Meet Jahja Ling: San Diego’s Guide to the Good Stuff for Music


San Diego is fortunate to have world-class conductor Jahja Ling leading the San Diego Symphony. But even after 10 years as the symphony’s music director, Jahja still finds his inspiration in the city itself.

Jahja Ling conducts the San Diego Symphony

Jahja Ling conducts the San Diego Symphony

“We have great music, great culture and museums, the beautiful ocean and beaches,” Jahja says. “It’s like an orchestra! Many different pieces that are good together.” So what spots most inspire this music legend? Check out some of Jahja’s favorite San Diego hangouts.

Best Spots from a Pre-Symphony Meal

Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, the San Diego Symphony is in a prime location for pre-show dining. Here are a few of Jahja’s favorites that can be found just minutes from the symphony’s front door.

  • Bertrand at Mister A’s: With plenty of windows all along this 12th floor restaurant and a location perfectly situated atop a hill in downtown, Mister A’s gives you a view of the entire city along with exceptional fine dining.
  • Cucina Urbana: For high quality food with a cozy, neighborhood restaurant vibe, the creative Italian fare at Cucina Urbana is popular with many locals.
  • Downtown San Diego has restaurants featuring just about every type of cuisine. Jahja loves pho, Mexican, and Spanish tapas. Try Cafe Sevilla for a variety of tapas and sangria during a lively happy hour.

Jahja Ling’s Favorite Non-Symphonic Activities

Jahja knows that even the most ardent symphony lover visiting San Diego won’t spend his or her entire trip in Copley Symphony Hall, so why not get out and try a few other Jahja-approved San Diego activities!

  • The Old Globe: This famous theater company offers a popular summer Shakespeare Festival, in addition to many other productions year-round.
  • La Jolla Playhouse: Many New York theater goers never know that their favorite shows like Jersey Boys and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying began at this San Diego theater! You may be seeing the next Broadway hit before anyone else when you visit the La Jolla Playhouse.
  • Balboa Park’s museums: Jahja loves the variety of museums in Balboa Park. From contemporary art to a museum devoted to automobiles, there is something for everyone.

Ever wonder what San Diego would sound like if it were a musical instrument? Find out the answer and more from Jahja Ling at


Sound of Summer: 2013 San Diego Concerts by the Water

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Concert Series

The sound of San Diego summer arrives with the return of 3 popular outdoor concert series. Don’t miss out on the experience of listening to your favorite bands combined with ocean views and a blanket of San Diego stars during these summer concerts.

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay host a large selection of great shows throughout the summer.

The popular summer concert venue returns with a diverse line up starting on May 26, 2013 with Juanes – Loud and Unplugged Tour. With a different headliner almost every night, don’t miss out on classic act Air Supply and newcomer favorite Carly Rae Jepsen, in this star-packed season, running through the summer months and into the fall.

Where: Humphreys Concerts by the Bay – 2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
> Browse the 2013 Humphreys Concerts by the Bay Schedule

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops pairs music with the beautiful downtown skyline.

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops pairs music with the beautiful downtown skyline.

The Ashford University Summer Pops starts up again on June 27, 2013 with KC and the Sunshine Band at the 6th annual Tux ‘N Tennies Summer Bash kick-off concert. The season continues through Labor Day and features the San Diego Symphony and some of today and yesterday’s greatest pop acts. This year, performers include En Vogue, Amy Grant, Michael Bolton, Ozomatli, Nathan Pacheco, Debbie Gibson, Burt Bacharach and more.

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park South – 206 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
> Browse the 2013 San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Schedule

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Green Flash Concert Series

Green Flash Concert Series

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps holds the Green Flash Summer Concert Series atop the cliffs of La Jolla.

Starting May 15, 2013, pair live music with panoramic ocean views atop the cliffs of La Jolla on Birch Aquarium’s outdoor Tide-Pool Plaza. Enjoy music, drinks and food in one of San Diego’s most beautiful settings knowing you are benefiting a good cause. Proceeds from the concert series benefit exhibits and educational programming at Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92093
> Browse the 2013 Green Flash Concert Series Schedule

> Listen to even more live concerts in San Diego

Which concerts will you be seeing this summer?


29 Reasons to Listen Live in San Diego

Take a musical leap! Famed Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, turns 55-leap-years-young today! And if Google is celebrating a musical leap day, who are we to argue? In no particular order, here are 29 reasons to listen live in San Diego.

  1. The Belly Up Tavern– voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” even before it was made famous by a visit from Prince Harry of Wales
  2. Celebrating singer-songwriter Jim Croce with great food, wine and nightly live music at Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar. Here, here!
  3. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at 4th and B on March 30, 2012
  4. All-you-can-eat Southern inspired buffet and gospel performances at the House of Blue’s World Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Hallelujah!
  5. Donning a fedora and pretending you are a part of the Rat Pack at Anthology supper club.
  6. Emerging art and pop culture collide at The Loft: UCSD, with Jenny Owen Youngs on March 2, 2012.
  7. The Casbah’s guaranteed cool factor- whatever you decide to see.
  8. DJ Scooter “playing all the coolest s*%t you’ve never heard of” at Analog Bar every Tuesday at 9 pm.
  9. A place that takes jazz seriously, Dizzy’s: where music matters most.
  10. MIXTAPE– the Greatest Hits of the 80s, at the Horton Grand Theatre, extended through April 29, 2012.
  11. Seeing a concert at Humphrey’s by the Bay, whether you buy a ticket, or pull up a boat. 😉
  12. San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor Summer Pops concert series performed on San Diego Bay.
  13. Flamenco fever at Café Sevilla with rumba guitarist Joef of the Gypsy kings family.
  14. Listening FREE to music ranging from folk to rockabilly at Adam’s Avenue Unplugged, April 21-22, 2012.
  15. Music worth seeing at San Diego Opera with Don Pasquale, March 10-18, 2012.
  16. Catching home grown talent with the potential for national greatness:  The Silent Comedy, Cuckoo Chaos, Hyena perform regularly around town.
  17. Treating club music as an art and a DJ as a god, at Voyeur, voted #68 of the Top 100 Clubs in the WORLD by DJ Magazine in 2011.
  18. Listening to the San Diego Symphony in the original Fox Theatre, opened in 1929.
  19. Van Halen at the Viejas Arena June 14, 2012.
  20. Celebrating the Saxophone with SAXibit at the Museum of Making Music, May 19-November 30, 2012.
  21. The VIP experience of Taylor Guitars Private Dining Room at Anthology, named after the locally based, world renowned guitar manufacturer and Anthology sponsor, Taylor Guitars.
  22. Free shows in the hippest of hoods, Bar Pink in North Park.
  23. Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright at Humphrey’s by the Bay. How to choose?
  24. The balance of intelligence and entertainment at ArtPower UC San Diego.
  25. Close proximity to a slew of buzz-worthy bands at Soda Bar.
  26. The highly entertaining, audience request-driven duel of two talented piano players at The Shout House.
  27. The recently renovated and restored 83 year old Balboa Theatre, hosting a diverse line up of performances.
  28. Street fairs! Whatever the fair, live music is there! Try OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off Festival, Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, Pride Festival, holiday block parties in the Gaslamp Quarter or ArtWalk in Little Italy.
  29. And last but certainly not least, San Diego Opera celebrates birthday boy Rossini’s “55th” with The Barber of Seville, April 21-29, 2012.

What are your reasons for listening?


5 to Try in San Diego: Valentine’s Day Edition

No matter how long you’ve been with your valentine (or looking for one!) here’s our 5 to Try for Valentine’s Day celebrations throughout San Diego.

1. Valentine’s Beer Tasting Dinner

Spoil your man with a Beer Tasting Dinner brought to you by La Jolla Wine Tours. Dinner includes four-course dinner with dessert, each course paired with a local San Diego craft brew. Includes a behind the scenes tour of a brewery.

2. San Diego Symphony: A Valentine’s Romance with Broadway’s Best

Love is in the air. He’s Hugh Panaro, Broadway’s Phantom. She’s Jennifer Holliday, star of the original Dreamgirls. As Cupid takes aim, sparks will fly when two of our favorite performers return to San Diego. Performances are February 10th and 11th at 8:00 pm.

3. Magic 92.5 Valentine’s Hook Up Singles Cruise

Don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with other San Diego singles as you cruise on your own private yacht around San Diego Bay. This annual Valentine’s Hook Up Singles Cruise could be the most unique and romantic place to meet that special someone!

4. The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Add a little mystery to your Valentine’s Day with this interactive dinner. The show takes place throughout the entire room, and performers may actually be seated at your table, so part of the fun from the beginning is trying to figure out who’s involved in the crime and who’s not. Throughout the night, murders and mayhem will occur, hidden clues will come forth and our Detectives will help everyone try to solve the crime.

5. Love is in the Air: A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Sinatra

Snuggle up to your sweetie at Anthology for the most romantic show of the year. Singer, John Vincent, brings his signature Sinatra tribute show to San Diego just in time for Valentine’s Day. Vincent’s show is so spot on, you’ll think you’re being serenaded by Old Blue Eyes himself.


5 To Try This Weekend

1. 4th Annual SUPERSEAL Triathlon & SEAL Sprint: Come out to Coronado and cheer everyone on as they complete the course designed by local Navy SEALs. The SUPERSEAL Triathlon consists of a 1,500 meter swim in the Silver Strand State Beach Bay, followed by a 40K bike course on Highway 75 and 10K running course. The SEAL Sprint consists of a 500 meter swim, 20K bike course and 6K run.

2. Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival: Beer lovers will gather to enjoy local craft brews for a purpose. The 2nd Annual Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival is being held to promote local San Diego craft beers and local San Diego chefs with proceeds donated to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. Over 30 local craft brewing companies and 15 local chefs will be on hand at the Handlery Hotel and Resort.

3. Julian Daffodil Show: Visitors to Julian can enjoy an annual celebration of spring’s most cheerful blooms. Daffodils are on display both days from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Julian Town Hall and Blue Heron Garden Shop.

4. Flower Fields of Carlsbad, California: Visitors to the Flower Fields will see a giant ranunculus flowers on over 50 acres of hills. During March through May, guests can stroll past oceans of flowers and through beautiful gardesn, including a miniature rose garden, fragrant sweet pea maze, and a garden featuring more than 50 All American Rose Selection winners.
5. Silent Film Night with the San Diego Symphony: One of the most visually innovative films of the Silent Era comes to Symphony Hall with the San Diego Symphony as the live soundtrack! Performance starts at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.