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The Stars of Smooth Jazz return to the Avalon Casino Ballroom on Catalina Island

Art Good has done it again by bringing a great lineup to Catalina for the annual festival. Many of us are fortunate enough to listen to Art's radio program each week. The radio program features music and interviews with many of the top smooth jazz musicians in the country. The show is a treat in itself , but each year in October these same featured jazz artists assemble in the Avalon Casino Ballroom on Santa Catalina for three days of super music.

This year the dates were October 2- 4 and 9- 11. There are rumors that next year it will be held on three weekends. In addition to this great Fall event , Art produces musical cruises and ski trips which allow up close and personal interaction with the stars. If you have the opportunity you must avail yourself to one of these experiences. This is our 7th year in attendance at the Fall spectacular and I'm hoping for many more.

The Stars Appeared in the Casino all Weekend ............WOW!

The stage was mounted by super stars such as Keiko and Kazu Matsui, Joe Mc Bride, Pamela Williams, Richard Smith, Joyce Cooling, Bobby Caldwell, Dan Siegal, Wayman Tisdale, Chris Standring, Marc Antoine, Jesse Cook, Brian Culbertson, Marion Meadows and Khani Cole. Other excellent musicians appeared in the bands with the stars. Some regulars played with their bands and others just came to sit in for this gala event.

Just as anyone does, I have my favorites.

Jesse Cook

This French born son of two Canadians was raised in France and Spain and now resides in Toronto, Canada. As Jesse himself says, "My music doesn't fit into the normal format of jazz ." Nonetheless, his fans love the electrifying Flamenco style Jazz Guitar . Most people have difficulty sitting through the performance since they need to move their body parts more to fully enjoy his music.

Bobby Caldwell

What a voice for heavens sake. This year Bobby has done an album with a big band. And what a band it is. This group really brought the nostalgia of "The Big Band" sound back to Avalon . It was the last performance of the weekend. What an excellent finale . I was really happy to be a part of this, since it was a once in a lifetime event. Bobby has proclaimed that he will be going forward with some new material after the first of the year. I can't wait for that either.

Keiko Matsui

Her beautiful jazz piano arrangements are awesome. Everyone marvels at her craftsmanship and polish as she breezes across the ivories. As the number one selling female instrumentalist in 1997, she earns respect from everyone. When she plays the keyboard, it is sometimes is hard to believe that she has only two hands. She and her husband, Kazu, maintain homes in Japan and California.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jesse Cook, Bobby Caldwell and Keiko Matsui
  • Concert Date: 10/2/1998
  • Subtitle: 12th Annual Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival, Awesome As Usual
  • Venue: Avalon Casino Ballroom
  • City State Country: Santa Catalina, Catalina Island
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