Archive for musicians

“Paris Chansons” – Los Angeles cabaret music review

Photo by Franco Franchini.

Photo by Franco Franchini.

Paris Chansons is a delightful ensemble of singers and musicians who present authentic French and Russian musical entertainment in an intimate lounge setting.

Currently playing around town, I caught a recent show, Paris Je t’aime, in the cosy Riviera 31 lounge of the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills. Their next performance is entitled Moulin Russe and promises an evening of French music with a Russian twist. The show is on Sunday, March 29th at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood.

More information below.

The evening is co-hosted by songwriter and performer Jacob Kantor and singer Jean-Louis Darville — these two guys in smart black suits and matching fedora hats provide some gentle banter and introductions when needed, as well as musical and vocal accompaniment.

The band are all superb musicians, effortlessly switching from jazzy riffs to slow torch songs to uptempo popular songs and folk tunes through the two-part evening. The musicians are: Jeff Lams on piano; Adam Cohen on upright bass; Endre Balogh on violin; Sinclair Lott on drums; and Jacob Kantor on guitar. Endre Balogh really tears it up on the violin, wringing our heartstrings with gypsy-infused strains one minute then dazzling with his dextrous virtuosity the next.

The three main vocalists, Julia Kantor, Jean-Louis Darville and Max Cohen, each take turns in taking center stage, while at other times duets and sweet three-part harmonies combine their voices beautifully. Their relaxed stage presence really puts us at ease.

All the pop songs (circa 1950s and on) are sung in French or Russian, and the emotionality conveyed needs no translation. Some highlights included a funny Serge Gainsbourg song about a metro (train) ticket puncher, Le Poinçonneur des Lilas, where singer Jean-Louis Darville flung two pockets-full of confetti in the air to punctuate the song charmingly. He also delivered a splendid rendition of Jacques Brel’s angsty classic Ne me quitte pas.

Julia Kantor stepped onstage in a slinky black dress and elicited a chorus of ‘Zai zai zai zai’ from the audience during one of the show’s many sing-along/clap along moments.

Max Cohen charmed the audience with his debonair presence and powerful vocals, breaking hearts with his dreamy rendition of Pour Toutes Ces Raisons Je T’aime, and other songs.

Paris Chansons is an accomplished ensemble providing a wonderful evening of musical entertainment that celebrates France and French culture.

Photo by Franco Franchini.

Photo by Franco Franchini.

Moulin Russe

Catalina Jazz Club


6725 Sunset Boulevard,

Los Angeles, CA 90028

Sunday March 29, 2015


$15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door.

Two drink or dinner minimum.

Purchase tickets in advance online here.

Get information on upcoming shows here.




SUNDAY! Free Concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall with LA Phil, YOLA, Herbie Hancock and La Santa Cecilia


Youth Orchestra LA (Yola) will perform alongside the LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall, for the first time in the Program’s Six-Year History.

Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock and local ensemble La Santa Cecilia will also perform.


Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4PM

 TICKETS required & AVAILABLE now!

(info below)


For the first time in its six-year history, Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) students will perform alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Patrons from throughout the county will also be able to enjoy the concert in a very special LA Phil simulcast on a giant screen in Grand Park.

This special concert celebration will feature a solo performance by LA Phil Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock, and the Latin GRAMMY-nominated band La Santa Cecilia – who will perform with YOLA conducted by Bruce Kiesling.

Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia has been hailed as “Los Angeles’ Best Latin Alternative Band” by LA Weekly.  The Latin GRAMMY-nominated band draws inspiration from all over the world, creating a distinct homegrown sound that exemplifies an exciting hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music. La Santa Cecilia’s recently released major-label debut Treinta Días has already been selected as one of NPR’s Favorite Albums of the Year ­–with additional critical praise coming from Rolling Stone, The Sunday New York Times and even Elvis Costello- with whom the band has been collaborating. Consisting of accordionist and requintero Jose Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, and captivating lead vocalist La Marisoul, LA Santa Cecilia also just made their national television debut with a primetime performance cameo in the heralded series The Bridge.  With the band having recently performed a two week residency for the LA Phil’s SummerSounds program at the Hollywood Bowl, their appearance at Walt Disney Concert Hall will be another milestone moment in the band’s fast rising career.


Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program was launched in 2007 inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema. Through YOLA, the LA Phil and its community partners, in safe, after-school settings, provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling students to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. YOLA also offers engaging programs for parents that help build a sense of community, and support children’s learning. Since Fall of 2007, YOLA has grown to serve nearly 600 students, ages 6-17, in South L.A. and the Rampart District. YOLA partners share costs and program management responsibilities. The YOLA initiative currently consists of two programs: YOLA at EXPO ( and YOLA at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) (


For more information about insideOUT, the 10th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney Concert Hall, please visit here.

YOLA liliana

PROGRAM: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA)

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Bruce Kiesling, conductor

Herbie Hancock, piano

La Santa Cecilia, guest ensemble


Selection of Solo Piano Works – Mr. Hancock

Selections for Orchestra and Ensemble

YOLA Orchestra with La Santa Cecilia

Bruce Kiesling, conductor

MOZART Overture to The Marriage of Figaro

Los Angeles Philharmonic

TBD, conductor

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 2, 4th Movement

MARQUEZ Conga del Fuego

YOLA Orchestra with Los Angeles Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor


WHEN:       Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4PM


111 S. Grand Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012


GRAND PARK (Simulcast Screen)

200 N. Grand Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012




This is a free event. Tickets are currently available and are required for entry to the performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are general admission by section. Limit 4 tickets per household. Tickets may be acquired here, the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or any Ticketmaster outlet.

Tickets acquired online or via phone have a $1 handling fee.

To order by phone with credit card, please call the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office at 323.850.2000, or Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000.

For more information, please call 323.850.2000.







This week’s theatre review – LA Weekly “Dissonance” at the Falcon

Photo by Chelsea Sutton.

Gentle readers!

This week’s theatre review for the LA Weekly is for Damian Lanigan’s play Dissonance, now playing at the Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake.


Click here and then scroll down a little bit to read it.


~ OR ~


You can just read it here!!



While providing a rare and interesting glimpse of the behind-the-scenes squabbles and power struggles of a quartet of classical musicians, regrettably Damian Lanigan’s drama Dissonance relies too heavily on cliché, in both character and story.

There’s the supercilious British quartet leader and first violin James (Daniel Gerroll) who is constantly being challenged by his second violin, a smiling young American upstart Hal (Peter Larney). Attractive cellist Beth (Elizabeth Schmidt) is desired by both men, while browbeaten viola player Paul (Skip Pipo) meekly tolerates James’ abuse and mercilessly cruel jokes.

When Beth starts tutoring a rich rock star, Jonny (Jeffrey Cannata), tensions tied to an important concert mount.

Crispin Whittell’s staging fluidly shifts from the rehearsal room to the rocker’s pad and back, but the director fails to orchestrate a uniform acting level from his troupe; sometimes emotion is mistaken for loud volume. Glaringly absent is a scene where Beth explains her expensive new cello to her colleagues.



Now playing Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m.

Continues through March 4, 2012.

Falcon Theatre

4252 Riverside Drive,

Toluca Lake