Mark Heard It First

Living for Live Music!

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photo by Ziggy Spiz

When I was hired by Anastasia Mann to promote talented Latin entertainer Louie Cruz Beltran and to help develop an Entertainment Division for the Corniche Group, Inc., her successful corporate and leisure travel management and Anastasia’s Africa companies, I knew I was in for an adventure.  It has been quite a ride.  I’ve learned a great deal, and am grateful to say there has never been more music in my life than there is right now.  In addition to pursuing my love for performing, piano studies and recording, I have gained valuable insights into what it takes to present and perform quality music.  From dealing with club owners, festival promoters and event planners, to handling stage plots, tech engineers, logistics, public relations, scheduling, nervous private party hosts, and luxury hotel General Managers, we continue to do it all at Corniche Entertainment.  And through it all my love and respect for the many talented musicians and fans who make up our performing arts community has only increased.  The journey continues with a busy schedule taking us into 2019.  I wanted to share some upcoming dates here on my personal page, “Mark Heard it First.”

But first, a brief recap of the latest adventures.  April 29th master percussionist and entertainer Louie Cruz Beltran was  proud to appear through the Smithsonian Institution and the Blues Alley Jazz Society on the National Mall in Washington DC to represent Latin Jazz, closing out Jazz Appreciation Month.

Monday night, April 30th Louie performed two shows at famed Blues Alley in Georgetown to celebrate International Jazz Day.  It was a new market for Louie, and we beat the drums to get the word out and we had a great turnout!  As many of you know, Blues Alley is a legendary jazz club that is run the right way – big thanks to owner Harry Schnipper, house manager Jessica and Alex on sound!  Louie had an awesome band – thanks to our friend Sean Beale-Rosano, who now lives in Baltimore and came in for the gigs, and to the talented Olaolu Ajibade who killed on drums – so much fun to watch those two guys as well as hear them.  We brought Louie’s talented pianist/Musical Director Carlos Vivas with us from LA, as well as the great young sax/flute phenom Justin Janer.  Thanks to Harry and the Blues Alley team, and congratulations to Anastasia Mann for realizing her dream and making this happen.


On May 6th we presented the first of three shows we have booked for the prestigious LA Made series at the downtown Central Library.  Made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, LA Made is a cultural series featuring free music, dance, theater, and conversations with LA based entertainers.  Roberto Amaral presented Fuego Flamenco, a talented troupe of three dancers, a guitarist and percussionist, led by Roberto who danced and sang classic as well as cutting edge flamenco material.  It was hugely entertaining, and the full house gave them a well deserved standing ovation.


And now, onward.  We are proud of Louie’s popular solo library percussion seminars, “Roots & Rhythm” being presented by the Los Angeles County Library system in numerous branch libraries this year!  The shows are fun, interactive, informative, free and suitable for all ages.  Louie has a deep connection to and knowledge of Afro Cuban music, and demonstrates specific rhythms, where they originated and how they made their way into today’s music styles.

For Louie Cruz Beltran’s complete and busy schedule, including “Roots & Rhythm,” LA Made, and appearances at Spaghettini, Vibrato, Vitello’s, The Curtis Theatre, and other top regional venues, check out his website here.

Here are other upcoming dates, including the 2018 Music on the Main lineup at Descanso Gardens.  Descanso tickets will go on sale to the public two weeks prior to each show, and will likely sell out quickly.  Please contact Descanso Gardens directly for changes to their ticketing and entrance procedures on Thursdays.  All shows are 6 to 7:30, lawn seating on a first come basis.  Bring a picnic, bottle of wine.  And bring me a snack (optional.)  I am always by the band stand.  

Click on the artist’s name and/or venue for venue and show information.

Sunday, June 3rd.  2 PM.  The prestigious LA Made series  at the Grand Central Library, DTLA –  Louie Cruz Beltran Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Thursday, June 7th – Canadian born 7 time Juno Award nominee (Canadian Grammy) Carol Welsman opens the 2018 Music on the Main series at Descanso Gardens!

Thursday, June 14th – Louie Cruz Beltran, Descanso Gardens. Louie is a returning crowd favorite!  Party in the garden!

Saturday, June 16th – Mark Christian Miller returns to Egan’s Ballard Jam House, with Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Bill Anschell on piano.  I am getting comfy in this intimate, fun Ballard boîte.  It is my third appearance there, and I am thrilled to have a talented new trio to perform some new arrangements by Jamieson Trotter and Josh Nelson, in anticipation of my current recording project.

Thursday, June 21st – Carey Frank – Descanso Gardens.  I have been following Carey this past year – a superb musician, a hard swinging, energetic keyboardist and mandolin player.


Thursday, June 28th – Kevin Kanner featuring Danny Janklow, Descanso Gardens.  Kevin hosts the legendary Mint Jam,  and both he and Danny are respected, busy, and in demand.  Expect some fierce straight ahead jazz.

Thursday, July 5th – Incendio, Descanso Gardens – fiery guitar driven instrumentals, first rate musicianship.

Thursday, July 12th – Spencer Day, Descanso Gardens – there is nobody like Spencer, a gifted songwriter, engaging pianist and entertainer.  His show was a sensation last year at the gardens.

Thursday, July 19th – Nolan Shaheed, Descanso Gardens.  Nolan is a great entertainer as well as trumpet player, with an authentic, deep history in the music.  His shows are always a blast.

Pleased to be presenting renowned New York based violinist, mandolin virtuoso, bow tie rights activist and humorist Aaron Weinstein in two rare Los Angeles area appearances:

Thursday, July 26th – Descanso Gardens

Sunday, July 29th – Vibrato.  2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air 90077 – shows at 7:30 and 9:00.  Must reserve for a good table!

We are pleased to announce Cool Miss B, Betty Bryant will be appearing at this year’s Central Avenue Jazz Festival Saturday, July 28th!  Details TBA!

World renowned bassist Kristin Korb is in from Denmark for a couple LA shows!

Thursday, August 9th – Kirstin Korb with Special Guest Mark Christian Miller (lineup subject to change) – Vitello’s!

Thursday, August 16th, Jazz at the Merc, Temecula

National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Hubert Laws brings his singular talent to the LA Made series, Grand Central Library, Taper Auditorium on Sunday, August 19th at 2 PM!

Cool Miss B’s two favorite regular shows are coming up again!  Back by popular demand at Martini’s Above Fourth in San Diego on Thursday, August 23rd, and the annual Betty Bryant Birthday  Bash Brunch returns to Catalina Jazz Club on Sunday afternoon, November 4th.

Danny Janklow performs for the City of West Hollywood Winter Sounds series on Saturday, January 12, 2019.  His heart-felt, passionate, and highly energetic music has reached and inspired thousands of listeners from Japan to Holland to Mexico

I continue on my personal musical performance journey with a focus on piano practice, and am moving forward with the new recording project.  We have gathered new arrangements from Jamieson Trotter and Josh Nelson and are finalizing recording personnel and dates.  My Executive Producers Steve and Mary Miller will be attending our upcoming Seattle performance at Egan’s on June 16th, and I’m looking forward to seeing them along with my newfound Seattle pals.  Also very excited to be guesting with the brilliant bassist Kristin Korb at Vitello’s on August 9th, and returning to guest with Betty Bryant to celebrate at her annual birthday bash at Catalina Jazz Club on Sunday November 4th!

So there you have it.  There are more pending events that will be added soon, including partnering through the Los Angeles Jazz Society and our friends at the City of West Hollywood on some exciting events in the community.

Please support the Los Angeles Jazz Society – just one of our programs is Jazz in Schools, which presents live interactive jazz  to elementary school students throughout the LAUSD during February, Black History Month.  We are adding some exciting new public concerts and mixers to our established Bill Green Mentorship, New Note and Jazz Tribute programs.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!  Get out and support live music!