Friday, November 6, 2009

Smooth Jazz stars shone on Santa Catalina Island

Catalina Island Casino Ballroom

The stars of Smooth Jazz shone in the Avalon Casino Ballroom on Catalina Island at the 23rd staging of the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival that is held each year over the first three weekends of October.

Organised and produced by Art Good, host of the syndicated JazzTrax radio show, the crowd that included this Blogger sailed across from the Californian mainland on the Catalina Express to imbibe on the very best of Smooth Jazz (California is awash in Smooth Jazz).

Although not a huge fan of Smooth Jazz, the show was a treat in itself and what stood out most was the high quality musicianship of all who mounted the ballroom stage. Not a misnomer, no dice roll, no gambling occurs in the The Avalon Casino Ballroom, a circular, 12-story building perch at the edge of Avalon harbour.

This year Catalina JazzTrax dates were October 2-18 and Good billed some 30 acts over the three weekends. Headliners of the multiple venue series included Marc Antoine, Peter White, Norman Brown, Nick Colionne, Eric Darius, George Duke, Kyle Eastwood (Clint's son), Gregg Karukas, Earl Klugh, Phillip 'Doc' Martin, Keiko Matsui, Pieces of Dream, and Najee.

We got to see former baseball star cum saxophonist Bernie Williams, guitarist Craig Sharmat, saxophonist Jackiem Joyner and show stopping saxman Kim Waters (who passengers applauded on the boat back to the mainland).

Offbeat highly recommends this beautiful Catalina Island and the 24th Annual Catalina JazzTrax Festival to be held First 3 Weekends of October 2010.

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