One of the few original forms of music invented in the United States, the blues, is quintessentially American. The music, born in out of the New Orleans Jazz scene and the Mississippi Delta tells the tale of hardship and triumph over simple chords. That sound of our country is on display at the annual Monterey Bay Blues Festival June 22-24, 2012. The Blues Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, features a fantastic line-up of performers including: Rose Royce, Evelyn ‘Champagne” King, Kenny Neal and Jackie Greene. The festival also includes the “Blues in the Schools” Honor Band. Now over 20 years old, this iconic festival is considered one of the premier Blues Festivals in the country, boasting attendance of over 20,000 per year. As a non-profit, the festival generously donates to youth music and also administers the Monterey Bay Blues Festival Youth Scholarship program with supports deserving local youth. With food and fun in addition to great music, how can you go wrong?
Archive for the ‘Local Events’ Category
In recent years the “food scene” has exploded across the American consciousness. From television networks devoted entirely to food to festivals focusing on every aspect of the industry, food is on everyone’s mind. One of the best movements to come out of this gastronomic renaissance has been that of sustainability. Many restaurants source local and look for organic products, but when it comes to seafood, there was not a clear set of sustainable guidelines.
Enter the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their Seafood Watch® Program. The program sets these guidelines for the supplier and the consumer and their Cooking for Solutions event brings together culinary stars for three days of fantastic food and fellowship designed to educate and raise money toward the stewardship of the ocean. This year’s Cooking for Solutions event kicks-off May 18th and runs through the 20th at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The event features over 40 award winning chefs and television personalities including the Portola Hotel & Spa’s very own Executive Chef, Jason Giles preparing sustainable seafood in an incredible environment. With a variety of events from the Opening Night Gala and the weekend’s Salon Series to the Celebrity Chef’s LIVE series and the Food & Wine Adventure, you are sure to find an event that fits your taste. So learn the ins and outs of sustainable seafood and helping to save the seas at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions event. Your taste buds will thank you and so will the ocean!
26.2 miles of grueling terrain coupled with strong winds and a stretch of road they call Hurricane Point. Beautiful pain, some runners call it. Others call it one of the most beautiful runs in the world. Everyone calls it the Big Sur International Marathon. Each year thousands of people, from elite Olympic runners and people looking to prove themselves to Team In Training groups and those just wanting to be part of the action join the fun. They all descend onto the Monterey Peninsula April 27-29, 2012 to take part in one of the most famous races in the world. The Portola Hotel & Spa is the perfect spot to set up camp to enjoy the best the Monterey Bay has to offer, while preparing for the Big Sur. Race headquarters and the Race Expo is located at the Monterey Conference Center directly adjacent to the Portola Hotel & Spa so guests are in a convenient location to partake in all the festivities. Let’s not forget the award winning Spa on the Plaza located next to the hotel to relax you before the race or to cure your aches and pains after the race. Relaxing in one of the Portola’s newly appointed guestrooms and savoring a meal at Jacks Restaurant before the big day or enjoying a cold pint at Peter B’s Brewpub post race are just a couple of the added perks of booking your stay.
While 2012 BSIM may have come and gone – the 2013 registration will be up and fill up faster than you can run!
2012 Sea Otter Classic ©Photograph Julie Braunstein
One of the best things about the Monterey Peninsula is the bevy of fantastic and exciting events that happen almost every weekend. Look on a calendar and you are sure to find something that peaks your interest. Why, just in the past month, the Peninsula has hosted the school-age talents of Monterey Jazz Fest’s Next Generation Jazz Festival and the gastronomic indulgence of the Pebble Beach Food & Wine. So what if you tend to gravitate toward things at a faster speed? Then look no further than this weekend’s 22nd Annual Sea Otter Classic held at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey.
This “Celebration of Cycling” features nearly 10,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators enjoying racing from a variety of cycling disciplines. Not only are professional riders competing at the Sea Otter, including national and world champions, but a host of amateur riders are also part of the festivities competing in their own categories. The festival takes place April 19-22, 2012 and also hosts the largest consumer bike exposition in North America.
In addition to the racing and expo areas, the Sea Otter Classic also includes free, family-friendly activities including bike demos, stunt shows and special children’s events. Its spring and the weather will be wonderful, so check out the Sea Otter Classic and catch the excitement!
2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra photograph ©Robert Wade
From Frank Sinatra and Justin Timberlake to the Beatles and Snoop Dogg, every single musical act since 1950 owes their music in some way to Jazz. What started in the Deep South way back in the early 1900′s can now be seen in music the world over. While Jazz remains somewhat of a niche music in its purest form, Jazz festivals from Monterey to Newport to Rhode Island have showcased this wonderful artistic form for millions of people.
The next generation of Jazz musicians and singers will grace stages throughout Monterey during the Next Generation Jazz Festival, presented by the Monterey Jazz Festival, March 30-April 1 2012. The festival, which invites middle school, high school and college age solo artists, combos, big bands to compete in the three day competition sends the top three winners in each category to perform at the 55th Annual Jazz Festival in September. In addition, there is also a composer’s division, where the winner’s song is performed by the Next Generation Jazz Festival Orchestra at September event.
The bulk of the Next Generation Jazz Festival and festival headquarters are located in downtown Monterey at the Monterey Conference Center and the Portola Hotel & Spa, host of the event.
All the events, from the Friday night’s Kick-Off concert through the close of the competition on Sunday are free and open to the public. So if you want to catch some cool kids, hot Jazz and some of the country’s best and brightest musicians, swing by the festival and be amazed at what these talented students can do!
There are a lot of ways for a company to get involved in the green movement. For some, it’s a small step, like changing out their light bulbs for a more energy efficient variety. For others, it might be starting to offer green products or utilizing green vendors. For a handful of companies, however, they have completely transformed the manner in which they do business to become better environmental stewards to their community.
We are proud to say that Portola Hotel & Spa is in this last category. Not only are they the first and only LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ certified hotel in the local region, but their staff is at the forefront of the movement and actively participating in green initiatives outside of the hotel, through what they call their Green LEEDers Program.
During World Water Day on March 22nd, Portola Hotel & Spa staff participated in the 2012 Del Monte Beach Cleanup facilitated by local non-profit, Save Our Shores and Co-Sponsor Whole Foods Market. This annual event teams up groups of volunteers with Save Our Shores members to help clean the Pirates Cove area of Del Monte Beach near Fisherman’s Wharf. In addition to being an event sponsor, 45 Portola Hotel & Spa employees, including 25 members of the housekeeping staff, collected trash and garbage that might have otherwise ended up in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
With a commitment to environmental stewardship and working with local, regional and national entities to bring a greater awareness to everyday green practices, the Portola Hotel & Spa is looking forward to keeping our Central Coast Living fans updated with all their activities that help remind us to reduce, reuse and recycle, one step, one day at a time.
Visit World Water Day online to learn more about how you can become involved in World Water Day, every day of the year!