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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

May 30, 1996|ROD BOSCH

TONIGHT: JUDGED THE BEST

Marcia Clark's favorite blues band, the Pontiax, fronted by her favorite blues singer, Mitch Kashmar, will be the featured performers at the "Sweet Thursday" gig at Alexander's in Ventura.

The band was formed in the early '80s by Kashmar and the late local blues guitar god Buddy Smith. Based in Santa Barbara, the Pontiax, the best local band named after a misspelled car, have weathered a number of personnel changes over the years, but continue to be a crowd pleaser with their California jump blues.

Clark, who was spotted at a Pontiax gig a few weeks ago at Joe Daddy's in Ventura, usually makes it to the weekend gigs, but who knows about this one?

The venue is at 1050 Schooner Drive near the entrance to the Ventura Harbor. The $5 show begins around 8:15 p.m. Call 646-7230 for more information.

SATURDAY: MUCH MOZART

The UCLA Chorale and University Chorus will take a drive north to the Civic Arts Plaza Auditorium in Thousand Oaks for its 8 p.m. staging of a "Mozart Gala." Led by noted director Donald Neuen, a combined force of 200 voices will be joined by pianist Vitaly Margulis--an accomplished Russian pianist who joined the UCLA faculty in 1994--and the American Youth Symphony, which, for 31 years, has been a symphony-orchestra training ground for young instrumentalists. As the program title implies, Mozart fans will have plenty to enjoy. The evening's menu includes: Overture to "The Magic Flute," Piano Concert in A major, and grand mass in C minor.

Tickets: $10-$15; $5-$10 full-time students with ID. The venue is at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. For more information, call 449-2787.

SUNDAY: COMPLETELY AT HOME

Saxophonist Buddy Collette belongs to the elite order of West Coast jazz musicians who have made a name for themselves without leaving Los Angeles. Collette will perform at 7 p.m. at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in this year's jazz concert presented by the American Assn. of University Women.

Handy on flute and clarinet, as well as saxes, Collette has been based in Los Angeles since the '40s, and has played with Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and others, in addition to working the studio circuit. He was honored in 1996 with a tribute by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Collette--who will dedicate his new composition "Jazz for Thousand Oaks"--will appear in the Forum Theatre. Proceeds benefit the AAUW Educational Foundation. The venue is at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 449-2787.

UP THE COAST

* The Oak Park Cultural Festival series will look to the Emerald Island for its theme this weekend. Hosted by the Santa Barbara Irish Committee, the Irish Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On tap: three stages of continuous live Celtic music, traditional Irish dancing, a 14th century renaissance encampment and, of course, plenty of corned beef 'n' cabbage. Oak Park is located at Alamar Avenue and Junipero Street. Admission is free. Call 969-0571.

* UC Santa Barbara's popular Middle East Ensemble will perform "An Evening of Arab Music and Dance" at 8 p.m. Saturday at the campus' Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Joining the ensemble will be noted vocalist Abdellatif Belharrat. The program will include popular songs and regional folk traditions. Tickets: $10, $7 students. Call 893-3535.

* The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum will hold its second annual art walk, "Art About Town," from Friday through Sunday. Here's your chance to meet with over 50 artists and take a close-up look inside their working studios. Plus 14 galleries will hold special exhibitions, receptions and art demonstrations. Participants begin at the Arts Forum--653 Paseo Nuevo, inside the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center--where $5 will get you a comprehensive map of the art walk. For more information, call 966-5373.

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