For her 5th studio album, TAIGA, Nika relocated from central Los Angeles to Vashon Island in the Puget Sound, in effort to immerse herself in the natural world. Vashon is a densely-wooded enclave with no bridges connecting it to the mainland. The taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome; a wild boreal forest covering large portions of Russia, Canada, Eurasia, referred to as the Northwoods where it connects in North America. Nika grew up on several acres of land in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Her Russian ancestors extend the taiga's bloodline throughout several generations and to some extent this land has genetically imprinted on her. She has always felt its pull. To Nika, the taiga represents boundlessness: no law, just survival -- at once innocent and raw, embodying naivety from its purity, yet at its core unforgiving and savage.
Most of Nika's creative process on Vashon was very different from how she used to write. Instead of starting a track with a beat or layers of synthesizers (with vocals usually coming last,) she began by writing songs completely acapella. Her work on the orchestral album Versions inspired her to revisit her classical vocal training and further hone the skills she had started developing in operatic study when she was young. Resuming training with her old opera instructor, she regained the confidence and vocal range she had heretofore lost. It allowed her to shed the former blankets of noise and reverb that used to cover her voice in fear.
After incubating on Vashon for nine months, Nika headed back to Los Angeles to track and mix the album with co-producer Dean Hurley (David Lynch, Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse). Hurley guided her in reaching her fidelity goals; which had always been compromised on her previous work, typically made as home recordings. TAIGA is an undeniable transition for Zola Jesus. Described by the artist herself: "The music on the record is massive, with big brass and beats, crystal clear vocals."
Liberated in the present yet connected to the past, TAIGA is a pinnacle for Zola Jesus, the culmination of years of breaking through boundaries."
Live Party Hits and Cocktail Buckets With Howl at the MoonA total high-energy package, Howl at the Moon is the experience that brings together a live concert AND a full bar, and the fun doesn't stop short at their spot in Universal City. Try switching out the DJ for a live show that features musicians jamming out to their own renditions of dance anthems and party hits. Whether it's that pop song you hear on repeat on the radio or a good old '90s throwback, Howl at the Moon re-charges each tune with a new, refreshing kick that gets the crowd jumping. Massive buckets of sugar-fueled cocktails also lend a hand to the party, with treats like sparkling vodka apple lemonade, a Fruit Roll-Up-inspired medley and more.
Sufjan Stevens is a singer-songwriter currently living in Brooklyn, NY. A preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan & Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10), and a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE). In 2010 Sufjan released an expansive EP (All Delighted People) and the full length The Age of Adz, a collection of songs partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson. His most recent release is entitled Carrie & Lowell. The album came out March of 2015.
Born in Detroit and raised in Northern Michigan, Sufjan attended Hope College, in Holland, Michigan, and the masters program for writers at the New School for Social Research.
Nico Muhly (b.1981) is a composer of operas, chamber and symphonic works, and sacred music whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. Described by The Guardian as ???one of the most celebrated and sought-after classical composers of the last decade,??? he is the youngest composer ever commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and has received additional commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul???s Cathedral, the Library of Congress, and Wigmore Hall, among other institutions. In more than 80 works for the concert stage, he has embraced subjects ranging from Renaissance astrology to the ethics of artificial intelligence while collaborating with artists as diverse as Benjamin Millepied, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Joanna Newsom.
Muhly has written two operas: Two Boys (2010), a cautionary tale about identity online, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and co-produced by the English National Opera with a libretto by Craig Lucas and directed by Bartlett Sher; and Dark Sisters (2011), about a community of polygamists in the American southwest, set to a libretto by Stephen Karam and directed by Rebecca Taichman. He is at work on a third opera, Marnie, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera for its 2019-20 season and based on the novel that inspired Alfred Hitchcock???s film of the same name.
His additional works for voice include the song cycles Sentences (2015), written for countertenor Iestyn Davies and based on the life of British computer scientist Alan Turing, and Impossible Things (2009), written for tenor Mark Padmore on a text by Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. His major choral works include Bright Mass with Canons (2005); My Days (2011), a commemoration of Orlando Gibbons, written for Fretwork and the Hilliard Ensemble; and Recordare, Domine (2013), commissioned by Lincoln Center and the Tallis Scholars.
In 2015, Nadia Sirota premiered Muhly???s viola concerto, the first work in a three-part commission for the violist. Other recent orchestral works include Control: Five Landscapes for Orchestra (2015), a celebration of Utah???s natural landscape, written for the Utah Symphony; and Mixed Messages (2015), composed for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Beyond the concert stage, Muhly is a sought-after collaborator across genres. He has worked on multiple occasions with choreographer Benjamin Millepied on scores for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and the Paris Opera Ballet. Additionally, he collaborated with choreographers Kim Brandstrup and Wayne McGregor on Machina (2012) for the Royal Ballet, and, for choreographer Stephen Petronio, composed I Drink The Air Before Me (2010), an evening-length work featuring a children???s choir. As an arranger, Muhly has paired with Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Antony and the Johnsons, The National, and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), among others. He has also written for theater and film, contributing scores for the 2013 Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie, directed by John Tiffany, and for the films Kill Your Darlings; Me, Earl and the Dying Girl; and the Academy Award-winning The Reader.
Muhly is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, co-founded by Icelandic producer-engineer Valgeir Sigur??sson, which was inaugurated with the release of Muhly???s first album, Speaks Volumes (2006). His second album for the label, Mothertongue (2008), included ???The Only Tune,??? a setting of the traditional murder ballad ???Two Sisters,??? featuring singer Sam Amidon accompanied by samples of scraping knives and brushed hair.
Born in Vermont and raised in Rhode Island, Muhly studied composition at the Juilliard School with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse, and worked subsequently as an editor and conductor for composer Philip Glass. He currently lives in New York City.
His orchestral, chamber, and vocal compositions have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Metropolitan Museum of Art (for the New York Philharmonic), Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, S? Percussion, New York City Ballet, and many others. He has worked with some of the world???s most creative and respected musicians and visual artists, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Johnny Greenwood, Justin Peck, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Matthew Ritchie, among others. His work ??? Murder Ballads,??? featured on eighth blackbird???s album Filament ??? an album he also produced and performs on ??? won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. In the fall of 2015 Dessner was tapped, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, to compose music for Oscar Award-winning director Alejandro I????rritu???s film, The Revenant, which received a 2016 Golden Globes nomination for Best Original Score and a 2017 Grammy Awards nomination in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media category.
Dessner???s music ??? called ???gorgeous, full-hearted??? by NPR and ???vibrant??? by The New York Times ??? is marked by a keen sensitivity to instrumental color and texture. Propulsive rhythms often alternate with passages in which time is deftly suspended. His harmonies are expressive and flexible, ranging from the dense block chords of Aheym to the spacious modality of Music for Wood and Strings.
Bridging musical languages and communities comes naturally to Dessner, born 1976 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After early training on the flute, he switched to classical guitar in his teens. While in high school he started a band with his twin brother Aaron, also a guitarist. ???I was playing classical guitar recitals, and people said, ???You know, you can???t really do both things,?????? recalled Dessner in Salon. ???My intuition told me they were wrong??? Someday that diversity of experience would be more enriching or rewarding than just going down one path.???
He earned his bachelor???s and master???s degrees from Yale University. While at Yale in the late 90???s, Dessner met the other members of the quartet that became Clogs, weaving compositions out of improvisations on classical instruments. Clogs has toured widely, releasing five albums since 2001.
Aheym, commissioned in 2009 by Kronos Quartet, was a breakthrough score. It made its debut before an audience of thousands in Brooklyn???s Prospect Park, not far from Dessner???s home. Since then, the ensemble has played the intense, anguished piece hundreds of times; it served as the centerpiece of a 2013 Kronos disc devoted to Dessner???s music on the Anti- label. St. Carolyn by the Sea followed in 2014 on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring the lyrical title work and two other Dessner compositions performed by the Copenhagen Philharmonic under Andre de Ridder. May 2015 marked the release on Brassland of Music for Wood and Strings, an album-length work performed by S? Percussion on custom-built ???Chord Sticks??? that lend a shimmering, hammer dulcimer-like quality.
As Dessner???s career has expanded his activities as a curator have grown as well allowing him to bring diverse artists and communities together in an organic way. In May 2015, he was tapped to curate ???Mountains and Waves,??? a weekend-long celebration of his music at the Barbican in London, with guests including Steve Reich, eighth blackbird, S? Percussion, Caroline Shaw, and the Britten Sinfonia. In September of 2015, Dessner curated ???Sounds From a Safe Harbour,??? a weekend of performances at the Cork Opera House in Ireland.
MusicNOW, the Cincinnati-based contemporary music festival he founded in 2006, has featured Tinariwen, Justin Vernon, Joanna Newsom, David Lang, Grizzly Bear, Perfume Genius, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In 2015, MusicNOW celebrated its 10 year anniversary. To mark the occasion, an album titled MusicNOW: 10 Years, comprised of the festival???s best live performances, was released. MusicNOW will present its 12th season January 12-14, 2017.
Other recent notable projects include Quilting, a 17-minute score co-commissioned with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, premiered in May 2015 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and The Most Incredible Thing, a ballet created by Dessner, Justin Peck and Marcel Dzama, premiered in February 2016 by the New York City Ballet.
Dessner now resides in Paris and has been increasingly active composing for major European ensembles and soloists. Last fall he premiered a new piece entitled ???Wires??? commissioned for the legendary Ensemble Intercontemporain and Matthias Pintscher, as well as recent solo works for violinists Pekka Kuusisto and Jennifer Koh, and a concerto for renowned pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque. May 20, 2016 saw the release of Day of the Dead, the follow-up to 2009???s charity album Dark Was the Night. A tribute album to the Grateful Dead, Day of the Dead was created, curated and produced by Bryce and his brother Aaron. The compilation is a wide-ranging tribute to the songwriting and experimentalism of the Dead which took four years to record, features over 60 artists from varied musical backgrounds, 59 tracks and is almost 6 hours long. All profits will help fight for AIDS/ HIV and related health issues around the world through the Red Hot Organization.
James McAlister is a drummer, percussionist, composer, engineer, and producer based in Los Angeles, CA.
The Knights of Valour: Full-Contact Jousting & Medieval SpectacleHear ye! Hear ye! The Knights of Valour return to Southern California with another exciting show of horsemanship and bravery. For 20 years, this traveling troupe of knights and their trusty steeds have been re-creating medieval contests and jousting competitions from the 16th century. Sporting metal plate armor and full-size jousting lances, these brave knights risk life and limb to bring you a thrilling show of chivalry, pageantry and adventure worthy of kings. Don't miss The Knights of Valour at Action Sports Arena. Your ticket also includes admission to the OC Fair.
The Help Group’s summer camps provide a safe and enriching atmosphere for children, teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. Our unique day camps create opportunities to engage, experience and explore. Each camp strives to developmentally and chronologically match each camper across the spectrum to ensure an appropriate peer group for learning and fun. Campers will participate in a variety of activities such as art projects, sensory play, special events, animal-assisted activities, field trips and much more! Camp will run on June 12-16, June 19-23, June 26-30, July 3-7 (no camp on July 4th), August 7-11, and August 14-18
Eric Burdon has one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in rock and roll.
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1994, and hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Voices of All Time, Burdon???s music has forged new territory while also topping the charts for more than five decades.
Highly prolific, Burdon has released nearly 50 records in those 50 years, as front man of The Animals and WAR and simply as Eric Burdon. Through the changing sounds and genres, what remains constant is his courage as an artist to explore new sounds, diving into new territory with his unrivaled and unique voice. Eric Burdon has shared the stage with legends such as Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Witherspoon, Otis Redding and Bruce Springsteen, and has recently been cited by cutting edge musicians like Patti Smith and Iggy Pop as one of their personal top ten musicians.
Eric began his musical journey as a young man growing up in Newcastle, England. Listening to his idols, Ray Charles and Bo Diddley, he immersed himself in American blues and jazz. As front man and driving force of the British Invasion band The Animals, Burdon helped shape rock and roll???s DNA, and his imposing yet soulful vocals are the driving force of the iconic favorite ???House Of The Rising Sun.???
A long string of hits followed, including ???Don???t Let Me Be Misunderstood??? and the Vietnam-era anthem, ???We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.??? Pioneering the psychedelic San Francisco sound, Burdon???s classics include ???San Franciscan Nights??? and ???Monterey.???
Burdon continued to perform throughout the years with different iterations of The Animals, while also founding and fronting the funk group War, one of the first multiracial bands, and topped the charts again with his groundbreaking hit single, ???Spill The Wine.???
In the decades to follow, Burdon became an accomplished painter and author, and he continues to record and tour now as a solo artist. The year 2012 saw the release of his latest album, ???Til Your River Runs Dry.
"Hairspray": The Musical With a Big Heart and Bigger HairThe hit musical "Hairspray" is boppin' onto the stage at the Laguna Playhouse, and it's piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and infectious tunes. Set in 1960s Baltimore, "Hairspray" tells the story of lovable plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad, a misfit who becomes a local celebrity by dancing on TV's "Corny Collins Show". It's a dream come true for her, until she discovers racial discrimination in the show's casting. Tracy's love of dancing and passion for social justice transform her into an unlikely heroine, triumphing over snotty teen queens and racial prejudice without mussing a hair on her stylish 'do.
The Help Group’s summer camps provide a safe and enriching atmosphere for children, teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. Our unique day camps create opportunities to engage, experience and explore. Each camp strives to developmentally and chronologically match each camper across the spectrum to ensure an appropriate peer group for learning and fun. Campers will participate in a variety of activities such as art projects, sensory play, special events, animal-assisted activities, field trips and much more! Camp will run on June 12-16, June 19-23, June 26-30, July 3-7 (no camp on July 4th), August 7-11, August 14-18, and August 21-23 (Sherman Oaks location only).