Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival

Gualala Arts presents

15th Anniversary Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival


April-May, 2018

Multiple venues.

For ticket prices, see each event listing.


More details to come! For a look back at last year’s festival click here.



Presented by Gualala Arts and taking place during the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Appreciation Month of April, this highly regarded festival captures inspired, original jazz art work, whale education, jazz films, poetry and jazz, an annual Chowder Challenge and tasting and live music in atmospheric and beautiful settings, conducive to a special coastal experience. The venues include wineries and restaurants, inns from Timber Cove to Point Arena, a wine bar, casino, the classically restored Arena Theater and the Gualala Arts Center nestled in the coastal redwoods.

Entertainment, inspiration and education, the uplifting goals of this Festival, are epitomized by outreach to local students through school presentations. These have included both whale and jazz oriented programs tailored to encourage youthful enthusiasm for both.

Jazz as defined by indigenous and spontaneous melodic and rhythmic improvisation is indeed a vital, essential and hugely significant cultural art form, and is unique to the American heritage, as evidenced by the recent gala opening of the prestigious SF Jazz Center. All styles of this musical expression are presented at this Festival.

We are honored by your attendance, as the Festival’s life force is dependent upon spirited support and appreciation. We love and welcome your interest and participation!

Fred Adler, Festival Music Coordinator
Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival Committee:
David “Sus” Susalla, Fred Adler, Angel Jan Harris


Whale and Jazz Event Listing to Come


  • Three Bay Area virtuoso jazz vibists on one stage!
  • Featuring the Festival Youth Discovery, 16-year-old Yami Schwartz of Israel
  • A concert in loving memory of Peter Norville, nephew of legendary vibist, Red Norvo

The Main Event: “Historic Vibes Summit”, the 2018 Whale and Jazz Festival Gualala Arts Main Event,  features jazz vibists Roger Glenn, Tommy Kessecker, and Yancie Taylor! Joining them are drummer Leon Joyce, pianist Greg Hester and bassist Pierre Archain, of France.  Also playing with these exceptional artists, introducing the 2018 Festival Youth Discovery, Yami Schwartz, 16, of Israel and Palo Alto.

Yami Schwartz, 2018 Festival Youth Discovery.


15th Annual Whale and Jazz Chowder Challenge

          Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale and Jazz Festival  presents

Jazz Concert & Chowder tasting, featuring Barnebey’s Hot Four!

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm

Coleman Auditorium

$25 in advance, plus $5 day of, (for 15 tasting tickets & commemorative glass). Free admission for music only.

15th Annual Whale and Jazz Chowder Challenge Application.

15th annual Whale and Jazz Chowder Challenge Application (Word Doc).


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