patrick contreras

Courtesy of Patrick Contreras

This week we spoke to a musician who, like others, lost a lot of work when the pandemic hit: Performances were postponed, or cancelled altogether. Patrick Contreras, a Fresno violinist, started to offer front lawn concerts to make ends meet, and the idea has taken off. He says he’s heard from other musicians across the country, asking how he’s made it work. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Black community leaders in Bakersfield are meeting with law enforcement, and calling for more transparency. They tell us about the push to establish a community police advisory board.

Plus, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in every county in the San Joaquin Valley. We bring you our weekly health update. 

Later, we speak to Fresno violinist Patrick Contreras who told us how he’s kept busy during the pandemic, even after losing every major booking for the year.

Violin On Fire

Fresno rock violinist Patrick Contreras is known for his creative use of the violin and mixing it with other genres. His latest project mixes the sound of violin with mariachi, rock, soul and hip-hop. It's called El Violin.

Contreras calls this sound Chicano violin music.  He's opened for artists like BB King, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke and others. He's been featured on a World Star Hip Hop 3 times as Talent Of The Week and has well over a Million Views on his YouTube Channel.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on the doctor shortage in the region, a unique Fresno library for toy lending and a look in to the latest Fresno County Crop Report. We are also joined by Bill McEwen with GVWire, the groups newest news director. Ending the program we hear from violinist Patrick Contreras about his new project "El Violin."

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Bakersfield-based jazz pianist Jay Smith is a fixture in the south valley music scene. In addition to playing with the acclaimed band Mento Buru he also leads his own band "The Jay Smith Group." Their new cd "Too Many Notes" debuts on Friday with a CD release party at Sandrini's in Bakersfield. Jay recently visited the station for an in-studio performance with violinist Patrick Contreras and to talk about his music and the new album. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Some people call Fresno's Patrick Contreras a rock violinist. To others, he's a jazz musician. To others still he's a blues or a Latin music artist. His music spans categories and influences from plugged-in Jimi Hendrix inspired riffs to romantic boleros.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we preview the 4th annual Fresno Food Expo with Amy Fuentes with the City of Fresno and Agnes Saghatelian president of Valley Lahvosh Baking Company.