Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

AIZURI QUARTET (above) plays for Distinguished Artists at Peace United in Santa Cruz. CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD X 2: Cheryl Anderson (Cabrillo College) and John Koza (Camerata Singers) shoot it out with new productions at the same time of the same ‘passion play.’ MONTEREY COUNTY COMPOSERS’ FORUM at Hidden Valley. NEW WORKS FESTIVAL to open at MPC Theatre Company. ROBERTO FONSECA plays Kuumbwa. SC BAROQUE’S ‘Spanish Roots~Mexican Flowerings’ at Peace United. UCSC Orchestra & Jazz Ensembles. ESCHER QUARTET at Sunset Center. JAZZ BASH BY THE BAY at Monterey Convention Center. MOHAMMAD NEJAD, Iran-native will celebrate Persian New Year in Seaside. FOR LINKS to these and other live performance events click on our CALENDAR or on the display ads, left.

MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL NEWS

MJF is proud to announce that Grammy-nominated pianist, composer and educator Christian Sands has been named Artist-in-Residence for the 63rd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2020. At 30-years of age, Sands is currently one of the most in-demand pianists working in jazz. Over the course of his career Christian Sands has toured around the world as a bandleader and has appeared as a sideman on records by Christian McBride and Gregory Porter, among others. Sands has performed several times at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Christian McBride, and was a featured performer in Geri Allen’s Erroll Garner Project at MJF58 in 2015. Since that performance he has been named creative ambassador to the Erroll Garner Jazz Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to Garner’s legacy. In 2018 and 2019, he was the music director for the MJF on Tour 60th Anniversary Edition. MJF is also proud to announce that Grammy-nominated pianist, composer and educator Gerald Clayton has been appointed as Artistic Director and conductor of MJF’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (NGJO) for 2020-2022. “I am thrilled with the deepening of our relationship with Gerald Clayton as he is one of my favorite young artists,” said Tim Jackson, MJF Artistic Director. “His blending of innovation and tradition may be the strongest of his generation and his musical lineage is beyond compare. I believe he will bring a fresh energy to the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and provide our young artists with innovative concepts, strong leadership and a spirit of fun and collaboration.” The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will perform on the Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 27 with Artist-in-Residence Christian Sands at the 63rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 25-27, 2020.

REMEMBER HAZEL SCOTT?

STAR JAZZ PIANIST/VOCALIST dared to challenge HUAC chairman Joseph McCarthy. Click HERE

CARMEL BACH FEST TIX NOW ON SALE

2020 HIGHLIGHTS include namesake’s Magnificat, Johannespassion, Brandenburg concertos, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s 40th Symphony, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross. Metropolitan opera soprano Angel Blue (pictured) joins returning artists Dashon Burton, Edwin Huizinga, Mhairi Lawson, Peter Hanson, Thomas Cooley, Meg Bragle and Andrew Megill. Click HERE

ANNE MIDGETTE’S NEW SITE

FORMER MUSIC CRITIC for the Washington Post & New York Times goes it alone. Click HERE

PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE

YOU MAY NOT KNOW TEDDY ECK, but you have seen his acting in film and television. In January 2019 Eck was hired as Theatre Department chair at Monterey Peninsula College. Starting this week and running for ten days, he will serve as facilitator of MPC’s New Works Festival, described in a press release as “a diverse collection of funny, sweet, and thoughtful short new plays, written by local playwrights, directed by student directors Linda Temple of MPC and Anthony Rodriquez of Monterey High School.” (With years of hands-on experience, Temple will direct six of the new plays; Rodriguez gets his turn directing ’86: A Coming of Age Story.) Eck, who is now on a tenure track at MPC, holds an MFA in Theatre for directing that also includes certificates in Non-Profit Leadership and Management from the University of Memphis. With a substantial body of professional work behind him—including a major stint with San Diego Repertory Theatre and Arts Memphis—and other acting and theater opportunities in Hollywood, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area ahead, one could ask why come to a small town like Monterey.

“After twelve years in stage and film, I really wanted to start moving toward being more of a producer, creator,” he told me during a recent phone chat. “Writing and directing led me to want to run my own theater company. Basically to do what I’m doing now, not just artistically but also the business and development side, the actual work to get projects off the ground.” As such he immerses himself in all aspects of a working theater company. “As an educator I never want to ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do or hadn’t done.”  FOR THE REST OF THE STORY and to see his Sizzle Reel, click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

BERLIOZ IN UTAH

RELEASED JUST THIS MONTH is Thierry Fischer’s new account of Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique, an excursion through the perennial masterpiece that emphasizes mystery and surprise with unprecedented musical tricks. Not for nothing did Richard Wagner call the composer “Devilishly smart” and Maurice Ravel’s describe him as “The worst musician among the musical geniuses.” It’s that play between suspense and exuberance that keeps the pictorial work fresh and exciting, especially in Fischer’s hands. You can feel his approach as you might fear someone, or something, creeping up on you from behind. Three more works round out the new CD: Réverie et caprice for violin (Philippe Quint) in the composer’s transcription of a rejected aria planned for his opera, Benvenuto Cellini; La mort d’Ophélie and Sara la baigneuse, for chorus (Utah Symphony Chorus and University of Utah Chamber Choir) and orchestra. The first draws on the character from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the second a steamily erotic poem by Victor Hugo. The Ophelia scene has been recorded many times; I’ve not encountered the Hugo setting until now. SM

THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE EARTH HARP

TO SEE and hear it, click HERE

WORLD’S OLDEST MELODY COMES TO LIFE

READ ABOUT AND LISTEN TO this ancient music. Click HERE

PUNK BANJO STAR ON THE ROAD

CURTIS ELLER strikes again. Click HERE

 

FRESH REVIEW

YOUTH MUSIC MONTEREY in Carmel. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

OLEG CAETANI conducts the Monterey Symphony in Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich. APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES hosts Tyler Hayford in four Beethoven sonatas. UCSC CONCERT CHOIR & CHAMBER SINGERS. SMOLDERING UKE at Hidden Valley. FRANCES QUINLAN/MARY LATTIMORE in Big Sur. PG POPS ORCHESTRA.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor