More than 300 member of the Class of 2015 received their diplomas Saturday at Westmont College’s commencement at Russ Carr field.
A small cadre of students and instructors were furthered honored for excellence in their field before the main ceremony, which featured hymns and a commencement speech from New York Times columnist David Brooks, whose new book, “The Road to Character,” is a summation of the course he taught on humility at Yale University (and makes for good advice to grads.)
Parents, friends and donors gathered at the Deckers Goleta headquarters Saturday night for an empowering evening of rock music where teens, some of whom had never sung in front of an audience before, performed hits from classic rhythm and blues to the latest by Katy Perry.
The evening, the 12th annual “Sing It Out!” from AHA!, is the culmination of workshops meant to give confidence to kids who may come from a variety of backgrounds that might include economic hardship, deaths in the family, or suffer from bullying, or just feel crushingly shy.
Music fans who attended Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble appearance at Campbell Hall in 2013 may remember Cristina Pato, the musician who stole the show with the gaita, a very particular kind of Spanish bagpipe that sounds less like the Scottish variety and more like an oboe. The artist returns two years later with her own band this Wednesday night, and brings a selection of tunes that explores the Galician region of Spain, her home country, and then moves out in ever increasing circles to encompass a world of influences.
Her new album is called “Latina” (released Thursday on Sunnyside Records), a musing on the history and the multiple meanings of the word by way of musical genres. (Don’t worry, the CD will be available at the show.)
When Ray Strong died in 2006 at age 101, he left behind an admirable legacy. The artist was well-known in Santa Barbara and a thorn in the side of those in power. He was well-loved but had no filter in speaking his mind.
To kick off a whole summer of shows celebrating Ray Strong’s work, a series that involves 11 art galleries and museums throughout Santa Barbara County, Frank Goss, Jeremy Tessmer and Nathan Vonk of Sullivan Goss have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first-ever monograph of this important painter.
The inspiring story of , the 2014 winner of Santa Barbara’s TeenStar competition, has entered a new chapter. A short film based on her story is headed to the Cannes Film Festival next week, along with the filmmakers. Their goal: to share her story with the world and to seek funding for a full-length documentary.
“This story is too important, too inspiring to not share it with the world,” said the film’s executive producer and head of Teen Star Joe Lambert. “Mary Grace is a very special individual and a very determined little girl.”
In “The Blues Project,” tap dancer Michelle Dorrance and her company have teamed up with blues singer Toshi Reagon and a talented four-piece band to bring an evening to the Granada that expands the boundaries of tap dancing. This isn’t exactly a hybrid of two genres, but an extension of Ms. Dorrance’s long history of boundary-pushing within the realm of tap, and the musicians provide the background that places the numbers in a context of African-American history, from work songs to songs of the Civil Rights movement and beyond.
At first it may seem that blues is not as suited to tap as jazz is. But not so, Ms. Dorrance says. Tap and blues evolved around the same time.
How do you make a boy band? In the case of LA-based Zero Gravity, you hold auditions. You find five young men —two Swedes and three Americans, one from Santa Barbara —and you put them through boot camp. The result is a group that’s hitting the ground running, singing in tight five-part harmony, and playing a mix of social media and old school touring. When they headline the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, they’ll be performing for a full hour, and plan to leave the stage having made a ton of new fans.
The group consists of Peet Montzingo from Seattle, who has already gained a following having been on “X-Factor”; Santa Barbara’s Trevor Dow; Fredrick Rose from Stockholm, Sweden, the one who takes lots of selfies; Adam Wilhelmsson, also from Stockholm; and Michael Kean from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.