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Battle of the Bands in Manteca this Saturday

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Battle of the Bands in Manteca this Saturday

Nesta will be among the local bands competing Saturday in the annual Battle of the Bands, hosted by the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission and GK Music.

Photo contributed/


POSTED February 25, 2013 11:52 p.m.

Evan Cutler needed a band.

The previous group of musicians he was playing with disbanded, and rather than sit out on the sidelines the local student began looking for another likeminded group of guys to belt out some irie beats with.

And he found what he was looking for in Marcello Guitron.

The Modesto-based singer immediately clicked with Cutler’s diverse guitar range and the two became a successful song-writing duo – putting things down on paper that they knew would materialize once they rounded out a lineup.

Bassist Jimmy Sanchez would join the mix a short time later, adding the deep lines that meshed with the reggae style that forming among the members. Once Jerrell Rosetto was brought in as the drummer, all of the puzzle pieces had fallen into place.

Nesta was born.

It is one of the groups participating in Saturday’s annual Battle of the Bands hosted by the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission and GK Music. The event, which will be held at the Manteca Senior Center on March 2 will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. For more information call (209) 456-8623.

“It started with just a few guys playing songs together and gelling immediately,” said band manager Kenneth Campbell. “They had this energy among them, and together they have turned into a really good band over the last year.”

A direct takeoff of Bob Marley’s official first name, Nesta – which also includes saxophone player Leonard Thomas Bowlin – has kept the reggae sound as its sole focus in the 15 months that they’ve been playing collectively.

Campbell, who came to know some of the younger members of the band through Modesto Junior College, says that he wanted to take the band under his wing after he saw the talent they possessed and the generally positive outlook that they have on life.

Being around such soulful music, he said, didn’t hurt either.

“It’s just like Bob Marley said – when it hits you, you feel no pain. It’s a getaway and there’s no escaping good music when you hear it,” he said. “I think these guys can sell a lot of albums, and they’re generally good kid – they aren’t into the party scene like a lot of kids at that age and they aren’t into the distractions.

“They want to play their music and work hard. They play feel good music, and I think it’s something that people are going to like.”

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