Jediah McCourt

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So far Jediah McCourt has created 28 blog entries.

REVIEW: THE LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY’S JAZZ IN THE KEY OF ELLISON at The Balboa Theatre

Broadway World San Diego
Ron Bierman
February 21, 2019

The La Jolla Music Society continued its eclectic 50th anniversary season with “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” a multimedia concert at the Balboa Theatre featuring music made popular by author Ralph Ellison’s favorite artists including Duke EllingtonLouis Armstrong, and Thelonious Monk. Ellison loved jazz. He often wrote about it, and it plays an important role in Invisible Man, his best known work. Jazz influenced his approach to life. He said, “The real secret of the game is to make life swing.”

The two-hour concert was preceded by Robert John Hughes‘ interview of Robert O’Meally, a Columbia professor of jazz studies and author of Living with Music: Ralph Ellison’s Jazz Writings. O’Meally’s combination of audience-friendly delivery and knowledge of jazz and Ellison’s depiction of racial discrimination were a perfect prelude to the concert that followed.

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REVIEW: THE LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY’S JAZZ IN THE KEY OF ELLISON at The Balboa Theatre 2019-02-21T16:02:15+00:00

PREVIEW: Nona Hendryx, minus her electric tutu, to sing at ‘Jazz in the Key of Ellison’

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
February 14, 2019

Nona Hendryx won’t be wearing — or playing — her electric tutu when she performs in the Balboa Theater during Saturday’s “Jazz in the Key of Ellison” concert. The multimedia program will salute “The Invisible Man” author Ralph Ellison, a 1953 National Book Award-winner who died in 1994 and was an enthusiastic avocational trumpeter.

But Hendryx should have no problem lighting up the stage here, even without her state-of-the-art digital music-producing tutu. One would expect no less from this veteran vocal powerhouse, whose collaborators have ranged from Keith Richards, Talking Heads, Laura Nyro and hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa to Elton John, Laurie Anderson, ex-Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas and Grammy-winning jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.

“I do my interpretation of what the music is saying to me, whether it’s in the jazz world, my own work or Captain Beefheart’s music,” said Hendryx, who is a cousin of the late Jimi Hendrix and rose to prominence in the 1960s singing with Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles.

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PREVIEW: Nona Hendryx, minus her electric tutu, to sing at ‘Jazz in the Key of Ellison’ 2019-02-14T12:16:22+00:00

REVIEW: The Danish String Quartet Combines Exciting Repertory and Sublime Playing

San Diego Story
Ken Herman
February 9, 2019

Following their established pattern of visiting San Diego, the Danish String Quartet was overdue. But the sizzling concert by this accomplished young ensemble on Friday, February 8, in the Auditorium at TSRI, certainly made up for lost time.

UC San Diego’s ArtPower brought the quartet to the Conad Prebys Concert Hall in 2014, and two years later the La Jolla Music Society opened its 2016 SummerFest with the Danish String Quartet. Although 2018 rolled around without the Danes, considering their current three-day residency for the La Jolla Music Society, all is forgiven.

I missed their informal performance Thursday at a gallery in Barrio Logan, but Friday’s program delivered an embarrassment of riches: after their electric accounts of two familiar “hunt” quartets—Haydn’s Op. 1, No. 1, “La Chasse,” and Mozart’s B-flat major. K. 458 “The Hunt”—they launched into Jörg Widmann’s audacious 2005 “Hunting Quartet” followed by Carl Nielsen’s rarely heard First String Quartet in G Minor from 1888. And they returned Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Auditorium at TSRI for a program of folk music from Nordic sources.

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REVIEW: The Danish String Quartet Combines Exciting Repertory and Sublime Playing 2019-02-11T12:35:15+00:00

REVIEW: Danish String Quartet thrills with superb performance in inaugural weekend of La Jolla Music Society residency

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
February 9, 2019

The game was afoot Friday evening at The Auditorium at TSRI as the Danish String Quartet superbly played a thoughtful concert whose first half examined the classical music tradition of hunting music and whose second explored a quartet by their fellow countryman, Carl Nielsen.

Nielsen’s “String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Opus 13” was written before he became the Carl Nielsen we think of today. It’s a late Romantic work whose rustic scherzo gives us a taste of the later Nielsen. The Danish String Quartet performed it with passion, humor and force.

Thank the La Jolla Music Society for bringing them to San Diego for a three-year residency. Their uncanny unity of ensemble and tone, matched to an intellectually stimulating and musically compelling programmatic sensibility, has made them one of the premier string quartets of their generation.

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REVIEW: Danish String Quartet thrills with superb performance in inaugural weekend of La Jolla Music Society residency 2019-02-11T12:27:19+00:00

PREVIEW: Low-key concert — with beer! — marks the beginning of Danish String Quartet’s three-year residency with La Jolla Music Society

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Beth Wood
February 6, 2019

If your image of a string quartet is musicians formally dressed in black playing Beethoven, you’re half right when it comes to the Danish String Quartet. The other half is that the recent first-time Grammy nominees have another stage persona as well, involving casual clothes, Nordic folk songs — and beer.

Beginning Thursday, the quartet will perform three distinctive concerts for the La Jolla Music Society to kick off its three-year residency. Its Friday and Saturday concerts will be held at La Jolla’s Auditorium at TSRI, one as part of the Revelle Chamber Music series.

Thursday’s performance — “Thursday Skål!” — will take place at Barrio Logan’s basileIE Gallery. Sponsored by Mikkeller Brewing, it will be a standing-only event. Skål!, by the way, is Danish for “Cheers!”

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PREVIEW: Low-key concert — with beer! — marks the beginning of Danish String Quartet’s three-year residency with La Jolla Music Society 2019-02-07T16:31:45+00:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Announces Opening Gala Concerts At The Conrad

Boradway World
BWW News Desk
February 7, 2019

La Jolla Music Society, one of the West Coast’s foremost performing arts institutions, has announced the launch of its greatly-anticipated, cutting edge new home, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center (The Conrad), with three illustrious opening-weekend concerts. With ceremonies, performances, and receptions being held Friday through Sunday, April 5, 6, and 7, 2019, the variety and caliber of these festivities in celebration of its $82 million, 49,000-square-foot complex reflect La Jolla Music Society’s invaluable positioning in the classical music world at large, and especially of its immeasurable significance to performing arts programming on an international scale.

Katherine Chapin, Chair of the Board of Directors states, “The experience of expanding upon La Jolla Music Society’s world-class cultural standing through the conception, development, and construction of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center has been among the most rewarding challenges for the Board of Directors.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Announces Opening Gala Concerts At The Conrad 2019-02-12T11:13:28+00:00

PREVIEW: Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center to open with Seal, Hilary Hahn, SummerFest alums

The San Diego Union
George Varga
January 22, 2019

The La Jolla Music Society is pulling out all the stops for April’s jubilee grand-opening weekend of its $78.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

The cornerstone of the nonprofit organization’s ongoing 50th anniversary season, the new center’s opening will feature concerts April 5-7 by an all-star lineup of classical music, jazz, pop and dance artists that is being publicly announced today.

The complete lineup and ticket information appear below.

Confirmed performers range from Grammy Award-winning singer Seal, the Miró Quartet and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro to violin star Hilary Hahn, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and neo-swing band The Hot Sardines, whose April 7 show is already sold out.

The diversity of artists is designed to showcase both the society’s annual programming eclecticism and the new center itself.

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PREVIEW: Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center to open with Seal, Hilary Hahn, SummerFest alums 2019-01-25T09:18:10+00:00

REVIEW: Urban and Jookin Animal Ballets Mark Change in Acceptance, Expectation

San Diego Story
Kris Eitland
October 5, 2018

When Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series in Oct. 2016, who could have predicted that two years later they’d return with tap and jook dancing geniuses?

Wynton Marsalis’ Spaces combines big band jazz and jook dancer Lil Buck and modern tap dancer Jared Grimes, and for the San Diego performance Oct. 3 at the Balboa Theatre, jook dancer Myles Yachts also performed physically charged dances.

Musicians and dancers interacted and throughout ten movements that correspond to a different animal. Marsalis describes it as “animal ballet,” and with every leap, slide and undulation, the dance performance marked a moment of glorious acceptance and expectation.

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REVIEW: Urban and Jookin Animal Ballets Mark Change in Acceptance, Expectation 2018-10-08T16:49:49+00:00

PREVIEW: Wynton Marsalis on his animal ballet, teen funk band days, kazoos and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 31 years

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
September 30, 2018

Before Wynton Marsalis mastered all that jazz — and more than 40 years before he debuted “Spaces,” his 2016 Jazz at Lincoln Center “animal ballet” now headed to San Diego — he cut his teeth playing in several New Orleans funk bands in the 1970s.

It was then, as the teen-aged trumpeter in such groups as The Creators and Killer Forces & The Crispy Critters, that this 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and band leader learned some of the key skills he has drawn on ever since.

“Definitely!” affirmed Marsalis, 56, whose subsequent musical collaborators have ranged from Ray Charles and Bob Dylan to Dizzy Gillespie and Carole King.

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PREVIEW: Wynton Marsalis on his animal ballet, teen funk band days, kazoos and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 31 years 2018-10-05T10:21:54+00:00

REVIEW: The Artistry of Emanuel Ax and Friends at La Jolla SummerFest

San Diego Story
Ken Herman
August 24, 2018

La Jolla SummerFest called Wednesday’s concert “An Evening with Emanuel Ax.” But it was much better than that. It turned out to be an evening with Emanuel Ax and friends. The former would have been undoubtedly rewarding, but the latter proved spectacular.

In Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio with clarinetist John Bruce Yeh and violist Che-Yen Chen and in Antonín Dvo?ák’s nonpareil Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, with Cho-Liang Lin, Anna Lee, and the Hoffman brothers, Ax gently spurred his colleagues to empyrean heights.

Some describe Mozart’s delightfully unusual piano trio—the standard instrumention is piano, violin, and cello—as charming, but these performers made it sublime. Yeh and Chen played in standing position, which not only strengthened their voices to that of the concert grand, but seemed to allow the composer’s fluid lines to dance. Indeed, Yeh’s tall frame swayed gently, mirroring Mozart’s balletic phrases, even as he garbed them in his superbly polished, silvery sonority, seamless from burnished bass notes to translucent treble tones.

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REVIEW: The Artistry of Emanuel Ax and Friends at La Jolla SummerFest 2018-08-24T15:07:35+00:00