The LA-based band ‘Inca’ is maintaining traditions, though, but doing it right, mixing traditional dance in, and not limiting their offerings to the highland traditions. Anything ‘Afro’ is a good bet on the world music charts these days, and that includes Afro-Peruvian, whose contributions always outweighed their numbers. Ciro Hurtado, at LACMA Saturday evening, is more my speed, though. This is some of the best modern jazz on anybody’s favorite ‘triple-z’ station, and with a pronounced Andean twist, it goes down real nicely. This is one of the world’s best guitarists on nylon strings, and understatement IS his statement. Sr. Hurtado defines the modern ‘Latino sound’ almost as much as Carlos Santana once did, but he accomplishes it in negative space, a reverse applique’ tapestry. Imagine one of Santana’s rare quiet moments and that’s where Hurtado punches it up, most of the time laboring away unobtrusively in the background, weaving a rich sonic landscape.
Grant Geissman was there at LACMA the night before as part of their Fri-Sat 1-2 jazz-Latino punch (I’ll have a cup of that, please) in what is fast becoming one of the city’s best free offerings. It’s a chill scene, too, families and picnics on the grass. Grand Performances downtown may have just as good a selection of DIY food, but LACMA has more dogs, if you’re a closet dog-whisperer or even just a casual dog-watcher (and kids are welcome and plentiful in the early eves).
In what has to be one of the music season’s more bizarre coincidences, Saturday was also ‘string night’ at
Actually first- but not least- was ‘Bad Haggis’ (don’t ask what ‘haggis’ is) at the LA Farmer’s Market, a kind of Irish-folk-fusion group (no, U2 does not count as Irish folk). As always it’s novelty that sells (ask any businessman) and music is no different. Of course ‘Salsa Celtica’ has already been done- by a group of that very name, but whereas that’s mostly salsa with Celtic elements, this is just the opposite, i.e if you want to hear bagpipes, this is a better bet. Idon’t know how it’d play in the bars and pubs of Kilkenny, but it sounds pretty good at the LA Farmers Market… and that’s not the greatest venue for acoustics.
This week best bets are looking like the aforementioned Palenke Soultribe at MacArthur on Thursday, Natacha Atlas the same night out in the hills at Skirball, and Adonis Puentes and Pacha Massive (NOT ‘Macha Passive’, no) at Cal Plaza Friday noon and Saturday evening respectively. Of course that same evening not only will Nonstop Bhangra be playing the second set at the water court, but the Tubes (yes, THOSE Tubes!) will be right down the street at