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Spirit and Music Concert Series: French songs “ L’Amour Toujours!"

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Join us for pianist Marina Pacowski's monthly series celebrating where Spirit & Music meet in the works and lives of composers & musicians

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PRS presents a special series that explores the relationship between spirit and music by focusing on the life and context of the composers, literature that relates to the performers themselves, aspects of the instruments, and reflection on style. Join us for a unique PRS offering of music and musings featuring special guest pianist Josh Nelson who will be accompanying Marina Pacowski singing french songs .

In the words of PRS founder Manly P. Hall: “In the early days of the world the children of the earth learned to imitate the eternal music of Nature, the singing of the birds, the moaning of the winds, the swishing of the waves on rock bound shores, the night cries of bird and beast, all of these blend into a mystic cadence which we may call in truth the endless symphonies of Nature. The powers of creation are eternally musical, their mystic cadences swell from star to star with note divine. All nature, seen and unseen, formed and unformed, listens in rapt awe to the endless symphonies of the Great Unknown. Then there is another music, the song of Life, the beating of human hearts, the peals of merry laughter, the broken sobs of sorrow. All these blend into a mystic orchestra, oftimes unheard, which swells in note invisible through eternity to the very footstool of the Divine. Man’s nature pours forth from his being with the expression of living music... the very emotions of his soul pour out in divine harmonies from the instrument that registers and seems to live the innermost thoughts of the musician, the innermost symphonies of his soul.”

Marina Pacowski was born in France. As a pianist, Marina has toured internationally, performing extensively in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as in the United States where she is currently residing in Los Angeles. Marina is a passionate and devoted teacher who taught for over 20 years in the conservatory of music “Maurice Ravel,” in Bayonne, France, as well as giving master classes at many work shops and music camps. Having lived in Los Angeles for over 3 years now, she also teaches at the Rhodes School of Music. As a jazz vocalist, Marina has performed in L.A. jazz hot-spots including the Jazz Bakery, The Lighthouse ( La-la-Land) and was featured as a guest vocalist for a tribute to guitarist Kenny Burrell at the Catalina Jazz Club. A lover and performer of chamber music, Marina was awarded the 2017 “Best Collaborative Music Award” by the International Society of Bassists. She hosts a monthly concert series at the Philosophical Research Society called: Spirit and Music.

Josh Nelson was born and raised in Southern California. Pianist-composer-bandleader Josh Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, John Clayton, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers and Peter Erskine. Nelson toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole for six years and continues to tour with vocalists Gaby Moreno, Freda Payne, Alicia Olatuja, Sara Gazarek, accordionist Richard Galliano, saxophonist Tom Scott, multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and violinist Christian Howes. He taught jazz for four years at Soka University and more recently at Cal State University Northridge. In 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. His debut album as a leader, 2004’s Anticipation, garnered attention while his 2007 followup, Let it Go, was hailed by Jazz Times, All About Jazz and Jazz Review as a fully-realized breakthrough album. Nelson’s next album, 2009’s I Hear a Rhapsody, had him re-imagining Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme From Chinatown,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” while contributing seven affecting originals. He followed with another ambitious Discovery Project in 2015’s Exploring Mars, which wedded evocative musical themes to spectacular NASA/JPL video footage of the Red Planet.

Nelson’s latest, 2017’s The Sky Remains, is his love letter to Los Angeles. The third in his Discovery Project series, it unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about the composer’s hometown. From the lurid tale behind benefactor and namesake of L.A.’s famous Griffith Park to the sad transition of wondrous Pacific Ocean Park to an eyesore on the beach to the forgotten, bittersweet story of Mack Robinson. A silver medal winner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (coming in second to Jesse Owens), Mack was also the brother of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and later became a hero in his own right through his civic activism on behalf of the City of Angels. The Sky Remains blends narrative and music in persuasive fashion. Throughout this ambitious outing, Nelson and his talented crew of fellow Angelenos convey sentiment about the city and its treasures while uncovering lost history and acknowledging a few L.A. icons along the way. “I’m definitely in awe of what’s in this city and its quiet history,” says the prolific composer. “Maybe it’s just a product of having been born here, but I’m discovering new things and stories about it that were just sitting right under my nose. And I’m hoping that people who hear these stories might be interested in learning more about the fascinating history of Los Angeles."

image: The Concert by Marc Chagall

This is a free online event; donations are welcome in support of the performers and live music!

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