Imagine an evening in San Diego in which the sun is setting and you are about 20 yards from the ocean, either enjoying the shade of a beer tent and a tasty craft brew or perhaps lounging on a blanket with your kids in a comfy lawn area.
In either location, there’s an assortment of jazz music in the form of guitars, harmonicas, organs or brass instruments taking place on a stage in front of you, offered up by musicians who grace the walls of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Perhaps you’ve spent the day perusing the art exhibits of local artists who have set up booths along the street for patrons interested in new décor for the living room or just interested in the local art scene. Or perhaps you’ve spent the day enjoying foods at the local eateries for discount prices. Perhaps you’ve done both. Now you want to just kick back and enjoy some tunes and the rest of a beautiful afternoon.
Presenting the festival in the heart of OB, on Newport Avenue between Cable Street and the ocean, is San Diego’s only jazz radio station, KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM, and it promises to be one of the best yet. The festival will feature eight stages, 23 live bands and a street lined with over 80 art vendors from all over Southern California.
The festival will officially begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning when attendees can begin browsing the displays on “art row,” most of which will be available for purchase.
Musical performances will begin at 11 a.m. on each of the eight stages, three of which are outdoors and five of which are in local club venues including Winston’s, The Harp and Gallagher’s. Headlining this year’s festival is recent Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John and the Lower 911, who will take the main stage at 5:30 p.m. Other guest will include Hammond B-3 organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite, Grammy nominated Latin Jazz artist Wayne Wallace, and the originator of the Nouveau Swing jazz style, Donald Harrison as well as others.
Most of the musical acts will perform a couple of shows throughout the day, staggered at different stages around the festival so that all will be able to enjoy and guests don’t have to sit at one stage the entire day while missing the rest of the entertainment.
No doubt, as attendees meander down Newport enjoying the sights and sounds of the day, a hunger will begin to build. That’s why many of the local restaurants have partnered with the festival to give customers who stop in a discount on multiple food items. Nick’s at the Beach, Shades, Hodads, and South Coast are just a few examples of places that will be offering deals such as 10 percent off or half-price eats.
And of course, if your hunger is building, chances are so is your thirst. This year the Jazz 88 OB music fest is offering an expanded beer and wine garden found at the end of Newport Ave where the street meets the beach. Multiple local craft beers will be available on tap, as will wine, shade from the sun and views of the main stage. Entrance into the beer tent is free for all festival guests; beer and wine isn’t though so make sure to bring a wallet.
Speaking of wallets, at this point you may be wondering how much access to this day of fun is going to cost? Tickets start at $30 and are available at obmusicfest.org. For that price, you get access to all eight stages provided you are over 21 as four of the venues are located in bars. You also get all the food discounts throughout the day, beginning as soon as each participating establishment opens and lasting until the close of the festival at 7:30. On top of all that, you get to move and groove to the sound of jazz all day long, and that’s something you can’t even put a price tag on.
Awesome art, beers in hand, waves in the background, getting your groove on as only OB knows how to do?
Come on, you know you want to.