33rd Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival
For a 33rd consecutive October, since 1987, in the historic 1929 Avalon Ballroom, 26 miles Across the Sea on Catalina Island, again becomes the center of the Smooth Jazz Universe.
2 Consecutive Weekends
Weekend of October 10-13 — Weekend of October 17-20
The Biggest Names in Smooth Jazz stepping off boats in the tiny seaport village of Avalon for Performance after Performance after Live Performance.
The 33rd Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, created and produced by Art Good, is presented again this year by Alaska Airlines, Catalina Express, and Sapporo Beer. This year’s theme: A Commemoration of the JazzTrax Festival’s historic venue, the 1929 Avalon Ballroom, as it Celebrates its 90th Anniversary. As well as the 100th Anniversary of the PURCHASE of Catalina Island in 1919 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley.
The Avalon Ballroom’s earliest years were epic for its Saturday Night Big Band performances through the 1930’s and 1940’s, broadcast live nation-wide on CBS Radio. To commemorate THIS and its incredulous world renowned Ballroom, who’s French Doors open to an outside covered balcony that six stories high sweeps almost completely around. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Avalon Bay. JazzTrax brings The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra this October, Opening Weekend Sunday Night. Conducted by Scotty Barnhart and featuring Vocalist Carmen Bradford, this famed Orchestra, Grammy Nominated just this year, has kept up with the times, with cover tunes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and Adele. Stevie himself guests on the project as do Take 6 and more.
Closing Weekend won’t be left out of this 90th anniversary, as JazzTrax brings the multi Grammy Winning Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Friday Evening October 18th. Itself an 18 piece instrumentalist contemporary Big Band. There will be a special “TREAT” on each festival-goer’s SEAT each of those 2 evening’s to commemorate the Wrigley’s influence on JazzTrax, on Avalon, and on the Island. From that 1919 Island purchase, to the Grand 1929 Opening of the Avalon Ballroom and Wrigley Casino (never a “real casino”) a decade later. To this the 33rd consecutive October of JazzTrax, longer now than even that 2 decade historical big band era of the 30’s and 40’s. The Chicago Cubs will even be in remembrance because of their 2 decades of Spring Training on this Island, in this town during the Wrigley’s 60 year ownership of that MLB team.
Okay Count Basie and a Big Phat Band ….but who is coming from the Oh So Popular to this Generation World of Smooth Jazz. Try Boney James. Try Peter White, Rick Braun, Euge Groove. Keiko Matsui and a special 3 piece horn section. From London, Acoustic Alchemy. From Chicago, the Big Windy Cat, Nick Colionne. The stunner of last October’s festival, named the “JazzTrax Best Live Performance of 2018,” NYC violinist Damien Escobar and by DEMAND the only artist who will appear BOTH October Weekends.
As always Each Weekend an unknown Act: “Where’d you Find Him? Where did They Come From?” Ala Jesse Cook 1995 or Mindi Abair clear back in 1994. Opening Weekend this Fall it’s Johnny Britt who Sings like Marvin and plays Trumpet like Miles. The Closing Weekend Surprise a saxophonist from Destin, Florida, making his West Coast Debut and soaring up the Billboard Chart right now with his remake of ‘I’ll Never Love Again.’ Closing Song in the movie ‘A Star is Born.’
And So Many More .. The Artist Line-Up and exact Order of Performance can be seen for each Fall Weekend at www.JazzTrax.com. Always All Reserved Seating Ballroom & Beach. Select your exact seat or table and purchase online at www.JazzTrax.com, or call 866-872-9849. There are links at JazzTrax.com for Catalina Express 1 hour boats to the Island and for Hotels and Rental Houses. Always overnight rooms left on the Island although as October approaches those will take a little more work to find as the town always fills up for JazzTrax. For DayTrippers, a late night boat back to Long Beach AFTER Final Performance each Saturday and Sunday. And a Big New Beautiful Vons Grocery Store the new star on the Island.
At JazzTrax.com See Pictures Pages of past JazzTrax Festivals and it’s 3 plus decades of Artist Line-Ups. In case you might never have come before. See what the fabulous Avalon Ballroom, Town, and Island look like. Even a HUNGRY page with links to all of Avalon’s finest eateries. One Brand New restaurant offering 10% off food and non-alcoholic beverages to festival goers.
Finally, while all the weekend concerts are IN the Avalon Ballroom, unique to this Island festival, those arriving an evening early are treated to the weekend’s ONE outdoor show. Unplugged Under the Stars on Descanso Beach, a short 5 minute walk up the oceanfront boardwalk from the Catalina Casino. Now with 2 acts beginning at 6 pm each Thursday Evening. Headliners this October, Nick Colionne and Peter White. A chance to spend an entire evening, including food and drink to purchase, watching the sun go down on the Pacific and best of all, “When you wake up Friday Morning .. you are Already HERE.” A full day to experience the Island and the tiny seaport village, before the Ballroom concerts begin Friday Evening. Don’t forget the ‘No Ticket Required’ Saturday Night JazzTrax AfterParty, also at Descanso Beach Club. Dancin’ on the Beach at Midnight.
Everything you need to experience this the most unique Smooth Jazz Festival in the World is at www.JazzTrax.com.