Jazz in the Pines (JITP) has been a popular event in Idyllwild for over two decades. Until last year, many came to the mountains to enjoy the amazing world of jazz while perusing the many vendors and dancing areas that were available for all attendees on the scenic Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) campus. 

However, after a 2019 hiatus, the IAA and JITP founder Marshall Hawkins realized they had drifted away from the mission of focusing on the students. 

Instead, it had become a separate jazz festival that was less associated with the school. 

Rose Colella, special events manager for the office of the president, said, “Ultimately, this festival is in service to the students of Idyllwild Arts, and the funds raised from Jazz in the Pines directly result in the jazz education of Idyllwild Arts aspiring young musicians.” 

While JITP was already being reimagined for 2020, COVID-19 has caused even more changes.

Jazz in the Pines returns this year from July 5-17.
Photo courtesy of Idyllwild Arts Academy

“Before the virus hit, we had made some really exciting plans for the festival this year,” Colella said. “The festival was originally supposed to be a two-week festival occurring during the same two-week period of our summer jazz intensive for teens. Now that we’ve needed to reimagine for 2020, we’ve taken much of the original idea online.”

During a normal summer, there are typically about 70 students who attend the summer jazz intensive. Those students, under non-COVID-19 circumstances, would have been on campus taking master classes, rehearsing and learning from jazz faculty. 

“Then they also would be experiencing a jazz festival at which they themselves would be performing alongside some of the country’s top jazz artists,” Colella explained.

While much of this will hopefully happen in 2021, most of the event this year will be held virtually. However, some of the information has yet to be announced. 

“We have some exciting events that we can’t reveal yet, but the festival will be a combination of online performances and ‘in conversation’ series streaming live on the Idyllwild Arts Facebook page, in-person events at live venues and open master classes for jazz enthusiasts to enjoy as a part of the summer jazz intensive throughout the two weeks,” Colella explained. 

The Euphoria Brass Band will kick off the festival performing live at Ferro on July 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. The Marshall Hawkins Trio featuring Paul Carman and Barnaby Finch will perform live at Ferro July 7 and 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. Live jazz music is also scheduled at Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery on July 11 and 12.

“Our featured artist is John Daversa, who is a Grammy Award-winning trumpet player,” Colella said. “We have legendary bassist Marshall Hawkins, who formerly played with Miles Davis. We have New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher, as well as San Diego guitarist Bob Boss and we’ll be live streaming from famous artists’ homes and clubs all over the world.”

One big change is that the JITP festival has gone from two days to two weeks. JITP will run July 5-17. The schedule will be on the website at www.jazzinthepines.com.

“The mission statement we crafted for Jazz in the Pines is that it supports and empowers the students of Idyllwild Arts through an inter-generational teaching artist model, anchored in the strategies of jazz music and the artistry of its greatest practitioners,” Colella said.