Jediah McCourt

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So far Jediah McCourt has created 49 blog entries.

PREVIEW: Borders blur when Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer make music magic

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
October 13, 2019

Over the years, Ben & Jerry’s has created ice cream flavors inspired by famous musicians and bands, including Cherry Garcia, Bohemian Raspberry and Phish Food. If rival ice cream company Häagen-Dazs wants to get in the game with a music-inspired flavor of its own, genre-leaping banjo innovator Béla Fleck and contrabass master Edgar Meyer are ideal candidates.

Fleck, a 14-time Grammy Award winner, and Meyer, a five-time winner, first started making music together in the summer of 1982 in Colorado, in front of the Häagen-Dazs store in Aspen. They haven’t stopped collaborating yet.

“I don’t think there was a Ben & Jerry’s in Aspen back then!” Fleck said. He performs here Wednesday at the Balboa Theatre with Meyer and Indian tabla drum legend Zakir Hussain, whose own musical collaborators have ranged from George Harrison and Ravi Shankar to John McLaughlin and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart.

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PREVIEW: Borders blur when Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer make music magic2019-10-14T14:41:25-07:00

ARTICLE: Here is San Diego’s best and worst architecture

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Phillip Molnar
October 4, 2019

It was time to duck and cover Thursday night for architects in San Diego.

San Diego County’s annual Orchids and Onions competition awards the best in local architecture with an Orchid — and the worst with an Onion. Only five Onions were given this year, so most architects avoided the notorious distinction during the awards ceremony Thursday.

The competition is now in its 43rd year, with the goal to make the region a better place to live. It was started by the local American Institute of Architects, but has been handled by the San Diego Architectural Foundation since 2006.

A committee of 11 jurors evaluated 118 nominations. There were also two People’s Choice awards, decided by online voters.

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ARTICLE: Here is San Diego’s best and worst architecture2019-10-04T09:46:41-07:00

PREVIEW: Keyboard legend Chick Corea and rising star Gerald Clayton discuss their music and mutual admiration society

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
September 29, 2019

There is a 43-year age difference between jazz-and-beyond icon Chick Corea and rising star Gerald Clayton. But the mutual admiration between these two genre-leaping keyboard dynamos — who each perform in San Diego on the same night next week at separate concerts with their respective bands — easily transcends time.

“He’s an amazing young musician,” Corea, 78, said of Clayton, who performs a Wednesday Athenaeum Jazz at TSRI concert with his quartet.

“Gerald is one of the guys who inspires me when I hear him. He has his own way of doing it and finding his own voice. And he’s a very bright guy. I really like him a lot, and I love his playing.”

Clayton, 35, is even more effusive, to the point that he suggested this article should focus more on 22-time Grammy Award winner Corea than on him.

“Chick is a legend — the maestro! — and has been a huge inspiration for me since I was a teenager,” said four-time Grammy nominee Clayton of Corea, who performs Wednesday at the Balboa Theater with his band Trilogy.

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PREVIEW: Keyboard legend Chick Corea and rising star Gerald Clayton discuss their music and mutual admiration society2019-09-30T08:52:07-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate 51st year with biggest season ever

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
July 7, 2019

How will the La Jolla Music Society top its recently concluded 50th anniversary season, which featured 34 performances and climaxed with the April opening of the nonprofit arts organization’s eye-popping, $82 million Conrad Prebys Center for the Performing Arts?

By presenting even more performances and expanding the range of programming in its eye-popping new performing arts center.

That expansion includes the debut of a new family concert series and a new lecture series that will be presented in collaboration with National Geographic. In addition, acclaimed classical music guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas will become the society’s first ambassador of education, a role that will see him spend three weeks in San Diego to perform at the center and do community outreach programs.

“This will be the biggest season we’ve ever had, and it will showcase the next step in our evolution,” said Leah Rosenthal, the society’s director of programming.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate 51st year with biggest season ever2019-09-04T11:31:51-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla SummerFest Is Back, with a New Director and a ‘New Wave’ Schedule

Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
July 30, 2019

La Jolla Music Society is about to launch the 34th annual SummerFest, its internationally respected summer music festival.

The popular event begins with “The Time Traveler’s Suite” on opening night, Friday, Aug. 2, at The Conrad, the superb new performance venue in the heart of La Jolla.

Times of San Diego caught up with the festival’s brand new music director, the virtuoso Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, just as he was arriving in San Diego July 27.

Barnatan is here on another of his many trips to San Diego, but this time to take hands-on responsibility for the schedule of performances he has planned for the three weeks through Aug. 23.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla SummerFest Is Back, with a New Director and a ‘New Wave’ Schedule2019-08-08T10:13:39-07:00

ARTICLE: SummerFest Music Director Inon Barnatan seeks transformation in La Jolla

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
July 26, 2019

Internationally acclaimed pianist Inon Barnatan loves walking on the beach and swimming, whether it’s during a visit to his native Israel or to San Diego, where he will be spending much of August. So when the La Jolla Music Society invited Barnatan to immerse himself in what he smilingly refers to as the society’s lavish new $82 million “sandbox,” the offer was simply irresistible.

“To be perfectly honest, the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center is one of the main reasons I decided to sign on to this — it was one of the things that tipped the scales for me,” said Barnatan, referring to the nonprofit society’s state-of-the-art new home. It houses both the state-of-the-art Baker-Baum Concert Hall and The JAI, the center’s smaller, cabaret-styled theater.

Located just blocks from the ocean, The Conrad — as it is informally known — opened with great fanfare in April and Barnatan was one of the featured performers. On Friday, he will take to its stage as the new music director of the society’s 34-year-old SummerFest.

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ARTICLE: SummerFest Music Director Inon Barnatan seeks transformation in La Jolla2019-07-28T18:06:21-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society sets innovative programs

San Diego Jewish World
Eileen Wingard
July 25, 2019

It must have been a challenging task for the La Jolla Music Society to find a successor for Summerfest’s former director, violinist Cho-Liang Lin. Taiwanese-born Lin was not only a brilliant violinist with a successful career as a performer, but he proved himself to be a gifted administrator and programmer, bringing top-notch talent to the internationally-acclaimed La Jolla Music Society’s annual summer festival.

Now, another outstanding musician, Israeli-born pianist, Inon Barnatan, has taken over the leadership role. The Tel Aviv native, called, “One of the most admired pianists of his generation,” by the New York Times, has lined up three weeks of innovative programming for the three-week Summerfest, which opens Friday, August 2, 8:00 pm, at the new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

Barnatan’s programming has the mark of a creative artist who thinks outside the box, and whose vision encompasses all of the arts. The three-concert “synergy initiative series” produced by Barnatan and Clara W. Tsai, exemplifies his creativity. The first one, Wednesday, August 7, 8:00 pm, will feature jazz singer, Cecile Mclorin Salvant and jazz pianist, Aaron Diehl, as well as Barnatan, himself. The program is entitled, “Intersection,” and will highlight the symbiotic relationship between classical music and jazz.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society sets innovative programs2019-07-28T18:11:13-07:00

ARTICLE: SummerFest preview – La Jolla Music Society to present ‘Transformation’ series with music, dance, art from Aug. 2-23

La Jolla Light
Lonnie Hewitt
July 24, 2019

La Jolla Music Society has a lot going on this season, and its SummerFest — an annual event since 1986 — has a new music director, Inon Barnatan, who is infusing the popular festival with energy and excitement. Appropriately called “Transformation,” this year’s Fest, featuring three weeks of events from Aug. 2-23, 2019 is the first to be based in The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the Music Society’s impressive new home in The Village of La Jolla at 7600 Fay Ave.

Barnatan, an award-winning pianist who recently completed three seasons as the New York Philharmonic’s artist-in-association, has been called by the music director there “a complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed.”

In “Transformation,” he’s addressing questions such as: How do composers transform other composers’ music? How do art forms transform one another? So, this SummerFest will be a multimedia affair, including a Synergy series that combines classical music, jazz, dance, visual art and the many talents of visionary theater and opera director/designer Doug Fitch.

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ARTICLE: SummerFest preview – La Jolla Music Society to present ‘Transformation’ series with music, dance, art from Aug. 2-232019-07-25T16:13:25-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Summerfest’s New Music Director, Inon Barnatan

San Diego Jewish Journal
Pat Launer
June 28, 2019

“A musician is like an actor.” That’s one of many thought-provoking ideas espoused by Inon Barnatan, the Israeli-born, internationally-renowned pianist who’s taking the helm as new music director of the La Jolla Music Society’s 34th annual SummerFest.

A nationally recognized classical music festival, SummerFest offers world-class classical concerts, uniting a stellar roster of resident soloists, composers, ensembles and artistic fellows every year during the month of August. The Festival routinely attracts an extensive and diverse audience from Southern California and beyond.

“SummerFest has been one of my very favorite Festivals since the first time I attended. So it’s a huge honor to come back as Music Director,” Barnatan said from his home in New York, where he alights periodically, given his intense schedule of solo, orchestral and chamber music performances.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Summerfest’s New Music Director, Inon Barnatan2019-07-10T21:20:23-07:00

REVIEW: In a dazzling recital, two musicians unlock the acoustics at Baker-Baum Concert Hall

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
May 21, 2019

Conventional wisdom has it that winning a performance competition will boost visibility — especially for a previously unknown musician — but it’s no guarantee of a long-term career.

The Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis may not have much public recognition outside of violinists, Hoosiers and music presenters, but past gold and silver medal award winners include Pavel Berman, Leonidas Kavakos, Augustin Hadelich and Simone Lamsma (who gave a compelling account of Bernstein’s Serenade last year with the San Diego Symphony.)

The La Jolla Music Society clearly paid attention to the 2018 competition. Taiwanese American violinist Richard Lin won its Gold Medal last year, and LJMS brought him to the Baker-Baum Concert Hall at The Conrad Sunday afternoon. There, he impressed listeners with his beautiful tone and easy virtuosity.

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REVIEW: In a dazzling recital, two musicians unlock the acoustics at Baker-Baum Concert Hall2019-06-25T15:30:35-07:00