This edition of Pano was originally emailed to subscribers on March 23, 2022. To receive Charles Donelan’s arts newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday, sign up at


Billy Strings | Credit: Emily Butler

Spring 2022 is turning into one long music festival in Santa Barbara. With assistance from CAMA, the Music Academy of the West has captured the London Symphony for the better part of a week and three different concerts at the Granada between Thursday, March 24, and Sunday, March 27. The Santa Barbara Symphony just delivered a blow-away “Sonic Boom” with organist Cameron Carpenter over the weekend of March 19-20. Opera Santa Barbara puts a string quartet in the service of two exquisite voices in their production of As One, which will be at the Lobero on Friday, March 25, and Sunday, March 27.
Looking ahead to the first weekend in April, the Santa Barbara Bowl plays host to another kind of stringed instrument virtuoso, the young bluegrass phenomenon Billy Strings. Strings will play two nights, Saturday-Sunday, April 9-10, with his outstanding group. With two Grammy nominations to his name and the awards ceremony scheduled for April 3, you will have a chance to either cheer Strings on or cheer him up at what promises to be a memorable night.

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Sheku and Isata / Credit: Jake Turney

The spring offerings from UCSB Arts & Lectures could be considered a festival all on their own, with the Silkroad Ensemble arriving next Thursday, March 31, and the fabulous Punch Brothers up on the following Tuesday, April 5. Both those shows are at UCSB’s Campbell Hall.

A week later, on Tuesday, April 12, Jennifer Koh and Davóne Tines will present the world premiere of Everything Rises, a multimedia work commissioned by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Several years in the making, the piece seeks to reclaim agency for BIPOC artists through ancestral memory. Koh has been a shining example of what it means to be a 21st-century artist, and her collaboration with Tines promises to astonish.

The strings keep coming on Tuesday, April 19 with a performance by charismatic British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his sister Isata Kanneh-Mason on piano. The Danish String Quartet, another favorite with Arts & Lectures’ audiences, returns for part two of the Doppelgänger Project on Wednesday, April 27. Pianist Daniil Trifonov (Saturday, April 30) and the duo of cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Wednesday, May 4) bring this stellar parade to a spectacular conclusion.


A preliminary account of what promises to be a splendid Ojai Music Festival can be found at The guest artistic director this year is a group, the American Modern Opera, known as AMOC. One of the founding members of AMOC is none other than Davóne Tines, so plan to get to know this artist well this spring without ever leaving the region.

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