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Jazzed

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Angelenos in search of intelligent entertainment needn't look any further than LACMA's Friday night jazz series. Accessible, low-key and free, it is possibly one of L.A.'s best kept secrets (until now).

Upon entering the courtyard, we could already feel our blood pressure drop. The smooth music provided an interesting contrast to the city and museum architecture. The audience was decidedly mixed, consisting of a post-work cocktails crowd, families and locals from Park La Brea. Surprisingly, everyone mixed well. Perhaps it was due to the wine, beer and spirits on-hand. Or maybe we can attribute it to the relaxed nature of jazz music itself... Either way, this was the perfect elixir for a stressful week.

One bit of advice, come early if you want a good seat. We arrived a couple minutes late. By 6 o'clock, the prime sections were occupied. But the appreciative (read: quiet) crowd and strategically placed speakers guaranteed a good time, regardless of your seat. Although food kiosks and an upscale restaurant surround the venue, LAist suggests you bring your own snack and splurge on the refreshments instead.

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Friday night concertgoers were treated to the seasoned sounds of Los Angeles-based composer and pianist Alan Pasqua. He fronted the Alan Pasqua Jazz Collective. A USC professor and one of the original members of the 80s band Giant, Pasqua's resume is long and diverse. The ensemble played songs from his 2005 release, "My New Old Friend" as well as a few favorites from his back catalogue.

Both casual and diehard music aficionados will find something to love about LACMA's jazz series. It's a risk-free way to sample new music, mingle and detox. There are no tickets to buy. Simply show up at 5:30, find a good seat, and drink in the music... perhaps a good cabernet, if you're so inclined.

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We know it's early to be thinking about Friday already, but make room in your calendar. You won't regret it.

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Friday Night Jazz
LACMA, Los Angeles Times Central Court
Fridays 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Admission is free
The Tomas Janzon Quartet is performing this Friday, August 12.