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KSBR Birthday Bash: A Perfect Trio of Jazz, Great Food & Live Art

We attended as a guest of KSBR

KSBR Birthday Bash

Three of my favorite things in the world are jazz, great food and art. Last Sunday was filled with all three so it was pretty much the perfect day at KSBR’s 25th Annual Birthday Bash Jazz Festival & Taste of the Bash. The bash kicked off in the afternoon with some wonderful tastes from more than 20 local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. There was something for everyone and too much to taste for any one person, but I managed to sample my fair share including:


IMG_6710  IMG_6712 Ceviche on cucumber coins… perfect on a hot day and refreshing strawberry mint “bruschetta”, both from Bella Collina Towne and Gold Cub in San Clemente.


A healthy and delicious chopped salad with organic baby greens, with pine nuts, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, golden beets, red onion, and cilantro caper vinaigrette from Sun Dried Tomato.


Slater’s 50/50  

To be honest, I did not try this because the line was a mile long. 50/50 means 50% ground bacon, 50% ground beef. Perhaps that explains the line! Can’t wait to try one!

With Casey and Mamas Mediterranean Food owner, Sonia

While I didn’t get to try the 50/50 burger, I did sample some incredible desserts made by Mamas Mediterranean Food.  Okay story time… one of my fondest food memories was when I was in my early 20s. I was living in Chicago and my dad and I headed to a butcher in Greek Town to pick up a leg of lamb for a holiday feast. It was 6:00 a.m. or so and we stopped at a nearby bakery to grab some coffee and a pastry before the holiday line formed at the butcher. It was the first time I had ever tried baklava and I was hooked. To this day I can taste the sweet sticky honey covering those earthy nuts surrounded by that flakey phyllo, a chewy yet crunchy bite of heaven. I am not a huge sweets lover, but I do love baklava and Mama Mediterranean Food’s baklava took me right back to that moment in Greek Town with my dad.

And then there were their Griebeh. These were wonderful soft buttery crunch cookies. I could have eaten the whole tray but I settled for two. With cookies as good as Mamas Mediterranean’s you just know there has to be a secret and Sonia shared that it’s all about the clarified butter. I just know that her cookies are amazing.


Completely stuffed and happy, it was time for some music.   The bash, emceed by musician Tony Guerrero, featured artists such as vocalist Melissa Mancester, saxophonist Mindi Abair, vocalist Kiki Ebsen, vocalist and trombonist Aubrey Logan, trumpeter and founder of Tower of Power Greg Adams, and many more jazz musicians hot on the local scene as well as all over.


Backstage with jazz drummer Evan Stone & Melissa Manchester


Melissa Manchester accompanied by saxophonist Mindi Abair

IMG_6951   IMG_6908

21 year old saxophonist Grace Kelly onstage and backstage


Checking out CD’s with vocalist Kiki Ebsen


Trombonist Aubrey Logan and drummer Evan Stone huddle pre-show


While the musicians played, Laguna Beach artist, Tom Clark, created live art next to the stage, painting several murals inspired by the performances.

It really was the perfect day and I can hardly wait until next year’s birthday bash!

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.
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