Resident Feature

San Damiano’s Jazz Festival

If you haven’t been to San Damiano retreat lately….. then you’re missing out. 

Tucked away on a secluded hilltop to the far west end of Danville at the very top of Highland Drive is a sleepy retreat that many people know about, but rarely make the trek up the hill to see for themselves. San Damiano is so much more than a place to gain spiritual replenishment. It is also the host of a variety of events, one being the annual Jazz and Wine Festival, which takes place there every July. It is a celebration of music and merriment that leaves your stomach full of good food and a song in your heart. 

The festival takes place in San Damiano’s enchanted courtyard, which is surrounded by a bevy of flowers and lush greenery. Staff members gingerly parade through with trays of delicate hors d’oeuvres to try while wine tasting stations hand out heavy pours of oaky chardonnay and fruity zinfandels. Lobster stuffed mushrooms, tomato bruschetta, and savory potato skins are just a few of the delightful finger foods being served. Ron Roncarati overseas the menu at all the events, and prides himself on the farm to table quality of the food. “With the exception of a few ingredients, much of what we served today was grown right here at San Damiano.” 

Guests were musically delighted by the sultry sounds of the Cooltones, a local band consisting of more than a dozen talented musicians (largely brass instruments) performing everything from classic blues to rock ‘n’ roll. With so much lively entertainment, it was hard to resist jumping out of your seat to dance. Jim Greer is the Director of San Damiano and greeted guests as they arrived. “Folks who come to San Damiano for the Jazz Festival should come to relax in the beauty of our garden, with people who seek spiritual friendship in an open atmosphere of Franciscan peace. Good food, fine wine, beautiful music, and pleasant conversation will be the order of the day!” Reservations are required and tickets are limited, so don’t miss your chance to join the fun next year. 

By Stephanie Seaberg, Resident since 2010