Casey Abrams. File photo
The 20th Jazz in the Pines will feature Idyllwild’s Casey Abrams on Sunday, Aug. 18. Abrams returns to his Idyllwild home and will perform in the Holmes Amphitheatre at noon, according to Jazz Chair Marsha Lytle.

The two-day jazz festival’s schedule is nearly complete. Besides Abrams on Sunday, Izzy Chait and then the Amina Figarova Sextet will entertain the audience on the Amphitheatre’s grassy slope.

Denise Donatelli. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Chait is a jazz vocalist, whose professional career began in the 1960s during his stint in the Marines. Then it was interrupted for 25 years as he developed his antique and auctioneer business. In 2001, he released his first album and now appears throughout Southern California belting out the classic jazz standards such as “All Of Me,” “Blues In The Night,” “All The Way” and Gershwin’s songs.

The Amina Figarova Sextet will bring international jazz to the amphitheatre. Amina was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan, and her husband, Bart, a flutist, is from Belgium. They treat the audience to jazz’s international feel, which they have shared with jazz fans at Newport, New Orleans, and New York, where they now reside.

Figarova is a pianist and composer of many jazz pieces.

Percussionist Clayton Cameron. Photo by Marshall Smith

Closing the festival and the amphitheatre will be San Diego’s Euphoria Brass Band, which is only two years old. They combine New Orleans tradition with West Coast attitude. It’s an eight-piece band with horns, percussion and reeds.

On Saturday, Harvey Mason’s Chameleon Project takes the main stage. Mason, the original and current drummer in Fourplay, brings Chameleon to Idyllwild with Jimmy Haslip on bass, Patrice Rushen on keys, Bill Summers on percussion and one the best contemporary jazz saxophonists Azar Lawrence, who has been in Idyllwild before.

“We’re definitely not stuck in a bebop or the smooth jazz zone,” Mason says, then adds with a laugh, “The audiences come and don’t know what they’re going to hear but they’ve come to trust me.”

On Saturday, vocalist Diane Schuur appears before Chameleon and the John Daversa Sextet follow.

Ray Goren picks the blues with members of his quartet. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Back for the third year will be guitarist Ray Goren and his band. Goren was only an 11-year-old when he first appeared in the Holmes Amphitheatre with the Deacon Jones Blues in 2011. Last year, he returned with his own quartet.

Both the Barn and the French Quarter will be filled with familiar sounds and some new additions. Denise Donatelli and Clayton Cameron will return in 2013. Locals Rocky Zharp, Chuck Alvarez and Change Required will again fill the French Quarter and bring the dancers to the front.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased online. Through May, there are special prices.

Trio Hot Club with Don Reed and Bill Saitta. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Either go to Town Crier website, select Marketplace and then Jazz in the Pine tickets from the dropdown window or go directly at

Or go to the Jazz in the Pines website and select Tickets.