Java Joe to be greeted by Jason Mraz at San Diego Music Awards, then to launch new concert series


Multiple Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz didn’t hesitate to offer his musical services when he learned that Joe Flammini would be the winner of the 2019 San Diego Music Awards for Lifetime Achievement on Monday at House of Blues. .

Flammini is better known as the namesake of Java Joe’s. The legendary San Diego cafe launched Poway in 1991 and opened its last iteration in Old Town in early 2017. It was rebranded The Backdrop last year, after health concerns pushed Flammini to “semi- retirement “and entrust the operations to Chance Boren, a long-time colleague.

Over the decades, Java Joe’s has been a key launching pad for Mraz, Jewel, Steve Poltz, Lisa Sanders, Gregory Page, Berkley Hart, Billy Galewood, Nina Francis, and a host of other talented singer-songwriters. It has also hosted national acts such as Peter Case, The Negro Problem and Nickel Creek from San Diego.

Mraz, who recorded a live album at Java Joe’s in 2001, is shortlisted for three San Diego Music Awards this year, including Artist, Album and Song of the Year. He will perform in honor of Flammini with a newly formed band at the 28th annual awards ceremony on Tuesday. Nicknamed The Java Joe’s All Stars, it pairs Mraz with Page, Jeff Berkley and Galewood, who played until 2016 under the name Bushwalla.

“I called Jason to ask if he would be in town and available and he was interested in presenting Joe with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Kevin Hellman, founder of the San Diego Music Awards.

“Jason’s response was, ‘Yeah, I’d be happy to do that. Would you like me to play? We could do something pretty cool. Joe will be present. I think he’s nervous about going on stage, but he’s going to do it.

Flammini, who will soon be launching a new concert series at Ocean Beach, confirmed he will be on hand Monday to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. His appearance at the All Ages Event will be brief.

“I told Kevin I wanted it to be very short,” said Flammini, 64. “I’m more of a guy behind the scenes than a guy in front of the microphone. What I’m most proud of are the relationships I have with all the musicians. They are, basically, all of my friends.

The completely unknown Mraz made his Java Joe’s debut in 1999, when his new manager, Bill Silva, took him to the music-fueled cafe and then accommodated him in the second of his three locations in Ocean Beach.

“It was an important evening,” Mraz recalled in a Union-Tribune interview in 2014.

“I was like, ‘Oh, man, I don’t wanna do that! I kept my hat pulled over my eyes. It was after doing my one or two songs that I felt the importance of it. I noticed the audience was listening. And Gregory (Page) came after and said, “I’m playing here on Saturday. Would you like to come and open for me?”

“That’s when I knew I could have concerts in San Diego, that I could work here, and that there was a home for me, a community. I still have the Java Joe’s sign from the night I played with Gregory. It was scribbled in pencil: “Jason, 9 pm; Gregory, 9:30 p.m. ‘Gregory and I are still very close friends.

Mraz then performed a weekly Thursday night residency at Java Joe’s that spanned several years, and he continued to perform there regularly, often out of the blue. In 2016, he bought and donated a new sound system to Java Joe’s. He has also produced a number of Page albums.

“When people talk about how Babe Ruth ‘built Yankee Stadium,’ I tell them, ‘This is how Jason built Java Joe’s,'” said Flammini, who will launch a new series next month. concerts for all ages.

Billed as “Java Joe’s at Horizon Church”, the concert series will begin with a performance on April 12 by Berkley Hart and Selis / Twang (the duo of Eve Selis and Marc “Twang” Intravaia). Tickets cost $ 30 and are available by phone at (619) 274-9989 and by email at [email protected]

“The church has a capacity of 200 people and is non-denominational,” Flammini said. “I tour to do shows there every month.”

28th Annual San Diego Music Awards

With performances of: The Redwoods Revue, Veronica May, Vokab Kompany, Ariel Levine, The Casey Hensley Band, Shane Hall, Planet B and The Java Joe’s All Stars, with Jason Mraz, Gregory Page, Jeff Berkley and Billy Galewood

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Or: House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter

Tickets: $ 36 (general admission), $ 40 (reserved balcony seats). plus service charges

Telephone: (800) 745-3000

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Twitter @georgevarga

[email protected]


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