Mount Wilson turns to jazz for Sunday concert
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Editor-in-chief of Pasadena Weekly
Mount Wilson Observatory artistic director Cécilia Tsan said she now has hope for music, performance and the future of the arts.
Robust ticket sales for the Sunday afternoon concerts of two concerts at the Dome – the second of which is on Sunday, September 5 – inspired her.
“It’s very promising and it gives me hope for the next season, which we hope will be complete,” said Tsan.
“This season has only two shows, but next season will be much better. We’re going to make a whole summer of great music.
This Sunday, the Lounge Art Ensemble returns. Led by Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine, this jazz trio features saxophonist Bob Sheppard and bassist Darek Oles with another “carte blanche” program of jazz standards.
“He’s a pretty iconic jazz musician,” Tsan said of Erskine. “He is one of the greatest jazz musicians on Earth. To want to come back is truly an honor and a joy.
Like the classical concert on August 1, this performance will take place under the arched dome of the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory.
“It’s quite extraordinary,” Tsan said. “Once everyone is seated, the commissioner who takes care of the entire season and who invited me greets the public. They spin it around, and then we come in and play. It’s quite an experience.
“The acoustics are so amazing. It has one of the best acoustics in the world.
Principal cellist of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Tsan co-founded the Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome series. Born in France, Tsan began playing the cello with the same teacher as her childhood friend, Yo-Yo Ma.
Graduated in philosophy and Chinese, she graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris under André Navarra.
She won international competitions in Barcelona, Florence and Paris. Tsan tours the world as a soloist and chamber musician with Rudolf Firkusny, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Michel Dalberto, Pascal Rogé, Simone Pedroni, Pierre Amoyal, Augustin Dumay and Martin Chalifour.
She has also recorded hundreds of movie soundtracks with John Williams, James Newton-Howard, James Horner, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman and Alexandre Desplat.
Tickets, $ 50, to sit inside the historic dome, are limited. Concert participants must be fully immunized. Children under 12 are not allowed. Masks are mandatory.
Access to the dome shows is via a 53-step staircase. The Mount Wilson Observatory sits at an elevation of a mile and a half, so the air is noticeably thinner. There is no ADA compliant access.
All proceeds support the Mount Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the observatory and its achievements.
Sunday afternoon concerts at the Dôme
with the Lounge Art Ensemble, Jazz Trio
WHEN: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, September 5; There will be a reception at 4 p.m. with the musicians which participants from 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. can join.
O: Mount Wilson Observatory, 100 Mount Wilson Redbox Road, Mount Wilson
COT: $ 50