Events I went to on Labor Day Weekend
As a family, deciding what to do on Labor Day Weekend or any holiday weekend for that matter can be a daunting task. Especially in Los Angeles where there is an
enormous amount of things to do around town at any given point. We were sitting around on Friday night searching for interesting things to do online for the
weekend and we discovered half-price tickets to the Angel City Jazz Festival on StubDog.com. The problem was immediately solved! And better yet, it was at the
Barnsdall Art Park within walking distance from our home and our 3 year-old could get in for free. We purchased the tickets right then and there, received our
email ticket confirmation within minutes and our plans had been solidified... We could now get on with the rest of our lives and look forward to taking in some
interesting culture over the weekend.
We arrived at the event on Labor Day, showed them our printed confirmations at will call and gained access with no problems whatsover. We arrived into the The Barnsdall Art Park, overlooking the Hollywood Hills which was an ideal, serene setting for a Jazz Festival. The grounds were scattered with interesting sculptures, peeple mingling to the sounds of jazz, a booth selling Magito fine wines, Izze Sparkling Fruit Juices and Angel City microbrewed beers and stalls offering culinary delights from an authentic European bistro, Metropol, situated in the heart of the Los Angeles Downtown Artists District. We knew we had stumbled upon on gem of an event. And all for half-price!
And musically, the Festival was of the highest standards featuring cutting-edge artists from all over the globe. Such players as my favorite, Wayne Horvitz formerly of the Bobby Previtt Trio. Formed in 1999, Wayne Horvitz's Sweeter Than the Day began simply as the acoustic incarnation of Zony Mash. The band played a series of weekly shows at Seattle's Baltic Room, and quickly became Wayne Horvitz's first piano-based ensemble in over 10 years. Despite the shared personnel, the ensemble is quite distinct from the electric Zony Mash and the repertoire is almost entirely different.
There was also Elliott Sharp, a familiar face in New York's downtown music scene for almost three decades, the uber-eclectic Sharp has released nearly a hundred albums, ranging from suites of solo-acoustic guitar improvisations to full-scale orchestral work. Sharp studied with master composers such as Benjamin Boretz, Roswell Rudd, Lejaren Hiller, and Morton Feldman while attending Cornell, Bard College, and the University of Buffalo, but he simultaneously indulged his fascination with physics and other sciences-which arguably affected his artistic aesthetic as much as his formal compositional studies. Sharp's "extreme science nerd" bent has led to everything from building his own effects pedals to extrapolating guitar tunings from the Fibonacci series of numbers to being an early-adopter of computer-based composition and effects processing.
Alan Pasqua Quartet, born in New Jersey, Alan began studying piano at the age of seven, playing both classical and jazz. He attended Indiana University, and received his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory. His teachers at the time were Jaki Byard, Thad Jones, George Russell, David Baker and Gunther Schuller. While performing a concert at Carnegie Hall, Alan met the legendary drummer Tony Williams. Pasqua was asked to join "The New Tony Williams Lifetime" along with guitarist Allan Holdsworth.
Pasqua has also played and recorded with Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Gary Burton, James Moody, Gary Peacock, Gary Bartz, Eddie Daniels, Dave Weckl, John Patitucci, Reggie Workman, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Sam Rivers, Sheila Jordan, Joe Williams, Ivan Lins, Frank Foster, Alphonso Johnson, Stanley Clarke, Narada Michael Walden, Les McCann, Stan Kenton, and Don Ellis, among others.
Alan is also known for his dedication and contribution to jazz education. Since the year 2000, he has been affiliated with the Jazz Studies Department at The University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Starting in the Fall of 2008, Alan has been appointed to the rank of Associate Professor.
Other players such as The Arthur Blythe Quintet and Satoko Fujii Ma-Do delighted the musical senses with their performances using one of the Art Park's galleries as their backdrop. Their was also an outdoor stage featuring top notch cutting-edge Jazz and World Music artists such as Option 3, Ian Rapien and Kneebody, Nick Mancini Collective and the Robby Marshall Group to name a few. There was also Live Art Paitings to the left of the outdoor stage which entertained all the kids attending allowing parents to enjoy the Jazz.
It was an absolutely faboulous day out and we can only hope to continue to find such great deals on cool events around Los Angeles for the whole family to enjoy. If these sort of events were continually on offer at half-price, it would be very hard to keep the family indoors.