The 21st Jazz in the Pines festival is history and another demonstration of the multiple talents residing on the Hill. Not only of artists and musicians, but of individuals with other talents and skills able and willing to produce a jazz fest of this stature year after year who reside here, too.
“The festival was a huge success -— the vendors did extremely well, the music was excellent, and some thought it was the best patron dinner ever.” wrote Anne Finch, one of three co-chairs of the event.
While all the co-chairs of the event — Anne Erikson, Pam Goldwasser and Finch — were very happy with the result and tired by Sunday evening, jazz aficionados were also very pleased with this year’s rendition.
“It made me remember how many talented musicians live here year-round,” noted Realtor Dora Dillman. Many of the featured artists are or were from Idyllwild, such as renowned Harry Pickens, Barnaby Finch, Don Reed, Chuck Alvarez, Paul Carman, Robin Adler, Bill Saitta and especially Marshall Hawkins.
The shift to the French Quarter for Friday’s Patrons’ Dinner was also a hit.
“I think the redesign of the French Quarter really was a successful experiment,” Erikson said in an email. “It allowed the crowd to expand and expand, as they did on all three sides, on Saturday.”
In addition, the vendors had another exceptional year.
“I heard, personally, from several long-time vendors who had their best jazz festival weekend ever in terms of sales. And, we sold completely out of 2014 wine glasses, posters and T-shirts.” commented Goldwasser. “There were about 340 volunteers this year and we want to thank each and every one of them.”
All festival days, from Friday through Sunday (Aug. 15-17), were well attended, according to Erikson. “The Patrons’ Dinner was close to being sold out … and I believe we had about 2,000 people over the two days.”
“Yes, the behind-the-scenes work is enormous, physically and mentally,” noted Goldwasser. “… I am grateful to have been a part of it all.”
This year’s surplus was “about the same as last year, or maybe a little better,” according to Erikson.
As good as the 2014 festival was, it is now a memory and attention turns toward next summer and another great jazz offering. Time is barely sufficient to recover from all the effort and energy producing one festival, and then planning begins for the next one. “Once we catch our breath, which hasn’t really happened yet, we will begin to talk about what might happen next year,” wrote Erikson, weary and satisfied.