$25 general admission, $35 reserved seats
with Special Guests
Bill Edwards – guitar
Brett Cole – bass
Folk harpist, Christine Bonner, is a stunning harpist who has performed for many years in concerts and special engagements throughout the West Coast. Many of Christine’s compositions are inspired by her early California ancestors, the Berryessa family. Her love of music is equaled only by her love of art.
Her musical style includes a bold and rare blend of Latin, Celtic, Classical, and Jazz. Christine’s music delves into her own family history for inspiration, and traces the ancestral journey of the Berryessa family from their native Spain to the ranchos of California. The result is “a unique and alluring mixture of acoustic string instruments and percussion that persuades the listener back into a time of palatial homes built amid gentle rolling hills and wind swept trees.”
Rob Bonner is a self-taught guitarist, with extended talents in bass guitar and violin. His moving compositions are heavily mused of experiences and memories of his tour to Vietnam.
After safely returning to the United States in 1972, Rob formed the South Loomis Quickstep Band with fellow super-pickers, Joe Craven and Mark O’Connor. The group boasted unique style of solid bluegrass, along with firmly rooted traditional music of southern Appalachia.
South Loomis Quickstep Band performed with many noted and talented artists including: Buck Owens; Hoyt Axton; Elvin Bishop; Cheech & Chong; John Hartford; Asleep at the Wheel; Emmylou Harris; Doc Watson; Tom T. Hall; Rick Nelson; The Kingston Trio; The Sacramento Symphony. They also performed for Present Carter and President Ford. Rob and the band were also featured in a performance with the Auburn Civic Symphony during the Symphony’s annual “Day on the Green” concert. The group toured throughout the U.S. and Europe until they disbanded in 1985.
an enjoyable evening of acoustic music, featuring Christine Bonner, Joe Craven, Rob Bonner, and friends. Saturday, August 1st at 7:30 p.m.
Christine is one of the area’s most popular folk harpists, and has performed for many years in concerts and special engagements throughout the West Coast. Christine’s debut album Sand Castles attained a number 1 ranking on the “Americana” charts at KVMR radio. Her musical style includes a wonderful blend of Celtic, Latin, Classical, and Jazz.Rob, a long time Sierra foothills musician, is well known for his work with The South Loomis Quickstep, a Bluegrass band that toured all over the country, and in Europe. Rob has released a new compact disc, “Violet’s Old Guitar, a Musical Journey”, a retrospective look at his career that has spanned over forty years.Christine and Rob will be joined by their friend and world renowned multi-instrumentalist, Joe Craven, on violin, mandolin and percussion. Joe has kept impressive musical company over the years, as a former member of the David Grisman Quintet. Joe also performed with Jerry Garcia, Stephan Grapelli, Bonnie Raitt, Darol Anger, and many others.The trio will be joined by two very special guests and dear friends: Guitarist, songwriter Bill Edwards, who over the years has worked with many bands including The South Loomis Quickstep, Way Out West, and currently with Webster, Walton and Edwards.
Also joining on the bass will be Brett Cole. Brett is well known for his work with the Pyronauts, a very popular “surf” band from the Auburn area, he is also a veteran of numerous jazz and classical ensembles, and currently working with the Bob Woods trio as well.
Long time Sierra foothills musician and guitar teacher, Rob Bonner, has released a new compact disc, “Violet’s Old Guitar, a Musical Journey”, a retrospective look at his career that has spanned over forty years. The title song of the new recording was written by Rob to honor his dear friend and manager, Violet Lankford, who passed away several years ago.
Violet and Gilbert
According to Rob, his musical journey started when his parents, Bob and Peggy Bonner, gave him a guitar on Christmas Day of 1960. “I’m sure that my parents had no idea how that gift would change my life”.
While serving with the Army in Vietnam in1971, Rob met musicians Jerry Johnson and Ray Parteka, which led to recording eight songs on a small tape recorder. It was at that informal recording session that Rob knew that he was “hooked”, and began to dream of a career in music.
When he returned home he continued to record, doing demos of his songs, making three albums with his band, The South Loomis Quickstep, and then in 1984, a solo album. He then set up a recording studio in his home and when his many musical friends would come by they’d have some dinner and afterwards, “lay down some tracks”. Rob also recorded, produced, and supports the successful career of his lovely wife and harpist, Christine Bonner. He has also recorded his daughter Allegra’s rock and roll band, Angoramachinegun.
A Nevada City native, Rob taught himself how to play the guitar, and soon after his tour in Vietnam, returned to college, earning several degrees in music.
Rob then formed The South Loomis Quickstep Band, a California “newgrass” band which was well known for its energy, musicianship, and humor. They were also known for their diversity in style, playing almost any type of music, from old time string-band tunes, original compositions, even the music of Duke Ellington, all on traditional American instruments.
The South Loomis Quickstep Band was very unique and after awhile the group gained national attention, performing concerts with the likes of Buck Owens, Hoyt Axton, Elvin Bishop, Cheech & Chong, John Hartford, Asleep at the Wheel, Emmy Lou Harris, Doc Watson, Tom T. Hall, Rick Nelson, The Kingston Trio, and the Sacramento Symphony. Rob and the band were also featured in a performance with the Auburn Civic Symphony in May of 1994, at the Symphony’s annual “Day on the Green” concert, and also performed for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.
The group toured throughout the U.S. and Europe until 1985, when they disbanded so that Rob could spend more time with hisfamily, and watch his children grow up.
(John Hickman Banjo, Byron Berline, Violin, Guitar Vince Gill, Rob Bonner Stand Up Bass)
In 1981, Rob started giving private music lessons at Marriott’s Music in Auburn, teaching guitar, bass, fiddle, and mandolin. Then, in 1985, Rob and Christine opened the Rainbow Music Company in Colfax, where they continue to teach these instruments, as well as harp and piano. Also, for the past twenty-five years Rob has taught all the guitar classes at Sierra College.
Rob is proud to have been recently inducted into the Del Oro High School athletic Hall of Fame, alongside his father, Bob Bonner, the legendary football coach, teacher, counselor, and friend, as well as his brother, Ed Bonner, the Sheriff of Placer County.
In September of 1775, Nicolas Antonio Berryessa and his sister Maria Isabel, my first California ancestors, began their long journey to California from Mexico. Unhappy over the arrival of a new stepmother, they wanted a chance to get away, so they marched under the flag with Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish Colonization Expedition. They settled in the San Francisco area, thus beginning the early history of the Berryessa family.Nicolas and other Spanish-Mexican families began to establish their ranchos after receiving Spanish land grants. Following Mexican Independence in 1822 from Spain, the Mexican Colonization Law of 1824 insured the early settlers clear title to unoccupied lands, allowing many other families to join the Berryessas in California’s heartland.In May 1846, the United States declares war on Mexico with the intent of acquiring Texas and California. In California, most of the fighting occurred in the south. Without clear direction from Congress, Captain John C. Fremont’s men captured Sutter’s Fort without a battle. Also without a fight, four Berryessa brothers, Francisco, Nemesio, Santiago and Santos, along with General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and other Californianos, were taken prisoner by the Bear Flaggers, who wanted to declare an independent Republic of California.
Fremont appeared to be supporting the rebels, or using them to foment war in Northern California. In the confusion, Jose de los Reyes Berryessa, a worried father at the age of 75, left his San Vicente hacienda to visit his imprisoned sons. Two of his nephews, Francisco and Ramon de Haro accompanied him. Unarmed, they were intercepted by Fremont and his scout Kit Carson, and killed.
To the peaceful Northern Californians, some of whom had favored a United States takeover of California, it was cold-blooded murder. A prominent San Francisco surveyor who was an eyewitness to the killings ultimately claimed Berryessa land as his own.
The Bear Flag Republic never materialized and Captain Fremont was summoned to the east under cloud of a court martial. Nonetheless, the United States won the war and acquired California, and under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexican residents were to retain their land grants and enjoy full citizenship. But it was not to be.
As gold lured hordes of wealth-seekers from the states, bigotry, violence, and discrimination in the courts robbed many Mexican Californians of their property and lives. Squatters wanted the land and were determined to have it. Many members of Nicolas Berryessa’s family died trying to protect their ranchos.
Years after California became a state in 1850, the battle over land continued. Holders of Mexican land grants were required to bear the burden of proof of ownership, which meant they paid the legal fees for long court maneuvers and expensive land surveys–challenge after challenge. When at last they couldn’t pay, the native Californians were forced from their land. For families like the Berryessas, it was the end of a dream in the new land of California.
Compañeros This release by folk harpist Christine Bonner is a tribute to her early California heritage and a celebration of life, family, and friends.
“Compañeros” retains the rich Spanish flavor that was embraced in Christine’s debut album “Sand Castles”. From the fire and passion of flamenco to the soothing gentleness of a lullaby, this recording presents a life and voice that is entirely unique.