The Valley Line: Mus/ique supplies hot music on cool evening

July 21, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Rachael Worby, artistic director of Muse/ique, conducted the orchestra in its first concert of the season held in the olive grove at the Caltech campus.
Rachael Worby, artistic director of Muse/ique, conducted… (Courtesy of Muse/Ique )

Oh my, I've been loving this weather. Coastal eddy can come and stay for the entire summer. These cool mornings are divine, and the air smells so sweet.

Speaking of fragrances, the other night I was held hostage in my car for nearly 40 minutes because there was a huge skunk inspecting my front yard and I didn't dare open the door. I sure as heck didn't want to frighten him.

While I was thumping my fingers on the steering wheel, he was leisurely sniffing the flowers. He then squeezed himself under the front gate and continued his property inspection in my front courtyard. I guess he then decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence because he slowly ambled off to my neighbors' yard. One thing for sure is that he wasn't in any hurry. It was a lesson in patience for me.

I — along with about 1,500 other people — experienced an exciting and eclectic evening of music on the Caltech campus last week by the musicians of Muse/ique, conducted by Rachael Worby.


There was a cooling trend in the weather that evening, but the music got hotter. In fact, it downright sizzled with the sounds squeezed out of the trumpet of six-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval. The notes, from high to low, proved that Cuban-born Sandoval's music knows no boundaries.

Sandoval and the orchestra first dazzled us with Nepomuk Hummel's “Trumpet Concerto.” Well, that rousing piece more than satisfied the classical aficionados in the audience. However, Sandoval and the orchestra didn't stop there. The concert was held in the olive garden at the Beckman Auditorium mall, and the lovely site was echoing with the sounds of bebop and jazz.

A special moment came when Sandoval paid tribute to his hero and mentor, the great trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, with the song he wrote for his new CD album, “Dear Diz, Every Day I think of You.”

Actress Zila Mendoza, who received the prized Obie Award in New York for best lead performance on Broadway, also paid tribute to Gillespie by reciting a poem titled, “They Called Him Dizzy, But the Man Had Plenty Sense.”

Sandoval, who at the time was a cab driver in Havana, related the story of his first meeting with Gillespie. He picked up the famous musician at the airport. On their way into town, they chatted about many subjects. However, Sandoval did not tell him that he too was a trumpet player, even though he idolized the great Gillespie.

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