Free Jazz at LACMA

Copyright 2003, LACMA/Museum Associates

It's 5:30 Friday night and while rush hour traffic strains tempers and freeways, a different kind of strain lifts into the evening air in the heart of the Wilshire District. In the Times Mirror Central Court of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) a soft breeze blows and as night falls, the sounds of pure jazz rise.

Every Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. you can enjoy free Jazz concerts in a comfortable and pleasant outdoor setting. With chairs arranged for 250 people, including an area with tables so you can set your drink down and do a little socializing, LACMA offers a stress-free way to wind down from a busy week and cruise into a smoother gear.

Copyright 2003, LACMA/Museum Associates

Once touted as L.A.'s best-kept secret, it has become extremely popular and has even evolved into a casual place for singles to meet. Especially crowded during the summer months, attendance slacks off a bit when the weather gets cooler, but don't let it keep you away. Heat lamps burn brightly so cozy up to someone you care about and let the outdoor bar's offerings warm you up. If you'd like an early dinner while you're serenaded, Pentimento offers full dining inside their restaurant and on the patio directly adjacent to the music.
If you're a Jazz buff the intimate setting is a perfect place to see some of your favorites. Not too sure about Jazz? It's the ideal opportunity to whet your appetite and get introduced to some of the coolest performers around. Presenting mostly classical jazz, about once a month a group with a more modern sound finds its way in to the lineup to stir up the mix. Be sure to catch vocalist Spanky Wilson on November 7 who wraps her harmonious sound around the standards she sings. If you're looking for a more progressive approach, James Carney will deliver that brand of Jazz in December. Most of the groups are local but these eclectic gatherings are also made up of well-known musicians from the East Coast and Europe.

Copyright 2003, LACMA/Museum Associates

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. where you'll find parking on the street or in their lot. The free Friday night Jazz series continues through the first Friday in January. Check out their web site at for a full list of performers and their dates. Admission to the museum is free after 5:00 p.m. so go a little early and revisit the masters or explore something new. If the traffic kept you away until showtime, the museum is open until 9:00 p.m. giving you about a half-hour after the concert.

Make it a date Friday and gather some friends to savor an entertaining jazz concert in a casual and friendly setting.
By the way, now that you've got your groove on and the night is still young, why not try a new restaurant, club or bar? Click on our entertainment section where you're sure to find another place that fits the bill.

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