Please note: these events are cancelled due to excessive heat.

If we are able to reschedule, we will update you accordingly. Thank you, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

The Spirit of the Garden POPS Concert

Rose & the Nightingale, a powerhouse quartet of female virtuosi, celebrate the sublimity of gardens through poetry and song. Co-presented by the Arboretum and the Pasadena Symphony and POPS, “The Spirit of the Garden” kicks off with refreshments followed by a surround-sound experience with the audience seated alongside the performers on stage for this intimate concert. Composed for performances in the nation’s great public gardens, “The Spirit of the Garden” West Coast tour has included the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Rose & the Nightingale is a New York City-based quartet of world-class improvising vocalists and instrumentalists, creating beautiful and unique genre-defying music full of melody, harmony, and energetic expression. Rose & the Nightingale’s “The Spirit of the Garden” blurs the boundaries of world music, folk, art song, and jazz improvisation. This unique program integrates poetry about gardens and the nexus of spirituality and nature as the lyrics to the songs, as inspiration for improvised interludes, and as thematic threads throughout the concert. Critically acclaimed, Rose & the Nightingale’s live performances have uplifted audiences with the power of the quartet’s fiery rhythmic energy, sublime harmonies, lyrical beauty, and staggering talent. Onstage, the band is a great demonstration of female strength and grace.

Members of Rose & the Nightingale have performed internationally on five continents, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Barbican in London, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Chicago Symphony Hall, and at the  prestigious North Sea, Montreal, Montreux, Newport, San Francisco, and Cape Town South Africa festivals, and Tokyo’s Blue Note. Their performers are Jody Redhage (cello, vocals, compositions); Sara Caswell (violin & mandolin); Katelyn Benton (piano & vocals); and Leala Cyr (vocals, trumpet and percussion).

“The Spirit of the Garden” POPS concert features poems as lyrics written by living American poets with whom Redhage has collaborated, including Wyn Cooper of Vermont, Maria Brady Smith of Missouri, Ella Cvancara of Wyoming, Evan Karp and Silvi Alcivar of California, as well as French poet Miquel Decor, and Rumi.

Poetry & Music in the Garden Workshop

Best for families with students ages 8-18

In Rose & the Nightingale’s “Poetry & Music in the Garden Workshop,” participants are split into four groups, each led by a Rose & the Nightingale band member. The four groups visit four specifically chosen areas in the botanic garden in a round robin style spending 15 minutes in each area. Band members teach a different technique for writing nature poetry in each of the four locations, giving the students the opportunity to write their own nature poems reacting to each specific areas, requiring the students to openly engage and creatively respond to their natural environment. After visiting all four garden areas and writing at least four of their own nature poems, participants reconvene in a centralize location, where Rose & the Nightingale use their voices and instruments to transform the students’ haikus as the lyrics to new songs spontaneously composed.

Students are encouraged to participate in the songwriting process through reactive input, and as participants in the music-making: either as singers, spoken word artists, or percussionists. The highlights of this composition process will be showcased at Rose & the Nightingale’s 5pm performance on Sunday, August 12 at the Arboretum, with an invitation to the workshop students to be involved in the performance of these highlights. The Poetry & Music in the Garden workshop provides a consciousness-raising experience in which students are required to be open and aware, reacting to different garden environments with their own artistic responses. The workshop provides a fun and exciting opportunity to participate in a multi-disciplinary collaborative process. The workshop aims to spark future collaboration between literary and musical minded local students. Students are welcome to bring recording devices to the workshop to record their haikus being made into song.