Leonard Bernstein meets Sharon Farber @ Pacific Serenades

Music
I’m looking forward to “Mixed Up World,” the aptly titled upcoming performance by Pacific Serenades. I wrote previously on arts•meme about the 24-year-old chamber music society’s premiere of a work by jazz pianist Billy Childs. Pacific Serenades’ mission is to present newly commissioned chamber works alongside standard repertoire in intimate concert settings. Here’s an impressive list ...

Herb Alpert @ Disney Concert Hall

Music · Reviews
Herb ‘n Lani Bringing his cool and laid-back vibration to Disney Hall’s golden circle of sound Friday night was Herb Alpert — leading a five-piece combo in a freewheeling but tightly professional rendering of the American songbook. The ever-handsome, now grey-haired Los Angeles homeboy interspersed jazz standards — Fascinating Rhythm, Paper Moon, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Laura ...

Satchmo sings “Stardust”

Music
This nattily dressed young man is Louis Armstrong, age 30. The photo was taken in 1931, the same year in which Armstrong made his groundbreaking recording of Hoagy Carmichael’s plaintive “Stardust.” Here Carmichael plays his own great song. Here’s Nat King Cole. Now here’s Satchmo. Armstrong was by then an experienced Chicago musician, and the ...

Hitler’s emigres & exiles in Southern California 1

Language & ideas · Music
Prominently marked in my calendar for February 16 is a book talk at the L.A. Central Library’s ALOUD series by my friend Dorothy Lamb Crawford. Dorothy, a musicologist whom I met at the Ballets Russes centenial celebration in Boston last year, writes about the brilliant gathering of composers, conductors, and other musicians who fled Nazi Germany to ...

Now that Macheath’s back in town …

Music
Reading Terry Teachout’s biography of Louis Armstrong and loving it.  

Herb Alpert, local hero 8

Music
Herb Alpert was born in Los Angeles in 1935 and he lives here still. His father, a Russian Jew from Kiev, was a tailor. His mother, of Hungarian descent, encouraged his music, giving him a trumpet on his eighth birthday. Alpert grew up in Fairfax district, the second Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles after Boyle ...

Death of a great dancer 3

Dance · Music

La Barbra at BevHills Bergman tribute 2

Film · Music
Barbra Streisand is still a very big star. This was extremely evident at last night’s Alan & Marilyn Bergman tribute at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Wilshire Boulevard outpost. The tribute opened with a film clip of Barbra ogling Robert Redford in Sydney Pollack’s The Way We Were (1973). It closed with Babs, ten years later, ...

Biblical love from BODYTRAFFIC 1

Dance · Music
The love story of Jacob and Rachel inspires a unique dance/music event at Wadsworth Theater next Tuesday May 19. It’s an occasion rich in Los Angeles cultural history. It’s also a joyous one — the delayed premiere of a colorful, full-bodied ballet score written by composer Eric Zeisl in 1954. The original performances in the fifties were an intended collaboration with ...

Maurice Ravel, meet Billy Childs

Music · Reviews
One of better-kept secrets of Los Angeles cultural life is Pacific Serenades, the chamber music series now 23 years in existence, but who knew? I was the privileged guests of artistic director Mark Carlson at an utterly civilized outing that combined a ripping string quartet, well-chilled chardonnay, and little fruit tarts. What could be better on ...