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The sounds of summer in the park

The sun, just beginning to dip behind Buena Vista Branch Library’s Lincoln Park, cast a golden hue over the grassy amphitheater — its reflection sparkling in the tinted lenses of the glasses worn by jazz pianist and vocalist Roger Harrison.

Robert Robak and his wife, Elaine, were dancing to Harrison’s rendition of the Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer 1962 film theme, “The Days of Wine and Roses,” while Matthew and Alisa Nelson were sharing laugher and a picnic dinner spread out on a blanket with their friends Jessica and Tim Simpson. Smiling, nodding and tapping their feet, Raymond, Ruth and Garnell Whitfield showed their appreciation as they recognized one song after another, while Alan and Nancy Crawford snuggled as Harrison crooned Rosemary Clooney’s “Hey There — You With the Stars in Your Eyes” from “The Pajama Game.”


Perhaps there was a more perfect way to spend an early Tuesday evening, but by watching 4-year-old Madison Cooper giggle and dance with her 6-year-old sister, Mikala, as mellow jazz wafted through the park, it would have been an extremely difficult task to figure out how.

And so commenced the Burbank Public Library’s 2010 “Sounds of Summer” Tuesday evening concert series. Coordinated by Joan Cappocchi, who handles programs and publicity for the three Burbank libraries, the concert series, that is presented free of charge, will continue on July 13 at the Burbank Central Library, and on July 27 at the Northwest Branch.


Among others who enjoyed Tuesday’s concert were Angela Pleasants, Sara, Matt and Kylie Malliski, Hao Nguyen, Cay Tran, Melani Hernandez, Sue and Sebastian Ceballos, Fay Playsted, Jason, Eve and Julian Blum, and Vanessa, Kendelle and Nigel Dickens.

The July 13 “Sounds of Summer” concert at the Burbank Central Library will feature vintage jazz standards performed by Big Lucky who specializes in nostalgic music from the 1920s through the 1960s. Fronted by vocalist Val Peterson, a Big Lucky performance also includes a smattering of original songs with a jazz, Latin and Motown influence.

If you are a jazz fan, you may also want to make it a point to stop by at the Central Library to see the current exhibit of memorabilia pertaining to the legendary jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader Artie Shaw. The artifacts are from the personal collection of Tom Nolan, who wrote the book “Three Chords for Beauty’s Sake — The Life of Artie Shaw,” and who appeared at Central Library this past Monday for the library’s continuing “Coffee & Conversation” series.

On the last Tuesday of July, the Northwest Branch Library, adjacent to Ralph Foy Park, will be the venue for the musical stylings of a Latin jazz trio featuring Brazilian guitarist Marco Túlio. A graduate of the Los Angeles’ Musicians Institute, Túlio has opened for Sheryl Crow and played with pop star Thalia, guitarist Pat Metheny, and at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards. As a member of the band, Klezmer Juice, Túlio also recorded a song for the soundtrack of the 2005 film “The Wedding Crashers,” in which he and the group appear.