The last time Jessica Vosk was at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, she performed a cabaret show for three nights in the Samueli Theatre.
Now, Vosk – known for her star turn as Elphaba in “Wicked” – returns to Segerstrom Center but this time she’s in the Segerstrom Concert Hall on Friday, Jan. 26 for a very different evening of music.
“California Dreamin: Jessica Vosk Sings the Songwriters of Laurel Canyon” highlights Vosk’s love of the inspiring California songwriters of the 1960s and 70s who lived and created memorable music in the Laurel Canyon community of Hollywood Hills.
Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Chris Hillman, Jim Morrison and many other now-famous singer-songwriters lived in Laurel Canyon. They hung out together and played music together.
“As a kid I grew up with parents who really loved being in the living room with records, and a lot of records were Laurel Canyon artists,” explained Vosk. “They passed that love to me. It’s the soundtrack of my life.”
Vosk created her “California Dreamin’” show for New York’s 92nd Street Y as part of the Lyrics & Lyricists series.
“Usually they do the Great American Songbook—Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart. I said if you’d be up for it, I would like to do my version of the Great American Songbook, which is Laurel Canyon. They agreed,” said Vosk. “My goal of the evening has to do with the education of the music and tell incredible stories, some of which people know and some they don’t know, to give people a different lens into Laurel Canyon and how it became iconic. Some of the best music ever written came out of there.”
One challenge Vosk had was narrowing down her choice of songs that made sense story wise with what she was trying to portray with Laurel Canyon. The result, said Vosk, “is this fantastic piece. It’s my favorite concert so far because I get to be the storyteller and talk about the songs. The stories are incredible. Laurel Canyon was a time of such comradery, with artists helping each other.”
Vosk, who said that she’s thrilled to be doing her concert just a few miles south of Laurel Canyon where it all happened, will have a backing band including piano, drums, bass, guitar, percussion, cello, and backup singers.
And stick around after the concert—Vosk will be available to meet fans and sign autographs.
For tickets, visit www.scfta.org.