Smooth Latin rock rose up into the air of South Pasadena on Sunday as Robert Sarzo and A Tribute to Santana took the stage for the fourth Summer Concert in the Park at Garfield Park. Sarzo and A Tribute to Santana played satisfyingly foolproof renditions of Santana classics such as ‘Evil Ways’ and ‘Black Magic Woman’. Hundreds of residents dotted the center of the park with picnic blankets and Trader Joe’s bags as couples danced closer to the stage. Catering and other booths from the likes of Bristol Farms and other local businesses lined the tennis courts in the back of the crowd.
Sarzo, nicknamed The VuDu Man, is also the lead guitarist for the band Hurricane and has ties in the music industry to Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot and Robert Stigwood. He fronted the six-man tribute band with gusto as he captivated the crowd with precise jamming.
“[Sarzo] and other musicians did a really great job of capturing the groovy, sensual vibes that Carlos Santana is all about,” resident Kyra Bush said. “You could really tell by the way the crowd was getting up and dancing.”
The tight performance from Sarzo and the band was a relaxing way to enjoy a gratifying sunset in the park. The diverse crowd of both old and young residents danced and swayed along to the familiar melodies of the rock legend.
“I think it’s really great to have a solid, well put together band because it brings the community together. Everyone wants to get out and cool down in the park after the sun starts setting,” resident Ruby Kalra said. “I haven’t been to a Concert in the Park in a few years, but I do think it goes with the city’s vibe of being known for arts and music and a sense of community.”
The concert was sponsored by Aztlan Athletics, a South Pasadena-based nonprofit that specializes in organizing community based fundraising through athletics, mostly marathons, the annual Tiger run and other such runs.