KSBR’s A Taste of the Bash kicks off future event

KSBR guest artist Michael Paulo performs at the Norman P. Murray center Thursday evening for the Pre-Bash show. (Oliver Yu)

McKenzie Sixt

KSBR’s jazz evening, “A Taste of the Bash,” did just that, gaving guests an exciting sneak peak of the music, eateries, and performances that will be expected three months from now at KSBR’s “Birthday Bash.”

The Saddleback College radio station annually hosts the “Birthday Bash” Jazz Festival each spring. According to their website, the event features more than 30 distinguished musicians, including lots of surprise special guests. For more than 20 years, the “Birthday Bash” has drawn annually increasing crowds to enjoy a day of jazz, foods, and beverages.

As a pre-bash kickoff event, “A Taste of the Bash” was a “more intimate event,” according to KSBR.org.

The evening gained momentum as saxophonist Michael Paulo took the stage.

He pumped up the crowed with his lively performance of “Magic,” a number from his latest album featuring David Benoit and the Magenta Symphony Orchestra. One couple stood up to share a dance while other guests mingled and noshed as Paulo performed.

Paulo’s musical talents were not the only special part of the evening. Other notable guests included Miss Orange County, D’London, the Mayor of Mission Viejo, Tish Kelley, and one of the producers of the HBO series, Entourage.

Jazz provided an enthusiastic soundtrack for local eateries and wine companies to share their best selections with the guests.

“The wine’s good, the food’s good, and it’s good to run into people,” said guest Gary Scott, catering manager of Mark’s Catering Company.

Scott laughed that he was dragged to the event by Cheryl Valenzano of the West Coast Yellow Pages and Prima Design. Valenzano is a self-proclaimed “big fan of Michael Paulo,” and “were big fans of KSBR, ” she said.

KSRB’s own Don James and JJ Buchanan were promoting Menage à Trois wines during the evening. Hamilton Oaks Vineyard was in attendance as well, and It’s a Grind shared their exotic coffee blends such as Hawaiian Hazelnut.

Featured restaurants and businesses included Mahé, Ricardo’s Place, Two Guys Grilling, and Oh For Sweets Sake, a mobile cupcakery and bakery.

Ricardo Beas of Ricardo’s Place, and David Biber, of Two Guys Grilling said they are recent business partners. With food stands set up right next to each other, “A Taste of the Bash” was the perfect place to promote their new partnership. Throughout the evening, business cards and entrepreneurial ideas were being continuously exchanged between business owners and guests alike.

One guest, who said she isn’t a jazz connoisseur, said she was lured in and said she’ll probably now attend the Birthday Bash. “I am enjoying the beautiful evening,” Angeles Zeballos said.

General admission tickets are currently on sale for $50, but several levels of VIP tickets are also available.

KSBR’s “Birthday Bash” will be held May 29 at Oso Viejo Park adjacent to the Norman P. Murray Center in Mission Viejo. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the concert begins at 5 p.m.

General information about the event, ticket prices, and a list of artists is available on KSBR’s website http://www.ksbr.org/bash.html.