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Suzie’s ARTiculation

Sawdust sizzles at 52, gets better with age

By SUZIE HARRISON

Sawdust Art Festival seems to get better with age. If Tuesday’s Preview Night is any indication, a barometer of this summer’s show, well, it’s my fave to date!

While checking out all the spectacular new art, the live music always adds to the cool vibe. Truly there are so many incredible artists, so little time…

To kick off my Sawdust ARTiculation, I interviewed two freshmen and two seasoned artists to get their perspective on the opening, preparation, their booth and their work.

Lisa Mansour, painting, first-year exhibitor

“I have wanted to be in the Sawdust for a very long time. Every summer I would bump into Tom Klingenmeier on the grounds and he would say “are you applying for next year?” Lisa Mansour said. 

Fast forward to this year her “Yes, I think so!” reply became definitive.

“I decided to take a leap of faith and submit my application last November for the 2018 Summer Festival,” Mansour said. “My preparations began from that point on.” 

Graduating last December from LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate program, Mansour said she’s building on a series of paintings that she completed while studying at LCAD. 

“I tried to paint everyday, and finish at least one painting a week,” Mansour said. “Right now I have about 30 pieces of original art hanging in my booth, and about a dozen in the wings.” 

The charming tagline on her booth sign says “Donuts, Dress Forms, Other Delights.” 

“I love exploring the playful side of fine art and finding a balance between classic technique and exuberant expression,” Mansour said.

Sawdust Sizzles Mansour

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

Recent LCAD grad Lisa Mansour, excited to finally say yes to exhibit at the Sawdust, pictured joyfully with her husband John on opening night

Regarding her booth, “I chose my booth because it was on a shady corner on one of the main paths of the Sawdust, the one that leads to the glass blowing booth.”

She had it built with a triangle wall at the open corner and angled the wall so that when people are entering the Sawdust and walking down the path, they can readily see her work. 

“The great thing about the Sawdust is we can paint in our booths – in fact six hours a week of demo time is required of Sawdust artists,” Mansour said. “I plan on painting all summer long.”

Leading up to opening night, Mansour admits she was a little stressed out, but it turned out well. 

“My longtime dream to be in the Sawdust had arrived and I had art on the walls and donuts as my snack,” said Mansour. “So many friends and well-wishers were there – really the whole community of Laguna Beach – and it was such a warm and wonderful evening. It flew by.”

Catherine Reade, jewelry, 18-year exhibitor

Preparing for the Sawdust is not so literal – she does shows all spring, as well as the winter shows including Winter Fantasy. While she is preparing for the other shows she’s also preparing for the Sawdust summer show, with the end of May to the end of June, of course, the big push.

“I’m also making a lot of custom work, most people don’t buy ready to wear, they want something custom,” Reade said. “They want something that’s different, within my style more personalized to them, more intimate detail.” 

Sawdust Sizzles crowds

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Artist Catherine Reade loves the energy and the crowds, like on opening night

As for her booth, she’s coveted the same spot 14 of her 18 years in the show.

“The importance is to always have a corner booth and have my counter space, so people can walk up and have room to look at my work and spread out and talk to me,” Reade said. “My whole interest is to educate clients and prospective clients about what the materials are, how I’ve created this, what goes into it. I want them to walk away with a really positive feeling about my work.”

Because she is a fabricator she creates every piece from start to finish.

“Nothing is prefabricated. I make all my links, all my settings, I have to cast wax…so it’s all individually made, everything is a one-of-a kind piece,” Reade said.

Her booth is sort of minimalist. Reade said she just wants it to be clean and industrial like her jewelry.

“I love that space because it’s very energetic. I have all the energy from Studio One, across from me, with all these children and adults creating all these art projects,” Reade said.

“It’s very energized in that neighborhood. I love the energy, excitement and openness.”

Lisa Rainey, oil painting and painting, first-year exhibitor

“I started preparing last year before I submitted my artwork for review. I knew that I wanted to be in the show this year building a body of work the past few years since I moved back here from Chicago in 2015,” Rainey said. “There is a lot that goes into it. I always want to grow and I want my work to be authentic to who I am every moment I create.” 

Currently she has about 35 pieces and will be working in her booth all summer in oils and mixed media to create new work. 

“I choose the pieces that speak to me and make me feel something when I look at them,” Rainey said. “I constantly bring work home from my studio so that I can live with them for a while to see how they speak to me.”

She added, “Meditating on my subjects, I’ve learned more and more about color and finding techniques that were new and different.”

Sawdust Sizzles Rainey

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Photo courtesy of the artist

Lisa Rainey can’t wait to share her work as a new exhibitor at the Sawdust

Her large paintings, created within this last year, sparked something new in her. Rainey calls them dream-scapes.

“I mainly have worked in a style that I call impressionistic realism. I work from life so that I can really see the nuances of color and light in flowers and nature,” Rainey said. “I also have recently gone back to working in watercolors, I don’t want people to only see a pretty still life, I paint to tell a story.”

For her booth, Rainey wanted to have a light roof so the sun would shine through. 

“I wanted this space to be light and bright, a nice backdrop for the color in my work and choosing colors to help the work to stand out,” Rainey said.

“Opening night, I was nervous knowing how many people come to preview night, but once it got going I was feeling comfortable and having a great time,” Rainey said. “My friends came to support me, see my booth and my artwork. It was truly a celebration.”

Doug Miller, painting and photography, 48-year exhibitor

“This is my 48th summer at Sawdust – I got out of the Navy in 1971 and got a booth – I bought my booth space from a girl who was moving to San Francisco for $70, which was what she paid,” Miller said. “That was in the early Sawdust days before rules were adopted that would not allow such a transaction to take place.”

He’s been at the same location for 21 years, perfect to be near the music since Miller plays violin and with various musicians during the show. 

“I paint every day – I have painted every day without missing a day for 24 years. I number my paintings and record them in a book,” Miller said. 

His self-imposed rule is to at least begin a painting every day. 

A friend suggested that he record his pieces in a daily journal, that was the impetus he wanted to see how many days he could go in a row…24 years.

Sawdust Sizzles Miller

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Doug Miller is a staple at the Sawdust always wanting to make others smile

“I’m up past 17,500 paintings. There are days I have painted more than one. in fact, I painted an average of two pieces per day most of the time,” Miller said.

He paints about 400 to 1,000 acrylic paintings per year, mostly the small canvasses up to 6 x 8 inches. “I sell an average of about 500 pieces per year. My best year was 2008 when I sold 651 pieces, mostly beaches,” Miller explained.

Larger pieces go on the walls. “I finished painting of Crystal Cove in one evening, two days before the Opening party. A big quick piece that is a real attention-getter,” Miller said. “Opening night party, I sold five pieces and saw so many Laguna friends – several will come back and purchase during the show. They always do.”

Here’s the skinny on locals’ nights – interestingly, 15 places not Laguna Beach, such as Dana Point, the other Lagunas, and the surrounding cities, get in free on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 5 to 10 p.m., whereas Laguna locals only get in free Mondays, Thursdays, also after 5 p.m., and the First Friday of the month all day.

To check out Sawdust central, including the live entertainment schedule, art classes and workshops, theme days, special events and more, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org. Sawdust Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road. For information, call 494-3030.

Until next time…so much Sawdust art, entertainment, socializing, and so little time!


Art-To-Go is Red Hot at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love red will enjoy the 2018 Art-To-Go collection at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “RED HOT.” Works are available for purchase daily, July 2 through August 26, during regular Festival hours.

Art To Go Cunningham

Photos courtesy Art-To-Go

Cunningham Haight’s Red Hot Mama

All media are represented, and subjects include Ferrari sports cars, firemen, sunbursts, and pepperoni pizza. Surprises include opposites – such as a moody photo of an ice cooler, and sexy portraits that convey a red hot theme. Visitors may cast votes for the People’s Choice artist through June 7. Ballots are available at the display. All buyers will qualify to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn.

Art To Go Rivera

Red Hot by Hugo Rivera

Proceeds from Art-To-Go sales benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. View the online gallery at www.theartistsfund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, visit www.foaapom.com.


No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party this weekend

No Square Theatre presents The Disney Princess Concert in three performances this weekend, June 29 (tonight), June 30, and July 1. This is the perfect concert for a princess, with favorite songs and a tea party with ladies performing a long list of Disney songs.

No Square Belle

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Submitted photo

Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

Some of the 30 songs included will be A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, A Whole New World, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. No Square Theatre reminds princesses to dress up for this special occasion. 

Concert performances will be tonight, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. The cost for the concert will be $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students.

No Square Elsa

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Submitted photo

Maggie Anderson (graduate of San Clemente High School) as Elsa

The Preshow Tea Party with a Princess takes place on Saturday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for children and students. Non-tea partying adults are free with a child’s paid ticket. It will be open seating. 

For tickets, go to www.nosquare.tix.com.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St. For more information, call (949) 715-0333.


No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party this weekend

No Square Theatre presents The Disney Princess Concert in three performances this weekend, June 29, June 30, and July 1. This is the perfect concert for a princess, with favorite songs and a tea party with ladies performing a long list of Disney songs.

No Square Belle

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

Some of the 30 songs included will be A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, A Whole New World, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. No Square Theatre reminds princesses to dress up for this special occasion. 

Concert performances will be this Friday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. The cost for the concert will be $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students.

No Square Elsa

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Maggie Anderson (graduate of San Clemente High School) as Elsa

The Preshow Tea Party with a Princess takes place on Saturday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for children and students. Non-tea partying adults are free with a child’s paid ticket. It will be open seating. 

For tickets, go to www.nosquare.tix.com.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St. For more information, call (949) 715-0333.


Free Summer Art Workshops at Hortense Miller Garden tomorrow June 26 and on July 21

Free Art Workshops in the Hortense Miller Garden will take place on several days during the summer (see dates below). No experience as an artist is necessary. To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 374.2696. Space is limited. Participants will meet at Riddle Field and carpool up.

On Wednesday, June 27, Nature Rocks! Children’s Art Workshop will take place. Participants will explore the world of Hortense Miller Garden, learning about the native plants and animals of Laguna Beach. 

Students will learn about coastal sage environment while painting a curious quail traveling the trails of the garden. Join the group for this fun three-hour adventure with local artist Amy Jackson – a wonderful start to summertime fun. The class is limited to 10 kids age five and above between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pack a lunch and water, but all materials will be provided.

free summer painting

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Submitted photo

Hortense Miller Garden is an inspiring place to paint

On Saturday, July 21, there will be a Block Printing Workshop for Adults: Stories and Myths. Students will work in the beautiful gardens of the Hortense Miller estate and learn the art of printmaking. 

Inspired by the mythical stories explored in the works of Hortense Miller, participants will study themes of ocean and forest mythology in art. Students will carve their own block and print works on paper and fabric. Artist Amy Jackson will guide the journey through the magical gardens to find inspiration and fun in this printmaking adventure. This class is limited to 10 people and takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pack a sack lunch. All materials are provided, but feel free to bring any additional fabric items, napkins, pillowcases. T-shirts, to be printed.

“I hope you’ll have time to join us for one of these amazing workshops! The watercolor workshop is full with a long wait list, so I think we’ll be doing another one in the future!” note Diane Lannon and Dorothea Yellott for Friends of the Hortense Miller Garden.

For more information about the Hortense Miller Garden or to arrange a tour, visit www.hortensemillergarden.org.


LPAPA presents the 14th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Art Show from July 10 – 22: reception on July 14

LPAPA presents the
14th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Art Show
from July 10 - 22, with the Gallery Reception taking place on July 14 from 5 - 7 p.m. Awards will be given out at 6 p.m. The event takes place at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. Entry is free. 

Art and nature come together with all paintings created outdoors in plein air by regional, national and international artist members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

Five cash awards will be presented, with the 1st Place award-winning artist to receive a rare and highly coveted invitation to participate in the 2018 20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational – considered to be the “powerhouse” of plein air painting invitationals.

LPAPA presents

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Photo from website

2017 1st Place Award winning painting “Wailua River” by LPAPA Artist Pierre Bouret

LPAPA offers its sincere thanks to distinguished jurors: LPAPA Founding Member Cynthia Britain, LPAPA Signature Artist Carl Bretzke, Forest & Ocean Gallery Owner & LPAPA Board Member Ludo Leideritz, and final Awards Judge Mr. Jean Stern, Associate Director of The University of California, Irvine Institute and Museum for California Art.

Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association presents juried art shows at its “LPAPA in Residence” gallery home located at Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach. The gallery creates opportunities for regional, national and international Signature, Artist and Student Members to show their work in Laguna’s thriving historical art colony, and provides LPAPA with the opportunity for the nonprofit art organization to connect with its members, community, supporters and art lovers, to further its Mission.

Laguna Plein Air Artists are dedicated to painting the landscape,

preserving Laguna’s artistic legacy and promoting the plein air painting tradition.

For more information, visit www.lpapa.org.


2018/2019 Youth Theatre three-show subscriptions are on sale now

For over 40 years, the acclaimed Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre has been bringing the magic of theatre to young audiences all over Orange County. The program is unique in that the Playhouse presents fully produced plays for young audiences, with age-appropriate casting (adults play adults roles and youth play youth roles) and with almost the entire production – stage crew, costumes, sets and technical aspects –staffed by the students in the Playhouse’s conservatory program.

This year the Playhouse Youth Theatre offers three great plays: 

The Giver: September 28 - 30, 2018

2018 The Giver

Lois Lowry’s The Giver has become one of the most influential novels of our time.
Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Through this astonishing and moving adaptation, Jonas will discover what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of your own destiny. 

The Giver was the 1994 Newbery Medal winner for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Godspell: November 10 - 18, 2018

2018 Godspell

From Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Wicked and Pippin, Godspell is one of the most successful musicals of all time. A unique and exciting theatrical reflection accompanied by a Tony-nominated rock score including popular hits such as “Day by Day,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” and “All Good Gifts.” Enjoy all the good gifts of one of the most enduring shows of all time with this show guaranteed to thrill and inspire.

Treasure Island: April 27 - May 5, 2019

Winner! 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award, Best Adaptation

2018 Treasure Island

Join aboard the Hispaniola for a heart-pounding voyage filled with tales of swashbuckling gentlemen o’ fortune, a malicious mutiny led by infamous Long John Silver, and a deadly quest for fabled buried booty. Based on the masterful adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, cabin boy Jim Hawkins must find uncommon courage as he faces a murderous plot and navigates the ambiguous tides of morality.

The Telegraph describes the show as, “Five Stars! Yo-ho-ho! A Festive Treat to Treasure. Hit Ahoy! X marks the spot of a bona fide festive treat! Treasure Island is the answer to every adventure-starved child’s prayers: a racy, pacy, tough-as-old-boots adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling classic!”

For more information about prices and times, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.org.


Community Art Project (CAP) presents Artist’s Conversation: “Portraits Three Ways” on Saturday, July 14

“Portrait Three Ways,” an exhibition featuring three artists, Jill Petrilak, Jan Magdaleno, and Andrew Petterson, presenting their own unique view of portraiture, runs until September 30. On Saturday, July 14, the gallery will host an Artists’ Conversation from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., a lively discussion with these three artists, moderated by Elizabeth McGhee. Admission is free. 

Community Art Petrilak

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Submitted photo

“Turkey Feathers” by Jill Petrilak, oil on canvas

Jill Petrilak portrays her subjects in a traditional style, yet not traditional poses; people from among her circle of friends at moments in their lives.

Jan Magdaleno chooses subjects from the human and animal worlds, working with charcoal, watercolor or acrylic; whichever medium gives the most life to her figures.

Community Art Magdaleno

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Submitted photo

“On the Beach – Red Ball Day” by Jan Magdaleno, oil 

Andrew Petterson prefers charcoal, graphite and oil for his figures, using detail to bring out the emotion of his subjects, figures from today and figures from history.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibition in The CAP Gallery, in the Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave. 

Community Art Petterson

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Submitted photo

“Maura” by Andrew Petterson, graphite and charcoal

The CAP Gallery is a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions. 

For more information about events, go to www.caplaguna.orgCAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of 

Laguna.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.


Laguna Art-A-Fair Opening Night features Celebrity Red Carpet VIP Gala

Laguna Art-A-Fair will present an exclusive VIP Opening Night Gala on Friday, June 29 from 6 - 9 p.m. Held at the newly renovated Laguna Art-A-Fair grounds at 777 Laguna Canyon Road, the evening includes gourmet food tastings from local celebrity chefs, fine wine tastings, live music and hosted bar. Attendees will be the first to preview Laguna Art-A-Fair’s luxury design wall as the evening celebrates their new 2018 feature connecting fine art with luxury home design. 

Laguna Art a Fair

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Photo by Josh Gunter

The new façade brings fresh excitement to Art-A-Fair

Proceeds from the opening night affair will benefit the California Sports Hall of Fame founded by former all-pro running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, Christian Okoye. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping at-risk and under privileged youth by hosting free athletic clinics hosting by well-known professional athletes. Okoye and other known sports celebrities will be on hand at the VIP to greet guests.

The luxury design wall was created by renowned interior designer Nancy Vengoechea of Vengo Design International in partnership with luxury brands tied to the latest design trends in furnishings, flooring, lighting, wall finishes and more. Organizers developed the concept so homeowners can envision fine art in various settings.

Individual tickets to the June 29 VIP night are $150 and can be purchased online at http://art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair opens to the general public on Friday, June 29 from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. and continues through Sunday, September 2. 

Festival grounds are located at 777 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. For more information about the Opening Night Gala, call (949) 444-6314 or visit http://art-a-fair.com

A juried art exhibit, Laguna Art-A-Fair has set and maintained a standard of excellence that is respected both internationally and by the local art community.

Arranged as an artist coop, each participant plays a role in producing the annual exhibit that features 120 art exhibits, workshops, food & wine and live music in a scenic Laguna canyon setting. 

Unlike other local art shows, Laguna Art-A-Fair does not have residency restrictions so the festival draws a geographically diverse group of artists with works rich in quality yet diverse in content.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Latin Jazz Syndicate, led by trumpeter Bijon Watson, on June 27

Laguna Beach Live! is proud to present Latin Jazz Syndicate on Wednesday, June 27. Formed in 2005 and led by versatile trumpeter Bijon Watson, Latin Jazz Syndicate is a group of all-star musicians that have performed and recorded with the likes of Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Jose Rizo’s Jazz On The Latin Side All Stars, and Luis Miguel, to name a few. The group pays homage to America’s indigenous music, jazz, while maintaining the rhythmic and harmonic authenticity required of a variety of ethnic styles.

Laguna Beach Live Jazz Syndicate

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Submitted photo

Latin Jazz Syndicate

Latin Jazz Syndicate’s unique sonic flavors infuse Afro Cuban, Latin Soul and World Rhythms. The ensemble’s dedication to performing with unsurpassed passion and energy combine to create an unforgettable musical experience.

The band members include Bijon Watson – Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Norell Thompson – Vocals, Will Brahm – Guitar, Carlos Ordiano – Keyboards, Rene Camacho – Bass, Ruben Ordiano – Drums/Percussion, and Santiago Santiuste – Percussion.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays are located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Parking at the venue is metered and limited. Laguna Beach Live! reminds attendees of alternative transportation options including our free Trolley, the Summer Breeze for out-of-towners, as well as Uber and Lyft services. Visit www.visitlagunabeach.com for more information.

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner will be served through to 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership. 

Jazz Wednesday’s summer series upcoming concerts

 July 11: Traditional Jazz with Guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group; July 25: World Jazz with Vocalist Anne Walsh Quintet; August 8: Classic Jazz with vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb Trio, Andy Langham on piano, and Dean Koba on drums; August 22: Iconic Jazz with The Lineage Trio; September 5: Modern Jazz with Laguna Beach Live! All Stars featuring Bijon Watson on trumpet.

Live! at the Museum concerts

July 12: City of Angels Saxophone Quartet; August 9: Susan Greenberg and Cristina Montes-Monteo.

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