Written by The Jazz Gypsy
The Catalina Jazz Festival
Oct. 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 2007
Santa Catalina Island, CA
It’s easy to see why thousands continue to make the annual pilgrimage to the Catalina JazzTrax Festival on Santa Catalina Island, (usually called Catalina), just off the Southern California coastline. Definitely one of the top 10 smooth jazz festival destinations in the US, The Catalina Jazz Festival, produced by Art Good of JazzTrax, offers unparallel music, ambiance and amenities.
With sixteen days of music, thirty musicians, beautiful beachfront and mountain views, idyllic weather, shops, restaurants, and activities within short walking distance….what’s not to love? Travelers to JazzTrax can tailor their experience to fit their schedules, whether they travel to Catalina for one day, one weekend or consume the full 3-weekend series.
• Three, 3-day week-ends of music: Oct. 5-7, Oct. 12-14, Oct. 19-21
• Bonus Thursday night unplugged sessions: Oct. 4, 11, 12
The Line-Up: Thursday Night Unplugged Performances
• Oct. 4 – Ray Parker, Jr., Full B-B-Q Dinner & Bar, & Fri. morning secret tour
• Oct. 11 – Mindi Abair, Full B-B-Q Dinner & Bar, & Fri. morning secret tour
• Oct. 18 – Peter White, Full B-B-Q Dinner & Bar, & Fri. morning secret tour
The Line-Up: First Weekend, Oct. 5-7
• Oct. 5 – Paul Brown, Marion Meadows
• Oct. 6 – Jesse Jay, Nick Colionne, Nils, Candy Dulfur• Oct. 7 - Lao Tizer, David Pack, Four 80 East, Mindi Abair
The Line-Up: Second Weekend, Oct. 12-14
• Oct. 12 – Steve Oliver, Kyle Eastwood
• Oct. 13 – Jackiem Joyner, Ray Parker, Jr., Michael Lington, Lee Ritenour w/Patrice Rushen
• Oct. 14 - Oli Silk, Marion Meadows, Jesse Jay, Jazz Attack (Richard Elliott, Peter White & Rick Braun)
The Line-Up: Third Weekend, Oct. 19-21
• Oct. 19 – Lao Tizer, Tim Bowman
• Oct. 20 – Jackiem Joyner, Pieces of A Dream, Greg Karukas, Kirk Whalum
• Oct. 21 – U-Nam, Paul Jackson, Jr., Jesse Jay, Norman Brown’s Summer Storm (Norman Brown, Jeff Lorber, Marion Meadows, Peabo Bryson)
• Thursday night unplugged shows start at 8:00 (bus transportation leaves at 4:45 pm)
• Friday shows begin at 7:30 pm
• Sat. & Sun. afternoon shows are at Noon & 2:00 pm
• Sat. & Sun. evening shows are at 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm
On weekends, there’s plenty of time before shows to have a leisurely breakfast, jog up the mountain, stroll on the beach, meet friends at the Café for espresso or just sleep in.
Then there’s ample time between the afternoon & evening shows to shop the shops, have a sumptuous evening dinner, and cocktails before heading back to the Casino for the last two shows.
• Unplugged Thursday nights: $125 - $155, includes a scenic bus tour to and from Wrigley’s Ranch, special under the stars unplugged performance, dinner, & secret casino tour on Friday morning.
• First, Second or Third Week-End Series, 3-days, 10-performances on Fri., Sat. & Sun.: $119.50 - $315.00.
• Single Performances: $25.00 - $75.00, depending on seating, and day & time of performance.
• Simple, by phone: 1.866.872.9849
• Convenient on-line, see & pick your own seats: www.jazztrax.com
• Idyllic Catalina Island, 26 miles off the coast of So Cal, with mild weather, averaging between 70 – 85° during the day, with cool ocean breezes and 60 – 75° during the night.
The Music Venues:
• The Historic Wrigley Casino Ballroom
• Wrigley’s Ranch - home of the special Thursday night Unplugged Performances
• Getting To & From Catalina: Ferry, Helicopter, Private Boat or Yacht
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Save time & insure you get the time reservation you want by reserving your roundtrip ferry ride in advance at www.catalinaexpress.com or call 1.866.872.9849. Catalina Express offers 1-hour transportation from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point, CA and offers late night service to select ports during the Festival.
• Getting Around on Catalina: By foot, bicycle or golf cart rental, or Taxi
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Getting around is really easy since downtown Catalina is only 1 square mile and everything is in walking distance. For those with physical disabilities, there are two shuttle lines, one of which will take you from the center of town to the Casino for about $2. Also, Taxi’s charges by the trip, not by the passenger so grab a few friends and pay a flat rate.
• All unique boutique hotels, no chains here
• Rent a room for one, a cottage for two or a villa for 4 or more
The Jazz Gypsy Tip:
• Avalon Hotels Offer Thursday Discounted Rooms to Get You in a Night Early For Unplugged Under the Stars at Wrigley Ranch:
Catalina Island Inn
Guests attending Thursday Nights ‘Unplugged at the Wrigley Ranch" can ask for a 50% discount on that night’s hotel accommodations. Also offering a 25% discount for "One Night" hotel reservations each Sunday Night of each JazzTrax Festival Weekend. Call for reservations 1 (800)246-8134…….or 1(310) 510-1623
Pavilion Lodge and Hotel Atwater
Save 50% on Thursday Night Rooms if you stay Friday & Saturday Nights. Book On-Line
Or Call 1-800-626-1496
Seaport Village Inn
Book 3 Nights Friday, Saturday, Sunday on Any of the 3 JazzTrax Festival Weekends and get a Thursday Night room FREE, including hot breakfast. Spend 5 days and 4 nights during JazzTrax at Seaport Village Inn, starting at $359 per person (plus tax) including room with a view, roundtrip boat fare, shuttle to hotel, Champagne, and Hot Breakfast. Must reference September JazzTrax E-Mail Alert and call Reservations Staff 800-2 CATALINA 800-222-8254 or 310-510-0344. Not available when booking on-line.
Hamilton Cove Villas
Includes free golf cart with Villa. Ask about possible Thursday night discount on your Villa Rental. Each Condo has Individual Owners. If you have Friday, Saturday, Sunday hotel reservations already at a different hotel, you might ask if they’ll offer a Thursday Night discount for you.
• Beachfront Cafes, Waterfront restaurants offering countless dining options
• Get the freshest seafood, straight from the ocean that’s at your feet
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Although restaurant prices are very reasonable, if you’re staying on the island for at least a weekend, consider shopping for beverages, snacks and light food fare at the local Vons Market on Metropole Avenue, since most hotel rooms have a small fridge and microwave.
The Activities (besides the Festival):
• Shopping: Unique, one-of-a-kind stores, not your usual tourist trap shops.
• Sports: Golf, Tennis, Bike Riding, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Horseback Riding, Parasailing
• Island Tours and Excursions
• Spa Treatments
On a budget? Not to worry. You can enjoy the Catalina JazzTrax experience for less than $100. Here’s how:
• Save on the parking fee at the Catalina Express Terminal by either having a friend drop you off and pick you up from the Terminal or carpool with friends and split the parking fee.
• Check the Catalina Express website (www.catalinaexpress.com) for discount coupons.
• Pack a picnic lunch in a small collapsible cooler to enjoy while on the ferry ride over to the Island or arrive early and have a picnic on the beach. (All food and beverages must be consumed before the show, since no outside food or drinks are allowed in the Casino Ballroom.)
• Purchase the most inexpensive seat, since every seat in the ballroom offers a great view.
Want to splurge? There’s plenty of opportunities for that. Here’s how:
• Arrive by private plane, yacht or helicopter.
• Rent a villa for three weeks.
• Indulge yourself daily with golf, and spa treatments.
• Purchase the best seats available for all 33 JazzTrax shows and the Wine Maker Dinners at the Country Club.
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: The “Catalina Insiders” maximize their experience at the Festival by enjoying the “bonus” JazzTrax activities:
• Thursday Night - Unplugged Performances Under the Stars at the Wrigley Ranch
• Saturday Late Afternoon - Wine Maker Dinners at the Country Club
• Each Saturday Night – FREE After Party on the Beach at Descanso
• Each Sunday Night - FREE After Parties at the Landing Courtyard
Festival Information: www.jazztrax.com
Catalina Island Info: www.catalinachamber.com
Interactive Catalina Street Map: www.catalinaclickmap.com/clickmap/clickmap.htm
Historical Information about Catalina Island: www.answers.com/topic/santa-catalina-island-california
Special Hotel Discounts: www.jazztrax.com/jazz/catalina.html#Anchor-Avalon-10518
Transportation by Ferry: www.catalinaexpress.com