car (is it a car?) is a post-historic pre-apocalyptic robot dinosaur from the future! Music, lights, this car has it all!
Site 16: Alvarado Street/Flashpoint Artists 8:15—8:45 pm
Published author and activist ROSA ELENA ESPINOZA MENDOZA will share readings of her poetry .
Rosa Elena Espinosa Mendoza has been writing poetry since she was four years old. She now uses poetry to tell her life story as a migrant woman and mother, of her struggles with undiagnosed mental disorders, and who has emerged as a published poet, participating at events at Hartnell Authors Day, Noche Bohemia at Sherwood Hall, Steinbeck Library and King City library.
Site 28: Stevenson-1/Conf. Ctr. 6:30—7:00; 7:15—8:00 pm
Community focused poet and rhymesayer from Salinas, JOTA EFFECTUS will get on stage and throw the truth!
Jota Effectus shares experiences through his poetry, showcaing the struggles of a young male of color who identifies as a native from the Ñuu Savi nation as he grows and evolves as an artist and human being. He aims to induce a sense of ownership and pridefulness to youth who also carry native blood.
Site 28: Stevenson-1/Conf. Ctr. 8:00—8:30 pm
GUITARS NOT GUNS will perform a selection of music ranging from children's classics to contemporary rock and blues.
Guitars Not Guns is a non-profit program that provides instruments and instruction free of charge to foster kids, at risk youth and other children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers. Each student is assigned a beginner guitar when they come to the first class. They may take their guitars home with them and are asked to practice 30 minutes each day; instructors volunteer their time. The Guitars Not Guns Band is made up of students , age 7-17, who meet at the Marina Teen Center.
Site 18: Wells Fargo Stage/Alvarado Street 6:15—6:45; 7:00—7:30 pm
Local Youth Company from SPECTOR DANCE will perform several short pieces to celebrate the season.
Since 1997, SpectorDance Company has presented multidisciplinary performances using a signature style that blends music, spoken word, and visual media with dance. Fran Spector Atkins, the lead artist and creative director, creates performance works that highlight themes relevant to the community. The SpectorDance Youth Company is a group of dedicated young dancers who bring their talent and love of dance to the community. The SpectorDance vision is to utilize dance as a vehicle to open doors, ignite creativity and fuel the human spirit.
Site 24: Steinbeck-1/Conf. Ctr. 6:15– 6:45; 7:00– 7:30 pm
ACAN MARCHING WINTER PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE is composed of standout students from the AUSD after-school drumline teams!
Joshua Alfaro, Founder of the Alisal Community Arts Network, thinks big. Even the acronym provides inspiration: Alisal CAN! The AUSD Marching Drum Line is a performing group composed of standout students from the AUSD after school drumline teams. The groups are sponsored by ACAN, which holds classes for over 1500 youth in East Salinas, Greenfield and Gonzales. Come hear them play!
Site 18: Wells Fargo Stage/Alvarado Street 7:45—8:15; 8:30– 9:00 pm
Local dance troupe DI FRANCO DANCE PROJECT will present a program of dance.
The DiFranco DanceProject, Dianne Lyle's company of dancers, ranging in age from 8 through 17 years, will offer a fun-filled, eclectic and exciting program of dances, inspired by cultures from around the globe.
Site 13: Alvarado St/Galleria 6:45—7:15; 7:30—8:00; 8:15—8:45 pm
The dance team from THE DANCE CENTER will present a program of dance.
Students ages 2 years to adult are warmly welcomed into a creative atmosphere of passionate mentorship at The Dance Center —owned by Tia Brown and Laura Jeselnick. Classes include ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, and musical theater. Thirteen competitive teams in different genres and 5 musical theater performance companies complement a curriculum that includes both recreational and pre-professional offerings taught by an exceptionally-talented faculty. TDC is proud to recognize and host the new affiliated nonprofit organization, Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre. MPBT promotes arts outreach and dance education with performance opportunities to the youth on the Monterey Peninsula.
Site 26: Steinbeck Ballroom/Conf. Ctr. 6:15—7:00 PM
You're the star! BEST BUY PRESENTS "JUST DANCE!" VIDEO GAME
Step to the beat and get into the rhythm as you play the Just Dance video game! From Bruno Mars to Disney's Coco to Ariana Grande to Elton John —get ready to dance!! You're the star! There's something for all ages. Presented by Best Buy.
Site 17: Best Buy Stage/Alvarado Street 6:45—9:15 pm