The Berkeley Blues Coalition (The BBC) hails from Berkeley, California and plays blues and blues based rock and roll ranging from Classic Blues,the British Invasion, Southern Rock, Modern Blues, and everything in between. The BBC is a diverse group of musicians, drawn together by the greatest place on Earth, to play the greatest music in history.
JV grew up in a South Carolina home in which every member of his family played several of the numerous musical instruments that were always at hand. Although he started out on piano, JV’s serious musical aspirations were awakened after taking up drums. He began his professional career playing clubs before he was old enough to legally enter them and toured the Southeast circuit for years in cover and original bands, gaining live and studio experience in a variety of musical styles. He is an alumnus of the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, where he studied with David Garibaldi and Luis Conte, and an alumnus of UC Berkeley, where he continues to work.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, Celeste has been rocking the mic ever since her father could get her to hold it correctly. She is also a classically trained pianist and loves playing Chopin (a great blues man in his own right) when she's not out dominating the local karaoke scene. She'll never forget where she was standing when she heard Zeppelin for the first time. Her father gave her a red Stratocastor when she turned 15 and taught her to play the blues, among other things. It led to a young adulthood full of staying up late and figuring out how to play classic rock songs. Celeste is currently employed by Freight & Salvage where you can find her selling tickets for shows that may or may not rock as hard as the Berkeley Blues Coalition's.
Cutting his teeth in the local Berkeley scene on the British Invasion songs of the '60’s, Kit used his rock-blues roots to play with some San Francisco Bay Area favorite bands and sounds including old school funk Dixie Peach, the gospel Gideon and Power, soul-power Frank Biner & The Nightshift, slide blues with (Roy) Rogers & Bergen Band, and the smooth southern rock of The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. After a long stint as founding bass player with Johnny Gunn in 80's rock Johnny Gunn Band he made the rounds in the local Bay Area blues circuit. During the past decade he has hearkened back to his early years playing with the Berkeley friends again in the Yardbirds tribute band, the RaveUps.
Nathan started playing guitar at 10, first taking lessons at the famed (and closed) Tupper and Reed music store. With grammy winning musicians in his family, he was raised on only the best music the 1960s and 70s had to offer. When he was 13, he heard a live performance of Derrick and the Dominoes and it finally clicked: the blues were the answer. Steeped in Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and more modern influences like John Mayer and Warren Haynes, Nathan set out to find other local musicians who shared his passion for heavy, blues based music he loves. Drawing from his high school class, locals, and Cal graduates, some of whom enjoyed this music when it was first released, the Berkeley Blues Coalition was born.
Barry Weinstein - Rhythm Guitar
Barry grew up in Los Angeles playing guitar starting at the age of 10 during the surf music craze. He cut his teeth on the Ventures, Chantays, and Duane Eddy. After playing in high school bands immersed in the Beatles, Stones and other British Invasion groups, Barry traded in his Strat for an accoustic Gibson and joined the folk/folk-rock era, grew his hair and tried to look sensitive. He played the coffee house circuit in Berkeley, and attracted hundreds on the corner of Telegraph and Durant during the Summer of Love. Barry has now returned to and expands on his Berkeley and rock roots on rhythm guitar in the BBC.