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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Eleventh Annual Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast
Whale & Jazz Festival

March - April - May, 2014

Whale and Jazz Festival logo

2014 Events    -    About W&J    -    Sponsors    -    Staff    -    Past Festivals

Jeff Chambers at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2011 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 Little River, 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, Jan Harris

Eleventh Annual Whale & Jazz Festival program Eleventh Annual Whale & Jazz Festival program
Program Guide

PDF icon 528 KB pdf

2014 Festival schedule

Four Shillings Short Youth & Jazz: Four Shillings Short
Around the world in 30 instruments

*This event is not open to the public
Tuesday, March 25, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Old State Highway, Gualala

The Celtic/Folk/World music duo Four Shillings Short will perform a multi-cultural educational concert for local school students as part of the educational component of the Whale & Jazz Festival. This entertaining and educational session features a fantastic array of instruments including hammered & mountain dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, tinwhistles, recorders, medieval and renaissance woodwinds, north Indian sitar, Andean charango, medieval psaltery, banjo, bodhran, guitar, percussion, and even a krumhorn. This fun and informative program includes traditional music from Ireland and Scotland, India, medieval & renaissance Europe and the Americas.

Four Shillings Short Around the world in 30 instruments
A concert featuring Four Shillings Short

Tuesday, March 25, 7:00 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Old State Highway, Gualala

This family-friendly concert will follow a presentation earlier in the day of "Around the World in 30 Instruments" to local school children as part of the Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival. Tickets are $10 in advance, $5 more on the day of the performance. For advance purchase, go to Brown Paper Tickets or call them at 800-838-3006. To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala. Presented by Gualala Arts Global Harmony Season of Offerings and the Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival.

Ian Scherer St. Orres & Jazz
Ian Scherer & Steve Froberg

Friday, April 4, 6:00 & 8:00 p.m. seatings
36601 S. Highway 1, Gualala

The brilliantly spirited and dynamic guitarist, Ian Scherer, and the first-rate and versatile Steve Froberg, doubling on electric bass and guitar, will perform astounding gypsy jazz, Latin and standards. Small plates and regular 3-course menu, award-winning wine cellar in St. Orres' Russian-domed, multi-story, plant-filled, domed dining room. Full bar. Dining reservations recommended. (707) 884-3335.

Thelonious Monk Jazz Film: Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser
(1990, 90 min.)
Monday, April 7, 7:00 p.m.
Arena Theater, 214 Main St. (Highway 1), Point Arena

The subject of this essential documentary is the offbeat, innovative, enigmatic composer / pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk. Monk is the historically seminal explorative inventor of jaggedly transcendent and sometimes humorous jazz masterpieces, composer of Round Midnight, Misterioso and singular inspiration to all who have since arrived. We see his introspection and both his public and private performances and persona. A compelling original in music history is Monk, seemingly in contradiction, simultaneously whimsical and intense. This film features live performances by Monk and his band, including brief footage of the beloved John Coltrane, as well as interviews with friends and family. Film Club members: free; general admission: $10. (707) 882-3456.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project The Cove
Academy Award-Winning Dolphin Documentary

[PG-13] (2009, 92 min.)
Thursday, April 10, 7:00 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center

Spearheaded by Ric O'Barry, and told from an ocean conservationist's point of view, Academy Award winner for Best Documentary 2009 and the US Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, follows a team of activists, filmmakers and free divers as they attempt to penetrate a hidden cove in Taiji, Japan. This extraordinarily celebrated film is a call to action to halt mass dolphin slaughter where it is claimed that in this cove, 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed annually by Japan's whaling industry. Guest speaker (via Skype) Mark J. Palmer is O'Barry's Associate Director of Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project. He is also Director of Earth Island Institute's Wildlife Alive Subproject, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places throughout California and the West. Light refreshments will be served. $5 donation requested. (707) 884-1138.

Tom Barnebey of Barnebey's Hot Four Chowder & Jazz
Barnebey's Hot Four

Saturday, April 12, 11:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center

2008 Chowder Challenge: George Marshall Free concert of traditional New Orleans jazz played proudly and authentically by Barnebey's Hot Four, returning by popular demand, featuring Tom Barnebey, cornet & trombone, Robert Young, reeds & cornet, Carl Lunsford, banjo & guitar (formerly with Turk Murphy's famous SF band) and Marty Eggers, string bass, accompanying the Annual Chowder Challenge ($20 for 15 tasting tickets and commemorative glass). Free admission for music only. Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006. Gualala Arts Center (707)-884-1138.

The 44's Arena Theater & Blues
The 44's

Saturday, April 12, 8:00 p.m.
Arena Theater, 214 Main St. (Highway 1), Point Arena

LA-based The 44's are a dynamic, raw, rough 'n tough Blues / R & B band that is exploding across the current scene. Awarded Best Blues Band of 2011 by American Blues News, they create blues in the moment, consistently showing loyalty to the decades-long, legendary Blues / R & B traditions. All superb, Johnny Main, vocals / guitar; Tex Nakamura, harmonica; Mike Turturro, upright & Fender bass and Jason Lozano, drums. Bar, snack stand and dance floor open. Tickets: $20 online, (800) 838-3006, at local vendors and at the door. (707) 882-3272.

Genny Lim Poetry & Jazz,
with poet Genny Lim

Thursday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.
215 Main (Highway 1), Point Arena

Featured poet, Genny Lim, has performed in numerous jazz festivals world-wide in collaboration with such jazz legends as Max Roach, Billy Higgins and Jon Jang. A poet, award-winning playwright ("Paper Angels") and performer, she is also a former SF Art Commissioner. An open mic with improvisational jazz by superb musicians Karl Young, shakuhachi flute; Tim Mueller, guitar; James Hayes, upright bass and George Frost, drums will precede the reading. 215 Main is located in the heart of downtown Point Arena on Main St. (Highway 1). $5 donation requested; one-drink minimum. Food available. (707) 882-3215.

Kaleo Larson 215 Main & Jazz
The Kaleo Larson Quintet

Friday, April 18, 7:00 p.m.
215 Main (Highway 1), Point Arena

The Kaleo Larson Quintet, (Harrison Goldberg, reeds; Chris Doering, guitar; Keith Abrams, bass; Gabe Yanez, drums) highlights Larson's trumpet, which when flaming with abandonment, can sound like an unleashed warrior. Goldberg's reeds are notoriously almighty, the versatile Abrams lays down a richly perfect groove and the steady and forever inspired Doering and Yanez are often channeling the masters. Beer/wine bar. $8 cover. Limited seating. Food available. (707) 882-3215.

Zydeco Flames Garcia River Casino & Zydeco
Zydeco Flames

Saturday, April 19, 8:00 p.m.
22215 Windy Hollow Rd, Point Arena

The Zydeco Flames return by extreme popular demand. They have gained a reputation as the West Coast's premiere Zydeco band, with Lloyd Meadows as their lead singer, rubboard & harmonica; Frank Bohan, guitar; Bruce Gordon, accordion; Timm Walker, bass / vocals; William Allums Jr., drums. Their sizzling roots rhythms are timeless and their execution relentless, with a stunningly powerful dance groove. River Grill Stage. No cover charge. 21 and over only. Food, beverages, wine, beer and spirits available. Dancing!! (707) 467-5300

Susan Sutton Sea Ranch Lodge & Jazz
Susan Sutton & Piro Patton

Friday, April 25, 5:30 & 8:00 p.m. seatings
Black Point Grill, 60 Sea Walk Dr., The Sea Ranch

Revered for her original melodic improvisations and tender renditions of standards, keyboardist Susan Sutton is joined by the warm and captivating vibist / bassist Piro Patton of Bolinas. Witness musical magic! Performing in the Black Point Grill, with impressive sunset views, special menu, à la carte selections, award-winning wines and full bar. Dining reservations recommended. (707) 785-2371.

Mads Tolling The Whale & Jazz Main Event:
Mads Tolling's Jazz Europa

Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center

Mads Tolling, the young and charming pinnacle Danish Jazz violinist / composer and two-time Grammy Award winner, graces the Arts Center stage with his highly original and often exotic ensemble. Tolling, formerly of the Turtle Island Quartet, beautifully communicates both musically and verbally with his audiences. He will premiere his brand new composition honoring his love for our coastal splendor. The night's melodic and refined textures also feature virtuoso musicians: Tommy Kesecker, vibraharp (the long- awaited return of a previous festival favorite); Rob Reich, accordion; Dave Mac Nab, guitar; Sam Bevan, bass and Eric Garland, drums. The concert will also introduce this year's festival youth discovery, the exceptional 14-year old Santa Cruz pianist, Lucas Hahn. Ticket price, $28 advance, $5 more day of the performance. No host bar. Brown Paper Tickets: (800) 838-3006, Gualala Arts Center (707) 884-1138.

Wendy DeWitt Timber Cove Inn & Jazz
Wendy DeWitt & Kirk Harwood

Friday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.
21780 Highway 1, Timber Cove

Bay Area boogie-woogie and blues queen Wendy DeWitt performs with fire and power, shining on piano and vocals with the strong percussion of Kirk Harwood, drums, in the soaring Sequoia Lounge. The Inn is the site of Beniamino Bufano's towering, 93' obelisk, homage to peace, the Sixties and contemporary art. Á la carte selections and a special menu epitomizing farm-to-table coastal cuisine available from Alexander's Restaurant. Full bar, no cover charge; reservations recommended. (707) 847-3231.

Matt Silva Annapolis Winery & Jazz
Matt Silva Trio

Saturday, May 3, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Soda Springs & Annapolis Road, Annapolis

Master guitarist Matt Silva's impeccable fluidity and swing is often astounding. The standards and up tempo sets will also feature Matt Eackle's lyrical flute and Nick Otis' superb drums (son of R & B legend Johnny Otis!). Come enjoy the views, wines and great jazz. Bring a picnic to enjoy under the blossoming, antique apple orchard. Fine Annapolis wines available for purchase. Donation for music $5 to $25. (707) 886-5460.

Paul McCandless Arena Cove & Jazz
Paul McCandless & Will Siegel

Sunday, May 4, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Pier Chowder House & Tap Room, Wharf Bldg., Arena Cove, Point Arena

The festival is honored to present three-time nominated and three-time Grammy Award winner Paul McCandless. An expert jazz oboist and composer, his other instruments include English horn, soprano and sopranino saxophones, clarinet and penny whistle. McCandless has collaborated frequently with the famous banjo of Bela Fleck and is founder of the acclaimed group "Oregon." He will be performing his compellingly original sound with the creative guitarist, Will Siegel. Great seafood and more, overlooking historic Arena Cove. Special menu at regular prices. Full bar, domestic, imported and microbrews. Dining reservations recommended. (707) 882-3400.

Keith Abrams Bones & the Blues
Keith Abrams' Groove Factor

Friday, May 9, 7:00 p.m.
Bones Roadhouse, 39080 S. Highway 1, Gualala

The legendary Bones Roadhouse hosts the solid and soulful musicianship of Keith Abrams' Groove Factor, featuring Kaleo Larson's fiery trumpet, Paul Mueller's on-target tenor sax, Tim Mueller's creative guitar, Gabe Yanez's rhythmic drums, and Keith Abrams' dynamite bass guitar. Enjoy real Texas wood-fired barbecue, fine wines, microbrews and altered spirits. No cover charge; dining reservations recommended. (707) 884-1188.

Zida Borcich & Ira Rosenberg at Heritage House Heritage House & Jazz
Zida Borcich & Ira Rosenberg

Saturday, May 10, 6:00 & 8:00 p.m. seatings
Heritage House, 5200 N. Highway 1, Little River

The rich synergetic chemistry between Zida Borcich, vocals, and veteran Ira Rosenberg, keyboard, conjures sophisticated gentility. Zida's honest, pure and true voice hearkens back to the well-known American jazz stylists of the 1950s. Ira's consummate lyrical and inventive bop and swing accompaniment consistently radiates taste, class and deep musical knowledge. Performing in the Heritage House's newly renovated domed dining room with a menu of local farm-to-fork cuisine that will indulge your senses and revive your spirit. Full bar. Dining reservations requested. Major credit cards accepted. (707) 202-9000.

trioX'plore Dianne Neuman Gallery & Jazz

Sunday, May 11, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Cypress Village: 39102 Ocean Dr. & Highway 1, Gualala

Harrison Goldberg's unpredictable reed abstractions, Tim Mueller's ravishing kaleidoscope of endlessly inventive guitar concepts, is spiced with George Frost's intriguing percussion. The +1 to the trio is special guest David French on electric upright bass. The compelling sound of this improvisational group will envelop you as you sojourn amidst Neuman's Bohemian Gallery of eclectic, iconoclastic artists and view the May group exhibition, Imagine - Figuratively Speaking. Champagne and fun refreshments will be offered. (707) 696-5701.

Festival Sponsor:

Rams Head Realty & Rentals logo
Rams Head Realty & Rentals

Complete list of
2014 Whale & Jazz Sponsors

Past Festivals

2003 Whale & Jazz Festival: Taylor Eigsti Trio; photo credit PT Nunn
Past Festivals

"Gualala and Point Arena are truly best-kept secrets for many travelers in Mendocino County,"
said Hal Wagenet, Chair of Visit Mendocino County, the travel tourism office.
"A gorgeous coast, great hospitality, and for a musician like me the jazz is simply fantastic."

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.