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Ojai Music Festival to Honor Frank Zappa this Weekend

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The Libby Bowl in Ojai during a festival concert | Photo by Axel Koester

The Libby Bowl in Ojai during a festival concert | Photo by Axel Koester
Now in its 64th year, the Ojai Music Festival is back this weekend, bringing its progressive brand of classical programming, a blend of old classics and contemporary composers. The four-day event begins Thursday with an evening of music by Californian Steve Potter, Saed Haddad of the Mid-East, Austrian (and eventual Los Angeles resident) composer Arnold Schoenberg and American composer Elliot Carter.

Friday is Zappa day. His band Ensemble Modern will play selections from Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions and from The Yellow Shark. To pair Zappa's daring music, two works (he only composed under 20 in his lifetime) from "organized sound' composer Edgard Varése will be played.

Saturday will continue with more 20th Cenutry music from Olivier Messiaen, music director George Benjamin and Igor Stravinsky, whose The Soldier's Tale will be played (an LAist favorite!). Sunday will end things on a peaceful note with works by the Baroque Era's Henry Purcell and North Indian Classical Morning Ragas.

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Ojai is a quaint but beautiful small town with artistic tendencies in Ventura County, tucked in a valley east of Ventura. Hosting one of the best classical music festivals that there is to be had fits well there.