Preparing for a Sparkling Anniversary
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 2, 2021

To many, the 2021 Music Academy of the West Summer School and Festival was nothing short of a miracle. Despite the need to plan well in advance of the state’s reopening in mid-June, MAW not only managed to pull off a spectacular hybrid season that brought more than 100 fellows from around the world to […]

Back to Bluegrass: Jorgenson Coming to SOhO
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 23, 2021

John Jorgenson has been playing a multitude of instruments since childhood, dating back to age eight, when he picked up the clarinet to go along with piano, which he’d been studying for four years to keep pace with his older sister in a family of musicians. Then it was guitar after hearing the Beatles, and […]

 

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Trixie Blue
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 23, 2021

Credit Crane Country Day School and music teacher Konrad Kono for honing Trixie Blue’s interest in 1980s pop music. “I’ve been messing around with music forever,” explained Trixie, who drops her last name, Garnett, while making music. “I’ve always been playing instruments and singing, but it was Crane and Mr. Kono who really got me […]

Music Academy Recital: Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, What a Little Moonlight Can Do
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 16, 2021

It was more than 27 months ago that Sun-Ly Pierce captured the Music Academy of the West’s much-coveted Marilyn Horne Song Competition during the 2019 summer festival. Among the prize package was the opportunity to share the stage with the winning collaborative pianist Chien-Lin Lu for a recital featuring a world premiere of a song […]

Going for Baroque: Symphony’s Musical Pyrotechnics
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 16, 2021

Moving on with Music Academy connections, Baroque master Nic McGegan — who led chamber orchestra fellow concerts for MAW’s summer festival for several seasons dating back a few years — makes his debut as guest conductor of the Santa Barbara Symphony for its Royal Fireworks program November 13 and 14 at the Granada Theatre.  The […]

Immediate Need
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 9, 2021

It’s very possible you may never have heard of Waddy Wachtel much less of his band The Immediate Family, who return to the Lobero Theatre on Saturday, November 6. But there’s little doubt that you are intimately familiar with Wachtel’s guitar work and that of his band mates Danny Kortchmar (guitars), Leland Sklar (bass), and […]

Opera Santa Barbara is on a Roll!
By Richard Mineards   |   November 9, 2021

Just a couple of weeks after launching its new season with mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at the Granada, the singers, accompanied by talented dancers from the State Street Ballet and the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra under artistic director Kostis Protopapas, were at the top of their game with a delightful double […]

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Dancing Through Manhattan With Nebula
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 2, 2021

Back in early 2020, Nebula Dance Lab had planned to produce a ballet version of Island of the Blue Dolphins to celebrate the local story’s 60th anniversary since the publication of the novel. But a decision to delve deeper in diversity issues revolving around Dolphin produced a pandemic pivot to adapt another tale of a […]

Into and Out of the Void with Charles Lloyd
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 19, 2021

To interview Charles Lloyd, you’ve got to be willing to abandon your list of questions and simply surrender to wherever it is that the master musician wants to go. The saxophonist’s career dates back to the 1960s when the Memphis-born musician was part of the San Francisco scene, sharing bills at the Fillmore with the […]

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‘Chance to Reflect’: Camerata Pacifica Finds Ways to Improve Despite Time Off
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 5, 2021

Prior to the pandemic, Camerata Pacifica wasn’t really looking for an excuse to do some tweaking to its approach. After all, the chamber music ensemble had grown over its 30 years from performing sporadic concerts at a single small stage in town to largely selling out an eight-show season at four venues from Santa Barbara […]

Six Questions: Mulling Things Over With Montecito Pianist
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 5, 2021

Pete Muller, the math whiz who leveraged his skills to create and manage a massively successful quant-driven hedge fund company that uses complex models to detect and predict inequities in the markets, seems even more invested in his burgeoning singer-songwriter career these days. The piano-playing Montecito resident, who released three solo albums mostly as a […]

Ronnie and Them
By Jeff Wing   |   October 1, 2021

It’s no secret that Montecito … has its secrets. Many of the town’s unprepossessing burghers, they of the shopworn André Rieu tee shirt and ill-fitting cargo pants, have hidden lives as movers, shakers, and candlestick makers (so to speak), their “gee whiz” dowdiness a performative feint to distract us from their collective, red-carpeted alias. One […]

Pop Picks: Artist with an Ax Metheny Returns
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 28, 2021

Very few artists of any genre have been able to remain relevant anywhere near as long as Pat Metheny, the guitarist who launched his recording career 45 years ago. That was back in the days when terrestrial FM radio stations would play anything from Mountain to Madness and Metheny to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I have […]

Embracing Experimental
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 28, 2021

As the inaugural collaboration between UCSB’s much-lauded Launch Pad artist residency and performance program with Local Theater Company, the Boulder-based leader in new play development, Yellowstone will have a lot of voices shaping its first-ever fully staged reading on Friday, September 24. But for playwright Jennifer Barclay, the process has been playing out for more […]

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