By Julie Pendray
IDYLLWILD, Calif. — Whenever I listen to Lisa Haley and the Zydekats’ CD King Cake, I can’t help but sing along or get up and dance. See if you catch the Zydecosis too when the band returns to Idyllwild’s outdoor concert series on Aug. 25. The series gets under way July 7 at Idyllwild Community Center.
If you miss seeing them there, you can catch them at Jazz in the Pines at Idyllwild Arts Academy in August. Haley is among many alumni who grace the stage at this annual scholarship fund raiser for the private high school. She attended in the early 1970s, she told me in a recent interview, when the academy was called Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA) and was run by the University of Southern California.
At Jazz in the Pines, Haley and her Zydekats will perform selections from their latest CD, Joy Ride. She said it offers some “very danceable tunes” including: “Who’s Your Crawdaddy,” “Money Tree” and “Cajun Lady.” There’s also a song dedicated to veterans, “More Than Anything,” which the band makes available to any American military organization at no charge, she said.
Haley said she is a fourth generation fiddler, who can trace her Louisiana roots back to 1718. She began performing at age 4. Her Grammy nominated band (King Cake, 2008) has been together 21 years and they’re currently in pre-production for their next album, Sky Hook, which will be their ninth.
Haley has some special memories of her time in Idyllwild, with connections to the present.
“I should mention that ‘Buzz’ Holmes (Dwight Holmes) was a couple of years ahead of me and the ringleader of many impromptu late-night jam sessions and shenanigans… and now he’s an Idyllwild Arts Academy governor!” she said.
All performances in the summer concert series will be from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Concert goers are welcome to take low-back portable chairs. This series is organized by Idyllwild resident Ken Dahleen, who provided this information about the line up:
July 7 : Bohemio (a Santana tribute band)
July 14: Creedence Clearwater (a tribute band)
July 21: Dan St. Marseille (Dixieland)
July 28: U.S. Marine Corps Jazz Alumni
Aug. 4: Blue Breeze (Motown)
Aug. 11: Big Band
Aug. 18: Bob Boss Easy Listening
Aug. 25: Lisa Haley & the Zydekats
Idyllwild Community Center is near the center of town, on Highway 243. Parking is on the property, between the pines. The concerts are free. Refreshments are available.