Jediah McCourt

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So far Jediah McCourt has created 58 blog entries.

PREVIEW: Martha Graham Dance Co.’s ‘The Eve Project’ Kicks off ‘Women in Dance Series’ at Civic Theatre

San Diego Story
Kris Eitland
January 18, 2020

Known as the rebellious mother of modern dance, Martha Graham’s dances filled with flexed feet and jarring and trembling movements were once called ugly. She’s now considered one of the 20th Century’s most important artists.

Honoring her legacy, the Martha Graham Dance Company performs “The Eve Project,” a mix of her iconic works and new choreography on January 22, at the Civic Theatre, part of the Women in Dance series, presented by the La Jolla Music Society.

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PREVIEW: Martha Graham Dance Co.’s ‘The Eve Project’ Kicks off ‘Women in Dance Series’ at Civic Theatre2020-01-21T09:55:08-08:00

PREVIEW: Martha Graham’s legacy lives on in touring production

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcia Manna
January 16, 2020

In her time, Martha Graham was an American rebel with a cause, a pioneering dancer and choreographer who changed the landscape of modern dance.

Before her death in 1991 at age 96, she created nearly 200 choreographed works and garnered numerous awards (including the first Guggenheim Fellowship given to a dancer).

She also included African American and Asian dancers in her company, and her passionate, dramatic movement language is taught by dance companies worldwide.

The Martha Graham Dance Company, founded in 1926, continues her legacy with “The Eve Project,” a touring contemporary dance production presented by the La Jolla Music Society on Wednesday at the Civic Theatre.

The New York-based company is reviving a selection of Graham masterworks and presenting them along with works by notable contemporary choreographers.

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PREVIEW: Martha Graham’s legacy lives on in touring production2020-01-16T13:41:48-08:00

PRESS RELEASE: La Jolla Music Society Announces President/CEO Ted DeDee’s Departure at the End of the 51st Season

SAN DIEGO, CA — La Jolla Music Society (LJMS) President/CEO Ted DeDee announced that, for health reasons, his tenure with LJMS will conclude at the end of the historic first season at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, affectionately known as “The Conrad”. His final day will be June 30, 2020.

In making the announcement Ted DeDee said, “I am honored to have guided LJMS through an artistic and financially successful first season at The Conrad. Due to various health concerns, I decided that the end of the season would be the best time to step down from the position. My focus for the next six months will be to continue advancing the vital mission of LJMS. For example, we are in the midst of an exciting strategic planning process that will be a guide toward the future and will give the new President/CEO a great starting point. We are also deep in the planning process for SummerFest 2020 and will be announcing that stellar festival lineup soon. The future of LJMS is bright and it has been a privilege to play a role in pursuing that future.”

Steve Baum, Chair of the LJMS Board added, “On behalf of the entire LJMS Board of Directors and staff I want to thank Ted DeDee for his service. Ted, with his over 40 years of experience, has put together a thoughtful transition that will allow us ample time to do a search for a new President/CEO.  The success of The Conrad has created an exciting time for our organization and the President/CEO role will represent a great opportunity for new candidates.”

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About La Jolla Music Society

As one of Southern California’s leading presenters of world-class performing arts, La Jolla Music Society contributes to San Diego’s cultural vitality year-round through a rich variety of presentations, including classical, jazz, dance, as well as the new speaker series and family concerts. During the 2019-2020 Season, La Jolla Music Society will present the Martha Graham Dance Company, Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, Kenny Barron – Dave Holland Trio, National Geographic Live Speakers, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Hélène Grimaud, and Ranky Tanky among other artists both emerging and world-renowned. In addition to robust educational programs and community outreach, La Jolla Music Society produces SummerFest, a nationally recognized chamber music festival in August, featuring over 80 world-class artists, led by pianist Inon Barnatan as Music Director.

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PRESS RELEASE: La Jolla Music Society Announces President/CEO Ted DeDee’s Departure at the End of the 51st Season2020-01-03T15:24:10-08:00

ARTICLE: Best San Diego jazz concerts of 2019: Anat Cohen, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Mark Dresser and more

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
December 19, 2019

The San Diego jazz scene had a number of major anniversaries — and a few debuts — worthy of celebration in 2019.

The La Jolla Athenaeum Music & Arts Library marked its 30th anniversary of jazz concerts, making it the longest-lived area jazz series to showcase national and international talent throughout the year. The second oldest series, not coincidentally, is Athenaeum Jazz at TSRI, which marked its 23rd year in 2019.

Both are expertly curated by Daniel Atkinson, who since 1989 has brought legends and rising young talents alike here and is also the founder of the 16-year-old UC San Diego Jazz Camp. Some of those once-rising talents, such as pianist Brad Mehldau and drum dynamo Antonio Sanchez, made their San Diego debuts under the auspices of the Athenaeum. Now, they appear set to become legends themselves.

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ARTICLE: Best San Diego jazz concerts of 2019: Anat Cohen, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Mark Dresser and more2019-12-19T11:47:33-08:00

REVIEW: Show-stopping Spanish guitar star Pablo Sáinz Villegas says a firm ‘No!’ to candy at San Diego concert

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
December 8, 2019

The sweet sound of music on stage? Yes, please.

Candy consumption in the audience? Absolutely not.

That was the dual message conveyed by Spanish guitar star Pablo Sáinz Villegas during his sold-out Saturday night concert at the Baker-Baum Concert Hall at La Jolla’s new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

The $82 million center, the new home of the La Jolla Music Society, opened in April. Sainz, 42, is the society’s first education ambassador in residence. Just seconds after the beginning of his Saturday performance here, the award-winning guitarist was unexpectedly provided a teachable moment by one of the members of his audience, which included the society’s new music director, Inon Barnatan.

The subject at hand? Candy.

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REVIEW: Show-stopping Spanish guitar star Pablo Sáinz Villegas says a firm ‘No!’ to candy at San Diego concert2019-12-09T09:09:47-08:00

ARTICLE: “We shine a beam of light” on Beethoven quartets – Danish String Quartet in La Jolla this month

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Garrett Harris
November 22, 2019

The Danish String Quartet is in residency at The La Jolla Music Society from November 16 through November 23. They are presenting five concerts as a part of their Prism project. The players in the quartet are Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin; Frederik Øland, violin; Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola; Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello.

I sat down with the quartet after their concert on Sunday, November 17, to discuss what Prism is. Violist Asbjørn Nørgaard explains:

“It’s a series of concerts that focuses on the late string quartets by Beethoven. There are five of them and they’re quite famous in the string quartet world, infamous almost. It’s a project which is centered around those pieces. Usually one of those quartets is the conclusion of the concert. It is the summit of the mountain. Our idea is to put one of those quartets in the middle like a prism. We shine a beam of light on them from Bach and this beam of light, or music, is then split into several directions. It’s a way to re-contextualize Beethoven.”

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ARTICLE: “We shine a beam of light” on Beethoven quartets – Danish String Quartet in La Jolla this month2019-12-09T11:12:44-08:00

REVIEW: Danish String Quartet delivers excellence, from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Schnittke

The San Diego Union-Tribune 
Christian Hertzog
November 18, 2019

It’s not even 249 years after Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth — Dec. 16, 1770 — yet programmatic celebrations of his 250th anniversary have already begun.

Beethoven’s symphonies, sonatas and concertos are heading your way, like it or not. Think there’s already too much Beethoven at concerts? You may want to hibernate for a year or two.

However, there are other ways to observe this milestone besides nothing-but-Beethoven performances, as the Danish String Quartet demonstrated in Baker-Baum Concert Hall this past weekend.

On Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, we heard the first two offerings of their series for the La Jolla Music Society devoted to Beethoven’s last five string quartets. Each concert features a late Beethoven opus, a J.S. Bach work arranged for string quartet, and a later composer’s quartet that demonstrates Beethoven’s and/or Bach’s influence.

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REVIEW: Danish String Quartet delivers excellence, from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Schnittke2019-11-20T09:06:28-08:00

REVIEW: The Danish String Quartet Opens Its Musically Probing Prism Project at The Conrad

San Diego Story
Ken Herman
November 17, 2019

The Danish String Quartet returned to La Jolla Saturday, November 16, bringing a joyful, sonically resplendent Beethoven String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127, and the smoldering intensity of Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat Minor, Opus 144. This stirring concert opened their week-long residency under the auspices of the La Jolla Music Society (LJMS) and marked their debut in the organization’s recently opened Baker-Baum Concert Hall at The Conrad.

Since I first heard the Danish String Quartet play in 2014 under the auspices of UC San Diego’s ArtPower, I have been smitten by their artistry and persuasive musical communication. LJMS brought the Danish String Quartet back to La Jolla in 2016 and again earlier this year, and each visit has strengthened my first impression of the quartet. The number of worthy younger string quartets on today’s classical musical beat is indeed heartening, and my personal favorites have included the Calder Quartet and the Miró Quartet, and I have payed special attention to the Hausmann Quartet in residence at San Diego State University.

But I am convinced that the Danish String Quartet stands out among the panoply of contemporary musical colleagues. Every piece I have heard them play comes across with an unusually high level of engagement, an immediacy that is compelling.

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REVIEW: The Danish String Quartet Opens Its Musically Probing Prism Project at The Conrad2019-11-20T09:02:33-08:00

PREVIEW: The new ‘Fab Four’: Danish String Quartet brings its Grammy-nominated ‘Prism’ project to La Jolla

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Catherine Gaugh
November 14, 2019

After hearing the achingly beautiful sounds both sublime and searing in the playing of the Danish String Quartet, it is difficult to believe that they never planned to be professional musicians, much less one of the leading quartets of their generation.

They were 11, 12 and 13 years old when they met at a summer music camp outside Copenhagen. They became instant best friends.

“We were normal Danish boys doing normal Danish things,” said Asbjørn Nørgaard, who plays the viola in the group. “We hung out and played football.”

They also shared an early passion for chamber music: listening to it, reading it and, ultimately, playing it.

Not long after, “we became a string quartet,” he said. “We were given lessons, and did a few concerts, just for fun. We never took classical music seriously and never had the idea we would make a living at it.”

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PREVIEW: The new ‘Fab Four’: Danish String Quartet brings its Grammy-nominated ‘Prism’ project to La Jolla2019-11-14T08:57:03-08:00

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 magic2019-10-14T14:41:25-08:00