Taking a short drive—barely an hour from my home in Rancho Mirage—through the San Jacinto Mountains transports me from my beloved Palm Springs Valley desert into a cool Alpine mountain wonderland. If you’re in the area this summer (specifically Friday through Sunday, August 14 – 16), be sure to head on up to Idyllwild, where you’ll have the opportunity to partake in the time-honored tradition known as “Jazz in the Pines.”
Presented by the Idyllwild Arts Foundation and celebrating 22 years of jazz, blues, and R&B, this year’s affair offers festival-goers more than two dozen bands and musical artists performing at venues that include the parachute-covered Main Stage, the French Quarter, and two indoor performance spaces on the campus of the Foundation’s residential performing arts high school, the Idyllwild Arts Academy.
The weekend starts Friday with a Patrons’ VIP Dinner Party, and continues Saturday and Sunday with two days of internationally acclaimed musicians wowing the crowds with their work—all for a single admission fee (children under 12 free accompanied by an adult). And in between sets, be sure to browse the Festival Marketplace, where you’ll find branded tee-shirts, hats, and posters, and arts and crafts created by the area’s many artists. Of course, food and beverages are also available!
I’ve been a fan of this festival for eons, never missing an opportunity to take in the cool mountain air, celebrate jazz, and thank my lucky stars that I live in such a perfect place that I can take advantage of all my SoCal locale has to offer.