Herb Alpert School of Music Class Notes
Diamonds & Tapestries: The Embellished Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Cirquestra will be performed at Highways in Santa Monica on February 28 and March 1, featuring Casey Anderson (Composition MFA 09), Casey Butler (Performer/Composer Afro-American Improv MFA 09), Brendan Carn (Jazz Bass 09), and Joshua Gerowitz (Performer/Composer MFA 10).
Composer Hector Armienta (General Music-Composition/Theory BFA 85) has composed the music for Cuentos de Peregrinacion-An Immigrant's Tale, playing March 29 at 5 pm and March 30 at 2 pm at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose. Tickets for students and educators are $10.
Sheela Bringi (North Indian Music MFA 09) has made NPR's "Under-The-Radar Albums Preview for 2014" with Incantations, a new take on classical Indian mantras. Javad Butah (World Music Performance BFA 10) and Clinton Patterson (Jazz Trumpet MFA 07) perform on the album.
Asheville, N.C. singer/producer Marley Carroll (Music Technology BFA 07) released a new album called Sings in December. It has already received favorable press in Rolling Stone, BlackBook, and Pitchfork.
The monthly music magazine, The Wire, recently listed Loud City Song, the new album by Julia Holter (Composition MFA 09), as #1 of its Top 50 Resleases of 2013.
Dan Kepl (Conducting CERT 72) interviewed conductor Bob Bernhardt on the eve of his third consecutive New Year's Concert with the Santa Barbara Symphony. He also recently reviewed Luis Muñoz' new Latin jazz CD and the Quire of Voyces Christmas CD.
The Walker, a song by indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums, featuring James King (Jazz Reeds BFA 99) and Michael Fitzpatrick (Film/Video 95), was recently lip-synched by Ellen DeGeneres for a video promoting the 2014 Academy Awards. The band also recently performed Out of My League on The Ellen Show.
John King (Music BFA 76) received in January 2014 the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award for Music/Sound.
Composer and multi-media artist Sage Lewis (Music MFA 08) is exhibiting an installation at the Light Box Theater in Miami through the end of February.
Guitarist, producer, educator and author Jared Meeker (MAP-Guitar BFA 98) will perform and answer questions at Guitar Center Northridge on February 11 at 7 pm.
Robert "Bobby O" Ormsby (Music 72) recently joined Cycles of Change Recovery Services, an addiction treatment center based in Lancaster, as the new music program director. He is in charge of coordinating music education as part of the center's addiction treatment program.
The Harvard Management Company named Jameela Pedicini (Instrumental Performance 02) its first vice president for sustainable investing, dedicated to researching environmental, social, and governance issues related to Harvard's $30.7 billion endowment. The appointment took effect last year. A story about the appointment appeared in Harvard Magazine.
Guitarist Miroslav Tadic (Music MFA 85), a faculty member in the School of Music, will be performing with the Teofilovic Brothers at Konzerthaus in Vienna on February 23 and at Kerempuh teatar in Zagreb, Croatia on February 28.
Soft Focus, a recent project by harpist Mia Theodoratus (Instrumental Performance-Harp MFA 94), Lary 7 and jimi tenor had two releases in 2013: an LP on the Finish label Sahko Recordings, and a 7-inch vinyl on the German label Gargarin. Recent notable concerts by Theodoratus include an invitation in 2012 to perform for the Prime Minister of Ireland by President Obama, and Sirens in Surround Sound with faculty member Susan Allen at Theatre 80 St. Marks in New York in 2012. She arranged and composed music for Dueling Harps, presented at the Abrons Arts Center in New York and at REDCAT with Ann Magnuson. She was a featured performer at LifeBall in Vienna, and played a week run at the Acropolis in Athens for the Oedipus Cycle, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company with Michael Kahn, Baikida Carroll and Avery Brooks. She has also composed music for Rubicon, Flight of the Conchords, and Million Dollar Listing, as well as music for Sotheby's live auctions. As a teacher, she has a Suzuki Certificate and has her own studio. She also teaches at the Irish Arts Center in New York and travels internationally to give workshops on improvisation.
Kubilay Üner (Composition MFA 91) is releasing a new, as yet untitled, album in March, which he says is "the most ambitious and adventurous music I have written yet." Along with Bryce and Aaron Dessner (of the National), he also wrote the score for the film Big Sur (2013), based on the novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac. The film will be released on DVD and the music will be released on iTunes on January 14.
Slumgum, a Los Angeles-based jazz quartet featuring Trevor Anderies (Jazz Drums BFA 08), Jon Armstrong (Jazz Reeds MFA 08), Rory Cowal (Jazz Keyboard MFA 08) and Dave Tranchina (Jazz Bass MFA 08) will be performing at the Arts Center theater in Merced on October 25 at 8 pm. Slumgum recently won the 2013 Chamber Music America-American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award for adventurous programming.
The New Poetics of Isolation: Poems 1998-2010 by Steven Bilow (Composition BFA 82) is now available on Amazon. It features many CalArts connections and inside references.
The New York City borough of Queens is where Simon & Garfunkel first met, where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born (as Lew Alcindor), and where the US Open tennis championship is played. Like that other borough across the East River, it also has great food, and Meg Cotner (Instrumental Performance-Harpsichord BFA 92) has written a book on the subject called Food Lovers' Guide to Queens, listing the best restaurants, markets and local culinary offerings. It's now available on Amazon.
Dan Flagg (Instrumental Performance-Trumpet MFA 84) reports that he is immersed in his music career, holding trombone chairs in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine and the Central Oregon Symphony in Bend. In jazz, he's busy with the Summit Express Jazz Band, of which he's a founding member, and also with commercial freelance work. He founded and conducts the Central Oregon Brass Collective, consisting of a brass choir and brass chamber groups, at Central Oregon Community College.
On December 3, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, conducted by composer John Adams, opened the Green Umbrella Concert Season with a program titled L.A. Now: New Angeleno Composers at Disney Hall. The orchestra presented new works by CalArts alumni composers Julia Holter (Composition MFA 09) and Andrew McIntosh (Performer/Composer MFA 08), and included performances by CalArtian musicians. The concert featured vocals by Holter, plus performances by clarinetists James Sullivan (Instrumental Performance-Clarinet MFA 03) and Brian Walsh (Instrumental Performance-Clarinet MFA 08) and violinist and CalArts faculty Mark Menzies.
Yoon-Jeong "Julia" Hwang (Vocal Performance MFA 06) has been busy the past two years performing in Russia, Malaysia, Korea, and England. She is currently in Japan, touring and performing with the prestigious Queen's marching band, Coldstream Guard from England.
In a review of the American debut of Dedalus Ensemble on September 9 in Brooklyn, The New York Times singled out the work of several CalArtians whose works were performed by the Montpellier-based new music ensemble. They performed Theory of Harmony by John Hastings (Experimental Sound MFA 08); The Young Generation is Right by Travis Just (P/C Afro-Amer Improv MFA 02); Overlays Transparent/Opaque by Catherine Lamb (MAP-General BFA 06); 40° 44’ 5.82” N, 74° 1’ 38.53” W by Devin Maxwell (Performer/Composer MFA 02); Penguin Atlas of African History by Jonathan Marmor (Music MFA 03); and Any Number of Instruments by Quentin Tolimieri (Performer/Composer BFA 02).
Daniel Kepl (Conducting CERT 72) has been hired as Director of Marketing for The Carmen Project, a collaboration between the five major performing groups in San Luis Obispo, including San Luis Obispo Symphony, Opera San Luis Obispo, Central Coast Children's Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo and Cuesta College Concert Choir. Performances are October 12 and 13 at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. In addition, Kepl is an arts critic and video interview host at his site BravoCalifornia!, and performs numerous freelance functions.
Travis Rogers, Jr. of the Jazz Journalists Association chose Sharp Three Zero Cool (Sharp Three Music), featuring brothers Goh Kurosawa (Instrumental Performance-Multi-Focus Guitar MFA 03) and Kai Kurosawa (Instrumental Performance-Guitar MFA 05) with Chuck van Haecke as best fusion jazz album as part of his "Jazz Favorites of 2013." They were also listed among the "Top 25 New Music Critiques" in Music Connection Magazine.
C. Kenneth Lee (Composition BFA 11) wrote the opening and closing theme music and all of the background music which was used in all of the episodes of A Tasmanian Affair, a TVB Asian TV travel series.
Sony Masterworks' OKeh Records has signed saxophonist James Brandon Lewis (Jazz Reeds MFA 10). He is part of the label's "The Sound of Next" campaign. Next February, OKeh will release Lewis's album Devine Travels, in which the "eclectic saxophonist channels the late avant-garde style of Coltrane, creating free jazz with a spiritual theme," according to Sony. Lewis was featured in Jazz Ain't Dead: 7 Young Players to Watch in Ebony magazine's September issue.
The Los Angeles jazz club, The Blue Whale, is featuring an all CalArts weekend in September. On September 12, the club will feature the Matt Mayhall Trio, led by Matt Mayhall (Jazz Drums MFA 08) on drums with Tim Young on guitar and Jeff Babko on keys. Friday, September 13 features JazzGene, led by Gene Coye (Jazz Drums BFA 06) on drums with Kamasi Washington on saxophone, William F. Artope Jr. on trumpet, Deron Johnson on piano and Edwin Livingston on bass. On Saturday September 14, The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet will perform, with Daniel Rosenboom (Instrumental Performance-Trumpet MFA 07) on trumpet, Gavin Templeton (Jazz Reeds MFA 08) on woodwinds, Alex Noice (Jazz Guitar BFA 08) on guitars, Kai Kurosawa (Instrumental Performance-Guitar MFA 05) on bear-trax and Dan Schnelle on drums.
For Andrew McIntosh (Performer/Composer MFA 08), see Julia Holter.
Devin McNulty (Jazz Reeds 05), the cofounder of Human Resources, the alternative L.A. arts space, has completed the feature documentary The Process is the Thing, a portrait of the artist's process through the creation of four large-scale works by four artists, including Matthew Barney and Marnie Weber, and is currently submitting it to festivals. His short film, The Machine is the People, about two Beijing-based artists, premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Shortfest earlier this year. He's also making a few 5-10 minute process portraits of artists in Los Angeles which he he will soon release on the web.
The GO Organic Orchestra, a project of composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph (Music MFA 88), marked the release of its debut studio recording, Sonic Mandala, on Meta Records with a concert at Electric Lodge in Venice on October 26. In the past year, Rudolph has also conducted in concert the GO Organic Orchestra project with ensembles in Istanbul, Stockholm, Finland, and Naples. In 2013, he toured internationally in a trio with Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso; in a quartet with Muhal Richard Abrams; in a duet project with Yusef Lateef for Yusef's 92nd birthday; and with his octet, Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures. In October, the Momenta Quartet premiered his newest string quartet in New York, which it will also perform this season at Williams and Baruch colleges. Rudolph will be the artist in residence at The Stone in New York during the week of November 18. His latest CD release is Voice Prints, an ensemble in which he plays percussion, joined by Roscoe Mitchell, Douglas Ewart, and Lateef.
For James Sullivan (Instrumental Performance-Clarinet MFA 03) see Julia Holter.
For Brian Walsh (Instrumental Performance-Clarinet MFA 08) see Julia Holter.
An article on Ashley Walters (Instrumental Performance-cello MFA 07) appeared in the Fairfax Times on the occasion of her performance of Ten Freedom Summers by CalArts faculty member, jazz trumpeter and Pulitzer Prize nominee Wadada Leo Smith at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. on October 25 and 26. Walters is set to release a debut solo album next year. As part of the Formalist Quartet, she will tour Europe later this year with CalArts faculty member Mark Menzies, Andrew McIntosh (Performer/Composer MFA 08) and Andrew Tholl (Performer/Composer MFA 08).
Bassist Nedra Wheeler (Jazz Bass BFA 87) will be performing with David Arnay at Parkway Grill in Pasadena on October 25 and with Gregg Marx at Maggiano's at The Grove in Los Angeles on November 1. Her quintet will perform on Nov. 15 at H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills. Wheeler also created the music for The Technium, a film by Rob Hooks.
Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader reviewed the new vinyl-only album by Bay Area percussionist William Winant (Music 74) in its November 26 issue. The album is titled Five American Percussion Pieces (Poon Village). Winant also participated in a recent Q&A in Spin magazine, which called him "the avant-elite's go-to percussionist for more than 35 years."
In the July 8 issue of The New Yorker, Alex Ross writes about "Become Ocean," a new work by composer John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73), which premiered at the Seattle Symphony on June 20. Ross writes, "There are shocks of beauty, shocks of feeling, shocks of insight. Such were the virtues of John Luther Adams's "Become Ocean," a forty-two-minute piece for large orchestra." Besides its environmental message, the title comes from John Cage's tribute to the music of Lou Harrison: "Listening to it we become ocean."
Tributum, composed for Celtic bagpipes and chamber orchestra by Seattle-based composer Nan Avant (Music BFA 80) has been nominated for a 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the Music Genre, Contemporary/Orchestral/Instrumental category. Announcement of the winners will take place at the Fonda Theater on November 21. Tributum can be purchased on Amazon.
The trio Dawn of Midi, consisting of Amino Belyamani (Music Technology 08), Aakaash Israni (General Music-Jazz 08) and Qasim Naqvi (Performer/Composer MFA 08) has just released a new album called Dysnomia (Thirsty Ear Recordings). The track, Algol, named after a pair of eclipsing binary stars in the constellation Perseus, is available as a free download at Rolling Stone Music. The trio has received positive press from numerous critics, including Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker and Chris Barton of the Los Angeles Times, and was recently featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.
Mark Bennett (Music BFA 89) has published The Big Show, a non-fiction novella about his experiences with legendary television producer Fred de Cordova. The book is now available online.
On July 28 from 7 pm to 9 pm (PST), radio station KJZZ (88.1
FM) will broadcast a recent concert by pianist and composer David Ornette Cherry (Music 83) and the band Organic Roots held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in tribute to Cherry’s father, the legendary jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. The concert included compositions by David Cherry and a couple by his father. Organic Roots and David Ornette Cherry also played a Don Cherry tribute concert on June 24 at the Mark Taper Auditorium in the Los Angeles Central Library. They were joined by David's sister, violinist/vocalist Jan Cherry. Throughout his career, Don Cherry played with numerous jazz legends, including Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Billy Higgins, and Charlie Haden, the bassist, CalArts faculty member, and founder of the CalArts Jazz Program.
Matthew Davis (Jazz Bass, BFA 08) bass player for the band, The Broadcast, a soul-driven ensemble, reports that it just released a self-produced music video, filmed in the band's hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. Davis says that if you repost the YouTube video, he'll send you a free personal download code for the single, titled Don't Waste It. The band's new studio album, Dodge the Arrow, will be released on Sept. 24.
Kendra Steiner Editions has released a new recording by Ernesto Diaz-Infante (Composition MFA 96) featuring his live performance of Emilio from April 2012 in Austin along with trio explorations with percussionist Lisa Cameron and bassist Lee Dockery.
Singer, songwriter and pianist Kiki Ebsen (Voice BFA 84) recently performed at The Playwright Public House in Ashland, Oregon. Ebsen has had a distinguished career as a solo artist and backup musician, in addition to writing music for dozens of recording artists. Ebsen has backed up Tracy Chapman, Christopher Cross, Boz Scaggs and others. Her most recent record, her fifth album, is The Beauty Inside.
Saxophonist, composer, and educator Peter Epstein (Jazz Performance BFA 92) was recently featured in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Besides maintaining a busy performing schedule, Epstein is director of Jazz Studies and an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Epstein is a recipient of a Nevada Arts Council 2014 fellowship.
On August 14, Morton Feldman's For John Cage (1982) was performed by Dante Boon on piano and Andrew McIntosh (Performer/Composer MFA 08) on violin at The Wild Beast performance space on the CalArts campus as part of a two-week-long concert series of experimental music. Cage received an honorary doctorate of performing arts from CalArts in 1986 and Feldman was composer-in-residence that same year.
Under the auspices of the Los Angeles arts space Machine Project, Paul Fraser (Composition MFA 11) will bring together 100 stylophone players to perform his Symphony for 100 Stylophones at the Vista Theater in Los Feliz on September 12. The stylophone is a miniature synthesizer, played by touching a stylus to a metal keyboard. For the exact time of the performance, check the Machine Project website.
Jungle Fire, the afro/Latin funk band featuring Otto Granillo (Instrumental Performance MFA 07) on trombone and Sam Robles (Jazz Reeds BFA 02) on baritone sax and flute, performed at Leavitt Pavilion Pasadena on August 4. The band will perform at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach on September 15.
The Los Angeles indie rock band, The Airborne Toxic Event, featuring Noah Harmon (Jazz Bass BFA 05) on bass and backing vocals, is touring the U.S. this summer. It will also be touring Europe in the fall.
Loud City Song (Domino), the new studio recording by Los Angeles-based artist Julia Holter (Composition MFA 09) is set for release on August 19. Holter was recently featured in Jeff Weiss's LA Weekly column.
Composer Carson Kievman (Music MFA 76) is raising funds to make a professional recording of his Symphony No. 4 (Biodiversity). This four-movement reflection on biodiversity and the plight of worldwide ecosystems was completed in 2012.
Reiko Manabe (Instrumental Performance MFA 02) created a web project that was one of the jury selections in the art division of the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival last year. Called hibari-Aid Project for North Eastern Japan, the charity project included music and videos created for areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, which triggered a devastating tsunami.
Book of Omens, a new metal-infused album by trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom (Instrumental Performance MFA 07) has been released on faculty member Vinny Golia's Nine Winds Records label. Rosenboom and his band are celebrating the release with a show at Art Share LA on July 12 at 8 pm.
Rosenboom is also the founder of Creative Underground Los Angeles, a new collective of performing, visual, and literary artists focused on presenting new collaborative art. On August 8 at 7:30 pm at the Hammer Museum, Creative Underground LA will present Seeds Erupted, a night of collaborative music, poetry and visual art featuring musical ensembles Slumgum and the Daniel Rosenboom Group. The two bands will play fragments of pieces written by Creative Underground composers, melded into two continuous sets shaped around two poems submitted by writers John Skipp and Laura Lee Bahr, accented with visual art by Eron Rauch (Art MFA 06). Besides Rosenboom, his ensemble includes percussionist Jose Gurria, Kai Kurosawa (Guitar MFA 05), Matt Mayhall (Jazz Drums MFA 08), Alex Noice (Jazz Guitar BFA 08), Cathlene Pineda (Jazz Keyboard MFA 11), Gavin Templeton (Jazz Reeds MFA 08), Brian Walsh (Clarinet MFA 08), and singer Dorian Wood. Slumgum includes Trevor Anderies (Jazz Drums BFA 08), Jon Armstrong (Jazz Reeds MFA 08), Eric KM Clark (Performer/Composer MFA 06), Rory Cowal (Jazz Keyboard MFA 08), Karina Kallas (Vocal Performance MFA 09), Arytom Manukyan on cello, Christine Tavolacci (Flute BFA 06), and David Tranchina (Jazz Bass MFA 08).
An acoustic version of "We Need to be Loved," a new song by singer/songwriter and pianist Anthony Starble (Music BFA 10) will air on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars on July 16.
As music director and conductor of the Seattle Philharmonic and the Port Angeles Symphony, Adam Stern (Music BFA 75, Conducting MFA 77) has championed many lesser-known symphonic works. Recent seasons have featured the Northwest premieres of the Symphony No. 9 by Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 4 by Henze, Statements by Copland and Chorales for Orchestra by legendary CalArts instructor, the late James Tenney, as well as local and U.S premieres of compositions by Gustav Holst, Richard Danielpour, Aurelio de la Vega, Paul Stanhope and Gerard Schurmann. A busy pianist, Stern has been a frequent collaborator in chamber music, as well as soloist in concertos by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Bach and Gershwin with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and other local ensembles. In addition to his work as a performer, he served as producer for the PBS telecasts of The All-Star Orchestra, a series of symphonic concerts led by Gerard Schwarz that also feature Schwarz's commentaries on the music.
Country music singer Marie Wise-Hawkins (Voice 2010) and her five-piece band will be performing at Santa Clarita's Concerts in the Park in Central Park at 7 pm on July 13 in the local level finals of the Texaco Country Showdown, an annual national country music talent search. In March, Wise-Hawkins won the $25,000 grand prize in a national singing competition staged by Dallas-based Romano's Macaroni Grill. She was also recently named "Female Vocalist of the Year" by the North American Country Music Association, and was profiled on the Santa Clarita News/KHTS AM 1220 website.
Yulianna, aka Yulianna Zinovieva (Vocal Performance MFA 06; BFA 04) has a new music video that is being featured on ryanseacrest.com. The song is titled Californ-i-a, and also features the Los Angeles-based rapper known as The Game.
David Ake (Jazz Piano MFA 87) was recently named chair of the Department of Music at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. His latest CD, Bridges, was released by Posi-Tone Records in May and features an all-CalArts ensemble. Performing on the CD with Ake on piano are alumni Ralph Alessi (MFA 90, BFA 87) on trumpet, Scott Colley (BFA 88) on bass, Ravi Coltrane (BFA 90) playing tenor saxophone, Peter Epstein (Jazz Reeds BFA 92) on alto saxophone, and visiting faculty member Mark Ferber on drums. Ake's latest publication is the co-edited collection Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and its Boundaries (University of California Press).
Tributum, the latest work by composer Nan Avant (Piano Performance BFA 80), premiered at the Celebrate World Music! concert in March to a sold out audience at the Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Composed for Celtic bagpipes and chamber orchestra, the work was performed by the Northwest Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Sabee, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album Engineering. Steve Clare previewed the piece in the Seattle Fine Arts Examiner.
The New York band Luck & Senses, featuring several CalArtians, recently performed at The Delancey in New York, and will perform on June 15 at 7 pm at Relay for Life on Roosevelt Island across from Manhattan. The band includes guitarist Andy Barbera (Guitar BFA 92, Guitar Performance MFA 97); bassist Sam Minaie (Jazz Bass MFA 08); drummer Andrew Munsey (Jazz Drums BFA 08); trumpet player Stephanie Richards (Instrumental Performance MFA 08); and vocalist/lyricist Lisa Jubilee, the only non-CalArtian in the band.
The new record Erosion: A Fable by the Loom Ensemble, featuring co-founder and composer Sasha Bogdanowitsch (World Music BFA 93), is now available on CD or to download. An album release concert for the record was held in May at TheaterLab in New York. Loom blends genres from new music to tango and from dance beats to choral hymns using dense vocal harmonies and richly layered electronics. Bogdanowitsch has released two other CDs as well on Ears Wide Open Records. Inelement, by SoCorpo, Bogdanowitsch's vocal duo with Sabrina Lastman, includes music for voices, electronics, bowed psaltery, autoharp and mbira array, while his Sonic Miniatures consists of new music for film, theater and dance.
Pianist James Boyk (Music MFA 73) has just launched a new blog on which he promises weekly contributions. "Some are practical stuff for pianists, some may be useful to all musicians, and some I hope will interest non-musicians, too," Boyk says. In 2011, Boyk was the first Southern California pianist to serve on the faculty of the prestigious International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes School in New York. He's now preparing for his next album.
Ken Christianson (Music Composition MFA 06) was in New York in May appearing for an interview on WNYC's Soundcheck regarding a music venture that he recently started called Pére, a service in which proud parents send in photos and videos of their babies and he composes and sends back a new piece of classical music inspired by the images. He also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in which he raised more than $12,000 to record and publish a series of chamber works that he wrote.
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Rob Coonrod (Music 06) is number 140 on the Reverbnation singer/songwriter charts in the U.S. Coonrod currently lives in Los Angeles, plays acoustic rock shows and is the lead guitarist for Pink Fuzzy Animals and Three Trees.
Brent Crayon (Instrumental Performance MFA 97) is the accompanist for the world premiere of Sleepless in Seattle–The Musical, a stage adaptation of the award-winning film. The show is running at The Pasadena Playhouse through June 23.
On the occasion of his recent concert in Portland at Mississippi Studios, Mikal Cronin (Music BFA 12) was featured in Oregon Live, the online news outlet of The Oregonian. His new album, MCII, was released by Merge Records in early May and has received wide critical praise.
John Debney (Music BFA 78) has composed the music for three films either just out or due out this year. The Call, directed by Brad Anderson, is a thriller that was released in March, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Jobs, a film directed by Joshua Michael Stern about the career of Apple Computer's Steve Jobs, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and Broken Horses, a thriller directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, is due out later this year.
GMTA Publishing of North Carolina is publishing Love Poems and Other Elixirs by Darius Gottlieb (Music 75), the first poet to ever be signed by GMTA. The book is scheduled to appear later this year and will be available at Barnes and Noble. Gottlieb's latest album, Cello Ecstasy, is being released in June by Laughing Rhinoceros Productions. You can listen to Gottlieb's cello music, read his books, or explore six galleries of his photographs on his website.
A new novel by Brooke Halpin (Music BFA 76) is now available as an ebook at Amazon. The novel, called A Magical Mystery Time, is based on a true story about a Beatles fan who was so enamored by the Fab Four, that he thought he was a Beatle. Available for the Kindle, the ebook will soon be available for use on other ebook reading devices.
Malathi Iyengar (Music MFA 99) has received a City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowship for 2013. She is the artistic director, choreographer, visual artist and dancer for Rangoli Dance Company, carrying on the Bharatanatyam classical Indian dance form. As part of her fellowship, she will perform on June 28 at 8 pm at Grand Performances at California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.
Trumpeter Gabriel Johnson (Music 06) recently performed with his all-acoustic band at Vitello's in Studio City. Johnson had a busy 2012, releasing his debut album Introducing Gabriel Johnson in September, appearing on The Tonight Show performing with Placido Domingo in October, and performing at the New York Stock Exchange tree lighting ceremony in December.
C. Kenneth Lee (Composition BFA 11) has finished recording his piano playing for Asian TV actress Helena Law Lan, who pretends to play piano in episode #5 of the new series, Awfully Lawful, which appears on TVB, broadcast out of Hong Kong. Lee also wrote and performed his song, "Please Don't Cry" for Episode 127 of TVB's popular sitcom series Come Home Love.
Trumpet player Spencer Ludwig (Music 12) has recently been featured in 21st Century Brass, talking about his education at CalArts and his work with the L.A. indie electro unit Capital Cities. The band recently played a live acoustic set at 102.1 The Edge in Toronto.
Drummer Zachary Morris (Music BFA 06) is currently on tour with the electronic artist Mochipet, aka David Y. Wang. Mochipet's eclectic mix of music includes electronic, disco, dubstep, and dancehall.
Vanessa Nowitzky (Music BFA 00) performed in June at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me" on trapeze as part of Curtain Climbers Aerial Dance company's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is choreographing The Fantasticks for Theatre Convivio! at the Bellview Grange in Ashland. Performances begin August 1.
Patti Preiss-Harris (Music 85) played keyboards, string
and vibraphone parts with the 12-piece big band backing up Lucie
Arnaz in a recent performance at the Ridgefield Playhouse
in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Arnaz, the
daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, performed her new
show, Latin Roots, an homage to her father's legacy.
L.A.-based trumpeter, composer, and arranger Todd Simon (Jazz Trumpet BFA 99) was the featured artist in May on Finale's blog, discussing notation, arranging, and orchestration. Multi-talented, Simon has worked for the film and video game industries, and has performed on hit records and on tour.
On NPR's All Things Considered on April 28, Betto Arcos, the KPFK host of Global Village, singled out Yunior Terry (Music BFA 02) in a roundup of new Cuban-influenced music. With his band, Son de Altura, Terry has released a debut album, Mi Bajo Danzon on Palo Santo Music/Ascap. It is widely available online.
Emlyn Addison (Music MFA 98) has created a work for piano
called Without You-Piano, 7 hands dedicated to the memory of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. All proceeds from the sale of the song will be donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut's Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
In February, Center City Opera (CCO) in Philadelphia presented excerpts from Hector Armienta's (Music 85) opera trilogy, Aguas Ancestrales as part of its Hispanic Opera Initiative. CCO will be workshopping the libretto of Armienta's La Muerte (part III of the trilogy) later this year. Armienta is the artistic director of Opera Cultura, based in San Jose, California.
Tim Carr (Music BFA 11) and Jake Faulkner (Music BFA 12) are scheduled to appear with The Americans on Late Night with David Letterman February 20, 2013. The appearance is featured in a Novato Patch article.
Ravi Coltrane (Music BFA 90) has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo on the track Cross Roads from his album Spirit Fiction (Blue Note).
Matthew Cook (Percussion 10), Justin DeHart (Percussion MFA 04) and Nick Terry (Percussion MFA 04) of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet learned that their latest studio recording Rupa-Khandha was nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Surround Sound Album; Producer of the Year, Classical; and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.
Jerry Danielsen (Composition BFA 92) is running as a delegate for the 38th Assembly District in Los Angeles.
Three CalArtians gathered in Mumbai, India on March 8 to pay tribute to former CalArts music faculty members and North Indian music legends Amiya Dasgupta, who died in 1994, and Ravi Shankar, who passed away last December. Guitarist Hideaki Tokunaga (Jazz Guitar MFA 97; BFA 95), sitarist Paul Livingstone (North Indian Music MFA 97; BFA 93), and cellist Jake Charkey (World Music Performance MFA 08) were joined by Vinayak Netke on the tabla at an event called “Ragajazz,” held at Bandra Base. Tokunaga recently moved from Kobe, Japan to Mumbai and is teaching music at Oberoi International School, while Charkey, who also lives in Mumbai, plays music for Bollywood movies. Livingstone stopped through Mumbai from his base in Los Angeles while on an Indian music tour. Ragajazz features original compositions and improvisation combining classical ragas of Indian music with music from Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe along with jazz and western chamber music.
Toby Kasavan (Music BFA 74) has founded Neighborhood Music and Arts, a non-profit that does music, theater and dance programs in New York City public schools.
Gabrielle Lang (North Indian Music BFA 02), a.k.a. Gabby La La, released the video Snow Angel, for which she wrote the song, Let It Glow.
Carson Kievman (Composition BFA 75, Music MFA 76) is the Executive Director of the SoBe Institute of the Arts in Miami Beach, FL. His symphonies, operas, chamber music and experimental works have been performed internationally in stage, concert, dance, and museum. He holds an MFA and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Carson has received numerous international awards, including an NEA Grant for American Masterworks Series, Rockefeller and Adolph Foundation awards, a Koussevitzky Foundation Composer/Director Residency at Tanglewood and two BMI Awards. Currently, he is adapting his Ph.D. dissertation into a book on The Music of Transcendence and working on his multimedia opera, Tesla, about the life of genius inventor Nikola Tesla and his legendary battles with Thomas Edison.
Curtis Macdonald (Composition BFA 86) has recently released his 17th CD, When Dreams Come True.
Cathlene Pineda (Jazz Keyboard MFA 11) and Tina Raymond (Jazz Drums MFA 10) will perform Two Pianos with Drums in the Middle, Two Drums with Piano in the Middle with Art Lande at CalArts Roy O. Disney Music Hall on December 9, 2012.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and performer Todd Simon (Jazz Trumpet BFA 99) was spotlighted in KCET's Departures' Seasons of L.A. Letters. Simon, who toured with Macy Gray, performed with El-P on Conan O'Brien and with Nas and Swizz Beats at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
Head over Heels, featuring original music by Jered Sorkin (Performer/Composer 08), has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It won an Annie Award for Best Student Film on February 2, 2013.
Harpists Mia Theodoratus (Instrumental Performance MFA 94) and Susan Allen (BFA Instrumental Performance '73/faculty) will perform Sirens in Surround Sound, improvisations with two marimbas and celeste, with solo premiere works by Theodoratus and Josh Carro (MFA '13) on Monday, November 26.
On October 26, 2012, Mark Coniglio (Composition BFA 89), composer/media artist and co-founder of Troika Ranch, was named as a winner of the 2012 World Technology Awards announced by the World Technology Network. The awards, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, Technology Review, Science/AAAS, Kurzweil Technologies and Accelerosity, recognize individuals and companies for innovations of "the greatest likely long-term significance."
James Raycroft (Baritone/Bass MFA 84) has recently launched his new band The Singers Elite Vocal Big Band.They are planning an inaugural concert at El Portal.
Flutist Paul Taub (Flute MFA 78) will perform in And Then I Knew 'Twas Wind: Chamber Music for a Changing Season at Cornish College of the Arts on Sunsay, September 23 at 7PM. CalArts alumni can purchase reduced-rate tickets by choosing the "student" option on the online ticket order form.
Mia Theodoratus (See Susan Allen.)
David Trasoff (World Music Performance MFA 88) will be performing at the Hammer museum on November 9th at 6pm.
Sandra Velasquez (Instrumental Performance BFA 99) of the Brooklyn-based group Pistolera and Moona Luna,
a bilingual band for kids, reports that she has been named as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Latin Category for her song, Nueva York, which she wrote for Pistolera's third studio album, El Desierto Y La Ciudad.
Nick Block (BFA Jazz Guitar '07) and Gene Coye (Jazz Drums BFA 06) have teamed up to create the band, The Endangered and are releasing a self-titled EP this summer. Produced by Steve Miller, the EP is comprised of five tracks, including their single, "Calling on You."
Julia Holter (Composition MFA 09) has released a new album, Ekstasis, and was featured in an article by The Quietus and a "First Listen" on NPR. She will also play live at Field's Day in London's Victoria's Park on June 2, 2012.
Charles Lane (See Randall Packer.)
Randall Packer (Composition MFA 81) is hosting the online "Post Reality Show: Talk Media," presented by the 7th Annual Capital Fringe Festival. The show will air via Livestream from 10-11pm (EDT) on July 17-20 & 24-28. The first guest will be Charles Lane (Music MFA 80).
Paul Anceau - Media See Suzan Shutan (Art).
Emlyn Addison (Composition/New Media MFA 98) recently produced Elegy for a Stranger, the first of five audio-visual works in "New Narratives Through Transformations Of Structure."
Aaron Drake (Composition MFA 07) has just finished filming his documentary Shelter Island. He is raising money to finisht he film and a song will be performed for each donation.
Carey Lovelace (Music BFA 75) has been selected as Co-commissioner or the US Pavillion of the 2013 Venice Biennial.
Amy Knoles (Music BFA 82) is the composer and electronic percussionist for the Empty Room dance show at The Highways Performance Space
Ann Millikan (Composition MFA 98) has three upcoming performances in Italy, the US, and Brazil, a new video XINGU with cello soundtrack, and an upcoming comission for Pat O'Keefe for clarinet that will be featured on his record in Spring 2013.
Jim Sitterly (Music MFA 80) will be having a free concert. The world premiere of The Five Fingers will include five concertos for solo violin and will be held on May 15th at7pm in the Harbor College Music Hall.
David Trasoff (World Music Performance MFA 88) has been named the Gordhan L and Virginia B "Jinx" Patel Distinguished Visting Professor in Indian Music Arts at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music.
Susie Allen (Harp Performance BFA 73) will perform an improvisational concert at the Salle Acer in Paris on January 30, 2012.
Phil Curtis - see Ronit Kirchman.
Terry Dame - see Ronit Kirchman.
Enresto Diaz-Infante (Music MFA 96) has recently released a CD Civilian Life with Pax Recordings.
Brooke Halpin (Music BFA 76) shared that his recent quiz book, Do You Really Know The Beatles?, has been developed into the app Fabfouria! The book contains over 500 questions and answers on
different periods of The Beatles history.
Toby Kasavan (Music BFA 74) reports that his CD Hold Tight, recorded under the name Fingers DelRey, is now being played on Pandora.com. He also performs with the NY Blues Project, which will play at the Triad theater NYC in March and at the Montreal Jazz and Blues fastival in August. Toby is the founder and director of Neighborhood Music and Arts, a nonprofit that provides educational performing arts programs in music, theater and dance to NYC public schools. He invites interested Calartians to consider volunteering or serving on their board. In his spare time, Toby was promoted to 5th degree black belt in Aikido.
Ronit Kirchman (Music MFA 01) is co-curating and
performing in Film Music Remix at Sundance as part
of her participation as this year's Sundance Institute/Time Warner
Fellow. Phil Curtis (MFA Composition '97) is doing her computer sound processing. Also, Terry Dame (MFA Performer/Composer '98) will perform.
Lisa Popeil (Music MFA 80) has contributed to the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Singing on the topic of Different Sung Genres, as well as to the Oxford Handbook of Music Education. Her voice research on musical theater belting substyles has been published in the Journal of Voice and she presented a paper based on vocal range at the Voice Foundation Symposium in 2011. Lisa will present 2012 Total
Singer Workshops in New York City and at St. Gustavus University in St. Peter, MN.
Regan Remy (Music BFA 00) will be participating in a dance show at the El Portal February 17-25 with fellow alumnae Cyn Mendez (Dance BFA 09), and Alex Pratt (Music BFA 01).
Nedra Wheeler (Jazz Bass BFA 87) will perform at the Pacific Standard Time closing reception at Greystone Mansion on Jan 28 with CalArts School of Art faculty and composer Charles Gaines and A.J. Fanning.
Mathew Harwich (Music BFA 11) has finished his first album titled Power Trip under the artist name MPH.
James Brandon Lewis (Music MFA 10) is the saxophonist and composer on a new album called Divine Travels to be released soon.
Jim Santi Owen (World Music MFA 05) will be having a tribute concert at the San Fransisco World Music Festival where he is the Music Director for CalArts faculty Swapan Chaudhuri.
James Sitterly (Music MFA 80) is presenting the premier of his new musical Hell Motel on October 26th and 30th at Los Angeles Harbor College
Zero Brains a music company formed by two alums, Mark Reveley (Music MFA 98) and Mike Dillon (Jazz Studies BFA 98) has released their first iPhone metronome application, Cycles.
Justin Bardales (World Music Performance BFA 11) is the guitarist for Modern American Theatre. The band recently released their second album Your Rage is Attractive and have booked shows throughout the LA area.
Steve Bilow (Music BFA 82) has accepted his appointment as Production Manager for the documentary "When Art Flourishes" by Rockford College philosophy professor Stephen R. C. Hicks.
Liz Fanora Jones (Music 10) has just launched her new teaching and music website.
Alyce Korn (Jazz Piano MFA 92) recorded an album with Chilean Guitarist Waldo Valenzuela to be released in Fall 2011. Alyse teaches Suzuki Early Childhood Music with the City of Santa Clarita Seasons and also has a successful Jazz Piano program for adults. She also travels to teach in Brazil and Switzerland
The Mother Funk Yas opened for Bob Marley's Wailers at briXton South Bay at the Redondo Beach Pier in August. Band members include Alex Emami, Morgan Fitch, Drake Peterson, Tony Rinaldi, and Chris Stewart.
David Ake (Jazz Keyboard MFA 87) was recently named Director of the School of the Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition, his second book, Jazz Matters:Sound, Place, and Time Since Bebop was published by University of California Press (2010) and he released The Dark, with EEA, which also features CalArts alumnus Peter Epstein (Jazz Reeds BFA 92) on Origin Records (2010). Last year, he won the Nevada Regents Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the state. David shared, "Most important, he married the wonderful and lovely Kendee Franklin."
Paul Anceau (Music BFA 76) See Art Notes.
Andy Barbera (Performance-Guitar MFA 97), guitarist for Luck & Senses released Chapter 1 in 2010.
Timur Bekbosunov (Vocal Performance MFA 08) will be performing at the Grammy's MusiCares concert-benefit, the festival production of San Mercantonioin Germany, the world premiere of The Silent Steppe Cantata in Kazakhstan, and embarking on a solo recital tour with Vicky Chow
Laura Bilodeau (World Music Performance MFA 06) recorded drums and percussion on Bonnie Pointer's new album, "Like a Picasso," available for download June 29th worldwide.
James Boyk (Music MFA 73) has been selected to perform and teach at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. His novel, Out of Tune Piano Blues, will be published in April.
Daren Burns' (Performer-Composer MFA 08) band Onibaba, which includes CalArts faculty Vinny Golia and alumni George McMullen (Music MFA 08), Scott Collins (Music MFA 08) and Craig Bunch (Music 99), was picked for the LA County Arts Commission’s band roster for 2011-2014. Burns completed a double CD with his band Brandy Repairs Utah in March and his new CD, Fear Is Not The Natural State Of Civilized People, featuring CalArts faculty Wadada Leo Smith and alumni Scott Collins, Sarah Phillips (Music MFA 08) and Craig Bunch, will be released soon. Currently, Burns is teaching International Baccalaureate music at Verde Valley School in Sedona, AZ.
Composer John Debney (Music 78)was a featured CalArts guest speaker on The Art of Film Composing on March 22.
Gary Chang (Music MFA 77) has accepted a year-long appointed as the Director of MFA Film Music Composition at the
University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
Eric DeLuca (Composition MFA 96) presented at Fostering Art and Culture Project's Creative Economy Summit on Rethinking the Creative Economy.
Peter Epstein (see David Ake).
On March 16, Sean Griffin (BFA Composition '93) arranged and conducted the first performance of music faculty Charles Gaines' Manifestos Scores at the Hammer Museum. Griffin composed and directed EMPAC's Cold Spring last winter.
The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space on June 16-26, 2011 has invited the group of Calartians, led by experimental composer Jame Klopfleisch (Music MFA 10), to premiere a new interdisciplinary project titled, Landscape #4. The piece will be part of the Disk Stories section of Scenofest 2011- and educational project of Prauge Quadrennial and OISTAT.
The Revivalist profiled the James Brandon Lewis (Jazz Saxaphone MFA 10) Quartet's album Moments.
Kolleen Park (Music BFA 90), who is both Artistic Director at Kyyk Musical Studio and professor of Music at Howon University in Seoul, recently performed at the Seoul Jazz Festival. In December 2010, she was appointed as Cultural Ambassador for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Bid Committee.
The work of Patti Preiss-Harris (Music 95) was performed as part of the Fairfield County Festival of Women Composers on March 12.
Dan Rosenboom (Music MFA 10) - see Michael Polish (Art BFA 92).
Susie Rosso (Music 74) Wolf recently published the novel, Wherever The Wind Will Blow It.
Fulbright Fellow Robin Sukhadia (North Indian Music MFA 07) returned from his work in India to moderate LACMA's multimedia performance, India's Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow and presented at Mark Allen’s (Art MFA 99) Machine Project in Los Angeles.
Kubilay Uner (Music MFA 91) - see Michael Polish (Art BFA 92).