MUSIC MONDAY: When a Prodigy Grows Up

Violinist Midori Goto debuted as an 11 year-old, having been selected by conductor Zubin Mehta to perform with the New York Philharmonic in 1982. She gained further legendary status three years later when she played through two instances of violin strings breaking during a Tanglewood concert with Leonard Bernstein conducting. The New York Times reported…

MUSIC MONDAY: L.A., the Devil, and other love songs

Singer and songwriter Connie Lim has a direct and spare style that gives her contemporary songs emotional clarity. The Los Angeles-based musician hasn’t gained much nationwide attention, but she has been producing an impressive range of songs that include alternative pop ballads, covers, smooth soul, and more recent indietronic rock. The following music videos feature…

MUSIC MONDAY: Dancing with a Young, Gifted, and Brown Soul

Joe Bataan’s music career, which peaked in the late 1960’s, experienced a recent resurgence after he was featured in a 2015 indie documentary “We Like It Like That.” The movie showed his pioneering role in the development of “Latin Boogaloo” a mixture of Latin dance music with rhythm and blues soul, that was a precursor…

MUSIC MONDAY: Jazz Saxophonist on “Late Night”

Saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Grace Kelly is a young jazz musician who has bridged many genres, from classic jazz standards to jazzy pop songs that she composed. Kelly has performed in many jazz events, including in more prominent venues such as the Newport Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her latest gig is with…

MUSIC MONDAY: Violinist for Bach’s birthday

Concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performed a batch of Johann Sebastian Bach’s pieces in her 2012 classical recording “Air: the Bach Album” which debuted at number one on the US Billboard Charts. Born in San Diego, California, Meyers has been performing since she was 11 years old (appearing in Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show). She debuted…

MUSIC MONDAY: Musical rite of passage in California

H.P. Mendoza wrote and Richard Wong directed the independent film “Colma: The Musical” which has become a cult classic ten years after its release in 2006. It was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, which called it “an itty-bitty movie with a big heart.” [YouTube] “Colma Stays” from “Colma: The Musical” Learn more: [NBC News]…

MUSIC MONDAY: A Prayer on Piano and Cello

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has performed a wide range of musical genres but he gained renown for his performances of classical music. In this video with pianist Kathryn Stott, he performs a short musical prayer: [YoYoMaVevo / YouTube] Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott – Ave Maria (J.S. Bach/ Gounod) Learn more: [The Guardian] Yo-Yo Ma: Bach, Big…

MUSIC MONDAY: Folk songs for a new identity

Chris Kando Iijima, Nobuko JoAnne Miyamoto, and William “Charlie” Chin released the album “A Grain of Sand” in 1973. Subtitled “Music for the Struggle by Asians in America,” it was the first musical expression of a consciously “Asian American” identity set in the folk music singer-songwriter fashion of the early 1970’s. The album contained songs…

MUSIC MONDAY: Writing the Songs of “Frozen”

Robert Lopez and his songwriting partner-wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez have written some of the most successful recent musicals and popular songs from movies. An English major at Yale, Filipino American┬áRobert Lopez co-wrote the lyrics for the Broadway show “Avenue Q” then wrote the musical “The Book of Mormons” with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the duo…

MUSIC MONDAY: While My Ukulele Gently Weeps

Ten years ago, this video of Jake Shimabukuro captured his masterful rendition of the George Harrison’s song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Shimabukur0’s performance, posted on YouTube, ushered a modern rediscovery of the ukulele by demonstrating its musical potential that transcended previous ukulele performances. The New York Times called it the “dawn of a third…

MUSIC MONDAY: Super Bowl halftime show integrated three popular performers

Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show featured three popular performers: Filipino American musician Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Their combined dynamic performances can be viewed on this NFL video: [NFL] Video: Bruno Mars and Beyonce crash the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show Learn more about Bruno Mars: [Biography] Bruno Mars Biography: “I decided…