Music Notebook: ‘LouLapalooza’ benefit to raise funds for documentary on San Diego music legend Lou Curtiss

Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz are completing their documentary film about San Diego music legend Lou Curtiss. The married couple will perform as part of Saturday’s LouLapalooza concert in Carlsbad.
(Hayne Palmour IV / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Other San Diego concerts of note this week include Lea Salonga at The Shell and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Brtiney Spencer at Balboa Theatre

LouLapalooza, featuring Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi, Jack Tempchin, Patty Hall, Curt Bouterse, Virginia Curtiss, Gregory Page and Sue Palmer

If an award was ever given for musical mentorship in San Diego, Lou Curtiss would have been a repeat-winner.

The founder of Folk Arts Rare Records, San Diego Folk Festival and Adams Avenue Roots Festival, Curtiss was an invaluable mentor to such nationally acclaimed area artists as Tom Waits, Alison Brown, AJ Croce, Mojo Nixon, Buddy Blue, and more.

A walking musical encyclopedia and a tireless champion of earthy music, Curtiss died in 20018 at the age of 79. His legacy is the subject of “Recordially Yours, Lou Curtiss,” an upcoming documentary by award-winning San Diego filmmakers Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz.

Lou Curtiss, a great bear of a man with an encyclopedic knowledge of American roots music and a tireless passion to share it, had a significant impact on such diverse San Diego-bred artists as Tom Waits, Alison Brown, Jack Tempchin, RuPaul, A.J.

The married couple and their genre-leaping band, Hot Pstromi, will headline Saturday’s San Diego Folk Heritage-hosted LouLapalooza. Proceeds will help fund the cost of completing their labor-of-love film.


The lineup also features Eagles’ songwriter Jack Tempchin, who sang with Waits at Folk Arts in the early 1970s, Gregory Page, Sue Palmer, Patty Hall, Curt Bouterse and Virginia Curtiss, Lou Curtiss’ wife and musical partner. Current Folk Arts owner Brendan Boyle will be MC for the all-ages event. Expect a surprise guest or two.

7:30 p.m. Saturday. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2020 Chestnut Ave., Carlsbad. $20 (members) $25 (nonmembers).

Young Mississippi blues dynamo Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and his band will perform Monday at San Diego’s Balboa Theatre.
(Jim Fraher / Courtesy Alligator Records)

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, with Brittney Spenser

The highlight of last year’s 11th annual San Diego Blues Festival, 23-year-old Mississippi dynamo Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is injecting welcome new vigor into one of America’s most foundational music genres.

An electrifying guitarist and a soulful singer, he and his band salute and extend the blues with sufficient verve to appeal to veteran fans of the music and neophyte listeners alike.

Hailed as the missing link between B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince, he earned his first Grammy Award nomination last year

Arrive early for the opening set by Britney Spenser, one of the brightest new voices in country music.

7:30 p.m. Monday, May 16 Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., downtown. $21.50-$31.50. (619) 615-4000;

Lea Salonga will perform Tuesday at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
(Courtesy of the San Diego Symphony)

Lea Salonga

In 1991, Lea Salonga’s charismatic performance in “Miss Saigon” made her the first woman of Asian descent to ever win a Tony Award.

In 1993, she became the first Filipina to get signed to an album deal by a major U.S. record label.

In between those two career landmarks, she sang the voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s animated movie version of “Aladdin.”

Salonga is now embarked on her 2022 “Dream Again” tour. It finds her mixing Broadway and film favorites, including “Burn” from Hamilton and “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” with songs by Carole King, Train and, um, Abba.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $36-$120.