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Downtown gets in the swing of things

Rosette Gonzales

The Swingin’ Sounds from Downtown will once again fill the summer air

in Burbank with sweet sounds of jazz.

The weekly concert series returns Thursday for its second year

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with dancing lessons at 6 p.m. and live music at 7 p.m. Thursdays

through August in the AMC Plaza at San Fernando Boulevard and Palm

Avenue.

“People last year had the best time, and everyone was down there

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learning how to dance swing,” said Amy Rebman, assistant Downtown

manager.

This year’s Swingin’ Sounds from Downtown will have a bit of a

Latin twist during August.

July will feature swing music, but Thursday nights in August will

feature American and Latin jazz.

Last year’s event also began in July but stopped in August,

picking up again in September with “Beach Party Nights.”

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About 500 people showed up each Thursday night, but the outdoor

dance concert lost some of its momentum by stopping during August,

Downtown manager Gail Stewart said.

So this summer, the city will keep everyone dancing with hot salsa

nights and cool evening jazz the second month.

“That’s why we’ve tweaked it and tried to make it more exciting so

people will say, ‘Wow, that was so fun. I want to do it next year,’”

Rebman said.

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The event also gives residents a chance to “come out and play” in

Downtown and experience its shops, restaurants and other nightly

entertainment amid the music, Stewart said.

“It’s just so fun seeing everybody enjoying it together,” Stewart

said.

Jazz is something every family member can enjoy and the music

crosses generations, she said.

Jazz, especially swing, is timeless and embedded into American

culture so it’s natural for everyone to enjoy, said Michael Andrew,

band leader for Swingerhead, which will kick off the concert series

Thursday.

“It’s no question that the music I’m presenting is our country’s

music,” said Andrew. “It’s not going to ever go away. It’s part of

our culture and I think it will be for every generation.”


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