One of my favorite things to do every summer is dine at Bayside Restaurant on a Friday evening, then take their complimentary shuttle down the street to the Hyatt Regency to enjoy one of the performances in the Hyatt’s Summer Concert Series.
This year is a bit different. The Summer Concert Series is cancelled, but dinner and live music is still on tap, thanks to the new Summer Jazz Festival at Bayside Restaurant.
The Irvine Barclay Theatre, renowned for its annual jazz series that brings the best jazz artists to the Barclay stage (thanks to the efforts of Barclay President Jerry Mandel, himself an accomplished jazz saxophone player), has partnered with Bayside on this Saturday afternoon series that starts August 15 and runs through September 26 (Except Sept. 9—Labor Day weekend).
Mandel has managed to coax some impressive jazz talent to take part in this series, although it doesn’t take much to convince musicians to come to Newport Beach for an al fresco musical showcase.
The events are ticketed, and the ticket price includes a three-course lunch with a choice of eight entrees, and music. Doors open at 11 a.m. Music starts at 12 p.m.
The concerts, and lunch, take place outside on Bayside’s new covered patio.
Prime Patio Seating is $90. Premier Plus Seating is $135, with tables nearest to the stage, and includes a complimentary glass of red or white wine.
The price is all-inclusive of lunch, tax, tip and music. Complimentary self and valet parking available.
Bayside Restaurant’s outdoor patio is set up for social distancing. They have been following all state guidelines for safe outdoor dining. A mask must be worn when entering, going to and from your table for restrooms, socializing or leaving. While seated, masks are optional.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.BaysideRestaurant.com.
August 15: Sara Gazarek Quartet
Graced with an impeccable voice, Sara Gazarek is one of the leading lights of an impressive new generation of jazz vocalists. Her career has been the picture of success – highlighted by five acclaimed albums, an ardent fanbase, enthusiastic reviews and collaborations with such luminaries as Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Billy Childs and Larry Goldings. Her latest double Grammy-nominated album, Thirsty Ghost, “Distills everything appealing about Gazarek into an intense and heady brew.” (JazzTimes)
August 22: Eric Marienthal
Sax player Eric Marienthal started his professional career with famed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt. He has since gone on to perform in over 80 different countries, record 14 solo CD’s and play on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. Eric won two Grammy Awards and has seven nominations as a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. He has performed with myriad artists, including Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, David Benoit, The Rippingtons, The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Patti Austin, Lou Rawls, David Lee Roth, The Yellowjackets, B.B. King, Ramsey Louis, Patti Labelle and Olivia Newton-John. Nine of the songs recorded by Eric have made it to the top 10 of the National Contemporary Jazz Radio Charts and three have made it to No.1. Eric was voted as being one of the year’s “Favorite Alto Sax Players” in the JAZZIZ Magazine Reader’s Poll along with David Sanborn and Phil Woods.
August 29: Josh Nelson Quartet
Pianist-composer-bandleader Josh Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, George Mraz, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers, Peter Erskine and has toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole for six years. His own recordings, beginning with 2004’s Anticipation, have received international acclaim. His follow-up, Let it Go, was hailed by Jazz Times, All About Jazz and Jazz Review as a fully-realized breakthrough album. Nelson’s next album, 2009’s I Hear a Rhapsody, had him re-imagining Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme from Chinatown,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” and included seven powerful originals. With 2011’s sci-fi-influenced Discoveries, Nelson introduced his Discovery Project, an immersive multi-media presentation combining video, performance art, light and art installations with his original music.
September 12: John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton & Graham Dechter
John Clayton is a natural-born multi-tasker, excelling as a composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator and, yes, extraordinary bassist. With a Grammy on his shelf and eight additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah and Charles Aznavour vie for a spot on his crowded calendar.
Originality is what Jeff Hamilton brings to the groups he performs with and is one of the reasons he is in constant demand. In addition to performing with his trio and co-leading The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Jeff is on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Rosemary Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Mel Torme, George Shearing and more.
Guitarist Graham Dechter is one of the most important young players on the jazz scene. He is currently featured with The Eliane Elias Quartet and The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. His two releases as a leader, Right on Time and Takin’ It There are critically acclaimed.
September 19: Anthony Wilson
Guitarist and composer Anthony Wilson is known for an extensive body of musical work that moves fluidly across genres. An inventive soloist and sensitive accompanist, he has been a member of Diana Krall’s quartet since 2001, after joining her for a series of concerts at the Olympia Theater, which became the Grammy Award-winning recording and concert film, Live in Paris (2002). Over the past two decades, Wilson has joined a diverse roster of jazz masters on their recordings and performances, including Ron Carter, Mose Allison, Bobby Hutcherson, Madeleine Peyroux, Joe Sample, Harold Land and Al Jarreau. While Anthony is firmly rooted in the jazz idiom, he pivots with ease into other genres, having contributed his instrumental and improvisational authority to albums by pop music legends Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Aaron Neville and Barbra Streisand.
September 26: Jeff Hamilton Trio with Akiko Tsuruga
Jeff Hamilton has received rave reviews for his dynamic drumming. Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times described Jeff’s work with Oscar Peterson as “the Los Angeles-based drummer whose intelligent backing and spirited solo work met Peterson’s customarily high standards….” Jeff Bradley (Denver Post) stated that Jeff “brought the crowd to its feet with his amazing hand-drumming, soft and understated, yet as riveting and rewarding as any drum solo you’ve heard.”
Akiko Tsuruga has ten albums as a leader to her credit. Her debut album in the US, “Sweet and Funky”, was selected as a “Best album of 2007” in DOWNBEAT Magazine. Akiko has been a regular in the DOWNBEAT polls since 2008- culminating this year with the 65th Annual Critics Poll, coming in at #2 in the “Rising Star-Organ” category. Hot House Magazine has named her’Best Organ” in the 2017 Readers Poll. Her albums have constantly placed in the top ten on the National Radio Jazz Chart.
Performers are subject to change.