Click here for site NEWS.

Click here to read about the summer's Featured Artists!

Visit the site's Guests page.

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to learn more about jacks, or continue scrolling down the page.


     Welcome to for Summer 2011, the site's ninth summer. For those of you who are return visitors, welcome back! Welcome, too, to those of you who are here for the first time. This page is THE place to find important reminders and news about the site! This includes information about what's new during the summer and about the month-to-month changes taking place. Please check back periodically - you can get to this page directly from the Home Page and all the other major sections of the site. (Latest Update: September 25)

FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS: This site contains a monthly listing of free concerts and music-related events in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. There are two phases to the site: Fall/Winter/Spring, and the Summer version of the site which is here now. Most of the events listed are offered to the general public or residents of certain cities free of charge. Events in clubs, bookstores, cafes and other similar venues covered elsewhere generally are not included. You can start your visit to the concert listings by clicking on the "Free Concerts" link above. From there you will find directions on how to find concert information. Please take the time to look through some of the other areas of the site as well!

FOR EVERYONE: Well, this is it! The last update for the summer is now complete, with the exception of some materials on the essays page which will be available late Monday or early Tuesday morning. The Fall/Winter/Spring site (in its more compact three-page format) will return on October 1st. A bit of October information is included with the listings now, and full October listings should be available by the end of the day on October 1 at the latest. Click here to view a preview of the Fall home page! As a reminder, short descriptions of some of the sections of the summer site also are included below. If you haven't had a chance yet to visit some of the areas of the site, you still have a few days left to do so! It's been a pleasure seeing and speaking with some of you at the concerts this summer. Please come visit the site again soon -- October brings with it the start of the Fall festival season, the start of a new season of symphony performances, special events and much more.

•  Guests - Each year special guests/artists are invited to display works which either express or interpret the summer theme. A warm welcome and many thanks to all of this year's Guests: Guest Photographer, with works on the "All Cities by City" concert page. Guest Painter, with works on the "All Cities By Date" concert page. Guest Poet and Guest Printmaker, with works by starting on the "Guest Poet" page. You can read more about all of them on the site's "Guests" page.

•  Featured Artists - Featured Artists are musicians or concert series drawn from the summer concert performances. Two Featured Artists are named each month, one for the first half of the month and one for the second half. Click here to go to the "Featured Artists" page. Many thanks to all this year's Featured Artists as well!

•  "Concerts By Music" Page - Concert listings on the summer site have always been divided by city and date, for all cities combined and for each of the three areas covered (Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire). Over the years, some viewers have requested a page listing the concerts by type of music. Trying to separate the concerts by type of music (without adding a search function) has been problematic for several reasons. First, some cities and venues do not list information on the type of music for every concert, only the band/artist name. Second, some bands list the type of music they play in widely divergent categories (such as R&B/Dance/Latin Jazz), making it difficult to place them in any one format. Finally, some cities/venues with events featuring multiple bands do not list any of the groups individually, using phrases such as "live music all day long." Last year's test page will become a permanent addition to the site as of this year. To find information based on types of music being played at the concerts, go to Concert Listings by Type of Music. As always, any input visitors would like to provide as to how to improve the page would be appreciated.

•  Concert Listings and Updates - Regular weekly updates take place on Sunday nights (in the summer, weekly updates move from Thursday to Sunday night). For those of you who have been here before and are just checking in to see what's new, you can use the links below to go directly to your favorite concert page:

All Cities By City                                          All Cities By Date
Los Angeles County By City                     Los Angeles County By Date
Orange County By City                               Orange County By Date
Inland Empire By City                                 Inland Empire By Date

•  2011 Theme - "Game Changer"

     In what has become a commonly-used phrase today, something that is "game-changing" usually refers to that which completely changes the way things are done, thought about or made. By the very inclusion of the word "game," however, the phrase conjures up the image of a type of organized level of activity: a given arena or field of play, set players, given rules, etc. Also implicit in the phrase are elements of strategy, skill, luck or chance, and how they converge to alter what is known, accepted or expected.

     So what about games themselves? How it is that in this day and age, when products arrive on and disappear from store shelves in a matter of weeks or months, some of the games depicted on the site this summer have lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years? Some, like checkers, have survived in mostly the same format for ages, while others, like chess, have endured but have changed and been changed by the world around them. Religious leaders, for example, are considered to have been responsible for moving the Indian game of Chaturanga (considered to be the precursor to chess) in the direction toward the modern game. Since gambling was outlawed at the time in Hindu culture, players dropped the use of dice so as to take away the element of chance and increase the use of tactical skill.

     In many cases, games also have gone from being the amusements or leisure pursuits of the wealthy or ruling classes to the popular pasttimes of more mass-market audiences. And while in more ancient times games might have taken hundreds of years to travel along trade routes or from continent to continent, today's multi-player online games can connect competitors from virtually anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

     What makes these games - or any games, sport or non-sport - so enduring? In his 2009 book "Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker," author James McManus says:

" . . .at the higher symbolic level on which most modern humans also operate, cerebral games like chess, bridge, poker, Scrabble, and what we call trading or handicapping -- betting on the performance of horses, humans, corporations, or currencies -- mimic what scouts, hunting-party leaders, and tribal chiefs used to do and, nowadays, what captains, coaches, CEOs, generals and presidents do. While our physical and mental skill sets are both still evolving, our competitive urge probably feels much the same as it did twelve thousand years ago on the Colorado plateau or Kenyan savanna."

     You can find a bit more information about the games depicted on the pages of the site on each of the main section pages. You'll find the information at the bottom of the page, and a link to the information is posted in the side column under the news, featured artists and guest link pictures. Hope you enjoy Summer 2011!

ONE FINAL THOUGHT ON THE CONCERTS: All of the concerts in the listings are free to the general public, and there are some truly outstanding programs. However, many of the groups and organizations sponsoring these concerts incur substantial costs in bringing them to you year after year. This year several concert support organizations had to begin charging a ticket price for entry to the performances. Donations which allow them to continue their tradition of bringing quality music to the general public at no chargeare appreciated.

. . . AND ONE REQUEST FOR VISITORS: Survey forms are sometimes passed out at concerts/event venues, and the question "How did you hear about this event?" is often asked. If you are attending an event you found on this site and receive such a form, it would be much appreciated if you let them know that you found the information on Thank you!

When the One Great Scorer comes
to write against your name
He marks - not that you won or lost -
But how you played the game.

Grantland Rice

The Game of Jacks

    Jacks, or Jackstones, originally called Knucklebones, is an ancient game of dexterity and eye-hand coordination. The game generally is played by throwing one stone/bone or "jack" in the air and picking up others before it comes back down. The original game pieces were the knucklebones of sheep [technically "hucklebones," but more familiarly called "knucklebones"] referred to in ancient Greece as astragali. Invention of the game has been attributed by many to Palamedes who, according to Greek legend, taught the game to his Greek countrymen and warriors during the Trojan War. The game was also found among the Romans, and artwork excavated from the ruins of Pompeii depicts women/goddesses playing the game.

    Some evidence exists that the game actually originated in Asia, though similar games are found throughout the world - using everything from stones or pebbles to small sacks of rice or sand in addition to bones, and with or without an accompanying ball. Some think of knucklebones as a primitive version of dice. According to one Encyclopaedia Britannica entry, "the pastern-bone of a sheep, goat or calf has, beside two rounded ends upon which it cannot stand, two broad and two narrow sides, one of each pair being concave and one convex." In a derivative of the game involving chance, numeric values from 1 - 6 were attributed to the particular position in which the bones landed after being tossed.

    Modern jacks in Europe and America were commonly made of metal and the game played with a ball, as depicted in the photograph toward the top of the page. Today it is more common to find the pieces made of polyurethane or plastic.

Reference Sources:

Botermans, Jack, Burrett, Tony, Van Delft, Pieter and Van Splunteren, Carla, The World of Games: Their Origins and History, How to Play Them and How to Make Them. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1989.
Craig, Steve. Sports and Games of the Ancients, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1953 Edition.
Wilkins, Sally. Sports and Games of Medieval Cultures, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002.

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