Artscapes: A Jazzy Time in Newport Beach

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West Coast Jam

June arrives soon, and with it warmer weather—a perfect time for al fresco jazz concerts in Newport Beach.

Up first is the annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival, held May 31 – June 2 at the Hyatt Regency on Jamboree Road.

Enjoy three days of world-class jazz and blues from such notable names as 10-Time Grammy Award winning guitarist George Benson, Morris Day and his band The Time, West Coast Jam featuring Richard Elliot, Peter White & DW3, Grammy nominated saxophonist and flautist, Najee, Sax to the Max with Paul Taylor, Michael Lington and Vincent Ingala, and many others.

The Jazz Festival opens on Friday evening, May 31 with Sax to the Max performing in the Hyatt’s intimate amphitheater.

On Saturday, June 1, the lineup includes Morris Day and the Time, West Coast Jam, Poncho Sanchez, David Benoit and Marc Antoine, Lao Tizer Band, The Braxton Brothers, and Derek Bourdeaux.

The Jazz Festival concludes on Sunday, June 2 with George Benson, Jeffrey Osborne, Najee, Nick Colionne, Althea, Selina & Kayla, Marcus Johnson, and Oreo Divas.

Ticket are on sale now. Three-day VIP tickets are $325, single day VIP are $175. A two-day weekend general admission pass is $135, single day is $85.

For tickets and more information, visit

Then in July, it’s time for the 10th annual Sunset Jazz at Newport summer series.

Combine a summer outdoor evening and ocean views with table service offering wine and food selections together with world class jazz artists in an intimate setting, and you have the perfect recipe for a wonderful musical event.

Sunset Jazz in Newport is presented by The Jazz Cruise & Blue Note at Sea, together with jazz impresarios Joe Rothman and John McClure, who for many years have created and hosted some of the best jazz events in Southern California.

This 11-week series is held on Wednesday nights starting July 10 and concluding on September 18, at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Fashion Island. Media sponsor will be the nation’s top  jazz station, KJAZZ. Yamaha is the official piano of Sunset Jazz at Newport.

Taking place in the Marriott’s Rose Garden (and the Seaview Terrace on 7/10, 7/14 & 8/14), Sunset Jazz at Newport will present performances starting at 6 p.m. and concluding at 8:30 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with table service.

The 10th Anniversary Artist Line-up:

JULY 10: The Jazz Cruise All-stars featuring Shelly Berg, Ken Peplowski, Joe Labarbera, Ricky Woodard, Grant Geissman and Mike Gurrola.

JULY 17: The Four Freshman

JULY 24: Teka and her New Bossa Quintet

JULY 31: Champian Fulton Trio featuring Kevin Kanner, Mike Gurrola and Andy Martin

AUG. 7: Chuck Redd-Tom Scott Quintet featuring Tom Rainer, John Clayton and Matt Witek

AUG. 14: John Pizzarelli Quartet

AUG. 21: Jackie Ryan with the Bill Cunliffe Quartet

AUG. 28: Byron Stripling-Bobby Floyd Quartet

SEPT. 4: Emmet Cohen Trio with James Morrison

SEPT. 11: Barbara Morrison’s annual Birthday Celebration with The Peak Experience

SEPT. 18: The Tom Kubis Big Band

Season seats (11 concerts for the price of 10) are $299 General (open seating); $499 Blue (reserved), $628 Gold (reserved).

Individual seats: $29 General; $49 Blue; $62 for each Wednesday excep: The Four Freshmen, John Pizzarelli Quartet, Emmet Cohen Trio and The Tom Kubis Big Band: $39/53/64.

Tickets are available by calling (949) 759-5003 or going to

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