Grammy-winning artist and former guitarist for Paul McCartney Laurence Juber is stepping onto the stage at Grace First Presbyterian Church for a live-streamed concert in October.
This is the fifth time Juber has played at the church, located on the point of Studebaker Road and North Los Coyotes Diagonal — but the first time it won't be in front of an audience.
"We were forced to cancel our last three concerts and the summer jazz concert (due to the coronavirus)," Stan DeWitt, Minister of Music, said. "I was originally hoping to come back to doing live and in-person concerts, but that didn’t happen.
"Rather than cancel the entire season, I started looking for ways to do something with live streaming, and Laurence was on board with it."
The church hosts a number of concerts every year with their music series called Music at the Point. Local and traveling performers have entertained on the church stage for the last 15 years, and while 2020 has proved unusual, the show must go on, DeWitt said.
"He’s a nice guy, he’s a fun performer and he’s British, so he has a reserved look to him," DeWitt added. "But when he plays — it’s just amazing to watch him play."
People can purchase tickets for $25 at crowdcast.io/e/laurence-juber-returns/register. That's also where the show will be broadcasted.
In November, the concert series will return with Ted Russel Kamp, bassist for singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings. More concerts are lined up for the next few months and will be announced on the church's website.
"The concerts are community events, they're not religious gatherings," DeWitt said, adding that the goal is to bring Long Beach together, regardless of religion. "It started out as a grant to use to bring people together and we've been hosting them year after year."
In addition to Music at the Point, the church has also organized live sermons, Bible studies, Sunday school and worship services over Zoom. Participation is open to the public for free. A calendar of events and list of available online groups to participate in is at gracefirst.org.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to see Laurence Juber perform live at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Grace First Presbyterian Church, go to crowdcast.io/e/laurence-juber-returns/register.
For information about the church, including sermon times and meetings, go to gracefirst.org.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.