Keeping cool: Pasadena Jazz Festival swings into the Arboretum

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Bring chairs, blankets and fellow music enthusiasts to the hottest coolest jazz extravaganza in the San Gabriel Valley.
This weekend, the 14th redwhite+bluezz Pasadena Jazz Festival will set up shop for a two-day outdoor concert at the scenic Arboretum.
Over the years, the festival has boasted more than 50 performances and 275,000 festival-goers, and this year seems no different.
Expect jazz with a twist — reinventing the tradition with a little bit of funk, blues, rock and more.
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. (626) 304-0333, coolpasadena.com

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Drumroll, please: Carmelite nuns to hold first-ever public concert, live and ‘unplugged’ in Duarte

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It wouldn’t be fair to compare “The Carmelite Sisters in Concert: Unplugged” to the movie “Sister Act” because Whoopi Goldberg and her merry band of nuns have nothing on this group of devoted Southland singers.
Members of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles — for whom music is intricately woven in their daily lives inside the convent — will perform for the public for the first time on Feb. 28 at the Madonna Hall Community Center in Duarte.
Performers will range from nuns who took their vows decades ago to novices and candidates still in the process of discerning a religious life. They come from the different Carmelite facilities in Southern California, including the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Alhambra.
Some of the sisters double up as singers and musicians. They will play guitar, bass, flute, violin and drums to accompany some of the more lighthearted pieces, including “Prince of Peace,” which will start with a drum solo by one of the nuns.
“We hear each other every day, but coming together like this is just so beautiful,” said Sister Scholastica, the concert’s stage manager and the Alhambra group’s choir director.
Sister Scholastica described the concert line-up as a little mix of everything — including an original composition by one of the Carmelite nuns, hymns and Gregorian chants. The sisters’ first song will be the Solemn Salve, which they typically chant during morning prayers at the break of dawn.
“We feel that the world today needs God’s peace,” Sister Timothy Marie said. “This is our small way of bringing light in the darkness.”
$35 donation. Feb. 28, 7 p.m. Madonna Hall, 819 Buena Vista St., Duarte. 626-289-1353, ext. 246