For more than 20 years, a familiar sight at new music and experimental performances all over Southern California was a squat older woman who moved laboriously on a cane or a walker.
She would have been loath to claim it, but the late Dottie Grossman was the unofficial den mother of the loose community of eccentric talents that comprise Los Angeles' musical avant-garde. It was a role she assumed almost surreptitiously, yet her presence drew unconditional respect, friendship and love. Her passing in late May sent waves of sadness through contemporary music circles across the nation.
“If you saw her at your gig,” woodwind player Vinny Golia offers, “you felt good. She held court and you paid your respects; it was all part of the ritual. When she said, ‘You sound good tonight,' it was affirming because she knew the music so well.”
Grossman will be recalled and celebrated Sunday, July 29, at the Glendale Moose Lodge. Among the performers taking part in the tribute will be Golia, vocalist Bonnie Barnett, flutist Ellen Burr, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, guitarist Tom McNalley and percussionist Alex Cline.