By Lisa Morgan

Hundreds have already signed up to enjoy live music on three stages as well as dancing, great food, drinks, and more all for Free thanks to the City of La Quinta and Goldenvoice. Performances by popular local bands WAXY, R Buckle Road and 212 Band will bring you  psychedelic desert rock, original rocking Americana country and good old fashion classic rock, while DJs Alf Alpha, Galactic Ray, T-Roc, and Miguel Silvestre are sure to fill in all the blanks for your dancing and listening fancies.

Fresh on the desert scene and also on the block party’s diverse musical lineup, are the Martini Kings.  Featured at the Purple Room in Palm Springs recently, this diverse band plays in many configurations, from an instrumental jazz trio to a lush seven piece big band with a male or female vocalist.  For this event, Martini Kings will perform as a three piece instrumental band bringing their own brand of West Coast jazz, a style of jazz music that developed around Los Angeles and San Francisco during the 1950’s.

Martini Kings have 15 albums released to date, and numerous gold and platinum albums to the credit of their individual members.  Their classic Mid Century Modern look and sound make them a must see.  Named the number one live event band in Los Angeles by, Martini Kings have performed for everyone from Oscar winner actor/director Clint Eastwood, Kim Kardashian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, author Stephen King, to Grammy superstar Carole King.  They are heavily booked by corporations such as Chrysler Motors, The Getty Center, Universal Studios, Mattel and Warner Bros. Studios, as well as for The Academy Awards year after year.


I spoke to Tony Marsico co-founder of the Martini Kings.  Marsico, is a respected lifelong musician who has performed with artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Marianne Faithfull, Roger Daltrey, Gerry Goffin (and more), and was bassist for the groundbreaking punk band Cruzados (formerly The Plugz as heard on the Repo Man soundtrack).  “My brother Frank and I formed the Martini Kings in 1982.  We’re a 60’s, California cool jazz band that plays a lot of great old standards but doesn’t get boring,” he explained.  “We love to take the standards and put our own twist on it.  We are not stuffy – we have a lot of fun.  After all, we started out opening up for punk rock bands in LA.  We’ve been doing this between tours and gigs for over 30 years now, and we still love it.  I was a jazz fan growing up, so it’s another musical side of me – I love getting to play different kinds of music.”  Marsico will be playing upright bass for the 19th Hole Block Party event along with Craig Fundyga on vibraphone and Joel Alpers on drums.

Martini Kings will also be featured at the upcoming SHAG-extravaganza celebrating Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 13th. The event, hosted by Josh Agle (aka Shag), will be held at the beautifully restored Caliente Tropics Hotel.  Tickets are $125 per person and are going fast. For SHAG ticket sales go to

Marsico, it would seem, never ceases to launch new creative and inspiring projects. Recently, he and fellow studio musician for the stars, Darran “Dewey” Falcone reunited to form Cisco and Dewey, a brilliant Americana band who just released their second album to much critical acclaim. This spring, Marsico will be introducing yet another project that is sure to take the Palm Springs strip by storm.  “It’s something off the hook and fun, and I’ll be unveiling it at my all-time favorite bar in Palm Springs called the Tonga Hut on Friday, March 18th,” Marsico shared.  “This is a Martini Kings branch off project called, ‘Martini and Coco’. I’m very excited about it!”  Marsico will be showing off a versatile, talented and charismatic female singer he recently discovered.

For now, I’d highly recommend making plans to see Martini Kings at the 19th Hole Block Party which promises to be a fantastic community event.  For more information, go to or type in 19th Hole Block Party  in your Facebook search bar.  The event is Friday, January 22nd from 4 pm to 11 pm.

To Follow Tony Marsico’s Martini Kings and his other projects, see the following links: