To be held over the weekend of November 7th and 8th, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., rain or shine, Rancho Mirage’s Art Affaire—a mega popular free annual event—will take place, as it always has, at the Rancho Mirage Community Park (formerly Whitewater Park) at 71560 San Jacinto Drive. This year also functions as the unveiling of the park’s new amphitheater, which comes replete with terrace seating for 600, a dramatically covered 2000-square-foot professional stage, and state-of-the-art back-of-house facilities that include public rest rooms and performer green rooms. Most people are aware that the juried fine art and music festival will boast over 100 eminent visual artists working in painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, and more. But both days, to accompany these vibrant sights for our sore eyes, there will also be musical performers.
The headliner taking the stage on Saturday, November 7th at 3:30 p.m. is saxophonist, composer, producer, and vocalist Eric Darius. Born to a Haitian father and Jamaican mother, and raised in Florida, Los Angeles-based Eric found his calling as a child. “I remember being nine years old and hearing a saxophonist play at my church,” he has said. “I instantly loved the sound… I remember being blown away by the soul and emotion of the instrument. It was as if I could almost hear the words and lyrics with each note being played.” By age 11, Eric had been recruited by Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band. With the group he toured the U.S. and ultimately played at Switzerland’s world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival.
Counting Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, Earth Wind & Fire, and Miles Davis as influences, Eric has worked with Prince, Jamie Foxx, David Foster, George Benson, Mary J. Blige, and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few. The legendary Dave Koz has said that Eric—who has six albums to his credit—fuses Jazz with Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and Rock “for a new sound that’s exciting and truly innovative.”
For more information about Eric Darius and the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, please go to //www.ranchomirageca.gov/art-affaire. And while you’re ambling through the art of Art Affaire at the event itself, don’t forget the music, and take a break to listen to the cool tunes of this Billboard chart-topper.