THREE DAYS OF HOT TUNES: Mardi Gras can be good in so many ways -- hi, giant luscious slices of King Cake -- but many revelers would vote that a certain jazzy Dixieland beat, the kind that gets people moving, is one of the jewels of the holiday. But in many places, that sound goes on hiatus following Fat Tuesday, at least through summertime and the bigger music festivals begin to pop up. Monterey has that happily solved, though, courtesy of the fact that its Dixieland Monterey's Jazz by the Bay takes places a few weeks after Mardi Gras each year. The timing is good, of course, and the water-close setting brings a bit of bayou spirit to the proceedings. And the Dixieland feel is ready to roll again, Big Easy-style, from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3.
BEHIND THE BRASS: There are a number of performers and bands set to perform, such as the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Crown Syncopators Ragtime Trio, and the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. A Swing Dance Party and an old-school Dance Marathon are two of the get-on-the-floor-and-shake-it centerpieces of the long weekend.
ALSO AFOOT: There are several goings-on around Monterey that week if you find time between the tunes. Also, the very last of the Monarch Butterflies may be just fluttering out of Pacific Grove for the season.