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Walt Disney Concert Hall Photo: Shutterstock
Walt Disney Concert Hall Photo: Shutterstock

Places

Wayne Shorter’s LA

Legendary jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter travels to Stockholm to receive the 2017 Polar Music Prize. Originally from New Jersey, he now calls Los Angeles home.

Wayne Shorter Photo: Robert Ascroft“I don’t want to sound old, but I “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” says Wayne Shorter and laughs.“That’s a Duke Ellington song. I don’t get around as much as I used to, but my wife does, and she then tells me all about it.”

The legendary jazz saxophonist turned 83 in August. But even if he admits to age having slowed him down, he is still going strong. He was recently in Detroit planning a tour for the summer and he’s also been working on an opera alongside Esperanza Spaulding. Spaulding is doing the whole story, the libretto, based on Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Aulis,” while Shorter has composed the music. He was also recently recognized with the prestigious Polar Prize and shared memories about it with Joni Mitchell, who was the first female artist to receive it.

Wayne Shorter was born in Newark, New Jersey, but currently calls Los Angeles home. We asked him about his favorite places in the city of angels.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl has been hosting concerts since the LA Philharmonic first played on the iconic band shell stage in 1922. The 18000-seat venue is the summer home of the LA Philharmonic, but also hosts pop and rock concerts, and it provides the perfect way to combine an evening picnic under the stars with a musical experience. Shorter has performed at the popular outdoor amphitheater several times, and was part of the concerts in his honor when he celebrated his 75th and 80th birthdays. He has played with renowned artists such as Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and the vocalist Esperanza Spalding here.

The Hollywood Bowl

2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles

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The Blue Whale Bar

Tucked away on the third floor of Little Tokyo's Onizuka Plaza, The Blue Whale Bar has become a top spot for jazz in Los Angeles and a visit here is on Shorter’s bucket list. He has never been to this hip music venue that opened in 2009, but says he has heard great things about this combined jazz club, art gallery and bar in Downtown Los Angeles. “People sit on couches and cushions instead of chairs, and it’s a very international audience, people from Europe and Japan. Teaching at UCLA, I hear what the young people are doing and apparently this is the place to go.”

The Blue Whale Bar

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles

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Walt Disney Concert Hall

Wayne Shorter’s favorite venue in Los Angeles is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the home of the LA Philharmonic. The concert hall is at the top of Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles and opened its doors to the public in 2003. World famous architect Frank Gehry is behind the venue, which instantly became a Los Angeles landmark with its remarkable bold exterior of stainless steel curves. “It’s not my favorite place because I performed there,” he says. “It’s because it’s open to new things, new kinds of performances and new compositions.” Shorter also knows Frank Gehry personally, which makes the experience of playing on the stage – made from Alaskan yellow cedar – even more intimate. The interior is in complete contrast to the cool steel exterior, with a warm, Douglas-fir lined hall, which seats around 2200 people. “And I know the librarian there,” adds Shorter. “So when Frank Gehry was beginning his project and said ‘Where should I start?’ they both almost said in unison ‘the library!’”

Walt Disney Concert Hall

111 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

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The Huntington

Wayne Shorter has never been here, but he loves hearing about it. His wife Carolina Dos Santos is a keen nature and architecture enthusiast. Her aunt helped build the city of Brasilia in Brazil, with the great architect Oscar Niemeyer, Shorter explains. In addition to the library, (which exhibits rare books, such as an original Gutenberg Bible), The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens include 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens ,such as the Herb Garden, the Desert Garden, the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden.

The Huntington

1151 Oxford Road, Los Angeles

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Teru Sushi

Shorter favors Asian dining and Japanese Teru Sushi is at the top of his restaurant list. Located in Studio City, this place combines fine traditional Japanese cuisine with a cozy and lively ambience.

Teru Sushi

11940 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, Los Angeles

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Mr Chow

A swinging London import, Mr Chow arrived in Los Angeles in 1974, and this sleek, chic white and black décor restaurant has since been an institution for the Hollywood elite. When Wayne Shorter’s Brazilian mother-in-law wanted to celebrate her birthday while visiting LA, the couple invited her here. Shorter has been married to Brazilian Carolina Dos Santos since 1999 and apart from sharing a Buddhist lifestyle, they both enjoy Asian food immensely. He often picks chicken satay from the menu, but apparently the unique culinary experience isn’t his priority when going out for dinner. “My favorite thing is to watch other people enjoying themselves. It’s nice to watch other people, so we always sit near the entrance, and when they see my mother-in-law and my wife coming, they say: ‘Oh hello!’ So it’s not just the eating and everything, there’s a lot of revelry going on too.”

Mr Chow

344 N Camden Drive, Beverly Hills

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LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened its doors to the public at its present location on Wilshire Boulevard on the so-called Museum Row on Miracle Mile in 1965. It’s home to four major Los Angeles museums – the LA County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits and Folk Art Museum, and Petersen’s Auto Museum. It houses a collection of over 100,000 art pieces that represent the diverse cultures of Los Angeles, with collections from Asia, Latin America, India, Europe and America. It’s also known for its exhibitions of unique experimental art forms. LACMA is one of his favorite places in Los Angeles because of the way it celebrates art. “LACMA is kind of an unsung place,” says Shorter, who was impressed by the David Lynch celebration he went to. “This is a place where independent thinking and movies and music that aren’t really supported in the pop world and don’t get a lot of advertisement, are honored. So the LACMA people seem to honor art that could be missed in the pop world, or that could be ignored.”

LACMA

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

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Last edited: August 4, 2017

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