It's not very often that a classical music recital has its roots in an airport, but in a manner of speaking, you might say that the concert that violin virtuosi Albert and Alexander Markov are giving at American Jewish University (AJU) on April 13 was born at LAX 15 years ago.
It's Sunday night and a half-dozen people are onstage at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. Jumpin' Jim Beloff and his wife, Leapin' Liz, are leading the sold-out crowd as they strum their ukuleles and sing "Farewell."
This is the climax to Uketopia, Beloff's annual celebration of that four-stringed wonder: the ukulele. It is an evening in which almost a dozen performers, from 20s to 90s, including the self-declared "Mr. Ukulele," Charles "Soybean" Sawyer, Fred Sokolow and "King Kukulele," played two-song sets each of Hawaiian, Jamaican and Tin Pan Alley tunes -- everything from Sophie Tucker's "Making Wicky Wacky down in Waikiki" to a soulful rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."
In choreographer Roni Kosmal-Wernik's piece about the aftermath of a suicide bombing, a dancer prowls the stage as if searching for a lost loved one. Her movements become heavy, brooding, as if she is burdened by an invisible weight.
Inspired by a family friend's death in a 2001 attack, Kosmal-Wernik's work will help kick off a June 20 event at Temple Emanuel to support other victims of terror. Performers such as pianist Sha-Rone Kushnir will appear to benefit ATZUM, a Jerusalem-based charity that provides necessities for families not covered by Israel's overburdened welfare system.
"Artists for ATZUM," is the latest Los Angeles response to Israel-based violence.
Music and animal motifs from "The Lion King" will provide thematic structure for the April 18 talent show by members of the Jeremiah Society, a group serving Orange County's developmentally disabled Jewish adults.
"The talent show uncovers hidden talent among our handicapped adults," said the group's founder, Rose Lacher, of Orange, whose daughter, Amy, 55, is a member.
If you "Treat Me Nice," "Save the Last Dance for Me," or once were "A Teenager in Love," chances are you are old enough to remember the
early, "innocent" years of rock 'n' roll music.