This Friday, April 25...Kat and the Blues Hounds Return to Sonny McLean's

If you like blues....check out this feisty little blues Mama....
Fsmall-Kat-BluesHoundFlier-Sonnys-thruMAYRIDAY, April 25th..it's that time again for Kat and the Blues Hounds to play their monthly gig at Sonny McLean's on Wilshire in Santa Monica...

Enjoy FREE blues every 4th Friday (NOT last Friday) from 9:15 pm until 12:30 am at this fun Irish Bar, located at 2615 Wilshire Blvd., in Santa Monica...FREE music all night and the Food is fantastic!

Enjoy Blues Classics. Kat and the Blues Hounds features Bob Crickmore,  back on Keys, John Wiemken on bass, Rick Bryan on Drums, with Lucky Wright on sax and off course blues dynamo, Kathy Leonardo fronts the band with all her wild dance moves....this girl can sing!!! As always this band will feature some guest musicians sitting in as usual!

ChKatandtheBluesHounds cropped trumpeteck out a performance of "Summertime" shot by Wayne Ford.

Be sure to LIKE FB Page - Kat and the Blues Hounds https://www.facebook.com/KatandTheBluesHounds?fref=ts

Don't miss Kat and the Blues Hounds, this Friday April 25th from
9:15 pm - 12:30 am. FREE ALL NIGHT!!!  Sonnys McLean's Irish Bar is located at 2615 Wilshire Blvd., in Santa Monica;  310 449-1811
; http://www.sonnymcleans.com/   www.kathyleonardo.com


Renowned Photographer J.J. L'Heureux's Work Featured at the G2 Gallery, Sat, April 26th!

By guest writer Libby Lancaster

This Saturday, April 26th the work of renowned photographer J.J. L’Heureux will be featured in a group exhibition at G2 Gallery entitled “On the Brink.” Showcasing images of over 200 endangered species by twenty-five renowned photographers, the exhibit was timed to run during both Earth Day and the 50th anniversary of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. http://www.iucn.org/

See photo by J.J. L'Heureux - Yellow-eyed Penguin from Enderby Island

Curated by gallery director Jolene Hanson, L’Heureux has worked with Hanson in several other group shows at G2 Gallery as well as two additional one-person shows. “To participate with The G2 gallery with a similar view on conservation by education as I do is always special for me,” explains L’Heureux.

Each year, L’Heureux returns to the Southern Ocean dealing with different weather and lighting conditions with the hopes of photographing new species. She continues, “I have revisited many locations and had the opportunity to have a second chance at photographing special environments and animals. I have learned much, check my settings and for those dark historic huts carry a tripod.  Each visit is different as the animals change quickly.  On my 12th visit to Antarctica I was pleased to finally see an Adelie Chick.  I had seen nest building, vocalizing, eggs, hatchings but never a chick. When animals live in cold environments they must grow fast. I just returned from Newfoundland where I photographed the Harp Seals. The mothers only feed the pups for 2 weeks. The pup gains approximately 5 - 6 lbs. a day and changes from having a yellow coat to a white coat overnight.  We had arranged to visit the seal rookery every other day to be able to see these changes.”

L’Heureux currently has two one-person exhibitions installed: The Science Spectrum Museum, Lubbock, Texas and The Lafayette Science Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana. http://www.jjlheureux.com/  http://www.penguinspirit.com

See photo by J.J. L'Heureux - Grey-Headed-Albatross

Additional featured photographers are: Aran Mooney, Art Wolfe, Beverly Houwing, Brian Skerry, Chris Huss, Ciro Albano, Doug Wechsler, Ian Shive, J. Scott Altenbach, Jeff Yonover, Jennifer MaHarry, Joel Sartore, Mark Strickland, Merlin Tuttle, Michael Durham, Michael Forsberg, Michael Forsberg, Michele Westmorland, Morgan Heim, Nolan Nitschke, Otto Plantema, Piper Mackay, Rebecca Jackrel, Robb Hirsch, Robin Moore, Ron LeValley, Sheri Mandel, Thomas D. Mangelsen, Vaughn Hart, and Will Burrard-Lucas.


The opening reception for On the Brink will be held on April 26 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the G2 Gallery (1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291). Admission is $10 at the door and includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and complimentary valet in front of the gallery. All proceeds from admissions will be donated to IUCN. RSVP to rsvp@theg2gallery.com; 310.452.2842; www.theg2gallery.com


Upper West Restaurant Hosts Caribbean Feast Featuring Mount Gay Rum, April 24th!

Every month Upper West hosts incredible liquor/food pairing events. Chef Nick Shipp never ceases to amaze local foodies and fans of this eclectic restaurant. These popular pairing events sell out quickly, so call soon to reserve your spot.

This Thursday, April 24th, Upper West offers a Caribbean Feast pairing featuring Mount Gay Rum. The evening will begin with Mount Gay Silver and a local halibut ceviche, along with a plantain shell, ataulfo mango and tajin spiced watermelon.

Next Chef Nick has prepared a potato lentil soup with a hint of spice (toasted chili/chadon beni) with yellow curry dumplings to be enjoyed with Mount Gay Eclipse.

Keeping in theme with the Caribbean flavor, a charred Jerk spiced duck will be served with Mount Gay Black Barrel. This dish will also feature a black bean custard, a reduced coconut and cilantro, piquillo. Then your taste buds will be treated to a delightful experience as Mount Gay Extra Old is presented with a ropa vieja along with peas, rice, crispy ham, a fried egg and thai-basil and tomato broth.

To top off this incredible meal, Chef Nick has paired Mount Gay 1703 with a warm ginger cake, cinnamon ice cream and passion fruit puree.

Admission for this incredible five course Mount Gay Rum pairing is just $55 per person plus tip and tax. The event takes place at 7pm at Upper West which is located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. 90404 http://www.theupperwest.com/  


Thursday, April 10th...Upper West Hosts Fundraiser for STAR Education!

On Thursday, April 10th, Upper West will host a fundraiser to benefit STAR Education from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm. The restaurant will donate 20% of sales during the event to Star Education. The event will also feature a raffle with some incredible prizes. Premier Designs jeweler Bernadette Benavente and Artist Vicki McClay will be donating a portion of their sales to the cause.

The event was first initiated by Bernadette Benavente, a Premier Designs jeweler who decided she wanted to help sponsor a fundraiser. Benavente thought it would be a great opportunity to help a non-profit through her new found relationship with Premier Designs. She explains, “I believe in the company's purpose to enrich every life; to provide people a way to find identity, achievement and success; and to meet the personal and financial needs of all who become a part of the Premier Designs family.” 

She then approached Jessica Balsam who had a networking group called Thirsty Thursdays and together they found Hannah Rothblatt who works for STAR Education.  The networking group, created by Balsam was started in 2007. “Although initially it was primarily 30-somethings in the entertainment industry, explains Balsam, “It has grown to attendees from their 20's - 60's in all industries. Balsam has been coming to Upper West since it opened.  “They were a great partner in creating the perfect place to host what had become Thirsty Thursdays (aka "TT Nights").” 
Benavente also, a frequent Upper West diner says, “I love how Upper West supports local artists and charities. My favorite items are the mini mac-n-cheese and the key lime tart paired with the coconut basil sorbet! They have a unique Happy Hour menu as well. Where else can you find Lamb Nachitos?” bbenavente.mypremierdesigns.com

Hannah Rothblatt loves working at
STAR Education and is excited about the fundraiser. She tells us a bit about the organization, "I am the Executive Assistant and Corporate Gifts/ Development Coordinator at STAR Education. We are a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that provides in-school and after-school enrichment education programming for students throughout Los Angeles and California. We are in over 60 schools in Los Angeles alone, and serve tens-of-thousands of students annually. We have been named a "model program" by the White House, and recognized by LA Parent Magazine as being the BEST for much of our programming (as seen on our website, www.starinc.org). Over 60% of our students receive full or partial scholarships, as we are in many grant-funded schools in California. We have partnered with Los Angeles County Office of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Beyond the Bell for much of our programming and events."

Artist Vicki McClay is very excited to participate in the STAR Education fundraiser. She is a Santa Monica local and her art is currently on view at Upper West. McClay was schooled at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center. She continued her studies at the University of Minnesota and The College of Art and Design.  

McClay’s mother played an active role in fueling her desire to be an artist. “When I was about 12 or 13 years old she gave me a small oil painting set which came in a wooden box,” recalls the artist. “To this day, I always keep in my studio. She was a single mom with two children, so it was quite difficult for her to find the resources for classes and supplies, but she saw how important it was to me and made it a priority.” http://vickimcclay.com/   

Stop by and help STAR Education while enjoying some delicious food Thursday, April 10th from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm at Upper West Restaurant, located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. http://www.theupperwest.com/