DANA POINT — There are a lot of similarities between this year's edition of jazz radio station KSBR-FM's birthday bash, which takes place Sunday, and the previous seven.
Many of the same names--including saxophonist Eric Marienthal, bassist Max Bennett and keyboard player Freddie Ravel--will be appearing. As in all the previous years, trumpeter Tony Guerrero will emcee. And it's again being held in the poolside gardens of the Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort (formerly the Dana Point Resort).
But this year there's a little twist: Guerrero is getting married to singer Kelly Rae Alcott the day before, and they are looking at the bash as a continuation of their wedding reception.
"We both have large families, and they'll all be in town for the wedding. And the bash is always a big party, so we thought we'd just bring our families along," said the bride-to-be. "It will give them an opportunity to see us perform."
The wedding Saturday in Tustin will include performances by keyboard player Bill Cantos, singer Kevyn Lettau (both of whom are playing the bash) and saxophonist Greg Vail. Guerrero has written all the music for the service. In-N-Out Burger will do the catering. Volleyball and basketball will be played at the reception and there'll be a clown and a bounce-house for kids. Guerrero and Alcott are expecting some 400 guests. "It will," she says, "be fancy and down-to-earth as well."
Though she is known as a country-Western singer, Alcott expects to do a number at the bash with the blushing groom. Which brings up another difference this year, according to KSBR program director Terry Wedel: There'll be a heavier emphasis on vocals this time.
Lettau "will do three or four numbers with [percussionist] Michael Shapiro and [bassist] Jerry Watts," says Wedel. "Cantos, who's now in Kirk Whalum's band, will sing. Kevin Toney, [a singer whose album "Pastel Mood"] is doing well on radio plays lists, will be there."
Yet another difference, says Wedel, will be the number of non-O.C. musicians on hand, such as Toney and saxophonist Paul Taylor. Others scheduled to appear during the afternoon-long jam session include guitarists Pat Kelly, Dave Murdy, Thom Rotella and Gannon Arnold; drummer Evan Stone, keyboard player Sandy Owen and percussionist Stu Nevitt.
* The KSBR All-Star Birthday Bash will be held Sunday at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, starting at 1:30 p.m. $15; children 12 and under, $5. Free parking with shuttle service will be offered at Dana Hills High School, 33333 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point. (714) 582-4656.