Concerts

Gaby Moreno and Caloncho create a magical night at Grand Performances 2017

June 22, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan LOS ANGELES. Gaby Moreno and  Caloncho created a magical night Saturday at Grand Performances in California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.  About 2000 people filled the two-level sunken plaza,  facing a sparkling pond in front of the expansive stage, backed by dancing water spouts and skyscrapers sporting the projected Grand Performances logo.  Lights twinkled all around, families opened picnic baskets or  queued up at the restaurants surrounding the Plaza and the bars in the Plaza.  They settled into chairs or brought their own while the sun went down, auguring the arrival of música especial.   Accompanied by urban sound effects, Caloncho and his band filtered on stage, plugged in and took their positions.  The party was on as the Sonoran-born, Guadalajara-based singer songwriter kicked it off with his soothing summer night anthems of soft tempos and Latin indie-dream pop, animated by a very active trombone/keyboard player who added not only notes, but humor.  At one point, the fans’ heroine, Guatemalan-born LA-based Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno joined Caloncho, eliciting applause so loud [Read More]

Concerts

Shouting “Hep Hep”  Parlor Social blows the roof off at The Mint with neo ragtime. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 20, 2017

    LOS ANGELES  The Mint LA was packed shoulder to shoulder when Dessy Di Lauro, resplendent in a brilliant white dinner jacket and her red hair exploding out from beneath a black skullcap took the microphone and called out to the audience, “Are You all ready to have some fun?”  As “Yeah!” echoed around the venue, she and husband piano player-accordionist, Ric’key Pageot  danced in a tight circle on the stage leading the audience in clapping, finger-snapping and singing their signature song “Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep” . The party was on and the room was lovin’ it.   The band was opening for New Orleans-based Big Sam’s Funky Nation, whose horn-led, jazz rock rhythms kept the momentum going as part of the Hunnypot Live Music night at the Mint.   Max Nickou opened the evening, warming up the growing crowd with sky-high guitar chops and solid rock with a twist.   Proving again why Parlor Social is the undeniably best live act in Los Angeles if not the nation, their “Feathered Fro-hawk- Futuristic-Art-Deco-Centric-Harlem-Renaissance-Hep-Music” [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Darla Beaux at the Hotel Cafe: the growth shows. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 2, 2017

(Hollywood) Darla Beaux was sick Wednesday night when she opened at the Hotel Cafe’s intimate stage. She warned us that she would be singing in her husky voice. And then she let loose with the best singing I have heard from her since I began following her budding career about a year ago. From her new single “Trippin on Tears” to one of the most haunting versions of  1870’s folk song “In The Pines” I have heard in a long time, her husky voice was just fine with me. The fact that she could pull off a powerful, flawless set while not at her best shows how much this teenage singer/songwriter has grown.  If the growth continues, I expect to see her filling much larger venues in a year’s time. Asa teenager, Darla has a lot of time to grow, and she is working hard to make it happen.  Originally from Atlanta, GA, she has re-located to LA to work with Sera Roadnight, well known in the local music community for her deft skill with [Read More]

music

La Santa Cecelia launches Amar y Vivir at a packed party at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

May 9, 2017

Patrick O’Heffernan (Hollywood) La Santa Cecelia, the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture and rock and world music,   and their management company Criteria Entertainment threw a jam-packed release party for  Amar y Vivir, the unique visual album of Mexican and Latin American music. The video/album was shot and  recorded in a blistering 5 days in Mexico City, in streets, bars, parks and iconic locations like the Plaza Santo Domingo, the Zócalo and Salón Tenampa. The evening, preceded by a live acoustic set and vinyl signing at Hollywood’s famous Amoeba Records,   kicked off with a full-screen viewing of the video, followed by Santa Cecelia’s trademark dramatic entrance.  From there on it was fiesta-time as the band belted, crooned, soared and celebrated a set list of 7 songs, started with the title song, “Amar y Vivir.  The crowd – jammed elbow-to-elbow from the control booth in the  back of the cavernous room to the stage ion the front — swayed, clapped , sang along and danced whenever a few feet of space appeared.  Mostly, they poured loved [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Revolutionary Soul: Derek Davis releases a work of genius for his first every solo album.

May 6, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan It is not often that I encounter an artist that I can’t quite categorize, or even want to. Derek Davis is such an artist.  With 28 years of recording and touring, 12 albums, and three bands,  he is a legend in rock.   Who can forget the machine-gun tempo of  Bad Man Cometh, the howling metal message of American Jihad or the addictive head banging of Love Star. But at the same time, where do you put the sweet melody of Troubadour and or the acoustic pop sensibilities of  The Promise – all songs on the same album.  Davis is a remarkable musician and his first solo album, Revolutionary Soul  continues his tradition of  remarkable, not-quite-categorizable music.   In Revolutionary Soul, Davis writes the music, plays all the instruments and produces most of the songs, further breaking the category boundaries.  It’s blues, it’s rock, it’s funk –  is it something that incorporates and transcends all of the above.  And it is addictive.   Davis is famous for his sharp writing and signature guitar [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Alih Jey and Vanessa Zamora lite up the Civic Center Studios

April 12, 2017

    Patrick O’Heffernan (Los Angeles) Sapo Verde Music stepped out in a big way this weekend with an all-star program of female artists at the newly remodeled DTLA venue Civic Center Studios. A packed house was treated to Latin-Grammy nominated rock guitarist Alih Jey and wildly popular Vanessa Zamora.  Opening act Ruzzi warmed the house up with her gut-grabbing electric guitar licks and Cuñao backed the girls-with-guitars with their eclectic rhythms and world melodies.   Sapo Verde Music is Alih Jey’s record label and production company. The Civic Center Studios night was its debut live event and if they are all this good, LA now has another first class promoter of live American Latino Music. Set for an 8 pm opening with 9 pm music, you knew quickly that something special was in the offing when the crowd was already thick by 8:30 pm – unusually early in the LA music scene. That something special started with Mexico City-based Ruzzi, who broke from a gaggle of friends and fans in the back of the club [Read More]

Interview

From Scooby-doo to CSI-Miami and Cuban beats: An interview with producer Jared Faber

April 7, 2017

    (Los Angeles) I am so happy Jared Faber decided to move to LA from his native New York in 1999 when a TV composing opportunity presented itself.  Faber had been writing music for Nickelodeon in New York, but LA called in the form of an opportunity to compose for the Emmy- nominated Nick series, As told by Ginger. He answered that call and moved to LaLa Land, kicking off a career that has garnered Grammy and Emmy nominations and awards, a Latin Grammy, and a long list of music for TV and films – plus his own music,  plus producing award winning records for artists in LA and Cuba. But it was cartoons that got him started and I got to talk with him about that and the many other things he has done in his career.   Patrick. Jared, you have a long list of credits composing for animation.  Why animation – is there something about the art form or children’s programming that calls to you?   Jared. Initially, it really was [Read More]