with Special Guest Mike Zito
DOORS: 5:00 PM
STARTS: 7:00 PM
Live on the Outdoor StageGenre: Blues/Rock
Age Limit: Must be 21 or Older
Rain or Shine; No Refunds
Listen to Ana Popovic:
About Ana Popovic:
Ana Popovic celebrating 20 years as a touring musician. The award-winning guitar player, singer and songwriter therefor releases ‘Live for LIVE‘, an exciting hour and a half CD & DVD demonstrating why she’s proudly looking back at a career of thousands of shows worldwide. This high-energy concert showcases not only Ana’s mesmerizing guitar skills but also her fabulous band, successfully merging musical styles. Ana’s passion on stage is so evident that the title sums it up, this IS what she lives for.
“It’s really hard to believe that twenty years ago, I gave up a career in graphic design, formed the Ana Popovic band, and decided to be a full-time musician. Soon after, I traveled to Memphis to record HUSH!, my first solo release,” says the hard-touring guitar slinger speaking from her home in Los Angeles. “I had big dreams back then and I still dream big today.”
“Around that time, I appeared as a special guest on tour with Michael Hill. It was my first North American tour and that springboarded me to the point where today, two decades later, I can proudly look back at a career of thousands of shows over five continents. I’ve successfully merged musical styles and inspired a new generation of guitar players male and female to start pursuing their dreams, regardless of where they were born. Sometimes, the clichés about (music) business are right. If you work hard enough and want it bad enough, you can make anything happen.”
“It feels like just yesterday, I started this project in a garage in Belgrade. Friends and family where supportive, a try-out show at a local bar became a steady gig, and through perseverance and hard work, here we are now. To celebrate the occasion, my six-piece band is walking down memory lane playing music of all of my albums. I’m excited to play older tunes I haven’t played in a while, giving ‘fans of the first hour’ that sweet ‘a-ha feel’.
Ana estimates that over the years she has done about 2500 shows, and easily has another 2500 in the making. “I never get tired of it.” That unconditional drive shows on ‘Live for LIVE’. About the recording Popovic says: “I have the best job in the world that allows me to lose myself in music. Performing with a fabulous band that musically connects to every move and every idea I bring to the stage, while sparking their own musical background to bring out the best in all of us.”
Today, you’ll find Popovic in a select group of excellent modern blues guitar players. One reason could be the fact that she’s always willing to work a little harder and travel a little further to hone her craft. That dedication has resulted in twelve albums, two DVDs and six nationwide Experience Hendrix tours. She’s called “one helluva a guitar-player” by Bruce Springsteen and nominated for seven Blues Music Awards nominations. Ana has appeared on the covers of Vintage Guitar and Guitar Player magazine. Her albums ‘Can You Stand The Heat’ and ‘Unconditional’ were USA Today Picks-Of-The-Week and featured on NPR Weekend Edition, who praised her “Fiery technique on the Stratocaster”. Nearly all of Ana’s albums reached the top of the Billboard Blues Charts. She and her six-piece band have toured tirelessly, sharing stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa and many others.
Ana has been moving west all her life. She fell in love with American blues as a kid, starting back home in Belgrade, Serbia. Then moved to the Netherlands to study at the conservatory of jazz and world-music. After living in Amsterdam for over ten years, she relocated to Memphis, TN to record and work with Southern musicians. Finally in 2016, she moved her family to Los Angeles, California where she now lives.
Listen to Mike Zito:
About Mike Zito:
He may be one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today, and rightfully so, but for Mike Zito, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.
“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”
That point became convincingly clear with his last record 2018’s First Class Life, a collection of songs that detailed his journey from addiction to sobriety and the subsequent success he achieved through his award-winning body of work. A multiple award winner and nominee, Zito has built his career on an ability to tap into tradition while maintaining contemporary credence all at the same time.
Zito’s upcoming album — his 16th — due this November on Ruf Records and descriptively titled Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, finds him broadening his boundaries still further even as it marks a return to his roots. The album consists of 20 Chuck Berry classics performed by Zito and an impressive array of 21 guest guitarists, among them Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Eric Gales, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, Luther Dickinson, Albert Castiglia, Anders Osborne and, significantly, Chuck’s grandson, Charles Berry III.
“This was a very special project for me,” Zito says. “I lived in Chuck’s hometown of St. Louis for 32 years, and I worked at a small musical instrument store where his drummer also happened to be employed. Chuck’s son would drop by on occasion as well. He was an icon, and rightfully so. I’ve been playing his songs since I was a kid. Needless to say, he was a tremendous influence on my career, and, of course, on many other musicians’ as well.”
Produced by Zito himself, the album was recorded at his own Marz Studios and mixed and mastered by David Farrell. “We recorded the basic tracks and then sent them to each guest musician,” Zito recalls. “They added their contributions and then sent the files back to us. The process took a year to complete.”
Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Nevill, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, the Wheel.
From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.
Meanwhile, the accolades keep coming. His album Make Blues Not War debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. Last year’s First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”
Now, with Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, Mike Zito again does what he does best, making an album that’s humble, heartfelt, skilled and sublime….and, to paraphrase Chuck himself, letting it rock all at the same time.