Barnaby Finch and friends explore the hip highs and humorous lows of jazz and country music in their annual concert to benefit the Associates of Idyllwild Arts Foundation Scholarship Fund. Tickets for the Sunday, May 31, event are $40 and are inclusive of the 11:30 a.m. brunch, at the Fireside Room in Nelson Dining Hall on the IA campus, and the 12:45 p.m. concert at Stephens Hall. All proceeds fund scholarships for IA students. Idyllwild Arts has one of the highest percentages of students on some form of scholarship aid of major private high schools.
For the afternoon’s musical highs, there is the music of Dave Grusin, pianist, composer and arranger, who has written some of the most soaring and melodic cinematic, jazz and classical crossover music available today. Academy Award winner for the score of the “Milagro Beanfield War,” and multiple Academy Award nominee for scores for “Tootsie,” “The Graduate,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “On Golden Pond,” Grusin is noted for his piano-based scores — deft, intelligent and brilliantly orchestrated. Grusin also is a multiple Grammy Award winner, including one for Best Album for Original Background Score for a Motion Picture or Television for “The Fabulous Baker Boys.”
For this first set, Finch helms on keyboards, with David Hughes on bass, Jeff Olson on drums and Craig Yancey on flute and sax. “The second half will be a radical departure,” said Finch. “We’ll play all Hank Williams.” In this set, Finch and Olson are joined by Anne Finch on bass, Lennie “Hank” Hansell on pedal-steel guitar and Don Reed on mandolin. For the good old country fun of it, for brows both high and low of those in attendance, Anne will sing “The Trailer Song,” and Barnaby will inhabit “Cherry in My Beer,” “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” and “Jambalaya.”
Hank Williams is regarded as one of the most influential singers and songwriters of the 20th century. He recorded 35 singles that placed in the top 10 of Billboard Country and Western and 11 that ranked as number one hits. Among his biggest hits were “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Finch promises a Sunday afternoon of exquisite and uplifting Grusin and foot stompin’ and tear flowin’ Williams.
Tickets for the event are available by contacting Carol Simonek at [email protected] or by calling (310) 982-3020.