The Marina del Rey Summer Concerts Series begins Thursday, July 7th, with a classical concert by the Marina del Rey Summer Symphony, conducted by Frank Fetta, which features special guest Spanish dancers Miguel Bernal and Batista, and special guest mezzo-soprano vocalist Suzanna Guzman. Performance time is 7 p.m.

Santa Monica’s popular free concerts, the Twilight Dance Series are also under way on the Santa Monica Pier.

MDR SUMMER CONCERTS — The weekly Thursday Marina del Rey Summer Concerts Series alternates weekly pop concerts by special guest performers and classical concerts led by the Marina del Rey Summer Symphony throughout the summer in Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Start time is 7 p.m. on all concert dates.

The July 7th classical concert will feature a performance of de Falla’s ballet, El Amor Brujo, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien and Turina’s Danzas Fant·sticas.

Next is a pop concert with Grammy-winning country music star Pam Tillis and her seven-piece band on Saturday, July 16th. Tillis is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and in 1999, she was said to be the first female country entertainer to star in a Broadway musical with her appearance in Smokey Joe’s CafÈ.

A classical concert Thursday, July 21st, features pianists Xin Xin and Sebastian Koch.

On Saturday, July 30th, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra will perform, conducted by Patrick Williams, with special guest Doc Severinson.

An evening of classical music with Los Angeles Opera members is set for Thursday, August 4th.

On Saturday, August 13th, contemporary jazz instrumental quartet New York Voices will perform.

The Marina del Rey Summer Symphony presents a program of orchestral masterpieces by Shostakovich, Ravel and Respighi on Thursday, August 18th.

The series concludes with a pop concert by singer Cleo Laine accompanied by the John Dankworth Group.

Information, (310) 305-9545.

TWILIGHT DANCE SERIES — The Twilight Dance Series, featuring free performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, started June 30th and continues through September 1st, on the Santa Monica Pier, (ocean end of Colorado Avenue), Santa Monica.

Kicking off the series was a performance by the Easy Star All-Stars with opening act Detour Posse. Easy Star All-Stars performing a reggae version of psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album.

On Thursday, July 7th, Tex-Mex band Little Joe y La Familia will perform with opening act Cannibal and the Headhunters.

Tinariwen, a Touareg group from the southern Sahara that formed inside a rebel camp in 1982 while fighting the Malian government, is scheduled to perform Thursday, July 14th.

A Chicago Blues Reunion, a concert featuring Chicago blues legends Barry Goldberg, Harvey Mandel, Nick Gravenites, Tracy Nelson, Sam Lay and Corky Siegel, is scheduled for July 21st.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega performs with opening act Marc Cohn on July 28th.

Super Diamond performs a tribute to Neil Diamond with opening act historic psychedelic folk rockers It’s A Beautiful Day on August 4th.

The August 11th concert is dubbed the Latin Alternative Music Conference and features Plastilina Mosh and Nortec Collective.

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band will perform swing and big band music on August 18th. Opening act is a tribute to Artie Shaw with clarinetist Eddie Daniels.

Buckwheat Zydeco performs on August 25th.

Multi-platinum selling new wavers The Knack perform a concert with Shonen Knife to conclude the series on September 1st. Shonen Knife has been described as “Ramones-meets The Beatles brand of sweet, sticky pop” sung by “three bubbly Japanese girls.” Shonen Knife gained wide recognition and alternative rock credibility as the opening act for Nirvana’s 1991 tour of the U.K.

Power pop four-piece The Knack group is best known for the 1979 hit “My Sharona.”

Information, (310) 458-8900.

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