Written by The Jazz Gypsy
Photos courtesy of Jazztrax.com & Catalina Island Express
Catalina Jazz Festival
Oct. 4-7, 11-14, 18-21
What do you get when you combine all the best elements of a great vacation destination with the best elements of a great smooth jazz music festival? Heaven on earth a.k.a. the Catalina Jazz Festival.
Those in the know are already packing their bags and preparing for the first weekend of the decade anniversary Catalina JazzTrax celebration that begins with an incredible slate of great musicians:
Thursday, Oct. 4th
4:45 pm - Wrigley Ranch Unplugged Session - Ray Parker, Jr.
Friday, Oct. 5th
7:30 pm & 9:00 pm shows - Paul Brown, Marion Meadows
Saturday, Oct. 6th
Noon & 2:00 pm shows - Jesse Jay, Nick Colionne
7:00 pm & 9:30 pm shows - Nils, Candy Dulfer
After Party on the beach at Descanso
Sunday, Oct. 7th
Noon & 2:00 pm shows - Lao Tizer, David Pack
7:00 pm & 9:30 pm shows - Four 80 East, Mindy Abair
After party at The Landing Courtyard
Is it too late to get a hotel?
A myth always circulates that all the best hotels are sold out months or weeks before the festival begins. However, that�s far from the case. More than 30 hotels occupy the ocean fronts and hills at Catalina, ranging from quaint bed and breakfasts to luxurious, ocean-view suites. Up-to-date hotel availability is available at www.catalinachamber.com.
What the best way to get there and back?
Catalina Island Express offers up to 30 departures daily from ports in Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point, CA. in addition to a special 11:45 pm late night ferry back to Long Beach (Downtown Landing) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night during Jazztrax. Fare prices vary according to age and senior (55+) discounts are available.
You can also enjoy priority boarding, comfortable seating in a more intimate lounge environment and a complimentary beverage with packaged snack served by cabin attendants for a $10 upgrade each way in the Commodore Lounge. Leather trimmed seats in the Lounge are wider, recline for comfort and offer individual tray tables. In addition, the Commodore Lounge�s upper level location on the JetCat Express, Starship Express and Catalina Jet catamarans offer panoramic windows for great ocean views.
Traveling in a party of up to 8? Then consider upgrading to the Captain�s Lounge for increased privacy, and exclusivity. Captain�s Lounges offer pre-boarding privileges, complimentary champagne, plush seating and amenities for just a $40 upgrade (room charge) per party over the normal fare. Catering is available for passengers traveling in the Captain�s Lounge.
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Advance ferry reservations are highly recommended as certain departure times sell out. Also, if applicable, don't forget to ask for the senior (55+) discount.