I had the pleasure of experiencing the Idyllwild Jazz In The Pines Festival in two ways this year - as a guest and as a performer. If you have not experienced this great event during it's 19 year history, you owe it to yourself to check it out next year.
Three stages filled with an amazing variety of jazz and blues, Zydeco, Cajun and more. It takes place in the most beautiful setting - the campus of the Idyllwild Arts Academy. The place is so huge that you can have three bands playing outdoors simultaneously, and the sound at each stage does not interfere with the other performers! A great "French Quarter" area for dancing to the rockin' blues bands. Wonderful craft booths. The friendliest staff, and a chance to meet and greet with some great jazz artists.
This year's line-up was an outstanding collection of Los Angele's finest musicians. Besides my trio featuring Courtney Lemmon on vocals, I had a chance to see Janis Mann with an all-star band, Kenny Burrell Trio, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Mary Stallings with Eric Reed, Brian Bromberg, The Hot Club of Idyllwild, Mike Woffor and Holly Hofman, etc, etc.
The weekend capped off with two acts that really showed the variety of talent at this festival: The main stage featured and amazing latin jazz ensemble, Johnny Polanco Y Su Conjunto Amistad. At the same time at another stage was the cream of Los Angeles' Jazz Elite performing with Clayton Cameron on drums, Billy Childs on piano, Darek Oles on bass, Bob Sheppard on Tenor sax, Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet and Duane Benjamin on trombone.
If you missed our show in Idyllwild, Courtney and I are bringing it to the Hip Kitty on Saturday night, Sept. 8, and then to Vitello's in Studio City on Thursday September 29. Hope to see yo uthere, andhope to see you next summer, at the Jazz In The Pines 2013 Festival, on August 17 and 18.