First Fridays at the Island Museum celebrates Americana with live music

The Blackjack band. Courtesy photo

The Catalina Island Museum invites you to Picnic, Pie and Blackjack! Enjoy a bit of Americana during First Fridays at the Museum on Friday, July 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening features live music, a pie baking contest and late night access to the museum, including its special exhibitions; JAWS: The Art of Fear in Filmmaking and Houdini: Terror on the Magic Isle.

Each month First Fridays at the Museum provides an opportunity to enjoy the exhibition galleries, digital theater, open-air plazas and Museum Store. The July First Fridays event celebrates traditional American music with a performance by Blackjack.

The Blackjack band was formed approximately twenty years ago on Catalina Island. Band members consist of Dave Thompson, Pat Troy, John Regalado, David “Marko” Markowitz, Butch Azevedo and Billy Delbert. The name “Blackjack” was taken from the campsite on Catalina where Thompson and Regalado along with some other musicians were camping. Troy just happened to be camping at another campsite and came over to join in. They have been playing music together ever since. Troy and Thompson are the backbone of the band with their strong vocals, rhythm guitars, and Thompson’s blistering solo leads on his guitar. Markowitz and Regalado also add with their vocals and drive the sound with fiddle and banjo. Azevedo keeps everyone in time playing percussion and Delbert brings it all together with the bass. They play a wide variety of traditional American music including Tex-Mex, Cajun, Country and Bluegrass and are especially known for their Bluegrass versions of familiar rock songs.

Playing almost exclusively on the island, Blackjack has also performed at venues like the Getty Museum and the Long Beach Grand Prix. For First Fridays at the Museum, they will perform in the Schreiner Family Plaza on the museum’s second floor from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

No summer celebration would be complete without pie and a little healthy competition. The Catalina Island Museum invites bakers of all ages to enter its 2nd annual pie baking contest. There is no fee to enter your pie into the contest. $100 cash prizes will be awarded for Best Tasting Pie and Best Presentation. Pies are to be delivered to the museum between 6 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6. Judging by two special guests will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m. The remaining pies will be available for tasting once the winner has been announced. For contest rules and to download an entry form visit CatalinaMuseum.org/calendar.

Attendees to this family-friendly event are encouraged to bring a picnic or snack to enjoy in the open-air plazas of the museum’s second floor. A specialty cocktail, wine, beer, soda and water will be available for purchase. (No outside beverages allowed.)

First Fridays at the Museum will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 6. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members and $5 for children (ages 3-15). Admission may be purchased online at CatalinaMuseum.org, in person at the museum’s visitor services desk, or upon arrival at the door.

The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Ave. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website: CatalinaMuseum.org.

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