Downtown Long Beach changes its tune with music series

downtown-lb-band.jpgDowntown Long Beach’s annual music series, which historically begins in June, has picked up the tempo a bit earlier this year by starting mid-April and continuing through Labor Day.
The series kicked off during Grand Prix weekend with Sapphire performing in front of Rock Bottom Brewery on Friday, April 18, while Jumpin’ Joz entertained passersby in front of Smooth’s Sports Grille near the corner of Pine Avenue and Broadway on the same evening.
The al fresco event, which features nearly 400 free performances through early September, will be held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at various downtown locations. There are no performances on Sundays or Mondays.
“Now in its fifth year, we’ve expanded our music series to include nearly 100 additional performances and started it two months earlier than in years past,” said Kraig Kojian, president and CEO of the DLBA. “Having street musicians scattered about downtown has helped create a synergy among the restaurants, shops and entertainment venues and enhances the ambiance of our urban center. It’s an unexpected pleasure for visitors, residents and workers during the weekday afternoon and evenings.”
Each lunch hour, visitors, residents and office workers are treated to a mini-break as an array of talented musicians take to the various sidewalk venues.
Tuesday performances can be heard from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CityPlace, the World Trade Center, and 100 Oceangate followed by Wednesdays at 444 West Ocean from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at Shoreline Village from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday features two simultaneous performances at ARCO Tower as well as at Utopia, located at First Street and Linden Avenue in the East Village Arts District.
Music will fill the air Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in front of Rock Bottom Brewery, Smooth’s Sports Grille, and the Nautical Shell at the foot of Pine Avenue in the Waterfront Area.
As an added bonus, concertgoers can visit the Downtown Long Beach Associates Web site ( to download the “Downtown Passport to Savings,” which features an impressive list of discounts from nearly 100 shops, restaurants, attractions and services.
Many eateries, such as Café Sevilla, CaféVino Wine Bar & Restaurant, and the ever-popular Smooth’s Sports Grille, offer up to 20 percent off the total bill.
Other discounts include savings on admission to the Aquarium of the Pacific, as well as discounts at some of downtown’s day spa sanctuaries.
“The Passport to Savings program was specifically designed to highlight the amenities within downtown Long Beach, as well as to show our appreciation to downtown’s residents, employees and visitors by offering them a discount to some of the area’s most popular dining and retail destinations,” said Kojian. “It provides an added incentive to explore the central business district while enjoying an afternoon or evening of shopping, dining, and musical entertainment.”
The free music series is produced by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), and sponsored in part by Ensemble Real Estate of 444 W. Ocean, the Swig Company of Arco Center, Brookfield Properties of Landmark Square, and Legacy Partners of 100 Oceangate and One World Trade Center.
Complete performance schedules are open to the public and can be downloaded at

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