A Hermosa Beach resident and a group of local musicians are hoping to bring live music to outdoor spaces in Hermosa Beach in the same way Howard Rumsey brought jazz to the Lighthouse.
The Hermosa Harmony Project, the group's working title, was conceived by resident Adam Malovani.
When Malovani heard the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce had a permit for live music at its annual Holiday Stroll, but didn't have the funds to pay musicians, he launched into action.
Just days after he posted the fundraiser on Facebook, he raised more than $2,500.
So now, the funds will pay for live, outdoor music at the inaugural Java Man Jam on Saturday, Nov. 23 as a backdrop to the chamber's Holiday Stroll.
“Our longterm hope is to start a fund and a community group of volunteers to select and pay musicians to perform in outdoor, public spaces in Hermosa,” Malovani said.
But the first step, Malovani said, was to gather local talent.
The first musician he contacted was Jack Tracy, a ukulele player who has performed regularly in the South Bay since 2012.
“I'm excited to bring in some of my friends to play and to be involved with these great musicians,” said Tracy, who will be the event’s emcee. “I've known them for a long time, but we haven't had a chance to play together.”
A number of other musicians soon came on board including Mike Longacre, who opened Mike’s Guitar Parlor more than five years ago on Pier Avenue, a few steps away from Java Man. In a small community like Hermosa Beach, Longacre said it was an opportunity to create something new.
“I don't think it's really a jam as much as like, 'Hey guys, live music makes a difference and we're going to show you that,’” Longacre said.
Barclay Roach, also performing, is another advocate for live music in Hermosa Beach. He hosts a weekly South Bay Jam at The Standing Room, as well as an open mic at Patrick Malloy's, which is packed with musicians every week.
"All the musicians support one another, it's not about the competition, if it is, it's a friendly competition that helps you become a better player or try harder," said Roach, who added it's rewarding to watch something like South Bay Jam grow.
"Knowing he (Malovani) wants to do this year in year out is awesome,” Roach said.
Singer/songwriter Jeff Baker is a newcomer, moving to Hermosa Beach in 2016. He knew one person when he moved to the beach city, but now, thanks to spots such as Mike’s Guitar Parlor, Java Man and Uncorked, he feels as if he knows everyone in town.
Baker said he wanted to be part of something at its earliest stages of development, saying he hoped the event could grow Hermosa Beach into "something like a mini-Austin.”
“It’s part of growing a vision to make it a place where people regionally, or maybe even nationally, want to come here because they heard it's this funky beach town with a vibrant music scene,” Baker said. “I would love to say I was a part of that a decade from now."
Malovani said another one of the group's goals is to make the permit process simpler and less expensive. He said it costs approximately $1,300 to get the proper permits and insurance and it takes months to get approval from the city.
“It shouldn’t be this difficult,” Malovani said.
Malovani has been in contact with business owners, city officials and the chamber.
“There are different groups in town who are trying to do good for the business community," Malovani said. "But we don't always work together as a community as well as we could I think.”
“So many people are active on Facebook, commenting, complaining and criticizing, but one of the great things about Hermosa Beach being such a small town, if you want to do something, you can just do it,” Malovani said. “It's not always that easy, but I think people kind of don't do that enough.”
Malovani said that if they raise more money, it will be used to pay musicians for future live music in open spaces in Hermosa Beach. They are targeting all genres of music for all ages.
“Musicians are (already) contacting me saying they want to participate (in the next event),” Malovani said.
Performing on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the first Holiday Java Man Jam are:
Jack Tracy & Friends – 11 a.m. to noon
Mike Longacre & Jeff Baker – noon to 1 p.m.
Adam Lawson & Friends – 1 to 2 p.m.
Andy & Renee – 2 to 3 p.m.
Nate LaPointe, Jay Constable & Friends – 3 to 4 p.m.
Barclay Roach & Friends, 4 to 5 p.m.