News Column

West Palm rock band returns from China tour; 'Avatar' was filmed at one of the venues where they played.

October 4, 2013


For most local bands, touring the "Far East" means playing abeachfront Palm Beach County club. For the members of young WestPalm Beach rock quartet Making Faces (, itmeant far more from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7 -- and rewarded them forremembering anyone can be watching, even among throngs at SunFest.

"We opened for Barenaked Ladies at SunFest this year," sayssinger/ guitarist John DeMatteo. "An agent from the Hunan Provincein China saw us, said we were her favorite band and encouraged usto submit to play the Zhangjiajie Music Festival."

A few months later, DeMatteo, bassist/vocalist Jesse Lopez, drummerMatt Gaulin and saxophonist/percussionist John Boes were playingcovers and rhythmic originals from the band's debut CD, "BrightRoads Ahead," on the festival's multiple scenic stages.

"The experience of a lifetime," DeMatteo says, "from hanging andjamming with musicians from 27 countries to the shows, the food andthe hotel. One stage was in the national forest they used in thefilm 'Avatar.' "

See Making Faces from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Clematis by Night, atCentennial Square at the east end of Clematis Street in West PalmBeach (561-822-1515); from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 11 atShindig, 464 S.W. Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie(772-785- 6202); and from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Golden Art andMusic Festival, 422 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach(786-521-1199).

Now hear this

The winner of the recent South Florida Blues Challenge was lateentry David Shelley and Bluestone ( singing guitarist and his Broward- based quartet tune up fortheir January trip to the International Blues Challenge in Memphiswith a 9 p.m. show tonight at the Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. MiznerBlvd., Boca Raton ($10, 561-395-2929).

Next weekend at the Arts Garage (, you can hear thesilky University of Miami-trained jazz vocals of Nicole Henry onOct. 11 (8 p.m., $25-45), the incendiary UM-trained jazz guitar ofNew York City artist Jonathan Kreisberg on Oct. 12 (8 p.m., $25- 35)and Big Apple acoustic blues singer/guitarist Guy Davis, withopening local troubadour Rod MacDonald, on Oct. 13 (7 p.m., $20- 30)at 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach (561-450-6357).

West Palm Beach rock quartet Blackhawk and the Nightdrivers(blackhawkandthenightdrivers released a top local2013 CD in "Commonwealth," and close the Coastars Coffee Stage atthe annual ART- oberfest. The free street party features 50 artistsand craft vendors, three stages, and 23 performers from 3p.m.- midnight Oct. 12 at Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth(561-547- 7273).

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