Tag archives: musicians

American Double Returns
By Scott Craig   |   November 7, 2023

Violinist Philip Ficsor, who served on Westmont’s music faculty from 2006-13, returns to college for a recital with American Double, a violin-piano duo consisting of Ficsor and pianist Constantine Finehouse, on Sunday, November 5, at 3 pm in Deane Chapel. The concert, featuring American masterworks for violin and piano by John Corigliano and Daniel Gee […]

Sounds at SOhO
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 10, 2023

Club jazz gets its due at SOhO this week, with a series of local shows. M.O.B. Quintet reconvenes for an eclectic blend of Euro-Brazil progressive jazz and music from the 1970s ECM/Fusion era on October 8. Italian pianist Antonio Artese, who oscillates between our local foothills and the hills of Tuscany, hooks up again with […]

Full Friday in Folk 
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 10, 2023

Charley Crockett, a Texas original who draws from traditional hillbilly music, vintage soul, and R&B to give his old-school country twang an extra earthy feel, opened UCSB A&L’s season at the Arlington almost exactly a year ago. The Americana Music Awards’ Emerging Artist of the Year for 2021 heads back to the venue on Friday, […]

Reunion Time at SOhO 
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2023

Two of the most tenured Santa Barbara dance-party (mostly) cover bands are not only each appearing at SOhO this week, they’re also playing on the same night. Both Area 51, which has been fronted by the charismatic singer and Montecito resident Michael Andrews since its inception, now partnered on stage with Laura Schlieske, will be […]

Grammy-Winning Executive Director Is Coming to the Music Academy
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 22, 2023

The Music Academy (MA) didn’t waste any time finding a successor to Scott Reed, who announced last spring that the 2023 Summer Festival would be his last as president and CEO after 12 years at the helm. Less than a week after the final symphony concert at the Granada earlier this month, the Music Academy […]

Stand and Be Counted: A Tribute
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

Just before he passed away at his home in Santa Ynez, David Crosby was in the midst of rehearsing with a new band that was slated to make its debut at the Lobero Theatre last February as part of the venue’s milestone 150th anniversary. Next weekend, the members of that band and a handful of […]

The Rise of Watson
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 8, 2023

Don’t confuse Samuel Watson with the speed climbing champion of the same name, a teenager who holds the U.S. records and international gold medals in the new Olympic sport, although Sam Watson the Music Academy fellow has also made a meteoric rise.  The 20-year-old contrabassoonist can’t scale an indoor wall in five seconds, but his […]

All in at the Academy
By Richard Mineards   |   July 11, 2023

It is hard to believe the Music Academy’s annual festival Summer of the Artist is almost halfway through. The third week of the highly entertaining program kicked off at Hahn Hall on the Miraflores campus with Avery Fisher Prize winning pianist Jeremy Denk playing an all-Bach program of five partitas. The New York City resident, […]

Dual Violinist/Chemistry Major to Perform in Aspen
By Scott Craig   |   July 11, 2023

This summer, Westmont violinist Sophia Chan (’25) performs at the Aspen Music Festival and School (June 29-August 20), one of the top classical music festivals in the United States that features more than 600 classical music students from around the world. “It’s insanely competitive – she is joining students from top conservatories around the world, […]

College Choir Travels to Tokyo for an International Tour
By Scott Craig   |   May 23, 2023

Following Commencement, the Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers took off on a nine-day tour to Tokyo, Japan — the first international choir tour since the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Daniel Gee ’13, director of choral activities, the choir’s itinerary includes joint concerts with Japanese collegiate ensembles, including those from Waseda University and the Tokyo […]

Sounds Around Town: Bowlful of Music
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 9, 2023

The Black Keys saunter onto the Santa Barbara Bowl stage on the heels of their latest album, 2022’s Dropout Boogie. The garage rock/raw blues duo, with singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, was founded in Akron, Ohio, more than two decades ago. They saw their commercial breakthrough with the studio album and hit single […]

Excellent chamber music with the Elite Eight
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 9, 2023

Three long years after the original plan, the Lobero Theatre Chamber Music Project is finally getting the chance to perform its first series of concerts in a full-fledged festival format, launching what is sure to be one of the classical music highlights of the year. The project grew out of the ashes of the Santa […]

12th Annual NAMM Report Part 2: AI tech & traditional music gear
By Joanne A Calitri   |   May 2, 2023

First stop, the Innovation Lounge for AI with an immersive speaker system by Genelec and hosted by GPU Audio. I went to the Neural Synthesis machine learning (ML) music-making demo by CJ Carr, head of audio research at Harmonai and band member of DADABOTS. He did live ML sampling, and to make it real he […]

76 Trombones for Music Academy’s 2023 Summer Festival
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 25, 2023

The Montecito-based Music Academy – “of the West” got dropped midway through last summer – looks like it will have no trouble maintaining the momentum of its milestone 75th anniversary last year, at least according to the roster of artists and ambitious programming unveiled earlier this week. The “Summer of the Artist” season boasts soprano […]

Making More Music with Marley’s Ghost
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 18, 2023

After a bunch of years, most bands either turn into a shell of what they used to be or fade away entirely. But unlike the famed Dickens character they were named for, Marley’s Ghost has both deepened its roots-Americana-pop approach and expanded its vocabulary over the decades. That’s the sort of thing that a while […]

Musical Talent Shines at Guild Competitions
By Scott Craig   |   March 28, 2023

The Westmont Music Department awarded large scholarships to instrumentalists and singers as part of its annual guild competitions, attracting stellar young musical talent to the region. Aaron Wu, a cellist from Glendale, won the 11th annual Instrumental Guild Competition on Feb. 25 and will receive more than $10,000 in annual music scholarships (more than $40,000 […]

A Dash of Quartet and Ballet
By Richard Mineards   |   March 21, 2023

It was certainly a plucky performance when the Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet, a decidedly funky and exuberant foursome, played at the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall, as part of the popular UCSB Arts & Lectures series. The works, all by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-winning composer Caroline Shaw, known for “a world of sound never heard before,” […]

A Dreamer in Sound
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 14, 2023

Charles Lloyd reported that he wasn’t in good shape when we connected by phone last week. But it wasn’t a physical issue ailing the octogenarian saxophonist-composer who back in the late 1960s enjoyed one of the first million-selling jazz albums. It was a spiritual sadness after hearing that Wayne Shorter had died overnight.  “We were […]

Los Romeros Rock Lobero
By Richard Mineards   |   March 14, 2023

It was certainly a family affair when Los Romeros, a guitar quartet featuring family members – Celin, Pepe, Angel, and Lito Romero – performed at the Lobero, part of the CAMA Masterseries. The family was celebrating its 60th anniversary and the historic theater its 150th birthday. The dynasty settled in Santa Barbara after legendary Spanish […]

A Double Dose of Ted Nash 
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 14, 2023

The culmination of jazz saxophonist/composer/educator Ted Nash’s expansive winter residency in town and over Zoom this year comes next weekend (Feb. 18-19) when the Santa Barbara Symphony premieres his Transformation – a rethinking and newly arranged for orchestra take on a segment of his 2021 collaboration with Glenn Close, Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, […]