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About White Album Ensemble - West End Celebration Kick Off Party

The White Album Ensemble and special guest, Porsche Smith, kick off the three day West End Celebration on Friday, August 17, from 7:30pm to 11pm at Carmel Stone Imports, 1725 Contra Costa Ave., in Sand City. The Kick Off Party is a fundraiser for the West End Celebration and Guitars Not Guns.

The White Album Ensemble
It began as a Luthier’s dream, to put together a crack team of top local musicians to perform the Beatles’ “White Album” live, in a theatre setting with lights, dance and a full-screen video presentation. After selling out both debut shows and creating a considerable buzz, the vibe persuaded the group to keep on doing more concerts. There is no attempt to be a “look alike” or “tribute” band; this is more like a symphony performing Bach or Mozart.

The White Album Ensemble has spent months in rehearsal, and thorough research to make these performances authentic. They wondered “How would the Beatles have approached this as a live performance?” and made that the virtual standard for decisions about instrumentation and arrangements. As the Beatles post-touring catalog has been explored in depth, the solo careers of Beatles is a treasure trove of great material, so the band now includes a number of those gems.

The group has a core of longtime friends who’ve played together for decades in different configurations, former members of the Doobie Brothers, Quicksilver, Snail, the Little River Band and many more. Additionally, there is often a string quartet added for songs like “Eleanor Rigby,” with George Martin’s original charts, adapted by local cellist Barry Phillips (who’s played on the “Concert for George” DVD and concert along with McCartney, Starr and Clapton, and who regularly performs and records with George’s sitar teacher, Ravi Shankar).

With a nod to the Beatles stance of standing for peace, love, and non violence- as well as WAE members’ own beliefs. the group has set aside portions of concert proceeds for music in school,programs; Guitars Not Guns, a pro youth, anti violence non-profit; the Santa Cruz County Symphony; and other such causes, the WAE has raised over $200,000.00 to date.

The White Album Ensemble is made up of the following musicians:
Richard Bryant – vocals, keyboards, percussion; Ken Kraft – vocals, guitars; Stephen Krilanovich – guitars, vocals, keyboards, recorder; Omar Spence – Lennon vocals; Dale Ockerman – keyboards, guitars, electric sitar, trumpet, harmonica, vocals, show producer; and Endre Tarczy – bass, vocals.

Porsche Smith
With lush lyricism, bluesy vocals, and a knack for crafty guitar riffs, singer/songwriter Porsche Smith is commanding a crowd all her own. Having shared stages with John Legend, India.Arie, Slakah the Beatchild, Eric Darius, and many other acclaimed artists -- as a skilled musician and producer, Porsche continues to pave one incredibly independent road to critical success. No stranger to accolades, the California-native (representing the Bay area) was a Take Back the Music Campaign feature in Essence Magazine, and won both the John Lennon Songwriting Award and John Legend’s Be Legendary contest. Smith has also collaborated with guitarist Justin Lyon’s of K-Pop’s Big Bang Band, and also wrote for Deonis Cook (Jill Scott) and Carmen Rodgers from The Foreign Exchange, quickly establishing herself as one of the most versatile, must-hear artists on the rise today. Smith will open the show with her fresh face and impressive musical dexterity.

Tickets & Information 
Party doors will open at 7 PM and tickets will be $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. To purchase advance tickets on-line, visit, or stop by Post No Bills, Sweet Elena’s Bakery, or at Sand City Hall, in Sand City, in Carmel at Do Re Mi Music, as well as the Pacific Grove Resource Center. The Kick Off Party is a fundraiser for the West End Celebration and Guitars Not Guns. For more information visit .