Looking Ahead: Two Music Events to Check Out

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14212010_502000309998966_7068947974379025609_nThere are always tons of music shows in and around Los Angeles, but two upcoming events in particular stand out as unusual, and ones that probably won’t happen again for a long time. Mark your calendars!

The first program is a jazz flute summit with three amazing tropical Latin flute players: Justo Almario (Colombia/LA), Art Webb (NYC/LA), and Orlando “Maraca” Valle (Cuba). They are exceptional flutists who rarely, if ever, have played together in public. Art Webb, like Maraca, is a classically-trained player (think beautiful tone & sound), while Justo Almario is a gifted reed and flute player; I last saw him perform with José Rizo’s group Mongorama.

Guido Herrera-Yance of KXLU’s “Alma del Barrio” is producing this event along with the Jazz Bakery and La Plaza de la Cultura y Artes. The Havana-LA Jazz Flute Summit takes place at La Plaza de la Cultura y Artes on Sunday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. Click here for tickets, performance videos and more information.

Tomatito performing in Miami. Photo by Errol Putigna (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0) via Flickr.

Second, Flamenco guitar giant Tomatito, famous for his work with the late flamenco superstar Camarón de la Isla, will be performing in Los Angeles on Friday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m. with his sextet. It is his first Los Angeles appearance, which to me is a little surprising given his stature in the flamenco world.

Tomatito’s show is part of the Los Angeles Flamenco Festival, which is also presenting other upcoming shows. This coming Sunday, September 11, there’s Ethan Margolos World Quintet with Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez, then Theatre Flamenco on Saturday, November 12. All events take place in Hancock Park at the classic, intimate Wilshire Ebell Theater. Mitchell Chang of Kala Koa Productions has organized the flamenco events. I’ve enjoyed past shows he’s done with Diego el Cigala and Vicente Amigo. Click here for tickets and information on all of the Los Angeles Flamenco Festival events.

Here is a clip of Maraca in action. I can’t believe how good he is.

And a glimpse of Tomatito with his group, featuring dancer José Maya. The picture quality is not great, but the dancing sure is.

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