Rose Colella’s first job as Idyllwild Arts Foundation’s new Special Events Manager, responsible for all events originating from the Office of the President, was supposed to be orchestrating JAZZ IN THE PINES 2020. There had been no JAZZ IN THE PINES in 2019, while the beloved festival was being reimagined. This past June and July, JAZZ IN THE PINES was to have featured two weeks of free in-town and on-campus performances by Idyllwild Arts Summer Program jazz teachers and students, joined by world-renowned guest artists who would also teach Summer Program master classes.

JAZZ IN THE PINES happened, but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it couldn’t go according to the original, ambitious plan. For example, Rose’s own JAZZ IN THE PINES gig had to be livestreamed from the Black Beagle Sound studio, in downtown Los Angeles. Her vocals there are accompanied by bassist Rick Shaw, an Idyllwild Arts Summer Program faculty member, and by Michael Bluestein, since 2008 the keyboardist for Foreigner.

This bravura performance by Rose hints at the energy and flexibility she has brought to a role that changed overnight. The possibility that Idyllwild Arts Academy classes, which went all-online in April, would remain online for much of 2020-2021 led to the major fundraising effort called One World. One Idyllwild., in which Rose was deeply involved. Her social media savvy continues to be invaluable to the Marketing Department’s promotion of a wide range of Idyllwild Arts performances and exhibits.

Steeped in Jazz History

Whatever additional events come out of the Idyllwild Arts Office of the President—and some exciting announcements are forthcoming—Rose will be behind them, as a rear engine with explosive horsepower. As her vocals for JAZZ IN THE PINES demonstrate, she is a frontline jazz performer, profiled by The New York Times and praised there for her “coolly coquettish and swinging manner.”

Rose has been steeped in a love of jazz history since childhood, when she began learning the Great American Songbook repertory from her grandmother. That was the jazz singer Lola Bard, who had in turn learned the classics of Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, and Cole Porter from Ella Fitzgerald. However, Rose does more than perform: her jazz booking agency, Lola Bard Productions, has given her a wealth of management experience.