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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Redwood Coast
Whale & Jazz Festival

March 30 - April 2, 2006

Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival

The 2006 4th Annual Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival (co-produced by Gualala Arts and the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce) takes place over the first weekend in April, beginning March 30th through April 2nd in The Sea Ranch, Gualala and Point Arena.

The heart of the Festival takes place Saturday, April 1st (no fooling!) at the Gualala Arts Center with events chosen by Festival Music Coordinator, Fred Adler, KTDE 100.5 FM. - See below

Several festival events take place at other venues, "Poetry & Jazz" (Thursday, March 30 at Point Arena CityArt), "Dinner & Jazz" (Friday, April 1st at St. Orres), "Brunch & Jazz" (Sunday, April 2nd - TBA) and "Sunset & Jazz" (Sunday, April 2nd - Oceansong) plus Whale Watching with walks and talks by expert docents at The Sea Ranch Lodge and Point Arena Lighthouse all weekend.

Chowder Challenge, with Barnebey's Hot Four

Saturday, April 1st, noon - 3 p.m.

Tom Barnebey
Tom Barnebey
Saturday's fun begins with the 4th Annual seafood Chowder Challenge, from Noon to 3 p.m. at Gualala Arts Center. This event is geared to all ages as local restaurant and amateur chefs vie for the title of "Best Chowder" in two categories (Traditional New England Clam and a "Seafood Open" Class) with judging by a "celebrity" panel as well as a "People's Choice" vote and award for "Most Chowder Served". Along with the chowders, will also be a tasting of Mendocino and Sonoma County wines and Microbrews.

Traditional New Orleans jazz will be performed by Barnebey's Hot Four of Sonoma County. This formidable combo consists of Tom Barnebey, cornet and trombone; Carl Lunsford, banjo and guitar (formerly with Turk Murphy's famous S.F. band); Marty Eagers, string bass and ragtime piano, and Robert Young on reeds and cornet.

Barnebey had appeared for many years in Gualala with his former Jazz Salvation Co. band, sponsored by Gualala Lions Club. The Hot Four perform free to the public from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. during the tastings and is great for New Orleans traditional dancing! The $20 admission includes a choice of a commemorative Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival beer or wine glass, plus 15 tickets that can be used for the chowder tasting, the wine and microbrew tasting, fresh-baked breads from local bakeries and other soft beverages. Patrons may purchase tickets for just the Chowder tasting alone, or additional tickets at $1 each.

Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival
Main Event

The Michael O'Neill Quintet

featuring Kenny Washington
with special guest Tommy Kesecker (second set)

Saturday, April 1st, 7:30 p.m.
Doors open 6:30 p.m.
Seating 7:00 p.m. (non-reserved)

Michael O'Neill Kenny Washington at the 2005 Whale & Jazz Festival Tommy Kesecker
Michael O'Neill Kenny Washington Tommy Kesecker

Saturday night tops off with the Main Event at Gualala Arts Center. The first set begins with The Michael O'Neill Quintet featuring San Francisco's renowned jazz vocalist and scat master, Kenny Washington, returning to the festival by popular demand.

One of the Bay Area's most sought after jazz groups, the quintet is composed of arranger/composer Michael O'Neill on reeds; U.C. Berkeley Jazz Band conductor Steve Campos on trumpet and flugelhorn (toured with the stellar Woody Herman and Stan Kenton jazz orchestras in the mid 70's; virtuoso L. A. based pianist Michael Bluestein, and the impeccable rhythm section of bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Alan Hall.

Steve Campos Michael Bluestein Peter Barshay Alan Hall
Steve Campos Michael Bluestein Peter Barshay Alan Hall

Vibraharp wizard Tommy Kesecker returns to the festival for his third appearance, joining The O'Neill Quintet for the second set following intermission. The varied textured and riveting ensemble sounds will present both original and standard compositions plus ballads. Fred Adler will emcee the concert.

For the Main Event, doors open to the Arts Center foyer at 6:30 p.m. and main auditorium at 7:00 PM for non-reserved, cabaret-style seating. New this year are a limited number of Main Event VIP Sponsor Tables for $500 each that include admission and select seating for four, with 4 food and 4 beverage tickets, 4 beer or wine glasses, 2 autographed CD's and Festival Posters, and 2 Festival Logo Tote Bags. Sponsor tables must be purchased by March 15th for inclusion in the program.

Regular admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door, if available. Before the concert and during intermission, a Martini Bar, fine wines and microbrews as well as gourmet savory and sweet Tapas plates by Gualala Arts' Culinary Arts Guild will be served in the foyer.

For full details, including photos and bios of the artists, Festival lineup, lodging packages and more, please visit the Whale & Jazz Festival website at Advance Sale tickets are available for sale from Gualala Arts Center at 707-884-1138 (MC/VI accepted) and at local outlets: The Dolphin Gallery, Violet's Boutique, Four-Eyed Frog Books and The Sea Trader in Gualala. Past Main Event concerts have sold out! Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended!

Located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, the Arts Center is open weekdays 9 am to 4 pm, and weekends from noon to 4 pm. Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information.