As I moved among the large crowds into the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl there was a great surge of energy. The good kind just prior to when you know something great is about to occur. It’s akin to a prelude of experiencing a fantastic meal or witnessing history in the making.
Gustavo Dudamel - Los Angeles Philharmonic's Conductor was making his Debut on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl.
Diverse and fabulous arrays of artists were on hand to celebrate with the Los Angeles community on the chilly September afternoon.
Andrae Crouch with his sister and a wonderful group of vocalists and musician ranging from age 7 to 60+ were on hand to share scared classics. A 10 yr old vocalist gave us an amazing rendition of "Jesus is the Answer" with chops that would cause one think this young man had been singing for centuries.
"FLEA" formerly with the group known as "The Red Hot Chili Peppers" and an accomplished Bass and Trumpet musician brought his astounding ensemble of youth - "The Silverlake Conservatory". The extraordinary group dazzled me with many Stevie Wonder arrangements that were totally mind-blowing.
"All is fair in Love", "Visions" and "Sir Duke" took us back in a time capsule blast to the 1970's. It was magical and beautiful the voices of these young people were equally mesmerizing. On "Visions" in particular the vocalist delivered the timeless piece in a manner that was hauntingly breathtaking.
The piano, bass, and guitar were flawless. They individually set the mode for a look into the past and connection with the present day in social consciousness and musical harmony.
Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" was shared with vocals and a trumpet solo that were inspiring enough to elevate anyone to a plane of encouragement and energy to enable one to accomplish any goal.
Upon hearing and experiencing this, I was all the more convinced that music has the capacity to motivate one to places that ascend beyond the every day live experiences. The lyric, melody, harmony, rhythm, and artists' connection combined with their creative style takes an individual beyond the present to great places.
Everyone on our row was dancing to the groove as the ensemble with an extremely soulful soloist belted out a rhythm-filled, tantalizing version of both pieces with passionate persona. I was waiting for the soul train line but it was a bit hard to pull that off at the Hollywood Bowl with a full crowd.
The line up in this wonderful ensemble was as follows:
Bass - Flea - Co-Founder
Viola/Harmonica/Saxophone - Keith Berry - Co Founder and Dean
Nora Mathison, Cello Andrew Gonzalez
Yvonne Payne, Violin CJ Harper
Tonis Ramirez, Violin Harris Harper
Horn/Woodwinds of all sizes Dakota Marklein
April Chamchalaem, Flute Sydney Moffat
Rosemary Guadalajara, Trumpet Maize Olinger
Ivan Pyzow, Trumpet Lola Selby
Guitar Samantha Skaggs
Piano Jose Qunito
The legendary Herbie Hancock, Pianist and Composer took us on a beautiful journey to Jazz Heaven by way of Ivory and Ebony keys. He conducted and performed with a group of most excellent musicians from "The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts jazz Ensemble" The group consisted of individually endowed musicians on Horns, Woodwinds, and Bass. All of the solos which accompanied Mr. Hancock and other individual pieces performed by this magical group were noteworthy.
Mr. Hancock has been named Creative Chair for Jazz on behalf of the L.A. Philharmonic. He'll direct Jazz programming at the Walt Disney Hall and Hollywood Bowl.
An enchanting David Hidalgo and the astounding Taj Mahal performed with "Los Cenzontles" many great Latin traditional that were of course infused with the Blues guitar, Banjo, Harmonic and tranquil roots.
The night stirred on bringing a captivating performance of "Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" performed by YOLA Youth Orchestra (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) conducted by Gustavo Dudumel.”YOLA" was inspired by "EL Sistema" an educational music program that nurtured the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Maestro Gustavo Dudamel.
El Sistema provides yearly for thousands of children to have musical instruments and instruction so that they can play in orchestras in their individual homeland.
YOLA has merged connections with various organizations and community partners and Arts Affiliates throughout Los Angeles Count. It is their desire to bring together youth from diverse and exceptional backgrounds to learn and excel from instrumental and orchestral education.
The first fruit of the L.A. Phil’s labor of love was a shining testament that evening as they performed "Ode to Joy".
A luminous performance by Strings, Woodwinds, and Brass was majestic and engaging. Personally, my soul was moved to tears experiencing this.
What a fulfilling joy it must have been for the individual musicians on stage under the direction of Maestro Dudamel to prepare and execute with passion and
presence such a performance.
I could not help but wonder as Maestro Dudamel conducted the youth, whether or not he himself traveled back in his own heart and mind in time to when he sat where they now were seated and eagerly played for his Conductor, Family, Friends, and Community.
What an incredibly soul union he possessed with this very special orchestra.
The grand finale incorporated fireworks with a euphoric presentation of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
In D minor OP 125.
Allegro, ma non troppo, un poco maestros
Molta vivace: Presto
Adagio molto e cantabile; Andante moderato
Presto; Alleegro assai
An Angelic and compelling song was vocalized by of Measha Brueggergosman, soprano
A gloriously beautiful exclaim from Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
A Richly elegant voice shared by Toby Spence, tenor
The superbly heartwarming performance by Matthew Rose, baritone
Please excuse the expression but WHAT CHOPS!!! were imparted by these indivudual musicians to a joyful audience.
Here's more that were part of this remarkable Orchestra
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers
Harmonies Girl Choir
Los Angeles Chamber Choir
Los Angeles Children's Chorus
Our Lady of Los Angeles Spanish Choir
Pasadena Master Chorale
Philippine Chamber Singers
Southeast Symphony Chorus
Magnificent!!! is the most appropriate phrase in describing the encounter. As the audience watched we were collectively spellbound. Gustavo's passion and linkage was enduring with the orchestra, audience, and community and it could be experience in an all encompassing manner regardless of where one was seated.
The evening culminated with satisfying soar.
I would highly recommend to all Angelinos in Los Angeles County, as well as non natives from the area to put a date for an endearing episode with Maestro Dudamel on your calendar at the Walt Disney Hall.
Check out the website for upcoming events.http://www.laphil.com/
No matter your preferred style of music, with Maestro Dudamel you will not be disappointed.