A JAZZY MOUNTAIN STANDARD: Many a concerned eye turned to the mountain villages of San Jacinto during the fast-moving Mountain Fire in July. Idyllwild, like its neighboring communities, was evacuated July 18, which prompted many low-landers to check in on friends, businesses, and the fate of the summertime celebrations the area is known for. One event that received a number of "you doing okay?" calls was Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines, a late-summer sound fest that, yep, puts the emphasis on smooth grooves of a sax-sweet, rhythm-happy sort. Dine in the Pines and an arts and crafts fair round out the weekend.
GOOD NEWS: Jazz in the Pines reported during the fires that the festival would move forward, as planned on Saturday, Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18. In fact, this year, which is the 20th anniversary for the music party, is set to be extra sweet: Firefighters and EMTs will receive a thank you from organizers in the form of free admission. And that's all firefighters and EMTs, not just those men and women who set out to strike down the Mountain Fire.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Tunes, tunes, tunes, eating, and more tunes. Jazz legend Diane Schuur, Harvey Mason's Chameleon Project, and the Euphoria Brass Band'll play the main stage over the weekender, but there are several more outfits on the line-up. Oh, and let's mention that you'll be outside, among the cedars and pines; "Jazz in the Pines" isn't simply a cute name for the poster. A one-day ticket is $65. You'll get a lot of music for that, but, better yet, you'll get to enjoy a community that came through an intense time, with the proverbial flying colors. The sense of joy and relief, and the desire to raise the roof, will be palpable.