More local singers heading to Todos Santos Plaza

More local singers heading to Todos Santos Plaza

More local singers heading to Todos Santos Plaza
Concord residents Fred Hersom, left, and Mel Bearns perform original music at one of last year’s Singer Songwriter Sunday events. (Photo by Marta Van Velzen)

Dave Hughes The Beat of Diablo bannerCONCORD, CA (Mar. 16, 2023) — For the third consecutive year, Singer Songwriter Sundays will return to Todos Santos Plaza this spring.

The original music showcase is run by the lockdown-born coalition of local music advocates known as Concord Couch Concerts (CCC).

It’s worth mentioning that Concord already has a very successful annual live music series in the same park. Now more than 30 years strong, Music & Market draws people in by the thousands. The groups are mostly some of the Bay Area’s best tribute acts playing music that attendees find familiar. In recent years, the lineup has included a smattering of “Local Music Nights” across the four-month-long weekly series, often allowing homegrown Concord bands to finally have their moment on the big stage downtown.

Still, CCC is spending their own time and money to put on a few more live music events. CCC volunteer and local musician Brian Vandemark has performed at both Todos Santos music series in different music projects and offers this point to consider:

“Concord is home to a lot of very talented musicians, many of whom have not had an opportunity to perform at Music & Market. Our songwriter series has been inclusive in nature, having avoided repeat acts through the first two seasons, and gaining draw with each show.”

Fresh music

With five fresh acts in April, the CCC team hopes to continue this trend of avoiding repetition, thereby increasing opportunities for people who’ve felt shut out of their chance at the downtown stage over the years.

There’s no doubt that some local musicians are appreciating the newfound access to the monumental downtown landmark that is the Todos Santos stage. In between songs last April, songwriter Warren Dreher of the UnConcord told those in attendance “I have been a singer songwriter living in Concord for many years and have always wanted to play on the stage here at Todos Santos.”

That sentiment is shared by some who’ve only lived here a handful of years, as April performer Kate Ramsey (of Kate & Kristen) notes:

“Kristen and I moved to Concord from the Midwest just before the pandemic to further our music careers in California. We frequented Todos Santos park often to do yoga, play music and stay sane when everything was shut down. We always dreamed of being on that stage with a real concert – not just busking with our masks on while watching the skaters. And now our dreams are being fulfilled.”

Others value the intimacy of the lazy Sunday in the park. With mostly mellow music coming from the stage, local artists and crafts on display and for sale, and small groups of friends gathered in the grass or strolling around the park, it’s a very relaxed vibe.

“I truly appreciate the ‘home-grown’ qualities of the Singer Songwriter Series,” says performer Mel Bearns. “It draws a listening crowd that is appreciative and hungry for new music.”

Community building

Joshua James Jackson offers another motivation for keeping this unique music series going:

“Live music has always been a community-building activity to me, and there’s nothing more valuable than community. Concord Couch Concerts represents a concerted effort to bring local songwriters, musicians and music fans together,” says Jackson, one the artists performing April 2.

Jackson believes that an emphasis on original local music is essential to connecting with one’s community.

“Original music is so important because people hear their experiences reflected in the work of artists they share community with, or even that they live near geographically … or maybe they share some values or experiences with the creator. Local original music helps the listener to understand who they are and their place in the world.”

Singer Songwriter Sundays will occur 2-4 p.m. on the first Sundays of April, May and June. The free events are open to the public and family-friendly.

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Dave Hughes
Dave Hughes

Dave Hughes is a local music advocate with an extensive network of independent artists. He produces and hosts a local music program on KVHS called The Beat of Diablo, every Sunday at 7:00 PM on 90.5 FM. Dave also catalogs local music releases at