Jazz and Latin Jazz at LACMA 2022
LACMA’s Friday evening jazz concerts offer an incredible way to spend a summer evening in Hancock Park, offering music, picnicking, and community all rolled into one unforgettable experience.
LACMA recently began a new tradition to recognize jazz living legends by awarding them with its Jazz Treasure award during one of their concerts. On this evening, Quincy Jones was recognized through a video tribute; longtime associate and friend John Clayton accepted this honor on his behalf.
This Friday’s concert featured a wide range of musicians. Opening up was Los Angeles-based Las Cafeteras Sextet with vocalists Heather McFarlane, Dori Amarilio and Richie Gajate Garcia playing Latin-oriented world music such as boleros and cha cha; their set was highly entertaining while all musicians performed superbly.
Oscar Hernandez and Alma Libre is one of the premier pianists on today’s jazz scene and must not be missed by lovers of piano music, jazz or piano lovers in general, salsa fans or those interested in Latin dances such as rumba or tango.
Kool & The Gang featured bassist and drummer Louis Van Taylor; Boz Scaggs showcased his proto-Smooth Jazz sound; while Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, led by Victor Wooten (known as “the best bassist in the world”) and Ernie Watts provided some of the night’s finest Latin jazz sets.
Airto Moreira was another highlight. Born in Itaiopolis, Brazil in 1941 and moving to Curitiba when he was nine, his musical career started early 1950s; he is widely credited with introducing Afro-Brazilian rhythms of Samba to America through his style, which combined traditional samba, Afro-Brazilian rhythms and American jazz into one sound.
These free concerts attract a diverse crowd and make a wonderful family activity or social outing, as well as being ideal for music enthusiasts or anyone wanting a night of musical fun with friends. Unfortunately, however, some individuals dance directly in front of the stage blocking everyone else’s view of it all. LACMA security or staff should enforce this by asking people to dance on either side or behind the stage, but otherwise this event should not be missed and will make Hancock Park worth your visit! Music and the setting provide the ideal combination for an enjoyable afternoon or evening of jazz standards, latin jazz, boogaloo and blues – I can’t wait for the next show! This series runs every Friday from April through November – check their website for more details.