Category: Events

Reinventing Jazz

Vocalist and composter Theo Bleckmann defies expectations of the genre Like serious jazz players, vocalist and composer Theo Bleckmann is adept at improvisation, although he does not scat like trad jazz singers; the sonically shape-shifting music created by the onetime art student and his flexible backing combo lives somewhere between vocal jazz, cabaret and ambient pop. His sober reading of Stephen Sondheim’s normally jaunty “Comedy Tonight” (from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”) is an illuminating demonstration of how he upends expectations, as well as his knife-edged skill at extracting complex feeling from a seemingly...

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From Hippies to Hipsters

Beyond Baroque founder George Drury Smith talks about decades of change in Venice and Marina del Rey George Drury Smith moved to Venice in the mid-1960s to join the Beat poetry scene, only to find it had washed out to sea. Instead, he made his own literary scene by founding Beyond Baroque (originally a lit mag) and got tangled up in a small but ambitious Marina del Rey media startup called The Argonaut. On Sunday, the Marina del Rey Historical Society Speaker Series brings Smith back to Beyond Baroque to talk about his long, strange trip building community on...

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Eastside Meets Westside

“Land of a Thousand Dances.” “That’s All.” “Love Special Delivery.” “Sad Girl.” “The Town I Live In.” “Chicano Power.” Willie Garcia, more familiarly known as Little Willie G, sang all those and more with hugely influential East LA legends Thee Midniters, in the process earning a rep as an intensely charismatic performer. In the 1970s he also logged miles with Malo, but it’s his vital ’60s tenure with Thee Midniters that secured his position as one of the most soulful balladeers in LA rock history. Garcia still tells stories onstage of his early days when he and the band cut their performance teeth in “battle of the bands”-type shows opposite then-unknowns like Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, who rolled on to achieve fame as the Righteous Brothers. Those days, of course, are just a speck in the rearview mirror now. In 1980 Garcia experienced a religious awakening that he has often credited with helping him get clean and sober. Ordained in the mid-’80s, he continues to do outreach work with kids entangled in gang life and addiction, and occasionally reunites with his old bandmates. When he hits the stage at McCabe’s Saturday, he’ll be focusing on his solo catalogue — newer gospel material as well as songs from his 2000 David Hidalgo-produced solo album “Make Up for the Lost Time,” which, like Thee Midniters, mixed originals with uplifting R&B...

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Viva la Musica!

Grammy-winning ensemble La Santa Cecilia return to The Broad Stage after a very impressive year By Bliss Bowen Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, certainly seems to have been busy casting light on L.A. darlings La Santa Cecilia, who honored her when choosing their band name in 2007. This year alone, the dynamic foursome won a Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Grammy Award for 2013’s “Treinta Días”; released an acclaimed follow-up, “Someday New”; played a short set and participated in a celebratory Q&A session at the Grammy Museum; performed at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee; and...

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Fun and Fright! 13 things to do for Halloween and Day of the Dead

By Elliot Stiller Halloween and Day of the Dead are coming up scary fast.  No plans yet? From kid-friendly activities to a horror movie marathon, a pub crawl for zombies and traditional Dia de los Muertos celebrations, here are 13 ways to get into the spirit of the season: Saturday, Oct. 25 Parade with tiny terrors Costume-clad children swarm the grounds of Coeur D’Alene Elementary School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the school’s annual “Spooky Saturday” fundraiser, which features “Tiny Terror” and “Monster Mash” costume parades, a creepy petting zoo, a haunted maze, a spooky bazaar, a phantom photo booth, a pumpkin carving patch, food and prizes. Couer D’Alene Elementary, 810 Couer D’Alene Ave., Venice. Activity tickets are $1 each. (310) 821-7813; cdaelementary.org Brave the Haunted Hallway Grant Elementary School PTA’s fall festival fundraiser is two events in one: Eat, play games and enjoy live entertainment during an outdoor carnival from noon to 5 p.m., then from 5 to 8 p.m. bust a move at the Monster Mash Dance and brave a spooky Haunted Hallway … if you dare. Grant Elementary School, 2368 Pearl Ave., Santa Monica. grantpta.org Explore Davy Jones’ locker Kids can tour a marine animal graveyard, enter a glow-in-the-dark laboratory, hear spooky stories and have their faces painted with a Day of the Dead mask at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium from...

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