The Santa Monica College Music Department will present three concerts in April, including a benefit concert for the distinctive Applied Music Program. All three concerts will take place at The Broad Stage in the SMC Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street.

Sunday, April 1, at 4 p.m., the SMC Jazz Band, under the baton of Keith Fiddmont, will perform jazz band arrangements from master musicians as well as contemporary works from aspiring composers and arrangers.

Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m., the SMC Wind Ensemble, under the baton of Keith McKeown, will appear. Among the performance highlights will be Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis and a premiere work from local composer Peter Senchuk.

Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., SMC’s Applied Music Program Benefit Concert will feature the works of SMC’s most gifted music students. Under the direction of Dr. Yulia Krasny, the distinctive program is dedicated to fostering the development of outstanding instrumentalists, vocalists and composers.

Tickets for all the concerts are $10. Call (310) 434-3005 or go to


British artist Luke Jerram’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” is proof there is something absolutely new under the sun .
It’s a county-wide, free, public art installation, featuring 30 decorated pianos located in public spaces for Angelenos to play 24/7 for 22 days.

Presented by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, it culminates the season-long celebration of LACO music director/pianist Jeffrey Kahane’s 15th anniversary.

The pianos will be installed around Los Angeles on Thursday, April 12 and remain in place until May 3. On April 12 at noon, 30 pianists will take their places at the 30 pianos and simultaneously perform the Complete Preludes from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, after which they will each play works of their own choosing.

“Play Me, I’m Yours” is designed to foster “hubs of creativity” through spontaneous music-making. The pianos will be decorated by local artists — celebrated and amateur, and installed in high-traffic shopping centers, corporate centers, idyllic places, schools and other public places in downtown LA, Santa Monica, Monterey Park, Watts, San Pedro, Panorama City and points between.

Artists are turning the pianos into three-dimensional canvases and transforming them into original works of art. Among the artists are are famed muralist Kent Twitchell, Chicano Art Movement Leader Frank Romero, Colombian-American artist Frank Cubillos, and Chinese calligrapher Peizhi Yu with Son Qian;

Twitchell, who is arguably the best and most prolific of Los Angeles’s legendary muralists, painted a massive mural “Harbor Freeway Overture” on the 110 Freeway in Downtown LA 20 years ago in homage to LACO that features LACO musicians.

Other pianos are being transformed by community-based groups such as the Braille Institute, Fabian Debora, Crossroads and New Roads schools in Santa Monica, Homeboy Industries, Long Beach’s Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc., The HeArt Project in Collaboration with Graffiti Artist Man One, William Grant Still Arts Center with AISE; and Watts/Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club;

To date, “Play Me, I’m Yours” has been staged by Jerram in 22 cities around the world.

Local sponsors Include Wells Fargo Foundation; Fawcett Family Foundation; and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; with in-kind support from LA INC. and Discover the Arts LA; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Hollywood Piano Company; and media sponsorship from Los Angeles Times and Classical KUSC 91.5 FM

The project includes a dedicated website -–– where anyone may upload videos and photos of themselves and the pianos. Those materials become a part of the virtual community of streetpianos internationally.

“This special countywide tribute to Jeffrey Kahane reflects Jeffrey’s incredible artistry, unbridled passion for music, deep devotion to music education, and all that he has given musically to Los Angeles during his tenure,” says LACO Executive Director Rachel Fine.

Fine added, “With the pianos serving as blank canvases upon which people can share their own creativity, we look forward to hearing our neighbors, co-workers, and other fellow Angelenos play these instruments. Beyond solo playing, we encourage choirs, bands, other musical ensembles and even dancers to incorporate rehearsals or jam sessions at the piano sites. Some people may seek out all 30 pianos to see the different locations as well as the unique visual aspects of each instrument. The pianos are there to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Jerram said, “It’s a great pleasure to work with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to present my art project. This is by far the most ambitious presentation of the installation to date. I hope the public enjoys the project and takes advantage of the opportunity to perform, express themselves and go out and play.”

The monumental installation marks the Southern California debut of “Play Me, I’m Yours,” Jerram’s conceptual artwork that has been touring internationally since 2008. To date, more than 500 pianos have been made available to the public in some 22 cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

It has been seen by more than two million people worldwide, with each new city that commissions the work becoming part of a growing legacy. In 2012, in addition to Los Angeles, the artwork will be presented in San Juan (Puerto Rico) in May, London and Salt Lake City in June and Salem (Oregon) in July.

After each presentation of the project, the pianos are donated to schools and community groups in the area.

LACO has organized the donation of 30 upright pianos from generous individuals and organizations with the assistance of the Hollywood Piano Company. It has also arranged for “piano buddies” (volunteer caretakers) to oversee the care of each piano throughout the three-week period. Each piano is equipped with a plastic cover in case of rain, and the pianos will be tuned throughout the installation to ensure playability. “Play Me, I’m Yours” is a capstone to Discover the Arts LA, a city-wide celebration of the arts created annually by LA INC.

Jerram was born in 1974 in the UK. His multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. He lives in the UK but works internationally.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchesta, called “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world’s top musical ensembles. Since 1997, LACO has performed under the baton of acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, hailed by critics as “visionary” and “a conductor of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity” with “undeniable charisma. LACO presents seven Orchestral Series concerts at both Glendale’s Alex Theatre and UCLA’s Royce Hall, five Baroque Conversations concerts at downtown Los Angeles’ Zipper Concert Hall, three Westside Connections chamber music concerts at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, three Family Concerts at the Alex Theatre and an annual Discover concert at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. In addition, LACO presents a Concert Gala, an annual Silent Film screening at Royce Hall and several fundraising salons each year. LACO was founded in 1968.

Locations of the pianos
Downtown Los Angeles: Bunker Hill,California Plaza; Bunker Hill, Wells Fargo Center; Chinatown Central Plaza; International Plaza, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, University of Southern California; L.A. LIVE; Los Angeles City Hall Complex; Music Center of Los Angeles County; Olvera Street, El Pueblo Historical Monument; Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts; Union Station

San Gabriel Valley/The Foothills: Claremont, Rhino Records;Glendale Community College; Old Pasadena: One Colorado; Pasadena Conservatory of Music; Pasadena Playhouse District; Vroman’s Courtyard.

Santa Monica/Westside: Royce Hall, UCLA; Santa Monica, Annenberg Community Beach House; Santa Monica Pier; VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Hollywood/Mid-City: Hollywood: Egyptian Theatre; Nate Holden Performing Arts Center; William Grant Still Arts Center; 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, The Variety Building.

South LA/Harbor area: San Pedro, Warner Grand Theatre; Torrance Cultural Arts Center Plaza; Watts /Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club

Eastside: Boyle Heights,Los Angeles Music and Art School; Monterey Park: Atlantic Times Square.

San Fernando Valley North Hollywood: El Portal Theatre; Panorama City: Plaza del Valle.

Fresh & Easy Busted for Union Busting

From San Diego Reader

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., the U.S. arm of British grocery giant Tesco, the second most profitable worldwide retailer behind Wal-Mart, has lost in a petition for review of a disciplinary order handed down by the National Labor Relations Board.

Fresh & Easy executives were in Santa Monica recently to present their plans for a store in the 2400 block of Wilshire Boulevard.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has upheld the ruling of the Labor Relations Board pertaining to actions taken against an employee at a store in the San Diego suburb of Spring Valley. The Board held that Fresh & Easy was guilty of three separate violations of labor law against an employee during a union organizing drive at the store in 2008.

Store management twice warned a pro-union employee that she was not allowed to discuss unionization with other employees on the work floor, despite her protestation that “if employees can talk about the San Diego Chargers’ games or about their kids, then they can talk about the Union.” Barring the employee from talking to her coworkers about organizing constituted an unlawful restriction.

A supervisor then told the employee, who’d received a warning during work, that “if I had a manager that didn’t like me, I would take my check and walk out.” He further advised her twice that if she were to quit, she would likely be eligible for unemployment benefits, also an unlawful act.

Third, supervisors imposed a disciplinary improvement plan and ordered the worker not to disclose it or discuss its terms with her coworkers. This was also ruled by the Board to be an illegal denial of her right to discuss working conditions with her colleagues.

“We conclude that the Board’s decision that Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc. unlawfully encouraged an employee to quit in response to protected activity and promulgated two unlawful oral rules, one prohibiting an employee from discussing disciplinary matters during working hours and the other prohibiting employees from discussing union matters during working hours, is supported by substantial evidence and is not arbitrary,” reads a portion of the court’s final ruling, which denied the appeal by Fresh & Easy.

Despite parent Tesco’s overall profitability, the Fresh & Easy move into the United States’ West Coast market coincided with the global economic downturn and has yet to bear fruit. The company is hoping to show a profit from its U.S. operations for the first time in 2012 or 2013.



MoveON reporting

Wearing a hoodie on the House floor.

That got Representative Bobby Rush thrown out on Wednesday, even as he quoted from the Bible on justice and the end of oppression.1

Rep. Rush is one of millions calling for justice for Trayvon Martin, a young black man in a hoodie, gunned down last month in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, still hasn’t been arrested—and the wheels of justice can’t turn until he is.

Tomorrow in Sanford, MoveOn members will join Trayvon’s family, the NAACP, SEIU, and other allies in a march for justice. And across the country, we can show our solidarity with Saturday’s march by taking pictures of ourselves in a hoodie and making them our profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter.

This campaign began with a cry for justice from Trayvon’s parents, and grew online through huge petitions (including one by MoveOn member Maria Roach) and a massive response on social media from celebrities and millions of everyday people standing against racism and racial profiling. While Trayvon’s family keeps the pressure on in the streets of Sanford, we need to keep up the pressure online, where this campaign grew into a national movement.

Join the march for justice online by changing your profile picture for Trayvon.

George Zimmerman followed Trayvon, a young black man in a hoodie, because he looked “suspicious.”2 Zimmerman made an unjustified assumption about who Trayvon was, and that assumption led to Trayvon’s death. That’s why we have to keep the pressure on the system to make sure justice is served.

We’ve partnered with the creators of MillionHoodies, along with the NAACP, ColorOfChange, and other allies to make this online solidarity movement huge, with hundreds of thousands of us posting our hoodies photos in social media—and making them our profile picture.

But in order to be effective, people need to see hoodie photos everywhere they look online. So change your profile pic and join the millions of other hoodies online for Trayvon Martin on Saturday.

Thanks for all you do.
–Garlin, Mark, Elena, Ryan, and the rest of the team

P.S. If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account—don’t worry. You can upload your hoodie photo and post it online through a handy tool on MoveOn’s site, and it will go online through Flikr too. Just click here to become part of one million hoodies.


1. “Bobby Rush, Illinois Congressman, Thrown Off House Floor For Wearing Hoodie (VIDEO), The Huffington Post, March 28, 2012

2. “The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin,” The New York Times, March 16, 2012

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Santa Monica Public Library Branches Expand Hours

Santa Monica Public Library branches will expand their public hours, beginning Friday, April 13.The three neighborhood branches –- Fairview, Montana, and Ocean Park libraries -– will be open on Fridays from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m.

The extension of branch library hours to include Friday will start during National Library Week, a time during which libraries across the country promote library use and support.

“This year,” City Librarian Greg Mullen said, “We made the decision to celebrate libraries and promote their use by opening our doors on Fridays at our three neighborhood branch libraries. The new Friday hours will increase the ease of using the branches for checking out popular materials, attending a children’s, teen or adult program, and using the public computers.”

Starting Friday, April 13, Santa Monica Public Library branch hours will be 12 noon-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday. Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd. (310) 458-8681, Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave. (310) 458-8682, Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St. (310) 458-8683

Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 458-8600: hours will remain the same: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.

All Santa Monica Public Library facilities are wheelchair accessible, served by the Big Blue Bus, and offer bicycle parking racks.

For more information, contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600. Or visit the Library’s website at