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Cool jazz sounds draw hundreds to park

Friends, families and dogs chill out at July 3 concert.

July 04, 2011|By Carolyn Neuhausen, Special to the Valley Sun
(Carolyn Neuhausen/Special…)

Hundreds of people enjoyed the cool stylings of the David Sagal Jazz Quintet at Memorial Park early Sunday evening.

Although the free concerts are open to the casual passersby, some family groups have been going to the summer concert series for years, like Judy and David Van Wyk, who have been enjoying the Music in the Park concert series with their friends and kids for at least 13 summers.

“The concert series is a La Cañada institution,” said Judy Van Wyk.

Nine of their group — which is usually 20-strong — beat the heat Sunday by enjoying the cool lawn of the park. Van Wyk reports they are always well prepared, bringing wooden picnic tables, lawn chairs, blankets, and an elaborate multi-course dinner of cheeses, tri-tip or poached salmon, Caesar salad, and Key lime pie. Like most other concertgoers, the Van Wyk group enjoy the music with bottles of wine, beer and juice.

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For the Van Wyk family, the music is a plus, but the time spent with friends is more important.

“We came out because we get to see our friends and it’s a nice way to cap the weekend and see people you don’t usually get to see during the week,” said David Van Wyk.

The concert series isn’t just for humans, though, as plenty of people brought Fido along to the park. Concert regular Mike Meyers brought his large, friendly 6-year-old bloodhound.

“He thinks [the concert] is all for him,” said Meyers about his pet.

The Kruglov family brought Zinger, their Jack Russell terrier mix. He cuddled calmly with Susan Kruglov as her kids rolled around on the grass and played tag with each other.

“We love being outside; for the kids [Memorial Park’s] a great place to run around and the playground is a lot of fun for them,” said Kruglov.

There were dogs of all types at the concert; sheepdog mixes, retrievers and hounds along with their human counterparts.

As the music of the jazz quintet played on, 15-year-old Nora Sagal, daughter of the David Sagal, the saxophone player, belted out jazz standards “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Bye, Bye, Blackbird” in her husky, smooth voice.

The Music in the Park series continues on Sunday evenings, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., until Aug. 28. Upcoming concerts include zydeco music, Elvis and Neil Diamond tribute bands, classic country, reggae and big band.

Following the concert on Aug. 21, the park will also host the animated fairy tale film “Tangled.”

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