Eric Henderson and William Sigismondi: Two musicians form a partnership forged in fire

Two sensational musicians, Eric Henderson and William Sigismondi, will perform at the Neighborhood Congregational Church on March 24.

 It is said that the most robust steel is forged using the hottest fire, a proverb that seems to fit the lives of two exceptional musicians who have formed the Piano and Guitar Project, a musical brotherhood in the most real sense of the word. 

Eric, a native Southern California, found his passion for guitar as a young child. At the age of 13, he was one of only three people to be invited to study privately in Spain with Spanish virtuoso Andrés Segovia, regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and the grandfather of classical guitar. 

Serious illness leads to renewed sense of purpose

Over the years, Eric built a successful career with repeated worldwide concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. At the height of his success, Eric’s resiliency was tested when he faced a bacterial infection that took him to the brink of death and threatened to end his professional career. Through years of painful rehabilitation and sheer tenacity, Eric rebuilt his guitar skills with a renewed sense of purpose borne of his life experience. 

During this time he also discovered his passion for composing and arranging. His fans love him for his unique ability to transcend musical genres, whether it be the work of Beethoven and Bach or such rock and roll heroes as Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones. He truly speaks the language of guitar.

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Eric and William will be playing at Neighborhood Congregational Church

Similarly, William’s talent was recognized and encouraged at a very early age in his native Venezuela. Besides his virtuosity at the piano, William showed an insatiable motivation to learn all things music.  Once thrust into the professional arena, he garnered an impressive reputation as a composer, arranger, director, and producer of national and international fame. His work was recognized with numerous awards, among them, two nominations for Latin Grammy, one as a music producer.  Along the way, William took the time to mentor and nurtured the careers of younger musicians, some of whom have achieved very successful careers in the United States.

William’s creative opportunities at home dwindled when Venezuela was hijacked by an autocratic government and began to descend into economic and social chaos. Sensing what was to come, William and his wife Bárbara left their life of success and relative comfort to start again as immigrants in the United States. 

Profound musical synergy emerges between the two

Fortunately, William’s musical credentials allowed him to seek and receive a quick path to residency.  As hard as it was to start his musical career anew, William’s intense work ethic, a trait inherited from his immigrant Italian father, and his thirst for continued learning allowed him to embrace this new challenge as he has many others.  In his short time here he has already made an impression among those who have witnessed his artistry.

A fortuitous encounter in Laguna Beach, California, allowed William and Eric to recognize the virtuosity and resiliency of each other, creating a profound musical synergy informed by their personal stories and profound gifts. William and Eric have now merged their individual talents and musical legacy into a unique and fresh dialogue that has been enthusiastically received by those who have had the fortune to listen to them. 

The duo will be playing at the Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) at 340 St Anns Dr on March 24, from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the following numbers: Granted Records 657-223-5737, NCC 949-494-8061, or Sound Spectrum 949-494-5959.

Dennis’ Tidbits


March 13, 2018

Loving the light!

Now it’s not getting totally dark until about 7:30 and I’m loving it!

The third nor’easter in two weeks is intensifying rapidly and its eventual target is once again coastal New England. Here on Sunday evening it’s still a strong low over West Virginia and it’s tracking northeastward, and will reach the Atlantic by midday Monday with feet of snow and possible Category 1 hurricane force winds. 

Back in late November and even early December folks back there were wondering “Where’s winter?” as temps were still running up to 20 degrees above normal. Be careful what you wish for! 

Meanwhile in the Deep South and southeastern states, severe weather is beginning to ramp up as a higher sun and daytime heating is on the increase and warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico is pushing gradually more northward. Tornadoes are on the increase and that tornado threat will begin to infiltrate the southern reaches of tornado alley as we get into April. That area is still fairly quiet as they continue to get pulses of cold air from Canada so dew points are still low, but with Spring just around the corner, people in places like Moore, Oklahoma are getting edgy as that community has been ravaged by four EF-4 or EF-5 twisters since 1999. They’re almost ready to rename the town to Less, Oklahoma. I’d be moving out of there about this time.

Seeing as we’ve had virtually nothing from the North Pacific as far as waves are concerned, it’s about time to turn our attention to another wave source far away and that’s the Southern Hemisphere, where big lows in a belt known as the Roaring 40’s start to wake up. These lows sometimes generate huge swells that travel up to 7,000 miles and take up to ten days to reach our shores from the south and southwest. These swells are most frequent from April to October but can happen in any month of the year. That’s when our south facing beaches light up when places like the Newport Wedge can see sets upwards of 20 feet on the biggest swells. Let’s get it going now


Cow kitty becomes an emotional support dog, surprisingly does not suffer identity crisis


Search the Internet these days, and you’ll find plenty of stories about emotional support animals taken on flights – including monkeys, snakes, and a peacock (although from what I’ve heard, the peacock was accompanied to the airport by a professional performance artist, suggesting that this incident was more for show, so to speak, than anything else.).

But a cow as an emotional support animal?

Ridiculous. Airplane seats, especially these days, simply cannot accommodate a creature with such long legs.

On the other hand, a cow kitty?

Now that’s feasible. 

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Cow kitty will calm you when you are feeling emotional

And in fact, Laguna has its very own legally registered Emotional Therapy Service Cat.

Meet Cow, the cow kitty with the right kind of attitude for this demanding job.

“We realized early on that there was something very special about this little black and white fellow,” says Laguna resident Thais Askenasy, fanatical cat foster mother. “As soon as he was old enough we fitted him with a little harness…the rest, as they say, is history.”

Indeed, Cow has even been to the White House – albeit Laguna’s White House – but for a cat, that’s quite something.

“We’ve been everywhere together, restaurants, numerous stores and galleries, the beach, Heisler Park and Ralphs,” Thais adds. “He loves adventures and checking out new stores, dogs and people.”

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Cow picks up tips from experienced therapy dog

Cow has an easy-going nature and is quick to pick up tips from other service animals, as the reader can see from the photo of him discussing his new profession with a canine pal.

“All the town folk here in Laguna who have had the pleasure of meeting Cow, have walked away with a smile and a happy heart. He has that effect on most everyone he meets,” Thais says. “He really is one in a million.”

Though his official card identifies him as a dog, Cow remains unfazed. All species are equal as far as he is concerned – cat, dog, cow, human, it’s all the same to him. What matters is heart, and Cow has heart.

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Bureaucracy hasn’t caught up with reality, so Cow is listed as a dog

No word as to whether Cow is planning to attend the future yet-to-be-determined grand opening of Laguna’s cat café, Catmosphere, but I imagine he’s hoping to get the red-carpet treatment, just as if he went to the Oscows.

Cow cats are so-named because their coats looks similar to that of a Holstein cow (not because they moo instead of meow, which struck me as a possible reason before I was enlightened).

“If you ever see us walking around, please stop us and say hello,” Thais says. “And feel free to give Cow a nice chin scratch as he might just be insulted if you don’t. We want to bring cheer to all we meet.”

Concerned about voting rights? Laguna Huddle invites community to discuss the issue on March 13

Voting is arguably the most important right conferred by citizenship in the United States. It is the mechanism by which representative democracy is supposed to work.

Yet a range of issues – including voter apathy and what many believe is voter suppression – continue to challenge the free and full exercise of this right.

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Laguna Huddle meetings attract a large crowd

These critical problems, and potential solutions, will be the main focus of Laguna Unites’ next Huddle at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, on Tues, March 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with networking and followed by the presentation by guest speaker Daisy Ramirez at 7 p.m. 

Attendees will learn about the impact of voter ID laws, voter suppression, and voter disenfranchisement, as well as local voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote projects. 

Daisy Ramirez, from The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), will highlight the efforts of the OC Jails Project, “Unlock the Vote Initiative” to increase access to voting for people who have historically been denied their right to cast a ballot. All are welcome. 

Pre-registration is available here.

Chabad Jewish Center hosts Passover Seder on March 30 and earlier children’s holiday event

Passover FUNDAY will take place on Tues, March 20, at the Chabad Jewish Center on S Coast Highway. Children of all ages will enjoy hands-on fun during the holidays with a mock Seder, Matzah bag crafts, Passover stories, games, and Matzah Ball raffle. The cost is $8 per child.

The Community Passover Seder is on Fri, March 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and candle lighting. Experience a wonderful evening spiced with traditional customs, delicious full course dinner, handmade Matzah, fine wines and great company. 

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At Chabad, kids always have fun – here they enjoy a mock Seder 

Costs for the night are adults are $45, children $25, and sponsors at $180. Please RSVP before March 26. 

For complete Passover service schedule information and Yizkor memorial services, visit the Chabad website at or call the office at (949) 499 0770. Chabad is located at 30804 S Coast Hwy, across from Montage Resort. 

Today Wahoo’s donates 20 percent of purchases to help fund 11-year-old surfer Brayden’s recovery

On February 20, Brayden Belden, an 11-year-old boy known for his terrific surfing skills and happy personality, suffered a near-fatal head injury following a snowboarding jump while on vacation with his family in Oregon.

The TOW student was airlifted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, where he now lies in a medically induced coma as he recovers.

His parents were initially told that Brayden had just hours to live. 

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Brayden won the U13 division of Brooks Classic in 2017

To help defray the costs of Brayden’s recovery, Wahoo’s will be donating 20 percent of all purchases today, Tuesday, March 13, towards a fund to cover his devastatingly high medical expenses.

Matt Belden, Brayden’s dad, has updated the family’s GoFundMe page as follows:

The doctors are now weaning Brayden off his meds in an attempt for him to wake up. Please pray for our boy. He is showing some good neurological signs and for now the next big step is for Brayden is to open his eyes, get off the ventilator and breathe on his own. Denise and I thank you so much for your support, love and prayers.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with their medical costs. As of yesterday, close to $175,000 had been donated. Visit to donate and receive updates.

Wahoo’s is located at 1133 S Coast Highway. Their phone number is 949-497-0033. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Click here for the flyer that you will need to take to Wahoo’s to redeem your discount.

This is a local cause well worth supporting. Stu News Laguna sends its best wishes to Brayden for a full recovery.

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