April West swings the trombone during the Euphoria Brass Band performance in the French Quarter Sunday at the jazz fest. Photo by J.P. Crumrine
April West swings the trombone during the Euphoria Brass Band performance in the French Quarter Sunday at the jazz fest. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

The performers for the 21st Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines, Aug. 16 and 17, have been announced.

“This is the return of Marshall Hawkins,” said Anne Finch, chair of the popular jazz festival. “It’s a tribute. I’m thrilled.”

Many of the performers are either Idyllwild Arts alumni or students of the renowned jazz performer and teacher Hawkins, or his long-time friends and colleagues.

For example, Evan Christopher, the New Orleans clarinetist, is returning to the main stage on Saturday, Aug. 16, this year. Christopher, a 1987 graduate of Idyllwild Arts, has performed in many of the past jazz festivals.

Another well-known and popular alumni will be Casey Abrams, who will team with Hawkins in the Holmes Amphitheatre. They will close the 2014 festival Sunday, Aug. 17.

The very popular and audience favorite Yve Evans will open the Holmes music on Saturday.

With only four performances per venue per day, the audience will hear more from each musician. Finch also plans to stagger the performances so that attendees will have more time to change venues in order to hear their favorites.

Hawkins’ favorite young pianist, Joshua White, will be in Stephens Hall. This year the festival brings vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, an alumna of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Other popular performers, such as pianist Harry Pickens and bassist Henry Franklin, return this year. San Diego’s Euphoria Brass Band, and Ruby Presnell will be playing both days, and, Peter Sprague also returns.

Pickens will be joined in Stephens Hall with long-time friend Hawkins both days. In November, Finch promised to try to attract Pickens’ return and she was successful.

Franklin’s Band has appeared at the jazz fest several times in the past, but not recently.

The Euphoria Brass Band complements the tradition of a New Orleans street band with the modern rhythms of West Coast jazz.

Ruby and the Red Hots perform at Friday night’s Patron’s Dinner. “Dance and music will return to the dinner. It will be much more like the festival,” said Finch, who added that Friday’s event will be outdoors under the parachute at the French Quarter.

Ruby Presnell, along with the Red Hots, will perform Saturday in the French Quarter and Presnell’s other group, Ruby Blue, will be on the main stage Sunday.

On Saturday in the hall, Robin Adler will provide the vocals and Sunday, Sherry Williams will sing.

Local favorites include Chuck Alvarez’s Band, Paul Carman’s Quarket, the Straight Jackets, the Greg Jones Band and the Black Swan Blues featuring Bill Saitta and Don Reed.

The 2014 jazz fest will continue the Sunday morning with gospel singers in the Holmes Amphitheatre. This year, the Voices of Praise gospel group will entertain the congregation of jazz aficionados.

Even with all the high-profile, and nationally and regionally known jazz musicians, Finch felt her bookings have established a frugal production. “When you have Los Angeles nearby, a music Mecca, you have great options,” she said. “I’m excited, it’s all terrific and will be a great festival.”

Jazz in the Pines schedule

Saturday, Aug. 16
Main Stage
Yve Evans and Company
Evan Christopher
Dave Garfield and The Afro-Cuban Project
Euphoria Brass Band

French Quarter
Euphoria Brass Band
Black Swan Blues featuring Bill Saitta and Don Reed
Ruby and The Red Hots
The Chuck Alvarez Band

Stephens Hall
The Straight Jackets
Paul Carman’s Quarket Plus One
Joshua White Band featuring Johnaye Kendrick
Harry Pickens Trio featuring Robin Adler and Marshall Hawkins

Sunday, Aug 17
Main Stage
Voices of Praise, Gospel Group
Deanna Bogart
Ruby Blue
Casey Abrams and Marshall Hawkins

French Quarter
The Big Richards
The Greg Jones Band
Stars On The Water
Peter Sprague R&B featuring Leonard Patton

Stephens Hall
Jazz Grass
The Peter Sprague String Consort
The Harry Pickens Trio featuring Sherry Williams and Marshall Hawkins
The Henry Franklin Band