Hitting the high notes with concerts in the Jewel


Summertime in the Jewel is all about entertainment, and for those musically inclined, there are venues large and small offering every style of music from country-western to classical.

Between now and Labor Day, six local establishments - Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla Concerts By The Sea, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, Clay’s La Jolla at Hotel La Jolla At The Shores and La Jolla Brew House - will host live music.

For the second consecutive year, Birch Aquarium at Scripps at 2300 Expedition Way is hosting its seaside summer concert series titled “Green Flash,” named for the storied optical effect, monthly at the aquarium’s outdoor Preuss Tide Pool Plaza, which can accommodate large crowds overlooking the ocean.

“We have one of the best views in all of La Jolla,” said Nigella Hilgarth, the aquarium’s executive director. “We wanted to share it. It was also a wonderful way to bring the public back in to have some really great entertainment.”

For more information about the Green Flash concert series, visit

The ever-popular and free La Jolla Concerts by the Sea summer concert series, now in its 24th season, is hosting a plethora of local musical talent embracing all genres on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. until Sept. 2 at Scripps Park.

The long-running concert series is free because it’s now operated by a local non-profit corporation. “It’s just something for the community to present music to the community: That remains the purpose today,” said Shirleymae Davis, president of La Jolla Concerts By The Sea board.

Davis added the concert series is educational as well as entertaining, allowing different musical styles, including country-western for the first time this year.

Hot dogs, sodas, popcorn and ice cream are sold at Scripps Park during concerts. There’s also a raffle with prizes donated by Village merchants, with all proceeds going to produce the concerts.

“When you look out over that sea of faces, people up on our dance floor or dancing on the grass around it just having a wonderful time,” said Davis, “that’s what keeps us doing this year after year.”

For more information visit

Symphony at Salk, a premier cultural event in San Diego that benefits scientific research at the world-renowned Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, will be held this year on Saturday, Aug. 25. This year’s featured artist is Hershey Felder, noted playwright and composer, with guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, who will lead the San Diego Symphony for the third year in a row.

Symphony at Salk is held on the Theodore Gildred Court, which is framed on two sides by the iconic working laboratories designed by world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn and highlighted by the majestic view of the Pacific Ocean. Event festivities include Institute tours at 5:15 and 5:45 p.m.; gourmet box suppers at 6 p.m.; and a musical program at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds directly benefit the groundbreaking biological research at the Institute and support community programs, such as the Salk Mobile Science Lab and the High School Science Day.

Mel Yoakum, Salk Symphony’s creative director, said the event is true to founder Jonas Salk’s vision.

“Jonas Salk said the Institute was, ‘A work of art to serve the work of science,’ ” said Yoakum. “When Jonas founded the Institution, his concept was the merging of science and humanities. This is the opportunity for humanities to play its role, as Jonas would have wanted.”

For more information visit

Jazz returns to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room of the Athenaeum for the library’s annual Farrell Family Jazz Series with the Steve Wilson Quarter performing Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library will also celebrate its ninth Summer Festival on Sundays, July 15-29, with pianist Gustavo Romero exploring the lush, introspective music of Johannes Brahms.

Erika Torri, the Athenaeum’s executive director, said, since 1989, that the Athenaeum has had four jazz concerts per year at its facility bringing in internationally known jazz musicians. “We present around 70 concerts a year at different venues, offering everything from chamber concerts to contemporary music and jazz,” said Torri.

If your tastes run more toward the rhyme and less toward the sublime, then La Jolla Brew House at 7536 Fay Ave. may be the summer music venue for you. Brew House concert offerings include Justin Young, on Thursday, July 22 at 8 p.m.; and Robin Henkel, from the primitive blues of the Mississippi Delta to the urban sound of Chicago, Sunday, July 22 at 6 p.m.

“The Brew House has done 30 concerts in three years trying to beef up their music offerings,” said Dave Ish, Brew House concert producer. “What we’ve been doing is bringing in talent, both local and people that have a following around here. It’s blues, folk, rock, some beach-type stuff, Hawaiian. It’s more unplugged or acoustic. We’re not just appealing to younger people but appealing to more of the boomers.”

Tickets for concerts only at the Brew House are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

For more information call (858) 456-6279.

Clay’s La Jolla bistro on the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla At The Shores at 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, features live musical jazz entertainment Tuesdays through Sundays. Executive chef Clay Bordan, for whom the restaurant is named, said its penthouse location is perfect for a night spot. “What we wanted to do is make it a place geared for the locals providing entertainment,” Bordan said. “We’re a destination.”

Music performed at Clay’s runs the gamut from Brazilian jazz to flamenco to guitar and progressive jazz.

Not only does Clay’s have a little bit of everything in music, most everyone comes in to listen to it. “We get an eclectic mix,” said Bordan, “people in their 20s to their 70s. We’re not geared toward the twentysomethings, and we’re not geared toward the older people. We just want to be a fun place where everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.”

A schedule of upcoming artists is available at

Tickets, dates, shows and more

  • Concerts by the Sea at Scripps Park runs from Sunday, July 15 through Sunday, September 2. For a list of times, artists and ticket prices visit
  • Athenaeum Summer Festival shows every Sunday from July 15 through July 29 at 4 p.m. in the Neurosciences Institute. Ticket prices vary according to event. Contact the Athenauem at (858) 454-5872 for full details or visit
  • The series Farrell Family Jazz at the Athenaeum features rare San Diego appearances by internationally acclaimed jazz artists, as well as special projects by San Diego-based performers. Individual tickets are $18 for members or $23 for non-members.
  • The Birch Aquarium Green Flash Summer Concert Series begins Wednesday, July 18 through Wednesday, Sep. 19 with performances starting at sunset. Tickets are $20 per concert to the public and are $25 for walk-in admission. Call (858) 534-4109 or visit