South Pasadena singer-songwriter Brad Colerick was honored with the South Pasadena’s City Image Award on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The ceremony took place at the Crunch Time Party, an annual fundraising event for the city’s Tournament of Roses Parade float, which was held at the War Memorial Building. The Image Award is
given to individuals and organizations that enhance the image of South Pasadena beyond its borders. South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian presented the award to Colerick, who was one of two award winners.
“Brad is being honored for his years of bringing live concerts and excellent musicians from all over the country to our town with his Wine & Song series, which started in 2009,” Mayor Khubesrian said.
“I’m so honored and delighted to receive this award,” added Colerick. “I’m very touched and appreciative.”
In 2009, Colerick launched Wine & Song, a weekly Wednesday night acoustic music series. Held in the Blue Guitar Room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, every week he hosts musical artists along with special guests. Colerick plays the acoustic guitar and sings, and his house band includes David Plenn on electric guitar, Tim Fleming on steel guitar and dobro, and Guillermo Guzman on bass.
“I used to be part of a group of songwriters that would get together in a living room in Highland Park every month,” Colerick explained. “We would play songs and give each other feedback. It was such an incredible and enjoyable experience for me. It made me realize that other people would enjoy being in the room with us and hearing the songs, which led me to find a venue and start the Wednesday night series. When I first moved to South Pasadena, there really wasn’t that much in the way of nightlife. I wanted to find something to do locally that wouldn’t require traveling halfway across the city to get to. I was pleased to not only find a place to present music, but a community that seemed thirsty for it. It’s been really well-received and I’m grateful for that.”
Colerick, who grew up in Nebraska, started playing piano at a young age and was primarily self-taught. He learned the trumpet in grade school, then picked up the guitar towards the end of high school.
As time passed, he knew that he wanted to work in a music hub, so Colerick eventually made the decision to move to California in 1986. At the time, he had been debating between Los Angeles, Nashville and New York.
“There was a foot of snow on the ground when I decided on Los Angeles,” Colerick laughed. “I loved my career doing music for commercials. I got to work with a lot of wonderful artists. I recorded B.B. King out in Amsterdam, which was a very memorable experience. One time I worked on a Sears commercial with Johnny Cash and he signed my Ovation Guitar. My wife and I also went out at his invitation to Telluride, Colorado and hung out with Johnny and June before one of their shows. That was fantastic.”
After the birth of his son, Colerick bought a house in South Pasadena in 2001, where he has been a resident for the past 17 years.
“When my wife and I started looking into homes, we looked at the proposed Gold Line,” he said. “She wanted to move somewhere with a backyard and I wanted to be within a half mile of a Gold Line stop so that I could continue commuting to Hollywood. We looked at all of the proposed stops and South Pasadena was the nicest area. The Gold Line opened a few years after we moved here, which made my commute a lot easier.”
These days, Colerick does music licensing for film and TV commercials, original music production, puts on events, and every now and then goes on tour. He is the musical director for South Pasadena’s Eclectic Music Festival, which he has been involved in for the past 11 years. During the summer, he puts on Bradfest at the Arroyo Seco Golf Course. Going into its third year, the mini festival features a variety of musical performers and other fun activities.
In 2018, Colerick collaborated with several local South Pasadena musicians.