Preserving the Past - Promoting the Future!




Harold Ray Brown, founding member of War, legendary American funk band of the 1970s, serving as drummer, percussion, vocalist, and bandleader. WAR toured world-side and recorded such hits at "Why Can It We be Friends?" "Low-Rider' and "Slippin into Darkness". Harold now donates time to LBBS as both consultant and teacher, he also works with the youngsters at First Lutheran Church, where he originally learned to play the drums, realizing that, "It is far Greater to Have Your Name Written on Young People's Hearts than to Have It Written on Stone. "! 


William grisolia

Board & Staff

Debra taren and Mary ann Barr DIRECTORS
Rick berry

Rick Berry is an independent executive consultant in the nonprofit sector, currently working with the Long Beach Blues Society and the Jazz Angels.  A life-long Long Beach resident, Mr. Berry has a long career in corporate marketing and product management, and has worked and volunteered extensively in the Long Beach community, including 6 years as CEO of the Long Beach Community Band, 2 years as Board Chair for Arts & Services for the Disabled (5 years total board membership with continuing committee work), 4 years employment as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and a year on the Marketing Committee of the Arts Council for Long Beach. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from CSULB, an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, a certificate in Nonprofit Arts Management from CSULB, and is an avid jazz trumpeter and gardener.

Bill Grisolia is a Long Beach based entrepreneur, businessman, and musician who has produced concerts and festivals in small venues and large, such as the Long Beach Performing Arts Center with legendary talent Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, and Burt Bacharach. He founded the New Blues Festival in Long Beach in 2014 with Bob Barr, and helped produce the Long Beach Unity Festival since its inception in 1998. He is a 20-year voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which produces the Grammys®, and is a graduate of UCLA, where he studied concert production and public policy.

Steve is the principal contracted staff member for the New Blues Festival for the last 4 years and has donated his time as Stage Manager for all concert events since LBBS’s inception. His background in music creation spans 20 plus years, having toured the world alongside acts such as Moby & Fatboy Slim. He has also scored music for films such as Me Myself and Irene and Rollerball among others, and does commercial music work for companies including Adidas and Mercedes.


After years of music lessons in opera and flamenco guitar, Bob Barr found the blues. He has played rhythm guitar in many blues and rock bands over the decades, and has produced and promoted countless concerts, bands, recordings, and shows on the radio and TV.  Bob has extensive experience in sales & marketing, merchandising, event production, and he knows how to recognize talent. Later in life, he added music journalism to his list of talents, writing for Random Length News for 9 years. He is a key member of the production team for the New Blues Festival and has led the LBBS board since its inception in 2015. Wherever LBBS is, Bob is there to lend a hand.

Bob barr
STeve proctor
Harold Brown Consultant