Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Jazz Prodigy Justin Kauflin to Play the Blue Whale

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Quincy Jones & Justin Kauflin

Downtown LA’s premier jazz club owner Joon Lee of blue whale really knows how to pick talent. Nightly, this vibrant, intimate space buzzes with patrons, among them enthusiasts and musicians alike. It’s become a true mecca for ardent jazz fans.
Thursday, Jan29: Justin Kauflin Trio
Performing this Thursday at blue whale is 28-year-old jazz piano virtuoso, Justin Kauflin. He may not be a household name just yet, but I have no doubt that he will …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna

Posted January 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Leek Violin

There are a lot of unusual orchestras out there: New Zealander composer Graeme Revell’s The Insect Musicians; New York-based composer Adam Rudolf’s  Go: Organic Orchestra; the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra; the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain; the Landfillharmonic of Paraguay; the Congolese jungle Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste; and the list goes on. I’m fascinated by the creativity and resourcefulness of these DIY orchestras.
The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna takes it one step further. This 12-member Viennese …

Classical, Music History, Performances & Events »

Coughing During Concerts and Recordings

Posted January 19, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Horowitz vs Carnegie

Magnificent concert halls offer great acoustic settings to experience live music but can also amplify unwanted noise. There are various tactics you can employ to reproach chatty members of the audience: anything from the subtle glare and the school teacher finger shush, to getting the ushers to do the dirty work, or having a word with the guilty offenders yourself. Speaking of which, I was once offered a job …

African, Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #90: Angolan Superstar Waldemar Bastos

Posted January 16, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Peter Waldemar Tom

When I first heard Waldemar Bastos on a compilation called Adventures in Afropea 3: Telling Stories to the Sea, released by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label years ago, I was completely taken by his mellifluous baritone and the sweet, gentle power of his music.
Back in 1999, as the newly appointed Hollywood Bowl Program Director of World Music, I programmed a Lusophone night featuring the music of Cape Verde (Fantcha), Angola …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Performances & Events, Uncategorized »

Surviving Las Vegas and CES 2015

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment
IMG_2473

CES stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest showcase of new gadgets and gear that takes place every year around this time in Las Vegas. Techies swarmed the Strip last week for a sneak peak at the latest offerings for 2015. A friend of mine invited me to perform at CES with his jazz group, so I had the opportunity to check out some choice audiophile …

African, Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Jazz, Performances & Events »

January Concerts I Plan to Attend

Posted January 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Waldemar Bastos - Guitar

The year is just getting started, and there are already two exceptional concerts this month that I’m really looking forward to:
Saturday, January 10: Jazz Saxophonist Chris Potter
The first is the exceptional tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, performing together with a superb rhythm section: Alan Pasqua (piano), Darek Oles (bass), and Peter Erskine (drums). As the youngest musician to ever receive Denmark’s prestigious Jazzpar Prize, Chris Potter was awarded the honor …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, French, Latin, MBE Archive, Music History, Performances & Events »

Artists You Should Know: Carlos do Carmo

Posted January 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Música: Carlos do Carmo homenageia Sinatra, o cantor a quem "deve muito"

There is a new documentary by filmmaker Ivan Dias, called Um Homem no Mundo, that hit Portugal’s theater circuit on New Year’s Day. Best known for his work as Carlos Saura’s co-director for the documentary, Fado (2007), Dias has now turned his camera to Portugal’s champion of its fado heritage, Carlos do Carmo.
I’ve long been a fan of fado, the Portuguese traditional song form, ever since lusophile historian, Donald Cohen, visited …

Art, Literature & Film, Latin, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Carlos Saura’s “Flamenco Flamenco” Masterpiece—in LA but Not for Long

Posted December 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Flamenco, Flamenco

Carlos Saura is a renowned Spanish filmmaker hailed for his documentaries celebrating the performing arts traditions along the Iberian peninsula. Spanning his prolific 60-year career, Saura has received countless honors directing such works as Tango (1998), Fados (2007), and Flamenco (1995), just to name a few. Perhaps his greatest film of all, Flamenco Flamenco, a sequel to its Flamenco predecessor, had its original debut back in 2010, but is re-screening for a …

Asia, Performances & Events »

Aratani World Series: “Cup of Java”

Posted November 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Cup of Java Dance

The Aratani World Series (formerly the World Festival of Sacred Music) launches into an exciting, new chapter tomorrow night (Saturday, November 29), presenting “Cup of Java,” an exquisite night of Indonesian ceremonial gamelan music and courtly dance.
Ten classically-trained master dancers from the prestigious Institute Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta (ISI) will be accompanied by the complex polyrhythms of LA’s very own CalArts Javanese Gamelan Kyai Doro Dasih Ensemble, under the …

Artist Spotlight, Holiday, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Lady Gaga: Jazz Singer?

Posted November 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Cheek to Cheek

Pop diva, Lady Gaga, and the great Tony Bennett have been making headlines together touring their recent collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek. Who would have thought that the woman in the meat dress with the flashy, stage shows was a closet jazz vocalist…?
The pair made their first debut together singing “Lady is a Tramp” on Tony’s Duets II album, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop …

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