Music

A traveling man stops in Pasadena

A traveling man stops in Pasadena

When the Los Angeles Jazz Institute’s biannual big band festivals convene, SoCal always sees a certain amount of musical collateral associated with it. That’s why the swinging clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski appears at Bacchus Kitchen in Pasadena Saturday.Peplowski, an...

A 'spitfire' takes it to heart

A 'spitfire' takes it to heart

Alabama-born country singer Tonya Watts radiates an unusual kinetic energy. Impossibly blond, stunningly beautiful, Watts, who begins an every-Thursday-night residency this week at Burbank’s Viva Cantina, specializes in an outspoken and expressive brand of contemporary country.

Christopher Brothers, La Cañada natives, rising to popularity

Christopher Brothers, La Cañada natives, rising to popularity

Things are getting weird for the Christopher Brothers, a teenage band that aims to do for La CaƱada Flintridge what you-know-who did for Liverpool.

Rick Nelson: From teen idol to immortal legend

Rick Nelson: From teen idol to immortal legend

The celestial trajectory of actor-singer Rick Nelson’s career was one of pop culture’s greatest, tinsel-draped, star-crossed tragedies. Growing up on his parent’s network television show “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” Nelson was publicly transformed from bashful...

Rosie Flores: Happy to be a Working Girl

Rosie Flores: Happy to be a Working Girl

Singer-guitarist Rosie Flores gets around. She’s undertaken more than 20 European tours, rocked from Tokyo to Auckland and stormed through just about every honky tonk, dance hall and rock club in the United States. But Flores isn’t taking anything for granted. “The guitar is the...

A Police story not all black and white

A Police story not all black and white

It’s been nearly 30 years since the legendary British band the Police officially announced they were splitting, following a seven-year run of hits such as “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take” and arena-busting shows around the world. Those turbulent years are addressed...

Bringing us back to Bach

Bringing us back to Bach

Taking an art form out of its natural habitat — be it theater, gallery, museum, recital or concert hall — risks diminishing the art to the extent that it’s no longer displayed to the best possible advantage. On the other hand, giving a particular art the daylight test, and...

Still plumbing the blues

Still plumbing the blues

Epiphanies can be spurred by the most unlikely occurrences. That can certainly hold true for practitioners of the blues.

Echosmith's Sydney Sierota: Staying cool after going platinum

Echosmith's Sydney Sierota: Staying cool after going platinum

It’s a busy afternoon at home for Sydney Sierota, just weeks away from her 18th birthday, sitting by the light of a living room window as a hair and makeup artist prepares her for another night onstage. Waiting on a nearby hanger is a sparkling silver dress.

Music Review: Alex tribute concert does justice to the 'White Album'

Music Review: Alex tribute concert does justice to the 'White Album'

The Beatles’ “White Album,” which befuddled fans and divided critics upon its arrival in 1968 in a plain sleeve embossed with the band’s name, is a work of broad scope and meticulous detail.

A legacy set in Stone

A legacy set in Stone

In 1922, when 5-year-old Clifford Gilpin Snyder moved to Burbank with his parents, no one could have guessed he’d end up as the patriarch of a West Coast country music empire. The family bought 5 acres on rural Pass Avenue, where they ran a nursery and kept a dog kennel. When Cliffie was...

Rockin' from the golden age

Rockin' from the golden age

Pioneering Chicano rock ‘n’ roll originator Chris Montez, famed for frantic international 1962 hit “Let’s Dance,” is one of the most exciting performers still working from that era. Now 73 years old, Montez, who appears Saturday at Joe’s Great American Bar &...

A trombonist takes the lead

Trombonist Michael Vlatkovich’s recordings are musical journeys. He writes and works in many different modes of ensemble expression: Pieces and passages may float weightlessly, roar like fire trucks through a busy intersection, or converge with layers of instrumental counterpoint. True to...

Musicians swarm around Beatles' tribute concert

Musicians swarm around Beatles' tribute concert

“You never know who’s going to steal the show,” says Paul Rock, talking about the Wild Honey Orchestra & Special Guests perform the Beatles’ “White Album” concert that’s set to take place at the Alex Theatre in Glendale on Saturday, Feb. 28.

Classical album is a gathering of forces

Classical album is a gathering of forces

Never let it be said that concert pianist Gloria Cheng isn’t up for a challenge. She’s known for tackling some of the knottiest and most technically difficult contemporary classical music of the last century. Nor does she lack for inspired conceptual premises. In her newest album,...

The blues come to Pasadena

The blues come to Pasadena

It’s Saturday night at Redwhite + Bluezz, which shares a courtyard with the Pasadena Playhouse. The business began as a high-end gourmet restaurant with an extensive wine list, in its first home off of Pasadena’s Paseo in 2008. It’s changed hands and moved over to 37 N. El Molino...

Old friends to meet again on the jazz stage

Old friends to meet again on the jazz stage

In the early 1980s, a group of hot young players from around the country made names for themselves in New York. They weren’t free-jazz avant-gardists, neo-beboppers, electronic funksters or a part of Wynton Marsalis’ “young men in suits” brigade. These young bloods played the...

The Muffs still pack an energetic punch

The Muffs still pack an energetic punch

Muffs bandleader Kim Shattuck is a die-hard rock ‘n’ roller. When the Glendale resident hits the Satellite’s bandstand on Friday night, she’ll bring bales of the masterly combination of rabble rousing, stink-stirring and bubblegum pop in overdrive sound that’s kept...

Pasadena: Free concert offered every Saturday night in August

Pasadena: Free concert offered every Saturday night in August

From the strings of prohibition-styled jazz to pop beats that warrant quick toe-taps, music lovers can venture to Pasadena for the "Saturday Nights in August" concert series.

Messaround at Viva Cantina: A showcase for 'Messfits'

Messaround at Viva Cantina: A showcase for 'Messfits'

Looking out over a roomful of cowboy hats, full-sleeve tattoos, and Ramones T-shirts, Jonny Whiteside — who's been promoting a once-a-month musical series called "The Messaround" at the Viva Cantina in Burbank for the last four-and-a-half years — says, "People always think 'The...

Jazz bassist now a leading player

Jazz bassist now a leading player

Readers of this byline may recall a feature on the jazz at Glendale's Neat Bar in the Glendale News-Press in March 2012. While the bar itself and the band were worthy enough subjects, the big discovery that night was young bassist Katie Thiroux and her boyfriend, drummer Matt Witek. Their...

Musicians to pay tribute to Jax fixture Frank Strazzeri

Musicians to pay tribute to Jax fixture Frank Strazzeri

Up to the first of the year, one sure bet for jazz in Southern California were the monthly nights at Jax where pianist Frank Strazzeri held court. Though seldom acknowledged nationally, he was one of the reigning masters of jazz piano, with a wealth of composition and arrangement background that...

Reunion opens a Pandoras' Box

Reunion opens a Pandoras' Box

When all-female garage rockers the 21st Century Pandoras get to work Friday night at Burbank's Pin Up Girl, they won't just be resurrecting one of Southern California's wildest rock acts, they will also be adding fuel to the fire of a bitter rivalry that's smoldered for a quarter of a century.

Martin Short: No shortage of comedy cred

Martin Short: No shortage of comedy cred

Martin Short is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor with dozens of films behind him and a small crowd of bizarre characters that follow him everywhere. The "completely mental" Ed Grimley — with slippery cowlick and pants pulled up to his chest — has been with him since 1977. And by the...

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Columns

Read On: We should welcome the rain

Read On: We should welcome the rain

I’m not sure we’re yet taking this drought thing quite as seriously as we should here in Southern California. Because let me tell you, it’s a really big deal. Water is pretty close...

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