CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2013 |
Fred Katz, a musician, composer and educator who helped introduce the cello to jazz, died Sept. 7 in Santa Monica from complications of kidney failure and liver cancer. He was 94. His death was confirmed by his son, Hyman Katz. A child prodigy on piano and cello, Katz studied under Pablo Casals and performed with the National Symphony in Washington. He also backed Lena Horne and Tony Bennett on piano before bridging the gap between classical training and improvisation in the vibrant L.A. jazz scene of the '50s as part of the Chico Hamilton Quintet.
June 1, 2013 |
Artist Gary Baseman has arrived at the Skirball Cultural Center with a brightly colored throw pillow under his arm and a determined look on his face. After greeting security guards and the few visitors browsing his sprawling retrospective exhibition "The Door Is Always Open," Baseman placed the pillow on a sofa in one of the galleries. He took several snapshots and kept adjusting the pillow until it looked just right to him. The pillow was no ordinary decorative item. It was a loud blue with a menacing message spelled out in flowery lettering: "Play with me or else.
January 12, 2013 |
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Even a cardboard box company. In 1950, the Container Corp. of America launched an advertising campaign called "Great Ideas of Western Man. " The series, which ran for three decades, paired quotes from leaders in philosophy, science and politics with artwork from modern artists. A new exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center uses the same technique but focuses on Jewish artists and phrases. "Voices & Visions" features 18 posters inspired by quotations from Jewish authors and scholars.
November 3, 2012 |
Although surpassed in popularity by social media, campaign posters continue to serve as a fundamental, democratic form of expression used by grass-roots organizers and artists to convey a message for social change. "Decades of Dissent," a collection of 28 silk-screen protest posters from 1960 to 1980 on view at the Skirball Cultural Center, offers a historical perspective of one of the most volatile periods of California politics illustrated through this graphic art form. Topics featured in the posters include women's issues, gay rights, immigration reform, union empowerment and disillusionment with an unpopular war - issues that have hardly disappeared this election season.
May 15, 2012 |
Now entering its 16th year, the Skirball Cultural Center's Sunset Concert series has been a reliable source for intriguing sounds from around the globe (and a pretty great way to wait out the Thursday evening 405 commute). The series opens July 26 with a concert from Congolese singer Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga, a summer-ready ensemble centered around upbeat vocal harmonies and bright guitar that appeared at last year's WOMAD Festival in Britain. With roots closer to home, the six-piece, L.A. - based band La Santa Cecilia will also perform on Aug. 23, bringing a mix of Brazilian music, Afro-Cuban rhythms and flourishes of jazz and rock.
May 13, 2012 |
"What's the difference between Jewish and Chinese mah jong?" the protagonist of Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club" asks her mother about the quintessential Chinese game. Her mother replies, "Entirely different kind of playing.... Jewish mah jong, they watch only for their own tile, play only with their eyes. " "Project Mah Jongg," a colorful exhibition opening Thursday (through Sept. 2) at the Skirball Cultural Center, tells the Jewish side of the story. With vintage photographs, souvenirs, playing guides and other ephemera, and of course examples of the tiles themselves, the exhibition traces how the game was enthusiastically adopted and integrated into the social life of Jewish women in the 20th century.