Purcell patois at Long Beach Opera

Music
We already have a king, right? Just ask any Republican in Congress. King Donald — aka Ronald McDonald I. So that part is taken care of. It’s just that this new (for America) form of government is unfamiliar; it’s time we learn how the kingly thing works. That, along with purely aesthetic reasons, attracts us ...

The many moods of Engelbert

Music · Reviews
Our man in Las Vegas, Chris Nichols, reports back to artsmeme World Headquarters with this photo essay of a recent club performance by Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey, 2 May 1936).Nichols attended the 83-year-old crooner’s Dec 1, 2019 show at the Orleans Showroom in Vegas. Accompanying his photo essay, Nichols reduced the show to ...

Thanksgiving with Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.

‘Disappearing guitars’ of Bill Frisell & Julian Lage @ CAP UCLA

Music
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Guitarist Bill Frisell has proven himself as one of the most interesting conceptualizers of the past twenty years or so in jazz. His albums are a continual source of delight and amazement, as he takes his audience down one musical rabbit hole or another. Whether he’s playing his own original scores to Buster Keaton’s silent ...

Music in the key of joy: bossa nova with Sergio Mendes @ CAP UCLA 1

Music
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Sergio Mendes, Bebel Gilberto, Royce Hall Nov 16 In 1966, rock and soul dominated American pop music charts. But there was room for the infectiously swinging “Mas Que Nada”—the first international hit song in Portuguese. If Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto opened the door with “The Girl From Ipanema,” Sergio Mendes put an authentic Brazilian ...

Farruquito, flamenco master, brings troupe to The Soraya

Dance · Film · Music
Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, aka Farruquito Ed. note: This article was commissioned and first published by The Soraya. It is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. The brilliance was there from the start. At age 11, Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya, the reigning superstar of flamenco who performs under the sobriquet of Farruquito, appeared in Carlos Saura’s ...

Jazz gladiator Joshua Redman brings it to Royce Hall

Music
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Ever since he came to national attention at the beginning of the 1990s, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman has defied the narrative of the wunderkind who bears prodigious talent, then declines. He’s taken on ambitious formats, often in the company of seasoned jazz gladiators, and Redman has more than held his mud. In the face of ...

Straight outta Ukraine: authentic klezmer music in documentary film

Music
Leopold Kozlowski, subject of ‘The Last Klezmer’ You want Ukraine? We’ll give you Ukraine! But the good stuff, music, not the gnarly political-football stuff. A documentary, The Last Klezmer, that celebrates the infectious Jewish soul music, written and directed by artsmeme friend Yale Strom, is having a 25th anniversary screening at Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts ...

Tango Revolution: Quinteto Astor Piazzolla at The Soraya

Music
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Ed note: This story by Kirk Silsbee was originally written for The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center and is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. When Astor Piazzolla, Argentina’s paramount composer and bandoneon player, introduced his revolutionary quintet of the 1960s, tango adherents didn’t embrace his innovation. Fistfights, even death threats, were not uncommon. ...

‘Judy was not nasal,’ says vocal coach Bob Garrett

Film · Music
Does Zellweger, at right, convey Garland’s physical stance to your eye? Garland kept her body taut to channel her breath. Also, note the shape of Renee’s mouth. Drop that jaw, sister! Viewing the big new biopic, JUDY, which opens tomorrow in cinemas, I did not feel that Renee Zellweger caught the great Garland’s essence particularly ...