May 3, 1998 |
Some days, trombonist Mark McGrain was so far down he couldn't get himself to crawl out of bed, let alone make his gigs. Then he injured his ankle and was afraid it might be broken. It had been several years since he left the faculty of Boston's Berklee College of Music and, with it, his health insurance. He couldn't pay a doctor. "You're very lucky if you can even eke out a hand-to-mouth existence in music these days," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2000 |
The Romanian pan flute is an instrument most often heard in folkloric settings, rarely outside its element. In the hands of Romanian expatriate Damian Draghici, it becomes something else again. One of the world's virtuosos on his instrument, Draghici has pushed the envelope of technical aplomb, using a complex triple-tonguing method that led to his nickname, Speed of Light.
March 4, 1991 |
The CalArts Contemporary Music Festival this year may be only a faint echo of past glories, but its collective ear is clearly on the future. There was more artifice than art in the opening programs, but the technologies surveyed dazzled in their own right and hold much promise. Interactive was the word in trendy neighborhoods Friday and Saturday.
August 1, 2008 |
Israel-born Anat Cohen's Southland debut at Hollywood & Highland on Tuesday night was an impressive display of the qualities that last year garnered her awards from Down Beat and the Jazz Journalists Assn. -- and it also offered hope that a female horn player, fluent on clarinet and alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, will finally eradicate the outmoded notion that the art form is strictly the provenance of male performers. While the clarinet has not been one of the prominent jazz instruments since its heyday in the Swing-era playing of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and others, in Cohen's hands -- playing material as diverse as Fats Waller's perky "Jitterbug Waltz," her own impressionistic "Washington Square Park" and a finger-busting choro by the great Brazilian composer Pixinguinha -- the instrument came alive, bursting with post-modernist improvisational transformations.
July 3, 1992 |
Wynton and Branford Marsalis are two of the most influential young musicians anywhere. But you might not have heard of Delfeayo Marsalis, unless you're a habitual reader of the fine print in CD booklets. Until now, Delfeayo Marsalis has been mainly known as a record producer who's overseen about 20 projects by such notables as his brother Branford, pianists Marcus Roberts and Kenny Kirkland and pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr.
June 14, 1988 |
The career of Mike Metheny has closely paralleled that of his brother, Pat. Like Pat, he started out on trumpet (but, unlike him, he stayed with the horn while Pat, to quote Mike, "got smart and switched to guitar, an instrument that doesn't require lips"). Like Pat, Mike was raised in Lees Summit, Mo., but wound up in Boston, playing and teaching at the Berklee College of Music.
July 31, 1992 |
A few years ago, guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero would be popping up at jazz clubs all over the Los Angeles area, earning himself a nice following but hardly a hefty bank balance. "I saturated the town, met a lot of people, and that was great," he said on the phone this week from his home in Redondo Beach. "But I also found that a lot of club owners plain didn't want to pay the band, and I couldn't accept that."
September 23, 1994 |
Leonard Geoffrey Feather, a gifted composer and producer who, in the course of his career, gained wide recognition as a jazz critic, died Thursday in Encino. He was 80. Feather, who had spent his final months completing a revision of his acclaimed "Encyclopedia of Jazz," had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia for the last six weeks. He died at Encino Hospital, where he had celebrated his birthday nine days before his death.
September 21, 1996 |
Tracy Bonham has tapped into every mom's worst nightmare: Sunny on the surface, rock-bottom desperate underneath, her song "Mother Mother" dramatizes a young woman's confessional phone call home in harrowing detail. The story behind the funny, brooding and occasionally hysterical song is just one example of how this newcomer from Boston pulls strength out of adversity and humor from dead-serious despair.