The Ventura Music Festival has had great success with name-dropping. But not in the way you might think. The festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has hosted some impressive names since its beginnings in 1995: Itzhak Perlman, Branford Marsalis, Chris Botti. But until 2004, the annual event was known as the Ventura Chamber Music Festival. Ten years after it was founded, the festival dropped “Chamber” from the name, along with its connotations of elite classical music played by small groups in tiny spaces. Nuvi Mehta, who in 2004 became the festival’s artistic director (replacing Burns Taft), said he...Read More
Author: Karen Lindell
The ocean’s movement is languid and undulating. A flamenco dancer’s movement is precise and percussive. But both move with artistically fluid finesse. Flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes is calling her latest show “Oceans.” And Ventura might have played a role in that decision. Fuentes will present “Oceans” Friday in Ventura and Saturday in Ojai, with guitarist Pedro Cortes and percussionist-vocalist Jose Moreno. Fuentes, who lives in Seattle and is on a West Coast tour, had many reasons to title the program “Oceans.” Her daughter attends California State University, Monterey Bay, where she is studying marine science. Additionally, Fuentes has been...Read More
ELEMENTS DISTINCT AND IN BALANCE | Ojai Music Festival to feature contemporary composers, new works, opera, folk songs and more
“Equilibrium” is a deceptive word. It suggests equality, from the Latin root aequi at the beginning. But the key is balance, from the root libra at the end. Because to be in equilibrium, even though everything must be balanced, each element isn’t the same. And so it goes with music. Ojai Music Festival artistic director Barbara Hannigan, in a keynote address she gave in 2016 at the Lucerne Festival titled “Equilibrium,” described it this way: “The competing forces . . . are not necessarily equal, but they are balanced and full of dynamic tension. . . . Any great...Read More
PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS | The Representational Art Conference brings artists, art lovers and experts to Ventura County
Before you potentially dismiss TRAC 2019: The Representational Art Conference as an exercise in academic pretension (because you aren’t sure what “representational art” is, or whether you want to confer about it), let Michael Pearce put your fears to rest. Representational art is simply “stuff that looks like stuff,” said Pearce, a California Lutheran University art professor, conference co-founder and champion of accessible art. Another term for “figurative art,” representational artwork features people, places and things that are easily recognizable: portraits, landscapes, wildlife paintings, still lifes, figurative sculptures. The art subject doesn’t have to be realistic; representational art also...Read More
The pins on Morgan James’ map to a music career mark some highly random stops, and she’s run into eclectic visitors along the way. Idaho. Modesto. Juilliard. Broadway. Nina Simone and John Mayer. Berry Gordy. Prince. And, yes, even Maroon 5’s “Maps” has been part of the journey. Where did she end up? James is a successful singer-songwriter who trained in classical opera voice at Juilliard, performed on Broadway, then started a band and solo recording career as a soul and R&B artist. She’s known for her powerful voice (she can belt) and original music, along with covers of...Read More
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