It'll be hard to miss saxophonist Mindi Abair at the 19th annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, but many of smooth jazz's top artists will also make appearances. And it's not just about smooth jazz anymore - also on hand will be the straight-ahead jazz of Kyle Eastwood and the chill of O'2L and Camiel.
Every year, thousands of people make the annual trek 26 miles off the Southern California coast to the island of Catalina to enjoy the music of Art Good's Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival.
This year is the festival's 19th anniversary and will offer more than 35 smooth jazz artists spread over three consecutive weekends starting Sept. 30. This year, saxophonist Mindi Abair will be the first artist to perform all three weekends at the festival. She will perform solo, with Guitars & Saxes and with Forever, For Always, For Luther. Fans will notice that Abair has ditched the streaks in her hair and is now completely blonde.
This year's show will feature a wide variety of performances ranging from the pioneers of smooth jazz to some of the newest stars of the stage. Look for such legendary groups as Hiroshima, 3rd Force and Pieces of a Dream, in addition to vocalist Bobby Caldwell.
New faces on the scene include bassist Kyle Eastwood, guitarist Nils and chill music artists Camiel and O�2L.
Package deals include Guitars & Saxes with Mindi Abair, Wayman Tisdale, Jeff Golub and Warren Hill; the Sax Pack with Kim Waters, Marion Meadows and Jeff Kashiwa; the Triad Tour with Steve Oliver, Gerald Veasley and Michael Paulo; and Forever, For Always, For Luther with Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Paul Jackson Jr. and Lalah Hathaway.
In addition, there will be a reunion show from the Hawaiian smooth jazz band Kilauea. Other artists include Soul Ballet, Bona Fide, James Vargas, Eric Darius, Najee, Euge Groove, Paul Brown, Everette Harp, Tim Bowman, Steve Cole, Gregg Karukas and Luis Villegas.
Performances will once again be aired live on www.jazztrax.com. For this year's artist lineup and ticket information, log on to www.jazztrax.com. The syndicated JazzTrax radio show this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.