Marie Bryant put a bun in Betty Grable’s oven 5

Dance · Film
The silken jazz dancer, Marie Bryant (1919-1978), seen here jiving with the great Harold Nicholas, was, for a time, rehearsal assistant to Jack Cole. That’s interesting. Cole’s performance group was all white. It wouldn’t be otherwise. But he clearly relied on Bryant for special tasks. Asked what she did for Jack Cole, Bryant replied,  “I ...

African-American photojournalists capture L.A.’s rich post-War arts world 1

Dance · Fashion · Music · Visual arts
These arts images are drawn from “Identity and Affirmation: Postwar African-American Photography,” an exhibition of 125 images produced by Los Angeles African-American photographers during the postwar years from 1945 to 1980. The marvelous show, now on at Cal State Northridge, also includes social and political photographs. It’s part of the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” survey ...

Back to school for Herb & Lani

Architecture & Design · Music
Benefactors Herb and Lani Alpert joined education and community leaders on a nippy Friday morning in Santa Monica to celebrate completion of the steel framing for the Performing Arts and Leadership Center that forms the centerpiece of the innovative Herb Alpert Educational Village.   Herb and Lani Hall Alpert New Roads School students convene at ...

Alluring mix of mid-century jazz & photography comes to Northridge

Music · Visual arts
October 23 is as good a day as any, no better, to trek to the deep San Fernando Valley. On that Sunday, the campus of Cal State University, Northridge, will be super alive in an extraordinary double-bill highlighting the best of African-American art. Featured photographers: Roland Charles, Willie Middlebrook, Jack Davis, Calvin Hick At 2 ...

Bad boys of Lula’s China tour: Marcus Miller & Freedom Jazz Movement

Dance · Music
Marcus Miller – Drums Kamasi Washington – Tenor Sax Ardom Belton – Upright Bass Mahesh Balasooriya – Piano Last June, I had the unspeakable joy of being the writer on the bus of Lula Washington Dance Theater’s three-week tour of China, primarily in Henan Province. It was a spectacular, gargantuan life experience. What added art ...

Freedom Jazz Movement @ Henan Province’s SIAS University

Music · Reviews
A slight nip in an otherwise balmy late-spring Chinese evening gave an edge to the polished set the Los Angeles-based jazz quartet, Freedom Jazz Movement, laid down at SIAS University in Henan Province tonight. The show took place at the privately owned university’s Roman-style outdoor amphitheater. Four exceptional musicians, delivering a suite of band leader ...

Monk lives … at UCLA

Music
The Herb Alpert juggernaut of extraordinary arts philanthropy surges on the news that The Herb Alpert Foundation has  again spurred jazz education at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The school will join forces with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit organization devoted to jazz education now based in New Orleans. For ...

Let’s learn more about Sonny Rollins

Music
Video tracks four historic Prestige recordings between Miles Davis and Rollins, who accepted the 2010 National Award of Arts from President Obama last week.  

My country ’tis of thee … of thee I sing!

Music
We just loved seeing a creative American like Sonny Rollins honored in the White House. That’s the way it should be every day, not once a year. More arts, education, and humanities in our country! Here, the great jazz saxophonist accepts 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. What a moment! “I’m very happy ...

Honoring America’s greats: National Medal of Arts

Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts
President Obama this morning honored some of our nation’s great artists in a ceremony at the White House. Receiving the 2010 National Medal of Arts were Robert Brustein, the theater producer and critic; Van Cliburn, the pianist; Mark di Suvero, the abstract expressionist sculptor; poet Donald Hall; and the pioneering dance organization, Jacob’s Pillow Dance ...