The headliners for the 19th Annual Jazz in the Pines Festival will be Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band on Saturday and Brian Bromberg on Sunday. Jazz Chair Marsha Lytle and Artistic Consultant Bubba Jackson have produced a two-day lineup that mixes the familiar with the new.
Goodwin appeared last year with the Little Phat Band. Its popularity brings him back. But the saxophonist and pianist returns with a much larger backup. The Big Phat Band includes 18 jazz musicians and will headline Saturday on the Holmes Amphitheatre stage.
Bromberg and his quintet are coming to Idyllwild for the first time, but the renowned bassist has performed all over the planet with dozens of well known jazz musicians, such as Chris Botti, Dave Koz, Gerry Mulligan and Lionel Hampton.
Some of the other familiar performers who will participate in the annual August event include Robin Adler and the Mutts of the Planet, Chuck Alvarez, Barnaby Finch and the Straightjackets, Change Required and Rocky Zharp.
Sunday’s music starts with Ray Goren, the 11-year-old guitar phenomenon, who played with the Deacon Jones Blues last year. This year, he returns with his own band and opens in the amphitheatre.
Bonne Musique Zydeco Band, who also first performed here in 2011, will return this year and Sweet Baby J’ai will accompany them. They’ll be on the Amphitheatre stage Sunday following Ray Goren and then close the French Quarter in the afternoon.
“I’m going to shake up the French Quarter somewhat this year with the addition of a salsa group,” Lytle announced. The salsa group will be Johnny Polanco y Su Conjunto Amistad.
Jackson and Lytle also want attendees to hear and experience new jazz performers. Nearly a dozen groups will be at one of the three venues. Besides Bromberg, on Saturday jazz fans will be treated to jazz vocalist Janis Mann, as well as Luther Hughes and his Cannonball-Coltrane project. They are honoring the album featuring Cannonball Adderley with John Coltrane.
Another new performer will be jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, whom Lytle called, “one of the remaining elder statesmen of jazz and currently a professor at UCLA and director of the jazz studies.” Many other new performers will be seen throughout the Aug. 25 and 26 Festival.
Besides entertainment, the 2012 Jazz Committee is also planning other improvements and changes to the festival. The most visible will be the absence of the Saturday evening Jazz and Jambalaya event.
This year, the Associates have deferred to the Chamber of Commerce’s in-town concert. For tired jazz fest attendees, indefatigable Ted Cummings will have transportation available from the Idyllwild Arts campus and jazz fest parking lots to town and back after the local concert.
Tickets for both days, Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26, are $105. Single-day tickets are $60. The Patron’s Package, for $250, includes one ticket to each day of the festival, preferred parking, reserved seating in the Holmes Amphitheatre, and the Patron’s Dinner on Friday, Aug. 24.
Tickets are available for purchase online here.