Playing for music rather than money, bands flock to downtown First Friday events

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 Published on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 01:09  Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff – Town Crier Report


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Members of Sunday Seven perform at Main and Second streets in downtown Los Altos.

Los Altos Forward’s April First Friday event is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Friday in downtown Los Altos.

The monthly events feature extended store hours, complimentary refreshments, live entertainment and in-store activities.

Scheduled musical groups for Friday’s event include Mars, Sunday Seven, 37th Parallel, Influx, and Mollie and Scott.

Perhaps the most visual and audible elements at First Friday events are the performing artists along Main and State streets. According to First Fridays organizer Carol Garsten, the bands simply show up to perform.

“We do not pay these people – they are just community members who love music and Los Altos,” she said.

The Sunday Seven accordion band makes regular appearances at Los Altos First Fridays.

Band members hail from all over the South Bay, including Los Altos and Mountain View.

“It’s fun,” said band leader Bob Stanfield. “We enjoy sharing our music with others, and we like to engage the listeners to sing or dance while we play. We enjoy playing as a group. We especially like to see the kids dancing or singing. They don’t often get to see accordions, so they seem fascinated with the instrument.”

Most of the bands’ members have day jobs. In the case of classic-rock cover band Fully Funded, all members are high-tech executives from Los Altos. Woody Arnold and Don Jaworski are CEOs of startups, Kevin Thompson is also a CEO and James Althoff is a retired chief technology officer.

The group, playing nostalgic tunes from the likes of The Beatles, Steve Miller and the Eagles, is in it for the joy of playing music.

“It’s fun to entertain the families and friends that come by on First Friday,” Arnold said. “We like to help Los Altos and the shops downtown. It’s nice to help make downtown a more vibrant place for people to enjoy.”

Watch for more band profiles in upcoming previews of First Friday events.

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