Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival May 27th-May 28th, 2017, Preview, Tickets



Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival is an annual event hosted by The Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise to benefit both Cajun heritage and the people of Simi Valley and surrounding areas. All proceeds from the event go to the charities listed on the “Who benefits” page. Thank you for your continuing support.


The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival, now in its 28th year, has continually evolved since its humble beginnings. The Festival started out in 1988 as a New England Clambake fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, and within two years the Cajun Creole music theme was adopted. The Cajun theme proved to be very popular as the Festival gained national attention and grew to be one of the largest festivals of its kind west of the Mississippi River. The Festival currently presents live Cajun, Creole, Zydeco and Blues entertainment on multiple stages, offers more than 150 food, beverage, craft and sponsor booths, and attracts approximately 20,000 attendees. One hundred percent of all Festival profits are donated in support of charitable, educational and humanitarian causes. Thanks to the generous and vital support of our corporate partners, profits from The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival have resulted in total charitable donations in excess of $1,600,000.

Here are just a few reasons why we would love to have you cover this unique, dynamic Festival:
• Going on TWENTY-EIGHT successful years of bringing free spirited, rootsy music to the Ventura and LA County areas
• TWO BIG STAGES: one for Cajun, one for Blues – together providing non-stop music from 12:00 noon until 7:30pm both days. The Cajun Stage has been named the Stephen D. Smith Memorial Cajun and Zydeco Stage.
• TWO dance floors this year – largest outdoor wood dance floor west of the Mississippi – the West Coast Swing dancers are big supporters, come watch them swing the light fantastic
• Not one, not two, but three amazing, iconic bands to experience on the Blues Stage: THE YARDBIRDS (Saturday, May 27th) MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS (Sunday, May 28th) and ROBBY KRIEGER BAND (Saturday, May 27th)!!
• America’s Hottest Accordion winner, Dwayne Dopsie (pronounced “Doopsy”) Rubin performs his energy-charged style of zydeco three times during the weekend! Along with his Zydeco Hellraisers, twice on Saturday, once on the Cajun/Zydeco Stage and then closing out the Blues Stage, returning Sunday to top off the Cajun/Zydeco Stage – come see extraordinary technique, flash and passion as you’ve never seen before
• Opportunity to see Barbara Morrison (having performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Orchestra) up close and personal
• Doug Kershaw. Yes, I said Doug Kershaw, aka “The Ragin’ Cajun.” Doug will be closing out the Stephen D. Smith Memorial Cajun and Zydeco Stage on Sunday, May 28th, with his partner-in-crime Steve Riley.
• Guess the band: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page all spent time in what band? Why, The Yardbirds, of course – check out The Yardbirds on Saturday at the Blues Stage. ** If you wanted to hear “Devil With a Blue Dress,” “Jenny Take a Ride”, “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “C.C. Rider” performed in the way you love and remember, what band would you need? I would say Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels! Good thing we have that very band for you on Sunday at the Blues Stage. ** Do I really have to do Robby Krieger – isn’t it just enough it’s Robby Krieger? Okay, okay…THE DOORS, people. The Robby Krieger Band will celebrate 50 years of the Doors music at the SVC&BF on Saturday.   It’s MORE star-power this year, folks!
• The Blues Stage welcomes back Bubba Jackson of K-JAZZ Long Beach as the Master of Ceremonies 
• Cajun & Zydeco dance lessons will be given during breaks by instructor AJ Gibbs – check it out:
• Each day delight in a Mardi Gras style parade, complete with stilt walkers and marching bands – all are invited to join the fun – kicking off at 4:00pm
• Dozens of food booths including authentic Cajun food creations and Southern BBQ
• More than 100 specialty craft booths scattered throughout the Festival grounds
• The Festival is manned by volunteers, about 500 of them, including at least two actual rocket scientists, a chief of police, two ministers, two high school principals, several retired policemen, dentists, doctors and Waldo – see if you can find him!
• 100% of the profits go to local, regional, national and international charities (locally, the Festival supports over 30 charities – check it out: – including local Simi Valley Boys & Girls Club, American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and various international Youth Exchange Programs.
• Active members of the military are welcomed to the Festival at no charge – just show ID at the Box Office 
• Note: the only discount single day tickets ($25) are available on the website as are the $45.00 two-day passes – these special tickets cannot be purchased at the event. Gate single day tickets are $30. Children 12 and younger are free. New this year are a limited number of SuperTicket passes: $124 for a single day or $199 for both days provides you with a reserved seat, in the shade, directly in front of the Blues Stage as well as private bar access (and two complimentary drinks) plus other exclusive backstage experiences.
Take a look at some of the stellar artists and unforgettable moments of last year’s


SATURDAY MAY 27th – 2017

(Schedule subject to change)


Stephen D. Smith Memorial Cajun Stage

National Anthem 11:45am

Kelly’s Lot 12:15pm

Lazy Lester 1:35pm

The Yardbirds 3:00pm

Robby Krieger 4:40pm

Dwayne Dopsie 6:15pm

National Anthem 11:45am

Dwayne Dopsie 12:25pm

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles 1:55pm

Cajun Trio Doucet, Doucet & Reed 3:25pm

Mardi Gras Parade 4:35pm

jo-El Sonnier 4:40pm

Doug Kershaw 6:05pm

SUNDAY MAY 28th – 2017

(Schedule subject to change)


Stephen D. Smith Memorial Cajun Stage

National Anthem 11:45am

Alex Nester 12:15pm

The 44’s 1:35pm

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels 3:00pm

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 4:40pm

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles 6:15pm

May 28th

National Anthem 11:45am

Bayou Bros 12:25pm

Crawdaddio 1:50pm

Dwayne Dopsie 3:15pm

Mardi Gras Parade 4:20pm

Cajun trio Doucet, Doucet & Reed 4:40pm

jo-El Sonnier 6:05pm

 For tickets and more info, visit
The man who made “Jenny Take a Ride” and “Devil With a Blue Dress On” hits
 will be honored on June 11 in his hometown Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. — Mitch Ryder has thrilled audiences on many Detroit stages since he first started performing in his hometown as a teenager. However, when the rocker takes the stage at Detroit’s historic Music Hall on June 11, he will be the one feeling thrilled. On that night, Ryder will be welcomed into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame along with such illustrious musical acts as Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Impressions, Larry Williams and posthumous inductees James Brown, Isaac Hayes and Mary Wells. 
When Ryder learned about this honor, he was overcome with surprise and happiness. “I looked at the names of some of those who came before me and it became a celebration of joy for me, I mean Aretha Franklin, David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and so many other voices that brought me great pleasure throughout my life and career. It is still thrilling me and I’m afraid to wake up from the dream!” 
If you have heard Ryder sing  and who hasn’t heard his signature versions of “Jenny Take a Ride” or Devil With a Blue Dress On”?  you know that his style of rock ‘n’ roll is deeply steeped in soul and rhythm and blues. James Brown himself once proclaimed Ryder as the best white R&B singer in the business. 
“Jenny Take a Ride” and “Devil With a Blue Dress On,” along with “Little Latin Lupe Lu” and “Sock It to Me, Baby!,” were the knockout singles that catapulted Ryder and his red-hot band the Detroit Wheels to stardom in the mid-’60s. Their kinetic combination of raw garage rock, revved-up R&B and Ryder’s gritty, soulful vocals transformed these tunes into rock ’n’ roll standards that bar bands around the world attempt to emulate today. In fact, these songs form the core of Bruce Springsteen’s “Detroit Medley,” a concert centerpiece of his for more than four decades. 
There couldn’t be a more appropriate city for Ryder to be celebrated than Detroit. Hailed by All Music Guide as “the heart and soul of the Motor City rock ’n’ roll scene,” Ryder grew up in working class Detroit. Born William Levise Jr., he took the stage name Billy Lee when he fronted a high school band that would play the Village, one of Detroit’s top black soul clubs. At 17, he recorded an R&B single for the local gospel label, and went on to sing lead in a black vocal group, the Peps. 
In 1964, he formed Billy Lee and the Rivieras, a rock ’n’ soul group that quickly conquered Detroit and drew the attention of Four Seasons producer Bob Crewe. Crewe changed the Rivieras to the Detroit Wheels and, as the famous story goes, Mitch Ryder found his new, and permanent, name while flipping through the Manhattan phone book. After the band’s initial success, they broke up due to Crewe’s constrictive control. In 1969, Ryder hooked up with Booker T and the MGs for The Detroit-Memphis Experiment, which has called the “great undiscovered Mitch Ryder party album.” He later reunited with his old Wheels drummer John Badanjek in a band named Detroit. Their sole album featured a standout cover of Lou Reed’s “Rock ’n’ Roll” that impressed Reed enough to lure guitarist Steve Hunter to his own group. 
Ryder has built a devoted following, particularly in Europe, through his honest, energizing music. One of his better-known admirers, John Mellencamp produced Ryder’s Never Kick A Sleeping Dog, which featured a “Ryder-ized” rendition of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” Ryder’s 31 studio albums and 11 live records serve as a testimony to his unending dedication to progress as an artist. His recent U.S. release, the Don Was-produced The Promise, received among his best reviews, with Paste Magazine praising it for showcasing “what he does best — sing soulful, ball-busting rock ’n’ roll.” 
Ryder also wrote Devils & Blue Dresses: My Wild Ride as a Rock and Roll Legend, which took a candid look at the many ups and downs he has survived and lived to write about. His unflinching autobiography garnered critical accolades as well as winning several literary honors, including gold medals at the IPPY and the National Indie Excellence awards. 
The 5th Annual Black Tie Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert will be held on Sunday June 11 at the Music Hall (350 Madison Street, Detroit). The Red Carpet festivities begin at 5 p.m., with the ceremony itself commencing at 6 p.m. The event will serve as a fund-raiser to help find a permanent building for the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. For more information and ticket details, visit 
Entering the R&B Hall of Fame, Ryder shared, “is an honor which will stay cherished by me for the rest of my life and as I move on continuing unfinished work I shall always look back to this moment for the humility I will need going forward!”