MUSE/IQUE explores the skies in an event inspired by the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing
Published : Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 11:29 AM
MUSE/IQUE continues its signature Uncorked series on Sunday, June 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m. at California Institute of Technology’s Millikan Pond, with SWINGING/STARS, a dynamic musical journey that will unfold beneath the stars. MUSE/IQUE founder and artistic director Rachael Worby will lead pianist Alan Steinberger, bassist Michael Valerio, percussionist Ted Atkatz, guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber, the ARORA vocal group, vocalist Kenton Chen, and Dr. Michael Watkins, Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in an evening featuring both classical and popular songs about the cosmos. Audiences will feel encouraged to let their imaginations soar, inspired by the universe’s vastness and beauty. Images provided by JPL will be projected onto Millikan Tower as part of this cosmic experience.
British guitarist Laurence Juber is perhaps the most prolific guitarist around. A Grammy winner, he is most well-known for playing in Paul McCartney’s rock band, Wings (yes, THAT Paul McCartney). The Who’s Pete Townshend calls him “a master!”. This performance also welcomes back familiar players for MUSE/IQUE, including pianist and composer Alan Steinberger whose credits include March of the Penguins, King of the Hill, and principal pianist for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony. Bassist Michael Valerio is a session bassist for the likes of Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Danny Elfman, and is capable in any setting, whether it be symphonic, jazz, or electric. Ted Atkatz is the founder of and frontman for the Los Angeles-based alternative rock group NYCO, and former principal percussionist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. You can hear his percussive chops on the scores for Frozen and Up, among others. Electronic acapella vocal group ARORA is also a returning performer to MUSE/IQUE. ARORA takes the stage with nothing but five voices and their rig of effects pedals and loop stations to bring their cinematic, all-vocal dream pop to life. Active since 2008, the indie pop band has shared a stage with many greats, including Sara Bareilles, Pentatonix, and Kanye West. Kenton Chen – session singer, actor, and songwriter – has shared the stage with Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Passion Pit, and toured the U.S. opening for Ben Folds.
SWINGING/STARS will also feature Dr. Michael Watkins, Director of JPL. In this role he also serves as a vice president of the California Institute of Technology, which staffs and manages JPL for NASA. During his JPL career, Watkins served as chief scientist for the Laboratory’s Engineering and Science Directorate, manager of JPL’s Science Division and manager of its Navigation and Mission Design Section. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Watkins was mission manager from development through landed operations for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which sent the Curiosity rover to Mars. He also led NASA development and review teams for the Cassini, Mars Odyssey and Deep Impact robotic space missions.
MUSE/IQUE’s 2018-2019 Uncorked series is an exploration of the role of songs in our lives, from the ditties we sing in our cars to love ballads to anthems of healing and beyond. The Uncorked experience is designed to break conventions by eliminating barriers, deconstructing music, and carefully curating experiences within improvised urban venues for extraordinary performances. Venues include warehouses, factories, schools, and iconic cultural locales in Pasadena. MUSE/IQUE partners with inspiring artists who share their passion for collaborative exploration of non-traditional performance. Each Uncorked performance is preceded by a wine reception and opportunities to mingle and explore the iconic locales that serve as the impromptu venues for the series.
Non-membership tickets are $70 and can be purchased at muse-ique.com. MUSE/IQUE members receive complimentary tickets to all MUSE/IQUE events and other benefits. To learn more and become a member of MUSE/IQUE, please visit or call Audience Services at (626) 539-7085.
MUSE/IQUE’S Summer Series at The Huntington explores a season of music in motion with three programs that reveal the visceral impactful of sound and picture:
MOVING/PICTURES, Saturday, July 6, 2019
On the most patriotic of weekends, MUSE/IQUE celebrates America’s greatest movies – from short silent films with plunked pianos to soaring symphonic epics. The music of film composers such as James Horner, Ennio Morricone, Danny Elfman, and John Williams is ingrained in our hearts and minds, and is at once ubiquitous and deeply personal. The event will include music from films like Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Catch Me If You Can, Born on the 4th of July, Young Mr. Lincoln, and The Terminal, and songs like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “As Time Goes By,” and “Mrs. Robinson.” A visit into the realm of this beloved American art form will leave audiences feeling inspired and hopeful, and ready to head to the movies!
TRAIN/GLORY, Saturday, August 3, 2019
Before the invention of the car and the airplane, trains were the vehicle of change, progress, and dreams, and provided platforms for people to gather from all walks of life. Trains were instrumental in turning Henry E. Huntington’s vision for The Huntington into reality. In fact, trains are literally deeply embedded into The Huntington’s grounds: there’s a short railway underground! Trains have been a theme in both traditional and popular music since the first half of the 19th century, and have appeared in films and all major musical genres. While the prominence of railroads in the United States has faded, the train endures as a common image in popular song and film. These trains rolled into our lives through films such as The Great Train Robbery, Dr. Zhivago, Murder on the Orient Express, Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Polar Express, Shanghai Express, Strangers on a Train.
MUSE/IQUE is a dynamic, nonprofit organization that creates exhilarating live music adventures. Presenting performances at landmark locations throughout Pasadena, MUSE/IQUE goes beyond the concert hall and into the community with spectacularly intimate performances which combine music, movement, and ideas from a diverse range of genres. Under the leadership of renowned Artistic Director Rachael Worby, MUSE/IQUE’s artistic collective consists of an acclaimed orchestra and top musicians from the worlds of jazz, rock, blues, gospel, and more, along with today’s best singers, dancers, and thinkers. Together with an enthusiastic and growing audience base, these artists reimagine the possibilities for the live music experience. Founded in 2011, MUSE/IQUE is a membership driven organization presenting nine major public events each year as well as a wide range of education and community engagement programs.
UNCORKED – MUSE/IQUE’s signature series UNCORKED consists of five live music events set in unexpected places. Each event is curated around a theme that ties directly or subliminally to the physical environment. With mixed eclectic seating for 400-600, UNCORKED emphasizes intimate, shared experiences that enliven audience thinking.
MUSE/IQUE’s SUMMER SERIES – MUSE/IQUE launched its inaugural summer series at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in June 2018. The summer series returns in July 2019 at The Huntington Library. The centerpiece orchestral festival of the programming year, MUSE/IQUE’s summer series is comprised of three performances featuring a full orchestra and enriched repertoire. The entire series is curated around one unifying theme that incorporates music, literature, visual art, and performance art.
MUSE/IQUE AT ARTNIGHT – MUSE/IQUE produces one free live music event annually in conjunction with Pasadena’s city-wide ArtNight Festival. This family-friendly series is a participatory dance party that serves 5,000-6,000 in the plaza of Paseo Colorado’s Garfield Promenade.
MUSE/IQUE COMMUNITY – MUSE/IQUE creates curriculum-based, small group music interactions that engage participants in a deeper experience of the repertoire and ideas behind each event. Formerly known as KIDS/IQUE, these community programs began serving foster and at-risk youth and have expanded to serve senior citizens, families in need, and other local groups at our partnering organizations.