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Sweet and Hot Music Foundation, Inc. is organized and operated for charitable purposes under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3). Membership and donations may be tax deductible and 100% goes to support the festival, the Walk of Fame and the Walk of Fame Awards Show.

photo: Ellie Whitlock
Wally Holmes
Sweet & Hot Music Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 642269,
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2269
(for contact by the news/press only)
Howard Pearlstein
Lee & Associates, Inc.
Public Relations & Advertising
145 S. Fairfax Avenue, #301
Los Angeles, CA 90036

MUSICIANS interested in the 2011 Sweet & Hot Music Festival,
and who want more information and/or wish to perform at the festival
please contact LAURIE WHITLOCK, Associate Director at Tickets@sweethot.org


There are separate email addresses for the various departments associated with the production of the festival. Please make your selection from the list below:

Festival Information and Ticket Purchase:
Laurie Whitlock Tickets@sweethot.org
Pool Room Reservation:
Wanda Morrison poolrooms@sweethot.org
Volunteer Coordinator:
Paul O'Neil & Yolanda Klappert webmaster@sweethot.org
General Mailbox
Foundation Information
Sponsorship Information
Vendor Information
Mailing list updates, changes, additions
Patron inquiries

All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Sweet & Hot Music Foundation

The Sweet and Hot Music Foundation is a California 501c3 non- profit corporation founded in 1996 by a small group of people dedicated to the perpetuation of America’s Golden Age of Popular Music. The goal of the foundation is simply to present, perform and preserve this American Treasure in all of its facets, thru community (involvement) outreach and education.

Present - The foundation has elected to serve this aspect of the mission statement by mounting a music festival annually. The Los Angeles Airport Marriott hotel serves as the host venue. The festival is completely volunteer staffed and organized. The music is eclectic in style including Ragtime, Blues, Traditional Jazz, Popular and Show tunes, Big Band, Mainstream and Straight Ahead jazz, all within the time frame beginning in the 1900s and extending through the early 1950s.

Perform - The founders designed the festival in a unique format combining the usual jazz party with the band-oriented festival that is most commonly performed. The festival artists are chosen with care from the very best that there is available. Performers are paid festival scale plus transportation and housing. The event is presented with an eye to customer participation so the ticket prices are kept at a very reasonable level.

Preserve - It is our belief that this important American Art form must be preserved for future generations. In order to promote the continued performance of the music the Sweet and Hot Music foundation has, in addition to the live Sweet and Hot Music Festival, initiated several community outreach programs. These include:

  • Sweet and Hot Walk of Fame - Located in the atrium of the Los Angeles Airport Hotel the walk consists of large bronze plaques honoring the artists who created the music of the Golden Age. Foundation members elect the honorees by ballot each year. There are now 62 beautiful plaques imbedded in the walk, which is open to the public. We believe that it is the only “walk” dedicated solely to these pioneer artists.
  • Support young musicians - The Foundation is proud to invite the youth group Jazz America, founded by musician Buddy Collette, to perform in the festival each year. Students receive festival pay for their performance and an additional amount is donated to the Jazz America program.
  • Support the aging population - The foundation encourages the older adult performers to participate as well as contemporary renowned artists. In addition, the foundation is seeking out and developing programs to include the “forgotten” world of aged Americans.
  • Donate funds in support of Youth oriented and educational programs - (ie: Sacramento’s Trad Jazz Camp) Encourage Global participation by including International performers and/or bands.
    Free concerts in local schools, malls and public areas.

Programs are being designed and implemented whenever possible to increase public awareness and to encourage those who love the music to participate in an effort to conserve this art form for future generations.

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Wally Holmes
photos: Prince Moore

Board of Directors/ Festival Officers

Executive Director - Wally Holmes
Founding member, Wally comes to the Sweet and Hot with excellent credentials. A musician, he leads his own band, the Yankee Wailers. A businessman, he owns and runs a storage business and is a music publisher and promoter. An artist, he has written an award winning song that even the M & M characters sing.

Associate Director - Laurie Whitlock
She has more than 30 years experience working in music festivals including working as a volunteer for the Sacramento Jubilee since 1984. She has served on the board of the International Association of Classic Jazz Festivals, the American Federation of Jazz Societies and produced her own festival for five years. She has extensive contacts in the traditional jazz community and has served on this staff since its inception. She also serves the S & H as the membership chair.

Chief Financial Officer - Gilles Mongeau
Our new CFO, Gilles, comes to us with a laundry list of qualifications as he served as comptroller for a large Steel company and for Bridgestone (Tires) among others. However, his best qualification is a great love of the music and a dedication to help preserve it. A long-time member of LA Jazz, Gilles has even hosted jazz soirees at his home. French Canadians from Montreal, Gilles and his beautiful wife, Giselle, are a welcome addition to our Sweet and Hot family.

Earl Hammond

John Kennebeck
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photo: Prince Moore

Festival Volunteer Staff

Sound and Light Director - Gordon Wolfe
Gordon has been an outstanding asset to the Music festival by bringing his technical knowledge and network of contacts to bear in the production s excellent sound and lighting . In addition he has assisted in telephone contacts and has managed the festivals’ very large mailing list. Gordon is the owner/operator of a custom installation business KrisKen Electronics.

Operations - Dr. Bob Marcus
Dr. Marcis has been a right hand for us, working as the volunteer chairman, and now as operations coordinator efficiently guiding the festival operations from the badge office to the venues and sales tables. He brings years of organizing experience to the event as a teacher and serving the Olympics pre-trials in scheduling and timekeeping. His low-key demeanor serves the festival well under control and running smoothly.

Volunteer Chair - Bobbye Marcus
Bobbye Marcus assumed the mantle of Volunteer coordinator as her husband, Dr. Bob Marcus, has accepted the position of Operations.

Poolside and Pool View Rooms - Wanda Morrison
Wanda is a gift. She has the most controlled, cheerful and helpful personality combined with an uncanny ability to organize and keep track of any number of requests and changes that are necessary when dealing with the public and acting as a liaison with the hotel. She doesn't get flustered or upset, she just looks at the situation and makes a happy compromise. This position is extremely important in fulfilling our mission and she is the very best person for the job.

Badge Sales office - Lil Bauer
Lil has been the cheerful smile under the hat at the badge sales office for 15 years. She is the ambassador for the festival with her cheerful, courteous attitude. The Badge Sales office is one of the primary areas where there is an interchange with our patronage, Lil's many years as a docent in Encino serves us admirably in this department.

Newsletter - Michael Crosby
Wordsmith Crosby has all the qualifications to become "Jake Storyville" and get our e-letter out to the patrons filled with current and interesting information. Michael, a Librarian/ archivist who published a book on the history of Encino, is a master at research and dissemination of information. We are so lucky to have this fine hand behind the penning of our newsletter.

Set Decoration - Michael Crosby, Jim Crosby
The beautiful sets and decor seen throughout the festival is the product of Jack Crosby who was associated with set decorations for the film and entertainment industry. Jack's sons, Michael and Jim come by their talent genetically, they have been responsibile of the decorations keeping them refreshed, renewed and in place on time for the past five years. Both have their own crews as the "kids" are on hand to help with this monumental job.

Fundraising and Events Coordinator - Ava DuPree
Ava is our insider who's also an outsider. On the inside, she works closely with Wally, Laurie, and Yve making sure that there's always something fresh and surprising happening at the festival. ie, Americans Idle, Songwriters, Tribute sets, etc. On the outside, she brings her public speaking skills to use as a fundraiser as well as building community awareness of our organization. Her tenacity and dedication to the Sweet & Hot legacy coupled with her love of "the music" is a welcome addition to the family!

Insurance/Security/ Musician check in - Linell Seegall
Linell ran her own temp-service business for many years and is a hands-on manager who has an eye for the best way to make things work smoothly and effortlessly. Her contacts have allowed her to obtain necessary insurance coverage at reasonable rates. Her diligence keeps the musicians parking area free of hassles and secured during the event. Linell has been a part of this festival since the beginning and has volunteered at the Sacramento Jubilee for 17 years as well. Her cheerful, efficiency is paramount in keeping this festival going, she is the perfect person to multitask and do it well.

Drum Captain – Don Hooker
Don is the drummer for the Yankee Wailers band and has been recruited to serve as our drum captain since the onset of the festival. His duties are many and difficult as he is responsible for the Remo drum sets on loan, he has to set them up on the stages and take them down, also make sure that all the parts and pieces are there when the drummer takes up his sticks. Each drum kit has a minimum of 7 pieces with several small clutches and pedals that are necessary for operation. Don also continues to perform with the Yankee Wailers and on drum duty whenever necessary. Lately he has had Paul another drummer assisting.

Community Affairs - Bob Vella
Bob comes to us with a long history of business experience, he owns and operates gyms and has served as an official on the Hollywood Park race track among others. His business acumen and the ability to seek out other business men has been very helpful in creating a higher community profile for the festival, including creating a contact in the Red Hat Society. His New York roots come out in his conversations, and as you know every board needs a New Yorker on staff- we have ours!

- Joe Boyle
Just as every board needs a New Yorker, every board needs an Irishman to cheer us all up. Joe Boyle has worked for the festival in several capacities from Volunteer coordinator to his current position of recruiting and scheduling the emcees for the event. His long and varied career has placed him in a unique position to assist on many fronts, not the least is beginning each staff meeting with an Irish joke-or two.

Sponsors - Dee Mintz
Deanna has been the queen of in-kind sponsors for the event, each year we have her to thank for the drum kits and the pianos on every stage. Her organizational skills and history of office /business management have smoothed the way for seamless production. Dee and husband, Mel, have long supported the music, hosting parties in their home and traveling long distances to listen and promote. She is a great asset to our staff, even after moving to Arizona.
Dee stepped up and took the helm as Vendor Coordinator in 2010 when the position was vacated by necessity. She was dynamic, stepping in at the last minute and making it work quite elegantly.

Staff Photographer - Prince Moore
Prince Moore has served in this capacity since the beginning of the event. His photos grace the cover of the Argonaut every year and populate our advertisements, the souvenir program and the website. His knowledge of the music and the musicians has been invaluable. Prince is able to frame and feature the performers in the best possible light.

Contributing Photographer - Christine Collins and Ellie Whitlock
This pair of artistic eyes has brought new life to the event with photographs that tell the story of the fun and energy within the event. Christine has traveled with Yve Evans extensively and has developed a critical lens that captures the sound and the emotion of the moment. Ellie Whitlock has had less experience in the music so her naiveté is a refreshing look at the musicians and the listening audience. All three photographers offer beautiful photographs featuring different aspects of the event.

Patrons - Carol Sue Wolfe, Muriel Hammond
Persons who opt for the Patron badges are especially important contributors to the festival so we need especially good people to make their festival experience a positive one. Carol Sue and Muriel are just exactly the right people. Cheerful, accommodating and with a constant attention to detail that assures that the patrons enjoy the event. The ladies assemble the kits and hand them out at the beginning of the festival. They host the brunch and serve as excellent representatives of the festival.

The Sweet and Hot Foundation is grateful for the excellence and the dedication of our volunteers. Each of the persons listed above represent many others, and each position named is but a small aspect of the time and the work that goes into producing the festival and the corollary events, everyone works together in several capacities to create a whole.

Founding Directors Emeritus

Earl Hammond In the annals of Classic Jazz Festivals, few are as fortunate as the Sweet and Hot Music Festival in the quality and dedication of our volunteers.  Case in point was our Chief Financial Officer, Earl Hammond.  All of us fondly remember his calm, quiet, can-do attitude.  He tirelessly worked for the betterment of the festival and honored us with his warm heart and caring spirit.  Earl joined the staff in 1996, stepping into the position when Margaret Teagarden retired. Earl and his wife Muriel, and his son Paul have been a wonderful asset to the Sweet and Hot family, one for which we are very grateful.  His legacy will live on in every song. Earl passed away in December, 2009.

Director Emeritus - John Kennebeck
Founding member, John was a successful businessman and he brought that expertise to bear in the organization and design of the event. John handled the travel arrangements for the festival since its inception, in addition he maintained the Musician’s hospitality room both by staffing volunteers and by supplying the food and beverages.

John passed away on March 2, 2010, following a long illness. Yoshio and Keiko Toyama from Japan write of John, "We will remember him with his sweetest personality, and kind heart - taking care of of us so kindly every year at the Festival. We'll remember him, so will many Japanese jazz fans who visited LA Classic, and Sweet and Hot over the years, together with beautiful memories of fine music, joy festival and kind heart of John and Cathy. We will miss him so much..." Sweet & Hot will miss John!

Peach Holmes (Mrs. Wally Holmes), founding member, brought years of experience to the board. She served in many capacities in other festivals and had the hands-on knowledge that is required to make an event like this work smoothly. She acted as a liaison with the hotel for special services, and handled the patron sales. Peach passed away January 6, 2008.

Margaret Teagarden staffed and ran the badge sales office. Margaret’s long experience with jazz societies and musician’s were invaluable aids to the establishment and continuation of the Foundation.

Marvin Rubin used his business background to establish a liaison with the hotel staff and in conjunction with Peach Holmes was responsible for the special handling of the poolside and pool view rooms. Marv also assisted in bringing in the gospel singers from the community and was 24/7 on hand as a greeter. Marvin passed away February 21, 2008.

Martha Rubin (Mrs. Marvin Rubin) worked with Marv as hostess and greeter during the festival, prior to the festival she worked alongside Peach in choosing souvenir sales items and patron gifts.

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