Locals Life







The sounds of the island

Written by: JAMES

Being a musician and living on an island is exactly how it sounds…like a dream. I’ve been writing music going on 4 years, producing music for 3 years, and have been living on this beautiful island for a little over a year and a half.

Great weather and great neighbors make living on this island the perfect environment for the creative mind, especially when it comes to writing. When I begin writing a song I like to be completely alone, which helps clear my head. Sometimes I can write a song from the comforts of my home, but other times I prefer taking a paddle board to a secluded beach away from the local beaches here in town where I can really block out the rest of the world.

When I begin writing a song it begins with a beat. I drift away to the rhythm and let the beat paint a picture in my head. Then I take that “picture” and translate it into words… and with those words I create a story. While writing a song I aim to be as original as possible by adding my life’s experiences and emotions to allow listeners to relate and get a closer look at who I am not only as an artist but as a person. In fact, one of the main reasons I began creating my own music is because so many “musicians” today don’t write their own music.

If you’ve been to Catalina before you already know the community is pretty tight knit. When I first moved to the island I thought I was going to be one of the only musicians, if not the only one. Surprisingly enough, Catalina has a rich and diverse musical community. Every Wednesday night at The Locker Room is open mic night where you can catch independent artists and bands perform original songs. Friday nights at 9:00 PM at the Marlin Club you can catch a local band called The Catalina All Stars perform classic rock. And also every Friday night starting at 9:00 PM at Luau Larry’s you can catch Gill Torres [the incredible one man band] perform live. Now, if you’re not quite into the bar scene (or if 9:00 PM is past your bed time), there are a few musicians that perform mid-afternoon, some just steps away from our hotel. One performer on island goes by the name Catalina Eddie and performs just outside my favorite coffee shop 3 doors down from our hotel called Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company. Catalina Eddie sets up his equipment around noon and performs for a few hours playing island music to really get you in the right mood for vacation. These local spots are lots of fun to check out and experience during your visit to the island, but thats just the tip of the iceberg. The Xceptional Music Company is a local promoter who brings out major headliners, two of this years headliners being Smash Mouth and The Wailers. While Xceptional music does a great job of getting headlining shows to the island, the event that’s had people flock to the island every year for the past 30 years is the annual Jazztrax Festival. For two weeks in October the island is flooded with the best Jazz musicians from all around the world and they usually set up stages at Descanso Beach Club, The Casino Ballroom, and The Wrigley Plaza (next to the green pleasure pier). As you can see, Catalina has much to offer musically speaking but, in my opinion, The Jazztrax Festival is one of Catalina’s annual events you just can’t miss.

There is a little something for everyone on Catalina Island whether you’re looking to escape from the real world or you’re looking for an adventure, Catalina has plenty to offer. For me, living on this island the last year and a half I found that nothing beats listening to the sounds of live music on the beach. For you, on the other hand, come to Catalina Island and find your rhythm!