Local media is extremely competitive.
But for one night, local media stand shoulder to shoulder and forgo any spirited egos to come together to help our neighbors in need. For the past four years, the Media Music Jam has raised money for the Kern County Cancer Fund to financially assist Kern County patients on their cancer journey.
There will be 28 local media personalities performing June 23 at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace who strongly believe that people should not have to choose between buying groceries or paying for chemotherapy treatment. Almost to the person, each media performer has a connection to cancer in their circle of friends and family. As the producer for MMJ, I have heard from the performers, who have quietly come to me and explained how MMJ is personal to them.
The concert is not karaoke; media personalities will perform live with Thee Majestics, for whom I play bass. This is not a “throw-away gig” where we randomly see familiar faces and ask them to come up to the stage to sing. We all have been rehearsing since March. “We are serious about fun” is our MMJ concert mantra.
The musical theme this year is songs from the 1960s and 1970s. You can expect to hear everything from Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder to Nancy Sinatra and Nat King Cole — along with Selena and some other surprises.
Who are these local media personalities who are soon to be known for their rock ‘n’ roll prowess?
Scheduled to perform are: Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh; Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin; Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood; Robin Mangarin-Scott, former news anchor now vice president of strategic marketing and communications for Dignity Health, Rick Kreiser, organizer of the Guitar Masters series; media consultant Rick Davis; Angela Barton of Barton Marketing Group; Bakersfield Californian columnists Herb Benham and Robert Price; Alex Fisher, Danny Freeman, Lori Lizarraga, Jim Scott and Tabitha Mills from KGET-TV 17; Ron Fisher and Tony Lee from Alpha Media; Jason Galvin, the voice of CSUB baseball; Allison Gargaro, Mike Hart, Emma Lockhart and Leah Pezzetti from KERO-TV 23; Vic Dominguez, Casey McBride and Kenn McCloud from KUZZ AM/FM; and Rachelle Murcia, Tracy Peoples, Aaron Perlman and Kristen Powers from KBAK CBS/FOX 58.
MMJ is not “Kern County’s Got Talent” — although we definitely do have talent. It is better described as “Kern County’s Got Heart.” We hope you will be pleasantly surprised at the “hidden” talents of media performers you would never had guessed had rhythm, could carry a note or knew anything about music. I know Thee Majestics was completely taken back by the positive energy, willingness to tread into unfamiliar musical territory and upbeat attitudes framed by unselfishly wanting to help.
There will be raffles, a live auction and the enormous pleasure of seeing your favorite media personalities work without a safety net, cast aside all fears and sing before an anticipated sold-out audience. We promise you will be surprised.
MMJ is produced by the Wavehog family — my children, nieces, nephews, brothers, sister, aunts, uncles and family of the heart. All musicians and performers donate their time. All proceeds benefit local Kern County patients on their cancer journey, and last year’s event raised a record $77,126. Tickets are tax-deductible and can still be purchased at the Crystal Palace or Vallitix.com.