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Meet the Art Makers

“OPM at the Ford”  

July 23

With more than 7,000 islands and 170 different languages, the history of the Filipino people is just as varied and distinct as its geography.  Despite these differences, Filipinos unite over a sense of pride for their diversity and their love for OPM or Original Pilipino Music.

OPM emerged in the late 1970s as a way to get local songwriters on Filipino radio stations dominated by American Top 40. This era ushered in a number of prolific songwriters from a vast array of musical genres spanning rock, pop and R&B to jazz and folk.  Today, any song written by a Filipino, whether in English or Tagalog, is considered OPM. 

Music Arts Events brings to Los Angeles both the nostalgic and contemporary OPM in Serenata Filipina on August 17.  The event features such Filipino American artists as award winning jazz vocalist Mon David, premiering songs from his upcoming fourth album, and the all-male vocal ensemble Harana Men’s Chorus.  Joining them on stage is vocal specialist Annie Nepomuceno, soprano Louise Marie Cornillez, musical theatre actress Lara Avengoza and emerging stars Josie Gonzales and Amin Baghallian.

In honor of the ingenuity and adaptability of Filipinos residing all over the globe, proceeds from the concert benefit those recovering from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyon/Yolanda.  This solidarity through music celebrates the best of the human spirit.  What better place to do that than at the Ford?

-Brittany Gash


“Curiouser and curiouser!”  

July 16

A show at the Ford is always an escape. But on Friday, August 1, the truly fantastical takes place at one of the more unusual and appealing shows of the summer: a belly dancing revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Combining the spectacle of belly dance with a beloved British children’s fable may seem unexpected, to say the least. But unlike other Middle Eastern dance companies, Bellydance Evolution (led by belly dance sensation, and Queen of Hearts, Jillina) presents theatrical dance shows with a storyline, similar to ballet.

Much like Lewis Carroll’s imaginative novel, this exhilarating production breaks with tradition, fusing classical Middle Eastern dance with hip hop, contemporary, tribal and fusion dance in surprising ways. Bellydance Evolution pulls out all the stops in this refreshing retelling of one of the world’s favorite tales.

A cast of 20 will entrance with mesmerizing gestures, inventive choreography and elaborate costumes, all set to an original score composed by Paul Dinletir, the creative force behind the trailer music for such films as The Hobbit, Life of Pi, Hunger Games and more. Taken all together, it’s a production like no other and a night that’s an escape from the expected.

Molly Kodros handles Marketing & PR at The Satellite, a live music venue in Hollywood.