Valley Cultural Foundation
Valley Cultural Center

Past Concerts on the Couch

Alice Howe, Dauzat St. Marie, and Illunis

Introducing Alice Howe, who has a modern spin on ’60s and ’70s folk and timeless blues; Dauzat St. Marie, who have been inspired by folk and rock; and Illunis, who won our 2020 Battle of the Bands with their unique vocals and powerful melody.

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Cuñao, The Salty Suites, and Tyler Alexis

Cuñao is a Los Angeles-based Latin Folk group. They use their multi-ethnic background and influences to create evocative, poetic songs that transcend time and leave listeners with lush images. Cuñao puts a global twist on their Latin sound by exploring African rhythms, Eastern European melodies, and American Rock aesthetics.

The Salty Suites says their music is heavily influenced by small woodland creatures and traveling encyclopedia salesmen. Lyrically their inspiration derives from fortune cookies and grumpy cat memes. Don’t miss this functionally dysfunctional band of hooligans.

Tyler Alexis is a singer/songwriter born and raised in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. She derives her music from a variety of influences but focuses primarily on a fusion of alternative rock and folk styles. 

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Rob Bonfiglio, Danni Stefanetti, and JC Gafford

Rob Bonfiglio first gained national prominence in the mid ‘90s as a member of RCA recording act Wanderlust who scored a radio hit on the Billboard charts with “I Walked” and landed prime opening gigs for The Who, Collective Soul, and others. Rob’s consummate skills as an exceptional guitarist and vocalist is showcased in a multitude of TV, film, and various songs from other artists.

Discovered by superstar Keith Urban in the Nashville rain, Danni Stefanetti recently toured L.A., performing at the most iconic venues to sold-out crowds. The Australian artist moved to L.A. last year and is one of the most exciting and diverse performers to emerge from the Australian entertainment scene.

JC Gafford is an up-and-coming blues, funk, and R&B artist. His first album, 5, is available on CD Baby and ReverbNation. His second album, Love Too Much, is a full-length CD featuring many of today’s most popular blues musicians.

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Funky AF, Emily Coupe, and Rene Collins

Funky AF, formed in Venice, California, is an extremely diverse group of music industry veterans from the East and West Coasts and Middle America, ranging in ages from their 30s to 70s — united under a common goal: to play uplifting dance music from around the world. They play a mix of world music, moving fluidly from reggae to Latin to Middle Eastern and West African rhythms to, of course, funk.

Emily Coupe is an Australian pop/folk artist with a soul twist. Her fusion of sounds has developed over the years, with influences ranging from singer/songwriter staples Jewel, Colbie Caillat, and Sheryl Crow, combined with more cutting edge alt-pop like Gorillaz.

Rene Collins effortlessly weaves together the subjects of spiritual progress, love, and nature to create a unique musical and lyrical style. Charismatic, charming, and energetic, he woos the audience with his powerful vocals, sensitive lyrics, and down-to-earth groovy blend of folk, reggae, and hip hop with fiddle.

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Robot Nature, Xian, and Brittney Crush

Robot Nature can be described as an eclectic synthesis of modern electronic, noir pop, and infectious synth rock. With electric violin and haunting lead vocals, Robot Nature will have you hooked.

With inspiration coming from the nostalgia of Blues, Doo Wop, and ’70s Rock, Xian brings a new take to something familiar. With swirling bass and psychedelic vocals, Xian shows just how good it feels to let it all out.

Brittney Crush embodies the nature of a powerhouse femme icon with her electric vocals, edgy lyrics and a one-of-a-kind stage presence. Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, she started her music career while earning her bachelor’s degree in New York City. As a lover of live music and ensembles, she and her band have grown to produce and perform shows that leave the audience with an unforgettable sound and experience.

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The Powell Brothers, Fernando Perdomo, and Acoustic Asylum

The Powell Brothers is a country/rock original music recording artist from Houston, Texas. The power trio is fronted by brothers Taylor Powell (lead vocals, guitar, bass) and Blake Powell (vocals, bass, guitar), both born and raised in Houston, Texas. Longtime friend Mike Bishop Smith (drums) completes the trio. With a unique blend of genres, thoughtful lyrics, and superb musicianship, the band has garnered a vast and diverse following. Releases include eight singles, three EPs, and one full-length album.

Fernando Perdomo is a powerhouse of the LA music scene who lives and breathes music. A veteran at 37, he has made a name for himself as an in-demand producer, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a featured guitarist in the Netflix documentary Echo In The Canyon where he is seen backing up Jakob Dylan, Fiona Apple, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, Cat Power, and Jade Castrinos. He also played on every track on the official soundtrack album of the film along with Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Josh Homme as well as the aforementioned artists. Fernando is an acclaimed recording artist with releases in the singer-songwriter, rock, progressive rock, and classical genres.

Acoustic Asylum is a place for us to explore all kinds of musical vibes that excite and challenge us. Here, we’re free to play without studio tricks, without a bunch of pedals or synthesizers… just free to make grooving organic music. Each of us brings decades of study, hours of inspired listening, and our natural good humor to make music that’s fun to play, fun to listen to, and stretches boundaries without offending the listeners’ sensibilities. You’ll hear influences from jazz, funk, Klezmer, Americana ,and Popall mashed up by some of Los Angeles’s finest musicians. We’re not sure if we’re finding “Asylum” or in an “Asylum.”

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Honey River, Tina Mathieu, and Mike Hill

Honey River was formed in 2017 by songwriter/singer/guitarist Joey Sykes, inspired by his many years of Nashville writing trips and a love for such Country Rock legends like The Eagles, Tom Petty, and Little Big Town. Recently, Jay Mags and Chris Vincent added their vocal and guitar talent to make Honey River’s unique sound. The style of Honey River can be best described as Modern Vintage Country Rock. Using classic instruments such as mandolin, dobro, pedal steel, and 12-string guitars, along with more commonly used piano, organ, real drums, plenty of guitars, and lots of vocal harmonies, the sound can be enjoyed by a wide age range of music lovers, country or rock, anywhere from 18 to 80.

Tina Mathieu is an indie alternative soul singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. Her intimate songwriting and textured vocals give an angsty vibe with nods to the quiet storm of Sade. After circulating her acoustic soul tunes throughout New York’s live music scene and touring the northeast with indie rock band Under the Elephant, Tina headed west for a personal soul revival. With over a dozen film and TV song placements (NBC, Bravo, TLC), Tina’s debut single “Downward Spiral” landed her a recent feature with Lifetime Films. She followed that with the release of her emotionally raw debut EP A Safer Place, taking a deep dive into the waves of divorce. Tina is currently working on an upcoming spiritual EP to be released later this year and is one half of the positive pop project Real Fiction.

Mike Hill‘s musical journey started at a very young age in his school programs back home in Canada. Since those early days, Mike has spent his time bettering his craft, working with local touring groups here in the States and back home. In 2007, Michael moved to Southern California and has been currently performing, co-writing and producing original independent artists in Los Angeles. Michael performs along the west coast in a variety of top-notch bands as well being cast in Disney’s Mad T Party Band at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim and Disney’s Tomorrowland Terrace. With over 15 years of touring, recording, and showcasing experience, Michael Hill is a highly talented musician with extensive knowledge in entertaining and captivating live audiences around the world.

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Nina Francis, Mônica Da Silva, and Marina V

Nina Francis is a versatile singer and an accomplished guitarist. Laced with undertones of pop, folk, and jazz, Nina’s music blends timeless songwriting with modern sensibilities to create a sophisticated sound all her own. She is indeed “an artist to watch” (Bart Mendoza, Beach & Bay Press).

Mônica da Silva grew up living between the United States and Belém, Brazil, a city on the Amazon River. A love of travel and foreign language helped forge her unique sound, a genre da Silva calls “Indie Nova” or Bossa Nova. Bringing her cultural diversity to her songs, she smoothly flows between languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French), and takes her listeners on a journey. Through her music, da Silva hopes to expose people to different cultures, sounds, and new ways of thinking. In 2017, da Silva’s song “Back To His Girl” was featured in the Golden Globe Award winning film Lady Bird. Her latest single “Soldado de Amor” (2017), was nominated for a 2018 International Brazilian Press Award. The track was featured in the BBC One series The Replacement, in the 2018 Paramount Network series American Woman, and will soon appear in the 2019 Fall Campaign for the American fashion label Tory Burch. She is currently recording a new, full-length solo album, as well as writing and recording with her project Complicated Animals.

Marina V is an award-winning Russian-American recording pop artist. The singer/pianist/songwriter is a self-described “musical lovechild of The Beatles, Tori Amos and Tchaikovsky.” Marina grew up in Moscow and has been singing and writing songs since a very young age. After being rewarded a prestigious scholarship, Marina came to America at the age of 15 by herself. Somewhere between visa issues, crazy odd jobs, missing her family, playing ice hockey, and attending a university in Illinois, she worked hard and has quickly blossomed into an international voice. She self-released 12 albums and has played over 1,200 shows worldwide. Having collaborated with Grammy and Emmy winners as well as writing songs for NBC, CBS, Oprah Winfrey Network, Lifetime, and more, Marina’s songs have a timeless quality that transcends boundaries and touches fans from all walks of life.

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The Black Whisky Union, Carol McArthur, and Clare Means

The Black Whiskey Union joins three American songwriters into one vintage pop rock outfit. With Members from Ohio, Texas, and California, The Black Whisky Union celebrates their recordings with one-off singles, EPs, LPs, and live concert Blu-ray/CD combos. In the spirit of the 1970s, think Fleetwood Mac, Carole King, Eagles, and Pink Floyd, to newer artists like Amy Winehouse and John Mayer – we aspire to become a warm blanket escape for your ears, providing you with varied colors of warm tonal goodness. We love connecting heartfelt stories, complemented by melodies that will haunt you days after consumption. More importantly, we are a real band, we play all of the instruments, and we record, produce, and mix everything ourselves in our own homes in Southern California.

Carol McArthur has a big heart, a gentle spirit, and an angelic voice. Early on, and deeply ensconced in the private school experience unique to the suburbs of Los Angeles, she found there was a tremendous excitement in the act of performance and found a new home in the company of an audience. Ever since, Carol has been performing in various arrangements on many CDs and has been the vocal guest lending accompaniment to some of her distinguished colleagues’ projects, such as Mumbo’s Brain, Chris Poland Rare Tracks, and Two Separate Gorillas. Carol was the lead singer in Music for Chameleons and co-fronted Black Cadence with Jamila Ford. She has also sung backup vocals in the studio and performed live with several talented and prestigious people in the industry.

Clare Means stands out as a performer due to the unconventional path she has taken. Always a hustler, Clare has made a name for herself as one of LA’s most popular, hardest-working street performers. She’s built a dedicated following by being one of the very few performers to perform almost exclusively original music. While most depend on covers to stop foot traffic, Clare learned to work on her songwriting craft and challenged herself to capture audiences using her own songs. Clare’s street performances are musical experiments in which she interacts with the colorful and chaotic scene of the environment. Since 2015, Clare began livestreaming her daily performances on Periscope, now being one of the most popular musicians on the platform. Clare has independently sold thousands of copies of her albums through her livestreaming, street performances, and while playing shows at various venues across Los Angeles and touring the US, Canada, and Europe.

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Ann-Marita Garsed, Terrell Edwards, and Illunis

Ann-Marita Garsed is an artist who transcends genres, borders, and generations. From a diverse background in four countries on three different continents, Ann-Marita fuses her influences together into a sound that is rich with emotion, guts, honesty, and heart. She is a country crooner, a folk rocker, a survivor, but above all – a storyteller. With a voice reminiscent of soulful country rock artists like Linda Ronstadt and Shelby Lynne and a storytelling ability greatly influenced by icons like Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, she has traveled far and wide, armed with her acoustic guitar, sharing her talent.

Terrell Edwards left his home state at age 18 to join the U.S. Navy, and returned to pursue his passion as a songwriter while continuing to build an impressive resumé as a businessman and motivational speaker. He later got a songwriting break when his aunt who owned a radio station introduced him to multi-platinum producer Allan “Grip” Smith. Since then he has broadened his artistic repertoire, and taken the stage as an adult contemporary artist. His artistic journey continues, writing and producing for other artists in various genres, while continuing as a solo artist himself. Terrell also founded and performs with the Tri-City Rat pack, giving tribute to the late great Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Illunis was spontaneously forged when Sean Clark and Ali Faghihi combined musical forces in late 2015. Songs Sean had held secretly for years had gained a new life force with Ali’s unique vocal style. Throughout 2016 the acoustic duo hit the recording studio, played shows and developed the signature Illunis sound. In 2017, Illunis elicited Barak Levi for his diverse and creative lead guitar playing. The trio continued on honing their skills and worked as a songwriting trio to develop warm acoustic fingerpicked riffs, topped with tasteful and rhythmic lead guitar melodies, and a broad ranged authoritative vocal punch. In 2019, recruited David Collins Frankel as an eclectic multi-talented drummer and they were off to the races while Sean left. Illunis continually strives to push musical elements, create a dynamic listening experience, and positively impact the worlds of their listeners.

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Rachel Flowers, Elena Degl‘innocenti, and Danni Stefanetti

Rachel Flowers is recognized worldwide as a multi-instrumentalist and composer who spans multiple genres. She first gained recognition for her talent as a young child and has been admired and mentored by those at the top of their field: Greg Lake, Keith Emerson, Dweezil Zappa, conductor Terje Mikkelson, and a series of jazz greats. She has won countless awards as a pianist and flutist, and has performed and recorded on the global stage. The award-winning documentary Hearing Is Believing was produced about her unusual life and talents, and she has just released her second album of original music. Rachel has performed and recorded in tribute to and with some of her most famous mentors, and she continues to defy expectations by refusing to be pigeonholed by genre or by instrument.

Elena Degl’innocenti is an award-winning Italian-born singer/songwriter/guitarist. Born and raised in Florence, Elena moved to LA to follow her music dream, and graduated from Musician’s Institute and then UCLA. Blessed with a three-octave soprano voice, she sings in Italian, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Her vast repertoire mixes her Italian roots with her jazz and Latin influences. Elena performs locally, throughout the west coast, and in Italy. She is also a passionate educator, teaching voice and guitar to many private students throughout Los Angeles including two music classes for young children at UCLA.

Discovered by superstar Keith Urban in the Nashville rain, Danni Stefanetti has recently been touring LA performing at the most iconic venues to sold out crowds. The Australian artist moved to LA last year and is one of the most exciting and diverse performers emerging from the Australian Entertainment Scene.

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Joey Sykes, Alice Howe, and Steve Postell

Joey Sykes is a full-time musician, born and raised in New York, currently living in L.A. Logging in one thousand live shows locally, he got his first real taste of the industry with the band Boystown. He then went on to become the lead guitarist/co-writer in the band Coward. Since moving to California, Joey has spent his time writing, producing, and performing with huge names in the industry.

Alice Howe is a rising voice in modern folk, a singer and songwriter offering a modern love letter to ’60s and ’70s folk and timeless blues. Her debut full-length album, Visions, pays homage without succumbing to imitation and offering an intimate snapshot of a young artist discovering her own power. Produced by Freebo with a stellar cast of musicians in Bakersfield, California, Visions is a collection of new originals alongside Alice’s interpretations of iconic songs from her family’s vast record collection.

Steve Postell is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, and producer. His latest solo CD for Immergent Records features a host of brilliant guests who have worked with him over the years. These include David Crosby, Jennifer Warnes, John Oates, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Dave Koz, Paul Barrere, and many others. A native New Yorker, Steve moved to Los Angeles to join Steve Ferrone (illustrious drummer for Average White Band, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty) and Grammy award-winning engineer/producer John Jones, at Drumrolll, a studio/production facility in Burbank. Steve’s latest projects include guitar lessons and production for an exciting series of music instruction apps.

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Xs & ARROWs, Tyler Alexis, and The Powell Brothers

Xs & ARROWs is a trio of native Los Angelenos bound by teenage friendship, a love of Irish rock, and commitment to artistic creation. The group began as rock n’ roll quartet EXIT, playing high-profile clubs such as The Whisky and The Viper Room. In their incarnations with various singers, they have had some truly noteworthy experiences: playing House of Blues Sunset and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, touring the Balkans, even joining U2 on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a performance of the legendary band’s “Out of Control”. Today, Xs & ARROWs have found their identity fronted by guitarist Courtney Lavender, favoring an acoustic vibe with warm, vulnerable vocals. Their debut EP, From Here, is out now.

Tyler Alexis is a singer/songwriter born and raised in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. She derives her music from a variety of influences but focuses primarily on a fusion of alternative rock and folk styles (think Alanis Morissette meets a spunky Jonatha Brooke). She has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate and perform with artists around the globe, and she is currently recording her next EP.

The Powell Brothers is a country/rock original music recording artist from Houston, Texas. The power trio is fronted by brothers Taylor Powell (lead vocals, guitar, bass) and Blake Powell (vocals, bass, guitar), both born and raised in Houston, Texas. Longtime friend Mike Bishop Smith (drums) completes the trio. With a unique blend of genres, thoughtful lyrics and superb musicianship, the band has garnered and vast and diverse following. Releases include eight singles, three EPs, and one full-length album.

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The Salty Suites, Tina Mathieu, and Brittney Crush

The Salty Suites says their music is heavily influenced by small woodland creatures and traveling encyclopedia salesmen. Lyrically their inspiration derives from fortune cookies and grumpy cat memes. Don’t miss this functionally dysfunctional band of hooligans.

Tina Mathieu is an indie alternative soul singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. Her intimate songwriting and textured vocals give an angsty vibe with nods to the quiet storm of Sade. After circulating her acoustic soul tunes throughout New York’s live music scene and touring the northeast with the indie rock band, Under the Elephant, Tina headed west for a personal soul revival. With over a dozen film and TV song placements (NBC, Bravo, TLC), Tina’s debut single, “Downward Spiral”, landed her a recent feature with Lifetime Films. She followed that with the release of her emotionally raw debut EP, A Safer Place, taking a deep dive into the waves of divorce. As an activist for several social justice initiatives, her politically charged tunes, “America the Beautiful” and “One Step Closer”, have been used as calls to action for protests, rallies and campaigns around the country. Tina is currently working on an upcoming spiritual EP to be released later this year and is one half of the positive pop project Real Fiction.

Brittney Crush embodies the nature of a powerhouse femme icon with her electric vocals, edgy lyrics and a one-of-a-kind stage presence. Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, she started her music career while earning her bachelor’s degree in New York City. As a lover of live music and ensembles, she and her band have grown to produce and perform shows that leave the audience with an unforgettable sound and experience.

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Valley Cultural Foundation has been supporting Emerging Artists for the last three (3) years, providing them a means to perform in a live, professional, established concert setting where they can promote and refine their talents.

In an effort to continue its Emerging Artist program, and in compliance with the 2020 restrictions for live music due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VCF has created “Concerts on the Couch”. This online series is a way to entertain safely and promote this year’s Emerging Artists.

Valley Cultural Foundation will release one video block per week, featuring songs by three emerging artists, and will continue to release a new video each week throughout the summer.

 

Valley Cultural Foundation Announces their Emerging Artist Online Summer Series “Concerts on the Couch” for 2020

July 1, 2020
Woodland Hills, CA

The Valley Cultural Foundation (VCF), the leading arts organization in the San Fernando Valley, announces a new online concert series, “Concerts on the Couch”. Founded in 1975, the Valley Cultural Foundation’s mission embraces diversity of talent, community, business, and education by providing live entertainment programs and events in the arts.

VCF has been supporting Emerging Artists for the last three (3) years, providing them a means to perform in a live, professional, established concert setting where they can promote and refine their talents.

In an effort to continue its Emerging Artist program, and in compliance with the 2020 restrictions for live music due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VCF has created this online series as a way to entertain safely and promote this year’s Emerging Artists.

Beginning in July 2020, the Valley Cultural Foundation will release one video block per week, featuring songs by three emerging artists, and will continue to release a new video each week throughout the summer.

Videos may be accessed and viewed on the Valley Cultural Foundation’s website (www.valleycultural.org) and all social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and their YouTube channel, as well as each artist’s social media, Department of Cultural Affairs, and Rock Cellar Magazine. Some of the program’s sponsors include Valley News Group, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and Westfield Topanga/The Village.

“It is our goal for “Concerts on the Couch” to support our Emerging Artists whenever and wherever possible by providing a platform for their music to be heard, as well as supporting them financially,” stated Nora Ross, CEO. To support the Emerging Artist program, donations can be made to the Valley Cultural Foundation. Proceeds will be split between the artists and VCF.

More information: Visit www.valleycultural.org to see the Valley Cultural Foundation’s entire schedule of free programming and events.

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