October 27, 2003 |
"Divas: Simply Singing" returned for its 13th annual installment Saturday night at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. And the gowns, the glitter and the wigs were out in force as 15 attitude-laden divas displayed their wares on a stage filled with enough plants and trees to serve as the set for a "George of the Jungle" movie. Once again, the diva of all divas was Sheryl Lee Ralph, who founded and created the production, which donates proceeds to Project Angel Food and the Black AIDS Institute.
May 8, 2000 |
It's one of the best parties in town, where the music raises the roof, the applause pours out like love and tears flow like redemption. But as Sheryl Lee Ralph, founder of the AIDS fund-raiser "Divas: Simply Singing!," said at Saturday night's 10th annual event, this is one party she would have preferred never to host. Still, she and her fellow divas keep singing--to keep alive the memories of the friends they've lost and to keep hope alive for the rest of us.
May 25, 2000
* Theater. Peter Falk and Jason Alexander headline in the world premiere of "Defiled," Lee Kalcheim's drama about a police negotiator and an over-the-edge city librarian, opening Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Plays Tuesdays through Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 and 8:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 and 7 p.m. Also June 14 and 15, 2 p.m.; dark June 16 through 19. Ends July 2. $20 to $42; June 14 and 15 matinee mezzanine seats, $25.
March 1, 2002 |
The lineup for the 24th annual Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place June 15-16 at the Hollywood Bowl, isn't going to surprise anyone. The upside to the schedule is that it is more firmly within the jazz arena than has been the case in recent programs. The downside is that most of the acts have made Southland appearances in one venue or another within the past year. But there's no denying the high quality of the talent on the bill.
January 21, 2008 |
The Monterey Jazz Festival, with its golden anniversary coming later this year, is by most estimates the world's longest-running continuous jazz festival. But its more significant attribute has always been that music, not longevity, is the festival's heart and soul. So it was appropriate that the festival's 50th Anniversary Tour All-Stars at UCLA's Royce Hall on Friday night offered nearly 2 1/2 hours of prime, straight-ahead, mainstream jazz.
January 6, 1999 |
The strengths and weaknesses of jazz in the late '90s are immediately apparent in this year's Grammy nominees. Among the strengths: The contemporary jazz performance category, despite the tendency to minimize this particular genre, is filled with first-rate outings from Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller and the Yellowjackets.
January 30, 2000
MOVIES Drug agent Liam Neeson, right, confronts mobster Oliver Platt, left, in the dark romantic comedy "Gun Shy," directed by Eric Blakeney. Also starring Sandra Bullock. Opens wide Friday. POP MUSIC In the era of Latin-pop crossover, Mexican superstar Luis Miguel has declined to join the Enriques and Rickys and Marcs in recording an English-language album.
October 5, 1997 |
Not only does drummer T.S. Monk deliver the bloodline authority implied in this album's title, he also fashions his father's music in his own image. In doing so, he's made one of the best all-star recordings in recent memory. Monk's regular sextet, expanded to some 11 pieces, is supplemented with appearances from a host of special guests, including Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Grover Washington Jr.
October 30, 1995 |
Looking for a potentially world class jazz singer? Place Nnenna Freelon near the top of the list. Although the gifted young singer's contract with Columbia Records inexplicably ended last year after three albums, she has the look and the sound of an artist on the move. Freelon's performance at the Veterans Wadsworth Theater on Saturday night was an impressive display of her skills. But she still has some work to do.
September 4, 1998 |
Ray Charles' appearance at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night afforded an unusual opportunity to experience the Genius of Soul's instrumental expertise as a jazz artist while enjoying his always compelling, soul-drenched vocals. Seated stage center before a grand piano and an electronic keyboard, surrounded by a 45-piece orchestra, the slender, animated Charles was generous with solos, almost as focused on his playing as he was on his singing.