Free of charge! A one-night showcase, at the world-renowned Hollywood
music club, of forward-thinking, genre-defying music—all original work by artists graduating from The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. The nine bandleaders/performers at this event are Mana Contractor, Nicole Orlowski, Bridgette Blankenhorn, Jon Paul Arciniega, Oliver Jung, Vicken Hovsepian, Even Wendell, Bart Tholamew Fuchs, and Jaslyn Loftin. Various genres represented this year include electronic, folk, progressive metal, R&B, alternative, normal-core, ambient, afropop, and experimental pop. RSVP
Bands NOT in showcase order
Programming subject to change
Band Name: NMND
Tagline: A beautifully simple and technologically tumultuous affair.
Bio: NMND is an electro duo based in Los Angeles. Producer and technologist Mclean Macionis’ unconventional approach to beats, found sound, and hardware synths; and Mana with her unique cross-genre approach to melody, harmonies, and rhythmic modulation come together to create an ever-evolving emotional narrative through sound. Their first EP, “Integration”, due to launch late January 2020, focuses on the evolution and manipulation of the human voice through technology and live performance.
Band Members: Mclean Macionis, synth and laptop; Mana Contractor, vox and laptop
Band Name: Tauri
Tagline: Experimental pop and lush R&B grooves with complex electronic textures
Bio: Tauri is an LA-based hyperpop artist. Originally from New York City, Tauri moved across country to hone in on her unique sound and study music technology in the artistic bubble that is CalArts. With a strong background in live sound engineering and songwriting, Tauri has worked in various venues around Los Angeles and with songwriters from around the world. She currently works with producer, art director, 3D artist, and fellow CalArts alum, newStatic, on all her projects. newStatic’s early experiences in playing in metal bands and studying various branches of music composition, including video game and film scores, became essential in carving out the sound that is Tauri's music today. Tauri has been described as eloquently weaving accessible elements of indie pop and R&B with avant-garde electronic rock to forge a growing experimental sound emanating from the West Coast.
Band Members: Nicole Orlowski, vocals and playback; Alex Monasterio, electronic drumkit; Sadel Perez, bass
Band Name: Bridgette Blank
Tagline: Acoustic/electric folk-pop with tongue-in-cheek lyricism
Bio: Bridgette Blank is an acoustic/electric folk-pop singer/songwriter. Her music revolves around the fun stuff: heartbreak, self-doubt, and mental illness. While the content is quite sad, she keeps it light with bright melodies and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
Band Members: Bridgette Blankenhorn, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele
Band Name: My Boyfriend
Tagline: Normal-core in an alt.-1960s where the Beatles took nonfunctional antidepressants
Bio: My Boyfriend is an ensemble formed by front-man, instrumentalist and composer Jon Paul Arciniega. The group aims to perpetuate the spirit, playfulness, and humor of American popular music at its best, while ensuring that the music is earnest.
Band Members: Jon Paul Arciniega, lead vocals and guitar; Andres Arciniega, drums; Morgan Jones IV, piano; Josh Turner, Bass; Mandy Hong, Sü Ozcan, backup vocals
Band Name: Skullmatter
Tagline: Big goth energy
Bio: Skullmatter is a producer and DJ of Wave and Bass music. His tracks aim to bring euphoria back into our lives in the darkest and deepest form, a reminder that everything will be alright in a noisy world. His performances exude confidence, incorporating gothic overtones with a nod to vintage soundscapes, creating a memorable show both sonically and visually.
Band Members: Oliver Jung, laptop
Band Name: Vicken Hovsepian
Tagline: Progressive metal with ethereal ambiance and raw heaviness
Bio: A group formed out of the musical visions of bandleader/director Vicken Hovsepian. With a unique approach to the progressive metal style, Vicken Hovsepian and his band take you on a musical journey full of ethereal ambiance and raw heaviness.
Band Members: Vicken Hovsepian, drums; Jeremiah Gray, vocals; William Gunawan, guitar; TBA, bass
Band Name: MAKALO
Tagline: 11-piece multilingual band with big horns and fire for social justice.
Bio: MAKALO is an 11-piece band fronted by singer and guitarist Nehemiah Stark. Following the Afropop rebel traditions that inspired the band, Makalo’s music is centered in storytelling around injustice and the restoration of dignity to the struggling soul. Grounded in hypnotic tenor guitar lines, singers Stefany Glik, Andrea Turk, and Kelsey Gomez cut into Nehemiah’s smooth leading vocal lines with fierce responses that often hold the songs’ deepest messages. Bassist Navid Naima and drummer David Velazco provide a deep pocket for the big band, letting the brass section (Evan Wendell and Joey Archie, trumpet, Anna Barlevy, trombone, and Evan O’Brien, saxophone) soar and even explode. Meanwhile, Marley Wall’s solid but delicate touch on the piano is the glue. Their first song “Make Sense” was written to address sexual violence and explore the process of being an earnest ally to survivors.
Band Members: Nehemiah Stark, lead vocals and guitar; Marley Wall, vocals and piano; Joey Archie, trumpet; Evan Wendell, trumpet; Anna Barlevy, trombone; Evan O'Brien, sax; Stefany Glik, vocals; Andrea Turk, vocals; Kelsey Gomez, Drums; David Velazco; Navid Naima, bass
Band Name: Bart Tholamew
Tagline: Alternative-ambient vibrancy with live looping
Bio: Bart Tholamew is an independent songwriter based in Los Angeles. Writing songs since he was seven, Tholamew has been singing his heart out, learning to surround himself with guitar, ukulele, synthesizer and drum loops from his looper pedals and vocoders, bringing the layers of his somber yet uplifting voice together with acoustic-electronic vibrancy. A New York native, Bart has performed in various festivals, coffee shops and stages from NY to CA, including Doty Hall and the Wild Beast Performance Center. Bart Tholamew’s live looping incorporates a pleasant variety of ambient and lo-fi sounds. His playing style has a noticeable foundation in jazz and influences from indie, R&B, surf pop, and alternative rock. On stage, he mixes ambient vocals, experimental guitar practices, lo–fi synthesizer melodies and drum samples to wrap the audience in a blanket of soothing and eye–opening reverberations. Bart currently studies Experimental Popular Music at CalArts.
Band Members: Bartholomew Fuchs, vocals, guitar, synthesizer, and looper
Band Name: J.Lyn
Tagline: Emotionally raw ballad-pop through acoustic performance.
Bio: J.Lyn’s music is sentimental, poignant, and most of all, relatable. J.Lyn gathers inspiration from other people’s life experiences and shapes them into her music. She finds resonating points through simple, yet effective lyricism and jazz and soul-inspired chord progressions. Her voice is soft and pure, creating memorable lines that linger in your head after one listen. Her approach to music is minimal, letting the words and melodies shine through her acoustic arrangements.
Band Members: Jaslyn Loftin, vocals and piano