Frank Warren: PostSecret Live” Weds. Jan. 23, 2015-Royce Hall

(Unsigned editorial from the performance program notes)

In the last decade, PostSecret Project founder Frank Warren has received more than a million postcards. That is a staggering amount of secrets to imagine that one human is willing to assume compassionate responsibilty for. It is also a staggering example of the capacity for empathy we all possess.

The secrets have come from around the world, each bearing a secret the anonymous senders might otherwise never voice.

Hopes, fears, confessions, regrets, dreams, all captured on 4×6 cards that come pouring into Frank’s mailbox, and his home, every day.
Tonight, we’ll get to see some of the postcards that didn’t end up on the PostSecret website or in one of Frank’s books. But we haven’t all gathered here just to pull back the curtain on the lives of strangers. Frank will share what all those secrets have taught him about the unseen dramas unfolding all around us, and how they can help us be more compassionate.

We all feel the need to conceal parts of ourselves. Whatever our individual secrets may be, we each make daily decisions about what to share and what to hide, which doors to open and which to keep locked.

Here at the Center, we believe in opening doors. We believe in creating a space where we can share an experience, and be reminded that our own most personal truth can be recognized in the unlikeliest of places. Each time an artist takes the stage, it’s an invitation to make a connection. PostSecret reminds us that the act of sharing a secret, on an anonymous postcard or in front of a crowd, is just another kind of invitation to connect, another door being thrown open.

Inspired by PostSecret, we’ve been collecting anonymous answers to the question, What’s the Boldest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Hundreds of cards were dropped into collection boxes across campus over the last few months. They are on display tonight in the lobby. Some, no doubt, carry secrets. All of them help us to see someone else’s life through their own eyes.

We hope you’ll share your boldest moment, public or private, by submitting your own card before you leave tonight.

We’re honored to have Frank Warren here, and to share this evening of insight and discovery with you. Thanks for being here, and for bringing your curiosity and your compassion.

We hope you leave with a new door open.

Sussan Deyhim: THE HOUSE IS BLACK–Royce Hall Jan. 23, 2015

(Unsigned editorial from the performance program notes).

It has been a profound privilege and honor to collaborate with and support Sussan Deyhim since the very early stages of this incredible work. Sussan was in residence at CAP UCLA with The House is Black last year and tonight’s world premiere is a culmination of energy, creative spirit and integrity of purpose.

The making of a work like this has been in the hands of many believers–the people and organizations and fellow artists who believe in the importance of the story Sussan is so committed to sharing with us all, who believe in shining a light on the infl uence of a great writer and artist who came before and whose voice has been all-too-silent in the contemporary arts world.

For three years now, we at the Center have been asking the question “Who is the Poet in Your Life?” The answers are as varied as the people who supply them, and our work and lives have been enriched through this exploration. Thanks to Sussan, Forough Farrokhzad herself has become an answer to that question for us. We welcome you here tonight to celebrate her contributions to the world of art, and to celebrate the tenacity, intention and great talent of Sussan Deyhim, who will continue to bring the work of Forough to so many. We hope you leave here with a poem from our live Poetry Bureau in the West Lobby where we will attempt to capture the great power of language through a few thoughtfully typed verses.

And we hope you leave here tonight able to more deftly ponder and answer the question: Who is the Poet in Your Life?

Tonight we all become part of a living, breathing, ongoing exhibition. Our memories and experiences here tonight are what creates a permanent collection of this ephemeral art form. We become the keepers of this moment in time and this tribute to two powerful boundary-defying artists.

An Evening with Gregory Porter– Royce Hall Jan. 17, 2015

(Unsigned editorial from the evening’s program notes).

Tonight is about soul and passion. The soul and passion of one artist as he transmits it to those of us here to bear witness; the soul and passion inherent in the blues, soul and jazz forms he so deftly inhabits; and the soul and passion that we as listeners, seekers and music lovers simultaneously bring to and extract from this space that has held so much of it over the decades.

We believe music is an essential part of the human
experience.

Music perpetuates one of the most accessible rabbit holes in the art of performance. Throughout our lives, we will discover a sound or a song or a voice that resonates with us and dive deeper into it, uncover the influences behind the artist who created it, revel in other artists and forms and vibrations that emanate from it and evolve with it. And through all this we are expanding and enhancing our own experience.

Music is, indeed, essential.

Gregory Porter, over the last several years, has become an essential figure in the art of jazz performance. His third album, Liquid Skin, which you can read more about in the interview/bio enclosed in the program notes, earned him a Grammy, after being nominated for his first two albums. He was quickly recognized by his peers as a force to be reckoned with in jazz and is increasingly beloved by audiences worldwide. He is an imposing figure both literally and metaphorically, with a soul and passion to match his commanding stage presence.

As the New York Times put it in a recent review of a live performance in Porter’s home city: “Working from outer form to inner heart, Mr. Porter’s music is jazz via Oscar Brown Jr. and Nat King Cole; R&B via Ray Charles; thinky and poetic mid-’70s R&B, via
Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott-Heron; and then gospel, not as theology but as emotional policy, as devotion safeguarding against chaos.”

We are extremely proud to present this exceptional performer in Royce Hall.

Thank you for being with us.

Louise Lecavalier Fou Glorieux: SO BLUE–Royce Hall Jan. 16, 2015

(Unsigned editorial from the performance program notes)

“Energy brings energy,” Louise Lecavalier said, when asked about the work and stamina required to create and perform a dance work, recalling her years working with Edouard Locke of La La La Human Steps.

Tonight, you become the first American audiences to witness the first work of choreography from a woman who has already made an unmistakable mark in contemporary dance. So Blue stands alone as a compelling piece of work in the art of performance, but it also marks an important milestone in the life of an artist—an artist who has given so much and inspired so many.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s you may have seen her whirling across the stage in jaw-dropping barrel rolls, her long blond locks whipping along as she practically levitated
parallel to the stage.

She dominates, she relents as she makes shapes in the air and she elevates the heart rate of all who witness.

As you might guess, we are deeply honored and greatly excited to be the first presenter in the U.S. to shine a much deserved
spotlight on this exceptional performer at an exciting and critical point in the trajectory of her artistic life.

As our executive and artistic director Kristy Edmunds puts it: “Louse is a force of nature and an utterly unique presence in contemporary dance.”

One of our rallying cries this season has been “The Body is Beautiful. Get Used to It.” You’ve likely seen our banners or flyers singing out this message—it is a truism that applies not only to the art of dance, but to the art of living.

What a privilege it is to have a body, to possess physical strength and vitality. And what a privilege it is to witness an artist like Louise Lecavalier who, with tenacity and tenderness, great prowess and graceful creative intellect, shows us time and again, just how beautiful the body is and what it is capable of.

We thank you for bringing your own energy to this hall tonight, in honor of this indomitable artist. Energy begets energy. We feel it when you bring it, the artists on stage feel it, and we share it here together. That’s what it’s all about.

Please linger with us after the performance as we toast Louise and hear more about her creative process. Thank you for helping us welcome her to Los Angeles.

Edmunds, ‘Isms’ and Ideas to Ponder

If you’ve spent much time with Kristy Edmunds, our artistic and executive director, you’ve obviously witnessed first-hand her charm and eloquence. Put simply, lady has a way with words, you know? (Yeah, you know.)

This is why she’s often asked to speak on panels and at confabs and gatherings around the country, most recently yesterday morning delivering the keynote at New York Public Theater’s annual Under the Radar Festival.

You can watch the whole speech here.

She was her usual articulate and engaging self, but she shared a story I hadn’t heard from her before.

Working daily with Kristy, we get a front row seat to her rigorous mind, attention, curious nature and there are some sentiments and phrases that come to bear often in conversations with her. These are not glib catchphrases, or simply “isms,” though. They are things she repeats often because they are deeply held core values. They are integral to how she does what she does and how she seeks to impart and explain her process and ideas to others. If you’ve spent much time with her, you’ve likely heard her talk about “persistence of vision,” “integrity of purpose,” “expanding the fence line of the familiar” and an expressed commitment to providing “a safe harbor for unsafe ideas.”

One of the themes of her speech yesterday took another compelling ideological tack—“evidence of care.”

In the aforementioned story she shared with the New York theater maker audience, she spoke about a time in her youth in the Pacific Northwest, when she was taught how to properly pluck an apple from a tree—harvesting the ripe fruit but leaving behind exactly everything the tree would need to flower again. This is a clear and lovely metaphor, I think.

Obviously, when it came to apple-plucking, there was an endgame, an outcome at hand—get the apple.

AppleTree

(Image by Photo Dean)

But, also, the how of the getting the apple held as much import as the final goal. In fact, the how of it, was part of the final goal–the leaving behind an evidence of care that physically allows the tree to continue to bear fruit and thrive. I like metaphors, but I like this apple tree one in particular, because I often jokingly call Kristy’s approach to life and human contact “Johnny Appleseeding.” She plants seeds of thought and inspiration wherever she goes, so the apple imagery is especially appealing to me. (And is what inspired me to write this piece).

At any rate, this concept of evidence of care is increasingly important in the arts. So many times, a work, an idea, an artist is at a precarious place and it takes a cadre of individuals devoted to it to bring it to healthful and robust expression.

It also makes me think about something my yoga teacher often says: “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” And that’s not to say that you’re stuck because you typically do something a certain way. It means you can choose to show up for any given situation in a way that is abounding in care and intent. And your approach, your intent, can serve as template for how you choose to show up for all things. And that approach and intent not only serves the desired outcome, but serves a purpose in and of itself.

This apple-tree metaphor also makes me think of the idea that there are two ways to grow and thrive—you can seek to hive off a larger portion of any given pie/market/audience share/tree/etc for yourself alone, or you can seek to grow the pie or hearten the tree for everyone. It’s probably pretty clear which method we believe is most beneficial to a thriving arts economy and community.

And it’s community that helps us leave behind our greatest evidence of care.

We see evidence of care in our most passionate community, our members– and particularly our Board Members. Every time a CAP UCLA member shares an idea with us, shares a note with a friend about us, writes a check to us, attends a meeting, plans an event, hosts an artist in their home, attends a performance, they leave behind an evidence of care that keeps us thriving in so many ways.

I’m not sure you all know just how delighted we are to see your faces again and again at the performances. You bring yourselves to this place so often, and with such curiosity and attention, and we know we are not the only local purveyor and protector of arts that you care about or are passionate about. We know how often you are doubling up and tripling up on a performance weekend.

You are a big part of the larger footprint that we are attempting to create, deepen and leave behind in this city.  And we know you’re out there doing your own ‘Johnny Appleseeding’ on our behalf. It doesn’t go unnoticed even as we are basement-bound and furiously focused on our own specific patch of seedlings at any given moment.

It’s good to pause every now and then to think about not only what we are trying to accomplish together, each in our own particular ways, but also to appreciate how we’re all doing what we’re doing and be grateful for one another.

So as the New Year begins, we thank all our members and Board Members for the care they have already brought to this season and are looking forward to more to come.

Here also is a little more video fodder for Kristy-isms and ideas that help examine and how she does what she does and, by extension, how we all do what we do. Kristy has been serving as “Catalyst in Residence” for the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in Philadelphia over the last year or so and participated in several conferences and events there.

Watch, listen, enjoy, share…and here’s to much much more to come.

 

Just Curious…More Curious? (Stay Curious)

Happy New Year! As we launch ourselves back into the art of performance, I am thinking about curiosity and how important it is to be curious creatures.

One of the underpinnings of what we do here is informed by a sense of curiosity, both our presenting curiosity as a curatorial entity but also as a Center that seeks to create a safe space and fertile playground to discover what artists and makers are curious about—and in turn to inspire curiosity in the students, audience goers, patrons, art makers, thinkers, inventors, creators and researchers who surround us as they matriculate, educate and encounter new ideas on this campus or as they visit this institution by attending our programs.

Kristy Edmunds, our director, last year filled in for longtime UCLA arts professor and theater director Peter Sellars, teaching his class titled “Art as Moral Action.” It is a class in UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures department, but one that is taken by students from multiple disciplines in the arts  and other studies. Kristy often talks about her time teaching this class. And given that she is one of the most curious humans around, she often queried her students of the time about their relationship to the arts, seeking to discover what made them curious about the world beyond their personal and projected studies.

What Kristy discovered and what we continue to discover as we work with and amid students, is a sense that students do not feel like they can afford to be curious. Literally. With the costs of an education rising every year, they move through their course of study with a laser focus on the classes required for their particular degree. There’s often no time or funds to spare on a meandering elective course like “Tudor England” or “Early Women Writers,” like yours truly was lucky enough to somehow fit in alongside the requirements for a Journalism Degree 15 years ago.

The ability to be curious today can be a precious commodity. When it comes to helping students at UCLA explore their curiosity in the arts, we sometimes find ourselves with limited access to their time and attention,  a fact all parties lament–which is why we are continually investing in ways to integrate artists and our program into the college experience and curriculum on this campus.

We think curiosity is an essential part of the University experience. It is an essential part of the human experience. Curiousness, whether it’s about a thing, a person, a time in history or a place in the world, is the precursor to understanding and to empathy. And understanding and empathy are the things that inspire human beings, on an interpersonal and societal level, to collectively move forward toward goals that are more aligned than combative. Curiosity, understanding and empathy are things we cannot have too much of.

And art, in all its vibrant shapes, sounds, colors, themes, its oddities and collaborations is one of the greatest instigators of curiosity.

In the spirit of curiosity, I thought I would share a few interesting tidbits about the artists visiting us this month that will hopefully pique your curiosity.

LOUISE LECAVALIER (JAN 16)

Title : SoBlue Dancer Louise : Lecavalier Choreograper : Louise Lecavalier

DID YOU KNOW…..that for nearly 20 years Louise was the principal dancer and muse for La La La Human Steps, a thrilling and innovative dance troupe from her home base of Montreal? This brought her center stage with pop icon David Bowie often and she also performed in one of Frank Zappa’s final concerts.

ALSO… “So Blue,” the work we are presenting, is the first piece she ever choreographed, for herself. She’s in her 50s now, but her body hasn’t slowed down on her. She holds an epic headstand in the piece that will have all our abdominal muscles shaking.

GREGORY PORTER  ( JAN 17)

Gregory Porter Liquid Spirit photo (4)

DID YOU KNOW….Porter was born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield and originally went to college in San Diego on a football scholarship. Though he calls Brooklyn home now, California will always have a soft spot for this soulful vocalist.

SUSSAN DEYHIM (JAN 23)

great headshot bl and wh

DID YOU KNOW…Sussan, who is known amid Hollywood as an incredible vocalist and composer whose voice has been featured on such major motion pictures as “Argo,” “The Kite Runner” and “The Last Temptation of Christ” studied dance and performance in the late 1970s with the notable French choreographer, dancer and opera director Maurice Béjart at his Mudra School in Brussels.

FRANK WARREN ‘POSTSECRET LIVE’ JAN 28

frankwarrensmall

DID YOU KNOW….Frank is not only the creator of one of the most successful blogs in the world, one that inspires people to share anonymous secrets, he also volunteers for the Suicide Prevention Hotline 1(800)SUICIDE, for which PostSecret has helped raise more than $500,000. In 2006, Warren was presented a special award from the National Mental Health Association in recognition of how PostSecret has “moved the cause of mental health forward.”

ALSO…during PostSecret Live events things can get not-so-anonymous. Frank invites the audience to share secrets live in front of each other and says that far from being a tough sell, it is often the most funny, poignant and special moments of the night.

Bring your secrets, bring your curiosity. We’re ready for more creative ways of looking at the world in 2015.

Stay curious my friends!

The Nutcracker and Beyond: Warm Holiday Wishes and Welcome Reflections

‘Tis the season for Christmas-music concerts, holiday-themed celebrations of all colors kinds, shapes and sounds, the loudest and brightest and most pervasive of which is The Nutcracker.

For us here at Royce Hall, the Nutcracker has taken over….last week with the Debbie Allen Dance Company’s interpretation of  the classic work–The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, which has become a perennial favorite for L.A. audiences this time of year. As I type this, I can hear sets moving above me as the hall and our (extremely and also perennially hard-working) production team sets up for L.A. Ballet to converge this weekend with their annual traditional Nutcracker performances. We pause our program as these two local groups take over the hall and create some holiday cheer for arts lovers.

I don’t think I am alone as an arts lover when I say I have very warm and nostalgic feelings about The Nutcracker. It was an annual tradition for my family, and especially beloved by me, a young flute player.

All this Nutcracker activity has gotten me thinking about the arts and this season. For many young people, The Nutcracker is  likely their first professional live-performance experience, their first introduction to ballet or classical music, the doors to these art forms flung wide in the wake of the magical story and excitement of the holidays.

And for many people, perhaps that first Nutcracker experience became more than an introduction, perhaps often it served as a complete indoctrination. Perhaps many of the audiences and arts patrons who now love contemporary dance from around the world, or gleefully celebrate up and coming new music ensembles, or revel in experimental theater, perhaps they too have far-reaching memories of witnessingThe Nutcracker during a long-past holiday season.

It’s a beautiful thing to consider, this idea that once a year, we have a completely organic opportunity to expose our children, nieces, nephews, grandkids, students, etcetera to live-performance storytelling through music and movement.  And if it inspires a lifelong passion for the arts, all the better.

Of course, around here, we’re committed to the power of live performance all year long. We’re curious about artists and art makers from around the world, with different stories to tell and myriad means by which they tell them.

This hectic and celebratory time of year also is reflective. It also ’tis the season to look back at highlights that have dotted the calendar year.

There are many that spring immediately to mind for us here at CAP UCLA. Most of them involve moments in which the center has served as a bridge between our visiting artists, the work they have created, and our audiences.

Over just the last few months, we have gathered together to witness some truly incredible and compelling contemporary performance from masterful theater makers like Robert Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Mikhail Baryshnikov and  the cast and crew of Basetrack. We encountered the creative force of Ryoji Ikeda, in a sound and visual performance that thundered and crackled through Royce Hall. We celebrated the creative vision of the one-and-only Andy Warhol, through the creative vision of a cadre of truly eclectic modern musicians. We dove into the history of the graphic novel through the wit and wisdom of Art Speigelman and music of Philip Johnston. We honored a major milestone for one of the most revered dance companies in the world—Batsheva.

For each of these performances, you not only joined us to witness the art itself, but you involved yourself with us, you leaned forward to help make art in a graphic novel workshop. You lent your faces to our tribute to Andy Warhol screen tests. You attended gaga workshops and a special performance from local dance company Ate9 in honor of Batsheva. You contributed to our first fundraiser of the season and mingled with the stars of The Old Woman.  You told us stories about what freedom and service means to you, and helped us honor those who have served.  You gathered eagerly to hear Ryoji speak about his enigmatic work in a rare post-show discussion.  You joined us last spring for our Poetry Bureau before performances of The Suit and experienced art-making up close and on-the-fly. You brought your instruments and picked your brains out on the Royce Terrace before our first performance of the season.

These moments of connection are as powerful as the performance itself, because they invite us to recall and consider that we are a community. We’re not just a loosely organized gathering of people who happen to have the same taste in art. We are so much more.

RoyceFront

 

And, when we bring ourselves together with that sensibility in mind, we are actively moving our culture forward.  No experience in the world of art is really passive, even just sitting in the audience is an activation of an idea, a participation in the process. Every time you bring yourself to a performance, whether it’s an annual  holiday attendance at any of the multiple Nutcracker productions available this time of year, or dancing in the aisles of Royce Hall to our recent presentation of New Orleans great Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, you bring something unique to the moment.

We talk a lot about how the people who are on hand and on site to experience the art of performance become the keepers of it. We are the holders of the memories and the emotions that bring about further curiosity, more ideas, and more possibilities of making things that resonate.

Early in 2014 Mike Daisey joined us with a piece entitled American Utopias. He talked about several places and ways in which our culture has collectively subscribed to a certain idea, a certain way of being in the world, about how humans might just have the power to build up the world we want to live in.

He ended his performance by asking the audience to join him on the front steps of Royce Hall. It was chilly and drizzling, much like it is today. He exhorted us to dream, to create, to witness and experience.

And that is our hope for this holiday season. The greatest gift we can possibly share is our continued endeavor to build a space for artists and art lovers to dream, create, witness and experience.

Thank you for dreaming with us. There’s much more to come in the New Year.

Have a safe, happy and art-filled season!

Vijay Iyer- ‘Music of Transformation’ ‘RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi’ and ‘Mutations I-X’ Dec. 5, 2014

The unsigned editorial from the performance program notes.

Art is inherently transformative.  The work of artists and the results of the ideas and forms in which they invest their curiosity, their creativity and their talents is imbued with the ability to change the shape of things we thought we once knew, or to wholly create something anew that allows us to reshape, reframe and rethink our own shapes in this world.

Vijay Iyer and Prashant Bhargava, two uniquely transformative artists, have collaborated to bring us a vivid rendering of an entire city embracing a transformative sentiment with RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi.

Or, as Vijay explains it so eloquently in the notes that follow: “The result is a ballet of sorts: a performative encounter between live music and film, between lived experience and myth, the self and the transformed self, winter and spring.”

The art of contemporary performance revolves around this powerful concept of lived experience, both the experience of the moment, the life and performance experience of the artists on the stage, and the experiences and perceptions we the audience bring into this space as we lean forward to receive the great artistic gifts being offered.

It is a privilege and a gift to do the good work that creates the opportunity for that shared experience to exist. To hold a space and intention for the artists of our time who are committed to shaping and re-shaping our perceptions of art and culture and music.

This is Vijay Iyer’s second appearance at Royce Hall and the second time we have worked closely with him to craft an expansive inquiry into the deep wells of artistry he inhabits. Last time, Vijay performed in several different jazz ensemble configurations, showing his skill as a versatile and intelligent band leader.

We return him to this stage to further showcase the versatility that is making him one of the most important artists in modern music, and one least inclined to sit inside any preconceived notions of genre boundary.

We are incredibly fortunate to be music lovers in a world that Vijay Iyer is dominating. His transformative explorations into the raw potential that lives inside all music continues to take shape, evolve and transform.

We welcome the transformation. And we welcome you to share it with us.

Thanks and Thankfulness

The holidays have officially begun. This time of year can be extremely joyful, but also extremely chaotic. Hopefully your personal brand of chaos includes plenty of cheer and laughter paired with moments of peace and reflection.  Hopefully at some point today, we may all push pause on the chaos if only for a moment as we contemplate all the people and things we have to be thankful for.

There’s something so powerful around the concept that today, amid the chaos of travel and planning and cooking and hosting, there is an overwhelming desire to invest in feelings of gratitude and express thankfulness.

We at the Center have many things to be grateful for as we envelop ourselves in this collective state of thanks.

We’re grateful for the artists who bring so much of themselves to our stages, and by extension, to our community. They open our minds, break our hearts, heal our hurts and expand our joys.

We’re thankful for the audiences who battle LA traffic, absorb UCLA parking fees to get to us. We thank each one of you who has attended a performance this season. Each person who witnesses art in the making, brings a unique energy and sensibility to the entire process. And each one of us walks away from a performance imbued and entrusted with the sensation that we now are the caretakers of that fleeting moment on the stage. We are the permanent gallery and we collect within us all the artists and ideas that reach into our hearts and change us, sometimes by small measures and sometimes radically and immediately and indefinitely.

We’re especially grateful for those of you who have participated in several special moments of connection so far this season. Our deep thanks go out to the members of CAP UCLA who support our mission on an ongoing basis, for everyone who contributed to our commitment to theater productions by attending our Old Woman fundraiser earlier this month, for everyone who joined us for the pre-and post-show party for our presentation of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films. We’ll not soon forget all your beautiful faces, which you shared so generously as part of our live screen tests.

Thank you to the members of the L.A. dance community who helped us welcome Batsheva Dance Company to Los Angeles and celebrate its staggering 50 years as an artistic institution.

We’re grateful to the staunch supporters of our Design for Sharing program which brings thousands of elementary-school kids to the UCLA campus every season. There’s nothing like witnessing a thousand 5th graders in Royce Hall, which happened recently for the incredible On Ensemble. Whenever children fill the hall this place becomes a writhing organism of excitement and energy that fuels both us and the artists.

Thank you to artists, audiences, kids, teachers, parents. Thank you to anyone who makes art, to everyone who advocates for art and artists.

Thank you for taking a pause to read this message.

Wishing you blessings today and every day and hope we will see you soon.

Marc Ribot ‘Silent Movies’ and Los Cubanos Postizos Nov. 21, 2014

The unsigned editorial from the performance program notes. 

We are extremely fortunate here at the Center to regularly present, collaborate with and support artists who defy simple categorization, who often cannot be confined to a single presentation format.

Guitarist/composer Marc Ribot is one of those artists and we are very proud to present him here tonight in Royce Hall in a special showcase event that highlights his profound versatility and scope of artistic vision. Marc will take us on ruminative solo journey for the first half of the program, with his poignant and complex Silent Movies. Later, joined by his fellow members of New York City party band Los Cubanos Positzos (a.k.a The Prosthetic Cubans).

For nearly four decades, Marc Ribot has been a solo artist, a bandleader, an in-demand studio and touring  musician who has worked with everyone from Tom Waits and fellow New York experimentalist John Zorn to Elvis Costello, Sam Phillips, Robert Plant, and Marianne Faithful.

It is exceedingly appropriate that Marc step into the spotlight of Royce Hall and take his place among the long list of great instrumental talents whose work has filled this space before.

Tonight’s appearance of Los Cubanos Positzos will raise the roof in honor of   Arsenio Rodríguez—innovator of the son montuno in the 1940s and 1950s, the sound that set the template for modern-day salsa and an artist who greatly influenced Marc Ribot.

This group is meant to be experienced live. Their shows are fearsome and fulsome.  If you start feeling the urge to dance, you’re doing it right.

Thank you for being here with us tonight as we celebrate a true music great. Thank you for helping us welcome the one-and-only Marc Ribot to the program.

Enjoy the performance.

Thoughts from the staff of CAP UCLA