Sure Thing 

Rocco Somazzi

Wednesday, Apr 19 2006

“The best live music goes completely unnoticed,” says Rocco Somazzi about L.A. Sure, there are plenty of good sounds here that exist for worthy purposes of relaxation, meditation, hormonal agitation or release of aggression, but the Swiss-Italian clubman is talking about music-music, the evolutionary expressions fueled by originality, skill and intellectual daring. You could call much of it jazz, but, y’know, whatever.

To bring notice to the unnoticed (and to provide himself some listening fodder), in 1998 the eternally cheerful Somazzi started Rocco, his first club/bistro, in Bel Air, no less, aided with booking by friend Matt Piper. Inexperienced as a restaurateur, he got slaughtered by the realities of business and overhead, shutting down in 2000. He veered opposite with his next effort, moving Rocco in 2001 to a theater on a nasty Hollywood stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard to which few dared venture. He and Piper kept that chugging for a couple of years, but recently he’s found what looks like the perfect balance, presenting shows in downtown’s up-and-coming loft district at a clean, open and inviting little café (with carefully selected wine, beer and food) called Metropol.

Somazzi’s offerings in his clubs and now in occasional concerts at Barnsdall Theater have frequently been amazing: Cedar Walton with Billy Higgins, Steve Coleman, Avishai Cohen, Freddie Redd, James Carney, Vinny Golia — even completely out-there stuff such as the hyperkinetic Mexican marimba duo Micro-Ritmia. If it tweaks his ear, he’ll give it a shot.

Related Stories

  • On the Run: L.A.'s Best Spots for Outdoor Running

    Whether you need two hands to count the number of marathons you've completed, or just purchased your first pair of running shoes, L.A. has some terrific trails that will make you sweat while showing off some of the more beautiful parts of our city. Take a lap along the California...
  • Henry Rollins: Hemp Is Back 3

    I am in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who’s driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about...
  • Cali Lives Strong

    Californians spend more in federal taxes than they receive back in services. And the same can be said for healthcare. According to an analysis by personal finance site WalletHub, California barely makes the top 20 (number 19) among states when it comes to "return on investment" (ROI) for healthcare costs...
  • Creative Town

    Forbes magazine this month put its stamp of approval on on L.A.'s role as one of the world's foremost providers of popular culture. The problem is that the publication didn't give us nearly enough credit.  Forbes ranked the 50 largest American metropolitan areas based on how well locals did with...
  • Better Weather

    This news is not going to knock anyone off their seat. But, yeah, L.A. County is home to the best warm weather places in the nation. At least that's the conclusion of personal finance site WalletHub, which this week named Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank as "cities with the best ... year-round...

Considering all the beatings and beatitudes Somazzi has experienced since moving to the USA in 1992, you’d have to consider his stance philosophical. It should be; he majored in philosophy.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Sexual Predator Is Targeting Females in Eastside Park

    A sexual predator is on the loose in an Eastside park, police warned today. Cops say the creep has targeted "lone females" walking in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park three times between January and July. He has groped, exposed himself and even attacked with a knife, the Los Angeles Police...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.