A lone saxophone wails on a sweltering summer day and jazz fills the air as thick as honey. But the scene is not a hot sidewalk in New Orleans. It’s a sunny garden in Woodside, where guests sip wine and beer as they enjoy world-renowned jazz acts and gourmet lunches. Jazz at Filoli begins its 21st season of summer concerts this Father’s Day, June 19.
Filoli is a historic country estate housing an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century English antiques and 16 acres of English Renaissance gardens. A Jazz at Filoli ticket includes free parking, snacks, and drinks, as well as all-day admission. Concertgoers can explore the estate before heading to the outdoor venue, which seats up to 650 guests and is surrounded by shady oak trees.
The season opens with a lively ragtime performance by Duke Heitger and Butch Thompson’s New Orleans Wanderers. Thompson is best known for his role as house pianist for 12 years on NPR’s “A Prarie Home Companion.”
Visitors should look forward to Canadian chanteuse Sophie Milman, who performs on August 14. The 28-year-old vocalist’s velvety voice lends a sumptuous jazz sentiment to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and her rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” would bring any jazz lover to their knees. On her latest album, Take Love Easy, she covers everyone from Simon to Joni Mitchell to Duke Ellington.
Another season highlight includes composer and pianist Dick Hyman, an 84-year-old legend whose resumé boasts film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances, and more than 100 albums. Hyman’s piano mastery spans genres from classical to pop (check out what may well be the funkiest synthesizer solo ever by clicking here).
The season’s roster is rounded out by pianist Terry Disley, saxophonist Scott Hamilton and guitarist John Pizzarelli.
Tickets for each concert are $50 per show for Filoli members and $60 for non-members. A subscription to the entire season is $275 for members and $335 for non-members. Boxed lunches can be purchased in advance for $15 each, or $90 for the entire season. The gourmet meals are unique for each show, and offer delectable bites like steak sandwiches with crimini mushroom spread and lentil salad with summer vegetables and Gruyere cheese.
Jazz at Filoli 2011 Lineup:
June 19: Duke Heitger and Butch Thompson’s New Orleans Wanderers
July 10: Terry Disley: A Tribute to Dave Brubeck and Vince Guaraldi
July 31: Dick Hyman
August 14: Sophie Milman
August 28: Scott Hamilton Quintet
September 18: John Pizzarelli