By Patte Purcell

The desert is considered a primary home for the classic standards jazz from the Rat Pack to swing. I was brought up on big band and jazz as my mom was a huge fan and used to take the train to Chicago on the weekends. I’ve never lost my love for it.

The Celebrity Jazz Jam Standards Night on March 21, at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert is going to bring the standards; both American and Latin and swing to the desert, in a fun jam with a multitude of national artists and local favorites.

Starting the show will be a lively swing tune by local favorite John Carey (Smooth Brothers) on guitar with “Jump, Jive, and Wail” with vocals by national artist and local resident Slim Man, who will also emcee the show.  From there it will move into a tune by the incredible Jay Gore (guitarist for Mindi Abair and other A List artists).

Next up is Las Vegas ‘Rat Pack’s’ Paul Elia performing his Dean Martin sound alike and look alike songs.

He currently resides and performs in the desert. He will be followed by one of Palm Springs favorite vocalists Cat Lyn Day (a Marilyn Monroe look alike and sound alike) who will be performing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”.

Next up is Curtis Brooks an amazing 20 year old sax player. He dazzles with his style and performance. I’ve seen Curtis perform several times at Spaghettini and he also performed at the VIP Afterparty and Jam at Smoothjazzfest at the Riviera.

Bonnie Gillgallon, an actress, radio personality, singer and performer will be entertaining us with her rendition of “Lady is a Tramp” joined by the band.

Next up will be Bob Desena from Las Vegas, who won the Jazz Artist of the Year from the LA Jazz Awards. Bob plays the vibes, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion and he’s a vocalist. He will be doing 2 standards, “Night and Day” on vocals and “Grazin’ in the Grass.”

After the break, Slim Man (national artist with 13 CDs) will open with 3 standards from the American songbook including; “Sway,” “Beseme Mucho” and “Route 66.”

Following Slim will be Joe Baldino (guitarist) who will be singing “Look of Love” which will be the first time he’s performed as a vocalist.

Greg Manning on keys will be performing a featured song along with accompanying all of the artists on their songs. Greg is a producer and artist in his own right with a solid string of hits including his 2014 Song of the Year, “Dance with Me.” He is part of the La Collective and performs with some of the biggest names in the smooth jazz genre.

Vocalist Karl Erikson is up next with his rendition of “Feelin’ Good” the Michael Buble hit. Karl’s background includes recording vocals for Mannheim Steamroller and performing with Los Angeles master chorale and the Boston pops.

Curtis Brooks and Jay Gore will both be back with one more song before the finale. The finale features all of the musicians to a swinging tune “Sing Sing.”

The core band backing up the jam are a group of professionals including; Darryl Williams on bass, (A List bass player), the desert’s favorite drummer Craig Chesnut (who also plays with top national artists) and Guillermo Yslas on percussion. They are joined by all of these fine musicians who collectively create a steller band of true jazz artists. The beauty of this show is that this is a group that have never performed together on these songs and have never rehearsed. Each show is a live and ever changing jam. They all bring their best to the show for the audience. During the jam you can hang out with the artists, maybe buy a CD or two.

Desert Willow’s exquisite venue and the special Chef Francois Jazz Jam buffet are combined with wine tastings, Alien Tequila specials, and an unparalleled setting overlooking the golf course.

The show is on Monday night March 21 from 5-8. Tickets can be purchased and your seat selected at or by calling 1-800-316-8559. For questions about the Celebrity Jazz Jam call 1-702-219-6777.