The Santa Monica Public Library’s acclaimed Soundwaves new music series resumes, with free concerts the first Saturday of each month at the Pico Branch Library Annex in Virginia Avenue Park, at the corner of Pico and Cloverfield.
On January 7, 2023 violinist/violist Lauren Baba, known for her work with her big band, the Vitamin String Quartet, and as a touring musician for Japanese Breakfast, leads a jazz sextet. February 4 Jacaranda Music presents the work of Philip Glass, with a flute duo and a short film with a score by Glass recorded by Jacaranda’s Mark Alan Hilt on organ. CalArts faculty member Randy Gloss heads a percussion ensemble using instruments and rhythms from around the world on March 4, and Redlands Symphony Principal Bass Scott Worthington performs a solo recital April 1. Cosmic Vibrations, featuring vocalist Dwight Trible, who worked with Horace Tapscott and Pharoah Sanders, bring spontaneous spiritual jazz on May 6, and the season concludes June 3 with the Smudges: violinist Jeff Gauthier and cellist Maggie Parkins, whose work incorporates improvisation and electronics.
From 2016 to 2020 Soundwaves regularly presented cutting-edge music at the Main Library, supported by the Friends of SMPL and the Amphion Foundation, including collaborations with the Angel City Jazz Festival, Piano Spheres, Jacaranda Music, Microfest, Cold Blue Music, and the Dog Star Orchestra Festival. Soundwaves focuses on noncommercial music, drawing on Los Angeles’ large and complex history of experimentation in rock, jazz, classical, and uncategorizable creative music, bringing the underground back to the westside. Visit soundwavesnewmusic.com for more information, including videos of many past shows.
The Pico Annex is an indoor/outdoor space. Its configuration will vary to suit the music and weather. For indoor events, masking is currently encouraged by not required. SMPL will follow LA County Health Department guidelines in case of any changes. These concerts are free and open to the public. There are no tickets or reservations. Free parking is available and the #7 Big Blue Bus stops at the park
From January 2016 to March 2020, the Soundwaves concert series presented dozens of free performances of world-class creative music at the Santa Monica Public Library, including collaborations with PianoSpheres, Jacaranda, the Angel City Jazz Festival, Microfest, Cold Blue Music, the Dog Star Orchestra Festival, and others. Due to cuts in the Library’s budget and hours, the regular series will not resume.
However, there will be three Saturday afternoon concerts this summer, outdoors at the Library’s Pico Branch Annex in Virginia Avenue Park, at 2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica, CA, 90404. They’re at 3:30 on the first Saturday of the month, one set only. No tickets or reservations, just come on by.
There will be no Soundwaves events until it is safe for people to gather again. As many of the artists scheduled for March, April, May, and June will be rebooked as possible once the next season can be planned.
That season will be partially supported by a grant from the Amphion Foundation. Many thanks to them.
Meanwhile, videos of past shows are available on this page, and more are on their way.
Follow this page on your RSS reader for updates, subscribe to the Library’s YouTube channel for new video uploads, like or follow SMPL on other social media for all library developments, and stay safe.
Pianist Brendan White performs Paul Hindemith’s “Ludus Tonalis,” a set of 25 pieces from 1942 demonstrating his compositional techniques in all 12 major and minor keys (plus a prelude) as a modern answer to Bach’s “Well-Tempered Klavier.”
Pianist David Kaplan presents selections from “Gideon’s Suitcase,” a portrait of pianist/composer Gideon Klein, based on the suitcase of his sheet music discovered decades after he was killed in the Holocaust.
Soundwaves second year of collaborations with Jacaranda Music begins with an appearance by the Grammy-winning Partch ensemble. Come see and hear their expert recreations of Harry Partch‘s unique instruments.