The small-town experience of picnics and summer concerts in the local park is already in full swing throughout Orange County, where musical styles as diverse as surf and chamber music, mariachi and Dixieland are being featured this season.
Mostly offered free of charge (a few events do request a donation), the concerts are an ideal form of family entertainment--especially when you throw in fresh air and an opportunity to do a little dancing.
City-sponsored concerts have traditionally been the norm, but because budget cuts have begun to limit the number of offerings in recent years, more and more events are receiving corporate sponsorship, sometimes in conjunction with cities.
Organizers of all the concerts encourage goers to bring a picnic meal and blankets or beach chairs. Alcohol is prohibited at all the events.
City Hall Park, 401 S. Brea Blvd. (714) 990-7735. Concerts every Wednesday, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The public swimming pool is also open for a free swim during those hours. July 24, Coppersmith Quartet (jazz); July 31, Long Beach Community Band (big band); Aug. 7, Calypso Pirates (steel drums/reggae); Aug. 14, Penny Day Band (country); Aug. 21, Alley Cats ('50s a cappella quartet); Aug. 28, Brea City Orchestra.
Buena Park Recreation Center, 8150 Knott Ave. (714) 821-1394. Concerts every Wednesday, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., except July 31. Refreshments are available. July 24, Buena Park Community Chorus with director John Faller; Aug. 7, Pan Fanatics (steel drum); Aug. 14 Westminster Harmony Showpiece (barber shop quartet); Aug. 21, Acousticats (blue grass/folk); Aug. 28, Long Beach Community Band with director John Hall.
Arts on the Green. Town Center Park at Town Center and Park Center Drives. (714) 650-1490. Sept. 21 through 22, more than 80 performing and visual arts groups, including ballet, master chorale, bands, orchestras, juried art show. A crowd of 30,000 is expected.
Civic Center Green, 5275 Orange Ave. (714) 229-6780. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3, Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble (authentic African dance and music); Sept. 17, Cypress Pops Concert.
Recreation Center North Green, 16400 Brookhurst St. (714) 839-8611. Concerts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley Board of Realtors. July 25, Howard Reynolds Big Band; Aug 22, Andy Rau Band.
Huntington Beach Central Park amphitheater at Goldenwest Street and Talbert Avenue. (714) 536-5258. Concert from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. July 28, Huntington Beach Concert Band (show tunes and patriotic music).
Hot Days and Cool Nights sponsored by Trammell Crow Co. at Park Place, 3333 Michelson Drive. (714) 553-1220. Concerts from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 31, Mumbo Gumbo, and on Aug. 7, Papa Doo Run Run. From 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Aug 17, Sergio Mendez (Latin jazz).
Crown Valley Community Park, 29751 Crown Valley Parkway. (714) 643-7021. Concerts from 1 to 3 p.m. on pool deck; pool will also be open. July 31, Band Overboard (classic rock, Motown); Aug. 14, Tuxedo Cowboy (country, folk, classical); Aug. 28, Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble.
City Hall Park, 13700 La Mirada Blvd. (213) 943-7277. Concerts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 18, Mississippi Mudders (Dixieland); Aug. 14, Somewhere in Time (folk); Aug. 15, Society Swing; Aug. 29, Howard Reynolds Big Band.
Jazz Series '91 sponsored by Fashion Island in the Neiman Marcus/Broadway Courtyard, 600 Newport Center Drive. (714) 721-2022. Concerts from 6 to 8 p.m. July 18, Phil Upchurch with Kilauea; July 25, Marlena Shaw; Aug. 1, Yutaka Yokokura with Pauline Wilson; Aug. 8, Eric Marienthal; Aug. 15, Poncho Sanchez.
Hart Park, 701 S. Glassell St. (714) 744-7272. Concerts from 7 to 8 p.m. July 24, Irie (reggae); Aug. 7, Pandemonium (pop, rock); Aug. 21, Orange Symphonic Band.
Tri-City Park, 2301 Kramer Blvd. (714) 993-8232. Concerts from 4 to 5 p.m. Aug. 4, Mariachi San Pedro; Sept. 1, Smokewood (country, blue grass); Oct. 6, Popular Demand ('50s to contemporary rock).
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
San Juan Capistrano Public Library, La Sala Auditorium (behind library), 31495 El Camino Real. (714) 493-1752. Free, but $2 donation is requested. Two shows nightly at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.: July 20, Miriam Mita and the Ayllu Sankayo Group (folk music from the Andes and Bolivia); Aug. 10, Huayucaltia (traditional music from South America). Arts and crafts from Bolivia and Guatemala will be sold.
The 17th annual Seal Beach Chamber Music Festival at McGaugh School, 1698 Bolsa Ave. (213) 596-4749. Sponsored by the Hayden Orchestra. Donations are accepted. Every Tuesday from 8 to 10 p.m.: July 21, pianist John Jensen; July 28, Young Artist Guild; Aug. 6, pianist Max Levinson; Aug. 13, pianist Albert Dominguez.