Jazz Trio & Orchestra: Roberts’ Outrageous Range
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 17, 2022

Jazz is about a lot of things, not the least of which is the ability to improvise in connection with both the music and the other instrumentalists. That’s a Marcus Roberts Trio specialty, as the long-term partnership featuring pianist Roberts, drummer Jason Marsalis, and bassist Rodney Jordan share equally in shaping performances via changes in […]

Classical Corner
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 3, 2022

Still pivoting due to the pandemic, the Santa Barbara Symphony is squeezing in the pair of postponed performances featuring violin superstar Anne Akiko Meyers as guest soloist beginning just a week after the ensemble offered the world premiere of Concerto for Piano Four Hands and String Orchestra by composer Richard Dünser via Brahms and Schumann. […]

 

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Cream of the Copy Bands
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

Tribute bands are all the rage in music clubs and even theaters these days, and it’s not hard to understand why. Not only is it easier to imitate than innovate, but it’s also relatively simple to put a band together to perform the best-known songs from a classic rock band or famous singer, because so […]

HHII: Expanding the Dance Universe
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

Nebula Dance Lab didn’t have to cancel its annual HHII Dance Festival during the COVID crisis, although last year’s event did migrate to the virtual world. But what also happened in the more than two years since the festival’s last live weekend, was that the world caught up to Nebula and HHII’s concept of inclusivity, […]

Finding Focus and Fun on the ‘Fringe’
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

The pandemic pushed Westmont’s Fringe Festival into the virtual world in 2021 after forcing the festival to furlough completely the year before. So the 2022 version of the entirely student-created fest, which takes place all over the Christian college’s Montecito campus this weekend, April 21-24, is a brand new experience for all except seniors. Maybe […]

Baroque Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   April 26, 2022

Multi Grammy winner Sir John Eliot Gardiner, founder and music director of the English Baroque Soloists, was in fine form when the 44-year-old orchestra performed at the Granada as part of CAMA’s 103rd international concert series. Playing two works from Mozart – “Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major” and “Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major” – […]

Symphonic Support
By Richard Mineards   |   April 26, 2022

After tough times during the pandemic, which saw the Santa Barbara Symphony lose $250,000 in concert ticket sales last year, the outlook is considerably brighter given many restrictions being lifted, according to president and CEO Kathryn Martin. With a $3 million annual budget, Martin told major supporters of the Crescendo Society at a bash at […]

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Downtown Talk Explores Music in COVID
By Scott Craig   |   April 19, 2022

Michael Shasberger, Westmont’s Adams professor for music and worship, shares stories of musical exploration and perseverance during a pandemic at a free, public lecture, “Making Music in the Age of COVID: Challenges, Opportunities, Risks, and Meaning,” on Wednesday, April 20, at 5:30 pm in the outdoor patio of Westmont’s newest downtown Santa Barbara building, 29 […]

Ailey’s AD Battles for the Ages
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 12, 2022

Robert Battle intentionally benched his own creative endeavors when he took over as artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, as only the third person to occupy the position after founder Ailey’s 31-year tenure, and former dancer Judith Jamison’s 21-year reign. Instead, Battle focused on administrative duties and even more so on […]

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Aoife Addresses Apathy… and Affirmation 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 12, 2022

Aoife O’Donovan has come a long way from her first recording as a member of the folk-bluegrass band, The Wayfaring Strangers, with stops as lead singer of Boston-based Crooked Still, collaborations with Chris Thile and other genre-busters, a series of critically-acclaimed solo albums, and her most recent Grammy-winning trio, I’m With Her, with fellow singer-songwriters […]

Spring Sing Bounces Back at the Bowl
By Scott Craig   |   April 12, 2022

The 61st annual Westmont’s Spring Sing, a student-performed variety show and competition between residence halls, was back and in person at the Santa Barbara Bowl April 1. It is the longest running tradition on campus and involves more students than any other college event.  For the first time, the Global Leadership Center (GLC) won top […]

MAW Music: Competition Winners Congregate for Concerts
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 5, 2022

The official launch of the Music Academy of the West’s special 75th anniversary summer festival is still more than two months away, but in the span of less than three weeks, Santa Barbara will have been witness to the wildly divergent extremes offered by the revered institute. Hot on the heels of three landmark performances […]

More From MAW
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 31, 2022

Even more accomplished alumni of the Music Academy’s summer festival are returning to Hahn Hall this week, if only via streaming via satellite in a re-broadcast of the Met Opera’s Live in HD presentation of Strauss’ Ariadne Auf Naxos on April 3. Former fellows Brenda Rae and Isabel Leonard appear as Zerbinetta and the Composer, […]

5Qs: Good Omens with Sarah Jarosz
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 29, 2022

Sarah Jarosz immediately caught acoustic music lovers’ ears while still a teenager with her detailed and layered songs delivered with an utterly captivating voice, both of which belied her years. A four-time Grammy-winner before she turned 30, the native Texan multi-instrumentalist by way of New York City released four astounding albums by the age of […]

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