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Ceres as entertainment venue
Reg Evans is hoping to make some great things happen in Ceres.

The president of the Central Valley Music Group is using his hometown as the basis for his group's Summer Concert Series.

This weekend he is bringing two well known names in Latin R&B music to the Clinton Whitmore Mansion - Malo and Jorge Santana - for the Hot Latin Nights Music Festival and Car Show.

"The ultimate goal is to brand Ceres as an entertainment venue," said Evans. "As one of the bigger Concert Promoters in the Valley, I chose to do 95 percent of my 2010 shows in Ceres, both at the mansion and at the Community Center. I truly believe that this can help reduce some of the stigma our great little city has, music brings people, family and friends together."

Evans is negotiating with different national and international artists for a holiday show at the end of this year that will also showcase some local talent.

This season's lineup includes several different genres from Latin to southern rock. Last weekend during the Ceres Street Faire the group hosted the six-piece blues band, "Big Earl and The Cryin' Shame," a 2009 Metroireann Media and Multicultural Awards(MAMA) Award winner for Best Blues Band.

This Saturday's show is the second in the series and the first of the national bands performing at the Mansion this year, said Evans. He said the group will draw a "30 plus crowd."

Tickets to the 5 p.m. show are $25 at the door ($42 reserve seating) or available on line at

Mexican born Santana, brother of Carlos Santana, is a R&B guitarist who started playing with blues bands in San Francisco in the late 1960s. He was asked to join a band called The Malibu's, a nine-piece R&B group with horns. After a steady club gig which helped the band refine their sound, they changed their name to Malo. And, as part of the active scene in San Francisco in the early 1970's, the band was signed by Warner Brothers. The group released four albums, with the self-titled debut album their biggest, driven by the single, "Suavecito" in 1972, sometimes called "The Chicano National Anthem." By 1974, when the last Malo album was released, Santana had found a comfortable identity as a career musician and was involved in all aspects of music. Santana has embarked on a solo career, but still plays frequently with the current Malo band. Malo is also still touring, with only two of the original members, including Arcelio Garcia Jr., who took over the band in the late '70s.

On June 26 the group will host Dam, a Southern rock group.

On July 10 the Valley Rhythm Section will perform at the mansion with special guest Travis Vega. Disturbing the Peace is booked for July 24. A Beatles tribute is inked in for an August 14. Other events include: Legally Blynd on Aug. 21 and a Mexican Independence Day Concert and classic car show on Sept. 18.