The Metropolitan Master Chorale performs One Peace at the City of West Hollywood Council Chambers. The Council Chambers is located on the ground floor of the West Hollywood Library.
The address is 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069.
Validated parking is available in the parking structure just behind the Council Chambers and Library. Enter from San Vincente Boulevard.
Support the Chorale! At 6:00 PM before the concert, join us for a silent auction featuring beautiful gift baskets, art, jewelry, and services.
Click here for a map of the Council Chambers and Library. For centuries humanity has longed for peace--first there was a search for peace among peoples, then natinos, then races and finally the earth. Join the Chorale as we explore five centuries of music whose power has promoted this ever-elusive harmony.
One of the selections includes Convergence: A Jazz Vespers by Shelly Berg. The piece was commissioned by the Dalai Lama and merges elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. The performance features MMC soprano Alison Lewis and a trio of LA’s finest jazz musicians: Jennifer Leitham on bass, David Arnay on piano and Randy Drake on percussion.
Meet Alison Lewis
Alison has been described as "a singer with a hauntingly beautiful voice who transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary with brilliant arrangements and vocal experimentation." No stranger to stages large and small, Alison has performed at venues ranging from Skirball Museum in Los Angeles to Lincoln Center in New York. She has performed and toured as both a soloist and ensemble member with world music a cappella groups, jazz groups, major cover bands, R&B acts, as well as gospel and classical choirs at high profile events throughout California and internationally. She released her debut album, Seven, in 2016 to much acclaim. Cuts from that album continue to be played on Los Angeles' KJAZZ. Alison has additionally recorded vocals for video games, films, and independent artists in both the United States and Europe. March of 2018 marks Alison's eighth year singing with the Metropolitan Master Chorale. She considers it a joy and a tremendous honor to be part of such an incredible group of musicians and human beings.
Meet Jennifer Leitham
Jennifer Leitham is a career jazz musician and has been a professional musician for more than 40 years. She is known for playing for many famous dead people, among them Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Woody Herman, Benny Carter, Louis Bellson, and a horde of others you wouldn’t have heard of. She’s also played for some who are still alive, Doc Severinsen, and k.d. lang just to name two.
Her bass lines have graced many movies and TV shows, and recently she was the subject of an award winning documentary, I Stand Corrected.
She is a bassist, vocalist, composer, arranger, lyricist, and producer. She is an active educator and has taught at every level, from beginners to grad students to working professionals across the country. Jennifer is currently teaching private students globally in cyberspace via SKYPE.
She is most proud of her career as a recording artist. As of now she has played on more than 125 albums, with 10 albums of her own (including her huge hit The Real Me), and is currently working on another.
The Jennifer Leitham Trio is an active, working, creative force. Come on out and catch them sometime!
“Jennifer Leitham is an extremely compelling diva of the upright acoustic bass. She is one of the few practitioners of her instrument, of any gender, genre, or generation, who can completely command my attention with what is, essentially, an entire set of bass solos.” – Wall Street Journal, Will Friedwald
Meet David Arnay
In 1994 David was recruited by jazz woodwind legend Bennie Maupin to play for his new quintet. The group performed Arnay's compositions along with Maupin's. Alphonso Johnson played bass. "Playing with Bennie brought me to one of the coolest branches of the jazz family tree. He really helped me to listen more carefully, to leave more space and respect silence. A true mentor."
After completing the master's degree program at the USC/Thornton School of Music in 1999, David was invited to join the USC faculty. Colleagues at USC include jazz and pop masters Bob Mintzer, Alan Pasqua, Ndugu Chancler, Patrice Rushen, Peter Erskine, and Alphonso Johnson. As a teacher, David finds introducing newcomers to the jazz tradition and approach to be especially rewarding. "When a classically trained player discovers that s/he doesn't need to rely on written music, it's like watching a creature being born."
David has recorded albums in a variety of styles with Bennie Maupin, Phil Upchurch, and others. With Michael Lizarraga, he co-produced "8," which employs a unique concept. Opening with a solo piano rendition of "Caravan," the album adds a new instrument on each track up to the closing octet, "Dream Groove." With Peter Erskine on drums and a cast of A-list L.A. musicians, the album provides a compelling, evolutionary listening experience.
David performs constantly in L.A. as a soloist, leader of his own jazz group, and as a busy sideman. He played guitar and keyboards for the original Los Angeles production of the Broadway hit musical “Rent” starring Neil Patrick Harris for more than 250 performances. He has been in residence at the Parkway Grill supper club in Pasadena since 1989. He continues to cross boundaries, performing in a broad spectrum of styles. His music is energetic and accessible, rooted in the jazz mainstream, and charged with eclectic influences.
Meet Randy Drake
Randy Drake began playing drums at age twelve. After graduating from Goffstown High School in New Hampshire, Randy moved to Denton, Texas and studied music at the University of North Texas, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies. He has recently received a M.M. in Jazz Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1988, he began performing with Dan Siegel, Bill Watrous, John Novello, Pat Kelley, and Gregg Karukas. Between 1990 and 1992, he performed and recorded with artists including Birds of a Feather, the Mark Masters Jazz Orchestra, Uncle Festive, Ralph Carmichael, and many other Los Angeles artists. After touring Japan with Japanese guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka and the United States with Englebert Humperdinck, Randy performed, recorded, and toured with the jazz-pop artist Daniel Ho and Kilauea. Recently, he has been performing and recording with Daniel Ho, Jennifer Leitham, San Gabriel Seven, and Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto.
In 2004, Randy recorded for Kevin McCourt’s OneSong Words and Music Series. In 2005, he did a very successful tour of the US East coast with John Novello (Niacin). LA Times jazz critic, Don Heckman, recently wrote "Shelly Berg, working in emphatic unity with Chuck Berghofer and Randy Drake, affirms that jazz can (and should) touch the senses, the emotions, and the mind.”
Randy teaches private drum set students at California State University, Long Beach and is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include music, gender, and identity—specifically the ability for music to open spaces for under-represented forms of embodiment and identity. One Peace is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood's WeHo Arts Program. For more information please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts. In addition, the Metropolitan Master Chorale is supported, in part, by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.