Arts & Culture Newsletter: Norah Jones at the Rady Shell — what more could you ask for?

Hello and welcome to the UT Arts & Culture newsletter.

I am David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all the essentials in San Diego arts and culture this week.

The Rady Shell in Jacobs Park was designed for nights like Tuesday when norah jones will perform in the nearly year-old hall near San Diego Bay. Opening the show will be Regina Spektor, who, among other credits, wrote and recorded the opening theme to “Orange is the New Black,” the tongue-in-cheek “You’ve Got Time.”

Jones knows a thing or two about making music in beautiful places. Twenty years ago, she recorded her debut album “Come Away With Me” at Allaire Studios in upstate New York. They sit on the grounds of a 1928 mountaintop estate called Glen Tonche, high above the Catskill Mountains. It’s only a few miles from Woodstock.

This brings me to a memorial gift Jones has for his fans: a 20th anniversary live performance at Allaire of songs from “Come Away With Me” (plus others) which you can access for free on his website. It is linked to the release of a deluxe anniversary edition of the album which includes 22 previously unreleased tracks.

Joining Jones on the laid-back livestream are some of the musicians who backed her up 20 years ago on “Come Away With Me,” including guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Tony Scherr.

If you’re feeling stressed or just love Norah Jones, this 77-minute stream is a feast for the eyes and ears. The Allaire Studios setting is a natural fit for Jones’ beautiful voice and musical flexibility.

Expect the same when she takes the stage at Rady Shell.

Pop music

Call them so bad they’re good or so bad they’re bad, but there’s no doubt that the weekly “Sunday lunch” British YouTube Duos Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox are some of the weirdest deals on the web.

Fripp, best known as the founder and guitarist of progressive rock legend King Crimson, and Willcox, who you’ve probably never heard of, team up for video covers of downright often bizarre rock classics. Maybe that’s the idea.

Namely, for their rendition of INXS’ “Devil Inside,” Fripp wears devil horns, a cape, and makeup. Willcox’s outfit is outrageous, but her outfits are outrageous in most of these “Sunday Lunch” presentations, regardless of the song covered.

Other Fripp-Willcox covers you can sample via YouTube include their versions of Radiohead’s “Creep”, Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” and a brief attempt at Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”.

More pop music

Take out your tissues. Sundays at 6:45 p.m. PST, New York supper club 54 below from Feinstein will broadcast live a musical evening called “54 Sings Sad Girl Songs”. In this presentation from Broadway World Events, singers with Great White Way credibility – including Samantha Pauly (“SIX The Musical”), Hailee Kaleem (“Paradise Square”) and Jane Bruce (“Jagged Little Pill”) headline promises, cover sad songs from artists like Billie Eilish and Lorde.

Tickets for “Sad Girl Songs” are only $15. FYI, there’s a whole schedule of live Broadway-related shows from Feinstein’s 54 Below. Look for “Coming Soon” on the club’s website.


If you are at Liberty Station on a Sunday afternoon, take a walk on the central promenade around noon. From then until 3 p.m., the artists of the hip-hop dance troupe San Diego Culture Shock will be energizing and innovative as only they can.

This year “Clash in the Park” program, like those before it, is a combination of performance and competition. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

San Diego doesn’t always succeed as it grows, but it did with the conversion of Point Loma Naval Training Center to Liberty Station and especially the addition of the ARTS District. Dance organizations like the San Diego Ballet, Malashock Dance, and San Diego Dance Theater have found homes for rehearsals and performances, and in general Liberty Station has cultivated an artsy vibe where creativity is celebrated. Kudos to that.


Michael Keaton starred as the Caped Crusader in “Batman” and “Batman Returns.”

(Warner Bros.)

Among the glut of ‘Batman’ movies, few have the star power of Tim Burton’s 1992 “The Return of Batman” whose cast boasted Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight, Michelle Pfeiffer as the best — and most neurotic — Catwoman ever, Danny DeVito as the Penguin, and Christopher Walken as the villainous Max Shreck.

So what’s missing from Sunday’s “Batman Returns” 30th anniversary celebration at Hollywood’s Montalban Theater? Keaton, Pfeiffer, DeVito and Walken, or even Burton. A 7 p.m. screening at the Vine Street Theater will be followed by a Q&A, but without any of the above people participating. Instead, people behind the scenes will be there to discuss their roles in the production. Peeps as art director Tom Duffield and makeup supervisor Ve Neill.

All is not lost, however, for fanboys and girls. This event is billed as cosplay-friendly with guests invited to attend as villains or masked heroes. Tickets are $25.

New Venue Alert: Snapdragon Stadium

Jimmy Buffett of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band performs during the 2022 New Orleans & Jazz Festival

Jimmy Buffett of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band performs during the 2022 New Orleans & Jazz Festival

(Tim Mosenfelder/Wire Image)

Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz will perform this fall at the first-ever concert at Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley, the new home of the San Diego State University Aztecs soccer team and the women’s soccer team. The Wave FC. The stadium officially opens with a season opener on September 3 between the Aztecs and the University of Arizona which will be televised by CBS.

READ MORE: Snapdragon Stadium will host its first concert this fall with a Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz doubleheader

In other news…

Dancers Desiree Cuizon and Trystan Merrick are the co-lead artists for this year's Queer Mvmnt Fest.

Dancers Desiree Cuizon and Trystan Merrick are the co-lead artists for this year’s Queer Mvmnt Fest.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Catch up on arts and culture with these stories from the staff of the Union-Tribune:


University of California Television invites you to take advantage of this special selection of programs from across the University of California. Descriptions courtesy of and text written by UCTV staff:

“How to feed 10 billion people”: Human activities are responsible for most of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past 150 years. In addition to burning fossil fuels, food production also contributes greatly to greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use, and multiple forms of pollution…leaving a lasting impact on our environment. As climate change continues to accelerate, it will have devastating effects on our ability to feed an ever-growing world population. Harvard professor and physician Walter Willett explains how the global adoption of a new flexitarian diet could not only feed a growing population, but also save the planet in the process.

“Becoming a doctor and integrating into the community”: Growing up in Los Angeles in a close-knit family with a strong connection to her Cuban roots, Natalie Rodriguez knew she wanted to be a doctor from a young age. She shares the story of how she found her way to UC San Diego to study medicine and discusses her work with the UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic Project and the importance to root medicine in the community. Discover more inspiring stories from the Latinx/Chicanx community in the Mi Universidad series presented by Education Channel.

“Engagement and Innovation in Education”: A school environment where trust, community and inclusion are valued enables students and their families to thrive. Tony Smith, assistant superintendent of innovation for the San Diego County Office of Education, joins educators Gabriela Delgado and Morgan Appel to discuss how we can work together to support equitable outcomes by fostering conditions that eliminate prejudice and create more opportunities for all.

And finally: the best events of the weekend

Dhora Da Luz, left, and Samuel Shea in Moonlight Stage Productions' "Cinderella"

Dhora Da Luz, left, and Samuel Shea in Moonlight Stage Productions’ “Cinderella” at the Moonlight Amphitheater in Vista.

(Fred Tracey)

Here are the main events taking place in San Diego from Thursday, June 23 through Sunday, June 26.

Coddon is a freelance writer.

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