No matter what languages we speak, we will never speak them all—and that’s when we let music do the talking.
The decision to record an album of Christmas music was not easily accepted by Stan Kenton. Thanks to these liner notes from Boston Brass, learn how this seasonal classic from 1961 become a reality.
“Even now it feels like the performers are the only ones who understand what’s going on, and the audience is just a witness,” Sammy said in our interview. “That never made sense to me because the audience is there, and to pretend like they’re not there is to not include them in the experience. So we try to make them a part of every step.”
In advance of improvisational comedian Paula Poundstone’s Nov. 30 performance at the Mondavi Center, we decided to ring her for an update—unfortunately catching her in the middle of a Rite Aid. On the second attempt, though, she graciously took us behind the scenes of her weekly podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone—“a comedy field guide to life, or at least a set of IKEA assembly instructions.”
It would not be an overstatement to say Morrison provided the soundtrack to my freshman year. Other musicians certainly contributed, often thanks to me seeing them at the Mondavi Center, but none had the same staying power as Morrison, and especially his 1968 album, Astral Weeks, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its release this month.
What kind of light is small, packs a powerful punch of illumination and color---but doesn’t use any cords? One answer is the Chauvet Freedom PAR Quad-4.
In a previous post, I wrote about two definitively American musicians, Bob Dylan and Sammy Miller. In keeping with that post’s comparison of American and British music, I now turn to two definitively British musical groups, the Beatles and the Kinks.
With the right outlook, nonprofits should be able to provide commissioned artists not with a rigid set of expectations, but a nexus and an impetus to create art on their own terms and with their own idiosyncrasies. SFJazz showed me the power of that potential. With the infinitude of the universe for inspiration, how could musicians find the act of being commissioned anything but liberating?
Even before his death in January 2016, David Bowie “might have been among the most-covered artists of the past four decades … often by musicians who stretched the source material to its limits” (diffuser.fm).
What is “American music?” Here is what Sammy had to say. “The bands…that I come back to time and time again are the ones that are trying to work through their struggles. And I kind of love that in American art. There’s sort of a hopefulness in spite of whatever the situation is.”
Are you ready for Halloween? Have you carved a scary face on your Jack-o’-lantern to ward off evil spirits? Have you picked out a costume to fool ghosts into thinking you’re somebody else? Okay, those are just superstitions that have become part of the fun lore about Halloween. There are lots of superstitions in theatre, too. I asked members of the MC Production team to share their favorite ones with me.
It may sound like a truism, but music really is a universal language. For instrumental compositions in particular, the notes that a musician reads on the page are the exact same as the notes that the composer put on that page (barring, of course, the occasional emendation or error that may be introduced over the years). Nothing gets “lost in translation,” so to speak, because there literally is no translation.
It’s time for a test of your ability to speak “tech.”
Barn doors? Donuts? Top Hats? - Do you know these theater terms? Read on to learn more.
I am certain that without my class on Latin American racial dynamics, I would have been unable to appreciate the full implications of projects like these; similarly, without my seminar about 1950s jazz, I couldn't have put Charles’s boundary-pushing music in its proper context. But without the experience of that live performance in April 2017, my academic perspective on the music would’ve remained just that—academic. The Mondavi Center made it personal.
In addition to an evolving lineup of some of the brightest bandleaders in jazz, the SFJAZZ Collective is known for its distinctive approach to repertoire. Each year the members of the octet contribute original arrangements of a composer's work. From Ornette Coleman to Michael Jackson, the group has thrived by drawing inspiration from the past while pushing jazz in interesting new directions. This season, the Collective tackles the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim, composer of countless Bossa Nova classics including "Corcovado," "Wave," "Chega do Saudede" and, of course, "The Girl from Ipanema."
Each year, the Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera concert pairs stunning vocal talent with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra for an evening of vocal artistry. Program in hand, we've created a Spotify playlist of the evening's entertainment, both to get prepared for the evening, and to return to following the performance.
Although the Mondavi Center maintains a large inventory of stage equipment, a lot of performers prefer to bring specific items for their shows. How they move their stuff is as varied as the artists’ performances.
As part of its new "This Month in Live Jazz" column, The New York Times featured trumpeter Marquis Hill as one of its "September Standouts" for the best live jazz happening in New York.
All songs are traditional and sung in Scottish Gaelic, unless otherwise stated. Repertoire will be selected from the following list of songs and announced from the stage:
Julie Fowlis -- vocals, whistles, shruti
Éamon Doorley -- guitar-bouzouki, backing vocals
Duncan Chisholm -- fiddles, backing vocals
Tony Byrne -- guitar, backing vocals
Julie Fowlis is one of the preeminent modern interpreters of traditional Gaelic songs and a deeply knowledgeable scholar of Highland and Gaelic culture. Her latest album, alterum, is a continued exploration of those storied traditions and further evidence of her unique gift.
When you visited Barbara, her first words often would be: “What do you know that’s good?” That would invite an analysis of the Giants’ bullpen, a recent symphony concert at the Mondavi Center or a great new tenor just seen in HD. But, more consistently, what’s good was to be a friend of Barbara’s, a beneficiary of her philanthropy and a fellow music-lover.
Barbara K. Jackson, a founding philanthropist of the Mondavi Center, passed away on September 7, 2018, only a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. Along with Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef and Robert and Margrit Mondavi, Barbara Jackson helped give life to the dream of a performing arts center on the UC Davis Campus. Her generous gift to name the Center’s largest performance space as Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall played a significant role in launching this great performing arts center.