With the Belly Up Tavern a Solana Beach staple for more than 40 years, Cedros Avenue has become a music mecca. Local singer Anna Danes is hoping to attract even more music enthusiasts with her ongoing series, “Jazz on Cedros,” at Carruth Cellars.
“Solana Beach has a very vibrant cultural community, especially Cedros Avenue,” said Danes, a Solana Beach resident, who lives on Cedros. “I can’t think of a better location.”
In collaboration with Carruth Cellars, “Anna Danes Presents” launched Jazz on Cedros in December.
Described as a “sophisticated Happy Hour,” the Dec. 5 event featured singer-songwriter Rosemary Watson and Jonathan Belanger, lead singer of San Diego art pop band The Mosaic Quartet. The Jan. 30 event featured crooner David Patrone, as well as jazz vocalists Carmelia Bell and Arnessa Rickette.
“The first two events were very well-received,” said Danes, who emcees every event and performs a selection of songs. “We sold out in a matter of hours and had waitlists for both.”
Slated for March 13, the next Jazz on Cedros event will feature Danes, jazz singer Kendra Tucker and soul singer Ayanna Hobson. A male vocalist is also being scheduled for the event.
“It’s a really fun way to experience new music and discover talent,” Danes said.
Danes herself is relatively new to the music scene.
Born in Gdansk, Poland, Danes was 10 years old when her family escaped Communist rule and fled to Sweden. The family later settled in Canada after her father landed an engineer position in Ottawa.
While adapting to a different culture and learning English and French, Danes also struggled with her parents’ divorce. She used music to escape and joined a Polish church choir in Ottawa. Until recently, that was the only music experience she had.
Danes earned her bachelor’s degree in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Ottawa and studied law at the University of Windsor. She practiced family and estate law as an attorney in Toronto before relocating to California 14 years ago. Since then, she has become a business owner and mother.
A few years ago, when her then 7-year-old daughter refused to sing during the voice lessons she purchased at an auction, Danes stepped in. That’s when she realized music was her true passion.
Last spring, Danes released her debut album, “Longing,” which features mostly jazz covers and two original songs. Since then, she has performed at local venues and planned Jazz on Cedros. Because the series has been so successful, she hopes to collaborate with artists from other genres and bring the series to other local venues.
“Because people have been really receptive, we’re looking to grow the idea,” said Danes, who is also working on her second album. “We want to keep people entertained and the show flowing all night.”
The March 13 event takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Carruth Cellars, 320 S. Cedros Ave., Suite 400, in Solana Beach. Tickets cost $10.
To purchase tickets, visit jazzoncedros3.eventbrite.com.
For information about Danes or to buy her album, visit www.annadanes.com.