March 1, 2014 |
Master of the viol, Jordi Savall is also a master joiner. His specialty is a narrow-seeming one, his six-stringed instrument's heyday having been the 16th and early 17th centuries when the viol was second in popularity only to the lute. Viol repertory is fertile, to be sure, but limited in historical scope and relevance (the Renaissance and Baroque eras), in sound (it is a quiet instrument), in tone (it has a dark, subdued character) and in geography (Western Europe). Yet Savall, who is Catalan and who founded and conducts the outstanding period-instrument ensemble Hespèrion XXI that will be appearing Sunday in Walt Disney Concert Hall, has what could be the broadest vision among any musicians today of how cultures connect and the historical significance of that for a modern, changing world.
April 6, 1990 |
L oud is the word for the new Border Grill at 1445 4th St. in Santa Monica, (213) 451-1655. The sound is a wave that assaults you as you walk in the door. The look is loud too; it's a raucous room filled with intense colors and big pictures, a place where every wall is a canvas for this bright new look. The food itself is a bold brew that is perfectly at home in this setting. To begin, there is great guacamole and wonderful empanadas made out of fried plantains stuffed with black beans.
March 12, 2001 |
Burhan Ocal is one of the busiest percussionists in the world, shifting easily through gigs with Joe Zawinul, George Gruntz and a funk/hip-hop band with bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma. But the foundations of his art--Turkish folk and classical music--took center stage at UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday. Leading his Gypsy Istanbul Oriental Ensemble, Ocal was a multi- instrument wizard.
November 5, 2002 |
Dating from the 13th century, "Cantigas de Santa Maria" (Songs to the Virgin Mary) are no musty antiquarian oddities. At least, not in the care of the Boston Camerata, the Camerata Mediterranea and the Sharq Arab-American Ensemble on Sunday at UCLA's Royce Hall.
December 17, 2006 |
Ali Farka Toure, "Savane" (Nonesuch). The Malian singer-guitarist's final album (he died of bone cancer in March) is one of his best, a superb example of his primal linkage of African music and the American blues. * Anouar Brahem, "Le Voyage de Sahar" (ECM).
April 16, 2001 |
The Persian Arts Society continued its quest to showcase the traditional and contemporary arts of Iran with "an evening of ecstatic music and dance" on Saturday at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre. Titled "Nava & Namah" (Sound & Reverence) the lengthy but illuminating program featured the music of the Dastan Ensemble and the dancing of the Namah Ensemble.
June 21, 2000 |
Israel and the Andalusian province of Spain don't immediately come to mind as musical aficionados. But in the dense intersection of cultures that took place around the 10th and 11th centuries, the musical currents of Spain and the Middle East became inextricably blended. One contemporary result of that blending turned up at Grand Performances in the California Water Court on Monday in the form of the Israel Andalusian Orchestra.
June 22, 1986 |
Marion Scott is sitting in her Westwood penthouse apartment talking about a fire that broke out the previous night in her husband's aluminum tubing factory in New Jersey. Two men have been killed, and, Scott says, "he's lost everything." Still she will not fly home to console him. She is giving an interview instead, testing the strength of a new, independent life in which, like the emblematic phoenix, she is a resurrected performer--at 63, making one last bid for recognition as an artist.
July 31, 1994 |
Looking to pay the rent while reaching for the musical stars? Well, if you're a member of the American Federation of Musicians, you can hire yourself out as scenery for $144 a day. Hollywood is hungry for musicians who'll do bit parts playing--and sometimes just appearing to play--in TV and movie scenes. On-camera musicians, says union spokesman Carmen Fanzone, often only pretend to play; the actual music is usually recorded elsewhere by studio musicians.
May 15, 1998 |
Drawing hoots and shouts of "Ow!" at a concert grounded in medieval balladry and performed on harp, hurdy-gurdy and oud seems about as likely as a song based on ancient Middle Eastern and Celtic modes becoming a big pop radio hit. But Loreena McKennitt, who achieved the latter distinction recently with a techno remix of her song "The Mummer's Dance," managed the former feat Wednesday at the Universal Amphitheatre.