The Beat Goes On: It Takes Three Actresses to Play Cher
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 5, 2023

Morgan Scott was understandably excited Monday morning over the phone from the Coachella Valley, where The Cher Show had just wound up five performances over the weekend in Palm Desert. The area is home not only to one of Cher’s famed exes, Sonny Bono, who was both mayor of Palm Springs and a U.S. representative […]

Cashing In
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 28, 2023

Back in 1961, Johnny Cash and his then-wife Vivian hired contractors to build them a home in the hills of Casitas Springs, the small town near Ojai in Ventura County. Custom designed to fit the singer’s specifications, the home even featured a wall-mounted turntable and a writing room for Cash. The country singer was going […]


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The Divine Sounds of Bruce Cockburn
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 21, 2023

Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has released some 35 albums over his half-century career, enjoying enough success stateside to sustain making music, but also falling far short of the household name recognition of fellow Canadians like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, or even Gordon Lightfoot.  Now at 78, Cockburn – whose catalog includes such transcendent love songs as […]

Moving Mariposa Tunes
By Tim Buckley   |   November 21, 2023

Violinist Frank Huang is deep into his ninth year as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, but the joys of performing as part of much smaller ensembles has never strayed far from his heart. “Before I got into the orchestra world, I was pursuing life as a quartet player,” shared Huang, who was the first […]

A Dynamic Duo
By Richard Mineards   |   November 21, 2023

New York Philharmonic principal clarinet Anthony McGill and Taiwanese pianist Gloria Chien were quite the dynamic duo when they performed in the second concert of the Mariposa series at the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall. The tony twosome performed works by Telemann, Jessie Montgomery, Brahms, Teng Yu-hsien, Lee, and Von Weber for the sold-out audience. McGill […]

Montecito’s McIntyre Returns to Celebrate Maria Callas’ Centennial
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 14, 2023

The entire opera world and other cultural institutions are all taking note of Maria Callas again as the 100th birthday of the soprano who was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century approaches on December 2. That includes both Angelina Jolie, who will star in an upcoming biopic, and […]

Kings and Strings Meditate on Morrison
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 14, 2023

When the home-grown classic rock band Doublewide Kings plays the Granada Theatre on November 11, it will mark a lot of firsts for the group. It will be the debut at Santa Barbara’s grandest venue for the band founded by Montecito’s Palmer Jackson, Jr., who also happens to be the Executive Chairman and Chairman of […]

  • Christmas Festival Offers ‘Fullness of Joy’
    By Scott Craig   |   November 7, 2023

    Tickets are on sale now for the 19th annual Westmont Christmas Festival, which marks the beginning of the holiday season for many in Santa Barbara. The concert combines orchestra and choirs at the Granada Theatre, the central coast’s premier performing arts venue in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, on Saturday, December 2, at 7 […]

    Camerata Pacifica is Bach
    By Richard Mineards   |   October 31, 2023

    Old and New Worlds were in the spotlight when Camerata Pacifica continued its 34th season with From Bach to Bolivia, the first of the programs in its Baroque series at the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall. Featuring period instruments and curated by acclaimed flutist Emi Ferguson, the repertoire included five seminal Bach chamber works. They were […]


    Virtuoso Duo
    By Richard Mineards   |   October 31, 2023

    The launch of CAMA’s Masterseries at the Lobero with two virtuoso musicians, Avi Avital on mandolin and Hanzhi Wang on accordion, was a heady combination. Israeli Avital, who has performed with the Community Arts Music Association twice – with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2018 and Les Violins du Roy 2021 – was in […]

    Orchestra Performs Tchaikovsky’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’
    By Scott Craig   |   October 24, 2023

    The Westmont Orchestra will perform one of Tchaikovsky’s most well-known compositions at the Fall Orchestra Concert on Friday, October 20, at 7 pm in Westmont’s Page Hall; and Sunday, October 22, at 3 pm in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West. The concerts are free and open to the public. For more […]

    An Ode to SBS
    By Richard Mineards   |   October 24, 2023

    More than 250 musicians and singers packed the sprawling stage of the venerable Granada when the Santa Barbara Symphony, under veteran maestro Nir Kabaretti, kicked off its 71st season with An Ode to Joy, Hope and Community. It was the symphony’s first performance of Beethoven’s 9th – marking the 200th anniversary of the German composer’s […]

    Camerata Goes Back to Baroque
    By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

    Chamber music is alive and well in Santa Barbara, if having three qualifying, locally-generated concerts in a single week is any indication. Camerata Pacifica, the ensemble series founded originally as Bach Camerata by flutist Adrian Spence in 1990 that has become widely respected and revered for the virtuosity exhibited by its world-class musicians and the […]

    Roe and Anderson Row On
    By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

    You can’t fault Elizabeth Roe for expressing unbridled enthusiasm for returning to the Music Academy for her first purely public performance in town since spending the summer of 2001 as a fellow at the institute. Jerry Lowenthal was her mentor and Michael Towbes her compeer during the idyllic eight weeks, and now she’s heading back […]