The Idyllwild Arts Foundation presentation of the Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines, featuring various genres of blues-based jazz and works by more than two dozen bands with art, food and breathtaking majestic pines as a backdrop and lot’s of cool fresh air.
The Idyllwild Art Campus was temporarily evacuated due to the Cranston Fire. Many feared Jazz in the Pines Festival would have to be cancelled. But thanks to the hard work and invaluable help from over 1,400 fire fighters, the campus was saved. This year is the Silver Anniversary of the Festival and it will go on as planned. The difference this year is the Jazz Festival will be much more than just a celebration of music. It’s a celebration of survival.
President and Head of School Pamela Jordan of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, which produces Jazz in the Pines as a fundraiser, said “This special year now takes on a new level of significance as our community will gather to celebrate our own fortitude, and that of the over 1,400 firefighters who valiantly battled the Cranston Fire to protect us”
The festival opens at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 11, 2018.
Some of this years performers will be
Saturday, August 11
11:00 – 12:15 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – French Quarter
Ruby and the Red Hots
Ruby and the Red Hots is a San Diego-based rockin’ blues, R&B, funk, and jazz band. For over 25 years their earth-shaking music has made audiences all over the U.S. and abroad simmer as they’ve performed arrangements of classics as well as original compositions. Ruby (Etoile Ruby Presnell), with her unique and powerful voice, beauty, and sensual stage presence, is known as the “first-class sultry lady of blues.”
12:45 – 2:00 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – Main Stage
The Chase Jackson Sextet
This year, one of the new groups at the festival will be the Chase Jackson Sextet. While he will be new to this stage, Jackson is already a popular jazz musician. He has several awards from the Berklee Jazz Workshop, a popular venue for Idyllwild Arts jazz students.
2:30 – 3:45 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – Main Stage
Evan Christopher Clarinet Road
Christopher is recognized for his embrace of the early jazz legacies of New Orleans clarinetists Lorenzo Tio Jr., Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, and Johnny Dodds. Christopher is an Idyllwild Arts Academy elder statesman as one of the school’s first jazz graduates and student of jazz faculty elder statesman Marshall Hawkins. He toured with singer-songwriter A.J. Croce in the early 1990s and eventually joined the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, where he appeared nightly as their featured clarinetist. Christopher is permanently based in New Orleans, but is a charter member of the Seahawk Modern Jazz Orchestra based in Southern California. Evan will be joined be fellow at Idyllwild Arts Academy graduate and Grammy-winning trombonist Jason Jackson.
2:00 – 3:30 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – French Quarter
Euphoria Brass Band
Euphoria Brass Band is a San Diego-based musical collective that serves up a contemporary mix of old school New Orleans traditional brass band jazz, funky street beats, and new school edginess with a West Coast feeling. They recall the early days of New Orleans street bands. Euphoria Brass Band was created in 2011 by New Orleans transplants Ron Bocian and David Bandrowski and local jazz radio DJ Drew Miller. They quickly assembled a top-notch, hard-hitting horn section: Steve Ebner (trumpet), April West (trombone), David Jackson (tenor sax), J.P. Balmat (baritone and alto sax, clarinet), and Wayne Rice (sousaphone). Euphoria Brass Band was nominated five years in a row for various San Diego Music Awards. Embracing the exciting spirit of improvisation with a hard funk edge, Euphoria Brass Band has become known for their incendiary high-energy shows, guaranteed to get a crowd smiling, dancing, and having a good time.
4:15 – 5:30 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – Main Stage
Graham Dechter – A Quartet feat featuring John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and Tamir Hendelman
Graham Dechter plays with the kind of swinging authority and seasoned maturity that belies his youth. The Los Angeles native shows a deep reverence for the jazz guitar tradition in his warm-toned renditions of ballads, bossas, bebop, and blues. A formidable soloist and consummate accompanist, he imbues standards with rare enthusiasm and an inherent bluesiness while carving his own path with affecting original compositions.
Sunday, August 12
1030 – 11:45 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – French Quarter
Chuck Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based guitarist/singer/songwriter with roots in blues-rock, who has also earned a reputation for R&B, light jazz, and Americana. Alvarez has composed for nine musicals for national and international audiences.
10:45 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – Stephens Hall
Jazzgrass creates an unusual blend of jazz and bluegrass instruments in surprising yet delightful combinations. A cello plays duet with the mandolin, a trumpet and trombone horn section backs up a banjo, a saxophone and a guitar rip out smooth and engaging solos. The tempo ranges from upbeat stomping to mellow swing. The improvisations in these tunes catch the expression of free spirit. In 1999, Idyllwild resident Barnaby Finch put the band together to honor the newer and more progressive side of Bluegrass music. In 2011, he recruited some talented locals to play with him. Don Reed is a virtuoso on mandolin, dobro, and guitar. Sam Zorn, on fiddle, covers everything from jazz to Celtic music. On bass is Bill Saitta, one of the busiest musicians in the Desert, and drummer Jeff Olson also plays with David Benoit. Pianist Barnaby Finch, formerly music director and touring member of Lee Ritenour’s band, has played with Ronnie Laws, Alphonse Mouzon, Boz Scaggs, and Lionel Richie. His piano was featured on the Lionel Richie/Diana Ross hit, “Endless Love.” From 1982 to 1989, Barnaby toured with George Benson, for whom he was conductor and musical director from 1987 to 1989.
4:15 – 5:30 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines – Main Stage
Casey Abrams featuring special guest Haley Reinhart
Casey Abrams’ story is that of a born natural. But it’s also the story of a person who studied diligently and worked hard, striving toward his dream of a life in music. Casey’s childhood resonated with music. Mother Pamela Pierce is a screenwriter and teacher, plays piano and sings. Father Ira Abrams taught at Idyllwild Arts
Academy. At age ten his family moved to Idyllwild and Casey attended the Idyllwild Summer Arts program prior to enrolling in the Academy. He gained proficiency on guitar, upright bass, cello, drums and the sitar. He credits his jazz and upright bass instructor, the
legendary Marshall Hawkins, for helping him develop into the musician he is today. Casey tried out for and won a spot on American Idol, describing the experience as his ticket to getting his foot in the door. Not long after his Idol experience, Casey found himself in London recording his debut album, working with renowned producer Martin Terefe. Even though his prodigious artistic gifts and wide-screen creative vision augur many great things in the future, his ambition at heart remains very simple: to make music that people love.