Los Gatos Weekly Times
Town brings back Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz
Summer Promenades return for second year of street festivals
Summer is right around the corner, and Los Gatos is bringing back two popular concert series for the first time since the pandemic began.
Jazz on the Plazz and Music in the Park are back live and in person this year after a two-year hiatus, during which time some concerts were livestreamed. Promenades, street festivals created by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce to fill the void during the pandemic, are being added to the mix this summer.
“Everyone's invited to enjoy the sounds of summer in Los Gatos,” Chamber executive director Catherine Somers said. “I love the word `sounds' because it sort of captures even people talking and laughing and sitting out in the open air.”
The pandemic paused most of the town's summer events for the last two years, and organizers said they are excited to see the community come together again for the concert series and other events.
Somers said there will be other events mixed in throughout the summer season, including Fourth of July and Labor Day celebrations.
“What's really cool about this year is the promenades start right when school ends and go until the week before school ramps up again and gets started, and will overlap with Jazz on the Plazz,” Somers said. “And then we'll stop, and that's when Music in the Park takes off and keeps going. So there'll be something every week in the summer.”
The streets will close around 3:30 p.m. every Thursday for the Summer Promenades, which is a little later than last year, Somers said.
Live music starts at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Bachman and North Santa Cruz avenues, and at 6:30 p.m. at Main Street and North Santa Cruz Avenue. Performers will be playing throughout the evening at Grays Lane and The Palms as well.
The promenades will also feature street performers, vintage cars, children's activities and, new this year, a biergarten.
“We wanted to introduce those this year because we wanted to give restaurants that aren't on North Santa Cruz the opportunity to come in and set up a little party place, too. It will definitely add a cool element to it,” Somers said.
The Chamber of Commerce secured more than $100,000 from Town Council, which had leftover American Rescue Plan Funding, earlier this year to put on the Summer Promenades.
Neal Turley, organizer of Music in the Park, said this year he's excited to bring a wide range of musicians and bands to Los Gatos.
“I feel like one of the underlying things of the lockdown, the shutdown, is kind of losing live music,” Turley said. “I think the level of quality in the production is going to be fantastic, and we're going to make it smooth and simple for everybody.”
While the final set list is still in the works, Turley aims to bring in everything from tribute bands and original artists to zydeco, reggae and Latin funk acts.
One of the biggest challenges for putting on Music in the Park this year is going to be securing sponsors.
“Because of its nature, everything has to be paid for by sponsors,” Turley said, “which is kind of another big challenge with the pandemic, because after the past two years a lot of those people that were in that position are no longer in that position.”
Jazz on the Plazz, put on by Los Gatos Music and Arts, is planning its shows for the summer season and will announce its line up and theme soon. The concerts are set to begin this June and run through the summer.
DATES: Thursdays, June 16 — Aug. 4 except June 30. TIME: Street closes by 4 p.m., music starts at 5:30 p.m.
Los Gatos, from Bachman to Main Street along North Santa Cruz Avenue.
Jazz on the Plazz
DATES: Wednesdays starting June 29
TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Los Gatos
Town Plaza, Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue
Music in the Park
DATES: Sundays, July 17 — Sept 4
TIME: 5-7 p.m.
LOCATION: Los Gatos Civic Center lawn, 110 E. Main St.