Amira Seyoum
Staff Writer

Rico Coffee held a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Sept. 20. The band King Nosmo came up with the idea for the concert.

“King Nosmo is good friends with Rico,” said Eddie Espinoza, assistant manager of Rico Coffee. “They always come to play at open mic night and they came to us with this idea and we thought it was great.”

Along with King Nosmo, who headlined the concert, Rico hosted four other performances including, Scott Gates with his special guest Katie Nakamura, John De Maria with the band Exit Us and John Walsh.

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Posted September 30, 2005
Kourtney Blumfield
King Nosmo's guitarist Mike Odalas performed Sept. 20 at Rico Coffee's Hurricane Katrina benefit concert. It was important for King Nosmo to be a part of the benefit concert, he said. “It is the right thing to do… because we are all people,” he said. King Nosmo performs twice a month at Rico Coffee’s open mic nights.
The turnout was good; Rico was full of supporters donating their time and money.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds that we get from tips up there for performing is going to the Red Cross and 50 percent of what Rico makes from food and drinks will also go to the Red Cross,” Mike Odalas of King Nosmo said.

Nicole Sabedra from the Red Cross came to collect donations at the concert.

“Dave (guitar player of King Nosmo) and I use to be co-workers and he called me up and told me about this and asked me to come so that I could make it ‘official’ by having the Red Cross here,” Sabedra said. “I work for blood services at the Red Cross and I’m doing this off the clock. Tomorrow I will give the money to the Disaster Relief department that usually does this, they get the money.”

King Nosmo, which stands for “No Smoking” when the letters are unscrambled, said doing the benefit concert for the Hurricane Katrina victims was simply the right thing to do.

“We tried calling the WB but they wouldn’t let us do it, so La Verne just seemed like the next big thing,” Dave Morris of King Nosmo said.

The band has been playing at Rico’s for the last year.

“We came for an open mic night once and they wanted us to keep on playing,” Odalas said.

King Nosmo found the concert’s lineup through Rico’s local ambitious musicians who come in to play their work.

Gates and Nakamura captivated Morris and Odalas at an open mic night and they were delighted that they agreed to play for them.

“I am going to go through all styles of music playing the mandolin and Katie will be playing the fiddle,” Gates said.

At the end of the night, Rico Coffee presented the Red Cross with a check of $500 in addition to the proceeds the performers and audience members brought in, which brought the donation total up to about $850, said Millie Espinoza, owner of Rico Coffee.

The night was filled with fun music that King Nosmo called “California Groove Country,” country with a groove, something that hasn’t been heard of yet.

Along with their talented guest performers, it was a great way to help bring people together in a time of need.

Amira Seyoum can be reached at