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LA Art Party Newsletter

LAArtParty is an arts and entertainment website. Established in 2010, it is an online go-to guide for what's happening in and beyond the LA area - this includes dining, travel and more.

Founded by journalist, and "Blues Mama" Kathy Leonardo (a longtime performer), the campy site has an unusual slant which will keep you entertained. Leonardo has been writing for the past 15 years about various subjects for the Huffington Post, THRIVE GLOBAL, LA Weekly, etc.

Each month the LAArtParty staff, led by Kathy Leonardo decides which events will be featured. Posted at noon on the Thursday prior to the last week of the month, LAArtParty.com features the Top Ten Art Parties, plus other fun events each month. VIP subscribers find out ONE week prior to the public and receive discounts and invites to VIP parties throughout the year.

See Contact Page to find out how to become a VIP subscriber so you don't miss any more great ART Parties!! See Contact/Rates Page to find out how submit and promote your own events!

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Mayor Garcetti

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Food Critic, Jonathan Gold

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LA ARTSHOW-2012

LA Art Show



On site with LA Art Party's Video team

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Event Review: Dori Caymmi at the Jazz Bakery's Moveable Feast at the Kirk Douglas Theatre!

Cathy Segal-Garcia reviews Dori Caymmi's recent performance on  2/15/13 at the Jazz Bakery's Moveable Feast, in the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Culver City, Los Angeles.

Here I am, sitting in the Kirk Douglas Theatre, waiting for the world renowned guitarist/vocalist/composer/arranger/producer, Dori Caymmi, to come out to start the show. A beautiful theatre, slanted up seating, with a medium large stage on the floor. The newest and most intimate of Center Theatre Group's family of theatres. The 317-seat venue is located in a newly renovated historic movie theatre in Downtown Culver City. It's an aesthetic environment surely.

We2.15.13 JazzBakery1 scored a seat in the very front center, so I'm pretty excited because I love being close to
musicians. Being a singer, I like to feel up close and personal, feeling like I'm actually part of
the band. There's a stool in the center with an expectant mic, a piano and keyboard, a stool in the center back, and drums. I'm excited!

The group, a quartet, comes out after an introduction from founder Ruth Price. Actually, the co-founder, Ruth and singer/photographer Jim Britt started the Bakery in his photo studio, which was part of the Helm's Bakery group of buildings in Culver City, almost 20 years ago. I used to sing there, and attended concerts there. When Jim's lease was up, Ruth moved it across the lane to a great space that lasted until a few years ago. I worked there quite a bit; Ruth was very supportive to me and my projects. I'm a great admirer of hers. She was a subtle and swinging, knowledgeable singer in earlier days. A great teacher (I've seen her in action at my own Vocal Workshop series) and a lively and consistent worker, always recognizing great talent and art, and has accomplished rare thing...an ongoing, quality production space for Jazz!

Dori's voice is at once, beautiful and distinct... A rich baritone, with depth of emotion that makes my insides release. Add that voice to a slow bossa beat, with subtleties of the rhythms and harmonies coming through the players...it's romantic and beautiful from the very first moment!

The music is harmonically leading and surprising, which is part of what makes it so amazing to listen to! Within the same song, there are passages of different lengths, that are significantly different, but they relate and flow out of each other and into the next; like a river, running gently and endlessly, around rocks and curves, on and on.

The 2nd song showcased the pianist, Bill Cantos, singing his own keyboard solo...Wonderful! Vocally exciting, and great musical ideas... motifs repeating and developing into an exciting build and gentle drop. A slow, painfully beautiful "Corcovado" was next. How do the great Brazilian musicians create this gorgeous style, time and again?! Dori is having a love affair with the song; the notes, the way they sit in the harmony, the Portuguese lyrics....

2.15.13 JazzBakery2And yet right after, this sweetheart of a man makes a joke relating to his "depressed versions of Brazilian music", and then going into a mind blowing arrangement of "Brazil"! I have never heard or imagined a more beautiful and interesting arrangement. It took me at least 32 bars before I recognized it. The form seemed different, the chords were definitely beautiful substitutions, and even the melody, sung and played by Dori at first, seemed only slightly familiar! At a slow, sensuous groove, with all the rest, it was truly a holy experience!

Jerry Watts on electric bass is a prominent part of the music. A versatile and strong musician, in this setting, as each musician, he must hold his reigns and release at just the right times. Playing his bass like a guitar, his rhythmic choices seemed comfortable and perfect, even knowing how complex they really are!

"The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage" at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center


"The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage" fuses the explosive improvisational energy of street dance with structured modern dance choreography. The beautifully designed Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, which seats 399 people with 102 seats on the balcony level and 297 seats on the orchestra level, provided a comfortable and intimate setting to introduce this ground-breaking dance form to a theater audience.

REVIEW TheUndergroundPhoto Credit: Sage Gallon

The 53-minute performance, which blends eight live dance pieces featuring 8 dancers with six short video segments, was created, conceived, choreographed and directed by Marquisa "Miss Prissy" Gardner. Known as "Queen of Krump", she starred in the film Rize, which chronicles the lives of some of South Central Los Angeles's top krump dancers.

The videos, woven throughout the performance, provided an easily accessible sense of the history and momentum of street performing and include an interview with Lil' C, who added choreography to the show. It was also clearly apparent in the well rehearsed and professionally disciplined individual and ensemble performances that Miss Prissy brought forth her lifelong classical ballet, jazz, tap training along with her recent experiences having toured with Snoop Dogg, the Game, and Madonna.

Most striking to me was the collaborative, supportive, syncopated, and at times nurturing interactions and relationships among the dancers that was in contrast to the typically intense competitive "dancer versus dancer" nature of what shows up on the street.

It may be that this transformational energy is due to Missy Prissy's acknowledged being a "mother to the performers" and in fact literally so, as her solo, "Pink Matter", opened with her young daughter reaching up to hold onto a ballet barre, being carried off stage, and Miss Prissy entering to act-out a poignant inner conflict between classical dance gestures and krump moves.

Highlights of the show included "We 3 Kings" performed by Outrage, Ruin, Worm, "Me Against the Music" with Boogie Frantick doing a solo "popper" routine playing off the variant music genres coming from a boombox, "Drummer vs. Krumper" featuring Brent Pittman on drums, ensemble pieces "Pyramids", "Adrenaline" and "Guerilla Beatdown" finale which brought the audience to its feet.

Performers included Christopher "Worm" Lewis, Charles "King Charles" Parks (Chicago footworker), Christopher "Lil' C" Toler, Larry "Ruin" Combs, Deidra "Krucial" Cooper-Jenkins, Manny "Xclusive" Fernandez, Darren "Outrage" King, Ricardo "Boogie Frantick" Rodriguez Jr., Brent Pittman on drums, and rapper KO the Legend.

The Underground was produced by Jessica Koslow, who recently received her MA in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) at USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

The goal is to take the show on the road and there are plans to do performances in Los Angeles in 2013 at Mount St. Mary's College in February, Nate Holden Arts Center in April, and USC in September. For more information, visit undergroundstreetdance.com

The Shakespeare Globe Theatre's production of Hamlet at the Broad Stage

"The play's the thing." The Shakespeare Globe Theatre's production of Hamlet at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica is an engaging and highly entertaining presentation of the classic tragedy of murder, betrayal, existential angst, madness and revenge. The actors speak the Bard's poetic language with a crispness and clarity that enables the audience to easily follow the story and connect emotionally with each character.

MicThe-cast-of-Hamlet-Photo-by-Simon-Annandhael Benz leads the ensemble as Hamlet with  even other actors playing the full complement of characters -- highlighted by Peter Bray as Prince Fortinbras, Miranda Foster as Gertrude, Tom Lawrence as Horatio, Carlyss Peer as Ophelia, Matthew Romain as Laertes, Christopher Saul as Polonius, and Dickson Tyrrell as Claudius.

The openness of the tightly constructed stage set and with the house lights kept up creates a sense of intimacy that has the audience drawn into the action. In addition, the actors weave a wonderful rhythmic musicality, and at moments humor, throughout the two hour forty-five minute performance with song, accordion, violin, mandolin, and percussion that keeps the pace of the performance move briskly with an upbeat energy.

As the story line progresses, the actors make just the right amount of effort to emphasize the familiar lines that reinforce the timeless quality of the play and remind us of the those poignant human truths as -- “This above all: to thine own self be true"; “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so; “Conscience doth make cowards of us al ” and of course-- “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, Hamlet continues at the Broad Stage until November 25.

Event Review: Le Salon de Musiques

Le Salon de Musiques performed the first of their eight concert program for the 2012/2013 season this past Sunday. The series highlights Romantic and Neo--‐Romantic movements and this concert featured the United States premiere of Lyapunov's, Piano Sextet op 63 as well as Glinka's Serenade for Piano Sextet on Themes from Bellini. The venue of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Fifth Floor Salon allowed audience members to truly appreciate the acoustical qualities that an intimate salon setting offers.

The pEVENT REVIEW 10.14.12 Le Salon de Musiques 088-1rogram began with curator of the series and artistic director, Francois Chouchan and musicologist Julius Reder Carlson providing an introduction to salon music and historical background. Carlson's discussed how by removing the stage, barriers between artist and audience are broken and a deeper sense of relationship with the music is created.

The classical chamber music ensemble featured violinists Roger Wilkie and Sarah Thornblade, Brian Dembow, Viola, Ronald Leonard, cello, Nico Abondolo, bass, and Gavin Martin, piano.

A high point for me was during the Lyapunov Piano Sextet Op 63, when the cohesive and seamless transition from the second to third movement had me in awe of the aural dimensionality created by the musicians in the space.

After the performance, each audience member received a flute of French Champagne preceding the question and answer portion of program. The musicians explained the historical relevance of their instruments, many of which
dated back to the 18th century, as well as talked about their personal reflections on their careers, influences and preferences in music. The easy going candor and humor between audience members and artists evoked a very real sense of community that only a salon setting can offer.

Following the Q and A, Patina's catering service provided a gourmet high tea buffet as audience and performance members mingled in the afterglow of this most enjoyable Sunday late afternoon musical experience.

The remainder of the eight concert series of Le Salon de Musiques will continue the tradition of classical sophistication on the second Sunday of every month through May 2013 from 4-6 PM and will include performances of Bach, Debussy, Schubert and Schumann.

Event Review: Diavolo Dance Theater at the Broad Stage


ODiavoloARCpening night of Diavolo Dance Theater's premiere of Transit Space at the Broad Stage attracted an eclectic group of dance lovers. There were all types...young, old, couples, and the obvious group of confused men dragged along by their girlfriends. However, by the time the intermission rolled around...those same men had joined the ranks of the rest of the audience and were truly enthralled.

Diavolo Dance Theater is an internationally renowned modern dance company of dancers, gymnasts, acrobats, and athletes. The two pieces stood on their own: Trajectoire originally premiered in 1999 and was breathtaking...perhaps so much so it overshadowed the rest of the performance.

The sets played a leading role in the production. Set designers Daniel Wheeler (Trajectoire) and Sibyl Wickersheimer (Transit Space), along with set engineers Mike McCluskey and Tina Trefethen created artful and inventive detachable sets for the dancers to play on. The three-dimensional choreography was obviously inspired and developed further through the design of the sets.

Special thaDiavolo1nks for the beautiful shots from photographer Ben Gibbs.

The "arc" from Trajectoire was the true star of the piece and the dancers played the role of supportive cast creating an undeniable work of art. The movement of the arc allowed the dancers to embrace the force of gravity and kept the audience at the edge of their seats...

The second act featured Transit Space premiering for the first time. Influenced by the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, skate ramps were used to enhance the dance moves, simulating jumps, spins and leaps one would make with a skateboard.

AlDiavolo4though it was extremely compelling, complete with an audio track featuring spoken word, it tended to lag at moments. Also at times the sets that were so original seemed to be a burden to the dancers as they pushed them around the stage. However, the finale took an energetic turn allowing for better usage of the slide-like sets. Next came exlaborate skateboard moves and jumps culminating in a thrilling ending.

Artistic Director Jacques Helm spoke after the show. An animated leader, he described the art of dance...."What we do on stage is like a live abstract painting with themes such as human struggles, fear, danger, survival, chaos, order, faith, love."

While directiDIAVOLO3ng this company for the last twenty years, Helm continues to choreograph for other projects such as the Cirque du Soleil "KA" at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Diavolo has been touring nationally and internationally for the last thirteen years. This is their third year at the Broad stage.

Visit the website to find out more about this terrific dance troupe - http://www.diavolo.org/

Ticket prices range from $49.00 - $79.00.

What: Transit Space by Diavolo Dance Theater
Where: The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
When: Saturday, September 29, 2012 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday September 30, 2012 4:00 pm
Phone: 310 434 3200
Website: http://thebroadstage.com/Diavolo   http://www.diavolo.org/

Whole 9 Gallery's Taste of Culver City, A Big Success!

ThINVITE-TASTE-OF-CULVER-CITY-061912e Whole 9 Gallery has established itself as a leading cultural center in Culver City. An art gallery and non profit, they not only help emerging artists but aslo support Peace Project initiatives.

On any given day, 25% of anything purchased at The Whole 9 Gallery, goes to The Peace Project and 100% from Peace Project merchandise will go directly towards Peace Project initiatives.

On July 14th, The Whole 9 Gallery hosted a benefit, The Taste of Culver City, an eclectic mix of art music delicious food and wonderful socializing.

A lovely crowd of interesting people greeted me as I walked through the door. A welcoming selection of art beckoned to me as appetizers and dirnks were offered. This special event was a benefit and well worth the admission price to be part of this fantastic art party.

Several Culver City RestCrowdshot Whole9 byNickApplebeeaurants contributed to the night. Samplings from the Culver Hotel, Grand Casino, Kay & Dave's, Kebab Bistro, K-Zo, La Rocca's and more. I enjoyed a glass of champagne while socializing and nibbling on savory appetizers.

Live music was supplied by Rosendo, The Jane Doe's and Grace Gravity.

The exhibition, ZERO HOUR featured artists: Fred Feldmesser, Graham Goddard, Joan Scheibel and Ashleigh Sumner.

I was speciifically drawn to one artist's work. LA Local, Joan Scheibel who was showing her work for the first time at the Whole 9 Gallery for this special fundraiser.

ScJoanScheibelWhole9 byNickApplebeeheibel has been actively exhibiting her art for the past 2 years at venues such as The Center For The Arts, Eagle Rock, Advocate/Gonchis Gallery in Hollywood, Venice Art Crawl and City Sip.

She shared her process with me, "I try to paint everyday...it is the best meditation I can do!" She continued, "I think I started painting the minute I began walking. Ever since I can remember starting with crayons."

I had the chance to talk to event coordinator and curator for the Whole 9 Gallery, Heidi Huber as well.

"The event went great! The food was excellent, as was the music, and the company!" she exclaimed.

HeidiHuber Whole9 byNickApplebeeWhen asked how often the Whole 9 Gallery holds benefits, she replied, "Since we are a relatively young non-profit, I don't think we're ever out of fundraising mode. Typically, we'll host three fundraisers a year but always have Peace Project merchandise available for purchase at The Whole 9 Gallery in downtown Culver City."

Finally, I asked about the new space...and how it has affected the gallery. Huber says "We moved here last October, just before we premiered the 2nd Peace Project exhibit. We are loving this location -- the foot traffic is so much better and our neighbors are unreal. Well, you saw how supportive they are -- all of the food last Saturday was donated.

The most wonderful part of this fun night, was all the proceeds from the event help to transform lives by creating jobs for people in Sierra Leone, Africa, through The Peace Project initiatives.

Special thanks to photographer Nick Applebee.

Event Review: Beat the Drum

7.15Beatthedrumfest1 590x345"One Heart, One Beat" was the mantra for the highly energetic, powerful and empowering evening of music, dance, song and poetry of the "Beat the Drum -- East Los Meets West Los Second Annual Drum Festival."

The event took place under the clear and cool sky at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood on Sunday July 15.

The family frienBeattheDrum photobyMBaroHuehuetl Drummersdly event, which celebrates the universality of the drumbeat as a rhythmic connection of our human heartbeat, fused the traditional and contemporary, and began with performances, community displays, and art demonstrations in the theatre plaza where people gathered to meet up and enjoy picnics.

The audience entered the amphitheater to the world music of DJ Reyes Rodriguez and as the sun began to set, a duo of shamanistic Aztec Huehuetl drummers (see image, left) initiated proceedings.

DeBeattheDrum photobyMBaroCapoerira Collectivef Poetry Jam Poet Mayda Del Valle began with a poem and emceed, introducing each group and engaging the audience throughout the evening, and recited an extended and powerful rap during her performance as a member of Atabey.

The Capoeira Collective (see image, right) shared their practice of Brazilian martial art that combines dance and music. The fluidity and choreography of the rolls and acrobatic attacks and defensive movements play out in a game between the Capoeiristas.

BeattheDrum photobyMBaroAtabeyThe seven women and four men of Atabey performed the "call and response" interchange between the dancers and drummers of the Bomba music tradition. 

This tradition was brought to Puerto Rico from Africa by the slaves who worked in sugar cane plantations and represents a mixture of religious, cultural, and poverty dynamics within struggles of life and love.

East LA Taiko (see image, right) raised the heat with its fusion of Latin, Afro-Cuban, Ska, Punk Japanese and stand-out performances by Fredo Ortiz, best known for touring with the Beastie Boys, Taiko drummer Maceo Hernandez, known as the “Demon Drummer of East LA”, Lysa FloresBeattheDrum byMBaroff East LA Taiko, former Alice Bag lead guitarist and El Vez member, and the amazingly energetic and powerful taiko drummer named Taylor.

Concluding the event was CAVA (see image, left) led by Claudia Gonzalez-Tenorio with her sultry strong-willed feminine energy tempered with maternal instincts, as brought out with her duets with her youngdaughter who played taiko and harmonized vocally.

CAVA seemlessly blended traditional Afro-Cuban Son, Cumbia, ska, salsa and funk and featured Walter Miranda on keyboards and bassand Adam Topol on a hybrid timbales/rock kit.

Beat tBeattheDrum photobyMBaroff CAVA 3he Drum was organized by Tricia Ward, Artistic Director who is Founder of ARTScorpsLA/ACLA (Art, Community, Land, Activism!), which, was developed n response to the 1992 LA riots, is a community-based public art project and land collective built on the belief that every person is a freely creative individual deserving a safe, healthy community in which to express themselves.

Photos by Michael Baroff

LACO holds 23rd Annual Silent Film Gala

5.20 UCLARoyceHallThe Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra held it's annual silent film and fundraising gala at Royce Hall. The evening featured two Harold Lloyd's silent films. The early 20th century films were re-scored in the by composer-conductor Carl Davis. Mr Davis conducted the LACO in a US premiere of a new score for "High and Dizzy," a 1920 short film revolving around a young woman who sleepwalks and the doctor who is attempting to treat her.

He also conducted the feature length film "The Kid Brother" (1927). The gag filled fable about the youngest (and smallest) of three brothers who saves the day and gets the girl - while no one else in the rural community would accuse him of being the day saving, rescuing type. The film was made long before the Hollywood westerns established the white hat archetype of the good guy. And certainly long before any environmental issues about dam building and the distraction of habitat or even fire safety.

T5.20 LosAnglesOrchestraphotohe Los Angeles Camber Orchestra played with it's customary aplomb on the new score by Carl Davis.  The lower section of Royce Hall at UCLA was sold out and the sumptuous banquet that followed was well attended by Hollywood talent, from both sides of the camera. Dustin Hoffman was completed his 12th year as honorary chair of the event. The LACO honored Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian.