Temecula’s International Jazz Festival is being produced by Jon Laskin, the executive director of Musicians Workshop, and is designed to bring Temecula’s love of jazz and musical community into the Southern California concert limelight. Presented by the City of Temecula and Paradise Chevrolet/Cadillac, the two-day event includes three separate venues, and 11 bands. The World Jazz Stage at the CRC Amphitheater includes the Bomani African Drummers, Common Sense, and Grammy Award winning Brazilian percussionist Julio Figueroa with his band. And again, the concerts are free. Music starts at 4 p.m.
The American Jazz Stage at the Promenade kicks off at 1 p.m. with the local band Savio, followed by the Mt. San Jacinto Menifee Campus Big Band at 2p.m. and Musicians Workshop Jazz Band at 3:30 p.m. Headliner Richie Cole and his band Alto Madness. Cole, the son of a New Jersey jazz club captivates audiences with his high-energy blistering bop and beautiful ballads. He’s played with the Buddy Rich Orchestra, Lionel Hampton’s band, and was music director for the Manhattan Transfer. Frequently recorded, Cole has appeared at Carnegie Hall three times as well as at a command performance for the Queen of England. Alto Madness, a four-horn group captures the big band sound with Cole’s special style.
Cybill Shepherd will perform songs from her latest album "Live at Cinegrill" Cole’s performance. Shepherd known for her television series hits "Moonlighting" and "Cybill" as well as a long list of movie credits, has performed sold out concerts around the world blending rock, blues, ballad and standards as well as her own compositions. She has recorded nine albums, including "Cybill Getz Better" with Stan Getz, "Vanilla" with Phineas Newborn Jr., "Somewhere Down the Road" featuring a title cut with Peabo Bryson, "Cybill Does It To Cole Porter," "At Long Last Love," "Talk Memphis to Me," and "Songs from the Cybill Show." Her most recent album "Live at the Cinegrill" was released in 2001.
The Elliott Caine Sextet an Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble that mixes with hard bop in the style fostered by Lee ("Sidewinder" Morgan and others on the Blue Note label in the 1960s. Caine, a top-of-the line trumpeter and his five sidemen are SoCal jazz staples appearing at the Playboy Jazz Festival as well as at the House of Blues, Jazz Bakery and the Baked Potato. The band includes tenor saxophonist, baritone saxophonist, pianist, bassist and timekeeper.
Saturday’s Festival finishes with the Les Brown Band of Renown in a dinner dance at Temeku Hills Country Club. It is the only ticketed event Saturday. Tickets are $50 and available through Cloud 9 Tickets at (909) 296-3989.
Sunday’s Festival highlight, Wine & Jazz at the Promenade in Temecula, includes music by Bandidos De Amor a guitar-quartet that has branded their sound as "California Rumba." Combining European and South American Rumba rhythm and melodies with the aggressiveness of American pop rock, the Bandidos have made a name for themselves in Hollywood circles. Their tunes can be heard on the soundtracks for "Paulie" and the DVD version of "The Mexican." Will Smith hired the band to serenade his then fiancé under her bedroom window on her birthday and they played at Entertainment Tonight’s 15th Anniversary Party for Mary Hart. The Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association will offer wine tasting. While the music is free, tasting tickets will be sold at seven for $15, which includes the souvenir glass.
Laskin expects to make a minimal profit this year of $3000 to $5000, mostly derived from the few ticketed events and sponsorships. Festival proceeds are being divided among arts groups in the valley with 25-percent of the proceeds going back to the workshop, 25-percent being donated to the Arts Council of Temecula Valley, and 50-percent being set aside to create a new non-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation - The Temecula Valley Cultural Arts & Education Center Building Foundation. The expectation is that next year the majority of the proceeds will go directly to this new group.
All concerts at the Promenade Mall and CRC are free. Contact Musicians Workshop at (909) 678-2517 or www.musiciansworkshop.org.