Music

Rockin' from the golden age

Rockin' from the golden age

Pioneering Chicano rock ‘n’ roll originator Chris Montez, famed for frantic international 1962 hit “Let’s Dance,” is one of the most exciting performers still working from that era. Now 73 years old, Montez, who appears Saturday at Joe’s Great American Bar &...

A trombonist takes the lead

Trombonist Michael Vlatkovich’s recordings are musical journeys. He writes and works in many different modes of ensemble expression: Pieces and passages may float weightlessly, roar like fire trucks through a busy intersection, or converge with layers of instrumental counterpoint. True to...

Musicians swarm around Beatles' tribute concert

Musicians swarm around Beatles' tribute concert

“You never know who’s going to steal the show,” says Paul Rock, talking about the Wild Honey Orchestra & Special Guests perform the Beatles’ “White Album” concert that’s set to take place at the Alex Theatre in Glendale on Saturday, Feb. 28.

Classical album is a gathering of forces

Classical album is a gathering of forces

Never let it be said that concert pianist Gloria Cheng isn’t up for a challenge. She’s known for tackling some of the knottiest and most technically difficult contemporary classical music of the last century. Nor does she lack for inspired conceptual premises. In her newest album,...

The 'serious fun' of John Lennon's art

The 'serious fun' of John Lennon's art

As a young man in Liverpool, John Lennon had two creative passions in life: art and rock ‘n’ roll. One fed the other, and each revealed something of an emerging personality with a playful, sometimes biting view of the world around him. The Beatles eventually made him famous, but he never...

The blues come to Pasadena

The blues come to Pasadena

It’s Saturday night at Redwhite + Bluezz, which shares a courtyard with the Pasadena Playhouse. The business began as a high-end gourmet restaurant with an extensive wine list, in its first home off of Pasadena’s Paseo in 2008. It’s changed hands and moved over to 37 N. El Molino...

Old friends to meet again on the jazz stage

Old friends to meet again on the jazz stage

In the early 1980s, a group of hot young players from around the country made names for themselves in New York. They weren’t free-jazz avant-gardists, neo-beboppers, electronic funksters or a part of Wynton Marsalis’ “young men in suits” brigade. These young bloods played the...

The Muffs still pack an energetic punch

The Muffs still pack an energetic punch

Muffs bandleader Kim Shattuck is a die-hard rock ‘n’ roller. When the Glendale resident hits the Satellite’s bandstand on Friday night, she’ll bring bales of the masterly combination of rabble rousing, stink-stirring and bubblegum pop in overdrive sound that’s kept...

Pasadena: Free concert offered every Saturday night in August

Pasadena: Free concert offered every Saturday night in August

From the strings of prohibition-styled jazz to pop beats that warrant quick toe-taps, music lovers can venture to Pasadena for the "Saturday Nights in August" concert series.

Messaround at Viva Cantina: A showcase for 'Messfits'

Messaround at Viva Cantina: A showcase for 'Messfits'

Looking out over a roomful of cowboy hats, full-sleeve tattoos, and Ramones T-shirts, Jonny Whiteside — who's been promoting a once-a-month musical series called "The Messaround" at the Viva Cantina in Burbank for the last four-and-a-half years — says, "People always think 'The...

Jazz bassist now a leading player

Jazz bassist now a leading player

Readers of this byline may recall a feature on the jazz at Glendale's Neat Bar in the Glendale News-Press in March 2012. While the bar itself and the band were worthy enough subjects, the big discovery that night was young bassist Katie Thiroux and her boyfriend, drummer Matt Witek. Their...

Musicians to pay tribute to Jax fixture Frank Strazzeri

Musicians to pay tribute to Jax fixture Frank Strazzeri

Up to the first of the year, one sure bet for jazz in Southern California were the monthly nights at Jax where pianist Frank Strazzeri held court. Though seldom acknowledged nationally, he was one of the reigning masters of jazz piano, with a wealth of composition and arrangement background that...

Reunion opens a Pandoras' Box

Reunion opens a Pandoras' Box

When all-female garage rockers the 21st Century Pandoras get to work Friday night at Burbank's Pin Up Girl, they won't just be resurrecting one of Southern California's wildest rock acts, they will also be adding fuel to the fire of a bitter rivalry that's smoldered for a quarter of a century.

Martin Short: No shortage of comedy cred

Martin Short: No shortage of comedy cred

Martin Short is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor with dozens of films behind him and a small crowd of bizarre characters that follow him everywhere. The "completely mental" Ed Grimley — with slippery cowlick and pants pulled up to his chest — has been with him since 1977. And by the...

Comedy cabaret at Hollywood's Fringe Fest stars Glendale native

Comedy cabaret at Hollywood's Fringe Fest stars Glendale native

Danielle Sadd is a rare breed of entertainer in Los Angeles: a native, who can sing a soulful rendition of “The Sister Act” opening and crack killer jokes about falling in love with guys named Taylor at Starbucks.

Artist Sara Gazarek finds her tempo

Artist Sara Gazarek finds her tempo

How often have we seen prodigies show brilliant early promise, only to crash and burn years later when confronted with real-world professional realities? The streets of Hollywood are paved with such casualties. Jazz singer Sara Gazarek is an early bloomer who has not only shown gratifying...

Out-of-control quartet forms Texas Space Monster Jalopy

Out-of-control quartet forms Texas Space Monster Jalopy

Recently formed rock quartet Texas Space Monster Jalopy has a pedigree as wild and unexpected as the band's unconventional moniker. Fronted by veteran guitar virtuoso Gary Myrick (best known for his moody, pulsating 1980 New Wave rocker "She Talks in Stereo") and the powerful singer-guitarist...

Music review: Tigran Mansurian's 'Quasi Parlando' is spellbinding

Music review: Tigran Mansurian's 'Quasi Parlando' is spellbinding

You can tell a lot about a composer from the performers who champion him or her. Tigran Mansurian, the 75-year-old Armenian composer of music in which deep cultural pain is quieted through an...

The art of good songwriting is as clear as ever

The art of good songwriting is as clear as ever

Art Alexakis is still obsessed with the art of songwriting. It hardly matters what era or genre if the tune and lyrics are just right, he says, whether it's the Beatles or X or the Pixies. As the leader of Everclear, the singer-guitarist has been a platinum-selling artist with hits of his own, and...

Music kept within reach

Music kept within reach

Can studying the benefits of an intensive after-school music program unlock the keys to a successful learning environment overall? That's partly what one documentary sets out to do.

Music pioneer is seasoned and smart

Music pioneer is seasoned and smart

Sue Smart's birthday was three months ago, but she's still celebrating.

Welsman tries an orchestra for size

Welsman tries an orchestra for size

She's been singing for a while, and she's toured extensively throughout the world, but Canadian-born jazz singer and pianist Carol Welsman still calls herself the new kid on the block. Welsman, who will be appearing at the Glendale Alex Theatre on May 10 with the Glendale Pops Orchestra, said it's...

Raising the roof for Big Jay

Raising the roof for Big Jay

Whether it’s rock ‘n’ roll, pop, R&B or jazz, the tenor saxophone has played an absolutely critical role in the advancement of vernacular American music. The contributions of such long-gone players as Lester Young, John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins still echo through contemporary...

Ready for the witching hour

Ready for the witching hour

Drummer Ellie English and singer-guitarist Sade Sanchez won the battle of the bands at Burbank High back in 2007. Now in their 20s, the reunited duo crafts haunted garage rock with bass player Irita Pai in a psych-punk band called L.A. Witch.

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Read On: Getting together for a street hockey tradition

Read On: Getting together for a street hockey tradition

Well we lost another icon on Friday with the death of Leonard Nimoy, the incomparable Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” fame and by all accounts a good and decent man of real character. His looks...

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