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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

As summer approaches, Davis cafe hosts local bands and musicians

Delta of Venus holds local performances every Sunday from 1-3 p.m.  


By ZOE SMITH — city@theaggie.org

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On May 14, the music group Zorelli played at the local Davis cafe Delta of Venus, located on 122 B Street. The patio area of the cafe was crowded with people listening to the live music. According to their Facebook page, Zorelli classifies their style as a, “jazz-infused musical experience of reggae, soul, salsa, funk, R&B, ska, tango, and calypso.” 

Zorelli, who performs at the venue occasionally, kicked off Delta of Venus’s series of weekly concerts, which are to be held every Sunday from 1-3 p.m.

Zorelli stopped playing publicly during the pandemic and is just now beginning to play normal gigs again. Keyboardist and percussion player for the group Wendell Fishman shared why it’s such a pleasure to perform live again. 

“We’ve been playing together for a long time since the early 2000s,” Fishman said. “We played the Whole Earth Festival and it’s nice to be back at the Delta of Venus for this whole weekend.”

Friend of the band Joe Wisgirda, who produces music under the name Big Joe Daddy,  talked about the band members and their history.

“Oh, this is a rally,” Wisgirda said. “They play Caribbean jazz, really some of the best musicians in the valley. And we’ve got some luminaries there too. The fellow playing steelpan right now is all David Grisman quintet personnel. Rick Montgomery played acoustic guitar with David Grisman for about five years.” 

Wisgirda, who has been playing music of his own for 20 years, visits the Delta of Venus every Sunday to listen to the performances and enjoy the ambiance. 

“I came from a classical background and started playing at house parties with my friend Wendell Fishman, the keyboardist, and learned how to improvise and do jazz just by hanging out,” Wisgirda said.

Lee Walthall, the owner of the cafe, said the main goal of hosting these local concerts is to bring the community together through music, art and food. He has owned Delta of Venus since 2001. 

“A lot of the folks in this band are from Davis, grew up with me in Davis and went to high school here, or went to UC Davis and stayed in the area after graduating,” Walthall said. “My background is in playing music. In fact, I used to play in the band that played today, long ago. So when I started a restaurant, one of my main goals was to provide a venue for my friends and other people, especially in the Davis community, to have a place to play and bring their music out into the community.”

 The music at the venue is free to anyone in attendance, and people who are interested in booking a show at Delta of Venus can contact the venue at contact.dov@gmail.com

Written by: Zoe Smith city@theaggie.org