The Roots of Reeds come to Carlsbad’s Museum of Making Music

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt

Founded in 1998 by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Carlsbad’s Museum of Making Music opened in March 2000, giving visitors a chance to interact with some of the instruments that helped shape American popular music. It welcomes 30,000 visitors a year, while offering a variety of workshops and concerts.

Visitors try out a variety of instruments in the Innovation Studio. Photos by Lonnie Hewitt

Recently closed for two months of renovation, the museum’s grand re-opening on Aug. 20 revealed a brighter, more spacious setting with more interactivity than ever, and found visitors of all ages exploring the exhibits and making music of their own.

“Our philosophy is allowing people to play real instruments, not dumbed-down versions,” said MoMM Education Manager Jillian Jepsen.

At the opening, volunteer Terry Chaffee was demo-ing a Loar mandolin, and giving quickie lessons to anyone in sight.  “I love doing this,” he said. “I show folks a couple of chords and they’re on top of the world.”

The real highlight is the new Innovation Studio, where everyone can play … and they do. Even if you manage to resist trying out the instruments, you’ll be hooked by the “Global Spotlight,” a giant touch-sensitive digital map featuring the music of 15 countries — tap on a region, and you can hear its traditional music; another tap brings you a clip of contemporary sounds. More countries will be added as time goes by.

According to Jepsen, who was also project manager for the renovation, the map is a new concept, developed with Academy Studios, a design firm in Novato.

“We wanted to give visitors a glimpse of world music in a contemporary way that was friendly to all ages,” she said. “We divided the music into two categories, Echo and Evolution, representing where music came from and where it has gone. I was really happy with how it turned out and visitors seem to really enjoy it.”

James Cotton, master of the blues harmonica, will perform on Sept. 18.

In conjunction with “Roots of Reeds,” a new temporary exhibit showcasing traditional reed instruments from the Middle and Far East and tracing their evolution into modern instruments, the museum will have a number of special events, featuring reed-playing virtuosos.

On Sept. 18, James Cotton, Grammy award-winning master of the blues harmonica, will perform with his long-time band member, guitar player/singer Tom Holland. Cotton, who has appeared with blues legends B.B. King and Muddy Waters, has been performing for more than 60 of his 76 years, and has been called “the greatest living blues harmonica player.” There will be a reception before the concert, and art curator Tatiana Sizonenko will be available to talk and answer questions about the reeds exhibit.

If you go

What: Museum of Making Music

Where: 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays

Admission: $5-$8

Contact: (760) 438-5996


James Cotton concert: 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, plus Roots of Reeds reception. Tickets $35-$40 online.

Related posts:

  1. Musicians select the scores in Evening With series at La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2011
  2. Jazz series gets under way at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla
  3. Six soloists to star in Bach’s ‘The Passion According to St. Matthew’ performing with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus this weekend
  4. San Diego Opera to offer the community six free lectures, many in La Jolla
  5. SummerFest opens with 'String Spectacular'

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Sep 15, 2011. Filed under A & E, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar couple to present program about Bhutan at Solana Beach Library September 1, 2014
    Join cultural anthropologist and photographer Roger Harmon and his wife, Nancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Solana Beach Library for a free presentation of their travels to Bhutan through slides and artifacts. […]
  • Carmel Valley Boy Scouts climb Mount Whitney September 1, 2014
    Several boys from Boy Scout Troop 765 (Carmel Valley) made the climb to the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states this summer. They spent the summer hiking the tallest peaks of Southern California, preparing for their hike of Mount Whitney. These peaks included Mount Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Gorgonio. The boys made the 22-mile round-trip tr […]
  • Multimillion-dollar renovation complete at Hilton San Diego Del Mar September 1, 2014
    Hilton San Diego Del Mar announces the completion of its multimillion-dollar renovation. Funded by Wheelock Street Capital and Sage Hospitality, the hotel’s completed renovation includes the lobby, business center, fitness center, restaurant, meeting spaces and all 257 guest rooms. “This renovation has truly transformed the Hilton San Diego Del Mar property, […]