Category Archives: Music

California summer postcards: Dancing at twilight on the Santa Monica Pier

A tradition continues in Los Angeles. With a dance floor large enough for five thousand people, the La Monica Ballroom once glittered atop the Santa Monica Pier like a crown jewel. It nurtured the early swing music and dance scene … Continue reading

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California summer postcards: Samba in the middle of a redwood forest?

Oh, yes—at the annual California Brazil Camp! Dear Friends, It has been a busy yet utterly fulfilling spring with the launch of Apsara in April. I am just getting started with my summer writing projects, but undoubtedly June through September … Continue reading

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Yuri Liberzon: Masterful guitar technique, richly emotive sound

A sheer love of playing the guitar led Yuri Liberzon to become a professional musician. “It is directly connected with who I am,” he says. Originally from Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city, Liberzon received both his first guitar and his … Continue reading

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Ashwin Batish: Music, family, Santa Cruz and “sitar power”

I think that we are very lucky to be in such a beautiful place, [and] to have such tolerance and such interest and depth of understanding . . . I find that people over here have this special connection with … Continue reading

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Wang Fei: Guqin artist and educator

The guqin is an example of how a traditional art form can survive in a globalized environment. Sometimes globalization is a good thing, such as in the case of economics—in China especially the economy has grown very fast. But it … Continue reading

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Diana Rowan: Berkeley-based pianist and harpist

Music is a universal language—it goes beyond words. It is unambiguous in all ways. I can listen to Arabic music, for instance. I cannot speak Arabic, but I can feel the emotion that the music has in it. It bypasses … Continue reading

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Ferenc Tobak: Musician, instrument maker, and ethnomusicologist from Hungary

The best way for these [musical] traditions to live on is to get the younger generation involved. Without the young people they are lost. -Ferec Tobak You have had a rich musical career including work as a musician, an instrument … Continue reading

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Zé Manel: Singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music legend from Guinea-Bissau

I have spent half of my life outside of my country. I have spent a little bit of my life inside my country and all of the rest I have spent outside so it is very different. When you go … Continue reading

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Nayo Ulloa: Kena virtuoso, composer, and Andean music scholar

To let people know more about the music of the Andes and Peru—that is my big goal. Part of my academic training has to do with that. . . . There was kind of a revival of Andean music that … Continue reading

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Eddie Diaz: Artistic Director of the San Jose Flamenco Society

Then when I came to the United States I became very interested in the guitar. At that time I was more into the electric guitar, blues, rock, and jazz until I heard flamenco guitar. If you like guitar, flamenco guitarists … Continue reading

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