Musician David Aguilar was named the Sonoma Treasure Artist for 2013 Thursday evening by the city’s Cultural and Fine Arts Commission (CFAC).
A Sonoma Valley resident since 1980, Aguilar is an accomplished guitarist and performed for 11 years with Norton Buffalo and Friends. He founded his own band, Tudo Bem, along with the David Aguilar/Peter McCauley Duo, the Suspects and the Dynamites. Lately, Aguilar has performed with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Barry Melton Band, Norman Greenbaum, the band called Why?, as well as with a number of other famous musicians, including Bo Diddley, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur and Jackson Brown .
“I’m pretty thrilled,” Aguilar said Friday after being informed of the Treasure selection. “I’m very honored and flattered. This is mind-boggling.”
Aguilar is only the fifth musician to be honored since the city started awarding the Artist Treasure in 1983. Other musicians included Dan Ruggles in 1986, Norton Buffalo in 1992, Joanne Connor-Metzger in 1995 and Richard Schneider in 2007.
Lisa Carlsson, chair of the CFAC, said, “It’s neat to honor a musician. The Treasure Artists have been artists lately.”
She said the commission received eight nominations and the commissioners added a few more names themselves.
“It’s a very difficult decision,” she said. “We had a good mix of artists, musicians and even a historian.”
Aguilar, who retired last year as a special education teacher at the Sonoma Developmental Center, is seen all over town either as a musician or running soundboards for groups such as the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society, where he ran the board for the Tuesday night summer jazz series.
He got a chance to work with Bo Diddley for two shows in 1977 in Encinitas. “That was a big thrill,” he said. “I was kind of nervous, but I still have a recording of the shows.”