Mount Wilson Observatory will be hosting premier accordionist Cory Pesaturo, violinist Leah Zeger, and percussionist Jorge Villanueva on Sunday, July 17, as the third offering in the fifth season of “Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome,” held right inside the iconic vaulted dome of the 100-inch telescope.
The program on July 17 will feature an eclectic blend of jazz and more. There will be two performances – at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The wide range of musical adventures in this series is thoughtfully curated by Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan.
Along with improvisation, Pesaturo is known for his extensive versatility, playing 15 different genres from Klezmer to French, Balkan to Funk, Tango to Rock, Italian to Electronic. Primarily known as a jazz artist, he has recorded with John Patitucci and George Garzone. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Pesaturo is the only person to ever win the trio of World Championships on Acoustic, Digital and Jazz Accordion. In 2017, Pesaturo became a Guinness World Record Holder, as RedBull flew him to Austria to break the Marathon Accordion Record, in which Pesaturo played for over 32 hours.
Leah Zeger is from a family of professional classical string players. She studied violin with her mother, but always had a deep love for singing, especially in the style of Ella Fitzgerald. At 15, Zeger took a four-year hiatus from violin due to carpal tunnel syndrome, during which she focused on developing her voice and delving into every style outside of classical music. The next year, she resumed violin and won a tenured position in the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
Zeger began her LA music career in 2010, winning a position in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and film and TV scoring sessions. She has toured as a solo violinist with Miley Cyrus, Charlie Daniels, Postmodern Jukebox, ELO, Annie Lennox, Rhye, CeeLo Green, Stevie Wonder, and began touring as a solo violinist/vocalist for Hans Zimmer in 2017.
Jorge Villanueva, born in Tijuana, Mexico, has won over multi-national audiences with his smooth style and unique combination of drums and hand percussion. As a member of the classical crossover quartet and Grammy nominee Quattrosound, Villanueva brings a fusion of sounds from around the world. He also co-leads and composes the music of soul pop band, Sidewalk Cabbies, and has worked with Alex Acuña, Beth Hirsh of “Air,” Diego Amador, and Abram Laboriel among others. Villanueva is co-owner of Elefekto, a television and film scoring company, and Beat Based Movement, a music therapy program.
Pesaturo and Zeger have been performing together since around 2016. Zeger and Jorge Villanueva have played together in Quattrosound.
An artist reception, with a variety of beverages and finger food, precedes the July 17 program at 4 p.m. Concert-goers will also be treated to an exhibition featuring rare scientific artifacts, drawings, and illustrations from the Observatory’s collection.
Tickets are $50 each. Since seating inside the historic dome is limited, advanced purchase is highly recommended. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
For tickets and for more information, visit www.mtwilson.edu/concerts.
All proceeds go to support Mt. Wilson Institute’s mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the science accomplished there. The grounds of the legendary observatory – founded in 1904 by astrophysical pioneer George Ellery Hale – are open for free to the public year-round.
For visitor information, go to www.mtwilson.edu/visiting.