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Ventura Music Festival – Ventura CA

Music Connects

Welcome to Music Connects: VMF’s Weekly Digital Music Festival!

The DIVA series

Curated by Executive Director Susan Scott

MC48 – Aretha FranklinSoul

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

When is a diva more than a diva? When she’s also a Queen . . . of Soul, Gospel and even Rock ‘n Roll, where in 1987, she was the first woman inducted into that Hall of Fame.

Aretha was a prodigy, singing and playing piano at an early age. Like most divas in this series, singing in church figured large in her development and for Aretha, it was her Pastor-daddy’s church and she performed with his traveling revival show too. She is one of the most honored artists in Grammy history and Elton John says she influenced everybody!

What I want to focus on is her complete Diva performance at the Kennedy Center in 2015 in honor of songwriter/singer Carole King, one of the night’s honorees. Apparently honorees do not know who is appearing on their behalf. Aretha comes out wearing a massive fur coat and carrying her purse (just like another Queen).  She drops the purse on stage, sits down at the piano – cut to video of Carole King, giddy and beside herself with surprise. Aretha starts to sing “(Like a) Natural Woman” and she is in great voice. At some point, she stands, drops the coat on the floor and continues to sing. It is a magnificent, emotional, legendary performance. I’m at home crying, the President is in his box crying, the crowd is on its feet. An unforgettable performance. 

Aretha, who had been unwell, explained later that she wore the coat to protect her voice in case it was cold or drafty on stage, but it wasn’t, so she dropped it.

Aretha had won her own Kennedy Center honor twenty years earlier, in 1994.  A Kennedy Center producer remarked that most often the awards went to great artists in the twilight of their careers – not so with Aretha. After her honor and despite health issues, she continued to fill the next two decades with memorable song-writing and performances – none more so than the one she delivered for Carole King, our MC-48 selection. 

If you’re familiar with this performance, I know you’ll be happy to see it again.  If you’re not, it is my great pleasure to present it to you. Let me know what you think. 

PS:

Music Connects is going on hiatus for a little while and for an excellent reason. We are presenting a LIVE, 100% vaccinated festival on July 23-25– hurrah – and there is a lot to do!!   Look for a Save the Date with artists and other details on Tuesday; ticket sales commence June 1st.  


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Previous Weeks

MC47- Patsy Cline – Country Divas
Curated by Executive Director
04-30-21

MC46- Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan – Jazz Divas
Curated by Executive Director
04-23-21

MC45- Beyoncé – Pop Divas
Curated by Executive Director
04-17-21

MC44- Maria Callas – Opera Divas
Curated by Executive Director
04-10-21

MC43- Cantus
Curated by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta
04-03-21

MC42 – Roby Lakatos and the Roby Lakatos Ensemble Curated by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta
03-26-21

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MC41 – Jenö Lisztes of the Roby Lakatos Ensemble Curated by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta
03-19-21

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MC40 – Chris Botti Curated by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta
03-12-21

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MC39 – Eldar Djangirov “A Night in Tunisia” Curated by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta
03-5-21

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MC38: Corey Cerovsek & Paavali Jumppanen
02-26-21

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MC37: Joshua Bell
02-19-21

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MC36: Ana Vidovic
02-12-21

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MC35: Celebrating 2020
12-11-20

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MC34: Rastrelli Cello Quartet
12-4-20

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MC33: Alfredo Rolondo Ortiz
11-27-20

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MC32: Moanin’ Frogs
11-20-20

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MC31: David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg
11-13-20

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MC30: Take 3
11-06-20

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MC29: Composer John Biggs
10-30-2020

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MC28: Trio Celeste
10-23-2020

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MC27: m-pact
10-16-2020

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MC26: Gershwin Preludes Special Edition
10-9-2020

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MC25: Mark & Maggie O’Connor
10-2-2020

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MC24: Billy Valentine
09-26-2020

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MC23: The Manhattan Transfer
09-18-2020

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MC22: NICO New Ideas Chamber Orchestra
09-11-2020

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MC21: Nicole Cabell “Kid in the Park”
09-4-2020

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MC20: Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band
08-28-2020

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MC19: Pepe Romero
08-21-2020

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MC18: Bejun Mehta
08-14-2020

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MC17: Django AllStars & Red Dido
08-07-2020

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MC16: Loren & David Laue
07-31-2020

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MC15: Time For Three
07-24-2020

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MC14: Sean Chen
07-17-2020

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MC13: Ilya Serov
07-10-2020

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MC12: Patricia Lathrop-McPherson
07-03-2020

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MC11: John Jorgenson & J2B2
06-26-2020

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MC10: Take 6
06-19-2020

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MC9: Sharon Marie Cline
06-12-2020

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MC8: Featuring Rachel Flowers
06-05-2020

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MC7: Featuring Twanguero
05-29-2020

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MC6: Featuring Rising Star Peter Glass
05-22-2020

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MC5: Featuring Aubrey Logan
05-15-2020

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MC4: Featuring Nuvi Mehta and Bryan Verhoye
05-08-2020

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MC3: Featuring ADAAWE
05-01-2020

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MC2: Featuring Perla Batalla
04-24-2020

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MC1: Featuring Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
04-17-2020

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