I am excited to begin the new year with the Claremont Music Guide, a quarterly music blog in collaboration with Claremont Music Scene. At the beginning of the pandemic, the music scene was hanging in there by a thread. Now, it warms my heart to see that music events in and around Claremont are alive and well. This blog will keep you in the loop with music news and events around town.
Stay Connected through Claremont Music Scene
First things first is to get connected with Claremont Music Scene (CMS). CMS is a local service club, founded by Brian Luft, whose purpose is to connect people in the community together through music. I am thrilled to announce that I have officially come on board as Director of Claremont Music Scene and will have a role in connecting the community together through music including musicians, venues, community leaders, and residents.
On Wednesday, December 22, CMS hosted its first annual Holiday Caroling Program where 15 local residents came together to sing Christmas carols throughout Claremont Village. I had the pleasure of being a part of this annual tradition which embraced the true meaning of Christmas by spreading holiday cheer and making new friends along the way. The caroling began outside of the Claremont Village parking structure and walked through the Claremont Packing House ending in the Village Plaza.
What a joy it was to go out with this group! 15 people, who didn’t know each other, came together in a leap of faith that our voices would be heard. The energy of the moment and the gratitude I felt, pushed a few happy tears out. I can’t wait for next year! - Brian Luft, Founder of Claremont Music Scene
Here’s how you can stay connected to “the scene” in Claremont:
Events Calendar. CMS has a regularly updated Events Calendar on their website that tells you, on any given day, live music happening in and around Claremont.
Newsletter. Sign up for the CMS Newsletter on the website to receive music related news directly to your inbox.
Meetup Group. Join the Claremont Music Scene Meetup Group to take part in face-to-face meetups to connect with local musicians and other music enthusiasts.
Website. Check out the Claremont Music Scene website to learn more about the history and purpose of “the scene”, upcoming events, read previous newsletters, and volunteer opportunities.
Live Music Around Town
Music is alive and well in Claremont! Here are a few places in and around Claremont where you can regularly catch live bands, musicians, or DJs.
We Olive & Wine Bar (Friday nights with Ray McNamara)
Citrus Grove Distillery (Friday nights Seth with Seth on guitar)
Walter’s Restaurant (Wednesday’s 6-9 pm and Dj on weekends)
Claremont Packing House (Fridays 6-9pm)
Ironbark Ciderworks (Weekends)
The Quarter Creole Cuisine (Every Tuesday at 7:30 PM Gumbo Child)
Piano Piano (Dueling Piano Bar)
Local Musician Feature: Pierre Englebert
Pierre Englebert, local musician and Pomona College professor, is a prolific one-man-band in Not a Moment too Soon. In November 2021, he released his third album Wait, What? featuring songs like “Claremont, California”, “Dating after 50”, “God, I Need a Drink!” and “In the Zoom Breakout Room.” While listening on Spotify, I couldn’t help but smile as I listened to whimsical lyrics like “God I need a drink!.....make it a Pomona Queen,” or “He walked into the door and I was already bored.”
With all the lyrics and complex, pop-like music created and produced by Pierre - himself - it’s hard not to be smitten by his music tracks that are influenced by epic bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Peter Frampton, and ELO - to name a few.
“It was great fun to work on this album and go back and forth between light-hearted (at times frankly silly!) songs and more earnest ones, piano or acoustic ballads and punchier rock numbers. I am already working on the next album, and am hoping to give some local concerts in 2022.” ⎯ Pierre Englebert
You can check out the liner notes of all the songs on Wait, What? and give it a good listen on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, or Amazon Music. Follow Not a Moment Too Soon on Instagram at @namts1 for upcoming concert updates.
Shopping for Music Lovers
Let's wrap up this music guide with suggestions of where to shop if you're a musician or simply want to add more music art, memorabilia, or records to your collection.
Styles Music in Claremont is a classic music store with a variety of gear and accessories.
Folk Music Center offers beautiful, acoustic instruments and lots of eclectic items including handmade folk instruments.
Rhino Records has been gracing the Claremont Village's presence for over 40 years! Purchase vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, DVDs, books, toys, and more. Sell your own music records, CDs, and DVDs for cash or store credit.
Studio Maxe: Charles White is a local Claremont graphic artist and owner of Studio Maxe creating original music art in the form of prints, shirts, bags, and much more. Shop the online store and follow his Instagram @studiomaxe.
Made in Claremont: Debra White, local Claremont resident, runs an online shop selling custom coasters that are mostly music albums. Shop the store at www.madeinclaremont.com and upload your favorite music albums and turn them into awesome coasters!
If you want to chat separately about the Claremont Music Scene, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a comment to chat more about the music scene in and around Claremont.