Artist Spotlight, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

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

Posted June 27, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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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 …

Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events »

Upcoming Music Events with a Latin Twist

Posted June 1, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Regular listeners of KCRW probably already know about the station’s “Summer Nights” events – featuring an abundance of free performances throughout the summer all over L.A. Those are sure to draw crowds, but I’d like to highlight some other events–shows with a latin twist and great for dancing. Thanks to my peripatetic Cuban friend, journalist, and dance pro Humberto Capiro, I’m reminded of these events you salseros …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Performances & Events »

Eric Whitacre, Choral Composer, Returns to LA

Posted May 25, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Eric Whitacre writes choral music that would make anybody a believer, including those who think classical music is stuffy and overly formal. His music is levitational, rising and floating, transporting you into another dimension. When I opened the shrink wrap on his CD Cloudburst years ago, I initially thought, “Yawn, here comes another boring choir album.” A minute or two later, I was blown away. So much …

Interviews, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #159: Betto Arcos & the Music of Colombia

Posted May 20, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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I’ve learned a lot from my friend and musical colleague Betto Arcos over the years, and yesterday I learned even more. This time the subject was the music of Colombia, from which he’d recently returned.
Betto, like me, is a world music cheerleader and has been for decades. First and foremost a fan of world music, he has hosted innumerable shows on KCSN and KPFK. Most recently, …

Asia, Performances & Events, world music »

China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe: Amazing

Posted May 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I came across a video recently on Facebook that captivated me. As it turned out, my friend who shared the video didn’t know anything about the group, but she liked what she saw. It depicted a big production, and at first I thought it may have been the Shen Yun troupe, the Falun Gong-affiliated group that relentlessly promotes its huge shows in the U.S. and elsewhere. It …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, French, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Lisa Simone Headlines at the Olympia in Paris This Thursday, April 14

Posted April 11, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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It’s been said that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Lisa Simone (b. 1962) is now following her mom’s footsteps by playing in the famous Olympia Hall in Paris this Thursday. It is kind of France’s Carnegie Hall for popular music. All the greats have performed there, including Umm Kulthum, Yves Montand, Dalida, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles…and …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Latin, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

The Rolling Stones in Cuba: Better for the Oldies than the Youth?

Posted March 28, 2016 by | 13 Comments
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The thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations is finally happening, and I am glad and grateful for it.
On the musical front, I heard NPR’s recent story on the Stones’ free concert in Havana before hundreds of thousands. Apparently only the older people will know the band; many of the younger folk interviewed had never heard of them. It isn’t surprising, given the embargo as well as limited …

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

Peter Erskine’s Dr. Um Record Release Concert: Total Fun

Posted March 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Last Sunday afternoon, I had the most fun I’ve had at a concert in some time: Peter Erskine’s Dr.Um record release party at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at the New Roads School in Santa Monica. I ran into old friends like pianist Mike Lang, Robert Kraft, composer Vince Mendoza, and Julio Ledesma, who performed so brilliantly Ariel Ramirez’ moving Misa Criolla at …

African, Artist Spotlight, Asia, brazilian music, Performances & Events, world music »

Rhythm Planet Recommends: More Upcoming World Music Events

Posted March 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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There is a wealth of world music coming to Los Angeles soon. Let’s look at these terrific events — three of which are happening this Saturday, March 26!
1. Sounds of LA: Riyaaz Qawwali: Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 4 p.m. at Harold M. Williams Auditorium, The Getty Center.
From deep in the heart of Texas, this Austin-based sufi devotional music group features musicians …

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

Rhythm Planet Recommends

Posted March 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I’d like to recommend some upcoming shows you might enjoy if you’re not heading to SXSW. Good reasons to stay here in LA!
1. I’ve mentioned this concert in a previous post, but it is worth repeating: Vicente Amigo at the Wilshire Ebell Theater this Friday, March 18, 8 p.m. Paco de Lucia is no longer with us, but if you are a …

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