Visitors Enjoy Jazzy Sound of Holiday Blues

Ventura Harbor visitors were treated to an unusual holiday concert, full of jazz and blues, Friday afternoon.

As the sounds of the Henry Franklin Trio filled the air, visitors enjoying their day off after Thanksgiving consumed ice cream and cafe lattes while perched on benches at Ventura Harbor Village.

“I used to live down here and I remembered this was a fun place to stop and hang out,” said John Messmore, who now lives in Las Vegas. “We saw them playing, so we thought we’d sit down and listen.”

While Messmore took in the music, his 16-month-old son Cody ran around the grassy area between the stores and tried to play with the brightly colored windsocks hanging from a nearby tree.


Ventura resident Larry Powers, a friend of bassist Henry Franklin, said he loved the jazz but he really came out for a pumpkin ice cream cone.

“They’re both interesting flavors,” he said of the music and the snack.

Most visitors during the hazy, breezy afternoon did not know about the concert, but dropped by between visits to stores decorated with paper snowflakes and bright red ribbons.

During the lunch hour, Vince Van Den Briel rocked his 8-month-old son Julien’s stroller to the music.

“We’re just visiting from Albany, N.Y.,” he said.

Van Den Briel said his family was wandering the shopping area with friends from Moorpark when they heard the music and decided to stop for Julien’s sake.

“He loves music. He’s just a fan,” Van Den Briel said.

Penny Phelan of Ojai said she was pleasantly surprised to find the band playing.

“This is usually a day I avoid because of all the Christmas shoppers,” she said. “But we had the day off and decided to come down because the harbor is pretty. This is just an added bonus.”