by Edwin Rendon
Fantasies are created to evoke desires of a different reality where perfection reigns and happiness last forever. That’s the cause for the agents at Illusions Inc., to make souls void of compassion turn a smile; even, if it’s for a moment.
Humayun and Babur, two average guys guarding a supreme architectural edifice, the Taj Mahal, are about to have an existential experience on the eve of its unveiling. Shy of paradise on Earth, the opulent white marble mausoleum representing both an emperor’s love for his deceased wife and the power of his reign is all under the protection of the starring duo. A crisis arises before morning’s light shaking both their faith in God, the empire and one another in this dark comedy.
February 2nd – 28th
Caipirinhas and capoeira, fun and feathers, and tons more is in store for the 24th yearly San Diego Brazil Carnival. Going well beyond samba, the 2016 edition of this very hot local showcase brings the international sounds, sights and tastes of South America’s liveliest country to downtown. Pulsating Latin, Caribbean and African beats, a batucada-style parade, dazzling colorful costumed dancers, and all the non-stop energy of Brazil will be at its highest energy!
For the last installation of its 2015-2016 season, the San Diego Ballet is joining two San Diego creatives for an explosive exhibit of their talents. The dance company’s resident artistic director, Javier Velasco, has choreographed San Diego’s own jazz trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos’ extraordinary music mixing in a tribute set to jazz great Dave Brubeck for a stellar showcase. Jumping out of seats is an invitation extended, and highly recommended so let’s dance.
February 5th – 7th
The monkey is cutting loose this Chinese New Year ushering in 2016 with one of Asia’s favorite holidays. Spanning from Beijing to Jakarta and other countries in between, the tastes, dances, songs, and much more will fill any Oriental craving during the weekend’s event. If the traditional NYE’s resolutions seemed to have fallen to the wayside already, this Lunar New Year is a good chance to restart any cleansing for a fortunate, happy and playful fire monkey year.
February 13th – 14th
It is a musical blend too cool for school for violinist Kev Marcus and viola player Wil B, the duo behind Black Violin. The classically-trained instrumentalists set ablaze their performances fusing hip-hop’s rhythm and beats with modern and traditional classical sensibilities. Whether it is hanging with the Wu-Tang Clan, Tom Petty or Kanye, these gents have something that goes beyond Stereotypes, their latest cut. Black Violin’s strings are taught and the turntables are spinning, what’s not to love with this live mix?!
Flamenco song is charged with the same fervor of any Latin American country, and Madrid’s Diego El Cigala is taking on some if its tunes. In the midst of a world tour, the Spanish Gypsy singer is returning to the region and he’s bringing not only his repertoire of music, but an accompanying piano for the night. Feliciano, Manzanero, Roberto Carlos, and more will be part of El Cigala’s set all while discovering the common roots between flamenco and Latin cultures; perfect food for the ears!
Science and music are set to take your brain into an environment ideal for its neural circuitry hitting new notes, and nematodes! Deeply woven in his DNA, saxophonist and clarinetist extraordinaire Victor Goines expresses his New Orleans roots lacing every scale with unrelenting melody with his superb jazz quartet. The night’s showcase will also stimulate your brain’s cells between performances with Salk’s neurobiologist Sreekanth Chalasani sharing the latest studies on genes, neurons and neural circuitry in whole animals. Stimulation is guaranteed, how one behaves to it is all in one’s head.
It may be a sextet on stage but the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour’s musicians are infused with a spectrum of iconic influential names in music. From Gillespie to Hancock, Charles to Wonder, and many more in between, the touring jazzists will continue the legacy of the Festival expanding its boundaries beyond California’s central coast. These “traditional-untraditionalists” mirror their predecessors’ footprints taking on jazz classics and original compositions by its band members. Midon, Payton, Coltrane, Clayton, Sanders and Hutchinson have created waves of sound beyond Monterey, and San Diego is getting ready for their tide.
A cinema fest village within an isle is perfectly fitting for San Diego’s own crown city to spark off 2016. The inaugural Coronado Island Film Festival is taking over the historic seaside community and they are rolling in Hollywood royalty. Walk, bike, and/or take a ferry during the week’s screenings, panels, parties and celebrity tributes from Orange Avenue down to the The Del’s Beach, it will be all things Coronado. A variety of classics, new movies, documentaries, animation and more are sure to strike all film buffs’ affinities, what’s yours?
January 15th – 18th