Brought to you by Wayne Woodliff of Woody’s Burgers

by Lisa Morgan

The 7th Annual Desert Woman’s Show will be taking place this weekend, Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16th. Expected to draw over 3,000 attendees to the Agua Caliente Casino, Resort and Spa, this very special expo will highlight women’s issues while providing dynamic runway, fall fashion and accessories shows, exhibits of home décor, information on nutrition, fitness and personal development and fabulous Chef samplings. Over 100 venders will exhibit local products and services, surrounding interesting seminars on today’s hottest topics. But for music lovers, particularly those who enjoy the beauty and soulfulness of live jazz, there is one part of this weekend you will not want to miss.

Taste of the Valley will offer food and beverages from some of the best dining establishments in the desert. And thanks to Wayne Woodliff of Woody’s Burgers, you’ll also enjoy an all-star lineup of some world class, jazz musicians. “I decided to go big,” says Woodliff, known to be very particular about the quality of musicianship that frequents Woody’s Burgers. His award for Best Live Music backs that up. “We’ll have Bill Saitta on bass, Jeff Olson on drums, and Deanna Bogart on piano, sax and vocals. Joining them on Saturday is the lovely Yve Evans on vocals and piano, along with Chase Huna and John Bolivar on sax. Sunday the phenomenal jazz guitarist, Chuck Alvarez will join the band.”

Those familiar with these great artists will understand what an epic event this is set to be. “With this type of a line up, it’s bound to be brilliant,” says Woodliff. “The caliber of all of these musicians is off the Richter scale! We might even be treated to dueling pianos between Yve and Deanna!”

For those of you who may not be familiar, here is some background on the artists and their music:

Bill Saitta:
“I started playing piano at age 7, then added the Fender bass at age 14. I studied the bass and guitar with the Carol Kaye, and received my degree in Instrumental Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I am currently in the So Cal area playing gigs, shows, symphony concerts and the occasional tour. I am a staff bassist for the Jazz in the Pines Festival in Idyllwild, and lead various groups under my own name.”

Bill Saitta has performed with many artists from surf legend, Dick Dale, to jazz saxophonist, Tom Scott. His favorites include guitarist, Les Paul and drummer Louis Bellson. Audiences can expect to hear an eclectic mix of music representing the evolution of the American Songbook interpreted by an interesting and talented group of accomplished musical improvisers. In other words…Jazz!

Chuck Alvarez:
A Los Angeles based guitarist/singer/songwriter with his roots in blues-rock, Alvarez has also gained a reputation in R&B, light jazz and Americana. Alvarez has composed music for nine musicals for both national and international audiences. He has released 4 CDs of his own material and his music has appeared in film, television, and commercials. Performing as a guitarist on many recordings, he has also produced a number of CDs for other artists.

Along with his own band Alvarez has performed and or recorded with Tim Weisberg, the Grammy winning Emotions, David Benoit, The Twisters and Grammy nominated Lisa Haley among others. He has played venues all over, from the Universal Amphitheater, Irvine Meadows, and the Greek Theater to Longs Beach, NJ and The Merriweather Post Pavilion. From The Bottom Line in New York to The Coach House in Southern California, from Malaysia to Scotland, to the Netherlands and Middle East, Alvarez has performed in hundreds of clubs, theaters and larger venues all over the world. He’s known for high energy and high quality!

John Bolivar:
An incredibly gifted musician is showcased for his virtuosity, exceptional talent and for sharing his loving spirit for this music. Bolivar, a consummate professional, has performed and traveled with many top jazz, pop, and blues artists all over the world including Aretha Franklin, Chuck Mangione, B.B. King, Prince, Lou Rawls, Herb Alpert, Jimmy Smith, Lalo Schifrin, Brian Wilson, Johnny Rivers, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and many more. John has played festivals, on live stage, TV, film, and currently lends his skills and time to teach jazz improvisation to the local Boys and Girls Club Heatwave Jazz & Show Band. Keyboardist Barney McClure’s list of credits reads like a who’s who of jazz. His credentials are numerous and plentiful. Barney has performed and recorded with international artists like Ernestine Anderson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Bud Shank, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Sonny Stitt, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Shorty Rogers, Milt Jackson, Billy Higgins, Jeff Hamilton, Bob Hope, Steve Allen and many more.

Deanna Bogart:
Born in Detroit, Deanna spent her early years in Phoenix and New York City, climbing on any available piano bench to plunk and play with preternatural panache. Around the age of six, she was “gently removed” from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for playing piano by ear instead of learning to read music. While in middle school, Deanna yearned to play the saxophone. Typical of those times though, she was told, “Girls play the clarinet, not the sax.” Thankfully for us all, that tide has changed.

Today, Deanna Bogart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the diversity of her genre-free zone. As a bandleader/singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/sax player, Deanna combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”

Jeff Olson:
Olson has been described as, “a musician whose instrument just happens to be the drums”. Known particularly for his stylistic versatility, Jeff has performed in many genres with artists such as David Garfield, David Benoit, Elaine Paige, Gregg Karukas, Peter Tork, Pat Kelley, the Ahn Trio, David Pack, Asia America Symphony, and many others. His playing can also be heard on numerous CDs, TV shows and movie soundtracks. As a freelance artist and studio musician, Jeff is sought after for his compelling focus on time and groove. Having spent time touring in the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, Jeff’s distinctive performances can be heard regularly throughout Southern California.

Chase Huna:
A teen prodigy, Huna has spent 4 years on alto sax. “In 4th grade I was able to read music and play the recorder really well. I saw a friend of my dad play the sax at a show and he asked if I would ever want to try the Saxophone. I said I would love to. So for my 10th birthday, my parents got me my first alto saxophone.”
Huna attends Palm Desert High and is in his school’s jazz band. “I also perform at many of the local jazz clubs and restaurants in and around the Palm Springs area. My 2 biggest performances so far have been: Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach with Will Donato, Ricky Lawson, JJ Sansaverino, Aaron Mason, and Nathan Mitchell, and The Jazz Fest at Kona Kai, with Darryl Williams, Will Donato, Patrick Yandell and Vertice Williams.”

“I am planning on making music my career, and am currently working on my first few original songs. I hope to have a radio single ready for the first of the year, and a completed project by July.” (From an interview

Check out this video of Huna performing at Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach

Yve Evans:
At age three singing before a congregation of 1500 people on Easter Sunday, Yve Evans had no idea that performance was her destiny. However, the little girl grew up to be an outstanding Singer and Pianist. She has performed all around the world: Japan, Canada, Spain and Italy to name a few, has played with some of the greats in jazz and has cut five CD’s. (All done live and in only one take the way jazz was meant to be.) The title of her latest CD sums up her style “3 Degrees Celsius – not frozen, just very cool”.

Educated in the United States, Japan and Europe, she was mentored by internationally renowned choral conductor Jester Hairston and attended the University of California, Irvine, School of Fine Arts where she studied Opera and Theater. There is an intangible quality in her music that gives it a life of its own; life that reaches out and touches the souls of the people that hear it. To me, whenever I hear this woman play and sing, my insides start to feel like the middle of fresh baked biscuit. She makes my world stop.

The music and food will be served on Agua Caliente’s Java Patio (aka the side patio) from 11am – 4pm this Saturday and Sunday. Surrounded by such incredible music while sampling some of our valley’s tastiest fare is a combination for pure bliss, so get your tickets now. Stop by Woody’s Burgers in Palm Springs for a set of FREE tickets, but don’t wait too long. The number of tickets is limited to first come, first serve. Event info and tickets information can be found at

  • Bill Saitta

  • Chase Huna

  • Chuck Alvarez

  • Deanna Bogart

  • Jeff Olson

  • John Bolivar

  • Yve Evans