Mile High Cafe will host its own mini-jazz festival of sorts during Idyllwild’s Jazz in the Pines weekend Aug. 17 and 18 with two special dinner shows featuring Palm Springs singer/pianist Derrik Lewis and an impressive list of friends, including world-class musicians Jeff Stover on bass and Don Rice on tenor sax, and special guest vocalists Perry Wood, Beverly Jensen, Paul Elia, Jaci Davis and the Desert Blend Vocal Quartet. The music featured will be light jazz and music from “The Great American Songbook.”
Lewis has an impressive resume that includes a 12-year career as a Hollywood actor, with dozens of performances in motion pictures, soundtracks, stage plays and musicals, plus classic ’60s TV shows like “My Three Sons,” “Route 66,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Monkees,” and a stint as Lt. O’Brien on the “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” TV series. He has performed internationally as a pianist/singer in hotels, nightclubs and on 12 major cruise ships throughout the world.
Moving to Palm Springs, he created the Musical Chairs Concert Series that he has produced and hosted for the past 12 years and was recently chosen as one of the “101 Most Influential People in the Coachella Valley” by Palm Springs Magazine. He is now in his fourth year performing as The Derrik Lewis Trio at the trendy Tropicale restaurant and hosts a monthly invited singer’s showcase at Azul Tapas Lounge, both in Palm Springs. Derrik also performs solo piano on weekends, Saturday nights and Sunday brunches, at the Mile High Cafe.
“This is a first for the Mile High Cafe,” explained owner Nam Park. “We hired The Derrik Lewis Trio specifically for Jazz in the Pines weekend. People of all ages may enjoy the smooth jazz and American classics the trio plays.
And in addition to participating in the Jazz in the Pines Patron’s Dinner on Friday evening, Mile High Cafe will be serving a special jazz festival menu created especially for the weekend. “Our staff is excited about this special weekend,” Park exclaimed. “We are ready.”
Visiting musicians are also invited to “jam” on the restaurants’ piano and guitar. The cafe also plans extended hours” 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The music can be heard from 6 p.m. to closing both days. There is no cover charge.
Reservations are strongly suggested. Call (951) 659-2008.