Fountain Blues & Brews Festival Board Members
Fountain Blues Foundation uses its legacy to build a Board with strong community relationships and deep industry connections. The Board fundraises year-round and continues to add new board members who bring even more expertise and fundraising efforts to help get all booking, marketing and promotional efforts started sooner each year. All Board Members are willing and ready to leverage their networks and resources for the good of the Festival and have over 200 years of combined event production experience. They include:
Our Founder : 1981 – 2019
Ted was the Director of the Festival since its inception in 1981 having booked such legends as John Lee Hooker, Etta James and Bo Diddley. The first 30 years were with the help of the Associated Students Program Board of San Jose State University (SJSU). Gehrke’s known as the “Elder Statesman of Blues” in the Bay Area, but his love for music history and diverse genres extends beyond the blues. With mostly OCA, NEA & AS backing, Gehrke created New Sounds SJ from 1978-81, which brought such musicians/composers as Phil Glass and Steve Reich in concert, participating in FREE discussions and master classes in San Jose. All of the FBF Board Members will tell you that the reason they are so passionate about keeping the blues alive, and volunteering on the Board, is due to the shared passion that Gehrke possesses and the legacy he has built. “Remembering Ted Gehrke” article
Bob is a music industry veteran. He has been a musician for 5 decades, most notably with Syndicate of Sound, whose Nationally acclaimed 1966 hit “Little Girl” sealed them a record deal and place in Bay Area rock history as one of the first, successful “garage bands.” In addition to his duties as the Syndicate’s bass player and managing partner, he plays with a number of blues and rock bands in the Bay Area and fronts his own Bob Gonzalez Band. As President of the Fountain Blues Foundation, he manages the Fountain Blues and Brews Festival and oversees all of the Foundations business relationships.
Vice President & Talent and Vendor Relations Manager
Jay is the founder of the Poor House Bistro. He received his degree from SJSU while working for various restaurants in the Bay Area, but blues music always held a special place in his heart. In 2005 he opened the Poor House Bistro, which serves New Orleans cuisine accompanied by live blues music almost every night of the week. Meduri has worked with Gehrke on the Festival since it’s early days at SJSU and holds multiple FBF fundraisers at the Bistro. He assists in talent bookings and caters food for the Festival, as well as manages and staffs all of the Festival’s beverage sponsor/vendor relationships.
Frank brings over 30 years of operational and project management experience in heavy industry including planning and executing multiple large projects and budgets. A serious lover of the blues, he started as a fan of the festival for many years and a volunteer – coordinating the craft beer operation. His main duties are managing the Fountain Blues Foundation’s budget and providing ongoing financial reports and analysis.
Secretary, Marketing Director
Dan is founder of Orloff Marketing, founded in 1992 specializing in small- to medium-sized companies in non-tech B2B and B2C as well as nonprofit organizations. His clients contribute to the quality of life in Silicon Valley across a wide spectrum of industries. Music is in his DNA. Dan’s father was inducted into the Harmony Hall of Fame in Nashville. Dan’s cousin is Bob Dylan. Dan plays drums and guitar and sings harmonies in classic rock cover bands. He also founded San Jose Rocks and Bay Area Rocks – orgs whose mission celebrates our area’s unique role in rock and all forms of music and music technologies.
Festival Production Coordinator
Amy has 21 years of event production and marketing experience combined from working as the Events/Promotions Manager at the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) for 15 years – and 6 years prior with Live Nation and Bill Graham Presents concert promoters/producers – where she honed her skills with event budgets, marketing, community partnerships, logistics and project management. Originally a volunteer and fan of the SJFBBF since its early days at SJSU, Anderson became more officially involved as lead production manager when SJDA stepped in as a key fiscal partner 2011-13. She was integral in helping Gehrke transition the event from SJSU campus to St. James Park – and then growing it to its’ current home at Plaza de Cesar Chavez – all while maintaining a crowd-friendly “little village” atmosphere. Although Anderson no longer lives in San Jose, she is still committed to lending her expertise in helping oversee logistics for the SJFBBF, including: City applications; recruiting vendors/contractors; advising on event layout and maps; overseeing sponsor fulfillment and on site advancement details. She also assists with writing grants, community outreach and leveraging her longtime Bay Area media/promotional partnerships.
Stage Crew Manager
Dave is a Blues DJ for KSCU 103.3 and longtime Bay Area musician, who has also been a cash sponsor of the Festival for years. He recruits and manages the backstage crew at the Festival, and is key in helping with FBBF fundraisers, as well as outreach for FBBF’s numerous radio partners.
As a Contract Project Manager in Silicon Valley, Sherri is familiar with pulling and executing multiple projects together achieving excellent end results. As the former personal assistant to the Late Great Bluesman John Lee Hooker, Sherri’s love of the Blues is deeply personal. Having traveled with the Boogie man to festivals, she is familiar with how events are planned and operate on a large scale and promoting shows at smaller local venues. As his confidante Sherri has a deep understanding of how musicians work and relate to the public and their fans. Quoting John Lee “No one ever gave you an instruction booklet on how to be famous, am I a legend? I don’t know, I just play the blues.” As the Assistant Executive Director for the John Lee Hooker Foundation, Sherri is Realizing John Lee’s vision of providing funding music, art and education programs for underprivileged children in the San Francisco Bay Area. With guitars from Epiphone, and the assistance of John’s daughter Zakiya Hooker, they enjoy bringing his vision to life. Now a DJ with KSCU, Blues underground Radio, Sherri enjoys playing her beloved Blues tunes to a radio audience. With an end goal of keeping the Blues Alive.
Booking and Vendor Management
Bruce has over 40 years of experience in performing arts management and festival production. He directed all programs at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga for 18 years, was performing arts director at Montalvo Arts Center for 12 years, has helped book Music in the Park (26 years) and FBF (13 years), and is the founder and festival director of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest (since 1990). His main duties with the FBBF are helping with artist bookings, securing craft and food vendors, and lending assistance in logistics and vendor management.
As former SJSU Associated Students Program Board Director, Dan has worked with Gehrke to book the 2nd and 3rd Fountain Blues and Brews Festivals and has returned as a volunteer since 1983. He’s built a successful 26-year mortgage career and has been a cash sponsor of the Festival for years. A drummer, Dan has backed bands in the Bay Area since 1995, and frequents numerous festivals. Dan contributes by raising funds/sponsorships, and outreach to local schools and universities to increase youth participation in this long standing community event.