Performance West Preview

Friday, September 13, 2013

Performance West, WAA’s festival within the conference, features an exciting line-up at the legendary music venue, the House of Blues Sunset Strip, Thursday, August 29. Opened by Isaac Tigrett and co-founded by Dan Aykroyd in 1992, House of Blues has 13 live music halls across America. The House of Blues Sunset Strip opened in 1994, and since has become an iconic venue for Los Angeles, known for not only its music but also for its unique pieces of art and architecture. The tin covered roof is from a gin mill that is located just 500 feet away from the Delta crossroads — the mystical field where Robert Johnson created his famous partnership with the Devil for his soul. 

Singer-songwriter Ben Sollee opens the night. Sollee is best known for his inventive use of cello to produce a raw and gritty soulful sound in his mix of folk, bluegrass, and jazz. His music style speaks well to the history of the House of Blues as the venue was founded on Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Roots-based Rock & Roll. 

Next up, Shuggie Otis, who just re-released his 1974 album “Inspiration Information/ Wings of Love,” featuring 13 previously unreleased live and studio recorded tracks. Shuggie is noted as the unsung hero of blues and funk, and the night’s performance comes after a 41-year hiatus from the stage. 

Closing out the evening is Argentine-Uruguayan tango fusion collective Bajofondo, led by Grammy-winning producer Gustavo Santaolalla. The collective fuses acoustic tango with electronic music, resulting in a contemporary style representative of the Rio de la Plata music scene in the 21st century. When Santaolalla is asked what kind of music his collective creates his response is simply, “Bajofondo makes Bajofondo music.” 


Amanda Bryant, WAA Communications Committee Member