Music

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.

The surf-inspired Mystic Braves make waves

The surf-inspired Mystic Braves make waves

As a blood moon casts its red hue over Sunset Boulevard, a lo-fi guitar haze rips the night air and five long-haired, moustached men in trim jackets and denim pound their leather boots. They lure bouncy babes to the psychedelic sway of their kaleidoscopic “Dockweiler.”

Coachella: The Bots click into success

Coachella: The Bots click into success

The Bots are as surprised as anyone about how things have gone with their little band. A few years ago, brothers Anaiah and Mikaiah Lei were a couple of Glendale kids who...

Ground Control Karaoke celebrates a year at Complex

Ground Control Karaoke celebrates a year at Complex

It's Monday night and Miley Cryus' mega-ballad "Wrecking Ball" is playing in G-major, morphing the Billboard hit into a demonic electronic haunt that shakes the walls at Glendale's industrial club, Complex. A crew of loyal karaoke aficionados move steadily inside, imbibing on the liquid courage they...

Glendale Youth Orchestra keeps things fresh

Glendale Youth Orchestra keeps things fresh

Conductor Brad Keimach aims to keep the programs fresh for the audience and musicians of the Glendale Youth Orchestra.

Object Lesson: No Age forges its path through the evolving music frontier

Object Lesson: No Age forges its path through the evolving music frontier

From the very beginning of their career, Los Angeles-based noise-pop duo No Age has dug into rock's past, while side-stepping many of its clich├ęs. The band, which consists of guitarist Randy Randall and drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt, was spawned from the Smell, a downtown L.A. all-ages...

Jimmer Podrasky: Back on the scene

Jimmer Podrasky: Back on the scene

Back in the mid-to-late '80s it appeared that singer/songwriter Jimmer Podrasky and his band, the Rave-Ups, were on the verge of bigger things. "Town & Country," the band's 1985 full-length debut indie album, generated critical acclaim. They appeared in the film "Pretty in Pink," graduated to...

Smiths remain an area jazz fixture

Smiths remain an area jazz fixture

Pasadena and its environs have had a jazz presence since at least the 1950s, when artist Jirayr Zorthian hosted a clothing-optional party for Charlie Parker in 1952. A few years later, youngbloods like vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, bassists Albert Stinson and Herbie Lewis, drummers Mike Romero...

'Idol' isn't idle

'Idol' isn't idle

For every Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, there are dozens of "American Idol" contestants who have yet to find stardom, but haven't given up on their rock 'n' roll dreams. Burbank resident Mary Powers is one of them.

Sandoval performs an energetic show

Sandoval performs an energetic show

Every time trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval plays, he gives a tutorial. The same can be said of many musicians, of course, but what sets Sandoval apart is his example as a man and as an American. Those qualities were on full display Saturday, as he performed with his renowned big band and a high...

An unlikely pair gets ready to swing

An unlikely pair gets ready to swing

When swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy formed in 1993, they were a severe anomaly, one that seemed destined to be overshadowed by the Nirvanas, Tupacs and Whitney Houstons who ruled the pop charts. Twenty years later, the brassy septet has outlived them and their appearance Saturday, Feb. 22,...

Arturo Sandoval to perform a benefit concert at Glendale's Alex Theatre

Arturo Sandoval to perform a benefit concert at Glendale's Alex Theatre

Classical musician and composer Arturo Sandoval, who discovered his love for music as a boy growing up in Cuba, will share his talent at the Alex Theatre later this month in a concert aimed to cultivate music education in today's youth.

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Read On: Following a dream is no secret

Read On: Following a dream is no secret

Anyone who believes there isn't much television and film production going on in Glendale simply isn't paying attention. Certainly, ThiaMedia Studios has started to take hold as a permanent fixture...

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