Local 5-member bluegrass band is the life of the party

COAST CITIES — You know you’ve been the life of the party when they keep asking you to come back again and again. Such has been the case with local bluegrass ensemble Blue Creek Band.
The five-member group has appeared several times at Old California Coffee House and Simply Ambrosia Tea & Coffee, both in San Marcos, the E Street Café in Encinitas, and have had frequent performances in Temecula and Julian. In addition, they’ve performed at the Encinitas Street Fair, bluegrass festivals, corporate events, weddings, private parties and recently on a Sunday night Wayne Rice radio show on KSON.
“Rice liked us so much that not only did he give us an open invitation to come back any time we wanted, he allowed us to play seven of the songs from our CD instead of the usual three he allows other bands,” founding member Will Jaffe said.
The CD, which is called “Pickin’ Live In California,” contains 17 songs, all of which were recorded during live performances. “Our music is a combination of bluegrass, blues and swing,” Jaffee said.
Maybe that’s why it’s so infectious. “Yes, it’s really surprising,” Alex Finazzo, the other co-founding member, said. “When people who have never experienced bluegrass before come to our shows, they’re suddenly up and dancing, smiling and having a great time.”
One reason might be the combined experiences of the band’s members. These are not just weekend warriors who occasionally play for a few extra bucks.
These are serious and talented musicians who bring a wealth of experience to the stage.
Will Jaffe, who plays the dobro (a type of acoustic guitar with a metal resonator, which serves as an amplifier, built into its body), went to the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston, and once performed with a band that was the opening act for Duke Ellington. Sheila Jaffe, who is the band’s lead vocalist, toured the US. and Canada with an all girl rock group, performed with the Seattle Symphony and currently also plays harp for weddings and other special events. Alex Finazzo, on guitar, has been playing bluegrass for a number of years. Dave Preston, on bass, has been a sought-after musician in and around San Diego for more than 20 years. And Josh Dake, on vocals and mandolin, grew up and began his musical career in and around the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.
You can order their CD, sample some of their music, or look up their touring schedule by visiting www.bluecreekband.com. Or, you could come and watch them play. You might find yourself at a party.

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