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San Diego's Top Weekend Arts Events: From Chamber Music To 'Jailhouse Rock'

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This weekend brings two high-profile music festivals, one celebrating chamber music and the other highlighting a little bit of everything. Plus relive the music … and dance moves … of Elvis Presley.

Speaker 1: 00:00 This weekend preview is all about music. The annual Summerfest in La Jolla brings the cream of the international crop of classical musicians to us and the Carlsbad music festival gathers together all kinds of music. Add to that attribute to Elvis. And you've got yourself one sweet sounding weekend. KPBS arts editor, Nina Garren is here with all the details and Nina, welcome. Hello. So first tell us about Summerfest and why it's always such a big deal.

Speaker 2: 00:28 Summerfest is an internationally renowned chamber music festival. It brings ensembles from everywhere and they're very respected, like the Miro Quartet. And they also, um, the musicians perform these rarely heard pieces. So that's another reason to go. Like they're going to be doing, I'm symphony number 15 by shows to covet. And this is a very rare transcription for piano, trio and three percussionist.

Speaker 1: 00:54 Okay. So there are quite a few changes for this year's event. Start with the venue.

Speaker 2: 01:00 Well, that's the big news is that the Conrad is now open and all the concerts will be happening there. Over the years it was held at the Sherwood, the theater that's no longer there. And throughout venues. And La Jolla, but this is a tailor made for chamber music and it's going to be just fantastic to be able to have it all in one place.

Speaker 1: 01:20 Also, there's a new music director tell us about Enon Barnett on.

Speaker 2: 01:24 He's a world famous pianist and he's won all the grants and all the awards and he's performed with all the Philharmonics in New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles. Um, he is very exciting as a pianist and he's going to bring his energy to Summerfest.

Speaker 1: 01:39 Let's listen to [inaudible] Barton perform some Mendelson

Speaker 3: 01:56 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 02:02 The theme for this year, summer fast is transformation. What does that mean?

Speaker 2: 02:07 It means that they're going to take a look at music from different perspectives, specifically making new music from old music and working together with other art forms. There's going to be something new called the synergy series, which is going to bring some jazz singers, collaboration with Mark Morris Dance Group and even a night where you can kind of see the connection between visual arts and music.

Speaker 1: 02:31 Summerfest kicks off today and continues through August 23rd at the Conrad. Another big music festival is happening in Carlsbad. What does this one all about?

Speaker 2: 02:41 The Carlsbad Music Festival is called adventurous music by the beat because it features all kinds of music. You get new composers, indie rock bands, world music, just everything under the sun.

Speaker 1: 02:55 Okay. There's a real variety, but what kind of variety can people expect?

Speaker 2: 03:00 So one that's exciting is Mary Latta Moore. She's a harpist and she performs with like these indie rock gods, Kurt vile and Thurston Moore. She's going to be performing and then very be careful is a Los Angeles Goomba band and then you have Diana Camaro's, she's a Mexican American singer and activist. And then of course we have a lot of local axed, classical musicians. It's just really, you have to have go with an open mind and you'll be very surprised at what you'll hear. Tell us about the founder of this festival. Matt McBain. He is from San Diego, but now he's in New York and he's a composer and violinist. He's known for these very, very experimental and minimalist pieces, so they don't really sound like the kind of phones you would hear on the radio, but it really is an art form. What he does. Let's listen to a piece he composed. It's called further down performed by Mobius Percussion,

Speaker 4: 03:59 uh,

Speaker 5: 04:03 uh,

Speaker 6: 04:08 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 04:13 that was further down performed by Moebius percussion and composed by the founder of the Carlsbad Music Festival. Matt McBain. How does this festival actually work, Nina? So most of the concerts happen at St Michael's, either the lawn or the chapel, but the church that's very close to the ocean and right in the heart of Carlsbad. So you'll get like a new band performing every 30 and 40 minutes and just go show up and you know, see what happens. And this year it's free. So the concerts they used to be, if you would go inside you would have to pay. But now all the concerts are free. They are asking for a five or $10 donation. And of course there are VIP tickets where you get things like reserved seats, parking and an indoor bathroom. Carlsbad music festival happens tonight through Sunday at St Michael's by the sea. Finally Elvis is in the building.

Speaker 2: 05:08 Tell us about all shook up. He's coming back to the building. I'm all shook up is a musical that features the songs of Elvis Presley and fun fact. It was originally directed on Broadway by Christopher Ashley of La Jolla playhouse fame. The show is set in 1955 in middle America about a girl who falls in love with a mysterious hip, shaken stranger Dulles, an Elvis character appear in the musical. This is not a story about Elvis. It's not as biography or anything. Elvis does not show up. Um, it's about a small town discovering the magic and freedom of rock and roll. Let's listen to blue suede shoes from the Broadway recording of all shook up.

Speaker 3: 05:52 It's one full of money. Two books show read to get ready now. Don't you step on my sweets? You, you can do in it named Optima sleek. Knock me down.

Speaker 2: 06:10 It's not Elvis. Tell us about the local production. It's being put on by San Diego musical theater and the directors, Robert Townsend, who people might know is a very popular local actor. He's always in the grant. He was recently in South Pacific. He has one of my favorite theater voices and the choreography is by Michael. Ms Ramy, and he demands a lot from his dancers. So you can expect this to just be a great choreographed piece.

Speaker 1: 06:38 All shook up open Saturday and runs through September 1st at the Horton Grand Theater. And you can find more arts events at I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Nina Garren. Nina. Thank you.

Speaker 2: 06:52 Thanks. Have a great weekend.

Speaker 3: 06:55 Knock the down step on my face. Slammed Monday mall though

Speaker 1: 07:01 midday edition is cohosted by Jade Heinemann, produced by Marissa Cabrera and Brooke Ruth. Our segment producers are Beth Haka, Mondo and Nina Garren, midday edition senior producers. Megan Bourke and our executive producer is Natalie Walsh. Rebecca Chacan is our technical director. Stay with us for KPBS round tables coming up right after the break. I'm Maureen. Kevin off. Have a great weekend.

Speaker 3: 07:32 [inaudible] burn

Speaker 1: 07:32 house, steal my car.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.