By Dave Fountinelle | firstname.lastname@example.org
September is almost here, and that means the annual Berner concert at Fresno’s Chukchansi Park is less than a month away. At last year’s concert, the Cookies founder was joined by Bay Area legend E-40, NWA’s DJ Yella, and Lil Eazy E, son of NWA founder Eric “Eazy E” Wright. But before the sold-out crowd could even finish making their way out of the downtown stadium, Brad Jaurique was already thinking about the next event on his calendar.
For over 12 years, Brad Jaurique has been bringing some of the hottest R&B and Hip Hop stars to Fresno. Born and raised in Fresno, Jaurique takes pride in the city he calls home. But, for Jaurique, bringing big-name national acts to town is more than just his business; it’s a way for him to give back to the community and the culture that made it all possible.
Chukchansi Park is where Brad Jaurique Promotions began. In 2010, Jaurique met fellow Fresnan and 90’s R&B star Timmy T, who introduced him to Rick Mirigian. Mirigian was managing the career of boxer Jose Ramirez and was in Fresno promoting a new nightclub called “The Penthouse,” located in the 600 club at Grizzly Stadium. Mirigian gave Jaurique his start in the business, promoting events at The Penthouse. Soon, Mirigian let Jaurique start booking his own events every Friday night. Mirigian mentored Jaurique and taught him the ins and outs of promotion and booking events. Together they produced several concerts, events, and afterparties for the nightclub.
The Penthouse closed its doors in 2011, and Jaurique began working with Club Rome. There, he continued to promote concerts and events, bringing in big-name acts including Too Short, E-40, Baby Bash, Jo Koy, 112, and more. Jaurique also promoted independent events at Fresno’s Woodward Park, Warnors Theater, and several small clubs in Tulare and Visalia.
In 2013, the City of Fresno approached Jaurique to help them put together a plan to attract marquee promoters from all over the country to bring A-list entertainment to the Selland Arena and the Tachi Palace. Jaurique helped put together lineups, design marketing campaigns, and run production. His hard work would lead to a job running promotions for the Tachi Palace from 2016 to 2019. There, Jaurique produced everything from the annual car show, to a Selena tribute concert, to the popular “Ladies Night Out” concert series.
The COVID pandemic brought the entertainment world to a screeching halt less than a year later. As a result, Jaurique couldn’t produce another concert until 2021. During that time, Jaurique reflected on his Downtown Fresno roots and wanted to focus the next chapter of his career on the place and the people where it all began. So, in July 2021, Jaurique again partnered with Chukchansi Park to host a stop on Snow Tha Product’s US Tour. The show not only sold out, but it was also the biggest turnout of the entire tour. A month later, Jaurique brought Latin Hip Hop legends A Lighter Shade of Brown to Tioga Sequoia Brewer There, he was given the honor of presenting the group with a proclamation from the city, naming the date of the concert as “Lighter Shade of Brown Day.”
Jaurique followed that up by promoting two of the highest-attended shows at the 2021 Big Fresno Fair: “Ladies Night Out,” featuring Bell Biv Devoe and Mya, and Kumbia Kings with Chris Perez. Then, in October, Jaurique closed the year by bringing Ginuwine to headline the Fresno Grizzlies’ “Taco Truck Throwdown.”
Brad Jaurique Promotions kicked off 2022with a bang, promoting another hugely successful “Ladies Night Out” concert. This time, fans packed the Save Mart Center to see Keith Sweat, 112, Frankie J, Amanda Perez, and Soul for Real rock the house. Jaurique followed that up with the June “Latin Legends” concert that he produced along with rap mogul and Death Row Records CEO Snoop Dogg.
Jaurique’s next concert will be the annual Berner concert at Chukchansi Park. This year, the Cookies CEO and Forbes richest legal cannabis mogul will be joined by another Bay Area icon, Too Short, along with legendary rapper/producer DJ Quik. Nhale – the son of legendary Death Row Records artist, the late Nate Dogg – will open the show along with rapper and Cookies co-founder, Stinje. Also on the lineup will be three bouts from the “Chin Check” slap fighting championship.
In 2014, when Jaurique first brought Berner to Fresno’s Woodward Park, the concert – dubbed the “Fresno Smokeout” stirred up a lot of controversy among concerned moms. Much has changed in the cannabis industry and the city since then. Berner’s 2021 concert went on without any protest. As Fresno’s first batch of recreational cannabis dispensaries begins to open, Jaurique is optimistic that this year’s concert will be equally trouble-free.
Promoting shows in Fresno presents challenges that separate it from California’s big markets of Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Being in a smaller market makes selling out concerts more difficult. Additionally, Los Angeles and the Bay Area are popular tourist spots, meaning concertgoers are more likely to travel to see shows there and then stay to visit other attractions. Most Fresno concert attendees live locally, go to see the show, and then go back home afterward. Fewer people are willing to travel to Fresno just to see a show and nothing else means that selling out shows here is much harder to do, except for superstar acts like Drake, Kanye, or Chris Stapleton.
Jaurique isn’t discouraged, however. Rather than chase the easy money by moving to one of the big market cities, Jaurique chooses to stay loyal to his city and the people who have supported him his entire career.
“I’m always working with promoters, managers, and record labels to bring big name acts to Fresno,” Jaurique explains.
Jaurique will be ringing in the fall season with two shows at this year’s Big Fresno Fair. The first is another “Ladies Night Out” concert featuring Ashanti and Baby Bash. The second is “Cruising the Souldies,” featuring Russell Thompkins and the New Stylistics, along with Cota, hosted by Danny Trejo. Closing out the year will be some big surprises that Jaurique plans to share as soon as the details are finalized.
Looking forward to 2023, Jaurique teases “exciting things” that will be announced soon.
“We really need Fresno and the Central Valley to continue supporting us so that we can keep bringing bigger and bigger shows of all genres to our city,” Jaurique says. “It’s their loyalty and support that has made all of this possible, and the best is yet to come.”
For more information about upcoming concerts and events, follow Brad Jaurique Promotions. Facebook: Brad Jaurique Promotions and IG: @bradjauriquepromotions