Orinda Jazz Festival May Expand Next Year

A two-day event is possible, says organizer; potential partner organizations are interested.

Organizer Beau Behan is still buzzing from the recent Orinda Jazz Festival, and the wheels are turning for the next one — the third annual in 2013.

The one-day event Sept. 30 at the Orinda Library auditorium benefited the Orinda Arts Council Community Programs. It drew some 300 attendees.

Next year, the event will expand to two days to accommodate more free musical workshops, and additional programming, Behan said. There's a prospect of expansion, too, with various Bay Area performing arts organizations approaching Orinda Jazz Festival organizers about incorporating their programs.

“Seeing the kids’ eyes glitter with excitement was priceless,” said Behan, who writes film reviews for NBC Bay Area, and writes blog reviews for Patch. Behan launched the first festival in 2011 with flutist Carol Alban, who has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

“We definitely would like to bring something back to the community for the tremendous support that we have received," he said. "We feel that these free musical clinics (taught by music pros at the jazz festival) are one of the best ways to show our most heartfelt gratitude to all.”

Alban, Grammy winning Turtle Island Quartet violinist Mads Tolling and two-time Grammy winner and guitar great Alex De Grassi headlined this year.

“This year's festival is a testament to young people's desire to learn more about jazz,” Behan said. “The majority of the (workshop) attendees were young, and they stayed on to enjoy the performances.”

The lineup included celebrated Latin jazz icon Rene Escovedo on drums and percussion. Also taking part were

  •    Bassist Marc Levine,
  •     Pianist and Jazzschool faculty member, Ben FlintSinger/songwriter Stephanie Bruce
  •     Guitarist Josh Workman,
  •     Vocalist Simon Russell (“Groovality”)
  •     Bassist Aaron Germain,
  •     Drummer Deszon Claiborne.

KRON TV personality Stanley Roberts emceed.

For information, email to OrindaJazz@gmail.com.


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