Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Medley, Grammy-winning member of the Righteous Brothers and O.C. native son, fronted the recent "Celebrity Series" produced by the Crescendo Chapter of the Guilds of Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Jan. 9 appearance delighted a sold-out crowd of about 300 guests at the Bowers Museum, as Medley presented his lecture called "The Time Of My Life," a title borrowed from one of the songs that made his act world famous. It is also the title of Medley's soon-to-be-released biography, written with Mike Marino, who joined Medley onstage and conducted an interview with the singer-songwriter.
The presentation included videos interspersed with anecdotes of Medley's life and career as well as a personal tribute to Medley's late partner, Bobby Hatfield. Perhaps best of all, Medley's audience was filled with classmates from his alma mater Santa Ana High School. In the crowd were Kathy Dunlap, Bobbie Rooker, Rosalie Medley, Jan Wilhelm, Arlene Moore, Charlene Immell and Mary Bryant. The event was chaired by Crescendo's Susan Dobak along with Crescendo president Sharon Algeo.
And all that jazz
The folks at Ocean Institute in Dana Point are preparing for the 12th annual Jazz Festival set for Feb. 28 through March 2. The series of jazz events are paired with dining experiences featuring a grand gala evening March 1 that will showcase a three-course dinner plus canapés and dessert. Each course will be prepared by SoCal's most celebrated chefs. Participating culinary kings include Vincent Lesage of the Balboa Bay Resort, Pierre Albaladejo of the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Frederic Castan of the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Rob Wilson of the Montage Laguna Beach and Pedro Contreras of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
The Jazz Festival will coincide with the Institute's Festival of Whales this year, reports event chairman Robert Beaulieu, serving the Institute as chair for a second year. As in seasons past, the Jazz Festival will feature many of the biggest names in jazz, including David Benoit, Peter White and Spencer Day.
Organizers offer a series of events priced at different levels to expand the opportunity to experience great jazz and amazing cuisine. On Feb. 28, an evening wine and appetizer reception will open the festival. March 1 is the gala evening, and then on March 2, an encore presentation will be offered.
All proceeds will fund the Ocean Institute's "hands-on" educational programs for children. More than 115,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade and some 6,000 teachers participate annually in the Ocean Institute's programs.
For ticket pricing, reservations and information, please visit http://www.oijazzfestival.com.
CHOC cherishes children
Saturday evening, the Island Hotel Newport Beach will open its ballroom doors for a most important fund-raising gala, the annual CHOC Cherishes Children Gala. Co-chairwomen Stephanie Argyros and Christine Bren will welcome a black-tie-optional crowd of donors who will dine and enjoy headliner Sheryl Crow on the Island stage. A who's-who of Newport-Mesa citizens are supporting the event, including the Kathryn Cenci representing South Coast Plaza, Jill Bolton, Kristina Dodge, Monica Furman, Leyla Khoshbin, Caroline Marchant, Suzy Elghanayan, Niloofar Fakhimi, and David Willis and Marsha Willis.
THE CROWD runs Fridays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.