View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Rumors of fire-forced shutdown plague LA SummerFest

Posted: August 7, 2016 7:36 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2016 7:36 p.m.
David Stears, producer of LA SummerFest, introduces the John Menzano Trio at Sunday's Jazz at Rivendale concert at Towsley Canyon Park, with Bassist John Menzano (right). Photo by Jim Holt, The Signal. David Stears, producer of LA SummerFest, introduces the John Menzano Trio at Sunday's Jazz at Rivendale concert at Towsley Canyon Park, with Bassist John Menzano (right). Photo by Jim Holt, The Signal.
David Stears, producer of LA SummerFest, introduces the John Menzano Trio at Sunday's Jazz at Rivendale concert at Towsley Canyon Park, with Bassist John Menzano (right). Photo by Jim Holt, The Signal.
A A A


Fans of LA SummerFest obviously didn’t get the memo that the concerts scheduled for this summer are a go - with no event sidelined by brush fires.

That’s the message SummerFest producer David Stears wants Santa Clarita Valley residents to remember, as fewer than two dozen people showed up for Sunday’s Jazz at Rivendale concert.

“I keep hearing from people ‘I didn’t know you guys were still open,’” an exasperated Stears told The Signal at the concert Sunday night.

“It’s been a struggle,” he said.

Disappointing numbers at both Sunday’s jazz show and at the Americana Fest on July 24 are attributed to people acting on the mistaken notion that recent fires have cancelled the annual summer concert series, Stears said.

What fire-fretting folks missed out on was a cool evening of jazz, inside a cool valley venue with a cool breeze.

“They need to get up and get out here,” said Allison Hagen, whose jazz guitarist husband, Jim Hagen, was one of Sunday’s two headlining acts.

“And, besides the weather is beautiful,” she said.

The smaller-than-usual crowd was treated to both the James Hagen Group and the John Menzano Trio.

Attendees got a special glimpse into the true passion of musician/music teacher Rod Bennett, whose life was cut short 10 weeks ago in a traffic collision.

Bennett, 53, a math and music teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School, was riding his bicycle on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25, when he was hit and killed by a car.

Bennett played on two of Hagen’s songs - On The Scene and Piece Of Cake - which were included on a CD Hagen had recorded and offered for sale at Sunday’s concert.

Hagen’s group performed those songs and several others Sunday.

“It was completely devastating,” Hagen said of Bennett’s death. “It’s still so upsetting to talk about.”

Bennett was scheduled to join Hagen on stage for Sunday’s SummerFest show, he said, adding: “It was on our calendar of things to do.”

Hagen and Bennett played regularly at the Valencia Wine Company, he said.

The pair had recorded four other songs at the Busy Signal Studios in Canyon Country, Hagen said.

Those songs are expected to appear on an upcoming CD, he said.

[email protected]

661-287-5527

on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...