Choose your “Wild” life at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival!

Avalon Harbor at dusk on Catalina Island

Avalon Harbor at dusk on Catalina Island

By Melanie Maxwell

Of course, there is live music in the Casino Ballroom at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, Friday through Sunday.

There are also Thursday night “Unplugged” concerts at Descanso Beach (Oct. 9: saxophonist Mindi Abair; Oct. 16: British guitarist Peter White), with seating on the sand, in lawn chairs or at a private cabana.

DJ Jonathan Phillps spinning old-school dance tunes during the JazzTrax After-Party at Descanso

DJ Jonathan Phillps spinning old-school dance tunes during the JazzTrax After-Party at Descanso (photo by Pat Benter)

Then, a few minutes before the 11 o’clock hour on Saturday night things get really wild. That’s when the After-Parties at Descanso Beach start.

Festivalgoers dancing to the sounds of DJ Jonathan Phillips at the Saturday night After-Party on Descanso Beach (Photos by Pat Benter)

Festivalgoers dancing to the sounds of DJ Jonathan Phillips at the Saturday night After-Party on Descanso Beach (Photos by Pat Benter)

You can choose dancing to old-school R&B spun by DJ Jonathan Phillips alongside your fellow reveling festivalgoers until the bartenders yell, “Last call for alcohol!” Or, you can claim a seat around the fire pit a few feet from the serene sea. In either case, food can be ordered and cocktails poured and blended at the outdoor bar and restaurant under the evening sky.

Ladies having a great time at the JazzTrax After-Party (Photos by Pat Benter)

Ladies having a great time at the JazzTrax After-Party (Photos by Pat Benter)

Most likely, you’ll also encounter some of the local wildlife, mule deer, which often ramble around the beachside bash.

Friendly deer hanging out with festivalgoers at Descanso Beach (photo by Pat Benter)

Friendly deer hanging out with festivalgoers at Descanso Beach (photo by Pat Benter)

Which “wild” life do you prefer? Please post your comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Deer munching on a midnight snack, the landscape in front of the Casino (photo by Pat Benter)

Deer munching on a midnight snack, the landscape in front of the Casino (photo by Pat Benter)

The 28th Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival is scheduled for Oct. 9-12 and Oct. 16-19.  You can read about it in the current issue of Smooth Jazz News (which is also posted online at www.smoothjazznews.com), which includes our Annual Catalina Island Visitors Guide. That’s where you can find details on how to get there, where to stay, dine, shop, play and plan a spa day!

For festival tickets and additional information, visit www.jazztrax.com.

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