Archive for June 1, 2010

The Rippingtons, featuring Russ Freeman, are the first performers announced for the Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards show set for March 12, 2011 in San Diego, CA. The Rippingtons will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2011. Founder Russ Freeman, Jeff Kashiwa, Bill Heller, Dave Karasony and Rico Belled make up the current Rippingtons roster. Over the years, the Rippingtons have included David Benoit, Gregg Karukas, Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G and others.

The Saturday night Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards show is the highlight of a four-day weekend (March 10-13) which will include concerts, a reception with the artists and attendees, celebrity golf and poker tournaments, clinics, autograph sessions, a champagne brunch on Sunday and more.

The three previous Oasis Awards shows were all-star concerts with The Rippingtons, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Richard Elliot, Peter White, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Herb Alpert, Dave Koz, Al Jarreau, Bob James, Keiko Matsui, Brenda Russell, David Benoit, Euge Groove, Brian Culbertson, Marc Antoine, Steve Cole, Keiko Matsui, the late Wayman Tisdale, and more, all performing.

“The Rippingtons played the very first Oasis Awards show at Bass Hall in Ft Worth, Texas ten years ago and with 2011 being The Ripps’ 25th year, it seems only fitting we announce them first”, said Oasis Awards co-producer Bill Paddock.

Tickets are available on-line at for the 24rd Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival kicking off September 30 with an Unplugged Concert and Barbeque on the far side of the Island, at the Wrigley Ranch. The event is followed by three days and evenings in the 80 year old Avalon Ballroom….looking out to Sea – October 1, 2, and 3 — of top-of-the-line performances by some of smooth jazz’s greatest names and every year the breaking of an upcoming future star or two. The Festival continues over two more consecutive four-day weekends, Thursday-Sunday, October 7, 8, 9, and 10, and Thursday-Sunday, October 14, 15, 16, and 17, thrilling Ballroom Audiences with the World Biggest Stars in Smooth Jazz.

Unplugged Concerts at the Ranch are among the highlights of this year’s jazz extravaganza. Tickets include a new behind-the-scenes tour of the Casino, jazz performance just after nightfall, ranch style dinner in the Courtyard of the Wrigley Ranch at dusk, with a stop on the way for dinner and stop at the world famous Airport in the Sky, and return trip across the top of the Island after dark, witnessing Disneyland fireworks while traversing the 1,000 ft. top-of-the-Island elevation. Performing Unplugged Artists are Legendary Guitarist Craig Chaquico, September 30; Raging Guitarist Nick Colionne, October 7; and lovely Saxophonist Mindi Abair, October 14. All in an amazingly intimate Unplugged Setting.

The 3-Weekend JazzTrax line-up features over 30 illustrious smooth-groove practitioners creating an exclusive retreat for jazz lovers. Attendees at this year’s series will hear such luminaries as Earl Klugh, 2009 Grammy nominee for best pop instrumental album; fresh new saxophonist Jackiem Joyner; Guitarist & Keyboardist Marc Antoine &
Brian Simpson; Gentleman of the Night Michael Lington, Marion Meadows and Paul Taylor; British Guitarist  Chris Standring; Trumpeter Cindy Bradley; The Sax Pack Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Jackiem Joyner and so many,  many more.

Each JazzTrax Weekend includes a Free Late Night After Party each Saturday Night at Descanso Beach with music by live DJ, from 10:45 pm to 1:00 am, dancing on the beach at Midnight.

It’s easy to book on line without waiting for an operator at where you can see the whole line up of jazz greats, and interactive table and seating plans for viewing and choosing seats and link for picture pages, boats, accommodations and more. Or, call 866-Trax Tix at 866-872-9849 for details and phone booking. Catalina Express is running late night boats on Saturday & Sunday Evenings for Day Trippers. Catch an entire day of Performances and even ride back to Long Beach with the Evening Stars of Smooth Jazz on board your boat For information and reservations, visit or call 800-429-4601.

Stay at one of Catalina’s premier hotels during JazzTrax– Hotel Villa Portofino, 888-510-0555 (California), 310-510-0555;; or Santa Catalina Island Company’s Pavilion Lodge or Hotel Atwater, 800-626-1496. For information on all special events, call 800-626-4804 or visit

In all the World…No Place Like This..for Jazz! On an Island…26 Miles off the Southern California Coastline…in a tiny seaport village….called…..Avalon.