1 GO: Garden Jam Music Festival— April 5–6
Indian Wells kicks off a month of music with the Garden Jam Music Festival at the Tennis Garden, and jazz musician Brian Culbertson has a tip or two for ticketholders: “Make sure you’ve got your sunscreen, your hats … [and] drink plenty of water. The last thing you want to do is pass out before the night’s over.”
In addition to Culbertson, this sun-drenched stage will feature Jimmie Vaughan, Los Lobos, Lucie Silvas, and adolescent guitar wunderkind Toby Lee. Garden Jam’s heavy-hitting headliners are seven-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, whom fans of A Star Is Born will recognize as Bradley Cooper’s backing band in the 2018 Oscar-winning film.
Though fledgling, Garden Jam is arguably the most comfortable festival on the desert circuit this April — for less than half the price of a Coachella ticket, attendees can nab table seats a stone’s throw from the stage, and the relaxed Lifestyle Village offers gourmet eats and libations, plus fine art, music, and shopping.
This isn’t to say that Garden Jam lacks in the energy that makes these outdoor events so fun. “We’re definitely [keeping] it upbeat and funky,” Culbertson promises. “It’s going to be pretty slammin’.” – Amelia Rodriguez
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY GARDEN JAM MUSIC FESTIVAL
2 GO: American Documentary Film Festival — Through April 4
Attention anyone who’s exhausted the majority of Netflix’s documentary category: Scoop up tickets now for this fantastic fest, which brings more than 170 films to the Camelot, Helene Galen, and Indian Wells theaters in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.
3. SEE: Metamorphosis — Through April 12
4. GO: ANA Inspiration — April 1–7
One of the five major championships of professional women’s golf takes place at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Make sure you’re out of the splash zone when the winner is crowned — tradition dictates that she’ll celebrate by jumping into the pond adjacent to the 18th green.
5. SEE: A Celebration of the Smoke Tree — April 1–30
Painter Terry Masters and photographer Millicent Harvey pair up to present an artful exhibition centering on an underappreciated desert plant at Desertpainter Studio Gallery in Palm Springs.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CLUBSKIRTS’ THE DINAH
The Dinah is the largest lesbian event in the world celebrating with both music and comedy.
6. GO: The Dinah — April 3–7
Founded in 1991, this Palm Springs music festival and “girl party” is considered the largest lesbian event in the world. Get ready to sing along with headliner Daya, and don’t forget your swimsuit for the famous (and fabulous) Dinah pool parties.
7. GROOVE: Tony Danza —April 4
Boxer and TV star Tony Danza proved his singing chops with a 1999 appearance in the Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh. He presents standards and stories at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
8. WATCH: Michael Carbonaro — April 5
Michael Carbonaro’s professional magic shows paid his way through NYU and led to segments on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central, plus his own TruTV series, The Carbonaro Effect. His illusions make a live appearance at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage.
9. WATCH: Something Rotten! — April 5–7
In this Broadway sensation, brothers attempt to write Elizabethan England’s first musical and prove that Shakespeare isn’t the only bard worth boasting about. The onstage antics unfold at the McCallum.
10. WATCH: Love, Sex, & the IRS — April 5–14
This Desert Theatreworks production at the Indio Performing Arts Center follows two straight male roommates who fake a marriage to fend off the IRS.
11. WATCH: Maytag Virgin — April 5–14
12. WATCH: Grand Hotel — April 5–14
13. GROOVE: Lea Salonga — April 6
14. GROOVE: Grooves at the Westin — April 6
Jazz and R&B artists serenade audiences at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage. Consider scooping up a VIP pass, which includes a meet-and-greet with the musicians, plus gourmet appetizers and drinks. On April 6, up-and-coming saxophonist Grace Kelly and an all-star cast of smooth jazz artists will perform at 7 p.m. at the Masters’ Plaza. Emmy winner John Tesh will entertain at 7 p.m. April 10 at the resort’s Ambassador Ballroom
15. GROOVE: CountryFest Parking Lot Party — April 6
16. GROOVE: Ja Rule and Ashanti — April 6
These two New Yorkers have dominated the R&B scene together (the Grammy-nominated duet “Always on Time”) and apart (Ja Rule has six Top 10 albums, while Ashanti shares world records with The Beatles). Experience their chart-toppers live at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO
17. GROOVE: Opera in the Park — April 7
18. GROOVE: Steven Curtis Chapman — April 10
19. GO: Palm Springs Fashion Week — April 11–13
20. LAUGH: Cedric the Entertainer — April 12
The Madagascar star, who counts Steve Harvey and former first lady Laura Bush among his fans, performs a stand-up show at Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa.
21. GROOVE: Chris Botti — April 12–13
22. GO: Joshua Treenial — April 12–14
23. GO: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — April 12–14 & 19–21
24. GROOVE: Paquita la del Barrio — April 13
25. GROOVE: Chella — April 17
Goldenvoice presents a Latin concert fêting the Coachella Valley, featuring Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Mon Laferte, Cola Boy, and Giselle Woo & The Night Owls at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.
26. GO: Easter Eggstravaganza — April 20
See if slow and steady truly wins the race at this Living Desert event in which the Easter bunny takes on a real-life desert tortoise for a folk-tale rematch.
27. GROOVE: One Night Only — April 24
28. TASTE: Dining Out for Life — April 25
International nonprofit Dining Out for Life organizes fundraising events in conjunction with regional restaurants to raise money for HIV/AIDS research and services. Grab a delicious meal at one of more than 70 participating restaurants to support local charity Desert AIDS Project.
29. WATCH: The Diary of Anne Frank — April 25–28
30. WATCH: Blazing Saddles — April 26
Mel Brooks directed this critically acclaimed 1974 comedy, offering a satirical take on old Westerns. Arrive Palm Springs shows the picture on a poolside projector as part of its dive-in movie series.
31. LAUGH: Daniel Tosh — April 26
Known for 10 years of comic commentary on his Comedy Central show, Tosh.O, this controversial funnyman is among the top-earning comedians in the world. Hear his punchlines in person at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage.
PHOTO COURTESY OF AGUA CALIENTE CASINO RESORT SPA-RANCHO MIRAGE
32. GO: Stagecoach Country Music Festival — April 26–28
33. GROOVE: Quiet No More — April 26
Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus joined 20 U.S. choruses to commission a narrative musical work that details the struggles and successes of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Hear the choral commission, as well as songs honoring suffragettes and civil rights activists, at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs.
34. GO: White Party Palm Springs — April 26–29
Three decades ago, Jeffrey Sanker and 500 of his dearest friends threw three hoppin’ hotel parties over one hot weekend in downtown Palm Springs. The event, eventually dubbed White Party, has since grown to welcome tens of thousands of revelers to the area annually for splashy pool festivities, dances, and appearances by celebrity singers and DJs.
35. GROOVE: Under the Streetlamp — April 27
Maestro John Mario conducts four former Jersey Boys stars in this celebration of the American Radio Songbook at the McCallum Theatre. Expect a jolly joyride through the doo-wop, Motown, and rock ’n’ roll hits of the 1950s to ’70s.
Looking for more? Find additional events at palmspringslife.com.