The sound of America, courtesy of MUSE/IQUE

Dance · Music
Enough of politicians yammering about being American! Let’s experience our national spirit in a much more intuitive manner, through art. Chamber-music series MUSE/IQUE is here to help. Established in 2011 by artistic director Rachel Worby (at left), the Pasadena-based MUSE/IQUE presents a three-concert summer lawn-festival across a dizzying array of genres — classical, ballet, jazz. ...

Jeff Parker’s guitar twists & turns @ The Blue Whale

Music
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Jeff Parker knows about harmonic color. His current CD, The New Breed (International Anthem Recording Company) is lush with it. It hangs like audible clouds, created by slow-moving electronic keyboard backgrounds, nudged along by discreet electric bass currents, and seeded by Parker’s pungent single-note improvisations. The KORG MS20 adds grainy keyboard impasto to those scrims ...

Jazz singer Jeri Southern, appreciated

Music
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There were other female jazz pianists who also sang in the 1950s, but none shared Jeri Southern’s formidable pianistic technique, vocal individuality, and unerring choice of good material. She sang the most bittersweet love songs in the most intimate manner. And few could inspire the nightclub reveries Southern conjured—of melancholy, infatuation, optimism, idolatry, disconsolation, and ...

Princely double-bill at the Aero

Film · Music
PURPLE RAIN 1984, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir: Albert Magnoli 35mm print with Dolby 4-track Magnetic Audio Prince’s big-screen debut as The Kid, frontman of rock-R&B band The Revolution. Burdened with a troubled home life, The Kid also must contend with a rival bandleader (Morris Day) out to steal both his slot at a Minneapolis ...

The Jacksons bring joy to ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Dance · Music
So beautiful, in viewing Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall, Spike Lee’s documentary now available on Showtime, the sight of MJ au natural, his face unmarred by surgery, his youthful and impassioned spirit intact. The doc tours the great Quincy Jones-produced album “Off the Wall” with superb talking heads.  This video by ...

Dark days. Can the arts address what ails our nation?

Language & ideas · Music
Saturday night’s attack on a benign throng of club dancers, all young people on a fun night out not hurting anyone, is only somewhat ameliorated by the memory of yet another gathering, in Los Angeles, at the beginning of the week. Last Monday evening, I arrived to the marquee of the Kirk Douglas Theatre for ...

To higher musical spaces and places, with Jacaranda

Music
Chamber music, a relatively portable art form (relative to, say, a symphony orchestra), in May climbed our city’s peaks in celebration of The Big Vista, the annual summer party of our top-favorite contemporary-classical music series, Jacaranda. Bundling repertoire culled from the edgy, the new, and the yet-to-be-imagined into stimulating, curated concerts for receptive audiences in ...

‘Pop’ goes the American Songbook, in Pasadena, under Feinstein baton 1

Film · Music
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS organization practiced what the Chinese call “double happiness” this week, announcing, in one fell swoop, the re-upping of conductor Michael Feinstein’s contract with the POPS (where he started in 2013) and the roll-out of a rich summer menu of American Songbook concerts at their bandshell digs in the Los Angeles ...

It’s criminal to not attend! Jacaranda’s ‘American Crime’ concert

Film · Music
A concert celebration of ABC’s AMERICAN CRIME, featuring the world premiere of American Crime Suite for chamber orchestra by Mark Isham with music that inspires the composer and his series creator/director John Ridley. Those works include Nagoya Marimbas by Steve Reich, Fratres and Darf Ich by Arvo Pärt, and November by Max Richter. Staged by ...

Review: Antiquity updated in SOLUNA Fest’s ‘Rules of the Game’

Architecture & Design · Dance · Fashion · Film · Music · Reviews · Visual arts
Vulnerable humans cower in the debris of a humongous classical bust crashed to earth. An unnatural occurrence … like an airplane felled. Symbols of ancient civilization  — either Greek, Roman, or a modern approximation of both — tumble down, explode into shards. Not to worry; it’s all fake. It’s video art. This stunning and impactful ...