The City of West Hollywood, through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, kicks off 2016 Winter Sounds, a series of free indoor concerts of jazz, world, folk, and other music. The concert series will take place in January, February, and March. All concerts are free to attend, and seating is provided. To hear music samples and to RSVP, please visit http://weho.org/residents/arts-and-culture/2016-winter-sounds or www.weho.org/arts.
On Saturday, January 9, 2016, at 4 p.m., in the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Public Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, Ireesh Lal will kick off the Winter Sounds Concert Series. This concert promises to be a unique experience, blending diverse musical influences with live art created by painter Norton Wisdom. In this concert, Lal will combine his background in modern jazz trumpet, with traditional East-Indian classical instruments such as the oud, tabla, and sitar, as well as modern electronic music.
On Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 4 p.m., in Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, Dr. Dawn Norfleet will perform a diverse concert of jazz, ranging from funky odd meter instrumentals to soulful, traditional jazz ballads. Norfleet is a flutist, vocalist, and composer who has previously performed for the Jazz at LACMA series; he will be accompanied by a group of versatile musical heavy-hitters, whose backgrounds range from straight-ahead jazz to funk. Norfleet is also on the teaching-artist faculty of The Music Center, and earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University.
On Saturday, February 6, 2016, at 4 p.m., in the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Public Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, songwriters Garretson and Gorodetsky will be joined by Brainchildren of Xenog in a freewheeling concert, which combines folk tunes, pop ideas, blues riffs, and jazz harmonies to create songs that are haunting, as well as humorous. Their music explores the fragility of existence, whether it’s a song about a garden slug or a predatory scrub jay. This concert will recreate the sonic experience of a backyard in Los Angeles where skunks, possums, owls, hawks, and cats manage to thrive. The ensemble includes vocalist Weba Garretson on piano and guitar; guitarist and singer Ralph Gorodetsky; Vince Meghrouni on harmonica, flute and saxophone; Brian Christopherson on percussion; Dan Clucas on trumpet and coronet; and Michael Alvidrez on bass. They have previously performed at the Getty Museum, UCLA, the Skirball Cultural Center, and MOCA. Commissions include music for Los Angeles Poverty Department’s “Utopia/Dystopia” at the REDCAT, and the Los Angeles Public Library’s stage celebration “My Moby Dick” at the Broad Theatre.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 4 p.m., in Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, Jack’s Cats will entertain audiences with a new-old sound that is unmistakably grounded in ’30s and ’40s vintage jazz and swing, yet feels contemporary and alive. Swing clarinetist and composer Jack Malmstrom leads the band, which is comprised of up-and-coming musicians drawn from the thriving vintage jazz scene in Los Angeles; each one is known for musical prowess and engaging showmanship. With the irresistible, toe-tapping sound of Jack’s Cats, dancing will be encouraged at this concert.
On Saturday, March 5, 2016, at 4 p.m., in the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Public Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, Honey Whiskey Trio will explore harmony in folk, bluegrass, and any melody that catches the ear. Held during Women’s History Month, this all-female trio of storytellers in song will perform a capella, with body percussion, and accompanied by mandolin, guitar, banjo, washboard, dulcimer, and mouth trumpet. In 2013, Honey Whiskey Trio won the Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition, also winning Audience Favorite. They have gone on to headline the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, the Women’s A Cappella Association’s SheSings Festival, and the South Eastern Minnesota A Cappella Festival. They have also all individually performed with Vox Femina, and they were featured artists at the FAR-West Folk Festival, the Rogue Valley Roots Festival, the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival, and the Shedd Institute for the Arts.
All of the City of West Hollywood’s 2016 Winter Sounds concerts are free to attend, seating is provided, and RSVPs are not required but encouraged at http://weho.org/residents/arts-and-culture/2016-winter-sounds.
For concerts that take place at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, free validated parking will be provided in the five-story West Hollywood Park structure, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, accessible from El Tovar Place. For concerts that take place at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, free parking is available in both parking lots at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.