For the past 15 years, Capitola's has designated Sunday evenings for its "Pro Jam." It's a night for local bands to let loose in an open atmosphere, and where "jammers" can step in and knock each others socks off.
"Some of the jammers come every Sunday, religiously, like it's their gig," said Amy Andrade, the bar manager who books all of the bands at the Fog Bank, which Patch Readers recently voted as the
Over the years, touring musicians have caught wind of the Pro Jam, and big names like Myron Dove (bassist for Santana), and Derrick Martin (drummer for Little Richard) and Coco Montoya have been known to slip in unnanounced over to rub elbows with the locals and jam out in the little beach town of Capitola.
"They'll just show up and play, and then I find out later they were somebody big," says Andrade.
Sunday night (June 10) the electric vocalist Pam Hawkins sang alongside Johnny Fabulous, jammers, random girls she met while playing on the wharf earlier that day, and her band, consisting of Tim Allen on bass, Ken Harril on guitar, and Bryant Mills on drums.
"When I do the jam here, I don't sing anything that I don't wanna do. They're all my favorites," said Hawkins, which is for her, "anything I can scream at."
Hawkins is like a magnet on stage. She's so full of energy, never really stops moving and commands attention with her vocals, which have been compared to a young Tina Turner. Hawkins began singing 20 years ago in Japan, Taiwan and Paris, and toured South America. She is now playing with four different bands and prefers a "rock-funk" sort of a vibe, the kind of music charged with "whatever makes your head shake and you don't know why, the stuff that hits you right here in the gut," she said.
And the woman knows just how to get the crowd shaking.
"I have never seen anyone whip a crowd into a lather like Pam," said Johnny Fabulous.
The intimate little club with a back deck that overlooks the Venetian apartments and ocean beyond, is the perfect place to close out a weekend by getting your groove on.
"It's just so much more of a party, you know, everyone gets involved. That was my favorite night of the whole week — everyone out having fun. It's great music, it's phenomenal every week," said Andrade, who sang "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu.
Brook "Ty Corin" Perez also stepped in to wow the crowd with her vocals singing "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys.
Check out the Fog Bank's music calendar for a full listing of music events at the Fog Bank.
Have you ever gone to the Pro Jam? Are you a fan of the Fog Bank? Tell us in the comments!