by Visit Ventura
Twenty-five years is just a number, silver just a color, until you read this. Judy Collins. Chris Botti. Branford Marsalis. Herbie Hancock. Itzhack Perlman. Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. All of them, Ventura Music Festival performers.
Close your eyes and hear their notes. So many variations on the loveliest theme. The universal song we call music.
As you now know, for 25 years the Ventura Music Festival has brought some of the world’s finest musicians to Ventura. And, in Ventura style, those musicians, more often than not, have played in small, intimate venues. Producing something between indelible memory and pixie dust.
“For me, ‘live’ is the part that makes music magic,” smiles Susan Scott, the Festival’s Executive Director. “There is real power in a live performance. It sounds different. You hear it differently than you do through recordings. Then you add in the artist’s interaction with audience, and the audience’s interaction with the artist. And what you get is pure magic.”
Now’s the time to experience the magic. Starting July 12th, the Ventura Music Festival launches its Silver Anniversary lineup. Think global Woodstock without the traffic and mud. And the Festival roars right out of the blocks. On Friday, July 12th, at the Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center, Festival headliners The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 take the stage together to produce a wholly unique alchemy of live pixie dust. Arguably (easily) one of the finest of jazz vocal ensembles. Have a listen for pre-show goosebumps.
And there is more magic — and innovative collaboration. Following “The Summit” (the apt billing for The Manhattan Transfer/Take 6 fusion), the Festival continues its joyous global bouillabaisse. Take a deep breath: celebrated guitarist Christopher Parkening teams with renowned
baritone Jubilant Sykes (July 13th), the Calidore String Quartet provides lovely meldings (July 14th), jazz pianist Joey Alexander provides the energy of youth (July 19th), Ranky Tanky does the honey-est soul (July 20th), and the Rastrelli Cello Quartet performs astonishingly innovative mixings (July 22). And, just because they love music, the Festival is throwing in a free concert with high octane Latin guitar ensemble Incendio (Ventura’s Mission Park, July 18th). It has always been about community.
Equally important note; the Ventura Music Festival’s notes don’t just highlight established global stars. As you read this, somewhere and everywhere, young musicians are sounding their own notes; sounding them again and again and again, because that’s what it takes. And though they bring us the Hancocks and the Perlmans, one of the Ventura Music Festival’s greatest contributions is to young musicians; nurturing them, and giving them their own stage. A few more names. Henry Urschel. Finn Dunham. Alex Smith. Rachel Flowers. Just a few of the Music Festival’s student jazz winners. If you’re lucky, you’ve already heard their notes. If you have yet to be lucky, now you’ve been luckily informed.
A last note to consider on this, the eve of the Silver Anniversary Music Festival, with so many opportunities looming. Music, it could easily be argued, is the great connector, the note that chimes through us all.
Nuvi Mehta, Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director, puts it beautifully.
“There is a reason music is called the universal language,” he says. “It speaks uniquely to our hearts, unhindered by a literal topic our conscious minds must interpret. It grabs us, lifts us, re-orients us, and our sense of place in the world. Music is processed by the oldest parts of the brain, and can reunite us with every moment from our lives.”
Why not make more moments?
Why not join in the song?