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Nathaniel Ayers

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Howard Askins grew up in New York, the son of blue-collar transit authority employees who expected him to go far, and he did. His first stop was Brown University, and then he was off to Harvard, where he earned both medical and law degrees before moving on to psychiatric residency at UCLA. Nathaniel Ayers, like Askins, grew up working class - in his case, Cleveland was home. His dream was music, not medicine, and his hard work landed him at the prestigious Juilliard School for the Performing Arts in New York City, where he played for a time in the same orchestra as Yo-Yo Ma. On Monday, the two African American men sat across from each other in a former pickle factory on San Fernando Road that serves as the mental health division of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Howard Askins grew up in New York, the son of blue-collar transit authority employees who expected him to go far, and he did. His first stop was Brown University, and then he was off to Harvard, where he earned both medical and law degrees before moving on to psychiatric residency at UCLA. Nathaniel Ayers, like Askins, grew up working class - in his case, Cleveland was home. His dream was music, not medicine, and his hard work landed him at the prestigious Juilliard School for the Performing Arts in New York City, where he played for a time in the same orchestra as Yo-Yo Ma. On Monday, the two African American men sat across from each other in a former pickle factory on San Fernando Road that serves as the mental health division of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2013 | Steve Lopez
It's a short ride from L.A.'s skid row to Hollywood, but throw in a detour and a few bumps and the journey can take six months, as it did for my friend Nathaniel Ayers. The Juilliard-trained musician had been ensconced in the same downtown apartment for seven years, but things weren't working out, and it was time to move on. That was his landlord's opinion and mine, too. But Mr. Ayers insisted he was staying put, end of discussion. His apartment was his sanctuary, and few people were allowed into his space for inspections or anything else.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Dana Ferguson
In its first 10 years Disney Hall became more than a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, it also became a destination for photographing advertisements and filming commercials, television shows and movies. Howard Sherman, vice president of operations at the Music Center, said the product of Frank Gehry's imagination works on film because the hall can be so many things to so many people. "If they want futuristic stainless steel curves, this is where they come. If they want a space to do a formal black tie gala in a traditional environment, this is where they can come," he said.
OPINION
May 17, 2008
Re "Sunday service tugs at agnostic," May 11 I find it stunningly beautiful that a man may reach a point at which, influenced by a single event or perhaps a confluence of events, he is able to hear the voice that has always been calling. Who is to say that a homeless violinist is not God's angel? The potential effect of Steve Lopez's friendship with Nathaniel Ayers is beyond calculation. Robert Spalding San Diego
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Dana Ferguson
In its first 10 years Disney Hall became more than a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, it also became a destination for photographing advertisements and filming commercials, television shows and movies. Howard Sherman, vice president of operations at the Music Center, said the product of Frank Gehry's imagination works on film because the hall can be so many things to so many people. "If they want futuristic stainless steel curves, this is where they come. If they want a space to do a formal black tie gala in a traditional environment, this is where they can come," he said.
OPINION
May 7, 2005
Re two Points West columns, "Violinist Has the World on 2 Strings," April 17, and "Grace Notes of Caring in a Cold World," April 27: The Steve Lopez piece about Nathaniel Ayers, the homeless musician, was very touching. As a psychologist who has treated persons afflicted with schizophrenia, it was wonderful that someone would write about Ayers, putting a real face on a real man who suffers from this condition. As a musician, it was pleasing to me that Ayers was seen as even more special because of his gift, a gift which, I am sure, has made his condition a bit more tolerable.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
At the Bard College Music Festival last weekend in New York, the college's president and festival director, Leon Botstein, made a striking remark about Richard Wagner and his cronies. "If we used our standards of normalcy on the 19th century," he said during a panel discussion about Wagner and the Jewish question, "historians wouldn't be left with much worth remembering." I thought about that Tuesday at the Hollywood Bowl. Yo-Yo Ma played Dvorak's Cello Concerto and my guest was another cellist, Nathaniel Ayers, whose story Steve Lopez has told meaningfully in this newspaper and in his book "The Soloist."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2011 | Steve Lopez
I picked him up at 10:30 Monday morning. He was waiting on the sidewalk outside his apartment with a cello, a violin, a guitar, a trumpet, a walking stick and a backpack full of music. "Good morning, Mr. Ayers. " "Good morning, Mr. Lopez. " When Nathaniel Ayers and I go places together, I'm the driver. But he's the talent, as they say, so in a sense, I'm just along for the ride. Such was the case as we headed off to the Foshay Learning Center , a K-12 school near Western Avenue and Exposition Boulevard, where Mr. Ayers was slated to perform.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2007 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
The unlikely friendship between Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and skid row musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers is set to become a motion picture at DreamWorks SKG starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as the musician.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2013 | Steve Lopez
It's a short ride from L.A.'s skid row to Hollywood, but throw in a detour and a few bumps and the journey can take six months, as it did for my friend Nathaniel Ayers. The Juilliard-trained musician had been ensconced in the same downtown apartment for seven years, but things weren't working out, and it was time to move on. That was his landlord's opinion and mine, too. But Mr. Ayers insisted he was staying put, end of discussion. His apartment was his sanctuary, and few people were allowed into his space for inspections or anything else.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2011 | Steve Lopez
I picked him up at 10:30 Monday morning. He was waiting on the sidewalk outside his apartment with a cello, a violin, a guitar, a trumpet, a walking stick and a backpack full of music. "Good morning, Mr. Ayers. " "Good morning, Mr. Lopez. " When Nathaniel Ayers and I go places together, I'm the driver. But he's the talent, as they say, so in a sense, I'm just along for the ride. Such was the case as we headed off to the Foshay Learning Center , a K-12 school near Western Avenue and Exposition Boulevard, where Mr. Ayers was slated to perform.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
At the Bard College Music Festival last weekend in New York, the college's president and festival director, Leon Botstein, made a striking remark about Richard Wagner and his cronies. "If we used our standards of normalcy on the 19th century," he said during a panel discussion about Wagner and the Jewish question, "historians wouldn't be left with much worth remembering." I thought about that Tuesday at the Hollywood Bowl. Yo-Yo Ma played Dvorak's Cello Concerto and my guest was another cellist, Nathaniel Ayers, whose story Steve Lopez has told meaningfully in this newspaper and in his book "The Soloist."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2009 | STEVE LOPEZ
He was so eager to make the trip, he called several times to make sure it hadn't been canceled. "Mr. Lopez, is the pickup still at 9 a.m?" "Yes, Mr. Ayers. I'll see you in the morning." When I pulled up, he was standing on the sidewalk playing a skid row reveille on his trumpet. He had a small overnight bag and five more instruments -- cello, violin, French horn, clarinet and flute, meaning he had made the difficult decision to leave several other instruments home.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2009 | Cristy Lytal
In the credits of "The Soloist," Sean Daly is identified as the "hand of Nathaniel Ayers." Played by Jamie Foxx in the film, the character of Ayers is based on the homeless schizophrenic musician who inspired a series of columns by the Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, your hand's in the movie?' " says Daly. "And I say, 'No, Jamie Foxx and I have two very different-looking hands.'
OPINION
May 17, 2008
Re "Sunday service tugs at agnostic," May 11 I find it stunningly beautiful that a man may reach a point at which, influenced by a single event or perhaps a confluence of events, he is able to hear the voice that has always been calling. Who is to say that a homeless violinist is not God's angel? The potential effect of Steve Lopez's friendship with Nathaniel Ayers is beyond calculation. Robert Spalding San Diego
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2009 | Cristy Lytal
In the credits of "The Soloist," Sean Daly is identified as the "hand of Nathaniel Ayers." Played by Jamie Foxx in the film, the character of Ayers is based on the homeless schizophrenic musician who inspired a series of columns by the Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, your hand's in the movie?' " says Daly. "And I say, 'No, Jamie Foxx and I have two very different-looking hands.'
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2009 | STEVE LOPEZ
He was so eager to make the trip, he called several times to make sure it hadn't been canceled. "Mr. Lopez, is the pickup still at 9 a.m?" "Yes, Mr. Ayers. I'll see you in the morning." When I pulled up, he was standing on the sidewalk playing a skid row reveille on his trumpet. He had a small overnight bag and five more instruments -- cello, violin, French horn, clarinet and flute, meaning he had made the difficult decision to leave several other instruments home.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2007 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
The unlikely friendship between Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and skid row musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers is set to become a motion picture at DreamWorks SKG starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as the musician.
OPINION
May 7, 2005
Re two Points West columns, "Violinist Has the World on 2 Strings," April 17, and "Grace Notes of Caring in a Cold World," April 27: The Steve Lopez piece about Nathaniel Ayers, the homeless musician, was very touching. As a psychologist who has treated persons afflicted with schizophrenia, it was wonderful that someone would write about Ayers, putting a real face on a real man who suffers from this condition. As a musician, it was pleasing to me that Ayers was seen as even more special because of his gift, a gift which, I am sure, has made his condition a bit more tolerable.
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