Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 52
Child prodigy Umi Garrett performs for the Lompoc Concert Association
BY JOE PAYNE
The life of a concert pianist has often been compared to blood sports. Even pianists of the most sublime skill must scrape and fight for a career filled with touring, performing with symphonies, and selling albums. Part of what makes Umi Garrett astounding is that she enjoyed all of those hallmarks before she became a teenager.
Garrett first garnered national attention for her virtuosic musical skill on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the age of 9. Performing a short piece by Franz Liszt—a famously difficult composer to interpret—the pint-sized prodigy dropped jaws, including DeGeneres’. Now 13 years old, Garrett has been spending the last several years winning competitions, performing at venues like Carnegie Hall, and joining the Boston Pops in concert. Now she is coming to the Central Coast to perform for the Lompoc Concert Association on March 7 at the First United Methodist Church in Lompoc.
“I love traveling,” Garrett said. “Wherever I go, if there is a national park or a museum nearby, I always visit. I love sightseeing and walking around. It’s one of the fun parts of being a musician; you get to see a lot of different places.”
Garrett has definitely seen some far off places: She has performed in Latvia, China, Japan, and Germany—not to mention the East Coast and Midwestern United States. Now the California native will be bringing her repertoire to Lompoc, where she will perform solo.
“I recently recorded a new CD, it’s called Music in Life, and it will be available at the concert,” she said. “Some of the pieces that I will play are on the CD—Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, and Gershwin.”
Music in Life is Garrett’s second CD. She recorded her first when she was 9 years old. The repertoire on this album shows Garrett spreading her fingers for some more difficult and mature pieces.
“I like Chopin the most. I think his music is really romantic and beautiful, emotional and exciting,” she said. “Beethoven is completely different from Chopin; he is more of a grumpy guy. You have to really know what you are doing when you play his pieces.”
From Beethoven, Garrett will be performing the “Pathetique” and “Moonlight” sonatas, arguably the master’s most well-known piano works. She will be playing some Chopin nocturnes and ballades, as well as the iconic “Clair de Lune” by Debussy. Whatever she is playing, Garrett enjoys having an audience with which to share the music.
“Playing with an orchestra is fun, especially to be playing with so many people at once,” she said. “But playing by myself is fun, too, because I am playing for an audience and it’s not just for me.”
Though her strong suit is in the strict classical style, Garrett still enjoys playing contemporary and some pop music. And while she’s used to performing for concert halls full of adults, she also enjoys performing for kids her own age or younger and hopes to inspire her peers.
“I know that not that many people my age are that into classical music anymore, but I hope I can show people at my age that it is a fun and great kind of music,” she said. “Maybe they will be inspired to learn about classical music. I just like to let them know there are different kinds of music, and they can like all of it.”
Books, poets, and music
The Bookworm presents an open mic event every second Saturday of the month, with featured performer Jasen Tapia on March 8 at 7 p.m. at The Bookwrom, 230 E. Betteravia Road, Suite K, Santa Maria. More info: 922-4282, firstname.lastname@example.org, or facebook.com/thebookwormcali.
The Chumash Casino Resort presents live music in its Samala Showroom, including pop legend Burt Bacharach on March 6 at 8 p.m. at the Chumash Casino Resort, 2400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. Cost is $25, $35, and $45. More info: 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.com.
The Radisson Hotel offers live music Fridays and Saturdays, including Juan Marquez performing March 7 and 8 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria. More info: 928-8000.
The D’Vine Wine Bar and Bistro features Jerry Stickell on March 6, Santa Rosa on March 8, Tony Botello on March 11, and Kyle Reilly on March 12, with all shows starting at 7:30 p.m. Karaoke nights are Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the D’Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, 107 W. Ocean Ave., Lompoc. More info: 430-8356 or facebook.com.
Creative Juices Lounge presents live music, including Mark Clogston and special guests on March 7 and Cheyenne McDonald on March 8, both performing from 7 to 10 p.m. at the lounge, 874 Guadalupe St., Guadalupe. More info: 219-0518 or creativejuiceslounge.com.
Ca’ Del Grevino Café and Wine Bar features live music in the tasting room and café on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., including Manny Mestas on March 12. Ca’ Del GreVino Café and Wine Bar is located at 400 E. Clark Ave., Suite A, Orcutt. More info: 937-6400, email@example.com, or grevino.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols live on March 7 at 8 p.m “Concert on the Deck” featuring Guy and Steve is March 8 at 3 p.m. Teddy Spanke and the Gang perform on March 8 at 8 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.