Artifacts 09.22.16

A group of women initiated New Orleans-style second line mini parades throughout the arena at the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival.

  • Many of us are paying extra attention to the actions of President Barack Obama as he finishes out the last few months of his presidency: his jokey asides in his speeches, his efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, his wave of pardons for nonviolent drug offenders. Here’s something we should take note of: his pick for the National Medal of Arts. It’s given to people or groups who make outstanding contributions to the arts in the United States. Among this year’s recipients like Mel BrooksMorgan FreemanEugene O’Neill Theater CenterSandra Cisneros and Berry Gordon, are one Luis Valdez, who is being awarded “for bringing Chicano culture to American drama. As a playwright, actor, writer, and director, he illuminates the human spirit in the face of social injustice through award-winning stage, film, and television productions.” Valdez is founder of Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista. Another: Philip Glass, “one of the most prolific, inventive, and influential artists of our time.” The ceremony, taking place in the White House this Thursday, Sept. 22, will be webcast live at www.WhiteHouse.gov/live.
  • Even the sun came out to the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival last weekend. No doubt to catch sights and sounds like saxophonist Maceo Parker singing (he sings?!) a tribute to Ray Charles, even donning dark sunglasses and swaying to the music like our man used to do. Or Kamasi Washington’s big, brawny band doing cuts off his album The Epic, with his dad playing flute as a special guest. Or the innovativeUniversity of Miami Frost School of Music Concert Jazz Band doing their thing with innovation and style. And I hear tell that Cecile McLorin Salvant and Joshua Redman and company crushed their respective sets at Dizzy’s Den on Friday, and that Jacob Collier on Sunday night was on point. And that’s just of fraction of how it all went down. You can check out Nic Coury’s photo blog on the Weekly’s website to see what it sounded like.
  • All Saints’ Church in Carmel is set to reveal an art exhibit that’s being uncrated and installed now, due to open with a gala 5-8pm Sunday, Sept. 25 ($50). It’s called Icons in Transformation, more than 200 paintings, frescos, tapestries and more, most created by Russian artist Ludmila Pawlowska, on display through Nov. 20. 624-3883.
  • Monterey Peninsula College Gallery is accepting exhibition proposals for its six yearly shows of solo, duo or group works, until Nov. 15. 646-3060 or melissapickford@gmail.com for more info.

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