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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Third Annual Redwood Coast
Whale & Jazz Festival

April 1-3, 2005

Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival logo

Produced by
Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce
& Gualala Arts Center

The northern California Coast is a prime area for watching the migration of Gray Whales, and whale festivals abound each spring. On the northern edge of Sonoma County and the southern edge of Mendocino County lies the Redwood Coast, whose 3rd Annual Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival combines whale watching with the finest in jazz entertainment, culinary delights and more. In 2005, the three-day festival takes place Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3rd at various Redwood Coast locations, centered in Gualala, CA.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, April 1st

Whale spouting Jazz Dinner & Jazz ~ St. Orres Restaurant, Gualala, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Kicking off the weekend's festivities is Dinner & Jazz at St. Orres restaurant, a local landmark with its Russian-style, copper-domed towers and multi-story, plant-filled dining room. Executive Chef Rosemary Campiformio will be pairing her award-winning North Coast Cuisine with the mellow Jazz stylings of acclaimed Bay Area composer/pianist Susan Sutton, who will be joined by Steve Webber on acoustic bass for a special evening combining the finest in food with the finest in jazz entertainment. $40 price fixed menu includes 3-courses. Appetizers and desserts are à la carte. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are recommended. Please call St. Orres at 707-884-3335. MC/VI accepted.

Saturday, April 2nd

Whale spouting Jazz Whale Watching, Point Arena Lighthouse, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Visit the Point Arena Historic Lighthouse all weekend long for some of the best whale watching on the coast. On Saturday, experts will give talks on the gray whale migration, marine mammals and lighthouse history. Climb to the top of the tower; visit the Fog Signal Museum with its 300-gallon salt water aquarium and tide pool display. Admission, $5 Adults, $2 Children (12 years and under), Lighthouse members free.

Whale spouting Jazz Whale Watching Walks, Gualala, 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM

Another opportunity to see migrating whales is off the sandbar at Gualala Point Regional Park in Gualala Bay. Gray whale cows will often bring their calves quite close to shore. On Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM and again at 3:00 PM, docents will be leading walks (approximately 1 hr. each) from the Park Visitor's Center to the Beach (a 2-mile gentle hike, round trip) and will discuss the whales and other wildlife found in and around the park and Redwood Coast environs, such as sea lions, harbor seals, river otter, osprey, heron, egret, pelicans, gulls, osprey, white tail deer, opossum, skunk, fox and more. There is lots of parking within the park for a $3.00 per vehicle day use fee. Pay envelopes at entrance.

Whale spouting Jazz Chowder Challenge & Jazz Concert, Gualala Arts Center, 11:00 - 3:00 PM

Saturday's fun begins with the 3rd Annual Seafood Chowder Challenge, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event is geared to all ages as local restaurants and individuals vie for the title of Best Chowder in two categories (Seafood Open and the Traditional New England Clam) with "People's Choice" voting as well as judging by a panel of "celebrity judges." There will also be a tasting of Mendocino and Sonoma County wines and microbrews.

The Mendocino Coast Jazz Trio, consisting of Terry Simcik on guitar, Scott Harris on tenor sax/clarinet and Russell Clark on acoustic bass, perform free to the public from 12:00 - 3:00 during the tastings. The $20 admission includes a choice of commemorative Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival beer or wine glass, plus tickets that can be used for the chowder tasting, the wine and microbrew tasting, fresh-baked breads from local bakeries and other soft beverages. Tickets for the Chowder Challenge alone will also be available at the door. Tickets may be purchased in advance. Gualala Arts Center. (Call 707-884-1138, MC/VI accepted.)

Whale spouting Jazz Headliner Concert ~ Gualala Arts Center, 6:30 PM

Saturday night tops off with "The Main Event in Two Acts" at the Gualala Arts Center. Act I leads off with dynamic headliner group The San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet (Director Gini Wilson "The Duchess" on piano, Steve Heckman on tenor, soprano and baritone sax/flute, Pat Klobas on acoustic bass and Ron Marabuto on drums, plus Tommy Kesecker on vibes/marimba, (returning from last year's Festival by popular demand!) The group will perform sultry and evocative original compositions.

After intermission, Act II begins . . . opening with A Poetry Tribute to the Legendary John Coltrane by Blake More accompanied by Heckman on tenor sax, followed by SF's premier jazz vocalist Kenny Washington with the Bay Area World Class Jazz Quintet featuring SFCJQ plus Kesecker on vibes/marimba performing standards, classics, blues, ballads and scat! Fred Adler (KTDE: 100.5 FM) will MC the concert. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Non-reserved Cabaret-style seating. Gourmet "savories and sweets" by the Culinary Arts Guild along with fine Mendocino and Sonoma county wines and microbrews will be served before the show and during intermission. Advance sale tickets are $20, $25 at the door (if available) at the following outlets:

  • Gualala Arts Center or by phone 707-884-1138 (MC/VI)
  • The Dolphin, Downtown, Gualala (MC/VI)
  • Violet's Boutique, Cypress Village, Gualala (Cash & Checks only)

Sunday, April 3rd

Whale spouting Jazz Brunch & Jazz ~ The Gualala Hotel, Gualala, 11:00 AM - 3 PM

On Sunday, April 3rd, the Gualala Hotel Restaurant is featuring a Special Brunch Buffet served in both dining rooms from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Diners will be entertained by pianist supreme Eric Shifrin, playing swing, stride, boogie-woogie, New Orleans and Latin rhythms on The Hotel's vintage piano. The regular breakfast menu is also available from 8:00 - 10:00 AM. Brunch Buffet includes a complimentary Mimosa and Coffee or Tea.

Whale spouting Jazz Sunset & Jazz ~ Top of the Cliff Restaurant in Seacliff Center, Gualala, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

The final event of this weekend of Whales and Jazz is Sunset & Jazz at Top of the Cliff, where the whales swim by the picture windows and view of the Gualala River and Bay. Chef John Ihorn and Owner/Bartender Don Garibaldi will be your hosts for an evening of fine dining and the Top of the Cliff Jazz Trio; Harrison Goldberg on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, Phillip van Gelder on guitar, and Don Watanabi on acoustic bass. The evening's three course menu is prix fixe at $35* including the jazz entertainment. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are recommended. Please call Top of the Cliff at 707-884-1539. MC/VI accepted. Full bar is available. *Dinner price is exclusive of beverages, tax & gratuity.

Tickets for Saturday, April 2nd
Chowder Challenge, Tastings
and Evening Concert

Gualala Arts Center
  Festival Music Coordinator
Fred Adler ~ The Tide
KTDE: 100.5 FM

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.