Local Hero

David Asbell: Directing the Lobero

We know it embarrasses him, but, we are thrilled to see our fearless leader selected as one of the Independent’s 2016 Local Heroes.

“It was almost exactly 20 years ago that David Asbell accepted the position of executive director at the Lobero Theatre… he not only brought the kind of savvy that only comes from working backstage, but he also brought a profound vision of what the Lobero Theatre could become: Santa Barbara’s beating creative heart. By establishing a welcoming atmosphere and by being open to a creative team that includes such area luminaries as Hale Milgrim, Dianne Vapnek, Peggie Jones, and Stephen Cloud, Asbell has turned the Lobero into what we need most, in good times and bad: a blessed community of like-minded people, alive to the arts and ready to listen and share the love of great music, ideas, dance, and theater.” (Read the full story)

For the past 20 years, David has worked hard to make the Lobero the bustling, vibrant performing arts venue that it is. He created the Lobero LIVE and Jazz at the Lobero series, bringing truly legendary artists to the stage. He has had a leading role in the completion of more than $10 million in major renovations behind the scenes and in the auditorium. Most important, David has championed the Lobero’s essential role as a community resource, a place that our local artists call home. From the Chamber Orchestra to the Film Festival to Sings Like Hell – they are all welcomed here by the man at the helm.

This Thanksgiving, the Lobero Board and Staff are thankful for David and all he’s created.

 

Violin Femme, Back again

Violinist Adrienne Biggs returns to play the Lobero after her debut in 1975

This story came in through the Lobero’s Facebook page.
“I played my first violin concert at age 9 at the Lobero, and am super excited to return “home” nearly 40 years later for Danny Click’s show on May 3, as his fiddler!” – Adrienne Biggs

Adrienne Biggs, aka, Violin Femme, and her musician parents (Grammy-winning singer/arranger Salli Terri and Ojai-based composer John Biggs) lived in Santa Barbara in the 1970’s. Mom, Salli, also taught at UCSB. The Biggs family played the Lobero Theatre on Dec. 17,1975. (Check out the photo in front of the Lobero’s kiosk!)

Adrienne mentions on her facebook page that she didn’t have the typical upbringing: “Instead of vacations, our family toured professionally in nearly 30 countries, performing an eclectic program including Renaissance to Americana music on period instruments that we owned, like harpsichord, piano, krumhorns, hurdy gurdy, recorders, hand bells, portative organ, rauschpfeife and of course, violins.”

After playing in youth and then professional orchestras and ensembles, in the early 90’s Adrienne moved to San Francisco and played with numerous bands in all of the notable venues, including Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs, who take the stage by way of Sings Like Hell this Saturday, May 3.

Learn more at about Adrienne at ViolinFemme page on Facebook, or check out DannyClick.com. Better yet, buy your tickets today.

If you have history with the Lobero Theatre, tell us your story! We’d love to hear it.

2011

In testament to the Lobero Theatre Foundation’s continued efforts to present quality jazz and American roots performances in a cherished historic setting, the Lobero Theatre is recognized in 2011 as one of the Best Places to See Jazz by DownBeat Magazine, the pre-eminent publication of the jazz and roots genre for the last 76 years

2006

The Foundation launches its Endowment for Excellence in 2006 in four areas: Dance, American Roots Music, Theatre and Classical Music. Proceeds from the endowment will ensure that the world’s finest performers continue to appear on the Lobero stage.

2004

In August 2004, the Lobero Theatre Foundation interred a new time capsule in the Lobero Courtyard, to be opened in twenty years for the Lobero’s 100th anniversary.

2003

In 2003, Churchill’s Jewelry store owner Dick Kern discovered an old trombone in the attic of his building, once a music store. Instrument expert Nick Rail confirms that it may have belonged to Jose Lobero. It is placed on view in the Lobero Theatre lobby.

2001

Courtyard Fund was kicked off in February 2001. Over the next two years, the Lobero Associates raised more than $265,000 for the beautification of the back patio. Construction began mid-March and was completed on time and on budget on June 28, 2003. The patio is now used for receptions, dinners and special events.

2000

In 2000, the Lobero Theatre Foundation embarked on an ambitious plan to renovate the most fundamental aspects of any theatre’s infrastructure: the lighting, rigging and sound systems. The stage renovation is completed on-budget and in plenty of time for a return visit by Baryshnikov for five sold-out performances in May 2002.

1998

Dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov took the stage for five special solo evenings at the Lobero in 1998. The Lobero is by far the smallest venue the dancer has appeared in for over 25 years.

1997

On August 19, 1997, the City of Santa Barbara’s Redevelopment Agency forgave a $468,000 loan for the seismic work.

1996

In June 1996, the Lobero Theatre Foundation received the deed to the theatre from the County of Santa Barbara. The Lobero Theatre Foundation now owns the theatre, which it has operated since 1938.

1993

The state-mandated seismic renovation of the Lobero Theatre began in 1993 and took more than four years to complete. Over 4,600 gifts from the community were received to reach the $3 million goal for the project.

1949

December 1949 is when the first jazz performance is presented on the Lobero stage, kicking off a long and enduring legacy as Santa Barbara’s premier destination for live jazz.

1938

In 1938 the Lobero Theatre Foundation was incorporated as a 501 (c 3) organization and to this day manages, maintains, preserves and programs the Lobero Theatre.

1925

The theatre’s Mediterranean style was adopted as an architectural model after the 1925 earthquake.

1924

On August 4, 1924, today’s Lobero opened its doors with a gala production of Beggar on Horseback. Santa Barbara celebrated the opening with the inaugural Fiesta which was the predecessor of today’s Fiesta and Old Spanish Days.

1922

In 1922 the Community Arts Association purchased the old Lobero, which had fallen into disrepair, and turned to the community for the support to build a new theatre. Over $180,000 was raised in less than a month, and plans for a new theatre, designed by George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs, began.

1873

On Washington’s Birthday 1873, Jose Lobero (born “Giuseppe” in Genoa, Italy) opened California’s only opera house south of San Francisco on the site of an old wooden schoolhouse at Canon Perdido and Anacapa streets. It featured a suspended horseshoe balcony and could seat 1,300. At the time of its opening, the Lobero was the largest adobe building in California and soon established itself as the cultural heart of Santa Barbara.