Written by Andy Roberts –
MARIPOSA — The free open-air concerts continue as Music on the Green hosts Nicholas Lefler on Friday, June 14. On Saturday, June 15 Steve Johnson and Those BobTones take the stage at the outdoor amphitheater.
Creating the sound of a modern one-man band, Nicholas mixes live loops of guitar, bass and percussion. Never using prerecorded tracks, he creates sultry compositions right before your eyes, adding up to 20 live layers of organic loops.
Compared to many Spanish and classical guitarists, Nicholas stands out by mixing a fusion of Latin, flamenco, classical, jazz, folk and world music to innovate his own exotic style — and all without a band.
His musical highlights include performing over 5,600 shows with artists such as Damian Marley, Jefferson Starship, Michael Franti and recording with Grammy-winning engineer David Lopez. He has also performed at prestigious venues such as the 2002 Winter Olympics, San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom, Boulder Theater, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, San Jose Jazz Fest and over 800 wine events.
“A self taught Master of Spanish and Classical Guitar” (Gold Country Wine Tours), Nicholas is the creator of the nationally touring band Alma Melodiosa (Alma) as well as a core member of the Indie Dance Band The Hot Dark. And when not performing, Nicholas works endlessly in his home recording studio in Murphys, CA, producing and engineering various side projects under different aliases, as well as constantly working with new artists. A multi instrumentalist (Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, Drum Set, Percussion) and singer-songwriter, Nicholas has been producing and recording his own music for over 22 years.
Those BobTones assembled in Merced in the late seventies, gaining instant popularity in the area, with some members going on to success on the broader music scene.
Original member/guitarist Steve “Mouse” Johnson moved east to the New York City area, where he enjoyed immense success as a respected performer and session recording artist for over 30 years. Johnson won Guitar Player Magazine’s 1992 competition as “Best Blues Guitarist,” has been twice voted “Best Blues Band” by the New York Jazz & Blues Society, recorded numerous CDs, toured internationally and established himself as as one of the busiest and most popular blues singer/guitarists on the East coast.
Mouse and his west coast cohorts, Those BobTones, gather for a reunion several times a year — made easier by Johnson’s return to his homestate in 2016 — and have performed at Music on the Green/Mariposa Evenings eight out of the last sixteen seasons, often breaking attendance and tip records in their past performances at the Art Park.
A complete schedule of the talent performing throughout this summer season can be found at www.mariposaartscouncil.org.
All performances begin at 7 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) at the Mariposa County Art Park, located on Highway 140 between 4th and 5th Streets in historic downtown Mariposa. There is free parking on 5th Street along the Creek Walkway to the Park, also providing handicapped access. The shows are free to the public – tips for the performers will be solicited, encouraged and appreciated.
The MARIPOSA COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL, INC. is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County.
— Andy Roberts is the producer of Music on the Green