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SB Botanic Garden’s Outdoor “Summer Serenade Series” Opens
July 14 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm$25
The Summer Serenade Series, three evenings of music held outdoors at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, opens with “The Nature of Music” on Friday, July 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
This concert presents a mix of music curated by local composer Cody Westheimer and a new work by his wife, composer Julia Newmann – both performed by a string quartet of players from the Santa Barbara Symphony. Westheimer also performs works on a Shakuhachi Japanese flute. Two later concerts, held on Friday, July 28 and August 11, feature musical showcases curated by Galavant.
“Since moving back to my natural habitat of Santa Barbara three years ago, I’ve doubled down on my life goal of using my passion for music to help convey our connection to nature,” said Westheimer. “This concert is another wonderful opportunity in that vein.”
The Friday night concerts are held at the Garden’s Pritzlaff Conservation Center, with the seating outside on the Island View lawn, which features panoramic views of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean, and Channel Islands. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and picnics to these informal concerts. Leashed dogs are also – and always – allowed at the Garden.
Tickets for each show are available online at $25 for adults, and $10 for youth (3-12 years old). To purchase tickets, visit https://sbbotanicgarden.org/calendar.
About July 14 Concert – The Nature of Music
A string quartet from the Santa Barbara Symphony plays pieces by Westheimer including “Foothills Forever,” which he wrote in 2021 to help raise funds to save the San Marcos Foothills. His 2019 work “An Island Reveals” is an adaptation of a string orchestra piece he wrote on his four-day trek on Catalina Island and is accompanied by poetry from David Starkey, former poet laureate of Santa Barbara.
The concert opens with Westheimer performing a piece of sacred flute music “Honkyoku,” on Shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute. The instrument is also featured in his “Waves,” which has been rearranged for Shakuhachi and strings.
Two debuts are presented, including Westheimer’s Photosynthesis, a new electro-acoustic piece created as part of a larger longform collaboration with the Garden. Julia Newmann, an award-winning composer and orchestrator, and Westheimer’s spouse, premieres a two-movement piece for string quartet.
Movements from the Ravel and Debussy String Quartets are also performed.
About July 28 and August 11 Concerts
The concerts held on Friday, July 28 and Friday, August 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each feature a musical showcase curated by Galavant. The programs may include singer-songwriters, duos, and small ensembles performing a variety of styles, such as folk, country, jazz, pop, and more.
These acoustic concerts are particularly intimate as the singers and instruments are not amplified in accordance with the Garden’s Conditional Use Permit. Galavant is a monthly outdoor popup of live music and other mediums of art held throughout Santa Barbara.