Known for its 30 years of excellence in performing Baroque and early classical music with period instruments, Long Beach orchestra Musica Angelica has often returned to the works of German composer George Frideric Handel for its seasonal repertoire.

And while this weekend’s shows will feature some of the prolific composer’s most beloved Baroque works, the second half, which will include music by rock legend Jimi Hendrix, might seem to make for an odd musical pairing. But there’s a remarkable history that connects the two seemingly unrelated musical geniuses: They lived in the same 18th-century London residence some 250 years apart.

Had Handel and Hendrix been alive at the same time, they would have been neighbors. Handel lived at 25 Brook Street between 1723 and 1759, where he created some of his most famous works including the oratorio, “Messiah.”

Hendrix, who moved into the adjoining apartment at 23 Brook Street in 1968, was aware of his link to the musical past. There are stories of Hendrix giving tours of his apartment to Handel-adoring classical music students (before it was discovered that Hendrix lived in an adjoining apartment).

Another story told by a friend of Hendrix’s said that when Hendrix learned of their connection, he went to a local record store and bought Handel’s “Messiah” and would jam to the soundtrack at his home. A museum at the London residence now commemorates the artists’ shared history.

For Musica Angelica, this fascinating coincidence provided the inspiration for its upcoming concerts, “Ode to Music: Handel, Hendrix, and a Very Special House,” on March 18 and 19. Saturday’s show will be performed at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre in Long Beach, and Sunday’s will take place at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

“I think what we’re addressing is the kind of universal language of music,” said executive director Matthew Faulkner. “This is about musical connections.”

Musica Angelica has invited a rock quartet to perform for the Hendrix portion for the show. In another kismet connection, its notable guest performer, Maury Baker, who was Janis Joplin’s drummer for many years—and has played timpani in Baroque orchestras—once jammed with Hendrix at the psychedelic club Thee Experience in Los Angeles in the late 1960s.

Musica Angelica’s associate music director Gonzalo Ruiz has composed a special piece titled, “Tune in Big E,” which will incorporate Hendrix’s song “Little Wing” and other music arranged for rock quartet and orchestra.

“Imagine if a Baroque orchestra was playing on stage, and Jimi Hendrix and his band climbed into a wormhole and started jamming—what that would sound like,” Faulkner said.

The Musica Angelica orchestra typically features 14-18 musicians based on the classical composition they perform. The orchestra plays with period instruments, either refurbished originals or carefully crafted replicas. Photo courtesy Musica Angelica.

For the Long Beach performance, Musica Angelica has invited 85 students from the Long Beach Unified School District’s Migrant Education Program to see the show. The outreach is part of the orchestra’s continued efforts to enrich and develop new generations of classical music listeners to underserved communities that have historically had the least access to those kinds of experiences.

“Our motto has always been: perfecting history and inspiring the future, because we’re all about the historical performance,” said Faulkner. “But we also want to inspire the next generation. And we think that access to this kind of art form is really, really important.”

Originally a Los Angeles-based chamber group created by in 1993 by Michael Eagan, a lute player, and Mark Chatfield, a Baroque cellist, Musica Angelica would eventually settle in Long Beach in 2015 under the direction of longtime music director Martin Haselböck.

Musica Angelica quickly partnered with LBUSD’s Harmony Project, an initiative that provides music mentoring and enrichment to inner-city youth. In the last eight years, world-class musicians from the orchestra have visited numerous Long Beach schools, performing small concerts and, at various times, offering hour-long after-school music instruction. The orchestra has also given out ticket vouchers for students and their families to see local concerts.

On the morning of Saturday’s performance, associate music director Ruiz and three musicians playing at the Handel and Hendrix concert will visit Garfield Elementary School (2240 Baltic Ave.) to perform and share their unique careers with the students. The event is free, open to the public and begins at 11 a.m.

Musica Angelica’s 30th season will continue with two more concerts on April 1-2 titled, “Bach Festival.” The April 1 concert at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is a concert recital and lecture, which will include a variety of works by Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Attendees will also hear from Haselböck and other musicologists that will dive into the history and impact of the selected Bach pieces.

The April 2 concert, also at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, will include the performance of Bach’s most celebrated composition, “St. Matthew Passion,” in its entirety.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the upcoming shows, click here.