How We Started
It was 2000: Joe Byrne was looking for some good jazz in Laguna; Sam Goldstein was trying to increase local support of the arts; Cindy Prewitt was working on the city’s Arts Commission to broaden the scope of the arts. These three Laguna residents came together and decided the best way to hurry along what they wanted was to do it themselves, thus forming the non-profit Laguna Beach Live! in August 2001.
First Sundays, free monthly chamber music at the Laguna College of Art & Design was the beginning, launched by Les Amis Musicalles (Cynthia Ellis, Jeanne Evans and Janet Lakatos), followed by the cabaret performance of Sally Kellerman (a friend of Joe’s) in association with [seven-degrees]. The Philharmonic Society of Orange County collaborated on the first Laguna Beach Music Festival in 2003 with pianist Claude Frank and is still a strong partner of the event. Jazz has been a strong component of the line up since the Great Jazz Guitars with Bruce Forman, Mundell Lowe, John Pisano and Phil Upchurch in 2004.
Now, Laguna Beach Live! presents more than 30 concerts annually from monthly Live! at the Museum chamber music, a multi-day Music Festival in February exploring modern classical music and new composers to the JazzWednesdays Summer and Winter Series. Special concerts sprinkling the year include Bluegrass, Gospel, Blues, Big Band and Pop. Strong supporters of music education, free outreach programs are offered to Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club, Laguna public schools and the Susi Q Senior Center.
Laguna Beach Live!, a non-profit organization, strives to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences, enhancing the reputation of Laguna Beach as a music town. To this end, we present high quality live musical performances that are accessible…affordable, intimate and in our community. Education for our kids is a high priority.
Our goal is to continually increase the quality and number of professional live performances in the city throughout the year, especially in the non-summer months, and to offer educational programs to promote the appreciation of music for the enjoyment and education of residents, especially students. We believe increased cultural activities will enrich the lives of all who attend these events and have a positive economic impact on the city.
Board of Trustees
Cody Engle; Sam Goldstein; Joe Hanauer; Judith Jelinek; Betsy Jenkins; Rick Malcolm, Elizabeth Pearson; Lucinda Prewitt, Carol Reynolds, and Rob Schlesinger.