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Jazz, world music find a place at new hall

November 22, 2002|Don Heckman | Special to The Times

Determined to diversify programming at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic introduced jazz and world music series at Thursday's announcement of the inaugural season in the house that Frank Gehry built.

The schedule, the first under the stewardship of singer Dianne Reeves, consists of four concerts: Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette (Nov. 12, 2003); Reeves with George Duke, the L.A. Philharmonic and special guests (Jan. 24, 2004); Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (March 15, 2004); and the Herbie Hancock Quartet with the L.A. Philharmonic, performing a Gershwin program (May 1, 2004).

Reeves describes the schedule as intending to "pay homage to many of the great architects of jazz, some of the great jazz artists today, as well as a few voices of the future."

Very few "voices of the future," as it turns out, and literally no surprises -- other than, perhaps, the scheduling of a concert by Reeves, rather than, say, such a higher-visibility vocal attraction as Cassandra Wilson.

Will the Disney Hall scheduling of artists such as Jarrett and Hancock -- staples of the UCLA Performing Arts schedules -- trigger any sort of booking war for major name jazz talent?

UCLA Live director David Sefton, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, has always expressed the view that everyone benefits from more performance opportunities.

But advance word suggests that the 2003-04 UCLA Live season will not be as rich with jazz entries as the current schedule.

The initial world-music season at Disney Hall includes performances by Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora, in a concert with strings (Nov. 18, 2003); an appearance by Portuguese fado singer Mariza with the L.A. Philharmonic (April 2, 2004); a concert by Indian drummer Zakir Hussain with the Masters of Percussion (April 24, 2004); and a fourth event to be announced later. The programming, by Tom Schnabel, offers an attractive blend of an established artist (Evora), with an emerging star (Mariza) and a display of world roots music (Hussain).

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