Davis Music Co-op kicks off in Central Park on Friday evening

Davis is more conventionally characterized as an agricultural
city or a bicycle city, but maybe less so as a city known for its music.

Davis is more conventionally characterized as an agricultural city or a bicycle city, but maybe less so as a city known for its music.

Yoav Helfman, a 2007 UC Davis neurobiology, physiology and behavior alumnus, said he has confidence in Davis’ musical talent, which inspired him to create the Davis Music Co-op a couple months ago.

On Friday, Helfman and his co-director Taylor Mee-Lee will kick off the organization’s first event at 6 p.m. in Central Park. The two have booked a total of 10 bands to play, including Automatic Rival, Olive Drive, Duval Speck and The Nada Brahma Music Ensemble.

“The Davis Music Co-op is an organic, community-based group,” said Mee-Lee, a Davis resident and UC Santa Barbara alumnus. “We are trying to start something in which the future is going to be created by the musicians themselves.”

The Co-op is an avenue for local artists to book shows and venues and as a network for musicians to advance their musical endeavors.

“I want Davis to have a centralized music scene,” Helfman said.

Helfman said the kickoff is “going to be an adventure.” There will be two stages to lessen the amount of downtime between bands, and 10 bands will play in a time frame of three hours. Helfman’s own band, Sex, Funk and Danger, will be performing along with other established student, alumni and community bands, including some the first-time performers.

Helfman is currently working on booking bands at Davis local venues such as Woodstock’s, Delta of Venus and Burgers and Brew.

Michael Schuchbauer, a senior psychology major and member of the Co-op, plans on trying to work with the UC Davis department of music and the musicians in Davis to get together and “jam.” He also plans on organizing seminars for musicians to teach each other about theory, technique and workshops, as well as to offer tips to new bands from existing ones to teach them what it takes to make a band and to play live.

“I’m a ‘bandless’ musician, and I have always wanted to play with more musicians,” Schuchbauer said. “So what better way than to get the community charged by bringing shows to the community and then finding places for musicians to meet, play, talk and network?”

Helfman and the members of the Davis Music Co-op recognize the potential that Davis musicians have. Their responsibility lies in creating a channel of communication and support for musicians.

The organization will have a web-presence with information ranging from show listings, to local musicians looking for bands in need of members.

The kickoff has received sponsorship from local Davis business such as Watermelon Music who will loan them sound equipment, and Davis Copy Shop, which has provided flyers.

Friday’s kickoff will lead to what Mee-Lee hopes to be an active community looking to help one another advance the music scene in Davis. The Davis Music Co-op expects anywhere from 100 to 200 people to attend the kickoff.

“Our intent [of performing at the kickoff] is twofold,” said Jeff Kwiatek of Automatic Rival, who graduated from UC Davis as a music major in 2003. “We aim to support the Davis Music Co-op organization with our performance, as well as take advantage of the event to promote our music. As with all good partnerships, this event is mutually beneficial.”

The Davis Music Coop will hold its first event Friday at 6 p.m at Davis Central Park, which is located at Third and B streets. The event is free and open to the public. Aside from the Friday show, the Davis Music Co-op has already scheduled two additional free shows: Olive Drive and CFR on Saturday, and Sex, Funk and Danger and III Imperial on June 7, both at Woodstock’s at 10 p.m.

For more information, go to daviswiki.org/Davis_Music_Co-op or contact the group at davismusiccoop@gmail.com.

JUNE QUAN can be reached at arts@californiaaggie.com.