UkeFest Returns Jan. 18

Laguna Beach Seniors will present Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 4-7 p.m. for an exclusive ukulele workshop and concert at the Susi Q Senior Center. Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Seniors

Laguna Beach Seniors will present Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 4-7 p.m. for an exclusive ukulele workshop and concert at downtown Laguna’s Susi Q Senior Center, located at 380 Third Street.

Hearing these two masters together on the same stage—the blending of their unique personalities and playing styles—promises for a ukulele experience filled with fun, virtuosity, and most importantly, aloha.

Ukulele artist Bryan Tolentino has been known, for the past 38 years, as an accompanist who performed and continues to perform, locally and abroad with some of Hawai’i’s most well-known and accomplished Hawaiian music artists. Tolentino has recorded on over 50 CD’s for other artists as well as compilations, adding his unique “fairy dusting,” as he calls it.

Herb Ohta Jr.’s interest in music was very evident at an early age. The ukulele is in his genes and Hawaiian music is in his blood. As a teacher, composer, recording artist, entertainer, and producer, Herb Ohta, Jr. solidly establishes himself in the company of musicians who promote Hawaiian music. It is Ohta’s goal to share the beauty of Hawai’i’s music, its culture, and the ukulele to people all over the world. Ohta has performed throughout the state of Hawai‘i and has traveled overseas to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the mainland USA.

A “Musical Awareness” ukulele workshop promises to be very hands-on, incorporating finger picking patterns (and when to best use them) along with tools for improving group play. The workshop will run from 4-5 p.m. with the concert to follow starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for both the workshop and concert cost $25. To attend the concert only, tickets are $15. Light refreshments will be served—wine and beer for donation.

Reservations are required and limited spots will fill up fast. Register by calling Christine Brewer at 949-715-8105 or email [email protected]. Parking is available in the Susi Q’s underground structure.


Messy Church Features Twelfth Night

“We will have activities and crafts that relate to discovery and ‘aha’ moments from world-wide Twelfth Night traditions,” said Barbara Crowley about the Jan. 12 Messy Church, held from 4-6 p.m. at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church.

Although Epiphany/Twelfth Night is Jan. 6, Messy Church will focus on epiphanies Sunday, Jan. 12. The multi-generational, interactive event will explore those times when pieces come together to reveal a bigger truth.

All are welcome at Messy Church, which is geared to those who are uncomfortable in a traditional church setting, yet seek spirituality and community. Attendees usually range in age from toddlers to octogenarians. A communal meal is always served. An RSVP is helpful, but not required, and a $5 donation is suggested.

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church is located at 21632 Wesley Drive, up the street from Gelson’s Shopping Center. For information or to RSVP, contact or call 949-499-3088.


Garden Club Presents ‘Foraged Flora’ Jan. 10

Louesa Roebuck will speak to the Laguna Beach Garden Club on Jan. 10 about her lifelong love of foraged and gleaned floral work. Photos courtesy of Laguna Beach Garden Club

The Laguna Beach Garden Club will welcome Louesa Roebuck as their speaker on Ja

Roebuck will show her listeners that there are surprising and beautiful pairings in a garden that

can be enjoyed in the home—whether picking a small tendril of fragrant jasmine, collecting

oversized branches of flowering quince, or making a garland of bay laurel using found, foraged flora.

Roebuck was born in Ohio and grew up there and in Lexington, Kentucky. She moved to

Berkeley in 1997/98 and became immersed in California culture. Roebuck owned and operated August, an early entrant into luxury apparel and green socially responsible textile practices.

 She lost that business during the economic crash of 2008/2009, and returned to her lifelong love of foraged and gleaned floral work. This has been her recent medium of choice. Her floral work has been featured in a number of national and international magazines and media, including Vogue, C Magazine, Edible Selby, Remodelista, Bare Journal, Sunset, Martha Stewart Living, and the Los Angeles Times. Roebuck’s book, “Foraged Flora” (Ten Speed Press/Random House) will be available for purchase at the meeting.

The Laguna Beach Garden Club meets on the second Friday of every month, September through May at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, 415 Forest Avenue, in Tankersley Hall. Social hour begins at 9:30 a.m., and the general meeting begins at 10 a.m. The public is welcome; there is no charge for guests on their first visit. Parking is free in the Laguna Canyon Road lot (spaces 300-422) or $3

for all day in spaces 185-228. For more information on the garden club, visit


Real Talk About Youth Mentorship

While many people have had the pleasure of having a mentor in their life, today, one in three young people grow up without a mentor.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the community is invited to a free talk that will examine the benefits of mentorship for young people, from building leadership skills, to positive social attitudes and relationships. The talk will also explore how vital these benefits are for parents and students when applying to colleges.

Ron Ruangtragool, founder of First Honors (an educational consulting company), will facilitate the discussion. The event will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 3rd Street. RSVP to [email protected]. The program is sponsored by the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council and Baha’i’s of Laguna Beach.


Business Club to Host President of Philharmonic Society

The Laguna Beach Business Club will host Tommy Phillips, president and artistic director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, as the speaker at its Jan. 16 meeting. Photo by Drew A. Kelley

The Laguna Beach Business Club will host Tommy Phillips, president and artistic director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, as the speaker at its Jan. 16 meeting. The LBBC holds a breakfast meeting the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m., featuring speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in personal and professional lives.

Phillips will speak about the upcoming 2020 Laguna Beach Music Festival.

In a career spanning more than 15 years, Phillips is known for his innovative programming ideas, reliability and trust within the classical music industry, and for his capacity for creative ingenuity. Holding artistic positions and programming consultancies at orchestras across the country, Phillips has guided music directors, and helped build strong foundations and connections for institutions including the San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Mainly Mozart Festival.

Following his passion for cultural exchange and musical ambassadorship, Phillips is also the co-founder of Black Cats Production Company, an international touring and performing arts organization bringing performing ensembles to China and Chinese ensembles to the United States. His extensive list of clients includes violinist Joshua Bell, the Shanghai Quartet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and France’s Malandain Ballet Biarritz.

During his eight years with the San Diego Symphony, most recently as Director of Artistic Planning, Phillips oversaw the strategy and implementation for all artistic programs, festivals, recording sessions, commissioning projects, and national and international tours. He also developed and produced large-scale multimedia concerts (including the first ever Live-to-Film world premiere of a major motion picture with live orchestra), and built key relationships with major brands such as Disney, Paramount and Comic-Con.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Seven7Seven, 777 Laguna Canyon Road. Non-members are welcome; the non-member guest fee is $30, payable in cash or check (payable to the Laguna Beach Business Club) the day of the meeting. For more information or to register to attend a meeting, visit, email [email protected], or call Pamela Knudsen at 949-285-3730.

Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here