Skip to main content

San Clemente Journal

Community News - Award Winning Entertainment Comes to Town

Nov 01, 2009 11:03AM ● By Don Kindred

by Chris Payne

Several years in the planning, the first Annual San Clemente Jazz Festival will commence Saturday September 5th 2009. This festival will kick off the Labor Day week-end, and its message will be … make San Clemente your jazz destination for the holiday.

This project is the initiative of local entrepreneur and longtime San Clemente businessman and resident, Chris Payne. The Genesis for the idea came from a celebrity wine business venture he and his wife Madalyn created along with American jazz legend and multi Grammy award winner Bob James. 

Over the years working with Bob and the Art of Wine venture, Chris became more and more familiar and connected with the American jazz category. The idea of a top class concert/festival at his tennis and fitness club was hatched, and the idea started to resonate. An outdoor event, it will be held on center court at the prestigious Rancho San Clemente Tennis and Fitness Club, a perfect venue. The complex is situated on the hillside east of Interstate 5 with panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean. 

Many longtime local residents may recall the Audi Challenge at the RSCT&F club which featured, at the time, the 10 top women players in the world, including Hall of Fame tennis star Martina Navratilova (who had just won the U.S. Open), Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison. Almost 2000 tennis lovers turned out to witness the prestigious Audi event. 

Initially the Festival will be a one day event. Year two, it is envisaged to expand into a two-day event with a likely tennis celebrity component included. The idea is to make the San Clemente Jazz Festival different, create its own identity/flair and ultimately to make its mark as a must see event on the California jazz circuit, from 2009 and beyond. 

The Jazz Festival has the enthusiastic and exclusive long term backing of Rancho San Clemente Tennis and Fitness club owner Lloyd Harline. All agree it is the perfect venue for such a prestigious up market jazz festival/concert that will rival the best in content and presentation anywhere. Humphries by the Bay in San Diego to the south, the Hyatt Newporter to the north, and the Catalina Jazz Festival 26 miles across the sea, forms the So Cal jazz triangle. 

It is timely to bring an event of this type to our wonderful City. Over the years the City as grown from a modest community of around 30,000 citizens in the early ‘90s to a vibrant seaside/suburbia of just over 70,000 today. While the City’s population has more than doubled it still retains its seaside charm and beauty, and is without doubt one of the most identifiable and desirable destinations on the Californian coast line.

At the time of this writing top liners in the caliber of Grammy winners George Benson, Pattie Austin (2008), Al Jareau, and Chris Botti are being negotiated with. The entertainment lineup should be finalized and announced sometime in November. 

As this publication goes to press an agreement between Mr. Payne festival owner and event chairman, and the Prestigious San Clemente Parks, Gardens, and Recreation Foundation as the 501 (c) (3) is all but complete. The Jazz Festival’s affiliation will benefit the Foundation ( and its pursuit to provide assistance to many outdoor facilities in and around San Clemente. KSBR college jazz radio station FM 88-5 will also benefit from the event.

The San Clemente Jazz Festival stands to be a wonderful ongoing event which will bring a new dimension of top line entertainment to the City. It will also bring a boost to tourism and at the same time support a wonderful City sponsored foundation. Promotional build up events to the main event throughout 2009 are planned to maximize exposure. b

For further information on ticket packages and sponsorship opportunities call Chris Payne directly on 949-492-1886 or go to

Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.

Online Version
Facebook Page