2011-03-24 / Dining & Entertainment

Concert blends music and painting

By Angela Randazzo
Special to the Acorn


Artwork by Greg Carr/www.gregcarrart.com Artwork by Greg Carr/www.gregcarrart.com A fundraiser combining the power of music and abstract art is coming to Thousand Oaks, thanks to resident Tania Weissberg’s desire to help special needs children.

As the single parent of a 5-yearold boy with Apert syndrome, a genetic disease that affects bone growth in the head and the face, Weissberg is determined to make others aware of the importance of supporting special education programs like those in Conejo Valley Unified School District.

Her son Miles will enter kindergarten in CVUSD next year.

“I’m an artistic person and I wanted to incorporate that and help children with disabilities,” Weissberg said. “I’m hoping this concert will be an annual fundraiser to keep these programs going.”

Visual Sound, an event that meshes music with live painting, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Fri., April 8 at the Scherr Forum Theatre in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

After expenses are paid, Weissberg will donate the remaining money from ticket sales to the Conejo Schools Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the local school district. The funds are earmarked for arts programs in special education.

Margaret Saleh, the school district’s director of special education, said she’s very appreciative of Weissberg’s efforts.

“We welcome any donation, and the event itself, of music and art, is a donation to the community,” she said.

The idea for the fundraiser came from a Visible Sound concert Weissberg attended in New York City in 1995 as a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The musicians performed while an artist, inspired by the music, painted on a large canvas onstage.

“The magic became apparent, musicians and painters were feeding off one another,” Weissberg said.

Painting in the April show will be artist Tom Reyes, an American living in Tokyo. He frequently travels to the U.S. for art shows and Visual Sound concerts.

His abstract style of art is bold and splashed with color, Weissberg said. During the show, he dances and jumps around the stage while throwing paint at the canvas in an improvised interpretation of each song.

Weissberg heard from the artist via Facebook a day after the magnitude 9 earthquake hit Japan on March 11.

“Tom was on the subway when the earthquake hit,” Weissberg said. “The lights went out and the subway stopped, but everyone was okay.”

The music for Visible Sound will be provided by jazz professionals Barry Finnerty on guitar, Gary Meek on saxophone and keyboard, and Victor Jones on drums. The three have played and recorded with individual musicians and groups that include B.B. King, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Dizzy Gillespie, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Their performance will be enhanced by the California Lutheran University Jazz Ensemble.

The 14-piece band is under the direction of Peter Woodford, whose resume includes playing guitar in the Doc Severinsen NBC Tonight Show Band when Johnny Carson was the host.

Miguel Tenorio, a junior at CLU, plays guitar in the ensemble. He’s looking forward to performing and watching the artist.

“I’m eager to see how the artist will paint the music,” Tenorio said.

Tickets to the show are $32. For information and tickets, go to www.toaks.org/cap/tickets/events. The Civic Arts Plaza is at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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