By Brian Arsenault The International Festival of Arts and Ideas has a clear and concise mission: “to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven [Connecticut] of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience celebrating and building community and advancing economic development.” The Festival has… Read More Q & A: Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas
By Don Heckman Can one experience poetry without understanding the words? Can the setting, the intonation and the rhythm be enough to communicate at least some sense of the poet’s intention? Those were the questions hovering in the air Saturday night before the performance of the ensemble Saffron at the Skirball Cultural Center in a… Read More Live World Music: Saffron at the Skirball Cultural Center
By Don Heckman Strunz and Farah have been around for so long that it can be easy to take them for granted. The two-guitar partnership of Costa Rican-born Jorge Strunz and Iranian native Ardeshir Farah reaches back to their first CD, Mosaico, released in 1980. And their three-decade musical relationship (lasting longer than many marriages)… Read More Live World Music: Strunz & Farah at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman Lila Downs is a performer in her prime. Her appearance in a UCLA Live program at Royce Hall Thursday night was a stunning display of musical stagecraft. Singing, dancing, engaging her audience in Spanish and English, moving with commanding ease across the stage, she gave a performance that was masterful in every sense. … Read More Live: Lila Downs at Royce Hall
by Casey Dolan Jon Hassell has built a lauded career by playing short enigmatic statements on his trumpet, incorporating music from various cultures and gradually enhancing his compositions with a greater use of electronics. The result is rarely a concrete musical statement, but rather a collection of intimations, or, perhaps, intimacies. From his groundbreaking work… Read More Jon Hassell and the Art of Suggestion