Last weekend, I was having a late lunch at the bar at Carmelita’s when I struck up a conversation with a very nice couple from Thousand Oaks. When I tell people that I do this column, I’m prepared to be peppered with questions on where and what the best is, but this time, their question had me a bit stumped.

Where can you go see live jazz in Laguna Beach?

Happily, we have a few great options presently and in the very near future. 

At the Sawdust Art Festival

The 47th Sawdust Art Festival wouldn’t be the same without its lively, live music. Throughout the days and evenings at the festival, expect to be surprised with unannounced guest appearances as well as these great names on stage:

  • Brothers Yusef (jazzy blues)
  • Alturas (South American)
  • Amanda Castro Band (vintage jazz)
  • Moonshine (rockabilly)


Friday nights & Sunday nights: Laguna’s favorite, The Jorg Dubin Trio

Made up of master musicians Jorg Dubin (drums), Rusty Gillette (piano) and Frank Shotz (bass), these popular guys serve up a massive list of jazz standards (Gershwin, Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, etc.).

During the summer, they perform at Zinc Cafe & Market on Friday evenings (350 Ocean Ave.), and Sundays at the Mare Culinary Lounge (696 S. Coast Highway), from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Wednesdays: Hotel Laguna Jazz Series in the Rose Garden

The Hotel Laguna has always brought in fantastic jazz talent, and this summer remains true to form. The July jazz sessions are already SOLD OUT, so I’d advise getting in quickly for remaining events in August! 

  • Aug 14  – The Gilbert Castallanos Quartet
  • Aug. 28 – The Anthony Wilson Quartet

Click here for tickets


Thursdays, July 11 – Aug 29: Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate at the Festival Grounds (Pageant of the Masters)

Well, I’m not sure you could come up with a better combo than THIS 4-square, and the jazz talent is truly impeccable. Kendall Jackson supplies the wine, XAN Confections provides the chocolate pairings, and some of the best artists in the country provide the backdrop on the Festival Grounds as Jazz greats take to the stage.

The concerts, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m, are free with Festival admission ($7 general admin, $4 students and seniors), and the Wine/Chocolate pairing experience is an additional $15. 

  • July 18: Rob Mullins
  • July 25: Eloise Laws
  • Aug. 1: Dannielle DeAndrea with The Evan Stone Trio
  • Aug 8: Latin Jazz Syndicate
  • Aug. 15: Nick Mancini
  • Aug. 22: Billy Valentine
  • Aug. 29: Greg Vail


Saturdays beginning July 20th : Jazz on the Green at the Festival Grounds (Pageant of the Masters)

Back by popular demand, these great Jazz on the Green events are free with your Festival admission ($10 general admin, $6 students and seniors). Each concert takes place Saturday afternoon, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Consider taking in a Summer Picnic Box  (see details here) from The Broadway by Amar Santana for a special treat.)

  • July 20: Gregg Karukas & Michael Paulo – Grammy-award winning keyboard artist with Michael, 20-year saxophonist.
  • July 27: Poncho Sanchez & his Latin Jazz Band – a three decades sensation in Latin and South American jazz.
  • Aug. 10: The Laws Family & Friends – Featuring published and singing sensations Ronnie, Eloise and Debra Laws.
  • Aug. 17: Eric Marienthal All Stars – Grammy-nominated Eric is one of the most recorded sax players in jazz, with well-knowns Brian Bromberg (bass) and Mitch Forman (keyboards) rounding out this trio.  

As always, please notify me of any additional jazz events you might know about in the Comments below!



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