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Featured Image: The Gumbo Brothers, pictured here performing New Orleans Jazz at RH Dana Elementary on April 1, is scheduled to perform July 8 at the Ocean Institute as part of a new Summer Jams series Music Preserves Foundation is launching. Photo: Breeana Greenberg

By Breeana Greenberg

A new series titled Summer Jams will bring American Roots music to life with live music and discussions with the bands. For two Friday evenings in July, Music Preserves Foundation and the Ocean Institute will launch the series with performances by The Gumbo Brothers and Moonsville Collective.

Music Preserves, a nonprofit that aims to share an appreciation for various musical genres and the cultures from which they originate, will partner with fellow nonprofit Ocean Institute for the series, while the City of Dana Point, Ohana Festival and Station Craft Brewery + Kitchen are listed as sponsors.

“This is our inaugural event or series,” Music Preserves Co-Founder Anthony Small said. “We hope to build on that. We hope that Summer Jams becomes as synonymous with Dana Point music as the concerts in the park, as Ohana, as the Doheny Blues Festival, with all of their years in the community, the Dana Point Symphony.”

Proceeds from the series will support both nonprofit organizations.

While Music Preserves has collaborated with the Ocean Institute during its Tall Ships Festival, with the foundation curating music for the maritime event, this is the first co-branded, collaborative event between the two nonprofits, Music Preserves Co-Founder Patti Compton explained.

The concerts will take place at the Ocean Institute at the Samueli Conference Center and Courtyard.

Each performance will include a pre-concert discussion about the cultural history of each genre with the musicians.

“We’re going to be interviewing the artists beforehand, talking about the history of that genre of music,” Compton said. “There’s going to be a two-hour performance by the musicians. It’s going to be a very fun way to get together this summer and support several nonprofits in the community.”

Ocean Institute CEO and President Dr. Wendy Marshall agreed, adding, in a prepared statement, that the Summer Jams series is “an opportunity to combine our missions and provide education and enrichment for our community.”

For the performances, Music Preserves selected two musical genres that it has not touched on much before: New Orleans Jazz and American Bluegrass.

“We’ve already done a little bit of West Coast Blues, we’ve already done a little bit of ska, so we were looking for genres that we hadn’t already done at the Ocean Institute,” Compton said.

The Gumbo Brothers will perform New Orleans Jazz music from 6-9 p.m. on July 8.

“New Orleans Jazz is truly America’s music,” Devon Taylor of The Gumbo Brothers said in a statement. “We love to share our New Orleans music with the world and throw in a little Los Angeles lagniappe.”

“We appreciate what Music Preserves does to respect and share the history of American music, because it can make you see the world differently and expand your horizons,” Taylor continued.

Moonsville Collective, a six-piece band, will perform American Bluegrass from 6-9 p.m. on July 22.

“Bluegrass, that’s a different genre that we haven’t really touched on at Music Preserves quite yet, but it’s rich culturally, and it’s important to the lineage of American music,” Compton said.

Compton and Small hope that concertgoers walk away with a sense of community and cultural understanding.

“That’s the point of what we do,” Compton said. “This music is fun, yeah, this is going to be a great time, a great party, but also, let’s talk about why this music is really important to American history, why this music is culturally relevant.”

The pre-concert discussions will be hosted by Music Preserves and will give concertgoers the opportunity to learn how New Orleans Jazz and American Bluegrass have influenced music today.

“Most musicians really understand the well they’re drawing from,” Compton said. “I’ve heard many musicians when I interviewed them, talk about the well drawing from this deep well of American roots music, and Americana and bluegrass is very traditional lead into what we would know as country music, and influence multiple genres of music.”

Tickets are $25 each night and food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from Station Craft. Tickets are available for purchase at the Ocean Institute’s website.

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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