La Jolla’s Baker-Baum Concert Hall to host first public 2021 indoor concert Friday

Camarada's April 16 Stevie Wonder tribute concert at the Baker-Baum Concert Hall will be in front of a reduced audience.
Flutist Beth Ross Buckley (seated at right) will lead Camarada’s April 16 Stevie Wonder tribute concert “In the Key of Life” at the La Jolla Music Society’s Baker-Baum Concert Hall in front of a reduced-capacity audience that will be masked and socially distanced. Other performers are (from left) pianist Danny Green, violinist Bridget Dolkas, guitarist Peter Sprague, singer Rebecca Jade, drummer Duncan Moore and bassist Gunnar Biggs.

Camarada’s previously announced audience-free April 24 livestreamed Stevie Wonder tribute concert has been moved to 7 p.m. April 16 with a limited number of in-person ticket holders.

It remains to be seen whether indoor and outdoor concerts in San Diego and throughout California will be able to resume without restrictions June 15, contingent on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations at the time and the amount of available vaccines.

Nevertheless, on Friday, April 16, the La Jolla Music Society’s Baker-Baum Concert Hall will host San Diego County’s first ticketed indoor concert with a live audience since the pandemic shuttered live events in March 2020.

Camarada’s previously announced audience-free April 24 livestreamed tribute concert “In the Key of Life — The Music of Stevie Wonder” has been moved to 7 p.m. Friday and will be open to a limited number of ticket holders to attend in person.

The concert, which will be filmed for streaming on the original April 24 date, is being underwritten by arts patrons Sheryl and Bob Scarano. The lineup of musicians includes singer Rebecca Jade, guitarist Peter Sprague and some of the area’s leading jazz, Latin and classical musicians.

“We’ve been working very closely with the La Jolla Music Society to ensure we’re following all the guidelines,” said Camarada co-founder and flutist Beth Ross Buckley. “The society has been super helpful, and we’ve had hours of meetings with them. We’re kind of like a guinea pig for them!”

Per county health guidelines, attendance for Friday’s concert will be limited to 15 percent of Baker-Baum’s usual 513-seat capacity, for a total of 76 people. That number includes the seven musicians, along with audio engineers, camera operators and other production staff members. The 60 concert attendees will have to sign a waiver before being admitted. They will be seated six feet apart in assigned seats on the venue’s main floor, where members of up to three households can be seated together at their request.

The concert-goers will enter and depart the intermission-free concert incrementally. They will remain masked until they have left the venue. And each guest will be asked several COVID-related health questions before being admitted, as was also the case at the La Jolla Music Society’s two courtyard chamber music concerts April 10 by pianist Inon Barnatan, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and violinist Philippe Quint.

“We could do Friday’s ‘In the Key of Life’ concert with 35 percent capacity if all the people attending showed [proof of] vaccination,” said Buckley, who co-founded the nonprofit Camarada 27 years ago. “But since we are so close to Friday’s concert, it’s easier to opt for 15 percent capacity.”

Camarada presents ‘In the Key of Life — The Music of Stevie Wonder’

When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, (live) and Saturday, April 24 (streaming)

Where: Baker-Baum Concert Hall, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla

Tickets: $150 (limited to 60 for live concert), $20 for April 24 stream

Phone: (619) 231-3702