Summer sounds at Squaw · Brews, Jazz and Funk Festival

Want to move, get your groove on and dance this week? The Village at Squaw Valley is the place to be. Kick off the weekend at the annual Brews, Jazz and Funk Festival on Aug.13 and 14. In addition to a great lineup of music, there will be craft brews from 35 West Coast and local breweries from 2 to 8 p.m. Then on Aug. 16, Tuesday Bluesdays will feature the multi-talented blues musician, Joe Louis Walker.

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Courtesy Squaw Alpine

The seven-piece soul/funk band and local Tahoe favs, Mojo Green, open the weekend with their high-energy, horn-driven, dance music. The band is bound to get the Village at Squaw up and moving.

“Make an imprint on the music you are giving to the people. That music is your imprint.” -Joe Louis Walker

Late afternoon heats up with The Nightowls.

Saturday’s headliner will now feature Seattle-based Polyrhythmics. Their modern, afro-psycho-beat is unique, fun and funky. Due to poor weather conditions in New Orleans on Aug. 12, Marc Broussard will not be able to appear at the Festival.

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Joe Louis Walker

The Earles of Newton join the festivities with the sounds of swing. The powerhouse Americana band crafts contagious music from Harlem, New Orleans and the West with “Swingin’ Dixie.” They’ll play on the second stage throughout the weekend.

Super Soul Sunday starts with a post-punk soul from JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. The Chicago band has a reputation for a soulful, R&B dance vibe with a twist. Their single, “You Can’t Break Me,” is an ode to Chicago.

Eli Paperboy Reed, who spent a significant amount of time in Chicago, is known for his high-energy bluesy sound that kicks it up a notch and will shake up Sunday afternoon.

The Main Squeeze, also hailing from Chicago, killed it at High Sierra in July. Their energetic, soul, funk, with a dash of rock ‘n’ roll, is bound to leave those dancing feet in need of a good soak.

So drink, dance and be merry at Brews, Jazz and Funk Fest. The $5 entry donation will benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Blues master plays mean guitar

Take a day to refresh, but return to the Village to catch blues master Joe Louis Walker perform at the free Tuesday Bluesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Walker plays a mean guitar and serves up some seriously hard-hitting blues. He was awarded the 2016 Blues Foundation Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year. He is also a four-time Blues Music Award winner and 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee, who has appeared on multiple Grammy-winning albums. He has played with some of the country’s greatest guitarists: Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

From his home in upstate New York, Walker’s voice was smooth and the conversation was easy; I felt like I was talking to an old friend. He ruminated on a life on the road. “Touring is the norm. It’s like a sailor setting off to sea. You get use to it. You make a lot of friends over the years and you experience different cultures. It rounds you out,” said Walker, who has spent his life playing music.

“Most musicians send a positive message to connect with people and bring joy. In the 60s, there was Woodstock and Richie Havens, Monterey Pop and Buffalo Springfield. It was a time of civil rights, human rights, animal rights and women’s rights. Most people want to make a positive difference,” he says. Walker is involved with the Blues For Peace Organization that brings musicians together to foster understanding and create peace around culture and race.

Walker is from a time when musicians were about their craft. He has stayed true to what he does. “That is the reward. Make an imprint on the music you are giving to the people. That music is your imprint. I am happy to be here still standing and fortunate to be doing what I love.”

Walker, who has recorded 25 albums, laughs, “There is a lot of material to choose from.” His latest album, “Everyone Wants a Piece,” is sensational. He is currently working on a new one.

Walker is excited to return to Tahoe because he has family on this side of the country. “I love Tahoe. It’s always good to be near home,” he says.

So settle in, wear some comfortable shoes and get ready to dance. The lineup of artists performing at the Village at Squaw will surely rock your world.

For more information, visit squawalpine.com.

Watch a performance of Joe Louis Walker 

Brews, Jazz & Funk

Aug. 13 

2 p.m. | Mojo Green
3:30 p.m. | Earles of Newton
4 p.m. | The Nightowls
5 p.m. | Earles of Newton
6 p.m. | Polyrhthmics

Aug. 14 

2 p.m. | JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
3:30 p.m. | Earles of Newton
4 p.m. | Eli Paperboy Reed
5 p.m. | Earles of Newton
6 p.m. | The Main Squeeze

Tuesday Bluesdays 

Aug. 16 | Joe Louis Walker
Aug. 23 | James Armstrong
Aug. 30 | Mark Hummel’s Golden State/Lone Star Revue w/Little Charlie Baty & Anson Funderburgh
Sept. 6 | Kenny Neal