Five great free outdoor concert series around L.A.
Great performances in Southern California
California Plaza. At the Watercourt on Grand Avenue, Grand Performances hosts musicians from around the world (look for Ladysmith Black Mambazo this summer). Early birds get the chairs, but many regulars prefer to gyrate through the shows. Jun 24-Oct 8. 350 Grand Ave.; www.grandperformances.org or 213/687-2159.
LACMA. The Friday Night Jazz series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is now in its 14th year. Great music; food and drink can be had at the complex’s Pentimento Restaurant ($$) and the Plaza Cafe ($). 5:30 p.m. Apr 1-mid-Dec. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; www.lacma.org or 323/857-6000.
Pershing Square. Daytime jazz, rock, and folk at the Lunchtime Summer Concert Series, plus Salsa Sundays. Easy parking ($5) in a lot located beneath the square. Lunchtime concerts noon-2 Tue and Thu (salsa concerts third Sun of each month) Jun 2-Sep 29. 532 S. Olive Ave.; www.laparks.org/dos.htm or 213/847-4970.
Santa Monica Pier. The Twilight Dance Series is pure magic: At dusk, hear music from world and jazz to rock and hip-hop on the pier. Bring a sweater–it gets cool here once the sun goes down. 7:30 p.m. Thu Jun 30-Sep 1. Colorado Ave. at Ocean Ave.; www.twilightdance.org or 310/458-8900.
Skirball Cultural Center. The Sunset Concerts series ranges the globe, starting with the Afro-Cuban sounds of Jane Bunnett and ending with Jerusalem-born singer Yasmin Levy. 8 p.m. Thu Jul 21-Aug 25; $5 parking. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.; www.skirball.org or 310/440-4500.