A pianist’s firsts, Part 2

The fifth recipient of the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award, Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter, makes her Hollywood Bowl debut with Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, the same work she played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Concert Hall in March. Times music critic Mark Swed summed up that performance by saying, “A wonderful pianist has arrived.” Alexander Mickelthwate, the orchestra’s assistant conductor and newly appointed music director of the Winnipeg Symphony, will lead the Philharmonic on this occasion. He’ll complete the program with Shostakovich’s most popular work: Symphony No. 5.


Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ingrid Fliter, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A. 8 tonight. $1 to $93. (323) 850-2000;



Mix, match ‘n’ syncopate


In his efforts to demonize drugs in the mid-'30s, Harry J. Anslinger, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics, blamed jazz music for the spread of marijuana use, describing it as “syncopated taint.” So what better label to use -- 70 years later -- for a band determined to shake up the jazz status quo than the Syncopated Taint Septet? Seattle saxophonist Skerik, a veteran of Garage a Trois and Coalition of the Willing, has put together a band that revives soul jazz and hard bop, adding a contemporary groove, the brassy timbres of Blood, Sweat & Tears and a soupcon of skronk to produce one of the most unusual sounds in contemporary jazz.

Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet, 14 Below, 1348 14th St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Friday. $12. (310) 451-5040;


Yes, sister: testify


Mariah came back, Beyonce’s coming back and Ciara and Rihanna have arrived, but Mary J. Blige

remains untouched as the queen of hip-hop soul. On her current “Breakthrough Experience” tour, the singer has been tapping more of her music’s gospel component than ever, delivering rousing testimonials about tribulation and survival.

Mary J. Blige, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. 8 p.m., Friday. $59.50 to $95.50. (949) 855-6937.

* Also 8:15 p.m. Sunday at Gibson Amphitheater, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, $59.50 to $95.50. (818) 777-3931.



Sweet, hot or flavored as you want

The four-day Sweet & Hot Labor Day Music Festival’s lineup is a rather eclectic bill of fare. In addition to such straight-ahead jazz artists as Jack Sheldon, Jennifer Leitham and Ernie Andrews, the festival will include Dixieland-style Banu Gibson and New Orleans Hot Jazz, boogie-woogie pianist Carl Sonny Leyland, Poland’s Fat Sam’s Swing Band, western swing band Igor’s Jazz Cowboys and even the 1970s disco group the Hues Corporation. More than 23 acts will perform on eight stages throughout the weekend.

Sweet and Hot Labor Day Jazz Festival, Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, 5855 W. Century Blvd., L.A. 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday. $25 to $245. (310) 981-2275;* Also 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.



That furry favorite

Everyone’s favorite collie is returning in a new film, “Lassie,” opening Friday. Adapted by director Charles Sturridge (“Brideshead Revisited”) from Eric Knight’s classic 1940 novel, “Lassie Come Home,” this endearing family tale revolves around a poor mining family that is forced to sell Lassie to a wealthy duke (Peter O’Toole). After Lassie keeps escaping from her cages, she’s sent 500 miles away to the duke’s castle in Scotland. Undeterred, Lassie finds her way home to her family by Christmas. Three collies play Lassie, with the vast majority of work done by a Los Angeles canine named Mason who makes his movie debut as the resilient pooch.

Lassie, rated PG for some mild violent content and language, opens Friday in general release.




Bollywood fantasy

Combining the convoluted plots of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Wizard of Oz” in a fantasy told in the inimitable made-in-India dance style popularized in countless Bollywood musical films, the blue13 dance company presents “Karishma” one night only at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Artistic director-choreographer Achinta S. McDaniel promises a free-spirited amalgam of modern dance, hip-hop, jazz, ballet and classical Indian dance, all curried to the max.


“Karishma,” John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. 8 p.m. Saturday. $22. (323) 461-3673.


The night is for dancing

Returning for the


12th consecutive year, Nocturnal Wonderland, the granddaddy of Southern California dance festivals, continues to bring together all styles

of electronic music. While this year’s lineup sees

familiar faces such as

the Crystal Method doing a DJ set, it’s the infusion of new or rare blood that should have Southern California’s dance fans


excited, particularly over the live sets from Florida’s Rabbit in the Moon and the Israeli psychedelic-trance duo Infected

Mushroom, which has built a massive cult

following around the globe.

Nocturnal Wonderland, National Orange Show Events Center, 689 S. E St., San Bernardino. 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday. $45.




L.A. gets 225 candles

The city of Los Angeles celebrates its 225th birthday on Labor Day. A full day’s worth of activities will begin with the annual Pobladores Walk, in which participants trace the steps of the original settlers of Los Angeles on a nine-mile trek from the San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument at Olvera Street. The birthday celebration will continue on Olvera Street with live performances by Grammy winner Pepe Aguilar, Bobby Rodriguez’s Latin Big Band, Xipe Totec, Mariachi Infantil, Ballet Folklorico and others. State and local officials will be on hand. Information booths, artisan demonstrations, a children’s fun zone and other family attractions will be available.


Los Angeles Birthday Celebration, El Pueblo Historic Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, L.A. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Free. Pobladores Walk begins at 7 a.m. at San Gabriel Mission, 428 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel. Free.



Take a seat at the diner


Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 painting of people in a late-night New York City diner comes to life in “Nighthawks,” Douglas Steinberg’s comic-tinged exploration of human nature. Stefan Novinski directs this Center Theatre Group world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

“Nighthawks,” Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Opens 8 p.m. Wednesday. $20 to $40. (213) 628-2772;* Runs 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Exception: 8:30 p.m. next Thursday; ends Sept. 24.