Author: Mike Nelson

EASTERN INFLUENCE | Pianist Miriam Arichea looks to China for CHICO’s “World Music Gala”

Defending accused criminals and playing piano concertos may not seem like compatible pursuits. But to defense attorney-slash-concert pianist Miriam Arichea, they have quite a lot in common. “They’re both very detail oriented,” says Arichea, who is also a wife, parent, Ventura High School academic decathlon coach, youth choir director and teaching-credential seeker. “That means they both require a lot of discipline. As an attorney, you have to make yourself sit down and read through 20 cases to prepare yourself for court. And as a pianist, you have to learn — well, in this case, a 64-page concerto.” The 64-page...

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ROOTS CONNECTION | Teresa James to headline the Ojai Bowlful of Blues on Sept. 22

“I’ve got the fans going full blast,” laughs Teresa James, speaking by phone from the coolest room in the hottest house in Santa Clarita on this midsummer afternoon. Then again, what else is new? Isn’t wherever Teresa James performs both the coolest and the hottest place in town, with her fans — the human kind, that is — going “full blast” in appreciation? On Sept. 22 she’ll bring her special brand of “roots music” — a scintillating blend of blues, country, gospel, jazz, anything that strikes her powerful vocal chords — to the Ojai Bowlful of Blues. “I just...

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ALL-AGES OUTREACH | NambaYouth builds the performer-audience connection

Go up, down or a little way off Main Street in downtown Ventura, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars that host a variety of musical talent. As long, that is, as the talent is 21 and older. But what about 20 and younger? There’s not much for young musicians, a reality that led veteran TV producer Jeffrey Willerth to develop the NambaYouth series. These performance workshops at the Namba Performing Arts Space on South Oak Street not only highlight the musical talents of young vocalists and musicians, but allow these performers to interact with the audience. “There...

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ON THE BOOKSHELF | Author Scott Harris brings the Old West to life

There are moments in a man’s life when things change. . . . Sometimes we have control over those moments, and sometimes we don’t. I guess if I’m honest with myself, a part of me thought, “Not my town, not my problem.” And, maybe, ten minutes earlier, I could have ridden out of this town and been on my way. But that was before they hit Huck. I like that boy. — From Coyote Courage What do Brock Clemons, fictional hero of the Old West, and his creator, marketing executive-turned-western novelist Scott Harris, have in common, besides an affinity...

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PUBLIC SPECTACLE | “Pietà” unveiled at Mission San Buenaventura

More than 500 years after 24-year-old Michelangelo Buonarroti completed the “Pietà,” a full-scale replica of the Renaissance treasure now rests inside Mission San Buenaventura. The replica — fashioned, like the original, from Carrara marble — is one of only 112 marble replicas worldwide, licensed through the Vatican Observatory Foundation and distributed through ArteDivine S.A. A public unveiling of the sculpture was celebrated during a July 8 prayer service at the historic downtown Mission, attended by 300 people including ArteDivine’s Richard and Esther Stewart of Santa Clarita, and Jacqueline and Brad Hanson, of Arizona, whose donation made acquisition of the...

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