Chino Hills Gets Jazzy

Chino Hills Jazz & Blues Festival Facebook page

Chino Hills Jazz & Blues Festival Facebook page

Jazz lovers gathered around in 90 degree weather on April 22 to witness five of the greatest jazz and blues artists from southern California perform at the Big League Dreams field in Chino Hills.

It was a mission accomplished for musician Glen Anderson. He had been trying to convince the city to host a jazz festival for many years. Last year, he was named a board member of the Chino Hills Community Foundation and was finally able to make it happen.

“I thought I would only be in charge of the bands, but when you’re a director you are involved with everything from the cups to the people bitching,” said Anderson.  

Lucky enough, no complaints were heard from the audience who gathered early in the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. until late at night. The music was already in the air when the first guests arrived. The Ayala High School Jazz Ensemble was playing right at the entrance, greeting everyone as they moved towards the main field.

Those who bought tickets in advance made sure to bring their own chairs and umbrellas to enjoy comfortably the open field show under the sun. The most expensive VIP tickets allowed people exclusive access to their own section, where they received two complimentary drinks sponsored by Millers Beer. 

Derek Boreaux & Band playing on stage. Peter Rogers/Chino Hills Community Foundation

The first band was already set up and ready to go as the time came for the musicians to perform. Derek Bordeaux and his band started the show, pumping up the crowd. Next, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers performed their award winning music. Erin Andrews had the blue lights shining as he sang his blues. And Louie Beltran had his conga drums out, giving jazz a Latin beat. Barbara Morrison closed the show with her incredible vocals. 

Louie Beltran playing his congas. Peter Rogers/Chino Hills Community Foundation

The bands had their own exclusive air-conditioned room right behind the stage inside of Big League Dreams’ Stadium Club restaurant. In addition, Papachinos Grill and Greens catered for them and the staff for free. 

Top: Ernie Andrews with his band. Bottom: Barbara Morrison jazzing up the stage. Peter Rogers/Chino Hills Community Foundation

During the performances, everyone was welcomed to grab concessions at the adjacent field. Kettle Masters Kettle Corn could be smelled from a mile away. Not even the taco truck next to it could beat the scent. Handcrafted beers and sodas were right across for those who were thirsty, as hydration was key that day. The Big League Dreams were also selling their traditional baseball field hot dogs and nachos at the beat of the bass.

The attendance of the event was around 500 people. The parking lot was almost full, but according to the directors of the event, it wasn’t as big as they had hoped.

Many potential attendees might have been flabbergasted by the price of the tickets. General admission was $50 in advance and $60 at the door, while VIP Premiere tickets were $85. Many residents stopped by to see where the music was coming from and turned right back when they heard the price.  

Overall, the audience was more than happy to stay until the lights went out. The stars were glowing and the moon was smiling while Chino Hills made history, reviving the soul of jazz & blues.

It was more than a festival. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After all, you could only attend the ‘First’ Annual Chino Hills Jazz & Blues Festival once. With a rhythm overshadowed by new styles of music, it’s always nice to hear it is still around to entertain those who like to listen.