Topanga Blues Festival


Saturday, May 5, 2018



The Topanga Blues Festival first began in the early 1980s and despite all odds,  this amazing annual celebration still continues to flourish.   As an ongoing "boutique" concert experience for all fans of real, no-frills, hardcore Blues in Southern California, it has hosted many headliners of legendary status and many others who are lesser-known, but just as awe-inspiring.

This hip, little event remains a favorite for those who are happily "in on the secret".   The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, where it has been held since its inception, is an intimate, 300-seat outdoor theatre nestled in a rustic vale deep in the shady forests of Topanga Canyon - one of the most scenic spots for a live performance that one will ever experience.  (Fun fact: Woody Gutherie actually lived on the premises in the 1950s, in a tiny shack that still exists!)

It was a day to enjoy incredible, authentic blues music, and take in some mouth-watering BBQ, in one of the most picturesque venues in Southern California, we were  honored to spend the day with you at the Topanga Blues Festival!


29th Annual Topanga Blues Festival

29th Annual Topanga Blues Festival

Sunday, May 6, 2012 - Sold Out


28th Annual Topanga Blues Festival


The 2011 festival sold out,  line Up included:

Topanga2011Poster_Events_Pg.jpgCHICK WILLIS The legendary blues singer/guitarist and master entertainer from Atlanta, GA.  Well-known as "The Stoop Down Man" is set for his exciting, ultra-rare appearance in Southern California 

PAULIE CERRA BAND  Thrilling contemporary blues with special guests Kirk Fletcher - guitar, Bill Steinway - keyboard, James Gadson - drums, Billy Haynes - bass and Finis Tasby - vocals.   (Due to health reasons Lynwood Slim Blues Band was unable to perform)

GREGG WRIGHT The dazzling "King of the Rockin' Blues" & SCBS Battle of the Blues Bands winner will take no prisoners with his deep soulful voice and searing modern blues stylings and

SEAN LANE Acoustic delta blues guitar master mixes both the old time front porch blues stylings with his own engaging and distinctive voice. 

27th Annual Topanga Blues Festival

27th Annual Topanga Blues Festival 

2010_topanga_event_page.jpgThe energy and love for the Blues from those in attendance at this sold out show filled the venue with a positive vibe which was second only to the performers on stage who rocked the house !! 

A special thanks to Ms. Bernita Walker for her involvement in this years tribute to her father Aaron T-Bone Walker!! 

The 27th Annual Topanga Blues Festival featured a special Celebration in honor of T-Bone Walker's 100th Birthday. The schedule included:  The T-Bone Walker Tribute Set with legendary blues singer, Tommy Brown, from Atlanta, Georgia, saxophone legend Big Jay McNeely, guitarist Jeff Ross, pianist Steve F'Dor, bassist Rick Reed and drummer Ron Felton.  If that wasn't enough the days entertainment was rounded out with performances by The King Brothers (a powerful funk, soul and blues combo from Los Angeles), Nathan James (The Blues Foundation's International Acoustic Blues Challenge Winner) and The Leff Rogers Blues Bank featuring Larry "Big House" David (Winning Band from this past November's SCBS Battle Of The Blues Bands).


Sam Ash Music Sponsor_List_for_Website_6_.jpg

Smokin Steve's BBQ Joint 

Cowboy Magic Corp. 

Electronic Manufacturing Technologies, LLC

Hernandez Carpet Brokers 6601 T4elegraph Rd. Commerce

Finishing Touch Carpets 3273 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos

Peter Ford

Nantucket Shutter 9831 Owensworth Ave, Chatsworth

The Tanzers

CMI Precision

Norman's Rare Guitars

Cat Man Blu

The Cellar


And to our Annual Sponsors:

The Coach House, House of Blues, & Blue Corn Music




The 100th Birthday Tribute was sanctioned by the Estate of Aaron "T-Bone" Walker.  The Estate of Aaron Walker, Sr. is managed by T-Bone Walker's daughter, Bernita R. Walker. 

Ms. Walker commits the financial benefits derived from her father's creative property to the foundation she established in 1995, Project: PeaceMakers, Inc.  Project: PeaceMakers, Inc. addresses domestic/family violence through prevention education and intervention services, using a coordinated community response approach to break the cycle of violence in the home and in the community. 

The organization is a non-profit public benefit corporation founded to counteract the lack of public knowledge concerning the dynamics of domestic/family violence and its influences on each of us.




26th Annual Topanga Blues Festival


26th Annual Topanga Blues Festival

The 2009 Festival Sold Out -- Line up included:

Topanga.JPGThe legendary Phillip Walker. Born in Louisiana and raised in Texas, he has played and toured with a diversified roster of talent such as Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, Memphis Slim, Percy Mayfield, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. A little trivia note: He once replaced the late Jimi Hendrix as the lead guitar for the Little Richard Band. He plays it all, from soulful blues to rocking sounds that will make you want to dance. 

Also featured was soul sensation Jackie Payne. Payne completed several world tours as lead vocalist with The Johnny Otis Show and for many years was lead singer for the veteran show band, The Dynatones. He’s played with such greats as T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Freddy King, Gladys Knight and Etta James. 

Jake LaBotz is a Chicago born American Blues singer-songwriter who learned his guitar licks in the windy city from the likes of Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, Honeyboy Edwards and Homesick James. His Delta slide guitar leaves no doubt that he learned from the best. Those in attendance agreed it was a great performance. 

The Los Angeles-based Phil Gates Band kicked off the festival. This talented band won the local International Blues Challenge sponsored by the Southern California Blues Society. They then went on to compete in the finals in Memphis, winning the Beale Street Blues Award.

Chick Willis at Topanga 2011

Chick Willis Performing at Topanga Blues Festival 2011

 Thanks to MusicUCanSee

Paulie Cerra @ Topanga 2011

Paulie Cerra Performing at Topanga Blues Festival 2011

 Thanks to MusicUCanSee


Phillip Walker Video - Topanga 2009

Phillip Walker Performing at Topanga Blues Festival 2009

Thanks to Jools1666

Pictures Topanga Blues Festival 2006

 Pictures from Topanga Blues Festival 2006

Great shots from the event, thanks lbrown137, please touch base with us.

Pictures Topanga Blues Festival 2005

Pictures from Topanga Blues Festival 2005

Great shots from the event

Pinetop Perkins Video - Topanga 1988

Snooky Pryor Performing at Topanga Blues Festival 1988

Jeff Stone Media Review

24th Annual Topanga Blues Festival

The Southern California Blues Society (SCBS) was formed in 1982 to promote and support the Blues. Their sponsorship of Zac Harmon and the Mid-South Blues Review at the IBC in 2004 provided them with a national winner......Zac Harmon’s MidSouth Blues Revue closed out this perfect afternoon with the strains of “Amazing Grace” with Jeff Stone’s oh-so-sweet harp resonating throughout the amphitheatre. ... A great set by a great band. There is no way that I’ll miss the 25th annual Topanga Blues Festival next year.

Thanks Pete Sardon of Southland Blues Magazine !!!   Please see entire write up at:

Flattop Tom & His Jump Cats

Topanga Festival Introduces a Whole New Way

Topanga 1987

Flattop Tom Hall is the lead vocalist for Flattop Tom & His Jump Cats.  He plays both the diatonic and chromatic harmonicas. Tom's early musical influences were the big bands his parents listened to, including Glenn Miller & Benny Goodman, and popular hits from the 50s & 60s with his sister and brother.

Soon Hall realized that most of the Rockabilly tunes were old blues songs, and that Jump Blues were just as much fun to dance to as Rockabilly music.

Hall then began to follow blues bands like the James Harmon Band and Roomful of Blues, but not until attending the 1987 Topanga Canyon Blues Festival did Hall decide that he wanted to be a musician.  At that festival, he saw two great harp players, Paul Butterfield and William Clarke, battling each other  on the harmonica while backing up vocalist Linda Hopkins.

Read more about Tom Hall at

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