Summer in Los Angeles always seems to trigger an explosion of world music events--convincing evidence of the Southland's rich multiculturalism. Summer 2000 is no exception.
Here's a quick overview of some of the highlights:
* The Hollywood Bowl's World Festival 2000 presents seven events starting June 25, most on Sunday nights. The opening program, "Fiery Flamenco," charts the links among Spanish, Arabic and Indian music, featuring the remarkable guitarist Thierry "Titi" Robin. The closing program, "Celebrate Brazil!" on Sept. 10, brings back the dynamic Jorge Ben Jor and showcases the high-voltage singing of samba reggae queen Daniela Mercury.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday June 3, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Grand Performances--The World Music column in Friday's Calendar listed an incorrect phone number for Grand Performances at the California Water Court. The correct number is (213) 687-2159.
Other concerts feature "World Divas," with Miriam Makeba and Albita (July 16), a "World Blues Party" with Ali Farka Toure, Koko Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and others (July 23), "Celtic Journeys" with the incomparable Irish band Altan and the step-dancing violinist Natalie MacMaster, and "African Funk" with Femi Kuti and Maceo Parker (Aug. 6). An additional event, "Tropical Serenades," pairs the legendary Brazilian singer-composer Milton Nascimento with Cuban singer-guitarist Juan Formell on July 1. Information: (323) 850-2000.
* Summer Nights Season 2000, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, includes a far-reaching group of world music programs, generally organized around thematic presentations. The Jewish global fusion music of the Klezmatics arrives July 9. This year's "African Village Music Festival" (Aug. 20) reaches out to embrace the continent's impact on other areas as well, with highlife artist Chief Steve Osita Osadebe, the Cuban band Orquesta La Palabra, and samba artists Josias Dos Santos and Sambrasil.
"Latino L.A." features Mexico's Los Folkloristas and Danza Floricanto/USA in a concert touching many areas of Central and South America. "The Poetry of Peace: Middle East Arts Festival" (Sept. 10) features the Arab melodies of Lebanese-born Ali Jihad Racy and the Sephardic music of Moroccan-born cantor and mawal master Emil Zrihan. And the Ford's annual Brazilian production introduces the singing and dancing of Elba Ramalho--the "Brazilian Tina Turner"--in her Los Angeles debut. Information: (323) 461-3673.
* Grand Performances, at the California Plaza Watercourt downtown, is a highly regarded series that actually programs more world music events over the summer months than either the Hollywood Bowl or the Ford. This year it is particularly rich with major international artists. Tolu, the far-too-little-known supergroup (with percussionist Alex Acun~a and woodwind artist Justo Almario), performs on June 17. On June 19, the Israel Andalusian Orchestra rolls in with an entourage that includes performers playing classical and traditional Sephardic instruments and dancing in African style. The veteran South African jazz-pop artist Hugh Masekela performs June 29.
July Grand Performances are virtually nonstop world music events: the wildly entertaining Canadian ensemble La Bottine Souriante (July 14); merengue accordionist Joaquin Diaz (July 15); the Madagascar pop group Tarika (July 21); an extraordinary evening of Indian music and dance featuring singers T.V. Ramprasad and Lakshmi Shankar (July 22); and the father of Congolese rumba, Wendo Kolosoy (July 28).
And the beat goes on into October, with qawwali music by the Rizwan-Muazzam Party (Aug. 3), Festa Brazil with Chico Cesar and Rita Ribeiro (Aug. 11), salsa with Johnny Polanco y Conjunto Amistad (Aug. 18), Senegalese dance with the Jant Bi company (Aug. 22-23), Romanian Damian Dragichi's amazing pan flute playing (Aug. 25); Cape Verdean singer Fantcha (Sept. 1); Qi Jazz's fusion of jazz and the music of the Beijing opera (Sept. 29); the lush Eastern Europe harmonies of the vocal group Kitka (Oct. 2); Ballet Folclorico do Brasil (Oct. 25); and, finally, the third annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration (Oct. 27-28). Information: (213) 587-2159.
* The Santa Monica Pier Summer Concerts, which generally draw overflow crowds to the free programs, include four world music events in August: Thomas Mapfumo and the female vocal group Adaawe (Aug. 10); reggae group Culture (Aug. 17); zydeco music with Zachary Richard and Lisa Haley & the Zydekats (Aug. 24); and the Celtic rock of the Young Dubliners (Aug. 31). Information: (310) 458-8900.
Preseason World Sounds: Leading all of the above events is an important concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday. The program encompasses many areas of Middle Eastern music and showcases Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Saher, one of the Arab world's most acclaimed performers, Iranian violinist Bijan Mortazavi, Palestinian oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen, and Greek singer George Dalaras. Information: (323) 850-2000.