By Patte Purcell

New Year’s Resolution, bring great Jazz events to the desert! I’ve been a Jazz enthusiast for years It has been the underlying musical current of my life since I was young. My mother Anne Albracht was a big jazz fan, as a young woman in her 20’s she would take the train from Omaha to Chicago to listen to big band and jazz at ‘The Blue Note’. She was a pianist and a jazz music fan. We attended jazz concerts together including Buddy Rich and Ramsey Lewis. I fell in love with this musical genre and listened to standards and straight ahead until I heard my first David Sanborn and Joe Sample CDs. I was hooked.

Over the last few years I’ve produced a Jazz television show and numerous Jazz events. I have the privilege of writing this Jazz column where I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects (thanks Tracy Dietlin, publisher). This last summer I decided that what the desert needed was a good Jazz party during the summer.  There are lots of people that stay here year around that love jazz. Summer Jazzfest was held July 28 at Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club that included Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Slim Man and band, Joe Baldino and band, Deanna Bogart and Chase Huna. It was a smash success. We sold out.

Then I was invited by the management of the Riviera to hold my events in their ballroom. We (my production partner was Sheree Lillie Pr.) held Smooth Jazzfest on a 40 ft. stage, 500 people attended with the same line up. It was a smash hit.

We had an after party and Jazz Jam in the VIP Lounge where artists including Aysha, Terry Wollman, Rick Parma, Barry Minefield, Curtis Brooks, Victor Robles, Philly Joe Littel, Mikole Karr and even one of the Drifters jammed until they made us shut down the bar. It was so much fun I decided to do a Jazz Jam series. So the Celebrity Jazz Jam Series was born.

We held the first one at Arnold Palmer’s and that was sold out. We decided to seek a home for a monthly series that would feature national artists and local favorites who would jam together in a 3 hour party; a series that would introduce new musicians and music to the desert.

We are pleased to announce a monthly Celebrity Jazz Jam series at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert. We selected Desert Willow Golf Resort (owned by the city of Palm Desert) for numerous reasons.

This incredibly spectacular outdoor and indoor venue boasts a view over the golf courses that will knock your socks off. The patio where we will be holding the Celebrity Jazz Jam series seats 200-225 and has 21 outdoor heaters. (In the event of bad weather we move indoors to the ballroom.)

There is a glass wall from the ballroom overlooking the patio seating allowing it to expand the usable area. We will have wine tasting tables from different wineries and liquor companies.  The management including Todd Kelly is simply wonderful to work with. They are as excited for this series as we are.

We have sponsors who will be offering special features and gifts. For instance, Desert Zen Spa is bringing masseuses who will be giving chair massages and giving guests a $25 gift certificate for the spa. Max Lightbender, gallery owner, will be displaying spectacular art pieces. We have more surprises in the works.

The line-up for the first Celebrity Jazz Jam which is being held Monday night, Jan. 18, from 5-8 pm is formidable and includes 15 artists! The headliner is chart topping smooth jazz guitarist Blake Aaron who currently has 7 hits in radio play. Aysha, composer and vocalist will be performing; she currently has a top 10 hit, “Take me Higher.” Greg Manning who had the top hit of the year “Dance With You.” Slim Man (13 CDs), Joe Baldino, Chase Huna, Rick Parma, Darryl Williams, John Carey, Craig Chesnut, Rose Mallett, Victor Robles, Bonnie Gilgallon, Guillermo Yslas, and Tazz Washington.

There will be some originals and cover tunes. There will be plenty of room for dancing. I’m teaming up with Karl Erikson (my production partner) and we are pleased to announce that Sound Rite Events will be our sound and light production partner. They are even bringing in their 10 ft. LED wall so expect some wonderful effects.

The series runs monthly, during season it will be on Monday nights. When it gets hot we move indoors and move to Sunday afternoon jazz/brunch events. We are already booking for future Celebrity Jazz Jams which will include new and varied artists and guest artists. We will be adding some Brazilian jazz & Latin jazz on February 22 with Gretje Angell and Dori Amarillo a duo from LA, you will never forget. We’re bringing in Latin Jazz vibes and percussionist Bob Desena to expand the sound. We will continue to do a mix of jazz, blues, funk, and groove while adding an international flavor.

The summer series will heat up with a very special appearance by international artist and sax player Candy Dulfer (details to be announced) along with some other great artists.

Each event will have a special menu by Chef Francois, the menu includes a delicious selection of salads, soup, several entrees including osso bucco, and dessert. It is $25. Wine tastings are 3 for $5.

Tickets are $25 General admission and are available by calling 1-800-316-8559 x 1 or online at If you elect to purchase the buffet Desert Willow will call you to make a table reservation.

If you have any questions you can call me at 1-702-219-6777.