About 600 people filled the main lawn at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge Thursday for the first night of its inaugural eight-week summer jazz series.
Children danced in the grass, adults sipped wine and the band, Louie Cruz Beltran, entertained as twilight descended
"I'm excited to be here after 5 p.m.," said Glendale resident Darcy Wiatroski, while keeping one eye on her toddler. "It is a beautiful time to be in the garden."
The music series, titled "The Evolution of American Jazz," was conceived as a replacement for the Pasadena Pops program, which announced last year that it would relocate after 15 years at Descanso Gardens. It will cover all the major veins of the jazz genre, including Latin jazz, New Orleans jazz and East Coast jazz.
"Jazz is such a broad genre of music," said Lisa Kurstin, manager of education programs at Descanso Gardens. "There is a lot that can happen creatively under jazz."