Calypso, jazz, surf instrumentals and pop are on tap for diners at the first Taste of Newport food festival opening today at Newport Center Fashion Island.
Festival-goers can sample the wares of 40 Newport Beach restaurants while listening to the music, offered continuously during the three-day event to be held in a fenced area of the parking lot next to Atrium Court at Newport Center and Santa Rosa drives.
The event is sponsored by Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce as part of 'Newport SeaFest,' a 10-day offering of surfing contests, art shows, boat parades and other activities that runs through Sept. 24. Today's Taste of Newport music lineup features Billy Vera & the Beaters. Vera is the Los Angeles popster who scored a hit in 1986 with the song "At This Moment" after it was featured on the television show "Family Ties." Singer Jeri Lynne, a regular at the Hop in Fountain Valley, will also perform.
The Ventures, the instrumental guitar combo that made its first splash in 1960 with "Walk Don't Run," will headline on Saturday, while drummer and jazz fusion pioneer Stix Hooper, a founding member of the Crusaders, heads the offerings Sunday.