Summer Music Series
Chris Brannan and Tony Nester
- Jun 19–21: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Jun 22: Francis Vanek & Chris Amberger
- Jun 26–28: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Jun 29: Francis Vanek & Dorian May
- Jul 10–11: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Jul 12: To Be Determined
- Jul 13: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Jul 17–20: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Jul 24–27: To Be Determined
- Jul 31: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Aug 1–3: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Aug 7–10: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Aug 14–17: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Aug 21–24: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Aug 28–31: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Sep 4–7: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
- Sep 11–14: Jim Wilde & Francis Vanek
- Sep 18–21: Chris Brannan & Tony Nester
A 35 year veteran of the North Coast jazz scene, Jim is a favorite of local fans and fellow musicians alike. With his soulful, focused playing, he evokes the classic chord-melody style of Joe Pass and modern lyricism of Peter Bernstein, always keeping uppermost in his mind the meaning of the lyrics and their relationship to the melody.
Francis Vanek originally hails from Pittsburg, PA, where he attended Duquesne University. He played in bands with Roger Humphries and J.C. Moses and studied with the great Carl Arter. His early influence was Stanley Turrentine.
He holds a masters degree in music from the University of Nevada, Reno. Vanek has shared the bandstand with such saxophone stalwarts as Ernie Watts, Tom Scott and Eddie Daniels and has also played shows with The Temptations, Little Richard, Martha Reeves and others. He currently plays throughout Northern California, including the Bay Area. He appeared this year at the Healdsburgh Jazz Festival. Jesse Hamlin of the SF Chronicle said of him, “…a superb saxophonist.”
Chris got his start on the stand-up bass jamming with Summer of Love era folks like Janis Joplin and Big Brother and Holding Company. After getting an education on scholarship at the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Gary Burton, Ron McClure and others, he got gigs with Cal Tjader, Rosemary Clooney, Art Blakey, George Shearing, and tons more. Back in the Bay Area he became the house bassist for the Keystone Korner, serving with heavies like Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Sam Rivers, and so many greats who came through those hallowed doors.
Today, people in Mendocino County know me as a jazz & Latin pianist playing with a variety of ensembles throughout Mendocino County and beyond. I moved to Mendocino County in 2002 and got inspired to develop as a jazz musician after attending a Sunday jazz jam at Headlands Coffeehouse hosted by local pianist Richard Cooper. The creativity and fun coming from the bandstand was just inspiring and so where the beautiful chords and improvised solos.
Calendar of Events
Below is a calendar of events happening both at the Benbow Historic Inn and the surrounding Southern Humboldt area. Click on any of the event links to learn more information.