The place was jumpin’ as hundreds came out last Sunday evening to enjoy the sounds of the Wiseguys Big Band Machine perform the third of five summer concerts in South Pasadena’s Garfield Park.
The Montebello based, 18-piece ensemble is dedicated to keeping dance music from the ‘50s and ‘60s alive, playing the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Peggy Lee, Glenn Miller, Buddy Rich and more.
The timeless sounds were infectious as those of all ages enjoyed the classy music of yesteryear.
The week prior saw Louie Cruz Beltran perform his soulful sounds before an appreciative crowd, enjoying his contemporary R&B, Jazz, Latin and Salsa sounds.
Beltran, born in Bakersfield and now living in Los Angeles, learned how to play the bongo drums and guitar when he was in the third grade.
He grew up with memories of his mother singing gospel music, Mexican and Caribbean folk tunes.
Early influences of Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Armando, Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, Francisco Aquabella and Jorge Claudio rubbed off on Betran and sparked his interest to become a musician.
Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican with their pulsating beat is something he’ll never forget.
“The beauty of Afro-Cuban music stole my heart,” Beltran told Jambase.com.
He’s specialized in the timbales, congas, and while sharing the stage with most of the standout artists.
Two more concerts, slated from 6 to 8 p.m., are planned for Garfield Park this summer – Sunday, July 28, The Kings of 88 (Classic Piano Rock) and Sunday, August 11 Blue Breeze Band (R&B/Funk).
It’s easy to join the fun. Simply grab a blanket, a few lounge chairs, prepare a picnic-style dinner, bring your favorite beverage and head to the park.
A musical tradition over the years, South Pasadena’s Concert in the Park series offers something for everyone. Crowds flock to Garfield Park for the revelry as residents and visitors alike enjoy the music and festive atmosphere every summer.
For more information, call the Community Services Department at (626) 403-7380.
• Sunday, July 28 – The Kings of 88 (Classic Piano Rock)
• Sunday, August 11 – Blue Breeze Band (R&B/Funk)