Musical Pop-Up with Shelley Burgon


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 >

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 

CAGE   In a Landscape 


Shelley Burgon is a harpist, composer and sound artist who writes and performs ambient
songs for harp, voice and electronics. She has an extensive history as an improvisor and
interpreter of classical new music; performing the works of composers such as Pauline
Oliveros, John Cage, Yoko Ono, James Tenney, Berio and Earle Brown. After many years
of living in NYC where she had the pleasure to perform at renowned institutions such as the
Whitney Museum, MoMA and Issue Project Room Shelley now resides in Ojai, CA. Shelley
has recorded harp for, Bjork, Anthony Braxton, William Tyler, Roberto Lange, Miho Hatori
and for her former band Stars Like Fleas.

Her music has been commissioned by The Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the
Hudson Valley Project at the Dia Museum, Ne(x)tworks, and multimedia artist Katherine
Behar. Film credits include harpist on First Cow, Mission Blue and We Steal Secrets. She will
be releasing her first full length record this year on Thin Wrist Recordings and is working on a
harp meditation series. Visit her website at




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.



Musical Pop-Up with BRAVO & Laura Walter


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 >

Saturday, June 12
Laura Walter, BRAVO education coordinator

2:00pm at Libbey Park 

DEBUSSY   Syrinx
HU JIEXU  Here Comes the Cuckoo 
MESSIAEN   Blackbird



Laura Walter received a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Kentucky. She studied flute with various members of the Cincinnati Symphony, New York Philharmonic and the London Symphony.  She serves on the faculty of Westmont College and also performs with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, as well as local choral societies. Laura has performed with several orchestras across the country, is active as a clinician and competition adjudicator, and has established and conducted flute choirs at colleges and festivals across the country.

In her work with students and teachers she uses the experience of interactive play to develop motivation and promote community building and conflict resolution skills. This method, called “Education Through Music”, or ETM, builds the acquisition of language and movement to enhance the imagination and stabilization of the child.

Children in ETM classes create beauty, which leads to empathy and hope, embracing the important contribution of arts education. Teachers often say, “ETM has taught these children to be kind and respectful by creating beautiful music with each other.”

  Learn more about the Festival’s BRAVO program >



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.



Musical Pop-Up with Fiona Digney


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 >

Sunday, June 13
Fiona Digney, percussion 

10am at Porch Gallery Ojai 
11:30am at the Gazebo in Libbey Park 

CAGE   I Ching 
Michael GORDON   XY


Fiona Digney in an Australian-born percussionist, educator, and producer based in San Diego. Fiona has spent the last decade in the United States, The Netherlands, and London, becoming an internationally recognized percussionist with highly-profiled accomplishments across a wide range of percussive styles from experimental, improvisatory, and world music styles to orchestra, chamber, and theatrical contexts, Fiona’s thrilling performances have been described as “compelling and authoritative” by Christian Hertzog (San Diego Union-Tribune) and garnered praise from the premier music critic of the United States, Alex Ross (The New Yorker, 28th June 2018). Having recently received her doctorate in percussion performance at UCSD, exploring the decolonization of a personal performance praxis, Fiona now enjoys a wide-ranging freelance career in Southern California, where she engages in various percussive styles from experimental, improvisatory, and world music styles to orchestra, chamber, and theatrical contexts. In addition to her performance career, Fiona champions her fellow musicians through her artistic administrative roles as managing director & production manager of Art of Elan, and as producer & artistic administrator of the Ojai Music Festival.



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.



Musical Pop-Up with Helen Kim


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 >

Saturday, June 12
Helen Kim, violin 

10am at Love Social Cafe (205 North Signal Street)

Carlos SIMON   Between Two Worlds 
G.P. TELEMANN  Fantasia No. 10 
PIAZZOLLA  Tango Etude No. 3


Violinist Helen Kim joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Second Violin in 2016. A member of the Saint Louis Symphony from 2011 to 2016, she made solo appearances with that orchestra in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. She has spent her summers teaching and performing at festivals including Aspen, Yellow Barn, Luzerne, and the Innsbrook Institute. Ms. Kim received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, where she was Presidential Scholar, and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. 


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.



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 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

Abolhassan Sabā   Zard-e Malijeh   
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.



Musical Pop-Ups Around Town


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. 

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.




Application deadline: JUNE 15, 2021 

click here for application 



As an intern for the Ojai Music Festival, you become a messenger for the organization’s purpose: to dare the audience to be innovative listeners of new music. – Emily Persinko, intern alum

The Ojai Music Festival’s arts management internship program is now accepting applications for the Ojai Music Festival slated for September 16 to 19, 2021 with composer and conductor John Adams as music director.  

The Festival’s sought-after program provides hands-on experiences to college students as they are immersed in areas of production, administration, operations, special events, merchandising, live streaming, marketing, public relations, and patron services.  
Students from varying fields and walks of life enjoy access to different opportunities which give them new skill sets and experiences that they take with them throughout their careers. The internship program also provides them to interact with leaders in the music industry and create lasting friendships with other students.   

Applicants must be 18 or over and enrolled in a two or four year accredited college. The Festival provides housing for the duration of the internship as well as a stipend.  Applications are due by June 1, 2021. The 75th Ojai Music Festival, September 16 to 19will be led by composer/conductor John Adams as Music Director with a program that will honor the Festival’s role as a champion of a new generation of composers and artists. Joining John Adams will be Attacca Quartet, singer Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, violinist Miranda Cuckson, and recorder player Anna Margulespianist/composer Timo Andres, and members of the LA Phil New Music Group2021 Festival composers include Samuel Adams, Timo Andres, Dylan Mattingly, Gabriela Ortiz, Rhiannon Giddens, Carlos Simon, and Gabriella Smith   

For more information regarding the internship program for the Ojai Music Festival, please call the main office at 805 646 2094 or email [email protected] 


Ojai Music Festival Internship Program

Each year, the Ojai Music Festival Arts Management Internship Program welcomes a dozen college students and recent graduates to go behind the scenes of a renowned summer music festival. Interns work closely with the staff and production team, providing critical support and gaining invaluable hands-on experience and skills for their future careers. Each intern receives during their two-week internship:

  • An immersive experience in the world of a festival and inside knowledge into the many different pieces that come together for a successful weekend of concerts
  • Training for their areas of responsibility from staff and leaders in the field
  • Free and discounted tickets to Festival concerts (depending on work schedule and availability)
  • Housing and/or homestay in the beautiful Ojai Valley and most meals during the Festival
  • Stipend

Fill out the 2022 Internship Application Online. Deadline March 1, 2022:

Thank you to our 2021 Festival Interns:


“As an intern for the Ojai Music Festival, you become a messenger for the organization’s purpose: to dare the audience to be innovative listeners of new music. The office staff and other interns become your mentors and family for the duration of your internship experience. Working with like-minded people creates the perfect atmosphere for discussion and pushes you to be your best creative self.” – Emily Persinko, San Diego State University, Ojai Alum 2016-2018

The Festival invites students from all fields of study to apply. The program is ideally suited for curious, motivated individuals who are interested in the diversity of possible careers in the arts, events, and the nonprofit world. Festival interns have gone on to have successful careers in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors – those who have gone on to work in the arts have done so at organizations across the country, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Pacific Symphony, Early Music Guild of Seattle, and Voices of Change, as well as forged new paths as entrepreneurial performing artists and composers.

Steven Rothenberg Internship Fellow
In 2011, Ojai Valley residents Ila and Fred Rothenberg provided the Festival with a new fund to help support the internship program, which is dedicated to in memory of their son, Steven Rothenberg.  The 2021 Rothenberg Fellow was Jonathan Bergeron of UC Santa Barbara.

Festival interns have come from colleges and universities throughout the country, including:

Internship Requirements
Applicants must be 18 or over. Knowledge of classical music is suggested, but is not a requirement. Interns commit to 2-3 weeks in Ojai and must be available during the Festival week. Please indicate on your application if you have special schedule requirements.

How to Apply – Deadline for the 76th Ojai Music Festival – June 9 to 12, 2022 – is March 1, 2022.

  • Complete the internship application, including the four essay questions, and return along with a cover letter and resume.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation. Letters from college faculty should include how the applicant would benefit from the Internship, and how the Internship would strengthen the applicant’s specific college and career goals. Letters from college faculty must be on school letterhead. These letters may be sent with the application or to the office directly.

Ojai Music Festival Internship Program
PO Box 185
Ojai, CA 93024
Attn: Laura Walter
[email protected]

Internship Opportunities
Each of the Festival’s internship opportunities places interns in a specific area of responsibility, enabling them to gain specialized experience. However, the multilayered nature of the Festival means that often interns will assist in many different areas, as projects require. Read the brief descriptions below to see what might best interest you and indicate your interests in order of preference when you apply. The “good fit for” is not at all a requirement, just a suggestion.

Administration interns work with the Office Manager to provide a critical central point of contact for artists, staff, and vendors. They maintain office communications and coordinate/complete projects essential to all areas of the Festival. A good fit for: interns looking to gain experience in administration, customer service, and office management.

“My experience with the Ojai Music Festival was awesome. I loved getting to know all of the people and working with the staff. The environment is very uplifting, the other interns were fun to be around, and I’ve made a lot of connections! The staff that I worked with was very helpful and was there when I needed them, and even gave me advice on topics that I just had questions about. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end. I definitely learned a lot and I hope to be back next year!” – Ebony Lockwood, Georgia State University, Ojai Alum 2021

The audio/sound intern works with the production team and the sound designer for the Libbey Bowl concerts. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience on sound design and logistics.

Development and Special Events 
Development and special events interns work with the Director of Development to produce the various social and donor events throughout the Festival. They manage RSVP lists, coordinate and schedule vendors, create materials, and assist with other fundraising projects. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in special events coordination and fundraising.

“As the Production Intern at the Ojai Music Festival, I had the honor of working alongside some of the most brilliant, talented, and caring staff, administration, and musicians. I truly felt at home at the festival due to the staff’s openness to mentor and welcome me into their Ojai Festival family. The collaborative atmosphere allowed me to open up, ask questions, try new things, and experience concert production on a whole new level. Through the skills and advice I received from this internship, and the lifelong connections I’ve made, I feel even more confident in my desire to pursue a career in arts administration and production.” – Jonathan Bergeron, University of California Santa Barbara, 2021 Rothenberg Fellow

Patron Experience/Front-of-House 
Patron Experience interns work with the Front-of-House team including the House Manager and Lead Usher to provide a welcoming, hospitable, and safe experience for Festival patrons. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in event coordination and gaining experience in patron interaction.

Live Stream
Live stream interns work with our live stream crew which videotapes performances and interviews and live streams all of them during the Festival. Live stream interns are also responsible for editing the live feed into archival video for the Festival and for YouTube. Knowledge of Photoshop, Google Docs, I-Movie, and Final Cut Pro. A good fit for: interns interested gaining experience in video editing and live stream, film work.

Stage intern works and assists Festival stage managers in various performance venues. A good fit: interns interested in gaining experience in stage management.

“As an intern at the Ojai Music Festival, I was immediately ushered into the entire community of staff, fellow interns, and performers. The energy of intense dedication combined with constant warmth and openness opened me up to ask questions, think creatively, and share the inclusive and daring ideas perpetually growing at the Festival.”Molly Tucker, Oberlin, Ojai Alum 2018

Patron Services/Box Office
Patron services interns work in the box office, serving as a guide to the Festival experience for ticket buyers, donors, and community members. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining customer service, communications, and hospitality experience.

The production intern is also each year’s Rothenberg Fellow. The production intern works with the Festival Producer to coordinate artists and their needs throughout the Festival. They also work on stage and with the Stage Manager to help produce the Festival’s concerts, manage rehearsals and performances, stage changes, and coordinate between lighting and sound engineers. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in concert production.

The Ojai Music Festival was an amazing experience. I met great people, listened to fabulous music, and learned about the ins and outs of putting on a music festival. Having a team of interns to hang out with throughout the days was a bonus highlight of my experience. All of the people working with OMF were kindhearted and nice. This experience was extremely rewarding. I learned a lot while I interned at the Ojai Music Festival and can’t wait for next year!!” – Lizzy Tepaske, University of California Santa Barbara, Ojai Alum 2021

Public Relations and Marketing
Marketing interns work with the Director of Marketing & Communications and other marketing team members in communicating with and coordinating press in the days leading up to and during the Festival. They also assist with the Festival’s social media presence during the Festival and creating and distributing marketing materials. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in public relations, marketing, and social media.

Patron Services (Retail/Concessions)
Patron services work with the Retail Managers to sell and manage merchandise. They complete pre- and post-inventories, determine signage and décor needs, and provide a warm customer experience during the Festival. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in customer service and retail management.


2021 Festival Update

Dear Ojai Festival friends, We are absolutely delighted to let you know that this year’s Ojai Music Festival will take place in person on September 16 – 19, 2021. We shall once again gather together in the magical setting of Libbey Bowl and the Ojai Valley to create a festival community joined in the spirit of musical discovery and celebration. In addition, we are planning …

2021 Ticket and Donation Policy

The Festival ticket policy has been that all sales are final for tickets and special events with no refunds or exchanges. However, due to these still unprecedented circumstances, the following options are available for those who have 2021 series passes. 

Your 2021 series tickets will be transferred to the Festival in September
No further action is necessary.  You will receive a confirmation email, and seating will occur during early summer when we begin seating assignments. We are looking forward to being with you in person at Libbey Bowl!

Choose to contribute your tickets back as a charitable gift (and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value). Your generous support is vital in helping the Ojai Music Festival to sustain the organization during challenging moments such as this one. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Your donation is fully tax deductible. Or, apply your ticket donations to our Ticket Fund for Essential Workers. To donate, please email Joy Kimura or Anna Wagner.

Place the value of your tickets on your account, to be used toward your 2022 Festival ticket purchases. If you would like to roll-forward your 2021 passes to 2022, please let us know by April 12, 2021. If we have not heard from you, we will send you a tax-deductible receipt for your donation. The 2022 Festival is slated for June 9 to 12 2022, with AMOC.

You may request a refund. Please email Bryan Lane at [email protected] by April 12, 2021. Please note that ticket refunds may take up to 60 days to fulfill.  

For personalized service, contact Bryan Lane at 805 646 2053 or Anna Wagner at 805 646 3178, Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm. We expect a high volume of calls, and we thank you for your patience. Our team continues to telework and will do our best to respond quickly to your calls.


Support Your Ojai Music Festival
To help with the serious financial impact on the Ojai Music Festival, donors can choose to contribute their series tickets back as a charitable gift (and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value). Your tax-deductible donation today ensures that the Festival will continue to move forward into the future as we look forward to celebrating our 75th Festival in September 2021.  

Click here to make a donation>>

Music Van Arrives!

Music Van is one of our most favorite activities that encourages students to try out musical instruments. This year, Music Van will go virtual, thanks to our collaboration with the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Ojai school children will be introduced to the instrument family in a new digital way. To  supplement this virtual version,  our very own BRAVO Committee has put together short videos to show just how much fun it can be to play an instrument. Special thanks to several local students who helped demonstrate!

Special thanks to our community partners for supporting our BRAVO programs!
Ojai Women’s Fund
Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust
John and Beverly Stauffer Foundation
City of Ojai 
Montecito Bank and Trust


From Ojai with Love featuring Julie Smith Phillips

A musical gift from the Ojai Music Festival: harpist and 2021 Festival artist Julie Smith Phillips performs a movement from Tree Suite for solo harp by Hannah Lash. Enjoy!

Fall & Spring: Song & Play

We continue our learning even in the virtual world! Working with the Ojai Unified School District, the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO education & community program offers online classes with Ms. Laura.

Special thanks to the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee for their ongoing support for BRAVO, and to the Ojai Women’s Fund for their generous donation during the FY2020-21 school year! 

Click the tabs below to watch our Song & Play lessons.

LESSON 9 | 08.27.20

Our first day back, and it’s so glorious to be together, even though it can only be virtually for now! We are going to set ourselves up to be the most successful we can be, through singing and playing, and starting to learn each other’s names. How important is a name? It is how we are known. It is an avenue for attachment. It leads us into community. 


This song is often the first experience children have playing on an instrument. We approach this folk song through a story. Why did people not make signs to advertise what they were selling? How did people sweeten their food 1,000 years ago? What was the importance of singing in the streets? We also add the hand signs for the music notes.


Movement causes our attention systems to click on. Adding movements helps lower distractibility. When we create a train somewhere and move to it, our brain kicks into participation. Participating physically in a basic way is a direct route to play. When we couple the movements with the words (notice the syllables in the fingers), we move the student into stabilization, and the emergence of intelligence.


LESSON 10 | 9.3.20


This week’s play involves the balance between repetition and variation.

The brain loves repetition. Up to a point. It looks for patterns. Then it delights when there is novelty, something different. Balancing these two helps to stabilize a child’s emotional state. The song stays the same. It is predictable. The fingers popping up are a surprise. Looking for a Hot Cross Buns pattern is always fun!

LESSON 11 | 10.01.20


Taking a look at proprioception, puzzling, and the playfulness of Mozart.

One thing that children need is tons of proprioceptive input. This is how they orient themselves to the world—jumping, skipping, stomping, spinning. They develop their spatial awareness, both of themselves and their environment. This song is a great way to play with rhyming words, and get the body up and moving.


Here’s a fun way to connect visual art and music. When we are together we sing about someone’s clothing. Sometimes the clue is very hard to spot, but an amazing thing happens; the children become focused on each other in a positive way, hoping they can find who is wearing, for instance—”unicorns”, or “something delicious”. This positive social regard for other is important for gathering in community and building the tools of empathy.


Have you ever wondered where Mozart got his sense of playfulness? Here is the first stage of learning his “Cuckoo Canon”. When we sing it in a round, using the hand signs, there is a wonderful symbiosis of challenge, skill and the delight in doing it. And we can hear the cuckoo bird. Genuine play has a characteristic of being autotelic—doing it for its own sake. It is so joyful to feel this!

LESSON 12 | 11.05.20

Using a secret song triggers the brain’s memory and recall. The brain looks for an auditory match. It searches previous experiences and pictures it has made, based on our play of this game. We represent the song by acting it out in the classroom. Here is an extension of that—new verses to explore rhyming and phrasing patterns. The prosody of our language is reflected in our songs, and this assists with the development of language and listening skills.


This folk song has a rich history, being used by lumberjacks who were using a saw together. They would sing the song to keep their sawing movements in sync. It is about an apprenticeship relationship, when there were master electricians and plumbers, etc. that would take on a young person to learn the trade. I think poor Jack liked to goof off, to which we can all relate! True to its nature, this song sung by a room of children and adults cause the group to sync together, matching awareness, skills, and action.


We are learning to use the sign language symbols for this song. Children share why the rain is good. Being interested in nature, and the cycles of rain, growth, and plants is good for all of us to remember. Later on in school, this is a beautiful song to sing in canon, and as a partner song that goes with other songs. But first, we explore its meaning.

LESSON 13 | 12.03.20

This week we explore the importance of the proprioceptive system, and listening for accents and syllables. The most distinguishing characteristic of a piece of music is its rhythm, so we play with that.


This old jig from the British Isles enacts the joy of a chance meeting with a friend. Going for a walk and seeing someone you know can be an experience of amazement for a child. Especially when they see others from school out in the community. This song works to preserve that delight.


Learning to hear the accented and unaccented parts of speech and music are key to comprehension. Children love exploring syllables, both in their own names, and those of their friends. Sometimes they love when we make it harder just to see if we can get the flow of the number of syllables, the correct accents, and all at the normal speed of speech. It’s a fun challenge.


We spend most of our time singing songs, acting out the words, and exploring the sounds auditorily. This is referred to as procedural learning. The declarative process of learning note names can be done very quickly and is an addendum to our weekly lessons focused on play.

LESSON 14 | 01.07.21

Exploring sounds and symbols leads to increased literacy. And we have a science experiment with song!

We are excited about science, and pairing science with music. Sound vibrations are fun to study from a science perspective also. Watching how different leaves blow in the wind is curiously relaxing. It’s fun to make predictions.


Children delight in challenges of object permanence, as well as searching for objects. This satisfies the brain’s natural tendency to look for patterns in nature (is that a saber-tooth tiger hiding in those bushes?). When we play this in class, one person drops the letter behind someone while we sing with our eyes closed. We love watching the face of the person who finds the letter, and gets to chase the other person. So joyful! Poems by Shel Silverstein.


Someday soon we will be singing this favorite in a round. At summer camp, we have groups of children acting out their own boats together, and see how they move across the floor. Then we have them come up with their own words to extend the drama. Imagination builds intelligence!


Once we have played a song many times, we can start to look at the rhythm. Rather than explaining right off the bat, we explore. How do these symbols function? These lines are just arbitrary signs that have developed into symbols in music for the speed of notes. Interpreting written symbols by having a sound for them is what reading is all about. Since the children know the song, they can search their memories for an auditory match. Doing is stronger than telling. By singing the solfège, we start to understand the relationships between notes.


LESSON 15 | 02.04.21

A symbol is a symbol only if it makes present again that for which it stands. We are playing with sound experiences. 

Sally Go Round
When objects can stand for other objects, we are engaging the imagination. Eventually, abstract symbols, such as letters, which make up words, can stand for objects. While playing with these ideas, the children are learning a lot of folk songs that accurately carry the prosody of the English language.


Note of the Day—F
In class the children take turns whispering their guess to me. The room gets very quiet, except that we all start laughing about how quiet we just got!  

Roly Poly Tracks
Rhyming helps our auditory system develop, and the auditory system is of primary importance for reading, either music, or language. In this way, studying and singing music helps the brain develop structures for greater academic success.

Penny solfege
Another symbol used in representing sound is solfege. This is the do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti of the scale. In our classes, we sing the solfege, explore the difference in sounds, and read the solfege after we have already experienced it. The song and sound need to be represented in our bodies and physically experienced, before seeing the symbols. This leads to a robust learning experience.

LESSON 16 | 03.04.21

Repetition and variation are the two spices of music mastery. We set up an environment where the students ask if we can do it again. This is internal motivation at its finest!

Fly Away
I had some birds outside my window, so I sang for them. The melody of this song goes up, and then it goes down. And our bird follows the melody by going up, and then coming back down to the nest. It’s so important to have a comfortable nest.

Here We Are Together

We not only talk about community; we sing about it. Our actions with our students and families show it. These pro-social skills help to build a safe environment of inclusion and acceptance. Our hands are singing the “do” and “so” of the song, too!

Clickety Clack
Children love the predictability of making different movements that correspond to distinct sounds. This helps us practice, by repeating the experience to achieve mastery. Changing the motions provides the variation that the brain needs to stay engaged. The brain is always looking for patterns, and novelty. 

LESSON 17 | 04.08.21

Play is one the greatest equalizers we have in society. When we play together, we are equal participants; no child or adult has any advantage over any other. People who have play experiences together are much less likely to lash out at their peer, but rather work to come to a resolution. Our games feature many opportunities for partnership and collaboration, as we get to practice listening to all ideas and negotiating solutions.

This song comes from the deep south of Brazil and means “our place of peace”. Sharing our peaceful place builds attachment to our community, because it is something very personal about us, and we want to be known. The beauty of this song when sung in a round, or with other partner songs, or with its descant, helps us to appreciate each other.

Ginger Snap
Eventually, we have a room full of people with wings extended, trying to fly around the room. We bow to our partner, modeling respect. When we “take them by the shoulders”, all the children quickly organize themselves into a line (all by themselves!) to fly together. We have our own flock then!

Sally Go Round, rhythm, solfa
When puzzling over a secret song, the brain is looking through its memory banks for an auditory match. Sometimes a part of the rhythmic sound sparks a word, or a movement that we have previously done. The cross lateral indexing of the modalities of learning is one thing that gets dendrites branching. Building the experience to singing only one of solfa syllables out loud engages the skill of picking out the figure from the auditory ground, a skill so necessary in reading and paying attention.


LESSON 18 | 05.06.21

Today we have some experiences of kindness, acceptance, and integrity through music.

Note of the Day—A
Music is such an abstract language, but isn’t all written language? Once we make sense of it, we are all set. Once we sing it, it becomes concrete. Children love to explore the relationships between notes: in how they sound, in what they look like, and with the hand signs. That is why we sing a lot before we read music, just as we speak before we read. Emerging intelligence needs to hear it first, then see it.


Mulberry Bush
The integration of learning modalities happens when our actions line up with our words. Here I suggest actions that the children will know about, but maybe haven’t had direct experience of, such as throwing a snowball (coastal California!), or petting an iguana. Setting down this template in the brain, of matching language with movement, lays the foundation for integrity. We are doing what we say.


Love Canon, 4 parts
One of the great joys of singing together is singing in canon. Once the children know the song automatically, without needing to use up a lot of attention and focus to enjoy it, they are ready for singing in a canon. The harmonies in this song are wonderfully pleasing. The children are so happy to create such a thing of beauty. Harmony is naturally produced through the melody. They can own it, because they produced it themselves.


Make New Friends in Different Languages
Singing together helps us understand who and what we are. We are in a season of hope (at least, we hope we are!), embracing our common humanity. People from around the world are looking forward to coming together to greet old friends and to meet new friends. We embrace people and extend the hand of welcome. We can’t wait to get to know you better. 


LESSON 19 | 06.03.21

Play is to intelligence as breath is to life. If we make our interactions with children joyful and filled with beauty, they will want to come back and do it again.

Row Row
Making up new verses for songs helps imagination to develop. The rhyming scheme assists auditory development, which is important for fluent reading skills. 
Penny Song
Brains are attracted to beauty and play. Guessing where the penny is boosts resiliency, as there is a 50/50 chance we will miss. Experiences with manageable disappointment help to build a robust self-image. Drawing a map of the song is our way to symbolize the sound with a visual cue. Everybody’s map will look different, and by reading others’ maps, we are building the practice of empathy.
Windy Weather Rhythm
We love learning sign language! We sing in many languages: the words, the rhythm, the solfege with our hands, and now ASL. In class, the children take turns being leaves blowing around in the wind.
Tallis Canon
Thomas Tallis worked at the court of King Henry VIII. He wrote in a beautiful, lyrical vocal style. We sometimes take this melody and superimpose new words to tell a story, in the form of our own “operas.”






What’s on your Bookshelf Recommendations

In our current time of endless Zoom meetings or even when watching the news, we have taken notice and peeked curiously at other people’s backdrops. Inevitably, a bookshelf seems to be a frequent ‘prop’  — always lined with what looks like interesting books…and so we all wonder, what’s on their bookshelf?  What is there that might interest me, inspire or entertain me during these times? What might I learn about the person on screen that I didn’t know? For this, we turned to our Festival family – Barbara Hannigan, George Lewis, Thomas W. Morris, and Miranda Cuckson – to share with us their own inspirations. What we come out with to share with you is a multitude of fascinating reading and music resources. Enjoy!


Nuria Schoenberg-Nono – Arnold Schoenberg: Playing Cards
Arnold Schoenberg – Theory of Harmony
Carl Schorske – Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture

Alban Berg – Lulu
George Gershwin – Girl Crazy Suite


Naomi André – Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement
W.E.B. Du Bois – The Comet
Luc Boltanski & Eve Chiapello – The New Spirit of Capitalism
Uwe Johnson – Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl
Kim Stanley Robinson – The Ministry for the Future

Wagner – Lohengrin
Wagner – Parsifal
Composers he is following: Andile Khumalo, Hannah Kendall, Courtney Bryan, Leila Adu-Gilmore, Jessie Cox, Jason Yarde, Daniel Kidane, Tania León, Alvin Singleton

Thomas W. MORRIS
Books, etc:

Joshua Wolf Shenk – Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity
Heidi Waleson – Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America
Stave Jigsaw Puzzles, Vermont 

J.S. Bach – Cantatas
Fritz Reiner – Chicago Symphony Play Works by Ravel and Debussy. RCA Red Seal, 1986, CD
Fritz Reiner & Chicago Symphony Orchestra – The Complete RCA Album Collection, CD


Dominique Fourcade – Henri Matisse Ecrits et propos sur l’art
Charles Mackay – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Joseph Szigeti – Szigeti on the Violin
Tobias Wolff – This Boys Life: A Memoir

Alban Berg – Lulu
Blue Heron (Renaissance Choir)
Christelle Bofale (Singer/songwriter)
Jon Hassell (Experimental trumpeter/composer)
Paco de Lucia (Flamenco guitarist)
Johannes Ockeghem (Renaissance composer)

André Aciman – Out of Egypt: A Memoir
Eric Ambler – A Coffin for Dimitrios
Ishmael Beah – Radiance of Tomorrow
Tove Jansson – Travelling Light
Penelope Lively – Moon Tiger
Tayeb Salih – Season of Migration to the North
Zadie Smith – Swing Time
Lizabeth Strout – My Name is Lucy Barton
Miral Tahawi – Brooklyn Heights: An Egyptian Novel 

John Adams – The Wound Dresser
Smithsonian Anthology of Blues
Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground
Vikingur Ólafsson playing Bach – Concerto in D minor, BWV 974 – 2. Adagio 
Read  Ara’s “Music for our Time” blog 

Download the complete list!

Ojai Music Festival Photo Gallery

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”124″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]Entering in its 75th anniversary season, the Ojai Music Festival connects world-renowned artists and audiences in performances and conversations that push limits, risk failures, and spark surprise.  The Festival nurtures musicians, composers, and artists who shape the music of our time. Ojai’s spirit of innovation and informality draws audiences who are specifically eager for experiences beyond the norm of standard classical musical performances.

Photo 1: John Luther Adams’ Strange and Sacred Noise, Besant Hill School 
Photo 2: John Luther Adams’ Songbirdsongs, Meditation Mount
Photo 3: John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit, Libbey Park 
Photo 4: John Luther Adams’ Sila, Libbey Park 
Photo 5: Music of Lou Harrison, Libbey Park 
Photo 6: Mahler Chamber Orchestra members performing a wide-range of music, Libbey Park 
Photo 8: Children’s concert with Patricia Kopatchinskaja
Photo 9 and 10: Luigi Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura, Libbey Park
Photo 11: Caroline Shaw’s Will there be any stars in my crown, Zalk Theatre 
Photo 12: Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone 
Photo 13: Josephine Baker: A Portrait (World Premiere) 
Photo 14: Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress 
Photo 15: Ojai Talks with members of LUDWIG
Photo 16: Libbey Bowl audience 



Music For Our Time

A Message from Ara Guzelimian, Artistic & Executive Director 

I write this on a bright November day, the air fresh with the crispness of the season. It has been a time of extraordinary events, marked a few days ago by an election of extreme division. We continue to be in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, which has brought much loss, separation, and isolation. All of that is compounded by the racial and economic fissures made apparent by events of the past year.
How do we measure this time in our innermost thoughts? Many years ago, I first met Peter Sellars at a conference in San Diego where he was giving a talk. His remarks have stuck with me, growing in importance with the passage of time. Peter said that our response to the arts is one of the few truly private experiences we have at a time of very little privacy. We encounter a book, a play, a piece of music, a work of art, a dance; we may express a public opinion and may even try to second-guess what a “correct” and “sophisticated” opinion might be. But when all is said and done, when the lights are out and our head hits the pillow, we are left alone with our experience of the art. We love it or we don’t, it speaks to us or it doesn’t, we understand it or we are left confused. But, in the end, we feel what we feel and think what we think.

Like so many of us, I have turned to music of every variety imaginable to keep me company in this roller-coaster time. I’ve found myself returning to a Smithsonian anthology of the blues that I’ve had for years but had overlooked more recently. There is such richness in this tradition and, as B.B. King observed, “blues is a tonic for what ails you. I could play the blues and not be blue anymore.” One of the most moving discoveries among these old recordings is this one, sung and played by Blind Willie Johnson (inset photo), that summons up a well of human expression without a single word being uttered. Here is a recording made nearly 100 years ago that reaches out across time and speaks to us with amazing currency. This is the raw power of music in its ability to express deep emotion.

My other constant has been the music of Bach, especially in the hands of great pianists. Bach’s music is informed by his unshakable faith, an abiding humanity, as well as a sense of order and design. In working with John Adams to plan the 2021 Ojai Festival, I have been listening intently to the recent recordings by one of our artists, the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, a pianist as at home in Bach as he is in the music of Philip Glass. His recent Bach recording is one of exceptional beauty, and I have returned to it often to provide a grounding in this disrupted time. As Víkingur wrote, “everything is there in Johann Sebastian’s music: architectural perfection and profound emotion.” Here is the Adagio from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974:

I happily anticipate Víkingur’s participation next year and am so grateful to John Adams for suggesting him as one of the first guest artists to invite. John himself has had an uncanny ability to give voice to American experience throughout his career – he is a musical chronicler of our times. In recent days, I found myself thinking about The Wound Dresser, a 1989 setting of Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name. In it, Whitman documents his experiences tending to the Civil War wounded in makeshift field hospitals. 
In listening recently to The Wound Dresser, I have been so struck by the resonances with our own moment in time – the deep divisions in the country on one hand and the boundless generosity of so many health workers and caregivers in this pandemic on the other. Whitman writes “Thus in silence in dreams’ projections, / Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals, / The hurt and the wounded I pacify with soothing hand.”

John wrote about the work, “It is a statement about human compassion that is acted out on a daily basis, quietly and unobtrusively and unselfishly and unfailingly.” Another [Whitman] poem in the same volume states its theme in other words: ‘Those who love each other shall become invincible . . . ‘”
And so, we are reminded that artists are our truth-tellers and our chroniclers, their work our necessary companions through thick and thin. I am also reminded that we turn to the arts particularly in trying times. As we approach the 75th Festival in June, it is meaningful to recall that the Festival was founded in 1947, when the world was just barely emerging from World War II. The Festival’s very existence comes from an act of hope and optimism at a time of rebuilding in the face of adversity. In that spirit, we hold the promise of the next Ojai Festival as a similar act of faith. 

When we gather together to listen to music, we assert our humanity, our belief in the arts, and in community. Thanks to each of you for creating the warm and welcoming spirit of community that defines the Festival. I am so gratified to be working with the musicians who will bring to life the 75th Festival. And I relish the promise of listening to their music in your company.


About The Holiday Homes

Learn more about this year’s must-see properties that will be adorned with floral inspirations created by local designers.

Be a Designer for our Tabletop Trees & Menorahs

This historical landmark in Ojai’s charming neighborhood, the Arbolada, designed by George Washington Smith, is a classic example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style reminiscent of simple Andalusian farmhouses. Commissioned by Edward Drummond Libbey in the early 1920s as “Spec House A” the house has hosted many fascinating residents, including mafioso Jimmy (the Weasel) Fratiano, the Huyler family of chocolate factory renown, and the son of spy novelist John LeCarre.

Owners Tiese and Robert Quinn describe it in more picturesque terms – ¨elegant simplicity.¨ There is a feeling of understated sophistication with many original architectural details such as the tile roof over high beam ceilings, polished rich wood and old world imported Spanish tile floors that grace the rooms of the home.

The Native American-themed art throughout creates the perfect artistic atmosphere. There are bronzes in several rooms by Allan Houser, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, and Charles Russell. On the walls are a watercolor by actor/artist Buck Taylor and oils by Z.S. Liang as well as local favorite and friend of the owners, Sharon Butler. 

The upstairs, now the master suite, has been created from the two original upstairs rooms. Looking down from the wrought iron balcony, or passing through the trio of French doors below, you feel transported to the Spanish countryside. The centerpiece courtyard fountain, adorned by bright Tunisian tiles imported from Spain 100 years ago, welcomes you to a tranquil setting. A saltwater pool is lined with tile by local artisans RTK Tiles.  A separate weaving studio completes the sanctuary, making it the ideal home for the owners, who moved to Ojai after instantly falling in love with a picture as seen in a magazine. When you see this beautiful abode, you will understand why!

Footnotes from the owners Tiese & Bob Quinn:

SPEC HOUSE “A” — Passing through the wrought iron gate covered by Cecil Brunner roses opens a view of the front of the house sheltered by the majestic oaks which fill the property.  For many years this property was known as “Kathy’s Oaks” for the daughter of Harry Finley, a successful Beverly Hills florist who owned the property at the time.  Many long time Ojai residents still refer to the property this way.  The Peace Guy quietly watches visitors approach.

The approach to the house is on original brick walkways passing the fountain which was placed in front of the covered cloister and the front door.  Although the jar on the fountain is not original, the tile is just as placed in 1921 – 1922 when the house was built.  This tile, along with that of the living room floor and the tile which circles the living room, is original to the house and already old when imported from Spain for the home.

On the east side of the cloister is one of two Hillside Pottery vases belonging to the owners.  Hillside Pottery was a local company located up Foothill Road.  Adjacent to the entry is the official plaque for Ojai Historical Landmark No. 16.  At the west end of the cloister is a bronze sculpture by Francisco Zuniga.

LIVING ROOM — Enter one of the three sets of French doors facing the cloister to be met by the expanse of living room that remains as designed by George Washington Smith with its vaulted and beamed ceiling and fireplace, protected by the large bronze created by Cyrus Edwin Dallin in 1910, called “The Scout.”  The large collection of Native American art is visible throughout the home, much of which is historical.  In a place of honor over the fireplace is an oil painting by contemporary artist, Z.S. Liang, while an oil by Roy Anderson on the facing wall provides a splash of color and action.  An antique bronze of wolves is supported by a Stickley Library Table, one of several pieces in the living room handed down from the owner’s grandparents.

LIBRARY — This cozy room was added in about 1996 along with the three bedrooms and two baths behind it.  Although designed to complement the original, it is just enough different to not be confused as original to the house.  The room contains an oil collage by local artist and friend Sharon Butler which is over the fireplace and an oil by Francis Livingston over the couch. 

DINING ROOM — Featuring French doors to the patio and many gardens, the dining room showcases the Steven Handelman lighting fixtures which are throughout the house, the small alcove with a 17th century figure, a printer’s cabinet that was in the owner’s father’s print shop in Los Angeles, and an oil painting featuring Harvest by Tim Soliday over the Stickley sideboard.

The table is set for a time of harvest Thanksgiving during the period of the Harvest Moon.  Wedgwood China “Cream Color on Celedon,” Wallace sterling silver “Lily” from the early 1900’s and inherited from the owner’s grandmother, and Libbey “Mosque Rose” glassware also from early 1900 and hand cut in the basement of the Libbey Glass.  The owners always include an unused place setting for those who have walked on.

MASTER BEDROOM — The master suite was created from the two bedrooms and bathroom that originally were the only bedrooms in the home with the exception of the maid’s quarters.  A Billy Scheck oil faces the bed while dolls made by the owner’s mother during WWII are above the bed.  Over the bathtub is a painting by Bill Bender called Bringing home Christmas.  

OUTDOORS — The Pool is salt water and the pool tile is by local RTK Tile Studio.

After receiving the prestigious Rome Prize in 2008, architect Fred Fisher and his wife, Jennie Prebor, along with sons Henry and Eugene, spent a transformative year in Rome. Returning to Los Angeles, they found nine acres with an olive grove hidden away at the edge of Ojai with gorgeous mountain and valley views that inspired them to choose the site despite its derelict condition. While the house was being planned Jennie established a store on the Arcade, BlancheSylvia, and the boys attended Ojai Valley School.

This is the home a renowned architect designs for his own family – an oasis of comfort for their friends as well as a gorgeous venue for community fundraisers.  The three-story “box on a hill.” covered with rusted corrugated metal, is reminiscent of the Tuscan villas on hilltops that left such an impression on them. From this perch, the views on all sides are breathtaking, and the light dances throughout – the perfect spot to savor a Pink Moment.

Unique touches abound in every corner – brightly colored rugs and pillows delight the eye, accenting the bright primary colors – a fire-engine red kitchen island, custom cabinetry by artist Roy McMakin, a yellow Dutch door, and purple sofas.  The home is adorned with an eclectic collection of works by Ojai artists including John Nava, Guy Webster, and Beatrice Wood. The furnishings were carefully curated for aesthetics and ambiance. A cozy upstairs nook with fireplace and bookshelf-lined sitting area invites quiet reflection or family interaction. The laser-cut steel stair railing is a work of art in itself. A stargazing deck adjoins the bedroom. The home respects the ¨legacy¨ property that they are committed to preserve for the Ojai we all value so dearly.

Footnotes from the owners, Fred Fisher and Jennie Prebor:

ARTWORK — The Cougar & Bird painting in vestibule is by Tim Ebner, and the tapestry is by Ojai artist John Nava. The piece is a test weaving for a Commission in Princeton’s Firestone Library, for which we designed the renovation.

The flag is a family heirloom, an 1874 ensign. My great grandmother (Fred’s) was married under it. The map is a print of a high resolution scan made by the “Nolli Map project “ of University of Oregon and Stanford led by Erik Steiner. The photo on metal in the vestibule is by William Bailey and small Chuck Arnoldi by window.  

The green photo in the library is by Guy Webster & used for a Procol Harum album cover, next to Karl Blosfeld flower photo.  

Over the living room fireplace blue painting by Eric Orr. Pair of Donald Judd prints left of fireplace. Kim McCarty watercolors of boys in stairwell.

Ed Ruscha print over kitchen fireplace. Richard Hamilton print over library fireplace. Sam Watters ink drawings beside my desk. Marc Swanson drape sculpture over main bedroom fireplace. Guy Dill figure drawing next to our bed.

(Fred’s) My watercolor of house concept on black chest next to dining table. 

In 1929, Austen Pierpont designed this Spanish Colonial style home on four of the original 60 acres of Country Club Estates, to recreate the look of Santa Barbara in Ojai. Original owners Mary and Roger Bard, who christened the place La Tranquilidad, planted many oaks, as well as the pomegranate tree which still adorns the courtyard. Pierpont recreated the traditional Monterrey style of whitewashed walls, with balconies running the full length of the house in front and back. Large windows set in thick adobe walls make the bedrooms bright and offer splendid views of the scenic mountains and upper Ojai Valley, framed by lush trees and bright landscaping. Contrasting the white walls are dark hardwood floors and bannisters, built-in cabinetry and bold original tiles, all adding to the charm and authenticity of the home.

The house is currently home to Linda Granat. She and her late husband Frank purchased the home in 1991 when they were looking for a retreat from their life in New York where they own the legendary Knickerbocker Restaurant. Linda knew the minute she walked up to the house it was where she wanted to live. Around every corner are serendipitous spots inviting moments of peaceful respite or social gatherings – coffee patios, outdoor dining and picnic spots, book nook window seats, four swings suspended from huge trees – and stone pathways meandering in every direction, beckoning you to wander and discover. An old rock oven sits sentinel over the tranquil view, while notes from the Steinway grand piano waft on the breeze.

Linda has brought a bit of French flavor to the Spanish home, including a collection of French posters collected by her husband Frank. The poster once hung in their New York apartment but now lines the elegant stairwell of the home. Whimsical folk art adds color and charm to every room. Not far from the center of town, but feeling like miles away from everything, this iconic piece of Ojai architecture personifies its original name, La Tranquilidad.

Footnotes from the owner, Linda Granat:

The painting in the living room is by local Ojai artist Mick Reinman, also in the living room above the fireplace is a painting by Robert Guerra which we (Linda and late husband Frank) commissioned for that particular spot.

In the dressing room art by Ojai artist Elisse Pogofsky-Harris and her work is also in the dining room between the windows. 

ABOUT FRANK GRANAT — Born in San Francisco, Frank was the son of one of the founders of Granat Brothers Jewelers. After graduating from Stanford University in 1950, Frank went on to a long and successful career as a Broadway producer and restauranteur in New York City, establishing the famous Knickerbocker Bar & Grill. A favorite in Greenwich Village, the Knickerbocker was known for its jazz and was a favorite among many celebrities from Alec Baldwin and Chris Noth to Ben Stiller, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. 



Be a Designer for our Tabletop Trees & Menorahs

Home Tour & Marketplace – Virtual Edition

Premiering on Saturday, November 21, 2020 

The Ojai Women’s Committee invites you to join in a creative and “cinematic” celebration of the renowned architecture of Ojai. This challenging year has opened an opportunity for the Women’s Committee to re-imagine the beloved event by presenting Ojai Valley homes – virtually – that would not have been on our traditional tour due to logistical or geographical restrictions. 

Guests will enjoy an online tour of must-see properties with holiday floral inspirations created by local designers. The digital edition allows guests to learn about architectural details and will include intimate stories of each home. With the tour hosted by celebrated designer and author Brooke Giannetti and renowned architect Steve Giannetti (Patina Farm) and filmed by Square Productions, the Home Tour will continue as an awe-inspiring experience.

The Holiday Marketplace also rises to the challenge with a virtual marketplace, featuring many loyal vendors from markets past as well as new options from local retailers and artists. 

The ease of accessing an online tour and marketplace will keep this treasured tradition front of mind with ardent followers and hope to gain new friends to celebrate the joys of the holiday seasons.

Entering its 24th year, the event continues to benefit 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 even throughout these challenging times. 

Now more than ever, the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee’s role to support the Festival and music in the schools is critical. Help these programs thrive by becoming an event sponsor, which will give complimentary access to the video portal.

Become a Patron Sponsor