In a concert titled “The Soul of Ragtime,” in conjunction with the Pasadena Playhouse production of “Ragtime,” the Michael Haggins Band performs a free concert in the Playhouse courtyard Friday night.

The revered bassist and songwriter plays a blend of smooth jazz, R&B and funk. His music is inspired by the likes of Stanley Clarke, the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire and George Duke, among others.

Haggins was born into a musical family. His uncle, Al Duncan was a top session drummer who was among those known as “the grandfathers of groove” in the 1950s and ’60s, and it was he who encouraged Haggins to take a musical career seriously. After trying other instruments, he settled on electric bass at age 10. He went on to study jazz at Pasadena City College, and in the 1980s performed with future chart-topper Robbie Nevil.

Haggins worked with various other acts until forming his own band back in 2000. He began recording on his own label, Cuate Records. He’s released several CDs, and his band performs extensively around Southern California, promoting the gospel of laid-back, West Coast jazz.


Music runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. No cover. Call (626) 356-7529 or visit