Friday night jazz in Marin Country Mart creates a relaxing environment for all ages

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Audience members reflect on their experience at Jazz Night in the Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing.

At six o’clock on a warm and inviting Friday night in Larkspur Landing, Marin County Mart’s weekly jazz music fills the outdoor mall, attracting families and elderly people with a free live performance.

The Stanford Barnett Trio played a series of harmonious songs that accompanied the family-friendly scenery. There were four musicians playing bass, guitar, drums and saxophone, creating a lively vibe within the plaza and attracting local viewers.

The musicians set up outside between the Marin Brewing Company and the bookstore, Diesel. Children added to the lighthearted mood, playing behind the performers on the tree trunk structure and watching the turtles inside the pond. In the center of the mall, old folks, couples, and families enjoyed the performance while eating.  

“[The jazz music] is a nice ambient background for a family and community activity here at the Marin Country Mart,” said Jill Nickels, who attended the event. “It is something a lot of people can relate to. It’s not generational— there’s little kids and adults can bring their families. It’s a good music venue. I’d like to see this as a weekly staple.”

Nickels said that the music helped create a relaxing environment for people of all ages.  She commutes to San Francisco, and said that having a venue like this to go to after a long week at work is the perfect way to finish her evening.  

Some elderly viewers attend the event nearly every week to hear the variety of bands. According to Larry, an older man who comes regularly to hear the music, the quality of the performances varies by week.

“Some of them have been very good and some have been excellent. Nobody has ever not been entertaining. I’d say this one is midrange,” Larry said.  

He believes that adding a couple more instruments to the jazz combo, like what he has seen in the past, could help make the music sound more complete— a view common among listeners. Nickels, on the other hand, was not only impressed with the atmosphere but with the quality of the music.

“It’s ambient music as well as something one could focus on, so it’s good,” Nickels said. Friday Night Jazz has continued to evolve over the years. According to a Larkspur local who has been coming to the Friday music for around 30 years, the music genre has always been a mix of rock, blues, or jazz.  

A bassist in the band, Julian Garfolo, said that the event has developed more over the years and has strengthened a community environment.

“We have performed here one time before and we noticed it has a great collective source of people coming through here,” Garfolo said. “I remember coming here as a kid and it [was] cool a long time ago, but now they are bringing it all back.  It’s one of the best [venues] in Marin and what you see is a lot of crossover with San Francisco. It’s revitalizing Marin. It keeps on building.”