What CBGB was to punk rock, what Studio 54 was to disco, The Cotton Club was to jazz. Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the Harlem night club was ground zero in the swing scene, playing pivotal roles in the careers of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and basically every other cat whose name holds any significance in the jazz history books. With A Night at the Cotton Club, the San Diego Symphony is reviving the golden age of jazz with performances by two young talents: singer/scatter Nikki Yanofsky (pictured left) and pianist Eldar Djangirov, who spent his teenage years in San Diego. The show runs two nights, Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, both starting at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (750 B St., Downtown). As part of the symphony's "City Lights" series, which aims to create an energetic, party-like scene, the pre-show will feature lobby performances from the Rob Thorsen Trio and professional costumers from Costume Walkabout. There will also be a swing-era-inspired costume contest for the public. Tickets range from $20 to $85. ---
Dwell magazine's pages are windows into the most amazing homes around the world, and next week, the publication is giving looky-loos in San Diego a chance to tour 10 of the region's most cutting-edge abodes with its roving Home Tours series. The main event is a self-guided tour covering five North County and five central San Diego homes (Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11). The cost is $150 for a weekend pass (see all 10 homes) or $75 for a single-day pass (see five homes); weekend passes include free admission to a meet-the-architects cocktail reception happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, at Hold It Contemporary Home. (The reception is open to non-ticket-holders for $25.) There's some bonus events happening for ticket-holders as well-at MCASD's La Jolla location, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, guests can check out the Behold! America exhibit (see more on that below) and eat, drink and mingle with architects. For more, check the website (dht.dwell.com). A portion of ticket sales will benefit Architecture for Humanity.
In our September Fall Arts Issue, CityBeat's former arts editor Kinsee Morlan wrote about Behold, America! Art of the United States from Three San Diego Museums. The exciting new exhibition came from a collaboration between the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Timken Museum to showcase the best each museum has to offer in American art. The exhibition is divided into three parts-Figures, Forms and Frontiers-with each museum taking on one of those themes. The show opens at all three on Saturday, Nov. 10, and runs through Feb. 10. Check out works like Cindy Sherman's Untitled, 2000 at SDMA (as part of "Figures"), works by Robert Irwin and George O'Keefe at MCASD ("Frontiers") and still-lifes ("Forms") by artists like Raphaelle Peale and Morgan Russell at the Timken Museum. Visit beholdamerica.org to see all the events associated with the exhibition.
Chaplos has been posting teasing, cryptic updates to its Facebook page recently, like one from Oct. 19 showing a portrait of a ghostly-looking man. "Meet Chaplos," the caption says. Then there's the sketch of "Betty," a sketch of a blindfolded dame with her fingers wrapped around a martini class (she likes them dirty). All in all, we dig it. What Chaplos really is, is a new restaurant opening at 925 B St., Downtown. Helmed by Norma Martinez, who departed El Vitral to start her own place, the restaurant's aesthetic is Prohibtion Era while its menu is influenced by Martinez's heritage (she was born in Tijuana) and training (she honed her culinary skills in Belgium and France). Some sample menu items: a grilled-cheese sandwich with bleu cheese, salt-crusted baked pear, crispy prosciutto and arugula, or the Jidori Chicken served with spicy tomato sauce, snow peas, grilled polenta and basmati rice. The cocktail menu promises to pay homage to the golden-era of cocktails, the 1920s. Chaplos will open (softly) next week. Check the restaurant's Facebook page for official opening info.