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March 01, 2007



Melodies for world peace

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Samite has been living in the United States since he was forced to flee Uganda as a political refugee in the 1980s. His music -- based on a sweetly lyrical vocal style, a virtuosic expertise with the African kalimba (finger piano), litungu (seven-string lyre) and various flutes -- reflects empathic linkages with American folk, enhanced by the engaging qualities of his melodies. This performance supports Samite's nonprofit organization, Musicians for World Harmony, which is dedicated to enabling musicians, worldwide, to use their music to promote peace.

Samite, Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 8 tonight. $25; $20 (members); $15 (students). (310) 440-4500.


Women of


"Inner landscapes, inner dialogues, reflections on life, sound and images" -- those, according to artistic director Pamela Madsen, were the focuses of the female composers who inspired this year's Women in New Music Festival at Cal State Fullerton. Hence the event, in its sixth incarnation, is dubbed "Inner Voices." Tonight's free opener is the International Alliance for Women Annual Concert. Scheduled Saturday night at Meng Concert Hall is a performance by composer-choreographer and all-around theatrical virtuoso Meredith Monk.

Women in New Music Festival, Performing Arts Center, Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd. (at Nutwood Avenue). 8 tonight. Free.* Continues Friday through Sunday. Some events free; concerts 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $20; 4 p.m. Sunday, $35.



In Paris,

life changes

Daniele Thompson's charming romantic comedy "Avenue Montaigne" is an ensemble affair set on the chic Paris thoroughfare, building toward one night in which three events -- the opening of a play, an auction and a concert -- prove to be transforming moments in the characters' lives. Cecile de France, Valerie Lemercier, Sydney Pollack, Claude Brasseur, co-writer Christopher Thompson and Albert Dupontel star.

"Avenue Montaigne," unrated, opens Friday in selected theaters. In French with English subtitles.


Myth hero in the rink

Valley Ice Skating ("Iceland") in Van Nuys was once the practice rink for Olympic champions, but for two performances on Friday it becomes the setting of Heidi Duckler's latest site-specific project for her locally based Collage Dance Theatre. "Beowulf on Ice" retells the ancient Brit myth as rewritten by Merridawn Duckler with music by Amy Knoles and Jane Grothe. Audience members will have the opportunity to rent skates for pre-performance spins around the rink and also to join the cast on the ice (without skates). Want more? Tickets for a pre-performance dinner benefiting the company

are available for an extra $50.

Collage Dance Theatre in "Beowulf on Ice." Valley Ice Skating ("Iceland"), 14318 Calvert St., Van Nuys. 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday. $10 (audience members may attend both performances). Doors open for skating at 7:30 p.m. (Rink admission and skate rental: $9.) (818) 784-8669.



To the beat of the Irish

From "Riverdance" to the chart-topping Celtic Woman albums, America loves Irish exports you can tap your toes to. In "A Gaelic Gathering," an installment of the Music Center's family-oriented World City performance series, veteran dancer Tara Barry leads a large ensemble in a program of lively "Ceili" dance, with upbeat traditional Irish music. The performance is followed by workshops in which families can make Irish arts and crafts and, presumably, dance in the streets.

"A Gaelic Gathering," W.M. Keck Foundation Children's Amphitheatre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Free; tickets distributed beginning at 10 a.m. (213) 972-3379.


Decay with symbolism

For his U.S. solo debut, Hamburg-based painter Henning Kles looked to an alternate U.S. history for inspiration. Drawing upon the allegory of "Watchmen," the mid-1980s graphic novel about superheroes in the Cold War, the paintings in "Harvester of Heroes" combine images of urban decay and the grotesque with fin-de-siecle symbolism.

"Henning Kles: Harvester of Heroes," Sandroni Rey, 1862 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. Opens Saturday. (310) 280-0111.

* Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Ends April 7.


Tribute to music pals

Violinist Ludvig Girdland, who has performed in every context, including jazz, film scores and commercials, was seriously injured a year and a half ago in an auto crash. The accident shut down plans for a musical partnership with rapidly emerging jazz pianist Josh Nelson. The musical memories of their association will be celebrated in a benefit and tribute concert, with the fiery jazz violinist Christian Howes sitting in for Girdland.

Ludvig Girdland benefit, Pierre's Fine Pianos, 11039 Pico Blvd., L.A. 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday. $35 to $50. (866) 529-9448.



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