Agave Baroque
Agave Baroque are just some of the performers on Jacaranda’s Jan. 22 program, “Gratitude” | Credit: Gary Payne Photography

This time of the year, Santa Monica’s Jacaranda concert series is grateful for its community. But the celebrations will have to wait a little longer. The producer and presenter of contemporary classical music is planning an ambitious performance for the beginning of 2022. The Jan. 22 program, “Gratitude,” will feature more than 125 musicians from all walks of Los Angeles’ musical life.

The idea is to commemorate a positive pandemic benchmark — “community immunity,” in the series’ words. Jacaranda Artistic and Executive Director Patrick Scott has chosen music that matches the occasion and performers who embody the diverse culture throughout L.A. County.

Even the venue — Santa Monica’s Barnum Hall, built in the Depression era by the Works Progress Administration — speaks to the theme.

The January concert opens with a clean slate, Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa. String players from UCLA Camarades join pianist Gloria Cheng for the work, and series Music Director Mark Alan Hilt conducts.

Then, the program moves outside for a performance by two L.A.-area mariachi bands. José Hernàndez leads both of his groups, Mariachi Sol de México and Reyna de Los Angeles, in a popular piece, José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango.

Ryan Dudenbostel
Conductor Ryan Dudenbostel

The afternoon ends with music by Monteverdi, and here Jacaranda marshals all of its performing forces. Two period ensembles (Agave Baroque and Tesserae Baroque), two choirs (Tonality and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus), and a handful of vocal and instrumental soloists come together for selections from Vespers of 1610, conducted by Ryan Dudenbostel.

“Gratitude” will mark a collaborative milestone for Jacaranda, the first performance by Tonality as the series’ chorus in residence. Some of the choir appeared on a Jacaranda program earlier this season, and the two organizations officially announced a partnership last month.

It’s all part of an expanding musical world for the series, which has four more concerts on the schedule for 2022. Jacaranda hosts French chamber group Ensemble Variances on March 19. Then, it’s back to local players for Bach’s Easter Oratorio, April 16. The seasons wraps up in May with two programs of modern Italian music — Berio, Busoni, and more.

For tickets and more information, visit Jacaranda’s website.

Did you enjoy the article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles every Tuesday