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Private Lives : FAMILY : No Minimum (Age) at This Jazz Club

November 06, 1994|Lynne Heffley | Lynne Heffley is a Times staff writer

Veteran percussionist Adam Rudolph has an international following, performing with such artists as Yusef Lateef, Herbie Hancock and Don Cherry. Guitarist Kevin Eubanks is a featured performer with Branford Marsalis' "Tonight Show" orchestra.

And, every week, these artists and others spend their Sunday afternoons playing improvisational music for children.

Actually, the Sunday matinee concerts at the Jazz Bakery in the historic Helms Bakery Building near Culver City are adult stuff deliberately made child-friendly: Children get in free, no one panics if toddlers stroll down the aisle, and goodies are served in the lobby.

"In our culture there's always this categorization, such as what's children's music, as opposed to adult music? We're just playing what we play and giving children an opportunity to hear it," Rudolph said.

"The young ones especially don't think about what's hip or in style; they don't have labels. They just hear the sound and they feel what's being said musically.

"What we like about playing at the Jazz Bakery is that it's a respectful environment. When the children are present . . . they're part of the loop of the expression."

How young is too young for the concerts? "We don't mind any age," said Ruth Price, Jazz Bakery's president and artistic director.

"Whatever parents think their children can absorb. It's all improv, something kids seem to enjoy. The lighting is very theatrical, and sometimes the daughters of the performers will get up and recite."*

* The Jazz Bakery, Helms Bakery Building, 3233 Helms Ave. Sundays at 3 p.m. through December. Adults, $7; students, $5; under age 12, free. (310) 271-9039.

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