The annual jazz concert by Eric Marienthal and friends returns to the Hyatt Regency Newport to support High Hope’s Brain Injury

Singer Oleta Adams, drummer Ramon Yslas, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, bassist Nathaniel Kearney, Jr. and guitarist Adam Hawley perform at the 19th Annual Eric Marienthal & Friends Concert / Credit: Sheri Determan

Prepare for a sensational jazz concert benefitting a good cause as the 23rdapprox On Sunday, July 17, Eric Marienthal and Friends’ annual jazz concert returns to the cozy amphitheater at the Hyatt Regency Newport.

The concert benefits the High Hopes Brain Injury Program, which is dedicated to helping people recover from traumatic brain injuries.

VIP guests can enjoy a pre-concert dining experience served by the Tulsa Rib Company with live music by Ron Kobayashi and friends, as well as the concert featuring saxophone legend Eric Marienthal and special guest Euge Groove, plus a surprise guest who is yet to come will be announced.

VIP tickets are $150 each and include the concert, dedicated seating, dinner and dessert, drinks menu, no host bar, silent auction and live auction, and hors d’oeuvres.

A limited number of general admission tickets are available for $75 and include the concert, hors d’oeuvres and the auctions.

The VIP dinner starts at 3:45 p.m. Doors to the Main Event open at 5:00 p.m. The concert starts at 18:00

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Mark Desmond, director of High Hopes. “We are grateful that Eric has been able to do this over the years and we are grateful to be at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.”

Eric Marienthal performs at a High Hopes benefit concert at the Hyatt Regency / Photo by Sheri Determan

According to Desmond, High Hopes was founded in 1975 and is nationally recognized as one of the premier brain injury programs in the country, dedicated to the rehabilitation and retraining of people devastated by brain injuries. The High Hopes programs include conditioning classes, therapeutic swimming, Nautilus weight training, physical therapy, and rehabilitation activities for cognitive and social challenges.

Based in Tustin, High Hopes treats people from the surrounding counties as well as from across the country.

“We take people that others have given up and they come in based on what they can afford,” Desmond said. “Many of them can’t afford anything, so let’s go and look for grants or financial help.”

Eric Marienthal’s concert made a large contribution to this financial support.

“Eric is incredible – he and I have been friends for decades and we are so grateful that we have been able to host this concert all these years,” said Desmond. “

The 2020 edition was canceled due to Covid, but last year’s concert went on as usual. This year, audiences seem more excited than ever to come back and see live music, Marienthal said.

“It’s summer and we’re outside — and from a musician’s perspective, we’re thrilled to get out of our studios and play for people,” said Marienthal, who lives in Newport Beach.

Marienthal released a Grammy Award-nominated album, Double Dealing, with fellow saxophonist Randy Brecker in 2020 – Marienthal’s sixth Grammy nomination.

Eric Marienthal performs at a High Hopes benefit concert at the Hyatt Regency / Photo by Sheri Determan

“After this recording came out, I knew it was time to play live,” said Marienthal, who added that the High Hopes concert will feature a mix of new and old material, performed with his longtime bandmates .

“It’s fun to play with a band you’ve been playing with for a long time, you communicate on a different level. We have a lot of fun together.”

Marienthal said being involved in High Hopes and the concert was a highlight of the year for him.

“You rarely experience something that means so much and can achieve so much,” says Marienthal. “Every artist who has done these concerts with me says the same thing. We feel like we’ve done something worthwhile. And my boyfriend, who I’ve known since fourth grade, owns the Tulsa Rib Company and he provides the VIP dinner, we talk about it all year. This is not your typical jazz festival, you feel a special energy because people know they are there to support a good, charitable cause.”

Tickets for the Eric Marienthal and Friends Jazz Concert can be found at

For more information on High Hopes, see


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