Artist Spotlight, Featured, French, Middle East, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Artists You Should Know: Thierry “Titi” Robin

Posted October 17, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Thierry “Titi” Robin is a French musician and composer. Mostly, however, he is an intrepid musical traveler. He plays guitar, Arabic oud, Turkish buzuq and other instruments of both European and Moorish origin. He has collaborated with Rajasthani gypsy, Indian, flamenco, and Pakistani musicians. He is a musical polymath equally at home in a variety of musical environments and cultures.
I discovered his work years ago on …

Classical, Featured, French, Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events »

France/Russia/Colombia/Cuba/New York: A Musical World Tour in DTLA

Posted October 10, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Photo by Guido Herrera-Yance

While many L.A. residents probably headed to Oldchella this past weekend to see the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Neil Young, I trekked downtown and enjoyed two very different concerts.
The L.A. Philharmonic presented a French-Russian program at Disney Hall on Friday night. On the bill was Maurice Ravel‘s gorgeous Piano Concerto in G, followed by Igor Stravinsky‘s rousing Firebird. Ravel only wrote two piano …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, MBE Archive, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #179: Michel Petrucciani: Amazing Virtuosity Despite All Odds

Posted October 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments

In the summer of 1981, I went to Paris on vacation. I squeezed in a few visits to record labels as part of my job as KCRW’s Music Director. The station was known in Paris and other French cities because we always sent various record companies our playlists, and I frequently sent my interviews to Jazz Magazine and other music publications there.
One of the labels I …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Performances & Events »

Kraftwerk Electrifies at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted September 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I was lucky enough to attend Kraftwerk’s spectacular 3-D show this past Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl. The group looked just like their album covers: 4 guys standing in front of small pedestal platforms with keyboards on them. They wore identical form-fitting jumpsuits with a glowing grid pattern, which seemed to change colors as the videos changed. (Did anyone else think that they could have stepped out of …

Featured, Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events, world music »

Fall Concert Picks in Los Angeles

Posted September 19, 2016 by | 1 Comment

Though it’s still warm outside, the fall performance season has begun and that means many worthy shows around the corner. Here are my top picks in jazz with a few Flamenco ones thrown in as well — starting with a concert that’s happening tomorrow evening! Click on the links in the listings below for tickets and more information.
1.  Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento performs downtown at the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events, world music »

Looking Ahead: Two Music Events to Check Out

Posted September 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments
Tomatito. Photo by Errol Putigna (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0) via Flickr.

There are always tons of music shows in and around Los Angeles, but two upcoming events in particular stand out as unusual, and ones that probably won’t happen again for a long time. Mark your calendars!
The first program is a jazz flute summit with three amazing tropical Latin flute players: Justo Almario (Colombia/LA), Art Webb (NYC/LA), and Orlando “Maraca” Valle (Cuba). They are exceptional …

Artist Spotlight, Asia, Classical, Featured, Middle East, Performances & Events, world music »

A Joyous Evening with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

Posted August 22, 2016 by | 1 Comment

I feel honored to have hosted the fabulous show last night of Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at the Hollywood Bowl, part of the KCRW World Festival Series this summer. The performance exceeded my highest expectations. The Silk Road Ensemble is a musical United Nations, with the renowned cellist working with musicians from China, India, Japan, Syria, Iran, Russia, Spain, Central Asia and …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events »

Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vernon Duke: Dual (Composer) Personalities

Posted August 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I was at the Hollywood Bowl last Saturday night for the big “An Olympic Carnival – Sergio Mendes & 50 Years of Brasil ’66” show, which opened with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing Brazilian classics. It was a great program–beautifully conducted by Thomas Wilkins, with fantastic guest dancers and singers, plus a spectacular fireworks finale.
The show started with “Aquarela do Brasil,” Ary Barroso‘s 1939 classic, a Brazilian musical …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Performances & Events, world music »

Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble Perform at the Hollywood Bowl on August 21st

Posted August 8, 2016 by | 0 Comments

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma are performing on Sunday, August 21, at the Hollywood Bowl as part of KCRW’s long-running World Festival series. I’m definitely going. In fact, I’ll be hosting the show that evening! Hope to see you there.
I first got to know Yo-Yo Ma from his exquisite recordings of Bach’s six solo cello suites. His tone, articulation, and fluid expression brought out the beauty …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

Ludovico Einaudi & Greenpeace Team Up for Arctic Concert: Amazing!

Posted June 27, 2016 by | 1 Comment

I’ve been a fan of composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi ever since I first heard his stunning album Divenire in 2008.  Actually, I liked his kora-piano duet album Diario Mali with kora player Ballaké Sissoko, which came out before that in 2006. He is a big star now, with fans around the world, and is busy scoring movie soundtracks and commercials as well.
Einaudi comes from a prominent Italian family. His …

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