Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meditation for Memory & Brain Functioning

Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m.

In this workshop, a meditation technique from the Kundalini Yoga tradition called Kirtan Kriya will be explored. Practicing this technique just twelve minutes a day has been shown to not only improve health and well-being: studies suggest that it can also lead to a reduction in cellular aging (1) and that it increases brain activity in areas central to memory and improves cognition and well-being in patients with memory loss (2). This meditation technique increases activity in areas of the brain which are central to memory and which are the first to decrease in function when a person develops Alzheimer's disease. The studies also suggest that it could be "possible, therefore, that if everyone did Kirtan Kriya...on a regular basis, the number of people who develop Alzheimer's would diminish." (3)

This technique can be done seated in a chair, lying down, or seated on a mat or cushion. No prior meditation or yoga experience or any level of flexibility or fitness is needed. Attendees will do a few gentle stretches, discuss the technique and its origins, and then practice together. Yogi tea will be offered after practice.

This workshop will last an hour and thirty minutes and will be facilitated by CECILIA REARDON, Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, who is certified by the Kundalini Research Institute. Participants will be seated in chairs, but if they wish to sit on mats on the floor, they are welcome to and should bring their own mat or cushion.

You won't want to miss this free workshop at Crowell Library Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer

with author Mark Knowles
Sunday October 12th 2:00 p.m.

Choreographer Alex Romero created Jailhouse Rock, the iconic Elvis Presley production number, but never received screen credit for his contribution. MARK KNOWLES, who traced the history of tap dancing in his acclaimed book, Tap Roots, has written a lively book on Romero which he will discuss at Crowell Library on October 12 at 2:00 p.m. Known for his inventive style and creative use of props, Alex Romero was instrumental in bringing rock and roll to the screen. Knowles’ biography includes first-person accounts of Romero’s collaborations with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and others.

The son of a Mexican general, Romero escaped the Mexican Revolution, joined his family's vaudeville dance act and became a dancer in Hollywood. Part of Jack Cole's exclusive Columbia dance troupe, he was eventually hired as a staff assistant at MGM, where he worked on Take Me Out to the Ballgame, American in Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and On the Town, among many others. When Romero transitioned into full-time choreography, he created the dances for numerous films, including Love Me or Leave Me, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Tom Thumb, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and additional movies for Elvis.

Mark Knowles has directed and/or choreographed over 300 productions nationally and internationally, from Buenos Aires to Broadway, as well as innumerable film and television productions. Locally, he has taught dance at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, La Salle High School, Occidental College and UC Irvine. Mr. Knowles is the author of four books, The Tap Dance Dictionary, Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing,(winner of the American Library Association’s Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Text), and The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Brass Quartet in concert

Thursday, October 9th, 7:00 p.m.

Come to Crowell Library for a night of fabulous music from the Brass Quartet led by San Marino Music Center instructor, Kory McMaster. The program will feature both classical and modern works, from Bach to Holst and even film scores such as "How to Train Your Dragon." The San Marino Brass Quartet consists of Kory McMaster and Michelle Lane on trumpets, Nolan Markey on French horn, and Julius Lopez on trombone. The concert will delight audience members of all ages. The concert is sponsored by the San Marino Music Center and the Friends of Crowell Public Library. No reservations are necessary, but seating is limited for this very popular series.

Kory McMaster is a freelance musician, film composer, and orchestrator. He graduated with a B.M. in Music Composition from Azusa Pacific University where he studied with renowned trumpet instructor Robert Slack. Kory currently works as an orchestrator at Sparks and Shadows under television composer Bear McCreary working on shows such as The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, and Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Kory is incredibly passionate about teaching, striving to provide his students with the same opportunities that his instructors provided for him.

Michelle Lane (trumpet) has toured much of the US and currently plays in the house band for the late night talk show “Noches Con Plantanito.” Michelle has performed at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, and the Grove and Americana in Los Angeles. She also studied with Robert Slack at Azusa Pacific University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial trumpet performance and was offered a full scholarship from Azusa Pacific to pursue a Master’s Degree. Michelle also teaches master classes at various high schools.

Nolan Markey (French horn) began studying piano at the age of five, but was absolutely terrible at it and decided to pursue trumpet instead. Later he added French horn to his musical palette and has been playing ever since. Nolan is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Music Composition at California State University, Northridge and frequently works as a copyist and composer. For the last several years, he has served as the staff brass instructor at Pete Knight High School in Palmdale, California.
Julius Lopez began playing trombone in ninth grade. He was a nursing student at Cal State Fullerton, but was coaxed by Robert Slack to attend Citrus College and pursue music. He eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Azusa Pacific University. As a trombonist Julius has performed throughout the United States. He has played at venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Catalina Jazz Club, Newport Jazz Festival, and has backed up artists such as Rob Reiner, Sammy Nestico, Marc Shaiman, Scott Whitfield, and Dale Kristien.

You won’t want to miss this evening of free music at Crowell Library. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Maezie’s Pumpkin Patch

Friends of Crowell Public Library Meet the Authors Series:
author Lynn Snowden and illustrator Kyle Kennedy Powell:
Wednesday October 8th 7:00 p.m.

Each autumn, Pasadena resident and avid gardener Maezie Powell would donate her prize-winning pumpkins to the Children’s Garden at the Huntington Library. In August of 2012, vandals destroyed Maezie’s pumpkin patch. The story made the newspapers and the TV news. The crime was never solved, but it brought out Maezie’s neighbors who offered their help and support. Neighbors who had never met their neighbors helped put the garden back in shape. Maezie also received pumpkin seeds, cards and letters from all over the country. When Maezie showed her friend, Lynn, the collection of letters and cards, Lynn was so moved she went home and wrote a story about it that night. Lynn then asked Maezie's grandaughter, Kyle, to illustrate it. And, so the creation of a heartwarming children's book began. Come to Crowell Public Library on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. to Meet the Authors in the Barth Community Room.

Lynn Martin Snowden has devoted her life to children and their creative endeavors. Teaching students of all ages for over 36 years, her career has spanned both coasts of the United States in a variety of disciplines. Currently, she is an educator in southern California. Maezie’s Pumpkin Patch is her first children’s book. Kyle Sydney Powell grew up surrounded by a family of artists and can always be found with a pencil or camera in her hand. She received her MFA in New York and has been a graphic artist, and an art instructor for both children and adults. She lives just blocks from the great pumpkin patch.

Maezie Powell, a remarkably youthful ninety-five year-old, gives her pumpkin seeds to all who are interested in creating a garden of their own. Crowell Library and their Friends are hoping to see Ms. Powell in person at this very special evening!
Other local authors participating in this series: Susan Rosvall (Silence is Broken) in November, Nicole Mones (Night in Shanghai) in January, Chris Lynch (One Eyed Jack) in February and Mona Simpson (Casebook: a Novel) in March. With Friends like these, the authors keep coming at Crowell Public Library!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finding the Heart of America: Highway 50

Six Thursdays beginning October 2

What were the noble ideas that shaped our nation and how have these ideas played out across the country? In this special series, Highway 50 will be used to explore America from its founding, early development, civil war, and westward expansion, to the present day. Time Magazine has called U.S. Highway 50 the “main street of America,” so what better vehicle to explore the country? It extends from Maryland’s eastern shore to Sacramento and passes through Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City and the heartland of America. This will not be a traditional travelogue or history class. Instead, PROFESSOR DAVID MARSH will present seven themes about the nature of America and all participants will work together to seek the heart of America using Highway 50 as an anchor, prompt, and storyboard. The class will be lively, entertaining, and interactive— with all perspectives, questions, and stories welcomed to complete the view of the U.S. from the perspective of “main street” and to answer, “What Is America Today?”
This series is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Simply call the Library’s reference desk at (626) 300-0777 ext. 579 and reserve a space. Walk-in registration is also welcomed. Sessions will take place in the Library’s Barth Community Room on the following Thursdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 2014, from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Professor David Marsh has spent the last decade exploring America along Highway 50. In the style of Charles Kuralt, he has driven every mile of the highway, talked with many locals along the route, visited key museums and sites, and read local newspapers. He brings stories, photos, reflections, and a decade of experiences to share. At USC, Marsh was the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the Rossier School of Education and the Robert A. Naslund Professor of Curriculum and Instruction.

Parking is free behind the Library and on the street. For further Information contact Jerome B. Walker, Ph.D., Director, jbwalker@usc.edu or Judith C. Diaz, Assistant Director, judydiaz@usc.edu (213) 740-8841 or visit USC Emeriti Center College http://emeriticollege.usc.edu

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LA Opera Talk with Live Performances!

Verdi’s La Traviata
Sunday, September 21, 2:00 p.m.

The LA Opera season starts with Giuseppe Verdi's classic romance, La Traviata, one of the most popular operas today. And the LA Opera Talk series at Crowell Library starts off in a very special way, with performances by soprano MARIANA RAMIREZ, singing selections from the opera in the role of Violeta, along with baritone ERIC CASTRO singing the role of Alfredo, with pianist ABRAHAM FABELLA accompanying. The dazzlingly Art Deco-inspired LA Opera production at the Music Center features Placido Domingo in a Roaring Twenties setting.

Acclaimed by Review Plays as a "genuine opera star in progress, with a voice that has a rich quality and clarity," Mariana Ramirez is becoming widely recognized for her performances. In the role of Antonia in Tales of Hoffman, she was claimed by Harbor Independent News as “the evening’s standout with her warm, luxurious voice that encompasses romantic and poignant moments with a sympathetic presence.” This season, she performed Lia in Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue and in Mozart’s Requiem as a soloist under the direction of James Vail. She received her Master of Music degree with Distinction at California State University Northridge 2011 and Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance cum laude.

As a baritone soloist, Eric Castro has appeared multiple times at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Shrine Auditorium, Long Beach Carpenter Centre, Las Vegas Smith Center, and Redlands Bowl. He was recently featured with the String Orchestra Project in Bach’s Cantata Ich Habe Genug, and with San Diego Festival Orchestra in Dvorak’s Te Deum. Eric earned his B.A. from Yale University, where he studied art, music and drama; and his Juris Doctor from USC’s Gould School of Law. Eric is a Corporate Partner in the law firm of LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP.

Accompanist Abraham Fabella is a composer, pianist, and conductor who received graduate degrees in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at the University of California, Riverside and additional graduate training at UCLA. Mr. Fabella is a much sought-after vocal coach and collaborative pianist.
Ray Busmann has worked as an artist and educator both in his native Germany and in Southern California for over 30 years. He enjoys sharing his passion for opera with audiences of all ages. This is Ray's third season as a volunteer Community Educator for LA Opera and he will undoubtedly reveal some fascinating facts in his presentation in the Library’s Barth Community Room. Arrive a bit early as this program will undoubtedly fill up. The program is free and open to all opera aficionados and first timers. Light refreshments will be served.

Crowell: First Library in the World to Offer Dakim Brain Fitness

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Girls in the Band

Thursday September 18th 6:30 p.m.

They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low-cut gowns and short shorts. They kow-towed to the club owners and smiled at the customers… and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. THE GIRLS IN THE BAND tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 20s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continue today to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them.

Attending this special screening will be DR. THOM DAVID MASON, who taught the very popular Jazz & Swing from A to Z at Crowell Library earlier this year, and JUDY CHAIKIN, who produced and directed the film. Dr. Mason is the founder of the Jazz Studies Department at the Thornton School of Music, USC, and was so impressed with The Girls in the Band, he’s seen it multiple times. He also knows some of the musicians featured in the film so he will have many insights to share with the audience.

Director/Producer Judy Chaikin is best known for writing, producing and directing the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist. She is a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. Regarding her film, The Girls in the Band, Judy says, “We hope that the great joy we all had in learning about these amazing women, will be shared by the viewers and that the film will bring these artists the admiration and respect they so rightly deserve. This film is my tribute to their courage and musical artistry, which has never been properly celebrated… Our greatest satisfaction will come if this film can inspire a new crop of young female jazz musicians to stand on the shoulders of those early pioneers and to reach for the stars.”

Crowell Library is very fortunate to have these two guests at this special screening that is free for one and all. Don’t miss it!