Jazzin’ it up at The Destination

Photo by Gary Fleener
Gio Yepremian.

■ Matt McPherson / Columnist

My usual beat is real estate, but once in a while I jump out of the box when something unusual takes place in the music world because music is my second love. I like nothing better than polishing up my sax and jamming the night away with my peers.
This past Friday night was one of those times. The Destination Coffee Bar and Bistro in downtown Hemet became an evening of jazz with Gio and Friends, and what a night it was. Gio has some unusually talented friends whose musical acumen would take star billing in any club from New York City to New Orleans French Quarter.

Photo by Gary Fleener
Bonita and Sheila.

A packed house listened to Gio, Sheila, Bonita, Ann and Mr. Ray belt out tunes made famous by the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Anita Baker. The room quivered with rhythm—from clapping to feet stomping in the old-time jazz ambiance.
Some of Hemet’s elite along with jazz connoisseurs came out to enjoy an event rarely seen in Hemet, although this town abounds with artists, writers, singers and musicians, who have performed in some of the most elegant venues in the country.

Photo by Gary Fleener
Rusty “Mr. Ray” Strait.
Photo by Gary Fleener
Ann Smith.

Those rarely seen out and about in the evening, included Eric Galletta from Park Hill Recording Studios and his best girl Lena Patton, Bob and Lynn Throckmorton, Ray Strait and Joyce Newsom, Easy Ad’s Winston and Jerry Greene, John Petty, Carolyn Truskowski, and Gary and Cheryl Fleener.

Gio and Patricia Yepremians destinations of music from around the world last year were such a hit with the valley’s music lovers that the monthly event morphed into this year’s evening with Gio and Friends. The Yepremians promise episodes of broadway, swing, country and western, and more. Get ready for a summer of musical delights and special concerts. The Destination is located adjacent to the historic Hemet Depot located at the intersection of Florida Ave. and State St. in the heart of old Hemet. I would suggest making reservations in advance if Friday night’s crowd is any indication of what’s to come.

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