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Sacred Music

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ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2011 | By Jasmine Elist, Los Angeles Times
Entertainment is king in Los Angeles, and the arts are inexorably tugged toward its commercial center. But Judy Mitoma, director of the World Festival of Sacred Music, saw a need for arts and artists expressing other parts of the Angeleno experience — the spiritual, the connection to nature, the acknowledgment of peace. In 1999, when the Dalai Lama sent out a call for a sacred music festival, she knew that was what she was looking for. On Saturday, the fifth World Festival of Sacred Music will fill Los Angeles' historic theaters, churches, temples, museums and beaches with spiritual dance and music for 16 days and nights.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2011 | By Jasmine Elist, Los Angeles Times
Entertainment is king in Los Angeles, and the arts are inexorably tugged toward its commercial center. But Judy Mitoma, director of the World Festival of Sacred Music, saw a need for arts and artists expressing other parts of the Angeleno experience — the spiritual, the connection to nature, the acknowledgment of peace. In 1999, when the Dalai Lama sent out a call for a sacred music festival, she knew that was what she was looking for. On Saturday, the fifth World Festival of Sacred Music will fill Los Angeles' historic theaters, churches, temples, museums and beaches with spiritual dance and music for 16 days and nights.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 1992 | From Religious News Service
A Huntington Beach producer of Catholic sacred music has asked the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which sponsors the Grammy awards, to create a category for recordings of sacred and liturgical music. If Deborah Traylor's proposal wins a category slot, musicians from the Catholic Church and other Christian churches may find themselves at the Grammy awards next year, waiting with anticipation for "the envelope please" beside the likes of Paul Simon and Bonnie Raitt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2009 | Martha Groves
"Basses, you're all over the place! Tenors, you're too bright! Altos, I'm hearing foreign matter. Sopranos, stop wobbling. I don't want this to sound like Podunk!" For 40 years as choirmaster of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Westwood, James Vail has exhorted his vocalists, often in a vexed high-pitched tone accompanied by loud piano-pounding, to mind their sharps and flats.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 2001 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Duke Ellington described his "Second Sacred Concert" of 1968 as "the most important thing I have ever done." Though some would dispute that assessment, there's no denying the hold that sacred music had upon Ellington. The 1968 program was preceded by a 1965 concert of sacred music (which included large segments from such earlier works as "Black, Brown and Beige" and "New World A-Comin' ") and followed by a sacred music concert in 1973, a year before his death.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2001 | LEWIS SEGAL, TIMES DANCE CRITIC
Partly a documentary on the nine-day Los Angeles segment of a global 1999 event, "World Festival of Sacred Music--the Americas" also represents an exploration of how film and video can interpret complex cultural traditions for a wider audience. Previously available on home video, it comes to public television tonight as an 83-minute testament to the rich overlapping spiritual contexts of the Los Angeles community.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1999 | JOHN HENKEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Transcendence and contemplation are certainly elements of sacred music. But so is direct and earthy engagement, and that was the focus of much of the World Festival of Sacred Music in its closing weekend, as a sampling found firmly rooted, vernacular expressions of faith and aspiration everywhere. Not that the women of Zhena Folk Chorus could not sing like angels in terms of vocal production, blend, pitch and pointed inflection.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 7, 1999
SATURDAY Great Leap multicultural performance group: A daylong celebration, including the bringing together of various spiritual elders, yoga sadhana and the Healing Dance and culminating in a Sacred Music Circle concert. Senshin Buddhist Temple, 1311 W. 37th St., 5 a.m.-10 p.m. (323) 655-TKTS. Full-day Passport, $13. Barnsdall Art Park Family Day: A pre-Columbian service by Cuauhtemoc Azteca Dance. Various world-music ensembles. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2008 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
Many Southern Californians still remember the feelings of promise and unity generated by the epochal 1984 Olympic Arts Festival and its successors, the Los Angeles Festivals. Alas, the latter fell apart in the 1990s, but now it is safe to say that the World Festival of Sacred Music -- like the L.A. Festivals, a triennial event -- has filled some of the gap, tapping into the same yearning for adventure and understanding of common ground among many peoples that drove those cultural celebrations.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 1999 | KRISTIN HOHENADEL, Kristin Hohenadel is a frequent contributor to Calendar
In the fall of 1997, the Dalai Lama sent a message out into the world, inviting the global community to consider using music as a tool for ushering in a peaceful millennium. "Among the many forms in which the human spirit has tried to express its innermost yearnings and perceptions, music is perhaps the most universal," he wrote. "There is something in music that transcends and unites.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2008 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
Many Southern Californians still remember the feelings of promise and unity generated by the epochal 1984 Olympic Arts Festival and its successors, the Los Angeles Festivals. Alas, the latter fell apart in the 1990s, but now it is safe to say that the World Festival of Sacred Music -- like the L.A. Festivals, a triennial event -- has filled some of the gap, tapping into the same yearning for adventure and understanding of common ground among many peoples that drove those cultural celebrations.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2008 | Rachel Levin
SCHOOL shootings. A spike in gang warfare. Budget cuts in education. Youth in Southern California have it pretty rough these days and Iris Stevenson is weary from it all. As the director of the Crenshaw High School Elite Choir -- an award-winning, globe-trotting youth gospel group -- she recently lost one of her young male singers to a random shooting. "I believe we have to stop the violence," she says. "And the more we know about one another, the less we're going to spend time fighting one another."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2006 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music -- which annually brings musicians of every imaginable religious background to Morocco for a transcendent spiritual and cultural get-together -- seems like a virtual anomaly at a time when much of the world is ablaze with confrontations between differing forms of religious fundamentalism, more eager to emphasize differences than share common ground.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2005 | Lynne Heffley
England's King's Singers and international early music ensemble Sarband will combine forces in a "Sacred Bridges" concert at UCLA's Royce Hall on Friday. When they do, fans of each group may not get what they expect, "but we're still going to blow their socks off," says King's Singers tenor Paul Phoenix, speaking by phone from London. The UCLA program will be based on "Sacred Bridges," a CD the groups recently recorded together.
NEWS
September 22, 2005 | Mark Sachs
On Sunday, the hills around the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre will be alive with the sound of sacred music, courtesy of Maurita Phillips-Thornburgh's Cantori Domino choral group. The artistic director has also performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and sung on scores of movie soundtracks, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Indiana Jones" and "Jurassic Park."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2005 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
World music, in all its colorful variety, was on full display Saturday night at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The opening performance of the 2005 World Festival of Sacred Music offered a succulent selection from the rich banquet scheduled over the next two weeks. There are times when world music seems a too-expansive label, especially when applied to sounds that consist of little more than exotic instruments played over a pop-style rhythmic groove.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2002 | JENNIFER FISHER
At a recent Wednesday-morning staff meeting for the 2002 World Festival of Sacred Music, the main topic is how to get the world of Southern California to come to the world of sacred music. The woman in charge, intercultural guru Judy Mitoma, asks for the latest developments from the communications front. She speaks softly but firmly, her bright eyes and incipient smile inviting all contributions.
WORLD
April 9, 2005 | Chris Pasles, Times Staff Writer
Apart from the tolling of church bells, the sound most associated this week with the death of Pope John Paul II has been the singing of Gregorian chant. Millions heard it Monday, when the Polish-born pontiff's body was carried from the Apostolic Palace into St.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2002 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Jazz has not often served as the vehicle for inspirational or spiritual ideas -- at least not in an overt, literal sense. Most jazz listeners (and musicians, for that matter), though, would be quick to note the subtle presence of those qualities in almost every aspect of the genre. Duke Ellington's sacred music represents an exception -- a group of compositions inspired by and connected to specific spiritual reference points.
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