February Concert Picks from Rhythm Planet

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Joey Alexander performs at TED2015. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr

I want to recommend three terrific upcoming concerts in February. The first takes place at Lincoln Center in New York, with Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov leading the New York Philharmonic in three performances of the Tchaikovsky’s Sixth, the Pathétique Symphony, on February 9-11. I recently wrote about Bychkov’s great new recording of the Sixth, and I’ve always loved this powerful Tchaikovsky symphony. I wish I could be there! Click here for more information.

The second show features the 13-year-old wunderkind Balinese pianist Joey Alexander, performing at the Moss Stage in Santa Monica. The Friday, February 10 concert is a special benefit for the Jazz Bakery, and it will showcase Alexander and a number of jazz artists who have been nominated for the 2017 Grammy Awards. Artists include virtuoso drummer Peter Erskine, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, vocalist Carmen Lundy, and keyboard veteran Patrice Rushen. Click here for information and tickets.

The third and final concert I want to recommend is one that I’m excited to be showcasing on this coming Friday’s Rhythm Planet show. Spirit of Gnawas takes place Saturday, February 4, starting at 8:30 p.m. at Wanderlust Hollywood, 1357 Highland Avenue, Los Angeles. Gnawa is Moroccan trance music, and this unique show will feature Master Hassan Ben Jaafer and his band Innov Gnawa. The group will perform a mystic ceremony called a Lila, in which the music ritual invokes the saints. Click here for tickets and information, and please check out Friday’s post and program for more about this truly special evening.

Here is Joey Alexander performing John Coltrane’s “Countdown”:

And a video of Innov Gnawa performing a gnawa classic, “Toura Toura.”  The music is magical and beguiling, and it really draws you in:

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