The UC Santa Barbara Department of Music will present the fifth annual UCSB Summer Music Festival on Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23, 2020 as a VIRTUAL EVENT. Sponsored by the UC Santa Barbara Office of Summer Sessions, the virtual festival will feature performances by the Los Angeles-based new music piano duo HOCKET, multi-percussionist and vocalist Miguelito León, UC Santa Barbara Composition alumnus and pianist Marc Evanstein, the Nesta Steel Drum Band, University Carillonist Wesley Arai, and Gamelan Sinar Surya, under the direction of UC Santa Barbara faculty member Richard North. The festival will also feature a children’s concert led by Miguelito León and a demonstration of a variety of Medieval and Renaissance instruments by UC Santa Barbara graduate Composition student Matthew Owensby.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Miguel “Miguelito” León is a 25 year old multi-percussionist/vocalist, producer, educator, and Director of Cuba cultural exchange CALI2CUBA. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, León grew up playing a diverse range of world music such as Latin, Afro-Cuban, West-African, Brazilian “MPB,” Balkan, Flamenco, and Jazz. León has performed and recorded with world-renowned artists such as Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Band, Michael McDonald, Ozomatli, and Los Hermanos Herrera, and has also recorded for FOX Network’s Glee. León’s Summer Music Festival program will feature a special live-looping solo performance.
UC Santa Barbara Composition alumnus Marc Evanstein will present a range of compositions featuring the computer as a creative partner. From acoustic music composed with the aid of custom computer programs, to interactive piano pieces in which the computer responds live to the actions of the performer, this program will feature a variety of pieces in which the computer, and computer programming, plays a central role in the compositional process. Evanstein will also offer a brief introduction to his new Python-based computer-assisted composition framework, SCAMP, and some of the exciting new music that has been composed using it.
UC Santa Barbara graduate student composer and violinist Matthew Owensby will present an introductory sample from a variety of medieval and renaissance instruments with a brief description and performance of each. Owensby’s presentation will include recorders, viols, crumhorns, cornetti, cornamuse, kortholt, dulcian, rebec, harp, and a hurdy-gurdy.
Los Angeles-based new music piano duo HOCKET will share excerpts from their new project, #What2020SoundsLike, an endeavor that includes performing 50+ composers’ varying and moving musical responses to the year 2020. Participating composers include Vicki Ray, Veronika Krausas, Ted Moore, Ian Dicke, Linda Dallimore, Derek Tywoniuk, Richard An, Noah Meites, and UC Santa Barbara Composition alumnus Nick Norton, among others. HOCKET includes UC Santa Barbara faculty member Dr. Sarah Gibson and composer Thomas Kotcheff.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Multi-percussionist/vocalist, producer, and educator Miguel “Miguelito” León will host a Children’s Concert with performances alongside an introduction to the instruments and rhythms he uses in his music.
UC Santa Barbara University Carillonist Wesley Arai will present arrangements of well-known classical and popular music, as well as works composed for the carillon, including two pieces written specifically in celebration of the Storke Tower carillon’s 50th anniversary.
Steelpan (or steel drums, as they are known in the US) are the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Though they are a relatively young and misunderstood instrument family, they have had a significant impact on music. This intimate concert and discussion will be led by professional musicians Abby and Dan Savell, a husband and wife team. The discussion will include more about this family of instruments, including their history and cultural significance, as well as an overview of Caribbean music styles, improvisation, and basic principles and nuances of playing steelpan.
Directed by UC Santa Barbara faculty member Richard North, Gamelan Sinar Surya will perform music from Indonesia on an enchanting orchestra of gongs, xylophones, drums, and bamboo flutes. The ensemble is dedicated to the preservation, teaching, and performance of traditional Indonesian music and dance, and specializes in rare music from the ancient kingdom of Cirebon, West Java.