President’s Message

Ready set go!

AUGUST 25, 26, 27, 2022

Dear Friends:

Ready set go! The Blue Jay Jazz Festival is back, bigger and better! “Come Swing with Us” August 25-27. We can’t wait to reignite the excitement on the spectacular shores of Lake Arrowhead. Three days of Refreshing, Restoring and Recalibrating the Rhythm.

Music is the great uniter. It’s the universal language that we can all understand. Music can bring back memories from childhood, first dates, friendships, a family member who has passed away, and places we have been.

Recently I ran into a festival old-timer who recalled our swinging days on the roof of Rite Aid drugstore in Blue Jay. He reminded me of those blockbuster concerts by legendary jazz violinist Lisa Haley & the Zydekats.

Lisas’ …Joyful, exotica Pop approach to Louisiana Zydeco… her one-of-a-kind cornbread voice… often cast music hungry fans into a dancing, whirling, howling dervish sending merchandise tumbling from drug store shelves below.

Our mountain community and summer concerts have evolved since those modest beginnings. We’ve moved the party lakeside to Arrowhead Lake Association’s Tavern Bay Beach Club.    And while we’ve added a few creature comforts, we’ve never lost our sense of wonder, fun camaraderie and commitment to great music.

As we refresh and restore, we must look to our mission and purpose which is to support and promote the growth of arts and music in our community and to encourage music education within our schools.

We’re thrilled to present this year’s celebration of fresh faces and old favorites. Thursday, August 25, Grammy Award nominated saxophonist Jessy J debuts with a funky, soulful Latin beat. Friday, August 26, multiple Grammy Award nominated trumpeter Ron King headlines his 17 piece big band with special guest soprano Olivia Clark, 2008 Blue Jay Jazz scholarship awardee. The highly entertaining Cal Baptist Jazz Ensemble returns with a little help from this year’s Future Generation Jazz scholars.

Back by popular demand, the Yuko Mabuchi Trio moves the party waterside to the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa for an afternoon of what a prominent jazz critic called “primal excitement”. “Every once in a blue moon an artist comes along who rocks your musical apple cart, challenges your perceptions, and reignites your deep love for live jazz.”

Our music mission could not move forward without our dedicated partners, donors, students, educators, volunteers and you our cherished fans.

On behalf of the Blue Jay Jazz family of dedicated volunteers, we thank you and look forward to seeing you soon. Straight Ahead!

Chris Levister

Chris Levister
Blue Jay Jazz Foundation – President