Grab & Go: A Guide to Getting Something Between Concerts

With nearly 20 concerts, talks and open rehearsals planned over four days, the 76th Ojai Music Festival from June 9-12 doesn’t leave much time for leisurely dining. That’s where this partial list of Ojai places with order-at-the-counter and/or grab-and-go food service comes in handy: It’s organized according to proximity to Libbey Park, so you can find a spot within walking distance between events, or make plans to park just long enough to pick something up while making your way to the next performance. (Starting Thursday, June 9 you can also visit the Ojai Music Festival Green Room in Libbey Park for sales of pre-made sandwiches and small bites by Ojai Valley Deli CaféOjai Rôtie and The Vine Ojai plus beer, cider, and wine from Ojai Beverage Co.)

Marché Gourmet Delicatessen, 133 E. Ojai Ave. (half a block from Libbey Park), 805-646-1133, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available from a menu that includes soups, salads, quiches and sandwiches, plus gelato and bottles of wine to go. Call ahead to order box lunches that include a sandwich, side salad and cookie.

Grab n Go places Ojai Tortilla House, 104 N. Signal St. (half a block from Libbey Park), 805-797-8675, Daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – if supplies last that long. 

Don’t let the “cash only” sign put you off: There’s room for an ATM inside this hole in the wall where house-made corn and flour tortillas are turned into tacos, burritos and quesadillas filled with your choice of veggies, steak, chicken or al pastor. 

Yume Japanese Burger Cafe, 254 E. Ojai Ave. (about a block from Libbey Park). 805-272-8963, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Wagyu beef is the specialty of the house, but the café’s riffs on burgers include shrimp katsu, vegetable croquette and – swapping bread for “buns” of rice – vegetable or shrimp tempura. Loaded fries, smoothies, shakes and bubble teas are also served.

Love Social Café, 205 N. Signal St. (about two blocks from Libbey Park), 805-646-1540, Daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Easy-to-transport dishes range from avocado toast and bagels and lox to tuna, veggie and BLT sandwiches on your choice of croissant, gluten-free bread or Ojai Rôtie sourdough. 

Rainbow Bridge Market Deli, 211 E. Matilija St. (inside Rainbow Bridge Market, about two blocks from Libbey Park), 805-646-6623, Daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Breakfast burritos and specialty juices — like the aptly named Rainbow Wallbanger — are local favorites. Salads include a mix-and-match option and pre-packaged greens with tofu, chicken or salmon. Sandwiches both hot (Brocc on the Wild Side) and cold (Rainbow tuna salad) are available until 5 p.m. and include gluten-free and vegan selections. 

Westridge Midtown Market, 131 W. Ojai Ave. (about two blocks from Libbey Park), 805-646-4082, Daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The service deli has a priced-by-the-pound breakfast bar (open from 7 to 10:30 a.m.), salad bar and hot bar in addition to packaged sushi, grab-and-go burritos and sandwiches, brick-oven pizzas and “famous” Westridge Burgers made with ground beef or turkey. The original Westridge Market (802 E. Ojai Ave., about half a mile from Libbey Park, 805-646-2762) also offers made-to-order burgers, plus a create-your-own taco and burrito bar and, on the weekends, barbecue off the grill in the parking lot.

Hip Vegan, 201 N. Montgomery St. (about three blocks from Libbey Park), 805-669-6363, Daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tucked behind a hedge at Montgomery and Matilija streets, Hip Vgn (as the restaurant is styled online) is dedicated to organic, vegan fare that often is also gluten free. Spring rolls are filled with tofu and fresh herbs, while the Tiger Bowl features grilled tempeh with turmeric rice. Smoothies are made with almond, hemp and cashew milks.

Pinyon Ojai, 423 E. Ojai Ave., Suite 101 (about three blocks from Libbey Park), no phone, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. After its debut last winter, the wood-fired pizzeria, bakery and natural wines shop now also offers breakfast. House-made sourdough pastries and bagels are available from 9 a.m. (the latter are sold on their own, as breakfast sandwiches, or with shmear and Mt. Lassen trout lox). Hoagies and sourdough-crust pizza squares join in until around 4 p.m., with small plates, salads, desserts and pizzas available from noon to 9 p.m. 

La Fuente Mexican Food, 423 E. Ojai Ave. Suite 108 (about three blocks from Libbey Park), 805-646-7715, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sundays. This homey spot located in the far corner of Fitzgerald Plaza serves tacos, tamales, sopes, burritos, and quesadillas (plus burgers and fries) in near-record time. Be sure to hit the serve-yourself salsa bar before departing.

Ojai Valley Deli Café1205 Maricopa Highway, Unit A (about 1.3 miles from Libbey Park), 805-272-8139, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Since its December 2021 debut next to the Ben Franklin Store, the deli has become a locals’ favorite for its to-go-only service of salads, eggplant Parmesan, hot-off-the-grill panini and house-made desserts, including tiramisu and vegan carrot cake. Italian coffee is a specialty.

Lisa McKinnon is a Ventura-based food writer who has been squeezing in bites between Ojai Music Festival concerts since the 1990s. She’s on Instagram as 805foodie and blogs at

2022 Artistic Collaborators

Victoria Chang’s latest book of poetry is The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press). Her nonfiction book Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions) was published in 2021. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020)was named a New York Times “Notable Book, Time “Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and lives in Los Angeles and is a core faculty member within Antioch’s low-residency MFA Program.



Carolyn Chen has made music for supermarket, demolition district, and the dark. Her work reconfigures the everyday to retune habits of our ears through sound, text, light, and movement. Her studies of the guqin, a Chinese zither traditionally played for private meditation in nature, have informed her thinking on listening in social spaces. Recent projects include an audio essay on a scream and commissions for Klangforum Wien and the LA Phil New Music Group. Described by The New York Times as “the evening’s most consistently alluring … a quiet but lush meditation,” her work has been presented in 25 countries and supported by the Berlin Prize, the Fulbright Program, and ASCAP’s Fred Ho Award for work that “defies boundaries and genres.” Writing and recordings are available in MusikTexte, Experimental Music Yearbook, New Centennial Review, Leonardo Music Journal, Quakebasket, and the wulf. She earned a PhD in music from UC San Diego and a MA in Modern Thought and Literature and BA in music from Stanford University. She lives in Los Angeles.

Composer/pianist Anthony Cheung writes music that explores the senses, a wide palette of instrumental play and affect, improvisational traditions, reimagined musical artifacts, and multiple layers of textual meaning. His music has been commissioned and performed by leading groups such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, New York Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Scharoun Ensemble, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and many others. From 2015-17, he was the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. He is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as a 2012 Rome Prize, and received first prize at the 2008 Dutilleux Competition. As a co-founder of New York’s Talea Ensemble, he served as pianist and artistic director of the group. Recordings include three portrait discs: Cycles and Arrows (New Focus), Dystemporal (Wergo), and Roundabouts (Ensemble Modern Medien). He studied at Harvard and Columbia, and was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He taught at the University of Chicago from 2013-20 and is currently associate professor of music at Brown University.

Bret Easterling has been surrounded by dance ever since he was born in Palo Alto, California. After growing up in his mother’s dance studio, his career began at the age of 7, dancing in commercial work including a duet with Angela Lansbury in Mrs. Santa Claus, and in Fiona Apple’s music video for Paper Bag. At the age of 11, he was a founding member of Teen Dance Company of the Bay Area, an original cast member of New York Stage Original’s Tap Kids, and an annual performer in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

After high school, Easterling moved to New York City to study at The Juilliard School, where he received his BFA and the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography in 2010. While in school, he was a formative member of Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance and a guest performer with Buglisi Dance Theatre. Upon graduation, Easterling was invited by Ohad Naharin to join the Ensemble Batsheva in Tel Aviv, Israel. He was ultimately promoted to the acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company, which gave him the opportunity to tour internationally and participate in creative processes with Naharin, Sharon Eyal, and Roy Assaf.

In 2011, Easterling began teaching Gaga, and has since had the privilege of sharing this movement language with dancers and people in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Easterling has always had a strong passion for choreography and has received numerous honors for his works. He is also a certified Ilan Lev Method practitioner, a rehearsal director for Gallim Dance, and the artistic director of BEMOVING.

Vinson Fraley was born in Statesville, North Carolina, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his formal training in voice and drama at DeKalb School of the Arts. He started dancing at the age of 14 at DanceMakers of Atlanta. Fraley received his BFA in dance from NYU Tisch in 2015. During his final year of college he became a member of Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M (Abraham.In.Motion) and later joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in 2017. Fraley has been a frequent collaborator with Carrie Mae Weems. He collaborated with Sterling Ruby and the Metropolitan Museum for the In America: A Lexicon of Fashion exhibition. Fraley teamed up with artist Janet Biggs in a work made for Arts at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). He was a part of Damien Jalet and Kohei Nawa’s latest production Planet [wanderer], which premiered at the Théâtre National de Chaillot. Fraley has also performed at Frieze Art Fair under the direction of Stephen Galloway. He is currently working alongside international choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith on her newest creation, Broken Theater. Most recently Fraley debuted a duet he created for himself and Sara Mearns at the Joyce Theatre.

He has had the opportunity to present solo works in the U.S., Germany, and France. This past summer he debuted a new work at The Watermill Center. Fraley’s choreography and movement direction have been seen in videos by Calvin Klein, Serpentwithfeet, Vogue, Nike, and Pattern Beauty. Fraley contributed an original music composition for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s newest work titled Afterwardsness. His work has been written about and featured in various publications including The New York Times and Interview Magazine, has appeared on the cover of V Magazine, I-d Magazine, Highsnobiety, Document Journal, and Dance Magazine.

Jonathan Fredrickson was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He attended California Institute of the Arts, where he received his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Fredrickson danced with the Limon Dance Company from 2006-11 and created two works on the company during his time there: The Edge of Some World and Chrysalis. In 2010, he was a winner of Hubbard Street’s National Choreographic Competition and was also honored as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” He then danced with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago from 2011-15, where he was commissioned to create two new works for the company, Untitled Landscape and For the Wandered. His work has been shown in festivals such as Hong Kong Dance Festival, Reverb Dance Festival, and White Wave, and he has created for programs like California Institute of the Arts, CalState Fullerton, Limon Institute, and Sundance/Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. He joined the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in 2015, where he has been performing her work internationally, and creating for the company’s choreographic platform UNDERGROUND with the works Epilogue and Afternoon Forest Birds.

Carrie Frey, viola, is an active performer and educator, focused on working with inquisitive musicians and composers and encouraging creativity in her students. An enthusiastic proponent of new music, Frey has premiered over 200 works, and her own compositions have been performed by the Rhythm Method, violinist Adrianne Munden-Dixon, and violist Kallie Sugatski. Frey is the violist of the Rhythm Method and a founding member of string trio Chartreuse and string quartet Desdemona. She has performed with many of New York City’s notable new music ensembles, including Wet Ink Large Ensemble, AMOC*, Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, Cantata Profana, Heartbeat Opera, and S.E.M. Ensemble. Also comfortable as an improviser, Frey performs with Simone Baron’s ensemble Arco Belo and electroacoustic trio Hierophant. Her sonata album, The Grey Light of Day, with pianist Robert Fleitz, was released by Wild Iris Productions in 2016. As an orchestral musician, Frey has played with the American Composers Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony, the Savannah Philharmonic, and at festivals around the world, including the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, Britten-Pears Festival, Grafenegg Academy, and Pacific Music Festival. Frey is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory (BM) and the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program (MM), and is currently pursuing a DMA at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


photo by Caroline Mariko Stucky

Ariadne Greif, praised for her “luminous, expressive voice,” “searing top notes,” and “dusky depths,” (NYTimes), enjoyed a casual child career as a “boy” soprano at the LA Opera, eventually making an adult debut singing Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the American Symphony Orchestra. She starred in operas ranging from Donizetti’s Elixir of Love with The Orlando Philharmonic, to Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias at the Aldeburgh Festival, and Atthis, by G.F. Haas, which the NY Times called “one of the most searingly painful and revealing operatic performances in recent times.”  Recent projects included performances in Oslo, Luxembourg, and NY with William Kentridge of the Dada masterpiece Ursonate, collaborations with The Knights, a project called Bird Party created for The Ultima Festival in Norway, a film of Table Manners, by Sheree Clement, and a film of We Need To Talk, a new monodrama by Caroline Shaw and Anne Carson for Opera Philadelphia. Ariadne has premiered upwards of twenty new operas and more than a hundred new chamber works.

The music of American composer Mark Grey has been commissioned or premiered by such organizations as The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The National Opera of Belgium La Monnaie | de Munt Opera, Carnegie Hall, CalPerformances, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, Kronos Quartet, Berkeley Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, California Symphony, The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and several others along with festivals at Ravinia, Cabrillo, OtherMinds, Perth International, and Spoleto. Grey was commissioned by La Monnaie | de Munt to write an evening-length grand opera FRANKENSTEIN which premiered in Brussels during the spring of 2019. In January 2020 his work Rainbow Bridge for 100 electric guitars premiered outdoors on the grounds of Circus Maximus as part of the Rome Festival. Grey is also an Emmy Award winning sound designer having premiered major opera and concert works worldwide.

Gleb Kanasevich is a clarinetist, composer, and noise/drone musician.  He works often as a soloist and collaborates with composers, chamber music groups, improvisers, noise musicians, death metal bands, and many more types of artists. His blackened noise album Asleep (Unknown Tapes) and the immersive 45-minute Subtraction (Flag Day Recordings) came out to critical acclaim in 2019. His massive drone projects continued in the project If you want to be reborn, let yourself die, released in 2020.

Most recently, he was commissioned by Ensemble Intercontemporain, Callithumpian Consort, and No Exit New Music Ensemble. In 2020, he released a new improvisation project for modified recorder and guitar amplifiers, Capacity. It came out as a very limited edition of 20 lathe-cut vinyl records with unique hand-drawn sleeves in July 2020. Capacity has been followed by fully composed works for cello (written for Peter Kibbe, commissioned by NakedEye Ensemble) and bass clarinet (commissioned through Cultural Council of Australia). Kanasevich continued his drone and feedback experiments in a special new set to be presented by Janus Radio in South Korea. 

He has been a core member of Ensemble Cantata Profana — a group based in New York City. In August 2018, he became the ensemble’s associate artistic director after moving to New York City. From 2016 until spring 2019, Kanasevich also worked as a curator/video maker for the online new music database and audio/video/score resource ScoreFollower/Incipitsify. In March 2021, he transformed Unknown Tapes from a self-release platform into a recording artist community dedicated to showcasing work by artists with unique approaches to spontaneous music making and improvisation techniques, regardless of genre.

Jesse Kovarsky is a performer and movement director. He earned his Master’s in Performance from Trinity Laban in London and has worked with choreographers all over the world including Hofesh Shechter, Sidi Larbi Cherkoui, Punchdrunk, Alexander Ekman, Ryan Heffington, Russell Maliphant, Bobbi Jene Smith, Arthur Pita, Sonya Tayeh, and Celia Rolson-Hall. He gravitates towards more theatrical work having originated roles in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man and performed in their hit show Sleep No More. He has appeared on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof and The Band’s Visit and has danced in various films and TV productions including Anna Karenina, Muppets Most Wanted, Tick Tick Boom, After Yang, and Harlem. He has collaborated with notable brands such as Netflix, Amazon, Hermes, Virgin, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nike. 


Yiannis Logothetis is a queer interdisciplinary artivist and teacher with a focus on performance, dance improvisation, and movement medicine. His passion for learning multiple disciplines, meeting different cultures, celebrating the virtue of the body through the wisdom of music, dance, and literature allows him to travel around the world observing, performing, creating, teaching, and expanding his studies on qigong, contemplative action practices, and decolonization. He is currently engaged in project-based works with AMOC*, Corpo Maquina under Evangelos Biskas, and Yang Zhen Company. His recent and past artistic collaborations and studies include prestigious contemporary artists such as Bobbi Jene Smith, Crystal Pite, Andrea Miller, Maxine Doyle, Daria Fain, Bonnie Cohen, Boaz Yakin, and Elton John. Following his dance degree from Marymount Manhattan College, he joined the cast of the award-winning production of Sleep No More NYC by Punchdrunk International. While still performing, creating, and sharing his collaborative works globally, his focus does not seem to disengage from a constant connection with self-healing work through qigong, somatics, and antiracism studies, and continuous exploration of his inner being dismantling anything that obstructs his creative and authentic self. His love for connecting people through dance and music led him to cofound the Warrior Poets in 2017, a team of artists that creates and produces work seeking to connect people through live dance and music performances, parties, and workshops all around the world. Born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, Logothetis’s professional dance training includes contemporary, hip-hop, popping, house, ballet, modern, ballroom, and standard dance; Greek folklore, contact improvisation, Argentine tango, and more. “When I connect with the polyrhythmic groove of nature, my essences are awakened; when awakened, the essences bring my prenatal and postnatal qi in harmony and my spirits can flow unrestrained; in such a state my mind is free from knowledge, and meditation becomes a way of being rather than doing.”

Ruckus is a baroque band with a fresh, visceral approach to early music. The ensemble’s debut earned widespread critical acclaim: “achingly delicate one moment, incisive and punchy the next” (The New York Times); “superb” (Opera News). Ruckus’s core members form a continuo group, the baroque equivalent of a rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon, and bass. The ensemble aims to fuse the early-music movement’s questing, creative spirit with the grit, groove, and jangle of American roots music, creating a unique sound of “rough-edged intensity” (The New Yorker).

Ruckus’ first album, an acclaimed collaboration with Emi Ferguson of Bach Sonatas and Preludes, debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts.

Current programs in development include Holy Manna, a participatory concert experience through Shape-Note music, featuring John Taylor Ward, Bridge Hill Kennedy, Sophie Michaux, and Adam Jacob Simon; Arcadian Visions, a recital featuring Emi Ferguson and Rachell Ellen Wong; and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Sonatas with violinist Keir GoGwilt.

Matilda Sakamoto is a choreographer, movement director, dancer, and actor based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Her work can be seen on stage and film. She made her acting debut at the Public Theater in the world premiere of The Michaels and The Michaels Abroad, by Tony Award–winning playwright/director Richard Nelson. It was chosen as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and nominated for a Drama League Award.

Sakamoto was a 2020 Ann & Weston Hicks Choreographic Fellow at Jacob’s Pillow. She was chosen to be a 2020 dance resident at Art Omi and resident at The Barn at Lee. She has presented work at Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles. Sakamoto was commissioned to create a new work for the [email protected] series at the Martha Graham Studios and the Juilliard Summer Dance Program in 2018. She has also shown work at Dixon Place’s UnderExposed series, Triskelion Arts’ Summer Fest, Chen Dance Center’s Newsteps Series, STUFFED at Judson Memorial Church, and more. 

Internationally, Sakamoto has choreographed an original dance opera, William William, in collaboration with Petr Kotik, of the Brooklyn-based S.E.M. Ensemble. The opera enjoyed premieres at Kotik’s NODO festival in Prague and the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, New York. 

Her credits as movement director include music videos for Wet, an  indie-pop band, and their song “Old Bone”, and “Tender” by neo-R&B singer and 88rising creative director, TIN. 

As a dancer, Sakamoto has performed in theaters, museums, and on film. She has been in music videos for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Go Robot”, Katy Perry’s “Resilient”, Will Oldham and Bill Callahan’s “She’s My Everything”, indie-pop artist Shura, a retrospective for music artist Sia, and more.  A native of Los Angeles, Sakamoto received a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School.

Carlos Soto is a director and designer based in New York City, where he studied art history and literature at the Pratt Institute. His GIRLMACHINE premiered at Performa 09 and was subsequently presented in Paris by the American University of Paris. In 2011, he was featured in an evening of works curated by Robert Wilson for Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum. 

Soto has collaborated with recording and performance artist Solange as associate director and costume designer on multiple projects, most recently on the film and festival tour accompanying her album When I Get Home. In 2018, Soto designed sets and costumes for Davóne Tines’s and Michael Schachter’s The Black Clown, directed by Zack Winokur at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. In 2016 Soto designed costumes for a touring evening-length retrospective of Lucinda Childs’ works spanning dances from 1967 to today.

Soto has worked with Robert Wilson since 1997 as a performer, designer, and assistant on numerous productions in the U.S. and Europe. He re-designed the costumes for the revival of Wilson’s and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach. Most recently he designed costumes for Wilson’s staging of Sophocles’ Oedipus, staged among the ruins of Pompeii in the Teatro Grande (built ca. 200 BCE).

Arthur Sze is a poet, translator, and editor. He is the author of 11 books of poetry, including The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2021); Sight Lines (2019), for which he received the National Book Award for Poetry; Compass Rose (2014), a Pulitzer Prize finalist; The Ginkgo Light (2009), selected for the PEN Southwest Book Award and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Book Award; Quipu (2005); The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970–1998 (1998), selected for the Balcones Poetry Prize and the Asian American Literary Award; and Archipelago (1995), selected for an American Book Award. He has also published one book of Chinese poetry translations, The Silk Dragon (2001), selected for the Western States Book Award, and edited Chinese Writers on Writing (2010). A recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the eighth annual ‘T’ Space Poetry Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, as well as five grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, Sze was the first poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 2012 to 2017, he was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and, in 2017, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His poems have been published in the American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry and in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His work has been translated into 16 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

John Torres’s work includes designs for dance, theater, music, fashion, and print. In collaboration with Robert Wilson, productions have included EDDA (Det Norske Teatret Oslo), and “Cheek to Cheek Live! With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga” (PBS Great Performances). Opera projects include La Traviata and Orfeo et Euryidice at Opera Orchestre National Montpellier and Tristan and Isolde at La Monnaie / de Munt in Brussels. Recent theater has included Twelfth Night for Shakespeare in the Park, Delacorte Theatre; and The Black Clown, A.R.T. Cambridge. In music, projects include Taylor Mac: A 24 Decade History of Popular Music; Solange Knowles / Cosmic Journey; and Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration. In dance, Toss and Rogues with choreographer Trisha Brown, Theatre National de Chaillot/Paris; and Available Light with choreographer Lucinda Childs, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. In fashion, Givenchy S/S 2015 (New York); Yeezy 3 by Kanye West at Madison Square Garden. With director Steven Klein, music videos Chun Li (Nicki Minaj) and Wolves (Kanye West).

Canadian born, American raised, Stephanie Troyak is a dancer, actress & choreographer. She is an alumnus of Booker T HSPVA, NYU Tisch, and former dancer for the Batsheva Ensemble and Gallim Dance. From 2016-2021 she spent 5 years as a performer for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. While there she was nominated for the prestigious “Faust” prize for Best Dancer/Actress for her leading role as Anna in Pina Bausch’s Seven Deadly Sins and named Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch for 2019. The National Arts Center of Canada made a feature documentary about Stephanie’s life and career called PORTRAIT: STEPHANIE TROYAK. Other stage credits include Melanie Laurent’s opera Eugenie’s Tears as Eugenie, and original creations with Alan Lucien Oyen and Dimitris Papaioannou.

Her film/TV work as an actress includes starring in Netflix Original TV series Greenhouse Academy, The Girlfriend Experience, and leading roles in feature films In The Dark, and An American Girl on the Home Front, among others. Her training includes NYU Tisch, Lesly Kahn, & Ted Sluberski, and she is currently working in Los Angeles where she is repped by GVA Talent, APA & Wonder St. Ent.

Her choreographic work has been commissioned for Wayne State University, SoulEscape Dance Company, Wanderlust Dance Project, Young Choreographers Festival NY, and YoungArts Miami which won her a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She guest teaches/choreographs for NYU, USC, CLI Studios, SUNY Purchase, Wayne State University, Sam Houston State, San Jacinto University, Joffrey School of Dance, and many studios/companies around the globe.

With a focus on contemporary keyboard performance, Grammy-nominated pianist richard valitutto is a soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. Described as “a keyboard superstar” (The New Yorker), and a “spellbinding,” “vigorously virtuosic,” “all around go-to new music specialist” (LA Times), he is also a member of the Grammy-nominated ensemble Wild Up and the “startlingly versatile” (NY Times) quartet, gnarwhallaby. He has collaborated and performed with several of the country’s leading arts organizations and series, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Martha Graham Dance Company, and PBS Great Performances, among many others. His debut album of contemporary solo premieres, nocturnes & lullabies (New Focus Recordings) was released in March 2020 to critical acclaim. richard is currently in residence at Cornell University’s Keyboard Studies DMA program. His research and performance practice primarily focuses on the piano and pianism as a creative site of cultural meaning, embodied subject formation, and technological episteme over the past two centuries across a wide variety of musical contexts and genres. He holds degrees in piano performance from the California Institute of the Arts (MFA) and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (BM, summa cum laude).

Divya Victor is the author of Curb (Nightboat Books, winner of PEN America Open Book Award and the Kinglsey Tufts Poetry Award); Kith (Fence Books/ Book*hug); Scheingleichheit: Drei Essays (Merve Verlag); Natural Subjects (Trembling Pillow), Unsub (Insert Blanc), Things to Do with Your Mouth (Les Figues). Her work has been collected in numerous venues, including BOMB, the New Museum’s The Animated Reader; Crux: Journal of Conceptual Writing, The Best American Experimental Writing, POETRY, and boundary2.

Her work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Czech. She has been a Mark Diamond Research Fellow at the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Riverrun Fellow at the Archive for New Poetry at University of California San Diego, and a writer in residence at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibit (LACE). Her work has been performed and installed at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Los Angeles, The National Gallery of Singapore, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition (LACE), and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

She has been an editor at Jacket2 (United States), Ethos Books (Singapore), Invisible Publishing (Canada), and Book*hug Press (Canada). She is currently an associate professor of English at Michigan State University.

Recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award and hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” cellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres.

Woods’ 2021-22 season will include his debut at the Ojai Music Festival as well as at the Aspen Music Festival, The Britt Festival, 92nd Street Y, Harbourfront Theatre, Chamber Music Society of Virginia, Washington Performing Arts, The Strathmore, The Weisman Art Museum and Harvard. This season of performances will also include concertos by Rebecca Saunders and Tyshawn Sorey, and chamber music with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Andreas Haefliger. Woods will serve as artist in residence at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and Northwestern University Center for New Music.

His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough (Confront Recordings-London), has garnered great acclaim since its release in November 2016 and has been profiled in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, 5against4, I Care If You Listen, Musical America, Seattle Times, and Strings Magazine, among others.

In the 2021-22 season, Woods joins the faculty at the University at Buffalo as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor. He previously served on the music faculties of the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, and the Chicago Academy of the Arts. He holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. In the 2020-21 season he was an artist in residence with the Kaufman Music Center, and from 2018-2020 he served as artist in residence with Seattle Symphony and Creative Consultant for the interactive concert hall, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center. 

Percussionist Mari Yoshinaga performs actively as a member of arx duo, a contemporary music ensemble with percussionist Garrett Arney. Their recent performances include Dominic Murcott’s The Harmonic Canon at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, as well as performances and master classes across the U.S. 

arx duo is in residence at the Artosphere Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and they’ve served on the faculty of the Young Artist Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music. They both are also members of The Percussion Collective of percussion alumni of Yale School of Music directed by Robert van Sice. Recent performances with them include concertos with Louisville Orchestra and Curtis Orchestra.

Yoshinaga has worked with a number of composers, including Paul Chihara, Nick DiBerardino, Ian Gottlieb, Ted Hearne, Jonathan B Holland, Robert Honstine, Paul Lansky, Michael Larello, Steven Mackey, Dominic Murcott, Garth Neustadter, Angelique Poteate, Angie Chan Ramirez, Juri Seo, Christopher Theofanidis, Alejandro Vinao, and James Wood. Her recording work includes Partita: Suite for Guitar and Percussion by Paul Lansky with guitarist David Starobin (Bridge Records); Cloud Polyphonies by James Wood (NMC Recordings); and The Harmonic Canon by Dominic Murcott (Nonclassical).

Yoshinaga was born in Kagoshima, Japan. Immersed in music from an early age, she began studying piano at age 3, marimba at age 5, euphonium at 10, cello at 11, and percussion at 12. She moved to the United States to attend The Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and later she earned her master’s degree at Yale School of Music. With gratitude, she proudly endorses Adams instruments, Evans drumheads, Pearl drums, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.

Podcast Series: OJAICast 2022


Welcome to OJAICast, where we pull back the curtain to take a sneak-peek at the upcoming Ojai Music Festival, June 9 to 12, in beautiful Ojai Valley, California. All are welcome here, from newcomers to long-time music fans. In-depth insights and special guests will help introduce this year’s programming and whet your musical appetites for what’s to come with host Emily Praetorius.


Episode 1

Our first episode introduces us to our 2022 Music Director AMOC, the multidisciplinary collective which incorporates music, dance, poetry, theatre in all their work and their ambitious programming that begins on Thu June 9. Guests: Ara Guzelimian, Zack Winokur, and Keir Gogwilt

Emily Praetorius, producer and host
Louis Ng, sound engineer (

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in Episode 1:
Craigie Hill, by Keir GoGwilt and Celeste Oram
Performed by Keir GoGwilt

Prelude to the Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc, by Julius Eastman
Performed by Julius Eastman

Rebonds B, by Iannis Xenakis
Performed by Steven Schick

Gretchen am spinnrade, by Eric Wubbels
Performed by Eric Wubbels and Mariel Roberts


Episode 2

From early morning sunrise to evening sunset, AMOC dives into the music of icons George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell, the life and music of Julius Eastman alongside world premieres of works by Anthony Cheung and new staging of Messian’s Harawi. Guests: AMOC member and flutist Emi Ferguson and composer Anthony Cheung.

Emily Praetorius, producer and host
Louis Ng, sound engineer (

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in Episode 2:
Gay Guerilla, by Julius Eastman
Performed by Julius Eastman

Stay on It, by Julius Eastman
Performed by Julius Eastman, Doug Gaston, Amrom Chodos, Dennis Kahle, Benjamin Hudson, Joseph Ford, George Mitkoff, Jan Williams, Peter Kotik

Harawi, mvts. 2, 6, 10, by Olivier Messiaen
Performed by Hetna Regitze Bruun and Kristoffer Hyldig


Episode 3

Let Festival weekend begin! In this episode we look at the Saturday program which is quintessential Ojai Music Festival — music of Bach and Bach re-imagined and three premieres of some of today’s most exciting composers Matthew Aucoin, Carolyn Chen, and Andrew McIntosh. Guests: AMOC co-founder/composer Matthew Aucoin and AMOC member and violinist Miranda Cuckson.

Emily Praetorius, producer and host
Louis Ng, sound engineer (

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in Episode 3:
cross/collapse, by Catherine Lamb

About Bach, by Cassandra Miller
Performed by Quatuor Bozzini

Tanz Tanz, by Reiko Füting
Performed by Olivia de Prato

Prelude in G Minor, by Bach
Performed by Emi Ferguson and Ruckus

Little Jimmy, by Andrew McIntosh
Performed by Yarn/Wire


Episode 4

More music, meditation, and dance plus community events end the four-day Festival starting with Meditation with the music of Julius Eastman, followed by Hans Otte’s The Book of Sounds, and two world premieres Dance in the Park and Rome is Falling. To end this jam-packed Fesrival, the Sunday Finale will display the virtuosity of all 17 AMOC members as a collective. Guests: Ara Guzelimian, Julia Eichten, and Doug Balliett.

Emily Praetorius, producer and host
Louis Ng, sound engineer (

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in Episode 4:
The Book of Soundsmvts. 1, 10, by Hans Otte
Performed by Ralph van Raat

Also available on SPOTIFY and APPLE PODCASTS

Emily Praetorius, former Ojai Music Festival intern and Rothenberg Intern Fellow, is a current Composition DMA candidate at Columbia University. She previously studied composition and clarinet performance at the University of Redlands (BM) and composition at Manhattan School of Music (MM). She has studied with Kathryn Nevin (clarinet), Susan Botti, Georg Friedrich Haas, George Lewis, and Anthony Suter. Emily is from Ojai, CA and lives in New York City where she is a proud co-owner of Kuro Kirin Espresso & Coffee.

Meet our 2022 Interns!

We are excited to share our stellar team of interns with you. These students represent the next generation of musicians and arts administrators. The Festival depends on them for critical support in a variety of management areas including production, stage management, operations, box office, marketing, and more. Our interns this year span the US from Indiana to Kansas to California. We are delighted to welcome back a few Ventura County locals to our internship program as well. Our impressive roster of interns is ready to bring their passion and experience to the Ojai Music Festival team and make the 76th Ojai Music Festival a year to remember.

Bryce Cox
Bryce Cox is a flutist and is pursuing a BM in music performance at Boston University, where she studies with Linda Toote. Throughout her pre-college and college studies, she has explored a number of musical endeavors and creative outlets.

She currently performs in the Boston University Wind Ensemble and with a flute trio. In the past, she has been involved in summer festivals such as the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in July 2021, the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artists Summer Program in the summer of 2020, and Luzerne Music Center in the summer of 2018 and 2019. She is also a finalist in the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Young Instrumentalists Competition.

In addition to being a musician, she is also an active writer and published her first book, Consigned to Oblivion, in 2020. She runs a website for her writing, as well as The Peculiarity Project, a project dedicated to giving LGBTQ+ youth a platform to share their stories.

Caleb Durant
Caleb Durant is a Los Angeles-based hornist and sound engineer focused in the fields of experimental and contemporary classical music. He believes in the enriching power of music, and always seeks to provoke thought through his musical ventures. An earnest advocate for new music, Caleb has worked extensively with composers and new music groups, such as  Thornton EDGE and the HOCKET ensemble. He is fascinated with musical innovation and experimentation, and he strives to share that same sense of wonder and amazement with all.

Originally from Fresno California, Caleb now operates out of Los Angeles. He is a student at the USC Thornton School of music, and has studied under the tutelage of Kristy Morell and Steve Becknell.

Landon Wilson
Landon Wilson is currently a third-year undergraduate pianist at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Jeffrey Cohen. He also works in the Office of Admissions at MSM and serves as a student intern with Mid-America Performing Arts Alliance (MAPAA), a non-profit organization pairing an international concert series with educationally-based performance opportunities in the Midwest. In addition, Landon is currently developing a new recital series in his native Kansas, which will feature musicians from MSM, Juilliard, and the international opera stage. His role as a festival producer is multi-faceted; Landon leads a small team that coordinates fundraising, audience outreach, and artistic programming to bring leading talent to an enthusiastic audience in the heart of the United States.

Evan Losoya
Evan Losoya is a composer, pianist and oboist based in Los Angeles. He received his BA degree in music composition and a minor in linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He currently studies composition with Michael Fink and piano with Vicki Ray at the California Institute of the Arts where he is pursuing his MFA degree in the Performer-Composer program. He performed regularly with the UCSB Ensemble of Contemporary Music and performed as 1st Chair Oboist with the UCSB Wind Ensemble. At CalArts, he works as a music theory teaching assistant in the Herb Alpert School of Music and often performs his own compositions in the OK Composer concerts. Since 2021, Evan has served as chairman of the Grand Arts Consortium (GAC) and has also worked as a transcriber and arranger for GAC’s Grand Feature Film Orchestra. He composed two full-length original film scores for two silent films in the summers of 2017 and 2019. In 2017, Evan debuted his book of original piano solos titled “At the Moment” at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA. As the 2016 winner of the Young Artists’ Competition, he performed as piano soloist with the Solano Symphony Orchestra. A pianist in a jazz band, Evan has recorded music at Skyline Studios in Oakland, CA and Capitol Records in Los Angeles.

Brendan Baker
Brendan Baker has been running live productions for the past year with his job as an instructor at Burbank Music Academy as well as his club at Cal Lutheran: Musician’s Club and he’s hoping to deepen his understanding of running live music shows as well as make connections with people inside the music industry. He has been taking vocal lessons since he was fourteen, but found a second love for Music Production when he entered college. In the last semester, he has produced 6 different live events of varying sizes with his Club, and in doing so have learned how to operate in all roles of stage management, and stage setup.



Eliana Choi
Eliana Choi is a student of Westmont College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Music. She has led many organizations and events, including the orientation committee at Westmont College. One of her goals in life is to make a positive difference wherever she is.






Juan Gonzalez
Juan Gonzalez is currently a senior at California Lutheran University and a Music Department Assistant. He has experience audio engineering from his music production classes, as well as producing outside of class. He is also president of the Musicians’ Club of CLU, which is one of six chapters of Musicians’ Club across schools in southern California.





Carissa Corrigan
Carissa Corrigan was honored to be the Valedictorian of her high school graduating class and is the proud recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Bronze Medal for Community Service. She is also an honoree of the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Carissa pursues her academic studies with rigor as an Augustinian Scholar at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and plans to graduate in May of 2023 with a Bachelors of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Carissa began playing oboe at the age of 11, although she began her musical journey with piano at the age of six. She has been studying oboe for nine years. She is currently a student of Adelle Rodkey, alumna of Wheaton Conservatory of Music.

Kangchen Norbu
Kangchen Norbu is an undergraduate student studying International Studies and Political Science who seeks the opportunity to foster his passions and cultivate a dedication toward acts of community service. He will be returning for his second year of the Festival internship program.






Maddi Baird
Maddi Baird is a Los Angeles-based composer and sound artist who combines creative activity (performance and installation-based works) with empirical forms of research to explore connections between nature, human experience, and sound.

Maddi is currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental Composition and Sound Practices with an emphasis in Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts.




Denise Lopez
Denise Lopez is a senior at California Lutheran University where she is majoring in Music with an emphasis in Technology. She had previously earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology at UC Santa Barbara. Denise’s passion for music was integral for her to begin her studies anew in the field of music. She has had the opportunity to intern at Moorpark College while earning her AA in Music for transfer, as well as traveling abroad and performing at various venues in Central Europe. She hopes to have a career in the music industry, as she is curious about the creative and technical processes involved in the arts. In her spare time, Denise enjoys journaling and traveling with her friends and family.




Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Policy

Ojai Music Festival (OMF) is committed to providing a workplace free of sexual harassment and discrimination (which includes harassment or discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions) as well as unlawful harassment and discrimination based on such factors as race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age for individuals over forty years of age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, citizenship status, military and veteran status, denial or use of family and medical care leave, and any other factor made unlawful by federal, state, or local law.  OMF strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate unlawful harassment or discrimination against employees by supervisors or co-workers, as well as by third parties in the workplace or with whom the employee comes into contact in connection with their employment.  This policy applies to all OMF employees, paid or unpaid interns, volunteers, and any other persons providing services to OMF pursuant to a contract.

Harassment includes verbal, physical, and visual conduct, as well as communication though electronic media of any type, that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working environment or interferes with work performance.  Such conduct constitutes harassment when (1) submission to the conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision; or (3) the harassment interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.  Harassing conduct can take many forms and includes, but is not limited to, slurs, jokes, statements, gestures, pictures, or cartoons regarding an employee’s sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, physical disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity veteran status, or other protected status.

Sexually harassing conduct in particular includes all of these prohibited actions as well as other unwelcome conduct such as requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, verbal conduct of a sexual nature (for example name calling, suggestive comments, or lewd talk) or physical conduct (including assault, unwanted touching, intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of sex or any other protected basis).  An employee who unlawfully harasses a co-worker may be personally liable for the harassment.

If an employee believes he/she or a co-worker has been subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, they should immediately contact their supervisor or Managing Director either orally or in writing.  A supervisor who learns of any misconduct which may be in violation of this policy or learns of an employee’s complaint or concern about a possible violation of this policy must immediately report the issue to the Managing Director.

Upon receipt of any complaint, OMF will immediately undertake a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation conducted by qualified personnel, preserving confidentiality to the extent possible.  The investigation will provide all parties appropriate due process and reach reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected, as well as determine appropriate options for remedial action to resolve the situation.  If an employee has a complaint being investigated under this policy, he/she can find out about the progress of the investigation by contacting the Managing Director.

Retaliation against OMF employees or any other person for the good faith reporting of possible acts or incidents of discrimination or harassment, as well as participation in any workplace investigation, will not be tolerated.  If an employee believes he/she or a co-worker have been subjected to any form of unlawful retaliation, he/she should immediately contact his/her supervisor or Managing Director, either orally or in writing.  Upon receipt of a retaliation complaint, OMF will undertake an investigation consistent with the provisions of this policy.  OMF employees shown to have engaged in such retaliation will be disciplined, up to and including termination.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for opposing sexual harassment or participating in investigations of sexual harassment are illegal.  In addition to notifying the OMF about discrimination, harassment, or retaliation complaints, affected employees may also direct their complaints to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which has the authority to conduct investigations of the facts.  The deadline for filing complaints with the DFEH is one (1) year from the date of the alleged unlawful conduct.  If the DFEH believes that a complaint is valid and settlement efforts fail, the DFEH may seek an administrative hearing before the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) or file a lawsuit in court.  Both the FEHC and the courts have the authority to award monetary and non-monetary relief in meritorious cases.  Employees can contact the nearest DFEH office or the FEHC at the locations listed in OMF’s DFEH poster or by checking the state government listings on line or in the local telephone directory.


Jay Campbell, cellist

Julia Bullock, soprano

Press Images


Additional Images and Archive:

AMOC’s Music Playlist

The 2022 Festival Music Director AMOC, a collective of today’s most adventurous musicians, singers, composers, choreographers, and dancers, is as eclectic and open minded with their musical interests as one would expect. To begin the new year and expand our own musical horizons, we asked each member of AMOC to share their personal listening of the moment — a selection which is characteristically wide-ranging and very individualistic.

Listen on Spotify and Apple Music
(Preview the AMOC playlist and log on to your account to listen to the full songs)


Jonny Allen:
Jazz Crimes by Joshua Redman
This is a track that I just keep coming back to.  The groove is subtle but persistent.  Joshua Redman is such an incredible artist and Brian Blade’s drumming has always been an inspiration to me.


Paul Appleby:
My “what I’m listening to” pick is Kate Soper’s set of three songs for soprano and string quartets, Nadja.  I am a huge fan of Kate’s music because she has a language and voice that is entirely her own.  Her intellectual and literary interested are deeply personalized in her compositions and performances and her somewhat esoteric tests become vivid and immediate in her music.  This score is a great example of Kate’s incredible level of technical accomplishment as well as her imaginative and unique approach to her art.

More info


Matthew Aucoin:
Stranger Love, Act 3 (excerpt), by Dylan Mattingly, performed by Contemporaneous
Dylan Mattingly writes music of limitless jubilance and joy. This excerpt from his opera Stranger Love is a kind of dance party for the angels, built upon an unlikely echo from a Springsteen-esque “promised land.”


Doug Balliett:
I cannot stop listening to Ok ok pt 2 from Kanye’s latest album “Donda”. It’s got a heavy dark groove and guest Shenseea’s verse is jaw-dropping.


Julia Bullock:
Up From The Skies by Jimi Hendrix, from the album Bold As Love (1967)
It’s like some prophetic, post-apocalyptic love song… (honestly hope to find a way to sing it one day)


Jay Campbell:
I’m currently listening my way through Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers, a gigantic sprawling 4.5 hour collection of 19 pieces written over the course of 30+ years, each one titled after various moments, ideas, people, or places related to the Civil Rights Movement. It’s music that is very much alive in a literal sense. As in, it really feels like it is deeply meditating on the lived experience of human life itself. It’s extremely moving, exciting, surprising, and sometimes baffling. But when I listen to this highly abstract music, my ears somehow feel closer to hearing a full spectrum of complex human experience in all of its contradictions of tragedy, playfulness, rage, and joy. And maybe things that I haven’t even felt yet. And — when you consider the context of the composer himself, a Black man born and raised in segregated Mississippi — things that many of us are privileged to never have to personally feel or experience.


Anthony Roth Costanzo:
Lately I’ve become obsessed with Betty Carter and how wildly inventive and abstract she is, both in how she deploys the extremes of her voice, and how she charts the trajectory of a song. From her piercing head tones, to her forthright parlato, to her childlike upper chest register, to her impossibly rich baritone notes, I find her a total revelation. You can hear those colors set forth in this track:


Miranda Cuckson:
Wadada Leo Smith America’s National Parks
I adore this work (which I first heard a few years ago) for many reasons, including its bracing beauty, its grouping of very satisfyingly distinct utterances and instrumental presences, its continually thrilling sensations of space and texture, and the composer’s deep vision of the psychological tension in our shared natural landscapes.


Julia Eichten:
While it was an extreme challenge to choose only one song from Xenia Rubinos’ latest album, Una Rosa, Cógelo Suave has been one of many that I have on repeat.  This swirl of a song will make any day brighter, break you open and have you singing!


Emi Ferguson:


Keir GoGwilt:


Conor Hanick:
The last thing played on my music app was the first disc of Beach House’s upcoming album, Once Twice Melody, which is lush, sweeping, synthy, and grandiose.

I’ve also been enjoying Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack to the film The Power of the Dog, especially the Messiaen-esque finale Psalm 22.

Lastly, folks are rightly excited about the recent Floating Points / Pharoah Sanders collaboration, but I’ve found myself revisiting Floating Points’ 2015 album of experimental synth-jazz, Elaenia, with a particular habit of rewinding “Silhouettes (I, II, III)”


Coleman Itzkoff:
Pick: Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice
I’ll admit to a certain degree of bias for my playlist pick, Matt being a close friend and current roommate here in New York City, but I truly felt compelled to list this new opera of his, which recently held it’s Met premiere to much acclaim. I was able to attend two live performances, as well as listen to the BBC broadcast on a recent long car trip and found so much of the music staying with me, swirling around in the back of my consciousness like the really great music tends to do. The score is dazzling, deeply moving, complex, tectonic (superlatives abound!), and the performance by Erin Morley, Joshua Hopkins, Barry Banks, and more, all backed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Met Orchestra, is totally and utterly ravishing. For those already dedicated fans of Matt’s work, Eurydice is the latest and greatest contribution to his oeuvre (not to mention the latest in a 400-year Orphic opera tradition). And for those less familiar with the music of Matthew Aucoin, I can think of no better place to start!

More info


Or Schraiber:
Formidable by Stromae always makes me dance.


Bobbi Jene Smith:
La Solitude always makes me feel the dance inside of me. It has been a song that has been a starting point for many dances I have made. Thank you, Barbara, for haunting and dancing with me. I hope this song will make you feel the dance in you too.


Davónes Tines:
six thirty by Ariana Grande
Towards the end of the year I’m feeling cozy and romantic.  This song from one of my favorite artists, on her latest album, continues to evolve her special combination of crisp vocals wrapped in string-infused r&b redux.


Zack Winokur:
We Do Not Belong Together performed by Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. I’ve been listening pretty nonstop to Stephen Sondheim since his death. It’s hard to choose just one, but this song is the devastating apotheosis of a genuinely real relationship at the core of Sunday in the Park with George, a show I was going to direct last spring until covid struck it down.

A Holiday Video Gift For You!

As we approach the end of this eventful year, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for your constant encouragement and support. We were able to gather in September and savor the deep human joy of listening to music in each other’s company, something that we had so longed for in our isolation. There was a unique freshness and intensity that was felt on both sides of the stage, an exhilarating experience to cherish and hold in the midst of such difficult times.

We wanted to give you a special gift of music with our fondest good wishes of the season and, in particular, for a better world for all in the coming new year. We asked Sasha Ishov, one of the flutists in the wonderful 2021 Ojai Festival Orchestra, to film a performance that reminds us of the adventurous spirit of the Festival and of music heard in a beautiful natural setting.

Every new year brings with it renewed hope, even in the face of our current challenges. May the coming year bring you good health, the company of those you love, and always, music.

With thanks and warm regards from all of us at the Ojai Music Festival,

Ara Guzelimian
Artistic and Executive Director

We did it … Together!

Message from Ara Guzelimian

It turned out to be a magical time of reunion and renewal, as we celebrated our 75th anniversary Festival in the best of company. As I take a breath and reflect on that beautiful September weekend, I feel boundless gratitude. We gathered together in Ojai and cherished the singular joy of being in the company of music and musicians as a communal experience.

The predominant emotion of the concerts was one of joy and optimism, particularly as defined by the energies and creativity of a new generation of composers. John Adams was so very wise in making sure this anniversary festival looked forward. All our artists embraced that spirit wholeheartedly, especially determined to do so in the face of the painful events of the past eighteen months.  Our great thanks go to John, not only for the riches of his own music, but also for the choice of artists and works which so beautifully defined the arc of this festival.

Let us take a moment to bask in just a few selected memories. Enjoy our photo gallery of Festival moments as captured by photographer Timothy Teague:

It took remarkable devotion on the part of many people to get us here, beginning with our dedicated Board of Directors who have been steadfast in their vision, generosity and clarity of purpose. I offer my heartfelt thanks to the artists, the staff, interns, volunteers and housing hosts who worked tirelessly to make this a most special festival, often in the face of unexpected challenges – did I mention that Víkingur Ólafsson was nearly turned away at the airport in Reykjavik because of confusion about his (entirely correct!) visa documentation? Somehow, there was always a solution to be found. Even the weather was ideal, with mild temperatures and soft breezes to bring Ojai enchantment 

But I reserve a very measure of thanks to each of you, for your continued faith in the Ojai Festival, for complying with the safety measures, for your generosity in supporting the festival financially, and most of all, for your irreplaceable presence at concerts (and by extension, long distance by way of our streamed concerts). You help create one of the most attentive, understanding, adventurous, and open-hearted audiences I have ever experienced.  

 And now, we begin the happy anticipation of the Festival to come in June 2022. We had a vivid introduction to two more artists from AMOC (the American Modern Opera Company), the collective of 17 instrumentalists, singers, dancers, choreographers, and composers, who together will be the Music Director in June. Violinist Miranda Cuckson and flutist Emi Ferguson, core members of AMOC, both made brilliant debuts at this year’s Festival. 

Miranda Cuckson shone in the virtuosic and expressive challenges of Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto, played a recital that ranged from Bach to Saariaho, and, in a stunning Libbey Bowl performance of Bach, created an iconic only-in-Ojai image: 

Emi Ferguson played Gabriela Ortiz’s Huitzitl with expressive power and grace, despite the distractions of another only-in-Ojai moment, the sounding of a persistent security alarm nearby. So I thought it’s only fair to revisit Emi’s mesmerizing performance, this time with the benefit of some subtle audio filtering that magically minimizes the sound of the alarm and focuses attention entirely on Gaby’s evocative music and the beauty of Emi’s playing! 

We can happily anticipate look ahead to more musical encounters with both Emi and Miranda, the return of favorite Festival favorite artists (and current members of AMOC) soprano Julia Bullock, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and cellist Jay Campbell, as well as a happy introduction to all of the brilliant creative spirits of this endlessly-creative collective in the next Festival. We will meet all of the members of AMOC in the coming months by way of special online programming and conversations. 

In the meantime, our wholehearted thanks to each of you. I look forward to seeing you all again in June 2022 or sooner! 

2021 Critical Acclaim

Ojai Music Festival 2021. John Adams, Miranda Cuckson, Rhiannon Giddens, Víkingur Ólafsson, Attacca Quartet. Photos by Timothy Teague

Thank you for joining us at our 75th Festival, September 16-19, 2021. Read review excerpts below. Relive concerts anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts. View our photo gallery of some of our favorite Festival moments.

Download PDF of reviews here

“a forward-looking survey of young artists — fitting for a festival that has long focused on the future” New York Times

“Against unsettlingly uncertain odds, Ojai’s 75th anniversary festival happened as hoped and promised, and it was special” Los Angeles Times

“In Ojai, circa 2021, themes of “homecoming” and pandemic-related dynamics struck emotional chords beyond the provocative and consoling musical goods.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Throughout its illustrious history, the Ojai Music Festival has been known for a series of unpredictable, serendipitous musical experiences that become known as quintessential Ojai moments. One such moment stood out as a highlight of this year’s festival – an “Ojai Dawns” concert… [with a program of] all Mexican composers, music by [Gabriela] Ortiz, Javier Álvarez, and Georgina Derbez.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Pandemic-waylaid, the Ojai Music Festival finally erected its contemporary-music-geared Big Top with one of its strongest programs of late.” Santa Barbara Independent

“Rhiannon Giddens was an inspired choice to anchor the festival with… a rousing concert of her original/traditional material on Saturday night… The concert… resonated with all of the pain and struggle we have experienced over the last two years in a way that was at once healing and grounding.” Santa Barbara Independent

“arguably the most exciting music event in this country” Berkshire Fine Arts

“Music sounds fresh and very much of the moment. It both delights and moves in its Ojai setting.” Berkshire Fine Arts

“thoughtfully programmed and precisely performed” Sequenza 21

“The Ojai spirit of adventure was alive in the programming hands of music director du jour John Adams… and the new artistic and executive director Ara GuzelimianClassical Voice North America 

2021 Ojai Holiday Marketplace Vendors

We are pleased to be supported by so many wonderful Ojai vendors at this year’s Ojai Holiday Marketplace. With 40+ vendors, 2021 will be our biggest marketplace to date. Search the list below to get to know our vendors and plan out your holiday shopping experience. 

*Vendors subject to change*

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Laura Stitches
Embroidered items

Kate Russell
handmade cards

Desre Resnick
Papier Mache

Randy Meany
Yarns and yarn made products

Denise Riches Art

Etched By the Sea
seaglass art

Jalama Glass Studio
glass art

Metal Mountain
Metal art

wool dolls

Two Hand Design
Paper products and small material items

NHS Arts


Blueberry Jewelry

Little Muse

Bead Off

Broke Jewels

Charlene Biesele

Cindy Bolin Jewelry

Cindy Kalmenson Jewelry

Ramina Richard Pearl

Shari Milner Design

Global Fashion Mission
jewelry, handbags

Kate Samson Design
sea glass jewelry

This Tiny Ocean
seaglass jewelry


From the Heart of Ojai
aroma therapy and bath products
IG: fromtheheartofojai
FB: From the Heart of Ojai


Lucky Lab
Dog Products

Bonnie Lee Books

Sweet Mello
Fabric products

Charter Oaks Preserving Co
Jams and Dips

Patricia Cuenot
jewelry, shawls, blankets
IG: themudlotus

Knots to Mention
keychains and macrame

Your Needs Company
leather goods

Ojai Dirt Candy
Natural wellness products

Spirit Spa

Sugar and spoon caramels

Sorenity Rocks

Denise Rincon
skin care

Little City Designs
hand printed home apparel

Kitchen Witch Gourmet
teas and spices

For the Home

Bohemian Bowls
bowls, utensils
IG: bohemianbowls

Ojai Oaks Fallen Woods Studio
cutting boards

Pacific Wonderland

Lavender Blu

Sunday Ojai
Ojai designs

Gunays Shop
Rugs and textiles

Kevin Brooks

Terry Sharp
wooden bowls

Four Leaf Wood Shop
wooden spoons

Debra Hall Lifestyles
home goods, art, furniture

Clothing & Accessories

Akaluck Apparel
IG: akaluckapparel

Alpaca by Karim
Clothes and wraps, some jewelry

Art Couture Dominique

Gerie’s Fashion Closet

Dale Michele

Bazaar Boutique
Clothing and jewelry and candles
IG: rawheartgems

Connie Gunderson
Fabric and Cork purses

Louise’s Hats

Art Mina
Home goods and apparel

Ride or Dye Salt Ranch
Pastel tye dye

Chris West Originals
boot purses, serape purses, bels

Ambrosia Bags

DJ Giles
scarfs and wraps

Dee Dee’s Creations

Purrfect Wear

Shari Shanti

Leslie Marcus

Limelight Boutique
Womens clothing

Park Lain
IG: park.lain

Tiny Tot Threads
childrens clothing


Sespe Pottery

Firestick Pottery

Foxware Designs

NHS Ceramics

Dianas Whimsies

Esther Castillo


It is more than a festival. It is a homecoming, the recognition of a bond. On rough wooden benches — back in the day — or stretched out on the lawn, settled on a blanket, families in tow, this is a kindred fellowship, both alert and at ease. Performers get it right away because it only takes a rehearsal or two to realize that here it’s different. Young composers, cradling their newborn, often take more time. But after the jitters and anxieties of a premiere or first performance they look around and see where they are and are transformed.

For all the unseen planning of a dedicated staff (or more likely because of it) — Ojai always feels improvised, something that just happens. How easily conversations begin, over a new work, a performance, or this and that. Introductions come later, maybe after a year or two with a “remember when.” Then casual acquaintance blossoms into friendship. Yes, that’s a big part of it, the shared memories, something even initiates pick up on, when on Sunday they look back on Friday and the distance travelled in between. Something, too, about the place, the trees, the hills, the soft mists in the morning, the beating sun at noon, the evening chill. Old-timers know to come prepared, newcomers learn quickly. Then we leave, disperse, maybe one last meal and the long drive back, envying those who call Ojai home.

There are regulars, of course, true believers who attend every event. For others, however, Ojai is a smorgasbord — up for a day, perhaps, or an afternoon, or some years not at all. No matter; we all come back sooner or later, a habit formed through decades. Naturally, there have been changes. Time was, the festival was a simpler affair. Three days, five or six concerts; lots of time to spare, to chat, shop, a leisurely coffee, a bookstore browse, perhaps a walk, or bike ride. Back then Ojai sometimes felt like a coda to the Los Angeles season, to the Monday Evening Concerts, or the concerts of the Philharmonic, a showcase for the Southland’s finest, under the guidance, among others, of Lawrence Morton, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Ernest Fleischmann, not to mention resident composers such as Messiaen, Carter, or Kurtág — the legacies of giants. There was never a formula, a fixed agenda. There was freedom to pick, choose, and explore; to address the cultural and political preoccupations of the moment, to dare something new, to cozy up to something familiar, to be unapologetically eclectic. Ojai, as John Henken has written, “was always ahead of the counter- and multi-cultural curve.” Theater, dance, opera, non-Western music, and jazz have long been part of the mix. Just one thing: The music comes first.

It’s been more abuzz with activity recently. A stage rebuilt and shifted, a few trees lost, proper seats instead of sagging benches, a more forgiving sunshade, lots of bustle in the park. Tom Morris brought us events from dawn to midnight, spread around the lower and upper valley. The focus has grown from conductors and composers to include performers and ensembles; brash, innovative young artists from across the country and abroad who are rethinking music and the concert experience. New trends and fashions, our legacies in the making.
75 years — or longer? Consider a long-forgotten 1926 Ojai Valley Festival of Chamber Music, the so-called Frost-Sprague Festival with a $1,000 prize for the best new string quartet. “One of the greatest musical events that has ever taken place in America,” was the local assessment. Ah, the pride! We like to think we’re on the map, that we make a difference. No doubt we are, no doubt we have. Commissions, premieres, big names, new talents, correspondents from New York, London, and Frankfurt, weblinks, blurbs, and blogs, the world takes note. That’s all nice, good, and fine. But somehow, though we might care, Ojai itself is above such things. We listen, delight in new sounds, discover other cultures, new ways of making music, or interpretations that make us hear afresh what we thought we knew. But this place, this space takes it all in its serene embrace — the music with the birds, the crickets, the sirens, the bells, and the distant lawn mower. And because that’s so, this is a place of private epiphanies, revelations that come unbidden — we all have our favorites — moments to store quietly in our memories, to recall and share. Such are the shared moments that make each year’s festival a reunion. Together again. How good it will feel.

by Christopher Hailey 

Special thanks to Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne for their support of the Festival’s 75th anniversary season 

Ojai Holiday Marketplace


Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14, 2021
10am to 4pm each day

A benefit for the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO education and community program, 
which offers free music workshops to the Ojai Valley public schools and the community

For this year we are putting all our energy, creativity, and time into creating the ultimate Holiday Marketplace. The Holiday Home Tour will return November 2022!

It’s the ultimate Holiday Marketplace to both celebrate and gather:
  • Begin your holiday shopping with 40+ booths that will provide the perfect find for everyone on your list, including something special for you
  • Enjoy live musical performances at the Libbey Park Gazebo 
  • Create your own decorations at the Ornament and Wreath Stations, sponsored by  Poppie’s Art & Gifts  
  • Silent auction of decorated Tabletop Trees and Menorahs created by local artists, businesses, and organizations
  • Say hello to Santa and Mrs. Santa and take a photo! courtesy of Stephen Adams 
  • Enjoy beverages and sweets at the Cafe in the Park 

Admission to the Marketplace is free and open to the public. Portion of the proceeds from the sales during the weekend will be donated to the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO education programs in the schools and community.


Special thanks to Tabletop Trees and Menorah Designers:

Bookends Bookstore| Carolyn Bennett of CDB Gardens| Cheree Edwards| Gables of Ojai| Laurel Heather Design| Lynn Malone |Ojai Blooms| Ojai Flowers | Ojai Rotary West 

Special thanks to Decoration Station sponsor: 


Ways to support:
Become a Patron Sponsor Design a Tabletop Tree or Menorah Become a Volunteer Become a Vendor
Be a shopper! See you on November 13 and 14!

Podcast Series: OJAICast 2021


Welcome to OJAICast where we pull back the curtain to explore all-things music to satisfy musical appetites, whether you are a newcomer or longtime music fan. Special guests help shine the light on topics, ranging from concert repertoire, music of today, to their own Ojai experiences. OjaiCAST is hosted by composer, pianist and Festival Live Stream Host Thomas Kotcheff.


Episode 1

Our first episode gives an in-depth look into the 75th Ojai Music Festival (September 16-19, 2021) repertoire and the musical threads that connect it all together, curated by Music Director John Adams. Guests include Ojai Festival Artistic & Executive Director Ara Guzelimian, Program Book Annotator Thomas May, and featured 2021 composer Gabriela Ortiz.

Thomas Kotcheff, host
Thomas Kotcheff, producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode:
Philip Glass – Evening Song No. 2 performed by Timo Andres
Gabriela Ortiz – Río de las mariposas performed by Southwest Chamber Music

N.B. John Adams was Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival in 1993 and not 1994 as stated in the podcast.


Episode 2

American composer and conductor John Adams, who leads the 75th Ojai Music Festival, has been an influence for many artists and composers, including several of our 2021 collaborators.  The second episode invites pianists Vicki Ray and Joanne Pearce Martin, composer Dylan Mattingly, and chairman emeritus and longtime president of Nonesuch Records Robert Hurwitz to discuss their personal connections with John Adams.


Thomas Kotcheff, host
Thomas Kotcheff, producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode:
John Adams – Hallelujah Junction performed by Nicolas Hodges and Rolf Hind
John Adams – Road Movies: III. 40% Swing performed by Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek
Dylan Mattingly – Magnolia performed by ZOFO duet (Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi)
John Adams – The Dharma at Big Sur, Pt. II: Sri Moonshine performed by Tracy Silverman, John Adams, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra
John Adams – I Still Play performed by Timo Andres


Episode 3

Classical music can be intimidating to newcomers and frequent concertgoers alike, even more so, new contemporary music. Host Thomas Kotcheff discusses this topic with the help from his guests, Musicologist Lance Brunner and composer and Festival Live Stream host Veronika Krausas, on finding meaning and confidence in the process of listening to classical music.

Thomas Kotcheff, host
Thomas Kotcheff, producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode:
Rachmaninoff – Isle of the Dead  performed by Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis
Glass – Glassworks, Opening (Reworked By Christian Badzura) performed by Víkingur Ólafsson
Knut Nystedt/Johann Sebastian Bach – Immortal Bach performed by Maulbronner Kammerchor, Benjamin Hartmann


Episode 4

The Ojai Music Festival has been around since 1947, but rather than sticking to status quo, it continues to evolve and surprise with unusual intersections of musical styles and genres. Invited to talk about their Ojai experiences will be alum – Matthew Duvall of Eighth Blackbird, Music Director of the 2009 Festival, and Steven Schick, percussionist, conductor and Music Director of the 2015 Festival.

Thomas Kotcheff, host
Thomas Kotcheff, producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode:
Missy Mazzoli – Still Life with Avalanche performed by Eighth Blackbird
Xenakis – Rebonds B performed by Steven Schick


About Thomas Kotcheff:
Thomas Kotcheff is a Los Angeles based composer and pianist. His compositions have been described as “truly beautiful and inspired” ( and “explosive” (Gramophone magazine), and have been performed internationally by The Riot Ensemble, wild Up, New York Youth Symphony, Sandbox Percussion, violinist Jennifer Koh, the Argus Quartet, the Lyris Quartet, the Alinde Quartett, The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, HOCKET, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble amongst others. Thomas has received awards and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presser Foundation, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, BMI, ASCAP, the New York Youth Symphony, the National Association of Composers USA, and the American Composers Forum. Thomas has been a composition fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composers Intensive, the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. He has been artist in residence at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, the Studios of Key West, the Blackbird Creative Lab, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Thomas holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the Peabody Institute and the University of Southern California. For more information visit



Join Us for Suppers in the Park


Enjoy a family-style boxed dinner under the oaks in Libbey Park alongside other music enthusiasts prior to the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, 6:30pm. This gourmet boxed meal includes dinner, dessert, and wines from The Ojai Vineyard. $55/person – advance reservation required. Space is limited. Purchase Friday or Saturday online. Or call our box office at 805 646 2053.

Friday Night September 17: Santa Barbara Catering Connection
Boxed Dinner

Cold Poached Salmon with Lime & Chili Aioli
Red Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Baba Ganoush and Grilled Flatbread
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries

Vegetarian Option
Grilled Vegetable and Marinated Tofu on Rosemary Skewer Skewer
Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Lemon Aioli
Baba Ganoush and Grilled Flatbread
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries

Saturday Night September 18: Ojai Rotie
Boxed Dinner 

1/2 Rotie Chicken
Cardamom Carrots, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Harissa
Tater Salad
Pickled Turnips & Toum
Manouche (Lebanese Flatbread) –
Baklava w/Lemon, Walnuts, Lavender

Vegan Option
Grilled Eggplant Napoleon – Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella, Baby Kale, Roasted Tomato, Chervil Pesto
Cardamom Carrots, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Harissa
Purslane Tabooli
Manouche (Lebanese Flatbread)
Baklava w/Lemon, Walnuts, Lavender



Ojai Farmers Riff on the Culture of Growing Things

Ojai gets called the “verdant valley” a lot, for reasons made clear when you gaze down on it from the Highway 150 lookout or drive along its narrow roads lined with citrus orchards and avocado trees.

Stop to chat with a farmer at one of Ojai’s two certified farmers’ markets about what goes into creating those Instagram-ready views, and you may hear more about agriculture than you bargained for. Growing food in this gorgeous valley, with its Pink Moment-making east-to-west orientation, is a challenge. Drought is one reason. Rising property values, plant-wilting heat waves, fruit-dropping freezes and increasing competition are others.

And yet the region is home to dozens of farms, ranches and orchards. They vary in age, size and focus, tied together by their owners’ shared curiosity in answering: “What happens when we try this?”

It’s the same spirit of experimentation that has drawn creatives of all types to this ripe-with-promise valley through the decades. Read on to meet some of them.

Elizabeth Del Negro had ties to Ojai’s food scene long before she and husband John Fonteyn started Rio Gozo Farm, now located on eight acres at Besant Hill School in the Upper Ojai: Her father was once the chef at The Ranch House. Rio Gozo originally focused on direct-to-consumer sales through a CSA, or community-supported agriculture program. A decade later, most of its herbs, flowers and vegetables are instead destined for restaurants (Osteria Monte Grappa and Sage Ojai, among them) and for Besant Hill School when it’s in session.

Farmer and the Cook in Meiners Oaks is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to meet a local farmer, grab a bite to eat and buy some organic veggies. Now in its 20th year, the combination café, bakery, smoothie bar and market is owned by the husband-and-wife team of farmer Steve Sprinkel and registered dietitian “cook” Olivia Chase. Their 10-acre plot at the former Honor Farm supplies not just the cafe and market but an in-house CSA, the new Thursday-afternoon Ojai Community Farmers’ Market(Sprinkel is on the board) and other restaurants in partnership with Rio Gozo Farm. The farm’s newest project involves growing specialty crops for Ojai-based Plant Good Seed Co., available online and at select retail locations.

Veteran farmer Robert “BD” Dautch produces more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables (culinary herbs are a specialty) at his 12-acre Earthtrine Farm in Ojai’s Arbolada neighborhood. The results show up in dishes at the newly opened Meiners Heritage Table and other local restaurants. On Sundays, look for Dautch at the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market. Saturday mornings find him at the Santa Barbara Downtown Market, where Dautch has been a vendor since its debut in 1979.

A 400-acre ranch in the Ojai Valley is just one of several grazing spots used by Watkins Cattle for what it ultimately sells at farmers markets, select grocery stores and its own butcher shop in Meiners Oaks, where patrons can order fresh-off-the-grill sliders from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. Pasture-fed beef from Watkins Cattle is also featured at Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill and other Ojai restaurants.

Avocado root rot swept through the region in the late 1970s, inspiring the roughly 15-acre Churchill Orchard to replant with Pixie tangerines and Kishu mandarins. (The latter are a personal favorite of chef José Andres, a repeat mail-order customer.) When the early days of the pandemic forced temporary closures for restaurants and some farmers markets, grower Jim Churchill and crew launched a Cyber Market for Locals, offering scheduled pickups at the orchard barn. Sign up now for email alerts about the 2022 harvest.



  • Lisa McKinnon is a former Ventura County Star journalist who continues to write about local food (and the people who grow, prepare and serve it) for 805 Living and Central Coast Farm & Ranch magazines. She’s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok as 805foodie, and blogs at

Look-Back: Ojai’s Musical Pop-Ups


Celebrating 75 Years of Music in Our Home Town!
To mark the beginning of our 75th anniversary, the Festival shared free musical offerings as a thank you to the community, and welcome the return of live music in Ojai.
This series of surprise Musical Pop-Ups featured Festival collaborators – harpist Shelley Burgon, percussionist Fiona Digney, violinist Helen Kim, Kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, and flutist Laura Walter. Special thanks to LoveSocial Cafe, Porch Gallery Ojai, the City of Ojai, and the Ojai Chamber of Commerce. 
Photos by Stephen Adams. 

Thursday, June 10
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh (bowed fiddle of the Middle East and Central Asia)
11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

Friday, June 11
Shelley Burgon, harp
11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

Saturday, June 12
Helen Kim, violin
10:00am at Love Social Cafe (205 No. Signal St)

BRAVO event with Laura Walter, flute
2:00pm at Libbey Park near the Fountain 

Sunday, June 13
Fiona Digney, percussion
10:00am at Porch Gallery Ojai  (310 E Matilija Street)
11:30am at Libbey Park Gazebo 


The health and safety of our patrons is paramount to the Festival. We will be following current state and local health protocols during our events.



Virtual Ojai Talks


Welcome to the Festival’s continuing series of Virtual Ojai Talks, where we celebrate the intersection of music, ideas, and the creative process with 2021 Festival artists, composers, innovators, and thinkers.



Musical Pop-Up with Niloufar Shiri


Celebrating 75 Years of Music in Our Home Town!
To mark the beginning of our 75th anniversary, the Festival will give free musical offerings as a thank you to the Ojai community.
This series of surprise 20-minute Musical Pop-Ups will feature Festival collaborators – harpist Shelley Burgon, percussionist Fiona Digney, violinist Helen Kim, Kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, and flutist Laura Walter.
Please join us as we embrace the return of live music and the beginning of our celebration leading to the September Festival. View the full Musical Pop-Up schedule >

Thursday, June 10
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh (bowed fiddle of the Middle East and Central Asia)

11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
Avaz-e Dashti
Abolhassan Sabā   Zard-e Malijeh


5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza
Abolhassan Sabā   Kārehvān
Avaz-e Dashti

Niloufar Shiri is a kamancheh player and composer from Tehran, Iran, trained in Iranian classical music. Niloufar is a graduate in kamâncheh performance of the Tehran Music Conservatory and received her bachelor degree with honors in composition from UC San Diego.

She is an imaginative interpreter of Iranian music and uses story-telling and poetry as a source of inspiration for her deeply textural and often ghostly music. Her compositions use aspects of contemporary Iranian poetry to incorporate the enigmatic complexity of Iranian literature and culture.

As a kamancheh player and composer, she has received commissions and collaborated with numerous ensembles and festivals inside and outside of the United States including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Long Beach Opera, Mostly Mozart, Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, Atlas Ensemble among others. In conjunction with her studies at UC San Diego, she has also been directly studying and researching Iranian classical music with the research team of maestro Hossein Omoumi at UC Irvine and in 2012, the research received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology at UC Irvine.


2021 Festival Schedule >
Purchase Festival Passes >

The health and safety of our patrons is paramount to the Festival. We will be following current state and local health protocols during our events.