2016 Brand Library Plaza Series - Salsa! World Music! Jazz!
In 2016 the City of Glendale offered FREE concerts every Friday night at 7:00 p.m. from June through August on the Brand Library Plaza! The free performances were supported by the City of Glendale and Glendale Arts & Culture Commission, with funding from the Urban Art Program and the Brand Associates. For more information call Brand Library & Art Center at 818-548-2051.
- Download the 2016 Plaza Series postcard.
- Read the Glendale News-Press article and photos about the 2016 Plaza Series.
6/3/2016 Masanga Marimba plays traditional and popular music from Africa and Latin America. The instruments used in this ensemble consist of Zimbabwean marimbas of various sizes along with vocals, drums, percussion, saxophone and trumpet. Their music is upbeat, danceable, and family-oriented. The sight and sound of Masanga's giant marimbas is unlike anything you've ever seen or heard before!
6/10/2016 John Reynolds brings us sparkling tunes from the birth of American Swing. Inspired by greats like Django Reinhardt and Eddie Lang, John has developed a distinct style, highly respected by colleagues and fans alike. Over the past few decades his music has taken him around the world. A native of California, he has showbiz in his blood, being the Grandson of the actress Zasu Pitts. John’s band is made up of Katie Cavera and Nate Ketner, stellar musicians, often seen at Jazz festivals the world over. Read a Glendale News-Press article about John Reynolds.
6/17/2016 Vardan Ovsepian Quintet “Vardan brings his own sound and ingredients…I have never heard any musician quite like him in terms of harmonic awareness and melodic power. I suspect that he will prove to be quite a sensation…”--PETER ERSKINE
“…When Ovsepian improvises on keyboard, his style has the sort of precise expansiveness of players such as Keith Jarrett, who rides upon uneven tempos, searching for moments to burst the bubble of form. Ovsepian's music shifts easily between passages that reveal his classical technique and those that showcase his obvious affection for the interpretive opportunities of jazz…” -- PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
6/24/2016 Homemade JAM Enjoy popular music from the 1920s and 1930s, including jug band favorites, traditional acoustic country blues, and Tin Pan Alley chart hits – along with lots of humor and historical background.
7/1/2016 Groove Sauce is a new and rising funk act bringing a whole new energy to LA's funk scene. Groove Sauce combines soulful harmony and melody with strong infectious beats, channeling classic funk artists such as James Brown and Tower of Power, and newer bands such as Lettuce and Snarky Puppy. Groove Sauce is high-energy jazz/funk powerhouse.
7/8/2016 Los Angeles Cello Quartet is a project of Positive Motions Foundation initiated by Ruslan Biryukov, founder of the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble was introduced first at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Fundraiser in Palos Verdes in May 2010. Music making by four charismatic cellists / soloists immediately attracted the attention of the public, placing the Quartet into a category of the leading chamber music groups.
7/15/2016 Louie Cruz Beltran Blending Afro Cuban rhythms with Jazz, Latin Jazz, Pop and R&B influences, Louie Cruz Beltran is an entertainer at heart - an entertainer who is also a superbly skilled conguero, timbalero and vocalist. In short, Louie is the complete package. Variety called Louie's Playboy Jazz Festival performance "... a triumph... a sharp, uncluttered Jazz ensemble." Louie always connects with the audience with humor, solid musicianship and dazzling percussion work.
7/22/2016 The Mighty Cash Cats are a world-renowned tribute show honoring the music and spirit of the late, great rebel country rocker Johnny Cash, for whom there remains an ever-growing, fiercely loyal and devoted fan base. Fronted by guitarist/vocalist (and Johnny Cash lookalike) Michael J, The Mighty Cash Cats cover Johnny Cash’s career from his early hits that audiences all know and love to his final Rick Rubin-produced album “American Recordings” including Johnny Cash and June Carter duets. The band also plays Hot New Country Music, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and Blues.
7/29/2016 Celtic Consort consists of award winning concert and studio musicians Christina Linhardt (voice), Susan Craig Winsberg (flutes) and Carolyn Sykes (Celtic harp). Together the Celtic Consort bring their love of Classical Baroque and Irish Celtic music to the Brand Library Plaza, along with a special hands-on harp “petting zoo”!
8/5/2016 Soul Sauce will perform latin jazz classics from legendary artists such as Cal Tjader, Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria. Soul Sauce plays the latin dance rhythms popularized in the 1960s, such as cha-cha-cha, mambo, bolero and bossa nova—a fun time for the whole family!
8/12/2016 Quarteto Nuevo creates emotionally-charged soundscapes with instruments and sensibilities from very different parts of the world. Their unique instrumentation--cello, guitar, soprano saxophone and hand percussion--richly colors their wide-ranging repertoire, from Erik Satie’s “Pieces Froides” and Chick Corea’s “Tales of the Black Forest” to Traditional Macedonian “Gadjarsko” and original works “Hector, Desmond and Titus,” “Rain Song” and “Dizer O Que.”
8/19/2016 SangomaBeat weaves West African rhythms with ethnic vocal arrangements and harmonic guitar riffs into tribal world grooves. SangomaBeat music means multicultural drumming, ethnic rhythms, ancient songs and dancing for everyone
8/26/2016 Malynda Hale Los Angeles-based singer songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and activist Malynda Hale embodies what it means to take hold of one’s dreams. Fearless and unrelenting, her professional pursuits continue to cement her place in the entertainment industry as a creative powerhouse and multi-talented performer. “You can tell when she sings that every lyric uttered from her mouth reflects a deep seated desire to uplift and challenge people to be the best version of their self.” -- Tavon Perkins, Rant Hollywood
- Every week from June through August 2015 visitors to Brand Park climbed up the hill to hear our summer concerts on the Brand Library Plaza, supported by the City of Glendale and the Glendale Arts & Culture Commission, with funding from the Urban Art Program and the Brand Associates. The performers brought an eclectic array of performance experience and techniques, and musical instruments. One group had performed for over 50 years; another group featured stunning contemporary vocals by young musicians; and another group played musical instruments from AD 230! The audiences responded enthusiastically to every performance and are looking forward to next summer!
Download the 2015 Plaza Series postcard.
Friday, June 5, 7:00 p.m.
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, The Tikiyaki Orchestra has been wowing audiences since 2008 with their own brand of Exotic Lounge music and unique and charismatic showmanship.
Not simply content to replicate the sound of classic Exotica such as Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, Tikiyaki, a six piece orchestra, led by main composer Jim Bacchi, pull many different musical food groups into the mix....Bachelor Pad Lounge, Crime Jazz, Surf, Spaghetti Western, Latin and Hawaiian music, to broaden the musical spectrum of what is known today as “Exotica.”
Their three albums.... “StereoExotique” , “Swingin’’ Sounds for the Jungle Jetset” , and "Aloha, Baby !" prove that, Exotica is not just background music for the swingin’ tikiphile, but you can actually hum along, due to catchy, concise and well-crafted songwriting, something that was not always necessarily a main component of the original Exotica sound. Visit the Tikiyaki Orchestra website.
City of Angels Saxophone Quartet
Friday, June 12, 7:00 p.m.
Now entering its 25th season, the City of Angels Saxophone Quartet enjoys introducing new audiences to the expressive musical potential of four saxophones performing chamber music. Their large repertoire includes classical transcriptions, original works and jazz standards. The members, Bill Wilson, Soprano Saxophone, Sean Stackpoole, Also Saxophone, Cynthia Swanson, Tenor Saxophone and Matt Germaine, Baritone Saxophone, also foster audience interaction through stories as well as through their music.
The City of Angels Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1990 at CSU Northridge. The ensemble won top honors at the prestigious Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, in both cases being the first saxophone quartet to be awarded first prizes. Following these accolades, the group toured the USSR.
Most recently the group premiered a new work written for them, and the development of a new historical concert and multimedia offering tracing the early history and development of saxophone ensembles. Visit the City of Angels Saxophone Quartet's website.
Friday, June 19, 7:00 p.m.
Neptune Cocktail is an instrumental surf band featuring tunes first performed by Southern California's trail blazing groups of the early 1960s.Groups like Dick Dale, Eddie and the Showmen, The Bel-AIrs, The Challengers, and the The Ventures and tunes like Wipeout, Pipeline and Walk Don’t Run.
Allen Kelinsky, Doug Forbes, and Steve Arbuckle are accomplished musicians with long resumes covering many genres--from Jazz Big Band to chamber music and from Dixieland to R 'n B. They bring an authentic, respectful approach to classic surf music with a sprinkling of classic jazz tunes. Visit Neptune Cocktail's website.
Wendy Sue Hunt with Bill Elmer
Friday, June 26, 7:00 p.m.
Wendy Hunt is a singer-songwriter who creates an intimate space through song, music, her expressive voice and unique style. Growing up along the east coast from Nashville to Pennsylvania, her music reflects the bluegrass, folk, and country of her childhood as well as the jazz and blues she came to love.
Bill Elmer has been playing folk music, bluegrass, and Celtic since he was in his early twenties. He currently plays in a band called “The Bru” in the Boise, Idaho area for local events and Contra dances.
The Whyman Project
Friday, July 3, 7:00 p.m.
The Whyman Project (TWP) is a unique collaboration of four string players and a rhythm section. Each accomplished in their own right, these musicians are based in Los Angeles and came together to play original music and arrangements by Ryan Whyman. Crossing genres between classical, jazz, pop, rock, and film music, Ryan brings his own unique twist to everything, redefining and expanding the piano quintet and jazz genres.
The Whyman Project has performed at coffee shops, weddings, galas, churches and concert halls around Los Angeles and Orange County, always to enthusiastic audiences. TWP was chosen as one of the 2014 winners of the prestigious Beverly Hills Music in the Mansion Auditions. TWP also had the opportunity to perform for Yo-Yo Ma at the Valley Performing Arts Center in May 2015. The ensemble features the fine musicianship of Shawn Cai, Jordan Slocum, Brandon Encinas, Billy Tobenkin, Ryan Whyman, Rodrigo Moreno, and Michael Enriquez. Visit The Whyman Project website.
Friday, July 10, 7:00 p.m.
James Adams, Michael Kohl, Ken Christianson and Andrew Abaria make up Cloudwalkers. We tell strange and wonderful stories in four-part vocal harmony. Our website features our versions of Rude, Happy, Fly Like An Eagle and Wake Me Up; our first CD of original music is Take Off, released this May.
We hope you'll join us as we make new music, play it live, occasionally put it to picture, and generally attempt to reach the starlit sky beyond the clouds we see from below. You are our wings. Listen to Cloudwalkers!
Friday, July 17, 7:00 p.m.
Sanggar Tujunga is a community gamelan studio located in Tujunga. The sanggar opened in 2014 to share and spread excitement for playing Balinese gamelan music. Members come from all different backgrounds ranging from college students, community members, musicians, and other professionals. We gather from all over Los Angeles to learn the music of Bali together.
Gamelan refers to various types of percussion ensembles found in Indonesia with gongs, kettles, drums, bamboo flutes, and metallophones. The Balinese gamelan is known for fast interlocking melodies, abrupt tempo changes, and flashy yet refined performances.
Gamelan instruments of Sanggar Tujunga have been collected, piece by piece over time to make a set of instruments accommodating 15 players. All of the instruments were made in Bali, but many of them were not being used and were in need of a new home with active players. Once the instruments were collected they went through a precise tuning process to match the tone and unify the sound to become one set.
Zetz Klezmer Ensemble
Friday, July 24, 7:00 p.m.
Zetz, which means to jab or poke (physically or verbally) in Yiddish, is an energetic, entertaining ensemble that charms audiences across all age groups. Their music is firmly based in the classic klezmer traditions of Eastern European Jews, but they also take colors from across the musical spectrum. These creative musicians weave the intimacy of European chamber music together with the infectious fun and entertainment of a dance band. They perform music ranging from originals composed by their own band members to Arabic and Turkish folk songs from the 15th century, to Jewish wedding standards, to popular Yiddish vaudeville music of the 1920s and ‘30s.
Whether or not one is intimate with Jewish culture and music, klezmer music opens the door to a world rich with energy and emotion that is truly universal. It captures the poignancy and fragility of life while, at the same time, emphasizes its joys and triumphs. Visit Zetz Klezmer Ensemble's website.
Members of Zetz
Diane “Mitt’n” Demetras – violin & vocals
Christin “Lips” Hablewitz - clarinet, flute & bass clarinet
Neil “Pix” Ricklen – mandolin
Larry “Squeeze” Garf – accordion & piano
Betsy “Boom” Kahn – bass
Dave "Gonzo" Boesch - drumset & percussion
Judy Wexler Quartet
Friday, July 31, 7:00 p.m.
A touring and recording artist, vocalist Judy Wexler has headlined at jazz festivals, performing arts centers and major jazz clubs both nationally and internationally. She has released four CDs which have all topped the national jazz charts. Known for her inventive interpretations of underexposed gems, she will perform songs associated with a diverse mix of jazz and pop legends, including King Pleasure, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins, Blossom Dearie, Richie Havens, Rickie Lee Jones, and Bob Dylan. All About Jazz describes her as “more than a mere singer of songs. She’s an actress, mood painter, song archaeologist, and vocalist par excellence." Visit Judy Wexler's website.
The Judy Wexler Quartet:
Judy Wexler, vocals
Jeff Colella, keyboard
Chris Colangelo, bass
Dan Schnelle, drums
Burgan & Chan: Folk Songs & Stories
Friday, August 7, 7:00 p.m.
Jerry Burgan is a musician, singer, songwriter, folk historian, and author who first became known as a member of We Five, the Grammy-nominated, 60's folk-rock group he co-founded with the late Michael Stewart. The group's hit recording of You Were On My Mind set a standard for vocal innovation and was #4 on Billboard's Top 100 songs of 1965 -- behind Satisfaction. Jerry has led We Five since 1968, and is the common thread appearing on all seven of their albums.
Songs & Stories blends the classic acoustic folk and roots music that shaped him with anecdotes about how the songs and musical styles of the past have evolved into what many today call Americana. Jerry performs with his wife, Debbie, and bassist Tholow Chan. His first solo CD, Jerry Burgan: Reflections, Songs & Stories, released by Global Recording Artists, is based on material from the Songs & Stories show. Jerry is the author of Wounds To Bind: A Memoir of the Folk-Rock Revolution. Visit Jerry Burgan's website.
Friday, August 14, 7:00 p.m.
Formed in 2001, through relentless experimentation with various genres and creativity, a new style of performance was discovered by Duo Images. This passionate and soulful duo breathes life into newly created works through their own unique interpretations, and the program includes pieces derived from the classical compositions of Bach, Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Ravel and Piazzolla, as well as the duo's own original compositions. Highly sought after, their concerts and master class presentations have taken them around the world.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Artashes Sinanyan received his education at the Tchaikovsky Music School. Using an innovative and unique approach, Mr. Sinanyan designed a new arrangement of the percussive instruments called VIBRODRUMS (a vibraphone surrounded by many drums and cymbals). This practical arrangement of the instruments gives the effect of hearing two musicians playing at the same time, which is the result of the absolute independent coordination of only one player.
Pianist Zhanna Sinanyan grew up in a household of opera singers and actors and developed a special relationship with music at an early age. Born in Sankt-Petersburg (Russia), she graduated from the State Conservatory of Music (Yerevan, Armenia). In 1996, she began her collaboration with the Russian Composer's Union, premiering and recording contemporary compositions as well as performing with the Moscow Percussion Ensemble. She has been praised for her colorful textures and sensitive touch. Visit the Duo Images website.
Aztec Dance Group YANKUITITL (New Fire) and pre-Columbian Indigenous Music with Martin Espino
Friday, August 21, 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy pre-Columbian indigenous dance and music. The performers will present an interactive program featuring a variety of musical instruments and Aztec dance from ancient Mexico.
Friday, August 28, 7:00 p.m.
This unique combination of musicians performs and performs a collection of romantic and rhythmic Classics and Standards in the Afro/Latin Jazz genre. Excitement and Enthusiasm are the feelings the group projects.Inspiration and Enjoyment are the feelings one leaves with after their performances.
The members consist of Derek Williams/Bass, Martin Rivera/Flute and Sax, Don Littleton/Congas, Peter Burke/ Vibes, Uziel Colon/ Piano.
This was the final performance of our 2015 Plaza Performance Series.
Download the 2014 series postcard.
- June 6 - Alma Nova
- June 13 - AllDayNight
- June 20 - PCH Band
- June 27 - Spacious Vision Song Project
- July 11 - Noche Flamenca
- July 18 - Bali & Beyond
- July 25 - Dafra West African Drum Dance
- August 1 - Nick Mancini Trio
- August 8 - Singer/Songwriter Night featuring Hunter Scott, Jenni Alpert, Maggie McClure and Shane Henry
- August 15 - Denizens of Jazz perform the music of Brazilian composer Moacir Santos
- August 22 - State Prism
- September 5 - New Music Night & Fifteen-Minutes-Of-Fame: Maksim Velichkin, Jackie Suzuki & Adriana Zoppo
- September 12 - Ceora Winds
- September 19 - Carl Verheyen
- September 26 - Daniel Jimenez Afanador