As the new treasurer for the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce, I have taken on the task of recording the finances from the Town Jazz event that took place at the end of August.

Since I was not in town at the time, I was told of the event, as well as rumors, that I feel compelled to clear up.

The Chamber, working with Marshall Hawkins, wanted to add to the Jazz in the Pines weekend by encouraging jazz patrons to enjoy what our town had to offer in their off hours.

Last year’s event was simple, an after-hours concert at Jo’An’s with overflow seating available in Park Lane.

To increase the exposure to our town, this year’s event included musicians at four other venues. Jo’An’s remained the main venue, and agreed to allow the Chamber to charge admission at their location, as they had last year, with the money going to pay musicians and the other expenses incurred putting on any event.

Jo’An’s was the only venue that made this sacrifice, that unfortunately adversely affected their business Friday and Saturday. It appeared to some jazz lovers and local residents that Jo’An’s Restaurant was charging their customers to listen to Town Jazz while the other venues were free. This was not true.

The money collected from the sale of the wristbands sold at Jo’An’s went directly to pay the musicians playing at all the locations. Jo’An’s did not get a single cent of the wristband sales.

In fact, Jo’An’s Restaurant, along with Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe, Café Aroma, Mile High Cafe and The Creek House have generously contributed money from their own tills to bring this event to Idyllwild.

We all know that these restaurants are packed on the weekends with their regular musicians, but they wanted to contribute to a special event to benefit all of the businesses in Idyllwild.

Our goal at the Chamber was to bring extra foot traffic to Idyllwild’s shops and other businesses during Town Jazz.

We hope this clears up the misunderstanding and your input for a better Town Jazz in 2013 is always welcome.

Mimi Lamp
Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce