Weekly Update


UNIQUE dance program about gang-culture in Salinas Valley now starting a national tour. Two performances at The Western Stage this weekend. Click HERE


THE NEXT GENERATION Jazz Orchestra thrilled a full house at the Garden Stage of the Monterey Fairgrounds last Thursday morning. All the picnic tables and bleachers were packed with hundreds of school kids who arrived in a fleet of big yellow buses to hear the “ridiculously talented” young musicians from all over the US, as conductor Paul Contos remarked to me after the one-hour performance. The show began with the classic Green Dolphin Street and ended with a New Orleans funeral in honor of Nancy Fowler, a popular Carmel Middle School music teacher who died in a car crash near Castroville. From the stage, Fowler was described as a “member of the family.” Janice Perl sang a dirge with the orchestra, which was then followed by a rousing When the concert_for_kids_2015MJF_(c)Monterey Jazz Festival_Cole Thompson-124 (Copy)Saints Go Marchin In’ that turned into a parade of the musicians and, as they passed, drew along most of the school students in the audience. Contos gave very sparing directions and, even stepped away as the orchestra played brilliantly with solos aplenty. To me the most astonishing piece, tinged with Oriental flavors and complex rhythms, was Three Brahmin by young San Diego composer/pianist Chase Morrin, described as a current student at Harvard and the New England Conservatory. This 10-minute tour de force was as tight-knit a piece as it was a performance. Pictured, Paul Contos and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra’s concert for school kids.


CABRILLO FEST’S MARIN ALSOP conducts. Hear the entire broadcast on Radio 3, including Alsop interviewed by Sean Rafferty. Click HERE


so-low9455_DENISE TRYON, fourth horn in the Philadelphia Orchestra, gets all the low notes. Her new Bridge CD, SO-LOW, plumbs the repertoire, from 20th century hornist/composer Hermann Neuling and Danish composer Carl Nielsen (whose 150th anniversary occurs this year) to numerous new and virtuosic pieces by the likes of Peter Askim, Tim Martin, Brett Miller, Nathan Pawelek, Dante Yenque and Andrea Clearfield, most horn players themselves. Tryon plays without vibrato. She is accompanied by pianist Julie Nishimura. A couple of the pieces are dark workouts, others succeed through wit and charm.


HE BROUGHT Catholicism, European music, art, viticulture and deadly disease to California. A CNN investigative report. Click HERE


MONTEREY NATIVE Janice Perl, a widely admired jazz singer and educator comes from a family of musicians. Click HERE


PHILIP PEARCE attended Oliver! at PacRep and The Liar at the Western Stage. Click HERE

Scott MacClelland, editor