PICTURED: Fitz and the Tantrums come to the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Aug. 29. Photo by Luke Dickey

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

Fitz and the Tantrums return

Get ready to groove again this weekend! Fitz and the Tantrums, whose 2020 tour — which was to include a stop at the Majestic Ventura Theater on what turned out to be a very unlucky Friday the 13th in March — was canceled due to the pandemic. Happily, however, drive-in entertainment has brought live music back to Ventura County, and with it the Los Angeles-based neo-soul outfit, which gained considerable fame with its infectious chart-topping hit, “HandClap.” Concerts in Your Car presents Fitz and the Tantrums at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59 per car and are available at www.concertsinyourcar.com/. You can also read our Music feature on the band from the March 12 issue. 

VMF unveils Virtually Yours

The Ventura Music Festival kept its spirit alive this summer with video segments offered through Music Connects: A Digital Music Festival. To further engage and inspire, it will present a new online series, Virtually Yours. This mix of music, lecture and demonstration will be hosted by a guest expert, and give viewers a mini-music appreciation lesson. Each segment will feature a particular composer, period, genre or other music-related topic, with the host exploring background, history, impact on the wider musical landscape etc., through discussion, storytelling and musical clips. The Virtually Yours series kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m. with “Mehta Does Gershwin,” hosted by VMF Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta and featuring the life, music and legacy of George Gershwin. For more information and to register, visit venturamusicfestival.org/special-events/virtually-yours-a-vmf-occasional-series/.

NWS requests the Pleasure of Your Company

With performances for 2020 canceled, New West Symphony is also getting into the online programming game. 

The Pleasure of Your Company, presented by the New West Symphony League, is an award-winning series of events now in its 14th iteration, taking place online every Tuesday in September. It begins Sept. 1 with an excerpt from Baking with Julia Child featuring Chef Mary Bergin and set to a live musical improvisation from NWS violinist Christian Fatu. On Sept. 8, Music Director Michael Christie gives a Conducting 101 lecture. A presentation on the emotional power of opera (Sept. 22) and the impact of music on our minds and bodies (Sept. 29) will also be offered. For more information and to register, visit newwestsymphony.org/poyc/.

California Public Radio Day on Aug. 27

Help support public radio by tuning in on Aug. 27 for the first-ever California Public Radio Day. Thirteen public radio stations from San Diego to Mendocino are uniting for this day-long fundraising event to build awareness of the value of public radio and encourage audiences to support their local stations. 

“For millions of listeners, California’ s network of public radio stations is a daily source for fact-based news and information, a means of discovering their next favorite artist, a consistent melody of voices and music to underscore daily activities, and most importantly, a community they can trust,” the participating stations wrote in a joint statement. 

Participating stations include the Central Coast’s own KCLU, as well as KZYX in Mendocino, KQED in San Francisco, KCRW in Santa Monica and KPBS in San Diego.

“Public radio is not beholden to stockholders or corporate interests; it is accountable to the people,” the joint statement notes. It is, however, dependent on the support of its listeners. Tuning in during California Public Radio Day and making a pledge is one way for Ventura County audiences to show their support. For more information, visit www.kclu.org.