Despite fire, the show must go on

Jazz in the Pines festival celebrates 25 years

■ Chronicle News Staff

One of the most festive jazz experiences in the city of Idyllwild will be celebrating a quarter century of success. Despite being temporarily evacuated due to the Cranston fire, Jazz in the Pines will be hosting its celebratory event up in the mountain area from Aug. 10-12. The show must go on!
The jazz festival held for Idyllwild Arts scholarships kicked off in 1994 and has only prospered since then. “Just the fact that we’ve survived 25 years speaks for itself,” says Marshall Hawkins, co-founder and music director of Jazz in the Pines who has worked with the likes of Roberta Flack and Miles Davis.
Early on, “There was no fencing and only one sheriff on horseback. A lot of people who came just wandered in from the grotto,” recalls Bob Boss, guitarist and Idyllwild Arts instructor. Now, after over two decades of success, setup for 1,500 people is in place for the special event next weekend.
Despite the festival’s success, the goal isn’t to make money but instead to teach and share with people the true American art form of jazz. “There are no books that can teach this kind of music,” Hawkins emphasizes. “You have to learn by example. And every musician has something to offer.”
Casey Abrams, an Idyllwild Arts graduate, went on to be a finalist on the tenth season of American Idol. Abrams, along with other successful graduates and artists, will play this year at Jazz in the Pines.
For more information on the festival, to purchase tickets, and to check out the 2018 lineup visit

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