The Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary June 8, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. in Lavinia Campbell Park right in downtown Los Olivos. Produced by the Los Olivos Rotary Club, the festival is a win-win for attendees showcasing 30 of the area’s premium wineries plus food prepared by 30 local volunteer “O Chefs.” Grammy nominee Denise Donatelli with her stellar Los Angeles A Team, including Rich Ruttenberg, Ben Shepherd, Gary Novak, Larry Koonse, Bob Sheppard, and Walt Fowler will provide the jazz that gives the festival its relaxed, feel-good vibe. The festival also features select olive product vendors and a silent auction.
A wide selection of fine foods is central to the festival experience. Although, with a couple of notable exceptions this year, the O Chefs are not professionals, they bring culinary skills honed over many years to their delicious creations. There’s also a strong spirit of friendly competition, since their creations are judged, with winners announced during the festival. All the chefs are dedicated to the festival, with some participating since the very beginning! In addition to the direct support to community organizations, the festival brings visitors from throughout California and many other states to our area. Many stay to enjoy the hospitality of the many hotels, restaurants, wineries, shops, and other attractions that make the Santa Ynez Valley such a welcoming getaway.
The festival is expected to sell out once again this year. It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance at jazzandolivefestival.org, or by telephone at 805-325- 9280. Information about the festival can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
During its 15 years, the festival has raised over $400,000 benefitting the local community. Proceeds from the event have funded a variety of grants and scholarships. Organizations funded have included 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Solvang Friendship House, the Solvang Library, Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding, and many more.
In addition to providing funding, the hands-on Rotarians have built two large storage sheds for the Buellton Senior Center and a Tai Chi pavilion for the Solvang Senior Center. They also participate in community building events like the annual painting and maintenance day at Sunny Fields Park.
Los Olivos Rotary Club is known as “the little club that can and does” and was founded in 2002. The Jazz and Olive Festival is its most important fundraiser that allows it to share the proceeds with the community throughout the year, through its own Los Olivos Rotary Club Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.