Silver Lake is no Paris but just for a minute on Friday The Singer and The Songwriter nearly had me convinced otherwise. Garbage trucks huffing along Sunset be damned. The careening jingles of runaway grocery carts on Maltman? Whatever. Sunset Triangle Plaza’s hosting of the 2nd Annual Make Music LA event was a small enclave of acoustic folk and jazz to bring anyone’s busy work week to a deliriously adorable end.
With stages set up at either end of the park, cafe goers basked in the waning sun, picnickers murmured on the grass, and toddlers danced jubilantly on everyone’s favorite polka dot dance floor – all were serenaded by the lineup of troubadour acts who performed throughout the afternoon and evening. The event was simple, stages were delineated plainly by rugs or something of the sort – so the acoustics were wholly up to the band. If you couldn’t perform at an audible level in this truly stripped down arena, then the performance was lost altogether. The quaint and affable duo The Singer and the Songwriter delighted with their poppy riff on French Jazz. The combo of Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran drew quite the crowd at the east end on the Maltman Stage.
Tran’s vibrant rhythm guitar swung faster than Amanda Byne’s changing moods and his colorful playing style paired wonderfully with the dramatic and soulful voice of his partner in crime. It was clear that underneath Garcia’s cafe-jazz voice on Friday lay a rich, billowing and powerful vocal onslaught. This duo’s set of original material did clearly mine the annals of Gypsy Jazz (as well as ‘60s folk) for inspiration. However, The Singer and The Songwriter are a Los Angeles original.
And on this day that was the summer solstice, the duo brought their set to a close with the apropos “Summer Song”, a bright, frantically-tempoed number whose wistful lyrics eagerly invited in that dizzying potion known as summer love.
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Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries.