Mother’s Tavern is hosting two of San Luis Obispo’s musical groups, AVANTI and the Damon Castillo Band, tonight at 9 p.m.
AVANTI, which began in spring 2009, is made up of musicians from all over the Central Coast, including a few Cal Poly graduates. The band has performed in several California cities, including Santa Barbara and Gilroy.
“San Luis Obispo is a very cool community,” said AVANTI’s lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Michael Annuzzi, who graduated from Cal Poly in June with a degree in music. “Cal Poly students love hearing new music, and we feel very supported and encouraged by the school and the city. We’re currently booking more shows around the state on weekends and school breaks.”
Each member of AVANTI has their own style and makes a unique contribution to the band’s music. “We try to play music that is appealing to diverse audiences. After working in the business end of the music industry for the past few years, it feels great to be on this side of the microphone,” Annuzzi said.
AVANTI plans on releasing their debut album this winter, including live tracks that will be recorded at tonight’s show.
“Connecting with the audience is the most important thing — we feel that by playing a variety of music, we’re building a real relationship,” guitarist Jason Gallo said. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dance!”
In addition to performing in town this week, AVANTI will be playing on campus on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. in the Chumash Auditorium.
Performing alongside AVANTI is the Damon Castillo Band, another group with roots in San Luis Obispo.
“All of us met and started playing here in San Luis Obispo. Everyone in the band is so talented – I’m really lucky. We’ve performed together all over the country, but it’s always great to come back home,” lead vocalist Damon Castillo said.
The band has released four albums, the most recent in 2008. On their latest album, “Laurel Lane,” the Damon Castillo Band performed with artists who have worked with bands like the Wallflowers, Supertramp and John Mayer. The band has also produced several very popular music videos. They have performed at multiple Cal Poly events in the past, including a performance with the San Luis Obispo Symphony. Tonight’s performance at Mother’s Tavern is just one stop on their 2009 national tour.
“There’s a lot of great music in San Luis Obispo and so many great venues to play at. A real band feeds off of the energy of the crowd, and we’re gonna play our hearts out and get the party started,” Castillo said.
Cal Poly food science sophomore and Oregon native Emma Kitchen thinks it’s great that San Luis Obispo has local talent but that it seems like many people don’t know about it
“Being out of state, I don’t know a lot about local bands, and I’m sure that’s also true for people from California, so these venues are a really good way to introduce people to new types of music and get publicity for some of the less well-known artists,” Kitchen said.
Tickets to the show are $10 at the door, $9 in advance and $7 for students. They are available at Mother’s Tavern, Boo Boo Records or the Top Brass Productions Web site at http://topbrassprod.com/tickets.htm.