Tired of the same old music offerings every summer? Me too. This week Pacific Symphony launches the inaugural Wavelength Festival of Music, running August 22-25 at the OC Fair & Event Center at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa. On offer will be “diverse genres of high-quality music,” says Pacific Symphony’s esteemed Music Director, Carl St. Clair. “I hope audiences will spend the entire weekend with us to open their ears to worlds previously unknown to them.”
Ten-time Grammy Award winner Bonnie Raitt kickstarts the festival Thursday night. The singer-songwriter, whose OC roots date to 1885, is as hot as ever; her 19th album, “Slipstream” (2012), sold over a quarter-million copies and earned Raitt that 10th Grammy. As if she weren’t enough to please first-nighters, special guest Keb’ Mo’—who blends blues, jazz, R&B and soul into a intoxicating concoction—will open the show.
Friday’s “indie night” is headlined by The Airborne Toxic Event, a Los Angeles-based indie band best known for its mashup of rock and orchestral arrangements (they’ll perform with Pacific Symphony). Saturday, the festival’s media sponsor, KCRW, presents an evening curated by Jason Bentley, host of their signature weekday show “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”
The festival closes next Sunday with Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon,” played with Pacific Symphony in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary. The festival’s Concourse stage will showcase various 2013 OC Music Awards-affiliated bands, local up-and-coming indie artists and individual Pacific Symphony musicians starting at 5:30 p.m. each evening. For info, visit wavelengthfestival.org.
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Billie Holiday on DVD, Sathima Benjamin on CD, Wynton Marsalis in paperback
Dangerous entertainers: Smothers Brothers, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez
Gift guide: Liam Clancy, Woody Guthrie, Miles Davis
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What draws half a million people to an obscure town in the Balkans for one week every August? A trumpet festival in Guča, Serbia—the world’s largest. Meerkat Media Collective’s “Brasslands” is an intriguing documentary (shown at the recent Los Angeles film festival) that follows Zlatne Uste, a 12-piece band of New Yorkers, as they prepare to compete in the festival, the first Americans to do so. What drives them? “Something you don’t ordinarily get in life,” says Emerson Hawley, the band’s tuba player. (Soundtrack CD available from brasslands.com).
“Autumn in Augusta: Songs My Momma Would Like,” a 5-track CD of jazz-blues numbers sung and arranged by Lucy Smith, should by appreciated by listeners far beyond the singer’s family. Smith’s soulful vocals enhance thoughtful interpretations of standards like “Wayfaring Stranger” and “House of the Rising Sun.” (Available from lucysmithjazz.com).
Ayako Shirasaki’s “Some Other Time” isn’t your run-of-the-mill jazz piano album. Her inspired renditions of Gershwin, Ellington and Kern standards are interspersed with some of her own compositions on this 12-track CD, including “3 Steps Forward,” which brings to mind Erik Satie. (Available from Jan Matthies Records).
More from Jordan:
UC Irvine’s Shakespeare Festival, Odyssey Theatre’s ‘Ionescopade’ http://www.examiner.com/article/uc-irvine-s-shakespeare-festival-odyssey...
Cinecon 49 returns to Hollywood Labor Day, silent movie comics everywhere
Visit my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-R.-Young/e/B001K8E7NW
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