A grandaughter’s devotion: Mariana de Moraes at the bluewhale

Music
photo courtesy mariana de moraes In her upcoming performance at the Little Tokyo jazz club, bluewhale, chanteuse Mariana de Moraes is admirably fronting an evening of Brazilian samba, bossa nova, Brazilian jazz, Afro-Samba, and poetry. And she is doing more. She is honoring her grandfather, Vinícius de Moraes (1913-1980) a giant of Brazilian culture history. ...

Stylin’ songs straight-ahead: Catherine Russell @ Segerstrom 2

Music
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Songstress Catherine Russell It’s very common for today’s young jazz singers to want to sound like instruments, instrumentalists, and/or innovative vocalists. There are legions of developing singers who worship at the altars of Betty Carter, Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy. But each of those trend-setters evolved into very personal stylists only after years of trial-and-error. ...

Ballet Hispanico’s all-female choreography-roster @ The Broad Stage

Dance
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Linea Recta, chor. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Ballet Hispánico. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not a ballet company – although the dancers are beautifully trained in both ballet and contemporary dance – and it’s not folkloric either. According to the company’s artistic director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro: “We are the child of both in ...

Weather report: It’s raining female artists in Los Angeles

Dance
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in live performance with PussyRiot at The Broad Stage, photo by Ben Gibbs We’ve had some crazy tumultuous storms lately in Los Angeles, a weather pattern augured to continue as women are seizing the stages of the city’s performing arts centers. For a mighty wind of female fabulousness — and fury — has ...

She imagined, she designed and she built: Julia Morgan 1

Architecture & Design
Cali’s renowned female architect and her mansion by the sea for Marion Davies All she did was to conceptualize, design and build Hearst Castle in San Simeon, as the West Coast corollary of Versailles. It wasn’t much. It took no time at all — 28 years. There on a high cliff overlooking the Pacific, in ...

Beautiful unburdening: Rosanne Cash at the Soraya

Music
In promoting her new album, She Remembers Everything, country singer Rosanne Cash features photos of fellow female songbirds, among them Janis Joplin, accompanied by a plaintive lyric, “Who know who she used to be before it all went dark?” That’s a gripping start — as if she needed one, she doesn’t, following her triple Grammy-winning ...

To be young, gifted & Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul in ‘Amazing Grace’

Film · Music
“Amazing Grace,” with two-million vinyl discs exiting record stores, was the top-selling gospel record of all time and Aretha Franklin‘s top-selling album. Released in June 1972, the album coincided with the very same month I graduated from an all-white high school in suburban Pittsburgh. Right around that time, on Sunday afternoons, I used my new ...

‘Little Sparrow’ to Long Beach: ‘Piaf! The Show’

Featured · Music
Karen Carpenter would approve. She would be thrilled to learn that the noble performing arts center named in her honor will be presenting a concert by The Little Sparrow. Well, almost! The Sparrow once removed. “Piaf! The Show,” a delicious way to pass a Sunday afternoon, popped out at me when I studied the season ...

Marilyn could play comedy … or tragedy … according to her directors

Film
Henry Hathaway, on MM and high drama: I think her whole life might have changed in Darryl Zanuck would have let her  … I wanted to do Of Human Bondage with Marilyn and Jimmy Dean way back then … because after I did that picture with her [Niagra] I found her marvelous to work with, ...

A singer’s love of language: Luciana Souza comes to Royce Hall

Music
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It’s been a recurring pleasure to chart the creative arc of Brazilian singer and songwriter Luciana Souza through her SoCal appearances over the years. We remember Jazz Bakery evenings where she held the room spellbound with a tempered vocal delivery on jazz-rooted arrangements and musical interaction. Souza’s clear soprano uses volume judiciously: she can send ...