‘Rivers of Sound’: From the Euphrates to The Soraya

Music
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ed. note: This story by jazz writer, Kirk Silsbee, was commissioned by The Soraya and first appeared on the theater’s blogsite. Composer Amir ElSaffar, the innovative jazz trumpeter and director of the Rivers of Sound Orchestra, is calling his latest new work “a sonic embrace.” ElSaffar penned the expression to describe Emergence, a sound experience ...

Vancouver’s ‘Ballet BC,’ resident dance company of The Soraya, to perform

Dance
photo by luques ed. note: This story by dance critic Debra Levine, commissioned and originally published by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts, is reprinted with permission. When the effervescent contemporary ballet troupe Ballet BC last appeared at The Soraya, it was indeed “BC”—Before Covid. The stellar dancers captivated the audience in ...

Gifted Cuban pianist López-Nussa to bring Soraya jazz fest to smoking finale

Music
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ed. note: The trio of concerts over a single weekend—Gerald Clayton Sextet (Feb 17), Gretchen Parlato (Feb 18), and the Harold López-Nussa Trio (Feb 19)—are the grand finale of the Soraya’s jazz festival, Jazz at Naz. This interview, conducted by artsmeme jazz writer, Kirk Silsbee, was commissioned by The Soraya and first appeared on the ...

Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato set to open ‘Jazz at Naz’ weekend @ The Soraya

Music
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A trio of cutting-edge Jazz at Naz intimate concerts takes jazz’s temperature and points to the art form’s future. Hungry for the potent experience live music brings, jazz fans (safely distanced and masked) will encounter, over the course of one weekend, a blazing sextet, a sensual vocalist, and a scintillating up-and-coming pianist from Havana. The ...

REVIEW: Count Basie Orchestra swingin’ at The Soraya 2

Music
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count basie orchestraphoto: luis luque for the soraya When the Count Basie Orchestra concert at the Younes and  Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts was cancelled for the COVID shutdown in March 2020, it was a bitter pill. When the cloud lifted, Soraya director Thor Steingraber declared that the match would no longer be ...

Ella and Basie, reunited by Basie band & Lizz Wright at The Soraya

Music
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Lizz Wright, Basie orchestra ed. note: This story by music writer Kirk Silsbee, commissioned and originally published by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts, has been excerpted with permission. The Count Basie Orchestra band has not just outlived the big band era, it has thrived. This is no ghost band; its last ...

Call in The Police! Stewart Copeland & Re-Collective Orchestra in ‘derangements’ 2

Music
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stewart copeland, the police deranged ed. note: This story by music writer Kirk Silsbee was commissioned and originally published by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts. Excerpted with permission. No band electrified audiences in the 1970s and ‘80s like The Police. Omnipresent on the airwaves, they had arenas pulsing across the globe. ...

Still burning bright: Paul Taylor Dance Company & ‘Fantasia,’ both to Bach

Dance · Film
Lisa Viola, Michael Trusnovec, original cast, “Promethean Fire,” PTDC Sara Krulwich/New York Times The light illuminating the dancers in the photo above is the result of a myriad micro-decisions made by a great theatrical artist of our time. Jennifer Tipton, the acclaimed lighting designer and longtime collaborator of the choreographer Paul Taylor (1930-2018), is slated ...

Highwire jazz interplay: Branford Marsalis Quartet soon at The Soraya

Music
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photo: Branford Marsalis Quartet by Palma Kolansky, courtesy of The Soraya ed. note: This story by jazz writer Kirk Silsbee was commissioned and originally published by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts. Excerpted with permission. The timeless swing of the Count Basie Orchestra, the pure vocals of Lizz Wright, and the vibrant ...

‘Hygiene theater,’ a good show at Segerstrom, others 1

Ideas & Opinion · Theater
Joan Crawford, Queen of Cleanliness There are copious stories in the New York Times and The Atlanta Monthly calling for the end to “hygiene theater,” that is the fake, fruitless, labor intensive, time-and-money consuming practice of keeping our shared public spaces scrupulously clean. Even the Centers for Disease Control is emphasizing that COVID-19 is spread ...