Tag Archives: jazz

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Barbara Morrison performing at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena in 2014

This month, we’re listening to wailing saxophones, mesmerizing piano arpeggios and groovy drum rhythms. That’s right—we’ve got jazz on our minds and in our ears as Jazz Appreciation Month kicks off! Influenced by blues music and other musical styles originating in African American communities, the jazz genre started permeating dance clubs and bars in the early 20th century, and with the venues’ increased popularity during the prohibition era, the Jazz Age of the 1920s was born. Since then, the original swinging form of jazz has expanded into numerous subgenres, from bebop to Latin Jazz, tapping into the improvisational talents of musicians of all kinds.

Levitt venues have seen many a jazz artist grace their stages, each with a unique take on this rich genre. Some of these acts have even performed alongside jazz’s most influential musicians and are major players in their own right, having made significant contributions to the genre. While it’s impossible to choose our favorite jazz acts, here are four to start with—all of whom played Levitt stages over the years! Continue reading


It’s an early midsummer evening, just cool enough for a light sweater or jacket. You might not bring one at all. After all, the sun doesn’t set until after nine these nights.

There’s a light breeze as you walk over to the park in the center of town. When you arrive, you find the perfect spot for your folding chairs, snacks and good conversation. There’s jazz on tonight—it might be legendary jazz vocalist Barbara Morrison, pianist Yuko Mabuchi or GRAMMY-winning Ernie Watts Quartet. Whatever it is, it’s always great, and it’s always free, the way it has been for the past eleven years.

This is summer for Wilbur Lloyd, Harry James and Marshal James at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. Continue reading