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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Eighth Annual Redwood Coast
Whale & Jazz Festival

April 1 - 24, 2010

Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival logo

2010 Events  -   Map  -   Tickets  -   About W&J  -   Sponsors  -   Volunteers  -   Staff  -   Past Festivals


Festival Producer

David 'Sus' Susalla, Executive Director of Gualala Arts

Festival Music Coordinator

Fred Adler - KTDE 100.5 FM

Festival Consultant

Jan Harris

Festival Chowder Challenge Coordinator

Jim Grenwelge

Arena Theater Concert Coordinator

Cornelia Reynolds, Board of Directors: Programming Chair

Festival Staff & Support

Barbara Pratt, Gualala Arts Publicity Coordinator & Festival Photographer
Scott Chieffo, Gualala Arts Operations Manager
Liz Redfield, Gualala Arts Accounting
Gualala Arts Culinary Arts Guild
Sound Engineer: Robert Hantzsche
Sound Technician: Wayne Harris
Webmaster & Lighting Technician: Dave Jordan
Piano Technician: Dr. Will Reed
Stage Hand & General Laborer: Chad DeGarmo

Festival Volunteers

Harriet Wright, Bruce Jones, Marianne Tan
Michele Marshall, Linda Weinstein

Chowder Challenge Judges

Fred Adler, Laurie Kreger, Hall Kelley

Festival Committee

David 'Sus' Susalla David "Sus" Susalla
Executive Director
Gualala Arts

Office: (707) 884-1138 Ext. 12
Fax: (707) 884-3038

David "Sus" Susalla was born in the middle of the Detroit riots during the "Summer of Love." During his youth in a Detroit suburb, he attended numerous theater, jazz and chamber music concerts, thus fueling a passion that has developed into a challenging career.

He put himself through accounting school at Ferris State University in Michigan by working at Roostertail, the largest catering facility in the mid-west. After traveling the USA and visiting 48 of the 50 states, he settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was employed for seven years as Controller for Protected Investors of America, a San Francisco independent securities broker/dealer firm before moving to Gualala in 2001.

Becoming Operations Manager for the Gualala Arts Center in 2002 helped prepare Sus for his current role as Executive Director since September 2004. One of his goals is to unite our bi-county "Mendonoma" region with its diverse population through the arts. The Gualala Arts Center books over 1700 calendar events each year, operating with a core staff of 4 full time and 2 part time employees and 300 dedicated volunteers.

Sus and his wife, Harmony, own and operate an organic textile business called Harmony Art, whose mission is to revolutionize the textile industry into becoming more sustainable through environmental and social change. In his leisure time(!), you can find him in the kitchen preparing culinary treats for his many houseguests, behind the lens of a camera or editing digital audio, photo and video files.

Jan Harris Jan Harris
Festival Consultant

Office: (707) 884-4231

Jan Harris is a California native who grew up in the SF Bay Area, living in and around Marin County until moving to Gualala in 1979. She loves this area and hopes that the Redwood "Mendonoma" Coast is where she will remain to the end of her days.

During her early years on the coast she directed the Coast Community Chorus, several Musical Theatre Workshops, two 'book' musicals: Of Thee I Sing and Bye Bye Birdie, three separate productions of Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera Amahl & the Night Visitors (in which she also played the leading role of Amahl's mother), and the dramatic Michael Cristofer play Shadowbox.

As former Executive Director of the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce, she served the Chamber from 1995 to 2007 in various capacities. However, her background and passion is theater and music as both performer and director.

She also produced/directed the first Gualala Arts' Midsummer Faire (1994), a Renaissance-style fair in Bower Park as part of Art in the Redwoods, and "Shakespeare-in-the-Park," complete with fully-staged, condensed versions of Taming of the Shrew (director & Katherine), Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet (Gertrude). Harris also played leading roles in Peter Shaffer's White Liars and Noel Coward's Song at Twilight under other coastal directors. In the summer of 1993, she was costume designer of Gloriana Opera Company's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and husband Wayne constructed the show's armor and footgear. Jan made a "comeback" to performing as one of the divas in the acclaimed "Broadway Babes are Back" Cabaret Revue at Gualala Arts Center (2007).

Harris also owns Celebration Connection, offering services as non-denominational minister, wedding/event planner and wedding/event decorator. For the last 15 years as partner with husband, Wayne, she has owned and operated Adventure Rents Canoes & Kayaks on the Gualala River. Currently, she is serving as Consultant to the Whale & Jazz Festival and other live entertainment events at the Arts Center. Eventually, she hopes to resume both performing and directing theatrical ventures here on the coast.

Fred Adler Fred Adler — Festival Music Coordinator
KTDE 100.5 FM
Fax: 707.884.1229 (KTDE)

During the seminal jazz period of the '50s and '60s, Fred Adler frequented U.S. and European clubs and festivals, and was witness to multiple live performances of such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and others.

By special invitation, he presented a three hour live special on Pacifica Radio (KPFA FM, Berkeley, CA) on the day of John Coltrane's death, July 17, 1967. During the '70s, Adler taught jazz history and appreciation seminars in Berkeley and Marin County.

His radio programs include:

  • Coastal Interviews - KTDE 100.5 FM, Gualala, CA
  • Jukebox Saturday Night - KTDE 100.5 FM, Gualala, CA
  • Sunday Morning Classical - KTDE 100.5 FM, Gualala, CA
  • Sunday Musical Journey- KTDE 100.5 FM, Gualala, CA
  • Sunday Evening Jazz - KZYX/Z FM Public Radio, Philo, CA
  • Monday Jazz Moods - KMFB FM, Fort Bragg, CA

Adler has conducted interviews with many jazz greats including Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Tierney Sutton and Larry Vuckovich. He has been the producer and emcee of numerous Sonoma and Mendocino Coast Jazz events since 1998, and has been the Festival Music Coordinator and emcee of the Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival since 2004. With the exception of the Chamber Music Series, Adler is also the Gualala Arts Music Coordinator.

In recent years, he was also instrumental in bringing Blues Legend Charlie Musselwhite, Blues Harmonica Virtuoso Mark Hummel and the great freedom singer, composer and guitarist Richie Havens to the Arena Theater, the Redwood "Mendonoma" Coast's Art Deco-style live performing arts venue and film palace.

In the fall of 2006, Adler brought Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth to the Gualala Arts Center for a special one-night only performance, and in the summer of 2007 arranged for Maria Muldaur to grace the Gualala Arts Center stage for a one-night only performance.

In 2010, Fred Adler was honored by pianist / composer Larry Vuckovich for his unique contributions to the jazz world. The world premiere of Adler's Allegro & Adagio, which was composed in his honor, was performed for a special Gualala Arts concert entitled Latin and West Coast Sounds: Larry Vuckovich International Sextet.

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.