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 …

Asia, Music History, music phenomena »

Sony’s Pocket Radio: Grand Theft Gives Birth to a Top Japanese Brand

Posted May 30, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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  President Obama  just returned from a historic trip to Japan, including the first visit to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. President. It got me thinking about Japan’s recovery from the devastation of WWII. During the U.S. occupation that followed the war’s end, General MacArthur helped rebuild Japan; divine Emperor Hirohito became a person, not a god; and MacArthur’s master plan brought Japan out of the …

brazilian music, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #160: Odd and Wonderful Brazilian Music

Posted May 27, 2016 by | 7 Comments
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I’m teaching Brazilian music again in my music salon and have been bemoaning the music I haven’t been able to feature in class due to time constraints. I thought I’d share a few of those tracks here instead. We start with music about two favorite Brazilian subjects: cachaça and futebol (foo-chee-ball), which we Americans mislabel soccer (probably because of the other football we have …

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 …

African, Latin, Music History, music phenomena, world music »

Yoruba Drums and Cuban Batá

Posted May 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I had my brain seriously stretched by a recent podcast of Afropop Worldwide. It was a superb program about “drum speech”–a fascinating subject that has interested ethnomusicologists for a long time. Ned Sublette writes about it in his masterful study, Cuba and its Music: From the First Drum to the Mambo. He’s part the Afropop Worldwide team. I wanted to share just a few things that …

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, …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

John Coltrane’s Funeral Service – July 21, 1967

Posted May 18, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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My music teacher Joe Nazzaretta recently sent me John Coltrane’s funeral service program. I am still moved by anything having to do with this genius of modern music. I recall sitting in a Will Rogers State Beach lifeguard tower on July 17, 1967, when I heard the news of Coltrane’s death on the local jazz station, KBCA 105.1 FM. I didn’t even know he was sick with …

brazilian music, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Bar do Lagoa in Rio and Robocop

Posted May 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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My first trip of many to Brazil, our great and troubled southern neighbor, was in 1990. I went there with a bunch of friends to discover the music and culture of the various states: Rio de Janeiro, Minas, Pernambuco, Bahia, Sao Paulo. We had a Varig air pass so we went everywhere. We drank cashew milkshakes, got robbed in Olinda, viewed Rio’s gorgeous …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #158: Music for Serenity and Dreaming

Posted May 13, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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This is a quiet show; it won’t rock your world or make you shake your booty. It would be good to accompany yoga, meditating, or reading a book though. Or maybe to listen to while taking a leisurely walk.
French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has just come out with an Erik Satie box with all the eccentric French composer’s solo piano music. The gymnopedies are Satie’s most …

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 …

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