The Blue Breeze Band, with its finger snappin’ rhythms will close the 20th annual Idyllwild Summer Concert Series (ISCS) on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Ken Dahleen, founder and producer of the ISCS, promised the favorites and most popular would perform this summer, and he has kept his word. The Blue Breeze Band has been part of the ISCS for several years and is a crowd pleaser.
“We love the crowd — young and old. They’re very enthusiastic,” said Harold Wherry, guitar player and founder of the Blue Breeze Band. “We feed off their energy. They’re music lovers and appreciate what we offer. Couldn’t ask for a better audience.”
As many have heard, the Blue Breeze Band offers Motown, R&B, soul funk, jazz and blues. This music transmits rhythm directly to the listener’s bones. The dance area in front of the stage will be full of Motown and blues lovers.
Together for many years, Breeze band members have performed with such prominent artists as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Billy Preston.
Wherry is from Los Angeles, not a native of Detroit, but he grew up listening to the music of his parents. Motown and rhythm and blues became his music. He played with other bands and did film work. Over time, he realized his suggestions for how to improve and build fan support were seldom being used the way he thought was best.
“If I’m going to do this, I’ll get my own gig,” he mused. The process was escalated when his position in corporate America ended.
After a short prayer asking how to “start doing what I most enjoy,” the Blue Breeze Band came to fruition in the early 2000s. He stressed that this is a band. They work and perform together. The pieces do not change with the gig.
“They are not hired guns,” he said. “We are a band. If it were anything else, my name would be out front.”
Wherry does a little bit of singing, but the guitar is his instrument. “We have five lead singers,” he said proudly. “Each member of the horn section — saxophone, trumpet and trombone — is a lead singer and the drummer, too.”
Consequently, the Blue Breeze Band signature is “real harmony quality,” according to Wherry. “You can feel the harmony and on stage see the vocal support of each other.”
The Grey Balls of Fire will open the Aug. 29 show at 6 p.m. The Blue Breeze Band will start at 7 p.m. and wrap up the season.