CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2000 |
In the early '90s, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos was a spirited if undeveloped soloist who got a few minutes of fame in the L.A.-based Black/Note quintet, which eventually recorded for Columbia Records and opened for Wynton Marsalis in concerts on the East Coast and in Europe. After the subsequent break-up of the band, Castellanos realized that his art needed some refining.
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.
May 3, 2009 |
Times might be tough for the record industry, but they're good for Stevie Blacke. The multi-instrumentalist has appeared on such hit songs as Pink's "Sober," Rihanna's "Rehab" and Hinder's "Without You" -- and tracks from Madonna, Beck and Snoop Dogg -- playing violin, cello, mandolin, lap steel, Dobro or more than a dozen other instruments, including the two-stringed Chinese Erhu.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2005 |
In the world of guitars and guitarists, Ted Greene was a Yoda-like figure. A teacher, arranger and theoretician, Greene was "a living encyclopedia of the guitar," according to one student, with a wealth of knowledge that he passed along to students for a pittance. A shy, self-effacing man who loved guitar but loathed the limelight, Greene possessed astonishing range and style in his playing. He performed infrequently at clubs, generally venues in the San Fernando Valley.
May 14, 2007 |
Facing fierce criticism of sexist and depraved rap lyrics, top music industry executives planned a private meeting. They would discuss the issue, they said, and "announce initiatives" at a news conference afterward. That was three weeks ago. The session with the media was canceled without explanation, and ever since, music's gatekeepers have been silent. Leaders of the four major record companies, which control nearly 90% of the market, may fear cracking the door to censorship.
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.