For a 32nd consecutive October the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival will be held …26 miles across the Sea. In the historic 1929 Avalon Ballroom, looking out to sea. High Up inside the Casino, built by chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley in 1929.
For 2 decades the most famous Big Bands in America played the Ballroom stage through the 1930’s and 1940’s. Now JazzTrax has presented the most famous names in contemporary smooth jazz annually each October from that same stage for 3 decades plus.
This October’s two Weekends are Thursday through Sunday October 11-14 and Thursday through Sunday October 18-21.Opening Weekend includes such legendary jazz instrumentalists as keyboardist David Benoit, french classical guitarist Marc Antoine, the 3rd generation Japanese-American East L.A. Band Hiroshima,Toronto rumba guitarist Jesse Cook, saxophonist Najee, former Prince and dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer.
Also young break-outs: Woodstock singer Lindsey Webster, saxophonist Vincent Ingala, James Brown Band trumpeter Willie Bradley, guitarist Adam Hawley, saxophonist Jazmin Ghent and always a band one, not even JazzTrax had heard of when the year began, always breaking someone new, this fall, Houston’s Rads Krusaders, mentored by the late legend Joe Sample. All weekend concerts are High Up in the Avalon Ballroom with it’s sweeping outside deck, just outside it’s french doors, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But each weekend begins with an intimate 470 seat Unplugged Under the Stars outdoor concert on the Beach at Descanso. Former Kiluaea band leader and keyboardist Daniel Ho opens everything Thursday Oct. 11th at 6 pm with his Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele. Daniel has won 6 Grammy’s and been nominated 10 times. Famed British Guitarist Peter White will follow. Thursdays at JazzTrax are designed for an entire evening of dining, drinks and musicon the beach, beginning at 6 pm.
Closing Weekend of JazzTrax on the Island stars saxophonist Richard Elliot who once Para-sailed past the Casino playing his sax for his festival encore. Also Detroit guitarist Tim Bowman, violinist Josh Vietti, The Euro All Stars with a little bit of Carolina: swedish keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen, Budapest Hungary’s Peter “Peet” Ferencz the leader of Peet Project and Carolina and former Prince saxophonist Marcus Anderson. And 2 Huge Island Debuts. After 30 years trying to get her here, Singer Basia is finally coming. Plus on that same Saturday 1st time here current break-out NYC violinist Damien Escobar. A blast from the past, keyboardist Dan Siegel, break-out keyboardist Skinny Hightower, Columbus Ohio’s Urban Jazz Coalition. And the artist no one had ever heard of when this year began, from Walnut Creek, CA, saxophonist Jeff Ryan who’s very 1st radio single went to the top of the Billboard charts in Summer.
For JazzTrax Final Weekend on Thursday Evening Under the Stars on Descanso Beach. At 6 pm it’s a CD Release Party for guitarist and scatter extraordinaire Steve Oliver and his new ‘Illuminate’ CD.Followed with darkness by lovely japanese keyboardist Keiko Matsui.
And always the Saturday Night JazzTrax AfterParties at Descanso Beach Club. Available food and full bar and DJ Jonathan Phillips. Relaxin’ or Dancing’ on the Beach till 1 a.m. No Ticket Required just 5 minutes up the ocean front boardwalk from the Casino.
JazzTrax Festival Goers are coming to Catalina Island from all parts of America. Most for the entire weekend but many DayTripping over on Saturdays and Sundays when Catalina Express offers a late boat after final performance back to Long Beach.
JazzTrax Festival Tickets are available on-line at www.JazzTrax.com or by phone at 866-Trax Tix (866-872-9849). Opening Weekend, Thursday Evening is Sold Out and Saturday Oct. 13th bothAfternoon and Evening Sessions are nearing full capacity. Tickets will be available at the Casino Box Office on any sessions that are not sold out.
Closing Weekend has the best options still available for All Sessions, Hotels and Boats. There ARE Hotel Rooms and Rental Houses still available for BOTH JazzTrax Weekends. Links for Overnight Accomodations and Catalina Express 1 hour boats to the Island are at www.JazzTrax.com.
The 2018 JazzTrax Festival is being brought to you by Sapporo Beer and Alaska Airlines. The 2018 JazzTrax Festival Program can be read in full on-line at www.JazzTrax.com