By Jane Rosenberg With the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth approaching in 2018, LA Opera began the celebration with a semi-staged concert performance of Wonderful Town. For the occasion, the orchestra was seated on the stage, flanked by LA Opera Chorus members, with the soloists lining up front and center. What began as a… Read More LA Opera Presents Leonard Bernstein’s “Wonderful Town” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
By Jane Rosenberg Hershey Felder, like Leonard Bernstein, the subject of his one-man musical play, is a passionate educator, offering general audiences musical insight into the creative process of composers from Irving Berlin to Beethoven. With skillful piano technique, nuanced vocals, and strong acting chops, Felder explores Bernstein’s life and times. What was most engaging,… Read More Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
By Roger Crane Fellow Music Fans…. I’m an adagio-kind of guy. I love ballads – jazz ballads, country ballads, Latin ballads, any ballads. In particular I seek the great recordings, meaning the 3-way combination of… 1 – Fine Song 2 – Fine Singer 3 – Fine Arrangement/Accompaniment For example, you can find many such… Read More Roger Crane the Song Scout: Great Ballads
By Norton Wright Santa Monica, CA. One of the unique experiences on today’s jazz scene is “Big Band Night” at Typhoon Restaurant at Santa Monica Airport in Los Angeles. On Memorial Day evening listeners are ready to experience a veritable bacchanal as the band on stage is Paul McDonald’s big, powerhouse, 17-piece orchestra. The band… Read More Live Music: The Best Memorial Day Party Ever! Paul McDonald’s Big band at the Typhoon Jazz Restaurant.
By Don Heckman Bel Air. Robert Davi was back at Herb Alpert’s elegant Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. at the top of Beverly Glen last night. And, as always happens in his performances, he spent most of his program demonstrating his belief in the Great American Songbook as “America’s Shakespeare.” Davi, whose acting career began in a… Read More Live Music: Robert Davi at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. What is there to say about a bassist who is a prime jazz player, sings, and writes his own hilariously whimsical songs? A lot, actually, if his name is Jay Leonhart, who had a full house audience in stitches at Vitello’s Saturday night, aided by the brilliant support of… Read More Live Music and Humor: Jay Leonhart and Josh Nelson at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – March 6. (Thurs.) Betty Bryant. Singer/pianist Bryant’s engaging style recalls an era of briskly swinging, warmly interpretive jazz cabaret. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – March 7. (Fri.) Savion Glover’s StePz. Tap dancer Glover has brought more jazz qualities to contemporary tap dancing than anyone since Fred Astaire. Valley… Read More Picks of the Week: March 5 – 9
By Don Heckman Charles Lloyd made one of his rare Southland appearances Saturday night a Royce Hall in a CAP UCLA (Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA) concert. And, as often happens with the iconic jazz saxophonist and flutist, one couldn’t help but wish that Lloyd would leave his Santa Barbara home for… Read More Live Jazz: Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell in a CAP UCLA concert at Royce Hall
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – July 9. (Tues.) Michael Tilson-Thomas conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Mahler Symphony No. 2. “Resurrection.” With soprano Kiera Duffy, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000. – July 10. (Wed.) Queen Latifa. Roy Ayers. The 2013 jazz summer season at… Read More Picks of the Week: July 9 – 14
By Don Heckman It’s easy to take many musicians for granted. The musicians, that is, who create the infinite array of melodies, textures and rhythms that are the soundtrack of daily life. On television and film screens, Muzak, iTunes, videogame music tracks, favorite CD collections, and so on. “Studio musicians,” they’re called, usually with a… Read More Live Jazz: The Mike Lang Trio at Catalina Bar & Grill