Music fans can once again lounge in the grass in front of Santa Monica City Hall this month for the third annual Jazz on the Lawn concert series.
For the three remaining Sundays this month, talented jazz musicians will give free performances from 5 to 7 p.m. on the front lawn of City Hall, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica.
Jazz on the Lawn is just one of the many programs offered by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, including the annual Santa Monica Festival, the Santa Monica Airport Art Walk and Glow, as well as the city’s public art and arts and cultural funding programs.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission supports the production.
The series is open to the public and free parking is available after 4 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., and on streets surrounding City Hall. Soft drinks and water are available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, which provides educational and cultural arts programs designed by teens for teens.
Jazz on the Lawn kicked off August 3rd with a performance by songwriter and vocalist Michael Sullivan. Louis Van Taylor then showcased his skills on the saxophone and woodwinds during a performance August 10th.
This Sunday, August 17th, musician Billy Porter and Friends of Reprise are scheduled to perform, followed by Russ Mullen and the Jazz Associates August 24th, and Opa Opa August 31st.
Porter will take the stage along with his friends from the Reprise Theatre Company’s production of Once on this Island, including the director and cast members from the Caribbean-themed musical.
America first got a taste of Porter’s talents on Ed McMahon’s “Star Search” in 1992, when he was the $100,000 male vocalist grand champion.
Shortly thereafter, Porter performed on Broadway, appearing in Smokey Joe’s CafÈ, and in all the original casts of Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, as well as the revival of Grease starring Rosie O’Donnell.
He also played the role of James Thunder Early in the Dreamgirls: 20th Anniversary Broadway Concert.
Porter’s debut album was released by A&M Records in 1997. He can also be heard on the platinum selling A Very Rosie Christmas, Gershwin and Sondheim benefit albums, Hercules (Disney) and Anastasia (Warner Bros.), Liz Callaway ñ The Story Goes On, Alvin Ailey/Revelations, Broadway Cares Home For The Holidays, and Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas with the Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Porter has recently been featured on the Human Rights Campaign’s Love Rocks album, benefiting gay unions.
Most recently Porter captured the energy of musician Little Richard in the CBS mini-series, Shake Rattle & Roll, had a recurring role on the soap opera Another World, and played a transsexual in an updated gay-themed version of Oliver Twist called Twisted.
Information on the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division and the Jazz on the Lawn series, (310) 458-8350, or www.arts.san ta-monica.org/.