March 8 concert rocks and rolls with 'local connections'

The World Theater at CSU Monterey Bay will offer a special treat for its audience on March 8 when it presents a concert featuring Rio Salinas. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with the opening band Tom Faia and The Juice.

Rio Salinas will take the stage at the World Theater on March 8Rio Salinas brings a wide array of musical styles and influences to the stage: Cali, Tex Mex, country, rock ’n’ blues. Members of the group have played with great bands and have come together to form Rio Salinas. Band members include Rob Espinosa (from It’s a Beautiful Day), Dean Giles (with Swing King), Frank Paredes (from Sir Douglas Quintet), Louie Ortega (from Texas Tornadoes), Randy Pybas (from Salsa Brava) and special guests Greg Smith from the Eagles and Mic Gillette from Tower of Power.

In the 1960s, a new form of music was changing an entire generation. That’s when Ortega, Paredes and Pybas –who were heavily influenced by rock’n’ roll, country, blues, gospel and traditional Mexican music – began a journey that has spanned five decades.

In their late teens, Ortega and Paredes formed the band Louie and the Lovers and began to craft a unique and vibrant sound that caught the ear of their neighbor, Doug Sahm, bandleader of the popular Sir Douglas Quintet. Impressed by their music, Sahm took them under his wing and introduced the boys to management at Epic Records. The result of that meeting was to become their first single and album, RISE, which shot to the top of the playlists of DJs nationwide.

As the ’60s gave way to the new sounds of the ’70s, Ortega, Paredes and Pybas – born and raised in Salinas – became the core of a new band, Salsa Brava. Eventually the three friends pursued solo musical endeavors, all the while maintaining their friendship and common love of music that had so heavily influenced them.

Years later, they revisited the musical quest they had begun 25 years earlier. Supported by guitarist Rob Espinosa of “It’s a Beautiful Day” and drummer Dean Giles, Rio Salinas performs the music they have spent more than 40 years perfecting.

The opening act is Carmel’s Tom Faia and The Juice.

Faia became known in Nashville and Los Angeles for his clever and infectious music. A solo artist with A&M Records, he also wrote songs recorded by Barbara Mandrell and rock legend Dobie Gray.

Faia still writes classic feel-good tunes. He's currently playing solo acoustic shows as well as with his band, The Juice, which includes friends Dave Evert on guitar; Pacific Grove Native Scott Rudoni on bass; and Monterey native Bill Kucher on drums.

Said World Theater artistic director Joe Cardinalli: “We are pleased that Rio Salinas will be releasing their new CD the evening of the show. The concert celebrates homegrown talent from the Salinas and Monterey areas. And I’m delighted to showcase the local group Tom Faia and The Juice.

“It’s going to be a great night of music and fun for the audience.”

Tickets are $25 general admission. Discounts are available for students, military members and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling the box office at 582-4580, or at the theater.

The World Theater is located on Sixth Avenue between A and B streets. Driving directions and a campus map are available here.