The Muckenthaler Jazz Festival

If you’re a fan of outdoor concerts but don’t fancy the ticket prices or parking shenanigans of the Irvine Amphitheater, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival is bound to strike a chord with you.

Created by a plethora of jazz pioneers, such as Howard Rumsey, Dr. Glenn Cashman and Eric Fütterer, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival has been drawing Grammy-Award winning musicians like Llew Matthews and Bill Cunliffe since its inception seven years ago. And throughout the next six weeks, an exceptional line-up of musicians will be making appearances at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999.

The perfect setting for such an event, the Muck is an 18-room villa on 8.5 acres of Fullerton soil that was donated by Harold Muckenthaler in 1965. Each year, it produces more than 100 performances, gallery exhibits and classes, en route to serving more than 30,000 people.

“We offer extraordinary exhibitions, performances and engaging educational programs to Orange County’s diverse communities and beyond,” their website reveals. “We are a celebration of the human spirit through the arts.”

Sponsored by Fütterer, a celebrity voice teacher, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival will commence on Thursday, May 24, at 7:30, with the Carl Saunders Quartet. In the weeks that follow, a different group will take the stage every Thursday night until Glenn Cashman and his Southland Big Band, which features Los Angeles’ top jazz and studio performers, close out the series on June 28.

The complete schedule is as follows: May 24, the Carl Saunders Quartet; May 31, Gonzalo Bergara; June 7, Luther Hughes & the Cannonball Coltrane Project; June 14, Tom Ranier Trio with Abe Laborial & Steve Schaffer; June 21, Dale Boatman & the California Jazz Arts Society (CalJAS) Allstars; and June 28, Glenn Cashman and The Southland.

The Carl Saunders Quartet, which is led by one of the most talked about jazz trumpeters of the 90’s, features bop-based improvisation and “long lines of perfectly placed notes, created in an unpredictable but ultimately logical fashion,” said LA Jazz Scene’s Scott Yanow.

Guitarist Gonzalo Bergara, who blends Blues, Latin and Swing, leads a quartet that’s heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, traditional Jazz and a hint of his native land, Buenos Aires.

Luther Hughes & the Cannonball Coltrane Project, a group that originally formed as an homage to the 1959 Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago, are best known for transporting their audience into the past via arrangements and original compositions inspired by jazz giants Adderley and John Coltrane.

The Tom Ranier Trio, comprised of Ranier on piano, Abe Laborial on bass and Steve Schaffer on drums, will join forces for a collaboration that’s sure to be rich in style and musicianship.

Local vocalist/guitarist Dale Boatman, who’s also the president and founder of The California Jazz Arts Society (CalJAS), will share the stage with the best musicians from the CalJAS, which is a non-profit and charitable corporation that promotes and helps fund music programs for students and the general public.

Glenn Cashman and his Southland Big Band will close out the festival on June 28. Known for his free-wheeling, compositional approach to improvisation, the saxophonist has been inspired mostly by Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and Coltrane.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the concert, and $100 for the entire series.

With the right venue, affordable prices and a wonderfully talented group of musicians, there’s no reason not to check out the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival.

For questions about the event, please contact or dial 866-411-1212.



If you are interested in buying or selling an Orange County Historical Home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at, or call (949) 200-7795. 

The 2012 Tustin Chili Cook-off Preview!


Ever wonder what goes into preparing enough chili to enter a chili cook-off or how the cook-off works? Well, let me tell you! Last year was our first entry and even though I was 8.5 months pregnant, I still managed to have a good enough time to want to do it again this year. This year, the event is Sunday June 3rd.

Preparation for making the chili this year is going to be easier since I already have SOME experience tucked under my belt, plus we have most of the gear we need. We bought a propane burner and a few huge pots. What we will need to buy is the Tri-tip – LOTS of it! 52 pounds to be exact. Last year, it took two weeks to brine, season and slow cook that much meat at Rancho Meade. After the Tri-tip is cooked, it gets shredded and stored in 8-pound batches. Seasoning gets portioned into packets. This way, each batch of chili is prepared, fully cooked and properly chilled a few days before the event  which gives it time to develop the flavors. Also, doing it this way, I know thE food has been cooked fully and nobody is going to get sick.

Once we’re on site, the chili is brought to the event in ice-packed coolers and heated one batch at a time to be brought up to temperature and served HOT to our customers. Last year, we were sold out in two hours and had a constant line at least five people deep. Make sure you get there early if you want to give ours a try. The opening ceremony commences at 11:00AM. Last year, we were located across the street from Ivy’s Bridge and Beach Pit BBQ (now Tustin Roadhouse) on El Camino Real. This was a great spot because it’s not as crowded, has easy access, and is close to the beer booth. We hope to get the same spot this year. Look for us!

Admission is free and chili costs just one ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $1.00 each. Beer is $5.00 to $6.00 each, which is different from last year because it looks like they are taking cash instead of tickets for beer. Parking can be tricky, but if you live in Tustin, chances are you can easily walk from home. If you’re driving in, the biggest parking area is at Civic Center (300 Centennial Way). We usually get street parking on Sixth street.



To get more detailed information about the event, check out the official website  at

Santa Ana Artist Village

Over the weekend I had a birthday cake to deliver in Santa Ana. On the way back, the 55 was stopped, so my husband decided to take surface streets back to Tustin bringing us through downtown Santa Ana. I’d been wanting to check out a store nearby for awhile now and thought this was the perfect opportunity. I’ve heard people talk about the Santa Ana Artist Village but even though it’s close by, had never been see what it’s all about. We decided to take the time to do a little exploring.

When I think of Santa Ana, what comes to mind are County services, industrial buildings, bodegas and colorful neighborhoods full of historic homes – not necessarily a place where artists convene. The Artist Village is located in the heart of Santa Ana and is nestled between 1st, 4th, Main and Broadway streets. Orange County High School of the Arts and the Bowers Museum are just down the street. Cal State Fullerton offers its Masters Art degree students studio/loft/gallery space at a very discounted rate, which is probably the main reason why artists have migrated to the area. Street parking is a little tricky, so we chose to park in the parking structure on 3rd street. Luckily, the rates are pretty low with a daily maximum of $7.00.

As the name states, you can find art in the Artist Village – lots of it! There are a ton of galleries, though not many were open on Sunday. We were happy to wander around the gorgeous buildings and press our faces against the windows to see what was on display. What’s cool about these galleries is that they’re located in beautiful historic buildings (many of which built during the Art Deco era), and have the original wood floors and natural lighting from stained glass ceilings.

Our goal was to visit a store called The Road Less Traveled which is owned by Delilah. This store offers anything you may need to make your own crafts – from sewing to cheese making. This is the place to go if you want to learn how to preserve your own foods, or make homemade cheese. The store even offers sewing classes and how to start your own business workshops. This is a haven for creative people! The store is shared by another business called Belly Sprouts which offers breastfeeding support groups, cloth diapers, baby carriers and even cosmetics for mom. They’re located next to both Memphis and The Gypsy Den – popular restaurants with outdoor seating.

On our way back to the car, we passed by another collaborative store – GCS Santa Ana. At first glance, you see that it’s a clothing store with urban prints. What drew us to it was the awesome art in their display. It was our favorite out of all the art we’d seen. It intrigued us, so we looked a little closer and noticed there was an art gallery in the back of the store and decided to go in to look. On the right there are two HUGE cases full of spray paint and paint markers – my favorite! At the end of the store, is a gallery with lots of art in all types of styles from screen print and paint marker to clay sculptures.

Every shop owner I talked to mentioned First Saturdays which is the monthly art walk. Judging by the signs left over from the previous art walk which read “NO ALCOHOL IN ENTIRE BUILDING”, I’d guess it’s a pretty lively event. You can find more information about the art walk at I’m looking forward to checking this out! More information on the village can be found at



If you are interested in buying or selling an Orange County Historical Home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at, or call (949) 200-7795. 


Old Town Tustin Home Tour Recap

Old Town Tustin | Orange County Historic Home

Old Town Tustin Historic Home and Garden Tour Recap

WHAT AN AWESOME EVENT!!! The weather was perfect this year and I was able to view all six homes on the tour. It was really great to see so many people interested in Old Town Tustin and historic homes. Many of the homes had lines but the docents kept everything moving and offered historic commentary in each area of the homes. Some of these houses were ones I had never been inside before and it was fascinating to see the different eras and styles.

Old Town Tustin | Orange County Historic HomeOne thing I absolutely love about the historic houses in Old Town Tustin isn’t so much the houses at all but the streets. There’s a certain “lazy summer” feel to the streets of Old Town Tustin that really can’t be experienced anywhere else in Orange County. Large, established  trees give the whole area a sheltered feel and it’s really a unique environment for those who wanted to be near freeways, shopping, and other conveniences but also value the feeling of a slower time.

Something that really amazed me was the amount of attention that homeowners placed on their gardens and outdoor living spaces. There are some cool photos below, among some of the cool things I saw: a driveway with a wine bottle-shaped grass inlay, a treehouse lounge, outdoor dining rooms, and adirondack chair reading nooks under old-growth trees.

While none of this year’s Old Town Tustin Home Tour homes were for sale, there are a number of historic homes for sale throughout Orange County and we maintain a list of active properties. If you’re interested in finding out more about Orange County’s historic homes for sale, don’t hesitate to contact us or send us an email:

[Event] Historic Home Tour

245 A St - Tustin, CA | Orange County Historic Home

Old Town Tustin Historic Home Tour – May 5th

I LOVE events like these. If you’re considering a considering a historic home but you aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, this is a great opportunity to see some houses (and gardens!) and talk to people in a very low-pressure environment. It supports the Tustin Historical Society and is an all-around fun way to spend a few hours in Old Town Tustin.

You can save a few dollars by pre-purchasing the tickets, they are $20 pre-sale or $25 on Saturday, May 5th. There are also a number of other events in Old Town Tustin that day, so it looks to be a lot of fun.

Flyer and Ticket Info