A&E Wrap-Up: September 25, 2020

Ohrlando’s Chamber continues livestream performances

Ohrlando’s Chamber Ensemble will livestream a performance at 5 p.m. Sunday via its YouTube channel: “Ohrlando Live from Home.”

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The ensemble is asking those who view the performance by Ursula Hesse on piano and Roland Maurer on oboe, English horn and sax, featuring music from French operas with pieces by Offenbach, Adam, Bizet, Boieldieu and others, to donate to The Food Basket online at www.hawaiifoodbasket.org.

New music: Three cool albums worth checking out in fall 2020

Here are three recent albums that are definitely worth spinning:

“Work Hard and Be Nice,” Michael Franti &Spearhead

The Bay Area act, which draws from folk, hip-hop, reggae, pop, jam rock and other musical styles, serves up another big dish of positive vibes with its 11th studio album. So consider putting on “Work Hard and Be Nice” the next time you’re feeling blue. “Every song on the album is about the power of optimism to get us through our darkest moments and find the light in our loves, lives and for the planet,” Franti says.

“All of My Best Friends,” Hillsong Young &Free

The Grammy-nominated Christian music group, which has garnered seven No. 1 singles since forming in 2013, returns with another uplifting entry to its catalog. “I think our greatest hope for our music is that people, whatever their background, circumstance or belief, would know that there is a purpose for their life,” says Young &Free’s Melodie Wagner. “That there is more to life than what they see and that they’re not alone and never have been.” The album, the band’s fourth to date, features 20 newly written songs, including the mighty chart-topper “Best Friends.” Details: hillsong.com/youngandfree.

“Faune,” Raphaël Pannier Quartet

Acclaimed French drummer-composer Raphael Pannier delivers a simply remarkable debut, leading his longtime quartet of alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon, pianist Aaron Goldberg and bassist François Moutin through a collection of both American jazz standards and French classical pieces. Classical pianist Giorgi Mikadze is also showcased on this album, which serves as a strong testimony that Pannier is someone who should be a force in jazz for years to come. Details: www.raphaelpannier.com.

Author of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ children’s book dead at 77

Sam McBratney, the Irish author of the bestselling children’s book “Guess How Much I Love You,” died last week.

He was 77.

The 1994 illustrated book, about Little Nutbrown Hare, Big Nutbrown Hare and their expressions of love, has sold more than 47 million copies and has been translated into 57 languages around the world since its publication.

Its companion book, “Will You Be My Friend?,” is set to be published next week.

“Sam McBratney was a profoundly lovely human being,” Karen Lotz, group managing director of Candlewick’s parent company Walker Books Group, said in a statement Monday.

“You could recognize his voice in a moment — he was an exceptionally talented wordsmith and always knew exactly what children would enjoy hearing the most. Amazingly humble, he also was a hilarious storyteller and convivial companion.”

A former teacher from northern Ireland, McBratney pivoted to writing full-time after he retired, also publishing books including “The Lough Neah Monster” and “School Trip to the Stars.”

But “Guess How Much I Love You,” with its sweet, beautiful message of “I love you right up to the moon — and back,” was his most famous work.

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“‘Guess How Much I Love You’ is a light-hearted story for a big one and a wee one to share; you turn the pages, you read the words, you do the actions and you play the game,” McBratney wrote last year for the book’s 25th anniversary. “This evening, somewhere in the world, a mum or dad will be reading ‘Guess’ with someone special.”

McBratney is survived by his wife, Maralyn, their three children and six grandchildren.

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