The Pasadena Wine Festival took up residence for two evenings this weekend at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Attendant vinophiles shared the space with the Arboretum’s resident peacocks, while looking up at a backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains set off by a canopy of lights. Amid these surroundings, they sampled food and wine — lots of wine — from labels the world over. And they did this all night, for two nights, in a row. How did they ever stand it?
(Photos by James Carbone / Correspondent)
Kjerstin Williams is the second of three geniuses featured in Rose Magazine’s cover story. If you’re not green with envy over her day job — working with robots at Applied Minds — then her night job ought to do the trick: she’s a jazz singer, and a good one, at that.
With her pixie-blond hair and bubbly personality (we dubbed her a RoboVixen) Williams resides somewhere on the bridge between science and art — a spectrum that’s often at play on the Caltech campus, where science reigns supreme, but a musical subculture has thrived.
Williams has even performed at Carnegie Hall with the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band.
She harmonizes regularly around town with The Conspirators, a quartet of Caltech musicians. At top and below is a photo series by Jonathan Prentice of a recent session at the Pasadena Jazz Institute.
Swing along and read the full story on Williams in Rose Magazine.
For a firsthand glimpse into the playful duality of Williams’ life, follow her on Twitter.
Portrait by Walt Mancini. Performance photos by Jonathan Prentice: Kjerstin Williams and The Conspirators perform at the Pasadena Jazz Institute in July. Laurence Yeung on guitar, Jim Van Deventer on tenor sax, Jimi Hawes on upright bass, Michael Ferrara on drums and special guest Bill Watrous on the trombone.
“… on Saturday, following performances by the eight-piece band The Big
Pill, the PJI’s lease expires, forcing (owner Paul) Lines to close up shop and look
for another location.”
After three years of music-making in the massive restaurant space that used to house Delmonico’s Seafood Grill, Paseo’s management has found a permanent tenant, reports Andr Coleman in the Weekly.
“The space, slated to become a banquet hall after Lines and company
leave, was certainly roomy enough, but the increased wait time for
drinks and appetizers produced a financially detrimental domino effect:
Customers unhappy with waiting left smaller tips, which brought
turnover among bar staff, resulting in less rapport developing with
bartenders and servers, all ending with fewer customers.”
But first, there’s this weekend’s mini-farewell tour:
Friday, “Come To A Jazz Party,” with performances by five bands: Elizabeth Lamers, The Bill Watrous Quartet, The Matt Falker Trio, The San Gabriel 7 and Nick Mancini Collective. Music starts at 6 p.m.
The Big Pill will headline Saturday’s final-ever show — the true requiem for Pasadena’s jazz dream.
Cost is $10 at both events. Think of it as a memorial offering.
Pasadena Jazz Institute, Paseo Colorado, 280 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 206, but not for long. (626) 398-3344