An Idyllwild Jazz Festival Unites the Community After the Scorch

Max Rodriguez

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It’s been just over two-weeks since the Cranston Fire raged through the mountains of Idyllwild; the work by fire-crews stopped the destruction from reaching the town, but this weekend residents are putting the fire behind them and celebrating at the 25 annual “Jazz in the Pines”.

The flames scorched over 11,000 thousand acres and destroyed five homes, but for many that nightmare is over.

Rob Padilla is a Idyllwild resident and artist, he said there is a special feeling surrounding this year’s jazz festival, he said, ‘It’s only been a week since we’ve been able to return, so yea this is kind of a homecoming.”

It was a homecoming many feared would not happen, the flames reached as close as 200 feet from the Idyllwild Arts campus and musicians like Pete Escoveda are happily surprised the show went on.

Escovedo said, “It stopped over there pretty close to the stage and she said now we’re going go through with it, and I said great because I love coming up here.”

Escovedo said the festival is like no other, the event is right in the middle of nature with a resilient spirit felt through-out.

He said, “It’s how we survive after it happens you know and what becomes of that, well we become closer we become more of a nit-family.”

As locals and tourists enjoyed a weekend filled with music, the event benefits several people.

For example, a tourist town is able to bounce back economically with over 2,000 attendees expected. But Pamela Jordan, President and Head of School of Idyllwild Arts Academy said the festival is also a fundraiser that has reached over $7,000,000 in scholarships for the students of the arts boarding school.

Jordan said, “To support the talented students from around the world who without this financial assistance they could not attend a program like this.”

And even though “Jazz in the Pines” is a yearly event, its 25 edition is just what Idyllwild needed.

Jordan said, “People have worked so hard to make sure it is special for everybody.”


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