Grammy award-winning violinist Joshua Bell leads Laguna Beach Live!’s 10th anniversary celebration and its signature Laguna Beach Music Festival next February with a series of concerts at Laguna Playhouse.
Starting in August 2001 with free chamber music concerts at the Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach Live! today now presents a season of more than 30 concerts.
The free chamber music continues, but also includes the Jazz Wednesdays concerts during the summer and winter at Hotel Laguna, an annual Bluegrass event at Aliso Creek Inn, single-night concerts as well as the week-long music festival.
The original mission created by founding members Joe Byrne, Sam Goldstein and Cindy Prewitt of presenting quality music that is accessible has remained the cornerstone of the group and its current board. Besides Goldstein and Prewitt, they include Joe Becker, Tom Ellebie, Cody Engle, Paul Freeman, Joe Hanauer, Judith Jelinek, Betsy Jenkins, Danny Melita and Elizabeth Pearson.
“Increasing the appreciation of music is also an important objective,” said Prewitt, the founding president, “and a number of programs are offered each year, at no charge, to the Laguna schools, Boys & Girls Club and the Senior Center.”
Where are they going in the next 10 years? “We hope to offer more genres of music and are considering adding Blues as well as Gospel and more World Music. There is no shortage of fine artists in the area but the challenge is in finding venues. We continue to seek interesting locations in town to showcase great musicians and to keep the concerts affordable,” said Prewitt.