OCEAN?PARK For more than a quarter century, diehard fans have been bringing their blankets and lawn chairs to the Long Beach Peninsula for the annual Jazz and Oysters event. Drawn by the combo of great jazz and some of the Peninsulas best food, J&O, as it is known locally, serves up the perfect Sunday in the sun.
This year, Sunday, Aug. 18, from noon to 5 p.m., Wilson Field in Ocean Park will be transformed into an open air jazz club, with performers Patrick Lamb and Acustica providing the musical experience while volunteers dish up grilled oysters, sausages and beverages, and local restaurateurs offer desserts to sweeten the experience.
Saxophonist Patrick Lamb combines influences of funk, soul, and R&B in his music. The songwriter/musician has recorded and performed with the likes of Diane Schuur and Lionel Hampton, and has entertained at the White House twice. His single, Maceo, currently ranks number two on the Contemporary Billboard charts.
Acustica brings an impressive array of intercultural music to the stage. The groups repertoire ranges from Italian love songs, Argentinian tangoes and French jazz to Cape Verde music and Spanish boleros. Composed of musicians who make their home in Astoria, the groups vocalist, Dolores Villareal-Levine, is accompanied by bass, percussion and guitar.
Diana Thompson, event spokesperson, notes that active military families can attend the concert free of charge. And, for those with pets, a canine relaxation area is provided.
Savvy audience-goers will want to combine this event with Ilwacos Blues & Seafood Festival, held on Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17. Performers include Coco Montoya, a legendary guitarist who was named the Best News Blues Artist in 1996 and has gone on to work with a panoply of blues bands. Also playing will be the Norman Sylvester Band, Kevin Selfe & the Tornadoes and the North Coast Blues Band. Running Friday evening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Blues & Seafood is a sure-to-satisfy combination of blues, funk, R&B and boogie.
Thompson adds, One of the best deals on the coast buy a combo ticket and spend the weekend enjoying great music and seafood on the Long Beach Peninsula!
Tickets for Jazz & Oysters, as well as combo tickets for both events, are available through www.watermusicfestival.com. Tickets are available online through noon, Aug. 14, or at the door. Free admission on Sunday is provided for children under six years of age.