Why is Florentino Buenaventura smiling? Because he’s putting the San Diego music scene out there for all the world to see.
“We’ll shoot a good deal of the show in studio,” says producer M. Florentino Buenaventura of the new online Music Scene SDTV program. “But like most news outlets, we plan to have correspondents out on the scene, reporting on music news in the clubs, recording studios, concert venues, music instrument and vinyl record stores, and rehearsal rooms.” Several shows have already been filmed at EnterTalk Studios in Miramar, and, Buenaventura says, “We may also shoot entire episodes on location as well. One of the possible on-location spots is Winter NAMM 2022. We’ve been the main broadcaster at NAMM’s Livestream Stage for the past three years, pre-Covid, and if Winter NAMM goes off this year as planned, I can see us doing a ‘Music Scene SD goes to NAMM’ live broadcast.”
Buenaventura, a filmmaker who has shot several local music videos, played bass with Curbside Vinyl and was formerly with the Changing Stage Radio Show at WSRadio Internet Talk. The practice of livestreaming concert events took off last year while broadcasting full-band concerts from the locked-down stage at Queen Bee’s, as well as organizing November’s Songs For Shelter benefit livestream concert with Rebecca Jade, Cedrice Ce & Lyrical Groove, and Jason Mraz collaborating with Renee Dominique. Earlier this year, he was involved with current SDTV business partner Paul Berezetsky in launching a ConcertsCafe website, pairing local performers with custom branded coffee varieties.
The first edition of SDTV features a conversation with Deven Berryhill of the Tourmaliners, as well as Brian Witkin of local Pacific Records, talking about the label’s new Grapefruit Moon release from Southside Johnny & LaBamba’s Big Band, paying tribute to the music of San Diego’s own Tom Waits. Joe Dameron performs, and the show takes a look at the new Beat Farmers reissue of Tales of the New West. A new episode debuts at EnterTalkMedia.com every Friday at 6:30 pm before being added to a YouTube archive, where the debut entry was uploaded on June 19.
Several episodes shot so far have been hosted by music historian Bart Mendoza, whose bands Manual Scan and the Shambles have a long local history. According to Buenaventura, “When planning the show treatment with Bart, we decided that a good start for guests would be nominees for the San Diego Music Awards, along with longtime San Diego notables such as Wayne Riker. Bart was the primary source and coordinator for connecting to the guests.”
Asked about his role in the program, Mendoza says “I have a co-host each episode, generally a non-musician, but someone who works in the industry. The plan is for most of them to be filmed at the studio in Miramar, but there is talk of doing a couple of specials throughout the year that would have segments taped at an event. No real-time shows planned as of now. The format will stay the basic Tonight Show setup, with occasional themed editions. Of course, this all supposes we last a while, but we have 11 episodes ready to edit, and more to be taped in late July, another dozen in the works.”
Upcoming musical guests include classic rock singer Laurie Beebe Lewis (the Mamas & the Papas, the Buckinghams), multi-instrumentalist Skyler Lutes (Defamation League, Everything Said), bluesy soul vocalist Casey Hensley, guitar teacher Wayne Riker, jazz pianist Ed Kornhauser, alt-rockers Evening’s Empire, acoustic troubadour Jeff Berkley, and pop singer Audrey Callahan.
The wide mix of represented genres is what Mendoza feels will make the show’s vibe unique compared with previous local-centric programming. “I think that the biggest difference is that we’re looking at all types of music. Upcoming guests include folks from hip-hop, country, blues, jazz, and rock. But we’ll also have artists from classical, opera, kid’s, and world music. Additionally, every episode includes a chat with a behind-the-scenes person. There are so many people who keep our music community going, from promoters to photographers to producers. It’s nice to be able to shine a spotlight on them.”
Buenaventura reveals that expansion plans are already in motion. “We’re in talks with a local multi-stage concert venue to extend the ConcertsCafe reach to include in-person concerts parallel with the online concert broadcasts. One of our production concepts is to produce a Music Scene SD concert series featuring musical artists from the show. Can’t reveal the location just yet, as we are still in the process of finalizing the details.”