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BEST BET

April 25, 1993|ANNE KLARNER

It's the Jazz Age, the Roaring '20s. Hotcha! Twenty-three skiddoo! Flappers, silent movies, gangsters, Prohibition and that demon music--jazz.

The Homestead Museum in the City of Industry and KPCC 89.3 FM are celebrating the era with the third 1920s Jazz Festival today.

"That's when the fast, hot dances like the Charleston and the Black Bottom and the tango were being danced," said Max A. van Balgooy, museum director of education.

Three bands will be set around the museum complex, which includes a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival mansion, a Victorian country house that was once an 1840s adobe, and a cemetery dating from the 1850s.

There also will be tango lessons taught by the dance team of Alberto Toledano and Loreen Arbus, in case anyone wants to learn some of those hot steps.

The 1920s have been tagged the Jazz Age because that is when, in the early part of the decade, black jazz musicians brought the new style north from New Orleans as they migrated after World War I.

"The reason we're having three bands is that there was more than one kind of jazz being played in the '20s," van Balgooy said.

New Orleans jazz, to be represented by Chris Kelley's Black and White New Orleans Jazz Band, is slower-paced and more blues-oriented. The Night Blooming Jazzmen will play Dixieland/Chicago style jazz, which is faster and makes more

Ian Whitcomb will lead his band in traditional dance and show tunes.

use of the saxophone. The more mainstream popular dance and show music will be played by Ian Whitcomb and His Dance Band.

"It's everything from Gershwin to 'Yes, We Have No Bananas,' " van Balgooy said. "That is all considered jazz."

Picnicking is encouraged.

"We won't be selling gin because of Prohibition, of course," said van Balgooy, referring to the 18th Amendment, which outlawed the sale of alcohol in that era. "But there will be plenty of Coke and 7-Up and tea and lemonade."

The festival will run from 1 to 6 p.m. at the museum complex, 15415 E. Don Julian Road. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students and senior citizens. Children under 5 will be admitted free.

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