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Wine sippin’, music listenin’ at outdoor venue

Summer offers up splendid opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, especially if the weather cooperates with cool evenings and beautiful sunsets. Thankfully, that happened to be the case for the very first concert that kicked off the Outdoor Summer Concert Series at Lucca Winery, 16265 East River Rd. in Ripon in June, presented by John Griswold and Friends.

Griswold has been involved in the entertainment industry for several years and created a non-profit organization called Red-Tie Arts along with friends, Jerry Cooper, John Martino and Diane Pierson.

The first of the season show featured not only the concert but also an art show with a strolling guitarist.

The nine piece band of Greg Adams and East Bay Soul entertained the crowd in June while guests enjoyed wines made by Mark Lucchesi and family at Lucca Winery.

The smooth sounds of the band out of the San Francisco Bay Area had fans singing and clapping throughout their headline performance.

In July, the sounds of Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads – which is known to be a Jimmy Buffett tribute band – serenaded guests.

Garratt Wilkin and The Parrotheads have headlined fairs and festivals throughout Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and in cities including Nashville and Anchorage, as well as performed on the east coast.

Dinner at the summer concert events is optional; however, if you like fresh salmon, pasta, pulled pork, southern style slaw or a bean salad guests may want to check what is on the menu for the event.

There are two more concerts in the summer series: Foreverland on Aug. 13 and the Women of Brazil on Sept. 10. Foreverland, based out of San Francisco, is an electrifying 14-piece tribute band to the late Michael Jackson. The Women of Brazil includes musicians Fabiana Passoni and Teka Pentariche and will bring the crowd a taste of Brazilian music.

The summer concert series includes a glass of complimentary wine and a commemorative wine glass to keep, along with the art exhibit, optional dinner and wine tasting.

There are several different ticket options available which include dinner and seating or bringing your own chair or blanket for lawn seating.

“JGF (John Griswold and Friends) has been presenting jazz and global music concerts since 1999,” stated Griswold. “Our goal has always been to bring top quality music from around the world to the Modesto area. To further our work, we will be using any profits from the concerts and donations to help fund arts education for promising under-privileged children in the immediate area.”

The outdoor venue offers plenty of shade and is the place for an outdoor adventure including a little wine, art and live music.

The funds raised will help the organization continue to put on the concerts next year and give them the ability to assist underprivileged children with dance, art and music.

“We intend to work with art, dance and music instructors in the grade school level to identify above-average talent of below-average income families.”

For more information on the Outdoor Summer Concert Series visit