Valley Rhythms by Lola Rossi-Meza

The 17th Annual Palm Springs Smooth Jazz Festival is being held this Saturday, May 19, at the Indian Canyons Golf Resort off South Palm Canyon at Murray Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. EZ103.1 and Dan McGrath will broadcast live from 6 until 8 p.m. during the Lakeside Reception and give 103 people an opportunity to win $10,000. ($5,000 to the winner and $5,000 to Hanson House)
Tickets are $217.50 per person for the three-course gala dinner starting at 7:30 p.m. The reserved “Jazz Cat” seats are $58 per person. A few announcements will be made before the incredible soul band Tower of Power takes the stage for a night to remember at 8 p.m.
Earlier in the day, the First Annual Palm Springs Smooth Jazz Classic will be held. It is sold out, however, attendees may purchase some of the new items introduced this year to help raise more funds for Hanson House; hats, golf shirts, note cards, etc.
For those of you who may be new to the Coachella Valley, Hanson House is located next to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
Phase I of the Hanson House opened on December 23, 2003. “In the first year alone, Hanson House served more than 2000 room nights to more than 300 families,” said Dr. Ercoli. “There’s a Chapel, a main reception building, two complete kitchens and eight guest rooms that can accommodate up to 32 family members per night.” The project is staffed by volunteers and relies upon donations and this jazz festival to provide for its day to day operations.
Phase II of the Hanson House Project, the John R. and M. Margrite Davis Foundation Wing, officially opened its doors on Wednesday, May 16, 2007. This added eight more guest rooms available to the families of critically ill and injured patients, not only at Desert Regional Medical Center, but at other Coachella Valley hospitals.
To make a contribution or for more information call (760) 323-6673 or visit their web-site at or log onto


Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 1968 by tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo and baritone saxophonist Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Tower of Power has been treating listeners to its funky and soulful sound for over 40 years. Adding Greg Adams and Mic Gillette on trumpet, Francis “Rocco” Prestia on bass, Bruce Conte on guitar, signature drummer David Garibaldi and vocalist Rick Stevens, the group garnered fan and radio attention with their second album “Bump City,” which was released by Warner Brothers Records.
Riding the ups and downs of their music career throughout the years, TOP has seen dozens of musicians join their fold and then leave their ranks to venture into other groups. Two of the most notable former members are vocalist Lenny Williams, who started a solo career after leading the group to #15 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts and receiving their first gold record for their third album, “Tower of Power.” First saxophonist Lenny Pickett, who played with the band from 1972 until 1981, joined the “Saturday Night Live” band in 1985 and became the musical director in 1995. For the past 12 years, Larry Braggs has been the lead vocalist for this legendary soul band.
Still exciting the audiences with new and returning founding members playing its bumping and grinding music put to hip arrangements, Tower of Power shows no signs of slowing down.

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