Back to Top

Laguna Beach Arts Alliance announces $5,000 grant opportunity for Southern California artists

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) is now accepting applications for the $5,000 [seven-degrees] of inspiration grant. Artistic disciplines can include dance, literature, music, theatre, media arts, visual arts or any combination of these. The submission deadline is March 1.

The goal of the [seven-degrees] of inspiration grant is to provide support for an emerging or established artist to develop and present an innovative arts project or program that advances recognition of Laguna Beach as a vibrant arts community. It also enables the artist to expand and diversify his/her audience and provides an opportunity for advanced learning and progression. The grant is open to all artists residing in Southern California and is funded by [seven-degrees], an integral local event venue.

LBAA Grants

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Artist Russell Pierce receives the 2016 [seven-degrees] of inspiration award

“[seven-degrees] continues to demonstrate a commitment to artistic forward thinking and invention through the funding of this grant. It has inspired many innovative projects that might have never come to fruition without their generous support,” said LBAA Chair Rosemary Swimm. “LBAA is once again proud to partner with them.” 

The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 7, during LBAA’s annual Art Star Awards, an award ceremony honoring the best and brightest of Laguna’s diverse artistic community. The winner of the $5,000 grant will have 11 months to complete his/her project, and the body of work will premiere at the 2020 Art Star Awards.

To apply, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dennis’ Tidbits


February 5, 2019

At winter’s mid-point, rain and snow continue to pile up

Dennis 5Laguna’s rainfall totals continue to pile up. As of 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 3, our 2018-19 season total now stands at 11.26 inches, well ahead of the curve, nearly four inches above normal for this date. More is on the way with a deep low pressure trough that extends all the way from the Gulf of Alaska down as far as Central Baja.

Up north, the Sierras are loving life with an additional three to six feet of snow just in the past week with more on the way. Snow totals for the season are now running about 135-150 percent of seasonal norms.

At our current pace, we could end up reaching the 20-inch threshold for the season, which ends on June 30th. The last time we had at least 20 inches was the 2010-11 season with 20.20 inches so only one time so far in the 2010s. The 2000s only produced one such season and that was the 2004-05 season. 

The 1990s had four 20+ seasons. There was 1991-92 with 21 inches, then the 1992-93 season with 27.36, 1994-95 with 25.04, and 1997-98 with 37.27 inches, Laguna’s wettest season on record. 

The 1980s had one 20+ season and that was 1982-83 with 31.25 inches. The 1970s saw three 20+ seasons, 1972-73 with 21.26 inches, 1977-78 with 33.86, and 1979-80 with 25.65. The 1960s had three with 22.02 in 1965-66, 20.44 in 1966-67, and 27.47 in 1968-69. The 1950s saw two 20+ seasons and that was 1951-52 with 26.21 and 1957-58 with 22.44 inches. The 1940s had only one with 32.76 inches in 1940-41. 

A general rule of thumb tends to show that whatever the weather is doing west of the Continental Divide, the opposite is going on east of the Divide. When there’s a big ridge of high pressure here in the West, all havoc is cutting loose east of the Rockies. 

When we had that big ridge over us a week ago with 70-degree weather here in Laguna, bitter cold was plaguing the Midwest and the Northeast. Now we’re getting tons of rain and snow out here and near record warmth is settling in over the same areas that saw record frigid temps less than a week ago. The jet stream is really on steroids this winter buckling north to south instead of west to east, known as the Zonal Flow, with more moderate swings between warm and cold. We’ve never seen, at least in our lifetimes, such a heavy presence of the Polar Vortex. Hunker down as we’re only at winter’s mid-point today.

See y’all on Friday, Aloha!

City officials says Laguna dodged a bullet on Saturday


Torrential rain and gusting winds pummeled Laguna Beach on Saturday afternoon. 

However, no major damage was reported, although City officials were prepared if that had been the case.

“The City is so lucky to have Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock,” said Sonny Myers, a veteran member of Laguna’s Community Emergency Response Team. “The guy is never off duty.”

Villwock said on Monday that Saturday’s storm was more about wind than rain, despite the afternoon downpour.

A tree was downed on Woodland Drive in Laguna Canyon, resulting in arcing power lines. In South Laguna, a large tree branch broke free and landed on two vehicles, causing moderate damage and blocking 8th Avenue until Public Works was able to remove the branch. A large eucalyptus branch fell on a vehicle, broke a window on a residence and blocked a portion of the road within the 200 block of Moss Street. Traffic control was provided while the tree was removed. 

City official tree on car

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

A large tree branch landed on two vehicles on Saturday, causing moderate damage

Electricity was iffy at Seven7Seven (formerly Tivoli Too) where the Patriots Day Parade Honorees Brunch was being held. The tented enclosure was buffeted by the wind and sprung a leak about the time the worst of the rain commenced. Dora Wexell Orgill, Vice President of Operations for Seven7Seven owner Mo Honarkar, said the tent was not damaged.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter and its neighbor, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and the City’s Alternate Sleeping Location reported no problems. 

The Farmers’ Market didn’t even open.

South Laguna resident Nancy Nielsen and many of her neighbors braved the storm to go up on their roofs to cover chimneys and weak spots with plastic.

“There were palm fronds everywhere, everywhere,” Nielsen said. 

Fifteen feet of fencing was pulled down at Sonny Myers’ residence. 

The number of inches that fell on Laguna in Saturday’s deluge was not available, but Villwock said the National Weather Service recorded 2.69 inches for the past five days, starting Wednesday. 

“It was not as significant as the 2010 storm,” said Villwock. “The water wasn’t coming over the beach. It was closely watched, but it never reached even the first level of flooding. It was mostly a Laguna Canyon and downtown event.”

Damage to downtown establishments was hopefully minimized by the use of floodgates, a city requirement since 2012.

Floodgates block water from entering a building. 

It is estimated that the floodgates could have halved the $3.5 million in damages from the 2010 storm. Most of the costs were related to building repairs, spoiled inventory and cleanup and did not include the loss of use, revenue and wages. 

Downtown businesses were advised on Friday night to put up the floodgates in anticipation of Saturday’s storm. The city issued an alert on Nextdoor at 1:35 p.m. By 2 p.m., 2,338 numbers had been called, Villwock said.

Myers also was ready to mobilize the CERT members if called upon.

“We were prepared,” Myers said.

Health in Balance hosts Community Appreciation Day on Friday

Health in Balance is offering free treatments all afternoon this Friday, Feb 8 from 12 - 6 p.m., expressing gratitude for its patients and the community. The annual Community Appreciation Day will also raise money for local charities.

Health in Balance will offer complimentary chiropractic adjustments, therapy massage treatments, B-12 shots, and consultations for new guests, plus 50 percent off Wellness Myer’s IVs and detox foot baths. Guests will receive goodie bags and healthy food, provided from local sources.

Health in doctor

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Chiropractor Dr. Gary Arthur works on a patient

Health in Balance will have health stations with information on mind-body health, stem cell therapy, weight loss, nutrition and immunity, allergy testing, flexibility, home care, and more. 

Community Appreciation Day will raise money for SchoolPower to support our local school district and the Dominguez Roth Integrative Medical Foundation, which seeks to prevent and treat cancer through integrative therapeutic approaches.

Spread the healing to your loved ones. Anyone new to Health in Balance’s facility will receive a complimentary consultation with one of the doctors along with their treatment. 

Schedule your treatment time at or call (949) 497-2553. Walk-ins are also welcome, but an RSVP is recommended.

Health in Balance is located at 330 Park Ave, Suite #3.

New program began Monday for Laguna’s homeless population


Starting February 4, selected members of Laguna’s homeless population may enroll in a new program that reserves overnight accommodations at the Alternative Sleeping Location for 30 days – and it is renewable if they actively seek permanent housing.

Friendship Shelter, which has operated the ASL since 2009 under contract with the city, issued a press release on the new program on Monday. 

The revision to South Orange County’s only year-round shelter was prompted by the settlement of a lawsuit against the city.

Friendship Shelter Executive Director Dawn Price says, “These changes to our emergency shelter program move us closer to achieving our goal of ending homelessness for the most vulnerable men and women in our community through permanent housing. Daytime hours allow us to connect our clients with resources more efficiently, and the 30 day enrollment period will give our guests stability to work on their housing plan with our staff. I’m proud of the important work being done at the shelter, and of our continued partnership with the city to ensure that housing is always our objective.” 

Enrollment will be offered first to individuals known to use the ASL and meet the city’s “locals” criteria; and to others who qualify, based on how long they have been in Laguna, their vulnerability, length of homelessness and willingness to work on a housing plan.

A housing coordinator will be assigned to each enrolled person and, with the guest’s participation, will create a unique housing plan.

The new program eliminates the lottery that was previously used to determine overnight admittance, which is limited to enrollees in the program.

It is expected to enhance efforts to secure transitional and permanent supportive housing.

Anyone interested may inquire about the enrollment plan during the new daytime hours of operation.

Enrollment is limited by the number of available beds, which does not always accommodate everyone who needs a bed. Friendship Shelter recommends investigation of Orange County resources, which include armories. A limited number of bus passes are available to take people to county sites. 

The revised ASL program also offers new daytime services from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to all homeless folks on a drop-in basis.

Services will include showers, hygiene supplies, clothing, laundry facilities, mail and computer accessibility, lunch and outreach social service. Daytime drop-ins will also be considered for placement in the enrollment program.

Regular transportation is provided to and from the ASL.

Vans run from the Orange County Depot on Broadway to the ASL from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for daytime services. Van rides for enrolled shelter guests only will start at 3:45 p.m. and end at 5:15 p.m. Morning rides to the downtown depot will begin at 9 a.m.

The adjacent parking lot must be left open for its intended purposes when the ASL and daytime services are being provided. The parking lot may not be used for storage of private property or for camping or lodging.

Anyone interested in enrollment or in information about other shelters and bus passes to get to them should visit the ASL during daytime hours of operation.

Sculpt a mini sea lion at PMMC with LOCA on Saturday

Art and sea lion lovers will enjoy the aptly named “Art and Sea Lions” workshop, presented monthly by LOCA Arts Education at Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The next workshop is on Saturday, Feb 9 from 9 - 10:30 a.m.

Activities will include a docent-led viewing of live sea lions, a presentation on how sea lions are rescued, and an ocean-themed art class. Families, groups, and beginners are invited.

Attendees will enjoy a fun, step-by-step clay sculpting class with local artist Jan Sattler. Everyone will take home a finished miniature sea lion sculpture.

Sculpt a white

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Sculpt a mini sea lion with artist Jan Sattler and LOCA on Saturday

Additional workshops include sketching a squid in oil pastels on March 9 and painting a sea lion on April 13.

LOCA Arts Education is a nonprofit coalition of arts educators, professional artists, and advocates interested in arts education for people of all ages. The group has been serving the community for over twenty-five years. 

Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals. PMMC inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. 

The cost of the workshop is $20 for adults, and $15 for those ages 6 and up with a paid adult. Free on-site parking is included. 

Advance registration is required. Visit the calendar at or call (949) 363-4700 to reserve your spot.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center is at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, one block north of Dog Park.

Intermittent power outages at the Patriots Day Parade Honoree Brunch, but plenty of LB power inside 


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Due to Saturday’s raging storm, the venue of the Patriots Day Parade Honoree Brunch lost electricity several times during the presentations, however, there was no lack of power inside Seven7Seven as the extraordinary honorees were recognized. This year’s parade theme is “Everyday Heroes,” and these “heroes” lit up the room with their varied and astonishing accomplishments.

Intermittent power committee

Click on photo for a larger image

Patriots Day Parade Committee

Brunch guests were greeted by Patriot Day Parade Association President Ed Hanke: “I think we have a great lineup of deserving honorees that fit well into our parade theme of ‘Everyday Heroes.’ Often, they act quietly without calling attention to themselves. They step up in difficult situations, knowing what has to be done, and then do the right thing. They come from all walks of life and all too frequently are unsung, receiving no notice or honors for their deeds.’”

Intermittent power Nielson and Yang

Click on photo for a larger image

Cal Nielson and Alexis Yang, Junior Citizens of the Year

These are our “Everyday Heroes”: Stu News’ own Barbara Diamond, a highly respected member of Laguna’s press reporters who has been writing about Laguna for more than 30 years, is the Grand Marshall; Honored Patriot Arnold Silverman served in extended combat during the Korean War where 38,000 Americans were killed; Citizen of the Year is Sande St. John, who has served this community in countless ways as a volunteer over three decades; two Junior Citizens – Alexis Yang and Cal Nielsen – who are members of Laguna Beach High School Class of 2019, and represent the many fine young adults we have in this town. 

Intermittent power Hanke and Diego

Click on photo for a larger image

Ed Hanke and Diego Lapayese-Calderon

The Artist of the Year is Roxanna Ward who has both entertained us and brought out the talents of many others; and the Athlete of the Year is Jade Leilani Howson, one of the world’s leading champions in the sport of standup paddle boarding. Diego Lapayese-Calderon won the contest for this year’s Cover Artwork, and the Essay Contest Winner is Cleo Washer (daughter of Stu News writer Samantha Washer).

Intermittent power Ward

Click on photo for a larger image

Roxanna Ward, Artist of the Year

Hanke also thanked the volunteers of the Parade Association who work six months of the year to bring together the elements of the parade: Charlie Quilter, Sandi Werthe, treasurer, Frank Daniel, secretary and American Legion liaison.

Intermittent power Howson

Click on photo for a larger image

Jade Leilani Howson, Athlete of the Year

Parade Association Vice-President Charlie Quilter took over (gracefully weathering microphone changes due to the sporadic power) and introduced the honorees, detailing their vast achievements. 

Intermittent power Sande

Click on photo for a larger image

Citizen of the Year, Sande St. John

Although during the presentations the wind whipped the flaps of the venue’s tent enclosure and the serious downpour relentlessly continued, there was no lack of humor inside. 

Intermittent power Silverman and Quilter

Click on photo for a larger image

Charlie Quilter congratulating Arnold Silverman, Honored Patriot

When Quilter said that Silverman served as forward observer during what now is the present-day demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea, one of the most dangerous roles involving infantry heavy weapons because it requires one to be out in front of friendly positions to locate the enemy, Silverman said, “I always wanted to be ahead of things.” A comment that typifies the humility of veterans who truly were unsung heroes.

Humility seemed to be prevalent among the recipients. When Barbara Diamond took the spotlight, Quilter said she admitted that she felt very uncomfortable with the whole process of being honored. Quilter noted that during her career as a reporter, “For 40 years, we relied on this doyenne of Laguna Beaches’ press corps. Her career reflects the history of Laguna Beach as well as the history of its newspapers.” 

Intermittent power Barbara

Click on photo for a larger image

Barbara Diamond, Grand Marshal of 2019 Patriots Day Parade

Diamond says, “I believe legitimate newspapers are the first line of defense for transparency in government, not to mention democracy.”

The attendees joined Quilter in saluting “her unsung courage for giving us the straight news for all these years.”

Intermittent Samantha, Cleo and Nancy

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Three generations of writers, Samantha Washer, Cleo Washer, and Nancy Gardner

“Everyday Heroes” by Cleo Washer

What is an everyday hero? What does that mean? We tend to think heroes save lives, run into burning buildings, or fight bad guys. However, we should look at the heroes we don’t acknowledge so much – the everyday heroes. 

An everyday hero can be anyone. A person who selflessly intervenes in a situation small or big is a hero. So who are everyday heroes? Well, it can be you, me or anyone you know. Teachers are everyday heroes because they come teach their students every week and expand their knowledge on important topics. Your family is made up of everyday heroes because they take care of you, love you, and support you. Nurses, doctors, the police, and fire department are all heroes because they help you stay healthy and survive.

But it’s not just them. A neighbor who smiles at you every day when you walk out the door might be a hero to you because they make you feel happy to start a new day. Employees who work for shops, grocery stores, and restaurants can be everyday heroes because they show up and help make sure you get great service. What I’m trying to tell you is that everyone is an everyday hero because everyone does something that makes someone feel good. That’s what it means to be an everyday hero. So many people inspire me to do great things because of how hard they work. It doesn’t have to be a glamorous job or even one that requires great skill. Just quietly helping others is enough to make you an everyday hero even though people might not be aware of it. 

If you’re making a positive impact on something or someone you are an everyday hero and while this may not be the kind of hero that earns medals or fame, it is something we can all try to achieve.

(Cleo is a member of Laura Silver’s 8th Grade Language Arts Class.)

It’s obvious many in our town have attained that goal. The brunch was memorable in many ways. From the storm and lack of electricity to the profound accomplishments of the honorees, it was an unforgettable day.

The 2019 Patriots Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m.

For more information about the honorees, go to

See below for more photos from Mary Hurlbut

Meet Pet of the Week Piper

Piper is currently taking the title of Pet of the Week. He is a seven-and-a-half-year-old yellow lab mix who is neutered. Piper is very active and friendly to all he meets. When moving in, he needs a home that has a secure fenced yard. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see Piper adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the Week 2 5 19

Click on the photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Piper is looking for someone to make new memories with

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, the shelter’s return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For information on adoption procedures, call (949) 497-3552 or go to

Belmont Village Senior Living celebrates grand opening this weekend

Belmont Village Senior Living will celebrate the opening of its Aliso Viejo senior center this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Feb 9 and 10, from noon to 4 p.m. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided, and guests will be able to take tours of the area’s newest senior living community. 

Building a Belmont Village Senior Living community in Orange County, long at the top of the 22-year-old company’s wish list, has now become a reality. The site, with breathtaking views of Saddleback Valley, was chosen not only for its views but its close proximity to Aliso Viejo Town Center and an array of other community facilities to make it easy for residents and their families to enjoy an active lifestyle. 

Belmont Village pool

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

A rendering of Belmont Village Senior Living’s heated saltwater pool 

However, location is only one aspect of helping residents maintain their valuable connections with the surrounding community. Belmont Village staff members work to foster a “community-within-a-community” environment through a robust schedule of programs, activities, and service projects of interest to residents. Belmont communities often act as neighborhood hubs, hosting meetings for local organizations and educational and social events for the community.

“When we choose our Belmont Village sites, we give a lot of thought to our future residents and the neighborhood,” said Patricia Will, Belmont Village Founder and CEO. “Many of the people who will make their home with us chose this community and Orange County as their preferred place to live decades ago. We want to create a place that allows residents to maintain the local connections they’ve built over the years, keep daily contact with family members and lead purposeful lives. Our community and team provide added support and security, which gives peace of mind and a measure of independence.”

Belmont Village spa

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

A rendering of the salon and spa

Belmont Village Aliso Viejo, a Mediterranean-style three-story building, is licensed as a Residential Care Facility that houses 149 private residences for Assisted Living and Memory Care. A leader in developing university-led, research-based programs, Belmont Village Aliso Viejo will offer residents a range of programs to support a Whole Brain Fitness lifestyle.

According to Will, “We can build a wonderful building with warm ambience and innovative programs, provide well-trained staff who are both supportive and encouraging, but ultimately, it’s our residents who shape our buildings and turn them into the communities they become.”

For residents who are experiencing some cognitive decline, Belmont Village has pioneered a comprehensive therapeutic program to specifically address the needs and abilities of residents with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early stage memory loss. Circle of Friends® provides 7-day-a-week, evidence-based group activities led by a dedicated, specially trained staff. The Circle of Friends® program was honored with the 2016 Best of the Best Memory Care Award at the 2016 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference and a George Mason University Healthcare Quality Improvement Award in 2011.

Belmont Village communities are renowned for their distinctive design, innovative programs, high standards for life safety, and reputation for quality. The design is by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh Architects. The contractor is W.E. O’Neil who has completed several building projects for Belmont Village Senior Living.

Residents of Belmont Village Aliso Viejo will enjoy beautiful views, expansive common spaces indoors and out, including a heated saltwater pool. Services include chef-prepared meals, housekeeping and transportation services, a professionally managed fitness center for wellness programs and therapy services, enrichment and social activities, and support from a well-trained staff, including a licensed nurse on-site 24/7. 

Apartment selections include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom plans with a monthly fee structure – no large buy-in or long-term commitment required for move-in. 

Both events are open to the public but RSVPs are requested at (949) 643-1050. Complimentary valet parking will be available.

For more information, visit

Belmont Village is located at 300 Freedom Ln, Aliso Viejo.

Laguna Beach Live! kicks off 2019 Winter Jazz Wednesdays with the brilliance of The Peter Erskine Trio


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Live! claims to offer “Music at its Best,” and they proved it last Wednesday at the opening concert of 2019 Winter Jazz Wednesdays at [seven-degrees]. The Peter Erskine Trio, consisting of Peter Erskine (on drums), Darek Oles (on bass), and Alan Pasqua (on piano) brought their dazzling world-class talents to a packed house. 

Laguna Beach crowd

Click on photo for a larger image

[seven degrees] at full capacity

After reading a list of their accomplishments, it’s not surprising they have a substantial jazz aficionado following.

Erskine appears on 700 albums and film scores, has won two Grammy Awards, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. He’s been voted “Best Jazz Drummer of the Year” 10 times by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine and was elected into the magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

Laguna Beach trio

Click on photo for a larger image

 (L-R) Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles, and Peter Erskine

Longtime Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays devotees Peter Morrison and his wife Elaine attended the first concert in the Rose Garden at Hotel Laguna and have been faithful attendees ever since. 

Peter says, “In persuading the Erskine-Pasqua-Oles trio to inaugurate the 2019 season, Music Director Bijon Watson brought Laguna jazz fans an unforgettable evening by one of the most musical and most accomplished jazz trios active today. It easily ranks as the best performance of a series that has featured a number of great ones. Few jazz bassists and pianists play with the sensitivity, inspiration, and lyrical grace of both Darek Oles and Alan Pasqua, whose original compositions (Oles’ “Honeymoon” and Pasqua’s “San Michele” and “Barcelona”) were highlights of the concert. Keeping it all coherent and moving forward was Peter Erskine’s superlative drumming – consistently intelligent, inventive, articulate, and propulsive. Hopefully, Bijon can induce a repeat appearance, and the Erskine Trio will become regulars in the lineup for years to come.”

Laguna Beach audience

Click on photo for a larger image

Audience members enjoy concert and cuisine

The other two members of the trio, Oles and Pasqua, also have impressive resumes.

In 2003, Oles, who was born in Poland, was nominated for the Fryderyk’s Awards in Poland in the category “Jazz Musician Of The Year.” Since 2002, he has been a jazz faculty member at the University of California, Irvine. Aside from his teaching duties, Oles has been very active as a performer and became one of the most sought after bass players on the West Coast. “Oles” (his American nickname) had the opportunity to perform and record with the greatest masters in jazz. 

Alan Pasqua, Professor of Jazz Studies at USC, was born in New Jersey and began studying piano at the age of seven, playing both classical and jazz. Aside from his many critically acclaimed recordings as a leader, in 2008, Pasqua joined forces with Peter Erskine and Dave Carpenter, arranging, co-producing and playing on the Grammy Award nominated trio album “Standards.”

Laguna Beach Bijon

Click on photo for a larger image

Laguna Beach Live! Founder Cindy Prewitt and Artistic Director and trumpeter Bijon Watson share a laugh

Pete Hornby, another Laguna Beach Live! fan, who is a member of Lagunatunes Community Chorus and also sings with the Saddleback Master Chorale says, “Over the last half century, there has been no better jazz drummer than Peter Erskine. He’s won the Jazz Drummer of the Year award from Modern Drummer magazine ten times. Really, he’s the best there is. How could anyone miss the opportunity to see him play a trio concert with Alan Pasqua and Darek Oles, both of whom are also world-class musicians, at a beautiful venue like [seven degrees].

“One of the people at our table searched for a word to describe what he’d heard. He came up with ‘effortless.’ It’s a good word. There’s something that happens when great improvisational musicians play together. They’re watching each other, listening intently, smiling, and nodding when they hear something. We heard the result – beautiful music, seemingly effortless, springing from the minds and the experiences of three brilliant musicians. The magic of intimate live performances by world-class musicians never loses its power.”

To experience the magic of more live performances by Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays, go to for a list of events.

See below for more photos from Mary Hurlbut

Page 7 of 611