Can The Santa Monica Pier Become A Great Concert Venue?

Kingman’s Concert Series: Line of Force

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip By Sue Zeidler LOS ANGELES | Sun Oct 6, 2013 1:34pm EDT LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – When Britney Spears takes the stage this December for the first of a heavily hyped 100-show two-year residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, the loudest cheers may come from her insurance underwriters. Along with the sound engineers and roadies who help stage a concert, insurance underwriters play a large role in making sure a star can get onstage and grab the microphone. Insurers are also key during those times when stars do not show and concerts get canceled. On Wednesday afternoon, a Los Angeles jury found AEG Live was not liable in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of late pop singer Michael Jackson, in a case where lawyers in court papers had suggested the damages could exceed $1 billion. The fact that AEG Live found itself at the center of the wrongful death suit had sent shockwaves through the music world in past months, with concert promoters as well as well-known entertainment insurers like AON/Albert G Ruben and Lloyds of Londonexpected to beef up policies for acts they insure and potentially raise some prices. Even though AEG was not held responsible, insurance experts believe the case has spurred the industry to re-think policies and find ways to prevent similar situations down the road. The role of Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted for manslaughter for his role in administering a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol to Jackson, is already prompting changes, say underwriters. In the future, the star or his promoter may be required to carry separate insurance on his entourage. “The biggest stars all have doctors and their own staff,” said Lorrie McNaught, senior vice president at Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services Inc, a large entertainment insurance firm, which has handled many of the world’s biggest tours over the last 12 months. “If you have a security guard who winds up punching someone in the face or kills someone, who is responsible?

Flint concert composes ‘unique harmony’ to honor Daniel Pearl World Music Day

Any piano students interested in attending the master class may contact Williamson at 410-6144. He also likes to talk to his audience about the music hes playing, Williamson said. Ertls program will include a sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederic Rzewskis Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Following intermission, he will play a composition by Franz Liszt. The program will conclude with a piece Ertl describes as one of the most technically challenging pieces in his repertoire. Its Igor Stravinskys transcription titled The Firebird. I try to change my playing style to adapt to what composer I play, he said. While Beethoven and Mozart are musically challenging, The Firebird is the most technically difficult for me. A winner of numerous national and international competitions, Ertl has given multiple performances at Carnegie Halls Weill Recital Hall and debuted at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, on Chicago Radios Live from WFMT series, Wisconsin Public Radios Live from the Elvehjem series, and performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Fox Valley Symphony. Successful in numerous competitions, Ertl won first prize in the 2009 American Protege International Piano Competition and third prize at the 2008 Young Artists International Piano Competition in Washington, D.C. For the past seven years, Ertl has been the Artist-in-Residence Fellow for PianoArts, where he has performed hundreds of interactive outreach concerts and collaborated with over 20 public schools. Ertl completed his doctorate in musical arts at the Eastman School of Music. He also earned his masters from Eastman and his bachelors from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with Robert Shannon. Ertl finds himself juggling his time between teaching and performing. It sometimes makes for some very long days, because prior to a concert, I like to practice from five to six hours a day, he said. Normally, I practice at least two hours a day. Tickets are available at www.johnstownmusic.org or at the door.

We had a very interesting gig [at Kingmans] last time [] its probably not something I should go into, Hopkins joked. Were friends first, we just like to hang out and play music. We let the music do the talking. The band launched into the night with their signature funky groove. Hopkins grungy vocals fit with the sound, which mixed elements of funk and jazz for an upbeat sound that is very conducive to dancing. Taylor is looking to sign bands with this sort of upbeat sound. Although many of the bands he gets are local, Taylor is also looking to bring talent in from out of state. Theres a lot of talented musicians in the state and New England. Were going to try and reach further and pick up bands who are on tour and start to work with Port City and the State Theatre to piggyback shows, Taylor said. For [Line of Force] its only Portland, but if we get somebody from Connecticut or Boston, they can go to Portland and play a show, then come up here and play a show. It splits the cost of traveling and works out better for everybody. Bigger bands book [shows] further out so were trying to plan out next semester now, Taylor said. Taylor also runs the infamous Rage Bus, which can be rented out by parties for a safe and fun way to travel between various party destinations.

Concert series will spotlight talented pianist

19 will bring the comedy-based Festival Supreme, assembled by Jack Black and his mock-rock band Tenacious D. The shows are part of what pier official Jay Farrand called “a larger effort to get people to take a second look at the pier to think of it not just as somewhere you take Grandma from Kansas.” But for Frank and Fleischmann whose respective companies, Spaceland and Rum & Humble, put on concerts at the Echo and the Hollywood Bowl, among other spots the activity also reflects their desire to establish a new home for music on the Westside, where a dearth of large and mid-sized venues intensified with the closing this summer of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations “People here need a place where they can gather in large numbers for music,” said Fleischmann, who pointed to high rents and restrictive permitting as reasons the Westside generally lacks such spaces. The century-old Santa Monica Pier, an instantly identifiable but historically significant landmark, makes for a complex solution to that problem. Jay Sweet, who supervises the Newport Folk Festival, said the pier appealed to him for Way Over Yonder because it’s an “iconic place that’s not a traditional music venue” similar to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island, where Newport has taken place since 1959. “There’s an overall vibe there,” said Cliff’s manager, Ernie Gonzalez, who added that the pier attracts an audience more diverse than at other venues. “I went to a show recently at the Greek Theatre with an artist who’s been around for as long as Jimmy,” he said. “And it was kind of the obvious demographic. But at the pier it was all across the board.” Yet there are also structural limitations the stage for Way Over Yonder had to be designed according to load-bearing considerations and the long-established reluctance of arty Eastsiders to travel west. Brandon Lavoie, who until recently worked as a talent buyer at Santa Monica’s Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club, remembered “literally going to the Echo on Monday night and begging the opening band to come play a headlining slot on Friday.” Still, Frank and Fleischmann say that turnout at this summer’s Twilight shows along with strong advance ticket sales for Way Over Yonder suggest that the pier is meeting a need, one they hope to cultivate with even more concerts in 2014. Farrand said he hasn’t yet decided how many gigs is the right number for a location that, unlike a club or theater, caters to a varied clientele. “We have natural visitors to the restaurants and the amusement park, and we don’t want to alienate them,” he said. But so far he’s happy with his new partners’ work.

Concert photos by the L.A. Times

His mother Ruth Pearl said when George Pehlivanian, conductor for Israeli Philharmonic, heard news of Daniel Pearl’s death he struggled to gather the courage to take the stage for a performance later to be dedicated in Pearl’s honor. He later wrote that family and saidnever in his life had he felt such a triumph of hope over fear. “That gave us the idea, that music has the power to empower,” Judea Pearl said. “That’s what we wanted to give to the world.” Then, the concerts began spreading worldwide. The Flint Jewish Federation hosted its first “Humanity and Harmony” concert came Sunday, Oct. 6, at the University of Michigan-Flint Theater. Steven Low, executive director of the Flint Jewish Federation, said the concert featured stringed instruments like violins, banjos and mandolins played by people of varied cultures — all designed to help bring the community together to honor Daniel Pearl. “He had this really great, big idea about bringing all these different styles of music together,” said event coordinator Michael J. Thorp, who also served as emcee for the concert. Low began developing the concert after reading an article in a Jewish magazine about Daniel Pearl World Music Day, which has inspired 2,000 concerts in 120 countries. “I thought, ‘We’ve got so many different groups here in Flint and if we could all come together over music, how awesome would that be?’ ” Low said. The concert was designed to focus on Pearl’s life rather than his tragic death.