scott-mc-picSMITTY WEST- Our Master of Ceremonies

Returning as emcee, Smitty is a well-known Ojai community leader, musician and producer. He has lived here for 20 years and has been selected one of “Ojai’s Living Treasures”. He is past president of the Rotary Club of Ojai, leader of Ojai Songwriters Anonymous, director of “Rockin’ It Old School” seniors chorus, and owner/manager of Euterpe Farms, a native plant farm where he lives and produces music and plants! He is one-half of the popular vocal duo “Smitty and Julija” and one-third of “The Three Amigos.” You can find more about Smitty here!

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Richard is a local singer/songwriter, telling stories drawn from his life with a dash of the experiences of those around him mixed in. His songs cover a variety of styles ranging from blues and light jazz to country and rock, in spite of having grown up on a steady diet of surf music and psychedelic rock. The driving rhythms will get your feet tapping; the acerbic wit, bring a smile to your face. Richard has a way with words not often found, marching to his own drum and sharing his slightly off-center view of the world thru ballads, love songs, and sometimes even simple social commentary.

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Mellott Screen Shot-cropped 2MELLOTT

Formed by Jessica Mellott & Chas Castell in August 2012 in Los Angeles, Mellott released their first EP three months later with producer Andre de Santanna (Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz) at the helm and their follow up EP, “Princess” in August 2015, working with Andre, as well as 11 time Emmy Winner RC Cates, composer & music supervisor of “The Young & The Restless”. They can been seen playing at a number of festivals and events this summer, and local venues in LA.

For more information on upcoming shows and to download free songs from Mellott click here.

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Formed in 2010, this highly skilled multi-instrumental trio features Matt Sayles, Dave White, Rick Clemens, blending three part harmonies and original songwriting into a sound that harkens back to the golden age of country music, and the roots of the country and western sound of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 50’s.

Members of the Band have played professionally for over 30 years, with appearances on the Wheeling West Virginia Jamboree (WWVA), as well as performances with Bluegrass, Country, Western Swing & Cajun legends like Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, the Bellamy Brothers, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and Hot Club of Cowtown. More info on Ventucky String Band is here.

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Smitty and Julija2SMITTY AND JULIJA

Smitty and Julija are Ojai, California-based artists who perform beautiful music with paired vocal harmonies, and sensual interpretations of both original music and songs from their favorite singer/songwriters.

Julija Zonic (pronounced Yooleeya) is a Croatian singer, songwriter and actress now living in Ojai. A professional entertainer since childhood, her rich, sweet vocals and dynamic range cut across all song styles to move audiences around the world. Smitty West – Ojai-based keyboardist, vocalist songwriter, and film scorer. 2009 MAVRIC award winner for song of the year, comedy – Triple-nominated for song of the year, acoustic, foreign language, and comedy. Well-known throughout Southern California for his versatility.Smitty is the founder of Ojai Songwriters Anonymous, an Ojai Valley artist group dedicated to the support of local music.

Smitty and Julija have recently released a new album, “Made In Ojai,” a collection of original music written and produced entirely here in Ojai. This follows their popular album, “To Leonard With Love,” a tribute work to the songwriter Leonard Cohen. More about Smitty and Julia on Facebook.

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A veteran of Ojai festivals and events, singer/songwriter Kerri Climer and her band members bring country, folk, rock and pop together in a sweet mix. Kerri incorporates the most talented musicians from the Ojai Valley and surrounding areas to create a dynamic and unique blend of styles.

Long time Old Time Fiddlers member/performer and award winning member or the Ojai Songwriters Anonymous, Kerri, along with the collaboration and harmonies of music partner, Bill Severance, provide a surprising and entertaining musical experience.

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Jon Gindick is a world renowned singer/songwriter and blues harmonica author, instructor, and seminar leader. He has played harmonica and guitar everyday of his life since 1966 and that is one reason he is so dang good. Along with his weekly Ventura performance schedule,Jon puts on Blues Harmonica Jam Camps four times a year in the Mississippi Delta and Ventura. More info about Jon and harmonicas here.

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Ask for a Super Combo and you’re likely to be handed the Steel Cut Band. These guys take it to the top with dynamic energy, tasty lyrics, delicious delivery, and extra sauce with a solid mix of experienced players.
Lynn Mullins – Guitar & harp, leads and harmonies, deep roots in Ojai area
Bob Ryman – Fiddler fantastic, visionary, prolific songwriter, singer
Dave Hutchison – Artisan Bass, harmonies, songs about Fried Chicken
Barney Tower – Iconic Telecaster guitar leads and he sings!
Rhythmic, soulful, constantly evolving, creating new songs, honing their extraordinary gifts, and perfecting entertaining harmonies. This is classic/new country/roots/rock fusion; possibly the best and most satisfying original sound heard in years – the unforgettable “Steel Cut” experience.

Grab a copy of their new CD “Nothin’ to Lose” at the gazebo on event day, and check here for more about Steel Cut Band.

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“High-Energy, Good-Times Music!”

The Honeysuckle Possums are a five-woman string band, playing old-time, original, and bluegrass-style mountain music. The three lead singers, Nicola Gordon (fiddle, ukulele); Susan Marie Reeves (guitar, strum-stick, ukulele); and Rebecca Troon (banjo, fiddle, bodhran, tin whistle) are all accomplished songwriters. Lisa Macker plays stand up bass and mandolin and joins in on harmonies, while Ruth Alpert is the band’s dancing percussionist…an Appalachian-style flat-footer, who seems to float as she makes it easy for the crowd to dance and clap along.

The Honeysuckle Possums have played all over California and continue to gain praise for their beautiful vocals, carefully crafted harmonies, and spirited style. They have performed at the Goleta Old Time Fiddlers Convention/Festival and the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival to rave reviews.

The group’s intention is “to create and share bliss through music”. Their collective joy onstage is delightful, and their performances are carried on a strong current of love and friendship. “Possum” audience members often comment on how that energy is irresistible! More about The Honeysuckle Possums here!

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jerry-pugh JERRY PUGH

Our dear friend and extraordinarily gifted musician passed away in December, 2015. It will never be the same without Jerry. RIP

Born into a musical family in Southern Appalachia, Jerry was singing in church before he was six years old. Mercury Records signed him at age 15 and he reached the charts with a group called the Bastilles. Nine years of working with several successful bands followed.
He moved to Ojai in 1974 worked local clubs and then toured across the country a couple of times ending up in Ojai to truly settle down. Studebaker was born here and he played with them for 30+ years. In later years he slowed his club dates, but did a bunch of solo performances (at which a long list of talented friends always showed up to join in) and concentrated on writing his own songs.

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As a sound engineer, Roger has provided the sound for the Ojai Film Festival at Libbey Bowl and several other events at the bowl, including “South Pacific” with Mitzi Gaynor in person, and the Ventura Jazz Orchestra as the last event before the old bowl was demolished, as well as the David Bury memorial in the reconstructed bowl.
Roger does many sound events around the Ojai Valley, including yearly sound support for the Miss Oak View Pageant, and has been the sound provider for the “Battle of the Bands” at Matilija Auditorium, Ojai Mardi Gras, and a CD release party for the rock band Myridian headed up by today’s MC , Smitty West.
As a Disk Jockey with 8 years professional membership in the American Disk Jockey Association, he provides sound for Weddings, Birthday Parties, and special events like the 5K, 10K fund raising runs for the American Heart Association, and the Ojai Hospital Foundation.
In addition to sound support and Master of Ceremony services, Roger also enjoys setting up “intelligent” DMX lighting systems to create an appropriate moving visual experience from wild to subtle during an event.

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ROBIN GOLDSTEIN – A Taste of Ojai – Noon

Robin Goldstein is a California chef who works her culinary magic combining unique flavor and spices with local seasonal products, to create an unforgettable culinary experience for the palate and on the plate, in private homes and public venues.
Known as “Private Chef Robin” to celebrity and private clients alike, Robin has made a career of providing an intimate, home-cooked experience that is anything but traditional home-cooked food. Robin uses classic techniques she honed at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Robin was born and raised in the Washington DC area where she ate her way through the city’s most prominent restaurants at a very young age. Her early exposure to fine dining in her grandparents restaurants, along with her food-loving family sparked her lifelong passion and love of cooking. Through travel and work abroad for many years, she has developed what might be called a Mediterranean cooking style.

Teaching locally at the Lavender Inn in Ojai, CA, Robin develops and fully infuses lavender into recipes that have been featured during Ojai Lavender Festival’s for several years. This success has led to recent development of a new product line “A Taste of Ojai Culinary Sea Salts” that infuses lavender, wild fennel and pink peppercorns into three distinct and flavorful seasoning blends. Robin lives in an oak shaded neighborhood in the Ojai Valley, surrounded by nature and the scenic beauty of the local mountains that Ojai is famed for. Her first book, “A Taste of Ojai, A Collection of Small Plates, shares some of her secrets of creating healthy and delicious fresh fare for her private events, with a dash of Ojai thrown in. For more than a taste, visit her website.

Come share a Taste of Ojai with Robin as she prepares some of her extraordinary recipes for her audience.

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KIM HAMILTON- Self -Sustaining Animal Farm – 1:30pm

In 2015, Kim made her first appearance at the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival. Now we can’t imagine having a festival without her and her wonderful animals. Kim brings her sweet, docile, loving pygmy goats and poultry and children love to touch and pet them. Then she educates us on how she has created a beautiful self-sustaining farm nestled in a frost hollow in the foothills of Ventura, California. Blue Hill Farms is the embodiment of Kim’s dream of creating a beautiful and bountiful, self-sustaining family farm.  Kim currently focuses on intensive organic farming, growing lavender and herbs, and breeding quality pygmy goats and heirloom poultry. Kim is a teacher at heart and loves to share her experience and knowledge with others—both informally and through her classes on organic gardening and the fine art of poultry keeping.   Kim has taken the farm mobile offering a petting farm party for any occasion, and for educational venues.
The Mobile Petting Zoo is an education tool. Kim believes in loving gentle miniature animals interacting in a gentle and loving way. She works with all age groups from children to seniors.
You can see what Kim is up to on her blog.

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         BEEKEEPING – an informative presentation by a local beekeepers club.





The views and opinions expressed by the speakers and entertainers at the OVLF and on their websites do not necessarily reflect the policy, position, or opinion of the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival.