The 2014 Jazz in the Pines will be familiar to long-time aficionados of local and straight-ahead jazz. Last week, Anne Erikson, president of the Associates of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation, announced the chairs for the August 2014 event — the 21st Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines.
She and her associates colleague Pam Goldwasser will be joined by Anne Finch to chair the popular jazz festival. Finch is returning the second time to assist this entertaining and increasingly popular fundraiser for the Idyllwild Arts Academy. She chaired the festival from 2006 to 2007 and also in 2010. Now, after a three-year hiatus, she is volunteering her help and experience again.
“I’m happy to help and excited,” she said. “Between Anne, Pam and myself, we’ll groom someone to take on the 2015 fest.”
Knowing the stress and time commitment, she is not alone this year. Husband Barnaby, a well-known and popular keyboardist, has also agreed to secure the musicians for the festival.
Also, Finch confirmed that another local favorite, Marshall Hawkins, bassist, will be returning to his role of music director. In response to an inquiry from Town Crier General Counsel Jack Clark, Hawkins said, “I’m back.”
These are not the only familiar musicians who will be back. Finch acknowledged that the big name and nationally popular jazz musicians are costly and do not significantly improve the festival results.
“We’re going back to people willing to commit in February and support the school,” she added. While no musicians have been contacted yet, Finch did say they will possibly approach Pancho Sanchez, Yves Evans, Sherry Williams, and alumni such as Christopher Evans and Jason Jackson. Pianist Harry Pickens is another possibility, she said, “There are so many good people willing to help.”
While the top of the organization is now set, the co-chairs are still working on filling several of the committee chair positions.
The upcoming 21st festival will be Aug. 16 and 17, and the annual Patron’s Dinner is planned for Friday, Aug. 15.