Archive for July 22, 2011

Assembling a stellar line-up of jazz – traditional straight-ahead, smooth contemporary, Latin jazz, bebop, big band, blues, pop, and all nuances in between – is a daunting task for any festival. Jazz, the very nature of the word, is an enigma that conjures up different meanings to anyone asked. While jazz may be difficult to define, its origin is one of the most sought-after word origins in modern American English. What is jazz? Jazz is America’s only truly indigenous music art form – it is universal, performed and listened to by people of virtually every ethnicity, religion, and attitude.

And yet, in true “melting pot” style, this year’s 18th annual Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines brings together the diverse styles of America’s only true indigenous music for two days of family-friendly musical excitement on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, on the campus of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549.

“Our lineup this year is one of the most diverse,” says Bubba Jackson, Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines talent booker and KKJZ FM88.1 on-air personality. “We have something for every jazz taste, and the price is so reasonable. I’m thinking beautiful music for beautiful people on a beautiful weekend in the San Jacinto Mountains of California. One of my personal commitments in jazz radio is to give back to the community. The proceeds of this event will help raise scholarship money to help students at this incredible school. It is an honor to be a part of the team that believes in keeping art alive in America!”

Added Jazz Chair Marsha Lytle: “It’s family fun and only a short drive away! All profits are used directly for Idyllwild Arts scholarships, both for the regular school year and the Summer Program, providing an opportunity to learn or polish skills in a variety of arts disciplines, including jazz! Scholarships are based on financial need, talent, and a program’s need to strengthen a particular area. Funds also are dedicated to children of single-parent families and to encourage increased multicultural diversity in the summer.”

Located in southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, two hours east of Los Angeles, the Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines offers festival-goers live jazz in three outdoor venues: Holmes Amphitheatre (“Main Stage”), Stephens Recital Hall (“The Barn”), and the French Quarter, plus the festivities also include winding pathways lined with various arts and crafts booths, “Dine in the Pines” food vendors, alongside sponsor and informational booths. Regularly priced tickets are $65.00 per day ($120.00 for both days), featuring more than 25 live performances. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by a paying adult. Gates open at 10:00 a.m., the music begins at 10:30 a.m. Free parking with shuttles running continuously between the center of town and clearly designated lots; parking on the campus is limited to VIP ticket holders and the handicapped only. Tickets are available on the website:

There is a special Saturday night dinner on campus featuring the music of Bonne Musique Zydeco Band. A limited number of tickets are available to the “Saturday Night After Hours Jazz & Jambalaya.” Tickets are $25.00 per person and include a Cajun dinner, beverage and dessert, no-host bar, and jazz jam session presented at Nelson Hall, doors open at 6:00, dinner from 6:30 to 8:00 with music until 9:00. Tickets can be purchased on the website or by calling 951-500-4090.

The festival kicks off on Friday, August 26, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at Nelson Hall on the Idyllwild Arts Campus with the Patron’s Dinner Dance. “A Taste of Idyllwild” Cocktail Party hosted by Idyllwild Restaurants starts this special evening. Package levels from $250.00 to $500.00, per person, includes tickets to each day, reserved seating, preferred parking, gourmet food, fine wine, fun and music by the Idyllwild Arts Alumni Trio of Four, with a special appearance by the guest of honor Jeff Hamilton and his trio, and more.

HOLMES AMPHITHEATRE (“Main Stage”). An open-air, tiered, grass covered natural amphitheater. Parachutes are

hung from the towering pines to offer shade while still allowing breezes.

Master of Ceremonies: Bubba Jackson, KKJZ 88.1FM on-air host of “BWB Breezin’ with Bubba”.

Saturday – 10:30 a.m, to 6:00 p.m.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Oreo Divaz, Gregory Porter, Denise Donatelli, Idyllwild Arts Alumni Trio of Four

Sunday – 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Jose Rizo’s MONGORAMA, Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band,

Lisa Haley and the Zydekats, Deacon Jones Blues Revue, Vortex Gospel

STEPHENS HALL (“The Barn”). Indoor seating, overflow seating on the covered patio, a perfect intimate spot for

smaller band performances. Sandii Castleberry, Master of Ceremonies.

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Jeff Hamilton Trio, Paul Carman and Fourbits, Carol Welsman Quartet,

Barnaby Finch & the Straight Jackets, Robin Adler and the Mutts of the Planet

Sunday – 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Geoffrey Keezer / Peter Sprague Quartet, Rob Thorsen Quintet featuring Gilbert Castellanos,

Bob Mamet Trio, The Hot Club of Idyllwild, The Idyllwild Arts Alumni Trio of Four

THE FRENCH QUARTER. A New Orleans-style open-air bistro for dancing, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, waitress

service. Master of Ceremonies: Greg Jones.

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Greg Jones Band, Bonne Musique Zydeco Band, Change Required, Rocky Zharp, P.S. Blues Band

Sunday – 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Chuck Alvarez Band, P.S. Blues Band, Greg Jones Band, Rocky Zharp