Something about the combination of warm weather and jazz feels so right. It sounds pretty good, too. These area establishments feature hot jazz, cool drinks and comfortable outdoor spaces to enjoy both.
Left Coast Wine Bar
This Glendale bar features nightly jazz from renowned musicians including Bar Area chanteuse Sony Holland and Grammy-winning guitarist Tommy Kay. The intimate venue holds only 50 or so patrons who can sip on a selection from Left Coast’s extensive beer and wine list (we’re talking hundreds of options here), while enjoying the music from the main room, patio or intimate loft space. There is no cover charge to get in the venue, which typically gets busy around 9 p.m. and stays jazzed until late.
117 East Harvard St., Glendale; (818) 507-7011; leftcoastwinebar.com
This Colorado Avenue restaurant becomes a music venue on Friday nights with performances starting at 9 p.m. The next several weeks will feature jazz vocalist Liela Avila. “Our music nights pull in an eclectic crowd,” says Plate 38 chef Robert Humphries. “We have more of a restaurant than a bar feel, so we get a lot of families and a crowd that ranges from age 25 to 70. Our outdoor patio is also a great spot for singles to mix and mingle.” Dinner is available until 12 p.m., (Plate 38’s burger is a local legend), and the venue’s late-night happy hour starts at 10 p.m. and includes $2 off all appetizers, beer and wine.
2361 East Colorado Blvd., at North Sierra Madre Boulevard, Pasadena, (626) 793-7100 or plate38.com
Red White and Bluezz
This classy Pasadena restaurant and lounge features nightly performances from musicians specializing in acoustic, Latin and guitar jazz. Shows begin around 6:30 with late-night sets on Friday and Saturday evenings. The venue’s jazz brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and an epic happy hour is offered from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Try the Ella Fizz-gerald (made with champagne, peach nectar and blood orange bitters), or the Chuck Berry (a mix of vodka, chambord and blueberry liqueur) to loosen up before the night’s show.
70 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena; (626) 792-4441; redwhitebluezz.com
This Pasadena jazz lounge prides itself on its flair for mixology, and indeed the drink menu includes such specialized concoctions as the tequila, watermelon and Mexican Snow made with liquid nitrogen. Point08’s outdoor patio and dimly lit lounge are both prime vantage points from which to enjoy music by jazz artists including the rock-influenced Steve Pandis and the ultra-smooth Jacques Lesure Trio. The music plays on Thursday through Sunday evenings starting at 8 p.m. Point08’s two nightly happy hours, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. until close, feature two-for-one deals on selected cocktails.
95 East Green St., at South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 792-4441 or point08bar.com
Jazz at Descanso Gardens
This gorgeous 160-acre public garden features live jazz at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings through August 25. The lineup includes Cuban jazz artist Mandala, saxophonist Robert Kyle and Denise Donatelli, a 2010 Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Descanso is embracing the loose spirit of the genre by bending its regular rules and allowing patrons to bring in picnics to enjoy on the main lawn during the show.
1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge; (818) 949-4200; descansogardens.org
Katie Bain is a Los Angeles based writer whose work appears on the Huffington Post LA and in publications including BUST Magazine and Networking Times. Contact her at katiebain.tumblr.com or email@example.com.