BP

Exploring Balboa Park, San Diego: 5 Can’t-Miss Festivals

Balboa Park FestivalsAll year round, there are fun activities for the whole family that take place at Balboa Park, San Diego. Whether you want to entertain the kids, learn something new, or experience another culture, the following are some of the top festivals designed with children in mind that you won’t want to miss!

1. Earth Fair

Held every year on Earth Day, this festival is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Every year, the event draws around 60,000 visitors, who come to learn about wildlife preservation, alternative energy, eco-tourism, and even pet adoption.

Each year, there is an area at Earth Fair specifically for the youngsters, with games, crafts, and storytelling, all designed to educate kids about environmental issues. There is also a Children’s Stage with performances aimed at younger audiences running throughout the day. Finally, there is the Children’s Earth Parade, set to a different theme every year. You can even join in and give your kids the chance to dress up in creative costumes!

2. December Nights

The largest free community festival in all of San Diego, December Nights spans two days (the first Friday and Saturday of the month) and typically attracts more than 350,000 visitors. There is plenty to do, ranging from trying international food to enjoying a variety of entertainment, including music and dance presentations. There is also free museum entry for many of the museums around Balboa Park. Plus, for some more lighthearted fun, kids can meet Santa in several locations nearby.

3. Ethnic Food Fair

Engage your tastebuds while learning about different foods from around the globe at this Balboa Park event! The Ethnic Food Fair is a free-entry event, with nominal prices per dish, held annually in May. Your family will love to watch the many short cultural performances while you sample different cuisines – the perfect chance for kids to learn about different countries in a truly hands-on way! With the huge number of dishes available, there is plenty that even the most picky child will enjoy.

4. Halloween Family Day

During Family Day, typically held on a Saturday near Halloween, children ages 12 and under receive free entry at many of the museums and cultural attractions at Balboa Park, San Diego. Adults also receive a discount when they purchase a Stay-for-the-Day pass, which allows you to enter five of the top museums throughout the day. Along with their regular exhibitions, many museums set up hands-on activities, crafts, tours, storytelling, and costume parades for kids who attend.

5. Lawn Programs

Every Sunday from 12 PM to 5 PM from March through October, Balboa Park hosts events organized by 32 multicultural groups. Each Lawn Program celebrates a different culture with traditional dance, costume, arts and crafts, and ethnic food for sale.

The Lawn Programs take place around the historical Exposition cottages, often around a date important to the culture. So for example, the House of Mexico holds its festival (the Arte, Color & Fiesta) around Día de los Niños (Children’s Day). The House of England, in contrast, holds it event around St. George’s Day in April.

There is never a shortage of fun activities and festivals at Balboa Park. Whether you live in the area or are just planning to visit, make sure you come down and experience one or more of the above events!

 

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Child Art

San Diego Art Schools: 3 First-Class Programs to Consider

San Diego Art Schools and Information For KidsIf your child loves to draw, dance, act, sing, play an instrument, or paint, a career in the arts may be in his or her future. While simply encouraging your child to practice their craft through exploration of different mediums is key, there are also several other things to consider when preparing your child for a career in the San Diego art scene.

Great San Diego Art Schools

To prepare your child for higher education in the arts, it’s a good idea to understand the options that are available. San Diego art schools are plentiful, but the following are some of the best:

The Art Institute of San Diego, known as the “Smithsonian of the West,” prepares students for careers in the art world with hands-on training. For example, culinary students work at a fully-functioning restaurant, so that they are prepared to work in real-life kitchen situations. For over 30 years, this school has been teaching art students in a wide range of studies. They provide degrees in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary disciplines.

The San Diego State University’s School of Art and Design teaches students the practice of art, art history, and design with a focus on theoretical and historical study. Unlike the Art Institute, SDSU offers classes in drawing, sculpting, painting, interior design, and graphic design skills. If your child is more interested in fashion or the culinary arts, this school wouldn’t be be a good fit. SDSU students often go on to become architectural, interior, and landscape designers, digital artists, professionals in advertising, and many more exciting fields.

The University of San Diego’s College of Arts and Science offers a total of 28 majors and 34 minors, with many of these focusing on the arts. The small classroom size, about half the size of normal university classes, makes it easier for students to interact with each other and their teacher. The programs also provide a variety of projects that put students in real-world situations to prepare them for future careers.

Potential Art Careers

Studies in the arts can provide your child with a firm foundation for a variety of careers with high-earning potential and growth. For example, multimedia arts is one of the most promising fields, as the industry is expected to grow 25.8 percent in the next 10 years. If your child is a free spirit and would like to be her own boss, consider a career in the multimedia field, such as illustration, graphic design, and animation. A large percentage of these types of artists are self-employed. Some other art-related jobs to consider are:

  • Interior decorator
  • City planner
  • Personal chef
  • Video game designer
  • Television set designer

With so many job and school options available, your child can have a bright future in the San Diego art world. If your children are aspiring artists, consider enrolling them in art lessons through TakeLessons.com to help them hone their skills even further. Providing a firm foundation through one-on-one guidance is a great way to give your child an edge when applying to colleges and beyond.

 

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San Diego Music - Casbah

The San Diego Music Scene: Venues, Bands, and Festivals That Started it All

The San Diego Music Scene: Venues, Bands, and Festivals That Started it AllSan Diego is a city rich with culture. In particular, the San Diego music scene is especially vibrant and varied, with a number of famous artists, venues, and festivals drawing people to the city. From heavy metal to eclectic rock to opera and everything in between, the San Diego music scene features a wide range of genres, making it easy for anyone to find something they enjoy.

Beyond these well-known and current figures and places, the San Diego music scene is also steeped in a rich musical history. Continue reading to learn more…

A Brief History of the San Diego Music Scene

The San Diego music scene has been steadily growing and evolving for many decades, from the opera and big band music of the early 1900s to today’s more eclectic mix. The ’60s in particular were a definitive turning point for San Diego, as several influential bands turned the city into a place to watch for up-and-coming musicians.

Out of the many music events that took place in the 1960s, one stands out: the formation of Iron Butterfly. The band formed in San Diego in 1966 before having their first national hit with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, and are known for their unique sound that paved the way for hard rock music.

The 1970s also saw a great deal of progress, especially with the change in popular music. However, of marked importance in this decade was the introduction of Tom Waits. Now renowned as a musician, in 1972 he was simply the doorman at a San Diego club. However, with his first album “Closing Time”, which came out the following year, Waits lifted himself into his now storied career.

In the 1980s, the San Diego music scene exploded with several new festivals and the introduction of The Casbah, arguably the city’s most famous venue.

The Casbah: San Diego’s Iconic Venue

Though The Clash’s famous song “Rock the Casbah” was not inspired by the San Diego club, this venue certainly stands out within the San Diego music scene. Originally built in 1989, the Casbah quickly found a strong following of locals and musicians, hosting notable bands like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins. The club is renowned for hosting both world-class musicians (including MGMT, No Doubt, Ben Harper, and Arcade Fire), and local artists looking to make it big.

 In 2014, the Casbah celebrated 25 years of operation. And though its owner, Tim Mays, has been humble in the past when discussing the Casbah’s influence on the San Diego music scene, it’s impact is undeniable. In fact, the city of San Diego even declared January 14 to be “Casbah Day”.

Songs and Music Dedicated to the City

With the number of renowned musicians that have come from San Diego, in addition to those that weren’t born here but have come to love the city, it is no surprise that several artists have idolized the city through their songs.

One of the most notable is “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” by Bing Crosby. Written in commemoration of the opening of the Del Mar racetrack, the song is short but straightforward, describing the simplistic nature of what Crosby hoped the racetrack and city would be for visitors and residents.

Another notable song that features San Diego is Bruce Springsteen’s “Balboa Park,” named for the 1,200-acre park in San Diego that boasts hiking and biking trails, museums, theaters, and the San Diego Zoo. The song takes on a somber feel, as at the time the park was plagued by a string of criminal activities, from vandalism and theft to murder; thankfully, the park has cleaned up since then.

Perhaps one of the more well-known musicians who has highlighted San Diego is Eric Clapton with his 2006 album titled “The Road to Escondido”. Nominated for a Grammy in 2007, the album doesn’t feature songs dedicated specifically to San Diego, so much as embody the feeling of the city, as Clapton and JJ Cale, Clapton’s collaborator for the album, both had ties to the city.

With such a vibrant music scene, many people have taken the step to begin learning music themselves. If you are considering learning how to play, taking private music lessons with a qualified professional teacher is a great first step. Who knows – you might be the next big San Diego musician to make it big!

 

 

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San Diego Artist

5 Inspiring San Diego Artists You Should Know

5 Inspiring San Diego Artists You Should KnowSan Diego is a city rife with artistic talents of all kinds.  If you live here, you probably already know that! If you have an untapped creative energy that seeks artistic inspiration, there are a few great San Diego artists that you should get to know. Discovering new artists with a variety of talents can inspire you as you work on your craft – or, can help you decide which area of the arts you might like to pursue when you’re ready for lessons with a private teacher. Here are a few to check out:

  • Robert Henri

Henri was a well-traveled American painter who spent a formative summer in San Diego in 1914. Although his early work was heavily influenced by Impressionism, his later personal approach to painting was to create a kind of modern Realism. Henri died in 1929 in New York, but his inspirational presence in San Diego made a big impact on the arts in the latter city. As one of the founders of American Realism, Henri’s artistic fingerprints can still be seen in San Diego today.

  • Maurice Braun

Braun was a Hungarian immigrant who originally settled in New York, but then moved to San Diego later on in his life. Inspired by Southern California’s beauty, Braun created a series of Impressionist paintings of the landscapes he saw around him. Considered one of the formative landscape artists of San Diego, Braun died in 1941, but not before he predicted that California artists would create a micro-culture all their own.

  • Jonathan Borofsky

Borofsky is one of the most well-known current San Diego artists, and his sculptures are featured internationally. Borofsky‘s work is stunning in scale and often features human figures in a rainbow of colors. His sculptures, prints, and films make him an important artist to know because they are simplistic while simultaneously grandiose; hopeful art students of any age can connect with Borofsky’s work and feel inspired to create their own.

  • Marcos Ramirez ERRE

ERRE is a Latino artist whose cultural background plays a big role in his work. Born in Tijuana, Mexico and now a resident of San Diego, ERRE first worked in the United States as a carpenter. When his artistic side got the better of him, he began to create wooden and metal structures that are featured worldwide.

  • Adelaide

Adelaide moved to San Diego in 2005 to create the Middle Eastern Dance Company; now, this one-name artistic expressionist is truly one to watch as she continues to change the artistic landscape of San Diego. Although her first love is dance and performance art, Adelaide also uses paint, pencils, and other traditional tools of the artist’s trade to create amazing pieces.

Learning to express yourself through art is a freeing endeavor, made all the more poignant by personal inspiration in those around you, such as these San Diego artists. The more you know about the artists in this list, the more creative facets you can access in yourself! So get out there, get creative, and have fun!

 

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summer camps

The Best Summer Camps in San Diego

summer campsSummer camps are a great way to keep kids involved in learning, playing, and growing while school is out. At camp, kids can spend time with other kids while gaining skills in a favorite sport or hobby.

So what are some of the best camps in San Diego? We reached out to a few of our favorite parenting and lifestyle bloggers in town to get the skinny on San Diego’s best summer camps.

For kids ages 6-16 who’ve been bitten by the theater bug, Mary Burt-Godwin of The Mama Mary Show recommends Broadway Bound in Carlsbad. Broadway Bound is a 2 week summer workshop offering classes in singing, dancing, and acting. This camp costs $250 for the full two weeks and runs from July 8 – July 19. Word on the street is that this year they’re doing a Frozen theme!

Laurie Marr, the writer of Sea Glass Hearts, suggests the YMCA‘s summer camps. YMCA offers day camps in addition to overnight camps in locations in Julian and by the beach. At the YMCA San Diego, kids can do activities from surfing to horseback riding to Ancient Egyptian History and more, plus there are locations all over the county. The cost of the camps varies, starting at $135 a week for day camps, and up to $715 a week for the overnight camps.

If your kids want to get out on the green this summer, Bri Geeski, who blogs here, is a huge fan of Future Champions Junior Golf Camp. Kids as young as 6 can spend either half or full days working on their swing and making new friends. Campers are divided into smaller, more focused groups based on age and skill level. The half-day rate is $199 for 3 days and the full-day rate is $299.

Angela Quisumbing, AKA Mira Mesa Mom, gave Dance and Company in Mira Mesa rave reviews! Dance and Company’s summer camp is open to dancers ages 4-12, plus they have fun themes like “Disney Dreams” and “Rock of Ages”. For a week, the camp tuition is $185.

Finally, Kimberly Rotter compiled an excellent list of summer camps in San Diego on her blog. Kimberly clued us in to awesome opportunities for campers like the educational programs at Sea World.  Sea World has day camps available for kids as young as 3 and up to 9th grade. Camp tuition is $255.

Kimberly also tipped us off to a great camp for young rockers! Rock Music Band Camp gives kids the chance to play in a rock band. Kids can learn a new instrument or sharpen their skills on an instrument they already play, learn how to write songs, make a band website, and perform with their band. The cost per week is $600, which does cover the costs of renting an instrument, amplifiers, and other equipment.

Did we leave anything out? If you know of a great camp that we missed, please let us know in the comments below!

 

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Party Band

Planning a Party or Event? How to Find San Diego Bands for Hire

Planning a Party or Event? How to Find San Diego Bands for HireLooking for the perfect San Diego bands for hire, so you have some great options for your upcoming event? Great! Here are some ways to connect with the one that will suit the occasion best – be it for a school dance, wedding, party, bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, quinceañera, or any type of celebration:

Know Your Audience

First of all, it’s crucial to know the style of music that the guests will most enjoy! If there are guests of honor at the event, you should do your best to accommodate their particular musical taste and possibly even compile a list of their favorite songs, so as you audition or interview San Diego bands for hire, you can include those requests to make sure they can play them at the event. In other words, the same band that would be an instant hit at a 50th wedding anniversary party may not have the repertoire your guests at a high school dance would enjoy dancing to.

How to Locate the Best Band for Your Event

There are a number of options here, and you may have to give them all a try in order to find the best option out of the many San Diego bands for hire. Here are some ideas:

  • Place a free ad on Craigslist – Head to the Community section and click on Musicians for a good starting point. You can also place your own free ad looking for bands; just be specific about the style of music you want, the date you’ll need them, and so forth. Under that same Community category, you’ll also find a heading labeled Events. Don’t forget to look under the “Gigs” category as well – both to post and see if bands have posted their own descriptions and contact information.

  • Ask friends who have organized events and hired San Diego bands for referrals or websites they went to when they were searching for local acts.

  • Perform a search on YouTube for “San Diego bands for hire” and check out the videos that come up. This is an excellent way to audition a band’s sound prior to coordinating a meeting or waiting for a demo. Plus, you can visually check out the band’s appearance, as well as their sound, to determine whether they’re a fit for your specific event.

  • Myspace.com is another option, but is less common nowadays with the growing popularity of YouTube. But it used to be a top site to find musicians, so is definitely worth a try.

  • Check out Yelp reviews that pop up when you search San Diego bands for hire.

Check Out Other Live Events/Parties with Bands Performing

If you’re out and about at another event, or a live performance by a San Diego band, such as at a street fair, casino, wedding, or corporate party, make sure you go up and request a business card. Most professional bands will have these readily available, as well as CDs for sale, and possibly even a free demo CD you can take with you. If they don’t have a card, ask them for their website, or at the very least a contact number; if the timing is right, tell the band leader or their agent (if that person is in attendance) the date of your upcoming event, and then get an estimate from them on the cost involved. Any band with experience should have a demo audio that you can share with anyone else involved in making the hiring decision.

It’s a good idea to create a “go-to” list of second- and third-choice bands, too. That way you’ll have a backup plan already in place should your first choice have a sudden change of schedule, band member personal emergency, etc. Besides, you’ll have other bands you like already filed away for any future events, too!

The Benefits of a Signed Contract/Agreement

For everyone’s protection – yours and the band’s – it’s smart to draft a simple contractual agreement that states the length of time the band is to play, what time they will be expected to start and stop, and the amount you’ll be paying them. Many professional San Diego bands for hire may require that you put down a deposit to lock in the performance date. That’s pretty standard procedure. If everyone agrees to the terms and signs a contract, that’s great. This prevents any last-minute surprises.

With these tips, you now have the beginning of a game plan to build upon as you search for San Diego bands for hire. Good luck and have fun planning your event!

 

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San Diego Concerts - Belly Up

Can’t-Miss San Diego Concerts: Exploring the SD Music Scene

Can't-Miss San Diego Concerts: Exploring the SD Music SceneFrom arenas to more intimate settings, San Diego’s many concert venues offer a wide variety of options for every type of music fan. Often referred to as “America’s Finest City,” the beautiful weather, pristine beaches, friendly people, amazing accommodations, and assortment of venues make San Diego an ideal place for both artists and fans.

Top Venues for San Diego Concerts

Non-mainstream, niche, and cult music can be found amidst the surf atmosphere of Belly Up Tavern, which often offers San Diego concerts for less than $20.

In the former Woolworth building downtown, the HOB offers top acts and great food, and is reputed to have one of the top concert sound systems in town!

Humphreys provides a great summer concert series on the waterfront in an intimate setting. Have a boat? Freeload on the marina!

This 4,600-seat amphitheater on the San Diego State University campus has great sight lines and good sound. The theater often books emerging acts on summer tours.

This giant amphitheater in Chula Vista pulls in mega-acts with its 20,000 seat capacity, roomy facility, and large video screens.

Offering great seating and a classy atmosphere, Copley Symphony Hall offers amazing acoustics, as well as welcome relief from other pop music-laden venues.

Sycuan offers a small, intimate theater and hosts many top name acts.

How to Find San Diego Concerts

  • Search the web! From venue websites to online ticket resellers, there is an array of options for learning about San Diego concerts online, such as www.SanDiegoConcerts.org.

  • Friend ‘em. Sign up for online newsletters or follow the social media pages of your favorite bands and venues.

  • Visit local venues. In person or online, venues always have an upcoming list of performers. See the list above for a few top venue names and contact info for San Diego concerts.

  • Ticket brokers. Love ‘em or hate ‘’em, the big name ticket brokers offer easy access to lists of events at venues citywide. For example:

New to San Diego Concerts? Follow These Tips…

  • Don’t get scalped. Purchase tickets for San Diego concerts from venue websites, band websites, or authorized ticked resellers, and compare prices between websites to ensure ticket prices are reasonable.

  • Pick up your tickets early. Will call service enables you to pick up your concert tickets before or at the show, and you’ll need to provide the credit card you used and/or an ID. Some venues also offer online tickets that you can print beforehand, which eliminates the hassle – just watch out for service fees.

  • Allow extra time for traffic, finding parking, locating seats, and purchasing concessions. Consider carpooling with friends to cut down on gas and parking fees.

  • Bring cash. It’s easier, and some venues don’t take credit cards.

  • Leave food, beverages, and any other material not permitted at home. Rules can vary depending on which venue you’re going to, so make sure to check their website beforehand so you know what to expect.

  • Don’t get lost! Determine a meeting place and plan for after the show or if you get separated from your friends.

Listening to live music can be a phenomenal experience! Whether you are a refined, classical music fan or a mosh pit master, don’t miss out on the variety of musical experiences that San Diego concerts have to offer.

 

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tl on sd

TakeLessons in the News: Why We Love Working in San Diego

According to Forbes, San Diego is the best place in the country to start a business, and as a San Diego based company, we’re not surprised. Great weather, smart people, and a real sense of community go a long way toward making San Diego a great place to call home.

Our CEO and founder Steven Cox recently stopped by San Diego 6 to talk with Marc Bailey about our local startup scene and more. Check it out!

Marc Bailey: If you’re trying to start a business, we asked Steven Cox to come in because he knows what he’s talking about. You started TakeLessons.com? You started it here in San Diego?

Steven Cox: Sure did!

Marc: And it teaches music? Music lessons online?

Steven: Not only music lessons, but tutoring, sports, fitness, wellness, arts and crafts, and more. If you think of eBay and how they have created a marketplace for both buyers and sellers, what we have is created a marketplace for parents or consumers who are looking for a great instructor. On the other side are instructors who are looking to earn more money and are looking for new students.

Marc: So, you match these people up? You just combine the two. Most of these ideas, when we break them down, the beauty of them and the commonality is we all look and say, “I should’ve thought of that.”

Steven: Or, “Man, I did think about that.” Yeah, I get that a lot.

Marc: When did you decide to follow up on that and why? What was the motivation?

Steven: Sure, well, I’ve been doing tech startups since 1999. I moved down here to San Diego to take a little bit of time off and started wondering what I wanted to do next. I was living downtown in San Diego, and we came up with this idea. I happened to also be in a rock band as a bad lead singer. My drummer was looking for new students and was going to quit music and take an office job in order to pay in his bills. So, we put together this idea of helping him make a living do what he loved to do by helping him find students over the Internet, and that just happened to be my background. It kind of fell along this whole movement of being able to establish a business in a marketplace and then watch it grow here in San Diego, which is where we started, and then immediately start taking on new cities. Now, we’re in about 4,000 cities all across the U.S.

Marc: So, I’m going to say that’s successful, but it started right here in San Diego.

Steven: Yep, it started in a downtown office right here.

Marc: Why San Diego? Now, again, we heard Forbes’ reasons why businesses are successful starting up here in San Diego, but what’s the deal? Why San Diego?

Steven: Well, first of all, I can say that being in the industry for the past several years, the tech industry and the startup community is worlds different from where it used to be five and six years ago. One of the factors that Forbes had mentioned was the clustering, which is the ability for a large number of startups to all be in the same area, and we’re starting to see that downtown. There are thirty or forty startups right off the top of my head just within this little radius down there, which is a super cool thing to see.

Marc: That’s good energy, and you can share information.

Steven: They share information. They collaborate. You kind of feel like you’re not alone.

Marc: Is that one of the keys? Collaboration?

Steven: Absolutely. You get that and also just the number of industries that are in kind of a high growth aspect. So, anything from consumer Internet to clean tech to bioinformatics, San Diego has all of those. In addition to a great environment to start a business, there are a ton of smart people, and if you compare it to some of the other cities out there, San Diego has better air quality than L.A. I’m sure that you would know that. It has better traffic. The cost of living is 40% cheaper than it is in Silicon Valley. Finally, San Diego, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we have better weather than Boston and New York.

Marc: We’ve got to go, but give me the one misstep that people make. You’ve told people all of the positives. What’s the one thing that makes you say, “Don’t do that.”?

Steven: I’ve got to say that it is don’t believe that is super, super easy just to start an Internet business, and then the next day you’re going to be a success. It takes the exact same amount of work in order to grow a successful business.

Marc: That meaning you have to be totally committed to it.

Steven: That’s right.

Marc: Alright, Steven, thank you so much. Steven Cox, CEO of TakeLessons.com. So, check that website out, especially if you’re trying to matchup your musical desires with a teacher. Great idea!

Steven: Thank you so much.

 

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Things For Kids To Do

Learning in Disguise: Things for Kids to Do in San Diego

Learning in Disguise: Things for Kids to Do in San DiegoInvolving children in fun activities that have an educational angle rather than just entertainment-based distractions is a great way to incorporate learning into your child’s free time. There are plenty of things for kids to do in San Diego that are rooted in artistic creation, methodical thinking, and musical expression. When kids engage in these pursuits, their curiosity is encouraged, as well as their creative thinking skills, leading to character building and intellectual growth. Explore San Diego and discover a community rich with organizations and programs dedicated to your child’s development – here are a few ideas:

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Switchfoot

4 Influential Artists and Bands from San Diego

5 Influential Artists and Bands from San DiegoSan Diego is a city full of art and creativity. Music is no exception, and dozens if not hundreds of bands and musical artists have found their start in Southern California, in nearly every genre. Here are just a few of those artists and bands from San Diego and a look into how they rose to fame.

Blink-182

In the late ’90s, few musical names were quite so well-known as alternative rock band Blink-182. Bassist and lead vocalist Mark Hoppus worked at a record store to help pay his way through school, and eventually connected with Tom DeLonge, the co-founder of the band. They spent many hours jamming and bouncing lyrics back and forth, soon joined in this by drummer Scott Raynor.

The band rose to fame in Southern California, which wasn’t exactly a musical hotbed at the time, but San Diego had a substantial punk-rock scene through the local surfer/skater population, and many bands from San Diego have come to reflect that. Blink-182 played at gigs throughout the city, both solo and opening for larger bands, until they found themselves signed by Cargo Records, the largest independent recording company at the time.

Jason Mraz

Born in 1977, Jason Mraz grew up in the most idyllic of American towns in rural Virginia. He was a fan of Dave Matthews Band and other grassroots bands, but it wasn’t until participating in musical theater that he really got into playing music and performing. As soon as he graduated high school, he made his way to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He dropped out after a year, but his training as a vocalist is clear in the vocal range and clarity of his first album.

Jason Mraz really broke through into the musical scene in San Diego, finding his niche in the same coffeehouse scene that first supported singers like Jewel. Through those coffeehouses, he began his rise to fame as one of the many artists and bands from San Diego to reach their dreams.

Switchfoot

One of the most popular bands from San Diego is Switchfoot. Though they market themselves as a Christian band, their songs appeal to everyone. One thing that sets them apart is the way they employ a much wider range of instruments than your typical rock band, including cellos, trumpets, violins, mandolins, flutes, and even sitars.

Switchfoot only had to play a few shows before they signed with Re:think Records. Three records later, they went platinum, and a number of their songs were featured in the movie A Walk To Remember. After that movie, they wound up signing with Columbia Records, a big name in the business.

Deftones

Reigning as one of the many well-known bands from San Diego, Deftones took the alternative rock scene by storm. Co-founder and lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter taught himself the traditional six-string guitar while he was laid up in a wheelchair after being hit by a car, and though it was slow-going without any sort of lessons or instruction to guide him, he went on to help create a band that has churned out five albums thus far. Abe Cunningham, Deftones’ drummer, also took guitar lessons on the side. The two of them joined forces with three of their old high school friends, first just in jam sessions, then playing small gigs and opening for bands like Korn.

At one particular show, the gig was almost over and the crowd had dispersed, yet Deftones managed to impress a representative from Maverick Records. Their debut album released in 1994.

If there’s one thing you can learn from these and the dozens of other bands from San Diego, it’s that nothing works quite like elbow-grease and practice to help you make it big. Private music lessons are a great first step, and can open you up to a whole world of musical possibilities you never quite imagined were possible. So practice hard and keep your eye on the goal, and maybe one day the world will see your name in lights!

Photo by innovati

 

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