Astral Progressions 9.17.17


Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Ford Theatres, Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, CA. — Trumpeter, composer and producer, Josef Leimberg (Alpha Pup Records/World Galaxy), headlines the historic Ford Theatres on September 17th for a summer concert entitled, “Astral Progressions”. The show will give back to several non-profit organizations with tickets and bus transportation including Ben Caldwell’s KAOS Network in the beloved South LA community, Leimert Park.
       Josef Leimberg has been making music in Los Angeles for more than twenty-five years. His stellar collaborative resume includes names in the industry like Erykah Badu, Dr. Dre, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, SZA and Snoop Dogg. Turn on the first track, “Wesley’s Theory,” on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy award winning “To Pimp a Butterfly” and you’ll hear Josef’s voice opening the album. His sound is a soulful cosmic-funk jazz at the intersection of hip-hop instrumentalism.

       For his debut Ford performance, Leimberg will bring along his Astral Progressions Ensemble and some of his favorite collaborators including singer/songwriter Bilal, who is featured on the Detroit Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and recently gave a riveting performance of the song “It Ain’t Fair” on The Tonight Show with The Roots. Other guests include soul songstress Jimetta Rose and Grammy award-winning Jermaine Holmes (of D’angelo’s The Vanguard) with more guests to be announced.
       Leimberg sits alongside modern jazz greats such as Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper.

“I appreciate all of the arts”, says Leimberg. “My parents were very big on jazz when I was growing up. I remember as far back as I can going to jazz clubs with my parents and seeing some of the greatest jazz musicians.”

With this concert, Leimberg will pay it forward by giving the South LA community that same experience for a new generation of music lovers.

Traveling without moving.

Thank you to the Ford Theatres for inviting me back for a second year to curate the pre-show art activities for Big World Fun. We traveled to Mexico, Japan and Micronesia without leaving the city. Watching families and friends make art together brings so much joy to my heart. 

Thank you to generous sponsorship from Blick Art Materials (Blick on Beverly), Starwest Botanicals and my small team of volunteers. Enjoy some of my favorite photographs from the series from Future Collective and Timothy Harris, courtesy of Ford Theatres. 

Join us for Big World Fun 2017

To the families who love art, music, culture and dance:

Join me and a small group of all-ages volunteers for pre-show art projects at BIG WORLD FUN! 

Big World Fun is a family series presented by the Ford Theatres that takes place on Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM in July and August. These hour-long music and dance performances are for children ages 4 to 12 and their families. Travel the world without leaving LA, as groups representing music and dance from Micronesia, Japan and more. Bring the whole family! FREE for kids; adults pay $5. Parking is $1.

Just like last year, we'll offer easy and fun pre-show art projects for kids and their families for 45 minutes before each show. We need volunteers ages 10 and up to arrive by 8:45am, help setup and assist folks with navigating the craft table, answer questions or offer help in making the crafts.

Last year was a blast and I hope to see your shining faces this summer! 

Big World Fun is a program of the Ford Theatre Foundation. Supporters include Comcast NBCUniversal; the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles; First 5 LA; L.A. Parent; National Endowment for the Arts; Southern California Edison; Union Bank Foundation; and Wells Fargo Foundation. Big World Fun partners include the County of LA Public Library and the LA County Department of Parks & Recreation.

Little Boxes

The art of production requires quite a bit of compartmentalizing. Sifting through ideas, expectations, logistics. Striking a balance between doer and dreamer, artist and administrator. Recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses and also those of the people with whom I work. There will always be challenges that come with creative collaboration. The question is: Where do you put disappointment, personal pain and setbacks when, invariably, challenges come up but the show must go on? You put it in a box. Isolate the issues. And then apply extreme focus on one thing at a time. When things begin to progress, close one compartment and open another. Repeat. I am learning that my ability to compartmentalize, prioritize, and focus is becoming my most important skill in completing any task at hand.

How can I pour my whole music-filled heart into a project yet stay emotionally detached enough to not let challenges or judgements derail the work? I choose not to recoil. I choose to keep walking forward. It is we lovers of art who invest our attention and time into our creations. I will keep my little boxes and compartments and rooms inside my mind with a password like a speakeasy door.

Say it with your Work | Miry's List

Photo by Danny Liao courtesy of LA Weekly

Photo by Danny Liao courtesy of LA Weekly

"As America becomes reduced to stories about Trump - for or against, we must remember that the US is much more than Trump. Countries are so much more than their leaders - countries are the heartbeat of the people, in all their essence and flows. We should not reduce ourselves to the stories of our leaders." -Darlene Miller, PhD
"Say it with your work." -Pierre Bennu

Philanthropy and service have always been a part of my life. During the last 20 years, I've led, literally, thousands of yoga classes at yoga studios, rehab centers, in community and corporate settings. I devote time, energy and resources to connect with others. It's a remedy for the hopelessness I feel when contemplating the world's complex problems. 

Andrea Miller teaching yoga at White Lotus in Santa Barbara with long-time friend and colleague, Kyona Beatty. (2010)

Andrea Miller teaching yoga at White Lotus in Santa Barbara with long-time friend and colleague, Kyona Beatty. (2010)

In the last decade, my interests and passions have grown me into a Producer, Curator and Coordinator of all-ages arts + culture events and out of necessity, I've learned the art of Graphic Design. 

At the beginning of this year, I answered a call from my neighborhood email list-serve for Arabic translators by passing on a couple of referrals and offered Graphic Design services as a way to contribute to a group who was assisting newly settled refugee families. This offer found its way to Miry Whitehill of Miry's List

Miry's List helps families by crowd-sourcing household items with one of my favorite things: LISTS! 

From Mara Shalhoup at LA Weekly:

Miry's List, has a team of 30 people working to keep the machine running. Most families comes to Miry's List as a lead from a caseworker or a motel manager, or a text in Arabic from a number Whitehill doesn't recognize.

The list-making begins promptly. A team member who speaks the family's language calls to get the vital stats: names, ages, genders, clothing and shoe sizes. They visit the home to get a better sense of what the family needs. All of that info is passed to a volunteer personal shopper, who crafts an Amazon wish list of 100 or so items, from socks to dish drainers to boxes of crayons.

Whitehill herself reviews each list, then posts it to with a photo of the family and their bio. Within days, the family opens their door and there's a pile of boxes from Amazon.

"Each package represents a family who picked those items out for them," she says, "and decided to send a gift to a stranger." -Miry Whitehill

The lists provide the type of comfort that goes beyond a fluffy towel or a set of pajamas. They show these families, who've had so much ripped from them, that they can start to put their lives back together, piece by piece. In seven months, Miry Whitehill's on-the-fly organization, Miry's List, has helped nearly 100 families create a semblance of home."

They have been featured in the NBC Nightly News, Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly, to name a few. I am humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to create the Miry's List logo and to be their go-to Graphic Designer.