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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Jazz lovers savor ‘Rhythm & Brews BBQ’

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At the Sept. 7 Jazz ‘n Paz fundraiser, legendary jazz singer Barbara Morrison performs with muicians Ty Baile on organ, Tina Raymond on drums and Nick Mancini on vibes.
(Courtesy of Kathryn Mueller)

It was a perfect late summer eve last Saturday when nearly 70 guests in support of Performances a la Carte gathered at the Pasadena home of Carla Jamie Perez for a “Rhythm & Brews BBQ” fundraiser.

Perez is the founder of Jazz ‘n Paz , a biannual intimate jazz series of three concerts staged each spring and fall that showcase some of Los Angeles’ finest jazz musicians. The concerts are staged at Pasadena’s Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church. The inaugural series was held in the fall of 2017, and the concerts are growing in popularity as word gets out about their outstanding offerings.

The fundraising event was held in an enchanted garden setting with multihued paper lanterns gently swaying from the lower branches of two magnificent oak trees.

Guests nibbled on hors d’oeuvres, sipped craft beer, wine or one of an array of refreshing beverages including iced tea and lemonade. A barbecue feast of grilled chicken and marinated tri-tip was accompanied by a green salad, roasted potatoes spiced with sweet peppers and onions.

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The meal was delicious, but the best was yet to come as the jazz musicians warmed up. The featured singer was jazz legend Barbara Morrison, who has a classical jazz repertoire she delivers with such zest and feeling. Her repartee between the songs is lively and seasoned with funny stories of her life in the jazz world.

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Barbara Morrison enchanted the audience at a Jazz 'n Paz fundraising event held at home of Carla Jamie Perez, founder of Jazz n' Paz. (Courtesy of Kathryn Mueller)
(Courtesy of Kathryn Mueller)

Other musicians featured at the barbecue were the Nick Mancini Organ Trio featuring Mancini on vibes, Ty Baile on the Hammond B3 organ and Tina Raymond on drums. They performed a set of traditional jazz compositions.

Mancini was practically popping the buttons of his shirt as he shared with the audience the news that he and his wife are expecting their first baby in October. He said they are expecting a girl, and they plan to name her Minerva.

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Carla Jamie Perez takes her turn to wow the guests with her amazing multi-octave voice.
(Courtesy of Kathryn Mueller)

Last to musically perform was our hostess. As she mentioned when she stepped up to the mic, she does more than just cook a delicious tri-tip! Perez, who was classically trained as an opera singer and has performed all over the world, is also jazz fanatic.

She also led the guests in singing the birthday song to honor Morrison’s Sept. 10 birthday.

Well, it was an incredible night of music and dining. Wait! I forgot to mention the dessert. We made s’mores that got nice and gooey over a pinion-wood-fueled fire pit. An evening just can’t get much better than that — jazz, marshmallows and chocolate!

The next Jazz ‘n Paz jazz series opens on Oct, 6. Visit their website, jazznpaz.com, for more information.

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Last Thursday, Sept. 5, the La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild held its first meeting after the summer break at the La Cañada home of Linda Labrie.

First up on the agenda was planning for the group’s annual fundraiser, the Book and Author Luncheon, to be held at the LCF Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Three books will be presented, and two of the authors will be there to talk about their books.

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The local guild is a nonprofit organization that raises money to help fund the Orthopaedic Institute for Children. For more information call Jeanne Long at (818) 248-7822. To inquire about an invitation to the Book and Author Luncheon, contact Marianne Jennings at (818) 398-7323.

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