Area string wizards will do their best to render climate change and carbon fees less mysterious to music lovers Sunday night, at a fundraiser for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby at Pizza Place California in San Gabriel. Between performances by bluegrass/country/folk legend Herb Pedersen, flamenco-Latin fusion duo Calé, and organizer Jordan Sollitto’s band Los Dos Gringos, US Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) will make some remarks. The event will benefit the Pasadena/Foothills chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the nonpartisan, nonprofit policy advocacy group’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

The thread connecting that eclectic crew is Sollitto, a guitarist and San Marino resident who serves on the local CCL chapter’s steering committee, and who has performed often with Calé guitarist Jose Prieto as well as Pedersen. Locals may recognize Prieto and bandmate Victor Torres from lively past appearances at Bar Celona in Old Town Pasadena; they will follow Los Dos Gringos’ opening with a short instrumental set. Los Dos Gringos will then accompany Pedersen during the evening’s second half.

Pedersen barely needs introduction. Over the course of five decades the Berkley-born guitarist/banjoist has been as renowned for his instrumental dexterity as for his sublime harmony singing, and his credits read like a bluegrass, country, folk and rock Who’s Who: Jackson Browne, the Dillards, Dan Fogelberg, David Grisman, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Vern & Ray — not to mention collaborations with lifelong pal Chris Hillman and their Desert Rose Band. Here’s hoping Pedersen plays “Wait a Minute,” a longtime staple of live shows, and considers resurrecting his bittersweet version of Carter Stanley’s “The Fields Have Turned Brown.”

Sollitto’s connections to Pedersen and Prieto made it easier to pull together Sunday’s gathering, whose three-pronged goal includes enhancing awareness of climate change — and H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Sponsored by Chu, who is part of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress, the “revenue neutral” bill aims to drive down fossil fuel emissions by 40 percent in 12 years via a market-friendly equation of carbon fees and dividends. In the wake of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s bombshell October report, H.R. 763’s 12-year framework is noteworthy.

“Judy will talk about the bill — briefly; she doesn’t want to put people to sleep,” Sollitto jokes. More seriously, he adds, “We want to thank her for (sponsoring) it.

“What we do locally is to raise awareness,” he explains. “Our Washington headquarters team [is] lobbying members of Congress. Secondary to raising money is to inform people who might not be well informed about H.R. 763, which is why Citizens’ Climate Lobby will have a table there and people to talk about it.

“And we’ll all be there to just have some fun.” 


Fundraiser for Pasadena/Foothills chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby at Pizza Place California, 303 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3. Admission is free for diners; 40 percent of monies raised via dinner and drink sales will be donated to CCL. Venue info: (626) 570-9622. citizensclimatelobby.org, energyinnovationact.org, herbpedersen.com, joseprietomusic.com, facebook.com/LosDosTheBand, pizzaplaceca.com