Judy Rae

Around & About March 2020 Peninsula

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Renowned outsider jazz artist Eugene Chadbourne (left) and Camper Van Beethoven co-founder Victor Krummenacher will perform at the inaugural COLLAGE: Culture and Arts Space.

+ COLLAGE:  Culture and Arts joins San Pedro art scene

by Richard Foss

“This is going to be a concert venue and gallery, and it’s going to be more than that,” said George Woytovich as he looked at a large room that is currently empty except for a grand piano. “It’s going to be a common cultural meeting space, and this community needs one of those.”

Woytovich and Patti Kraakevik own this space and the adjacent Art Deco building with its “It’s Showtime” movie memorabilia and antique store, which avid collectors often come a considerable distance to visit. They’re surprised to see the numerous galleries, art spaces, and the headquarters of the National Watercolor Society in a town they think of, if they think of it at all, as a cruise and fishing port. It’s frustrating to the Woytoviches,  long-time residents who have supported the local arts community. 

“We are ripe for discovery here – there is so much talent in this town that is not known or understood even in nearby communities like the Peninsula.”

They named their new venue “COLLAGE: Culture and Art Space” to reflect the diversity of the programs they expect to host. These will include film and discussions, and adventurous outings of all kinds.

The first event, on March 8, will feature a pair of musicians who have been pushing the boundaries for decades. Eugene Chadbourne earned critical acclaim in the late 1970s for boldly blending country and western and psychedelic music with avant garde improvisation in bands such as The Chadbournes and Shockabilly. On the landmark album “There’ll Be No Tears Tonight,” saxophonist John Zorn contributed squalls of sound to Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck songs. Since then Chadbourne has brought his recklessly creative style to performances across many genres, and even released a CD of the works of Bach scored for banjo.

Joining him will be his frequent collaborator Victor Krummenacher, co-founder of the band Camper Van Beethoven. The “Campers” brought together elements of punk rock, ska, rock, pop, folk, psychedelia, indie rock, world fusion and a little alt country. Critics compared their work to arch-experimentalists Syd Barrett and Frank Zappa. Krummenacher and Chadbourne made three albums together under the Camper Van Chadbourne name. Krummenacher also formed the mostly instrumental band Monks of Doom. Krummenacher recently performed and recorded with X’s DJ Bonebrake and wrapped a Miles Davis-influenced album with The Blasters’ Dave Alvin.

Asked what he and Chadbourne will play at their upcoming show, Krummenacher mused, “I imagine it will be some John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, some folk tunes, some country tunes and some things that date back to us working together in Camper Van Chadbourne.” Since the only thing all of those have in common is a welcoming attitude toward musical improvisation, that’s about the only thing that will be guaranteed at this show.

The concert will be on March 8 at 7:30 p.m at 731 Pacific Avenue in San Pedro. $10. Parking is available behind the 8th Street Lofts building across the street.

Dr. Glen Komatsu with board members Shayna Stiles, Scott Sharpe, Robert McNerney, Jacky Glass, Ed DeRenzis, Angela Park Sheldon, and Gary Kuwahara

Shayna Stiles, Dr. Glen Komatsu, Robin Haney.

Dr. Glen Komatsu and Kohei Owatari.

+ Providence TrinityCare’s Blessing of Garden of Healing

Caregivers, and community and business leaders joined Providence Trinity Care for the blessing of The Garden of Healing at the Douglas and J. Glass Center in Torrance.  This garden, made possible by a very generous gift of philanthropy, has been carefully designed as a special space for healing and meditation.

Designed by Kohei Owatari and his team at Modern Zen Garden in San Diego, under the leadership of Dr. Glen Komatsu, Chief Medical Officer, Providence TrinityCare, this garden is a quiet protected space for caregivers to take time from the physical and emotional demands of their ministry to sit for as long as necessary to rest, re-charge, meditate or pray.  Dr. Komatsu, who led the dedication and blessing was filled with emotion as he thanked those in the audience who give their all to this work.

Providence TrinityCare is a regional hospice and palliative care provider with a long and dedicated history for providing excellent end-of-life and supportive care.  For additional information please contact Providence TrinityCare Foundation, by mail at 5315 Torrance Blvd., Suite B-1, Torrance, CA 90503, or call 310-543-3440. Or, visit our website at providence.org/ptcf

+ Veteran planner named RPV city manager

Newly appointed Rancho Palos Verdes City Manager was recognized by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn last year for his contributions to the Los Angeles Armenian community. Photo courtesy of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Rancho Palos Verdes Community Development Director Ara Mihranian has been selected to replace City Manager Doug Willmore, who retired last November. Mihranian joined the City as an associate planner in 1998.

“Ara Mihranian has grown with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to become a tremendous leader,” Mayor John Cruikshank said following the city council’s unanimous selection of Mihranian. 

Mihranian oversaw the development of Terranea Resort and Marymount College, the City’s General Plan update and the Natural Communities Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan. He was honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2019 for his contributions to the Armenian community in Los Angeles. 

+ Lundquist’s Rossiter receives NIH grant

Dr. Harry Rossiter, an investigator at The Lundquist Institute (formerly known as LA BioMed) was among the recipients of a $1.55 million grant award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.

COPD affects nearly 15.7 million people in the U.S. It targets the respiratory system, damaging the lung tissue and causing airflow blockage. However, lack of physical activity—not lung function—is the strongest predictor of health decline in patients with COPD.

Rossiter will monitor the rate of decline in lower limb skeletal muscle oxidative capacity over the five years. For more information visit lundquist.org. 

+ Capozzola awarded USA Photographer of the Year

Palos Verdes High AP biology teacher Renee Capozzola was presented with the USA Photographer of the Year Award last month at the World Shootout Underwater Photo Competition in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her winning photo (above) shows a shark underwater and a bird just above the water. Both are looking at the camera. The photo was taken in Tahiti. Capozzola specializes in over/under photography. Capozzola, along with Ron Wakins of New Jersey and Jeff Milisen of Hawaii, also won the Team Championship Award.

+ Dan Doctor named St. Luke Music Director

Palos Verdes High choral director Dan Doctor has been named music director at St. Luke’s Presbyterian. Cole holds a masters degree in conduction from the Bob Cole Conservatory, Cal State Long Beach. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony, the Pasadena Pops Symphony and as a guest conductor for the Rolling Stones. Photo by Bob Saurer

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