Gordon Goodwin leading the Little Phat Band at the 2011 Jazz in the Pines Festival. File photo

Headliners for the 19th Annual Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines will be Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Saturday, Aug. 25, and Brian Bromberg, Sunday, Aug. 26.


Around these familiar jazz icons, Artistic Director Bubba Jackson has produced a festival replete with a variety of jazz sounds — both new and returning. More than 25 different groups and soloists — musicians and vocalists— will be performing at one of the festival’s three venues.

Some of the performers appearing for the first time in Idyllwild include Kenny Burrell, Janis Mann, the Mahesh Quartet, Tony Moore with Lori Jenaire, Clayton Cameron and the Bonne Musique Zydeco Band.

For those who wish to hear more of their long-time favorites, Rocky Zharp, Chuck Alvarez, Barnaby Finch and Idyllwild Arts students and alumni will be featured both days in the Barn and the French Quarter.

Goodwin’s first Jazz Fest appearance was last year with the Little Phat Band. Its popularity brings him back. This year the saxophonist and pianist returns with a much larger backup. The Big Phat Band includes 18 jazz musicians on Saturday on the Holmes Amphitheatre stage.

Bromberg brings his basses to Idyllwild for the first time. His jazz music incorporates the diversity of bass — from acoustic bass to electric bass, piccolo bass to synthesizer bass.

Bromberg has released his own albums, received Grammy nominations and played with many great jazz musicians from Gerry Mulligan to Lionel Hampton and Lee Rittenour.

Just before Goodwin on Saturday, Kenny Burrell, noted jazz guitarist, will make his inaugural Idyllwild appearance. Burrell, well known for his bebop and blues, brings it all to the Holmes. Burrell knows his music, not just the sheets and sounds. He is currently Director of Jazz Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jazz vocalist Mary Stallings, accompanied by the Eric Reed Trio, will be coming from San Francisco to entertain Southern California jazz aficionados. Stallings has been singing jazz for decades but has not recorded often. She is a frequent performer at the Monterey Jazz Festival and other major jazz events to the north.

“I know who she is and am very glad she’s willing to come,” said Jazz Fest Chair Marsha Lytle.

Besides bringing in new musicians, the Jazz Committee is also making it easier for desert residents to attend the festival.

This year, you can leave the driving to the festival. For only $30 per person round trip, the JAZZ TRANS will transport attendees to and from the event with pickups in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

This offer is only available for Saturday, Aug. 25. Ticket purchase are available online only at www.idyllwild.com. Click on “Tickets.”

“Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines” kicks off with an opening night gala Patron’s Dinner Dance reception on Friday, Aug. 24. All of the festivities take place on the campus of the Idyllwild Arts Academy

For tickets and additional information click here or call the Hotline at (951) 500-4090.