Plans are underway for this summer’s return of Music in the Park, the downtown Promenades and the 20th annual Jazz on the Plazz concert series.
Los Gatans are so eager for summer fun that Jazz founder Teri Hope has been inundated for months with questions and emails asking if this summer’s concert series is a go: the answer is an emphatic “yes,” with the 2022 Jazz line-up just posted online at jazzontheplazz.com.
This year’s theme is “A Brubeck Summer,” in honor of the late Dave Brubeck. Hope says Brubeck “changed the jazz genre with his unique rhythms that came to be known as West Coast Jazz.”
“He grew to worldwide fame with a song called Take Five,” Hope said. “He was an advocate against racism his entire life, which is one of the reasons we chose to honor him this year. It’s in keeping with our town’s commitment to become a more inclusive community.”
The first Jazz concert is June 29 featuring Svetlana and the Delancey Five. Hope describes Svetlana as “sweet, naughty, energetic and delightful.”
The 30-piece Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Stars take the stage July 6.
“We do an annual scholarship for their program,” Hope said.
The scholarship falls under the umbrella of Los Gatos Music & Arts, the nonprofit Hope established to encourage young musicians to pursue their talent.
“Last summer we did a private workshop with the Brubeck Brothers for South Bay high school kids,” Hope said. “The Brubeck Brothers are Dave’s kids, and they talk about their dad and growing up in the industry. They have lots of trivia about their dad you wouldn’t necessarily know. For instance, he was born in Concord in 1920, and grew up on a ranch and considered himself a California cowboy.”
The Brubeck Brothers Quartet performs Aug. 10.
Also performing this summer at 6:30pm at the Town Plaza, corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and Main Street, is Jazz favorite Paula West, Benny Benack III with Full Spectrum Jazz, Marcia Ball, and Sammy Miller and the Congregation.
The Jazz season closes Aug. 17 with a performance by former Santana lead vocalist Tony Lindsay and the Soul Soldiers.
But wait—there’s more.
Music in the Park co-chairman Neal Turley is in the process of lining up bands and sponsors for the Music in the Park Sunday concert series that runs from July 17 to Aug. 14.
“I’ve got the first three weeks booked but I haven’t booked the others because I like to leave myself a little room for magic,” Turley said. “By May we’ll be locked in, so right now I’m looking for sponsors.”
Turley, who is a stage and sound producer by trade, can be reached at [email protected].
Last summer’s downtown Promenades, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, proved to be a winning formula, with N. Santa Cruz Avenue open to pedestrians.
The Thursday night Promenades are June 13-Aug. 17, with live bands bookending N. Santa Cruz at Main Street and Bachman Avenue.
“Many restaurants are also planning to have live music, including Gardino’s, the Palms, Rootstock, Number 1 Broadway and Charleys,” said Chamber Executive Director Catherine Somers. “So, you’ll hear the ‘Sounds of Summer’ everywhere you go, it’s going to be very fun.”
Somers has ordered new street banners for N. Santa Cruz Avenue that will promote the Promenades. Jazz-themed banners are planned for the Town Plaza and Music in the Park banners on Main Street will promote that concert series.
Jazz on the Plazz, Music in the Park and the Promenades are all free to the public.