Travel Alternatives

Sit and imagine for a moment the sounds of magical strings as they travel breathlessly over cool ocean breezes, delicately caressing the seaside town of Barcelona. A summer's evening spent sipping on the perfect glass of Sangria; the hearty laughter of friends filling the room, finally spilling out of each window and into the crisp night's air. Afterward, a leisurely stroll down Las Ramblas, the infamous pathway that leads through a main artery of nightlife. Wrap it all up in that lovely sound off in the distance: strong and clear yet delicate and sweet, the classical guitar.

Although a casual trip to Spain isn't really in the average person's budget, a short drive to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine most certainly is. The four virtuosi of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet can offer all the sweet, sweet joys and romance imaginable to re-create anyone's fantasy of being serenaded at the perch of their second-story window from the cobblestone streets below.

Why not spend the few remaining moments of summer drifting alongside to classical favorites from the likes of Bizet, Ravel and many more? A slew of these well-known and cherished musical works are cleverly interpreted through the sounds of classical guitar and generously sprinkled with all the flavors that Latin rhythm has to offer.

So as you sit there in traffic mulling over how your dream vacation to Spain fell through the cracks, grumble not—Sultry Spanish Nights could be the perfect ticket. Or, at least, just about as close to the real thing as anyone could hope for this side of the Atlantic.

Sultry Spanish Nights featuring the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095; . Sat., 8 p.m. $21-$101. All ages.

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