SF Live Arts at St. Cyprian's

 

 

SF Live Arts
at Cyprian’s

formerly the
Noe Valley Music Series

2097 Turk Street
San Francisco 94115

Tel 415.454.5238

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    2014

    DAVID JACOBS-STRAIN

    with Bob Beach

    Saturday, October 18 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

    SF Live Arts at Cyprian’s is proud to present the superb blues-roots  vocalist/guitarist DAVID JACOBS-STRAIN with harmonica virtuoso BOB BEACH at St. Cyprian’s.

    David Jacobs-Strain is a fierce slide guitar player, and a song poet from Oregon.  He’s known for his virtuosity and spirit of emotional abandon, as well as his clear, powerful  voice.  His music moves from humorous, subversive blues, to delicate balladry, and then swings back to swampy rock and roll.  It’s a range that ties him to his own generation and to guitar-slinger troubadours like Robert Johnson and Jackson Browne.  He has appeared at festivals from British Columbia to Australia, including Merlefest, Telluride Blues Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Hardly Strictly, Bumbershoot and Blues to Bop in Switzerland and has toured with Boz Scaggs, Etta James & Lucinda Williams.

    “David Jacobs-Strain sings and plays slide-driven country blues with a passion and authority that few artists of any age can muster.  But besides firing off compelling covers of traditional tunes… his original songs have served to update and evolve the idiom.”  -Guitar Player

    DavidJacobs-Strain

     

    HOUSTON JONES

    SUSIE GLAZE & THE HiLONESOME BAND

     

    Friday, August 8 8:00pm

    $22 door / $20 advance

    Houston Jones invites you into a world of musical virtuosity and storytelling ranging from the myths of ancient Greece to the red dirt back roads of Waskom Texas. The acoustic heart of the band beats with the passion of five lifetimes lived in a musical landscape of revival tents to Irish pubs, New Orleans to the Great Plains to Motown, a church in Cape Cod to a punk club in Berkeley.  A San Francisco based high-octane Americana band that performs an original repertoire that ranges from bluegrass and folk to blues and gospel, Billboard.com praised their “Wonderful original tunes;” Dirty Linen said “No one delivers the goods quite like Houston Jones… Houston Jones remains one of the West Coast’s most talented and entertaining bands.”  

    This “confluence of sublime talent" -(SF Chronicle) features Travis Jones (lead vocals, guitar),  who  began performing as a child accompanying his mother on gospel tours in the South; bassist Joshua Zucker, who has worked with The Rowan Brothers, Peter Rowan, Caren Armstrong, David Gans, Randy Clark, David Phillips, Garrin Benfield and countless others.

    Glenn Houston (lead guitars) the founding lead guitarist of the Waybacks, was  voted Best Guitarist by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.
    Peter Tucker (drums), who (along with Kee) was in the original rhythm section of the Waybacks,  has performed and recorded with wide array of Americana musicians, including Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, the Beau Brummels, Warren Zevon and Skunk Baxter.

    Henry Salvia (keyboards, accordion) has been featured with the Johnny Nocturne Band, Bo Diddley, Rickie Lee Jones and Big Jay McNeeley.  www.houstonjones.com

    Susie Glaze and the HiLonesome Band are a lush newgrass Americana folk fusion quintet presenting gorgeous eclectic blends of mountain folk and exciting new grassy and Celtic-inspired originals.  Featuring the remarkable voice of Susie Glaze, their debut CD "Blue Eyed Darlin” won the Just Plain Folks Music Award for Best Roots Album.  Presenting rough-edged stories of tragedy and fate, their sound has been described as  “chamber music gone folk!”  With Steve Rankin on mandolin, Rob Carlson on guitar and dobro, Fred Sanders on bass and Mark Indictor on fiddle and showcasing the songwriting of lead guitarist Carlson,  the band has appeared at many premier venues and festivals on the West Coast, including Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, McCabe's Guitar Shop, The Broad Stage and the Hollywood Bowl.  A feature article was published in August 2013 in No Depression titled “Unsung Heroes of Americana Music – Jean Ritchie and Susie Glaze.” Susie’s dramatic version of Ritchie’s “West Virginia Mine Disaster” was featured on a tribute album “Dear Jean,” which also featured new recordings of Ritchie songs by Kathy Mattea, Judy Collins, Janis Ian and Pete Seeger. www.susieglaze.com

     

     

    The 28th Anniversary edition of:

    AN EVENING OF SONG!

    Saturday, July 26 7:30pm

    $17 door / $14 advance

    Since 1987, comic Merle Kessler and musician Joshua Raoul Brody have
    been inviting a few dozen of their closest friends to each sing a song they've always wanted to sing, but have never had the opportunity. The resulting show, called An Evening Of Song, is an embarassment -- some might call it a humiliation -- of riches, ranging from old chestnuts to new originals, jazzy instrumentals to a cappella Bulgarian folk songs, sublime ballads to ridiculous novelties, all accompanied by Brody's stalwart Experimental Love Orchestra.

    Most of the shows have themes (this one's is Save The Date); most of the singers ignore it, leaving genial host Kessler to try gamely to find a way to fit the song in. The singers run a huge gamut from seasoned professional to up and coming neophytes, with most falling somewhere in the middle. The result is a little bit Prairie Home Companion, a little American Idol, a little Gong Show, and a whole lot of something you've never heard before.

    Merle Kessler may be best known for his alter ego, fast talking social critic
    Ian Shoales of NPR fame, which he created while in the Duck's Breath
    Mystery Theater comedy group. He is also a seasoned author with three
    books and several plays under his belt; he currently writes for the radio
    shows Bluesmobile and Philosophy Talk.

    Joshua Raoul Brody, celebrating the 40th anniversary of his arrival in San
    Francisco this summer, is the go-to musician for most Bay Area improv groups, as well as Tango No. 9, the big band Orchestra Nostalgico, and singers like Mr. Lucky. He has accompanied Robin Williams, The Residents, Rick & Ruby, and many other acts that begin with the letter R.

     

    Award-Winning Americana, Folk & Traditional Bluegrass from Boston and The Bay Area

    MOLLY TUTTLE TRIO & BILL EVANS

     

    Saturday, July 5 8:00pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    A great double bill as award-winning songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Molly Tuttle leads her trio in their San Francisco debut, performing together in concert with SF Bay Area bluegrass banjo legend Bill Evans. Both artists have appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, in addition to festivals all over the US. Bill has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony.

    With nearly two million viewers on YouTube and features in Bluegrass Now, Flatpicking Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines, Molly Tuttle is a rising star in the acoustic music scene. A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly recently was awarded Best Female Vocalist and Best Guitar Player by the Northern California Bluegrass Society, and won 1st place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest. Molly has been performing on stage since she was 11 and recorded her first album at age 13.  With a unique blend of sensational songwriting and amazing instrumental ability The Molly Tuttle Trio (with John Mailander and Brittany Karlson) creates an honest and soulful mix of original and traditional music, with a deep respect for the past, while also looking toward the future of acoustic music. This tight-knit trio formed after meeting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. www.mollytuttle.net

    As a world-renowned performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, Bill Evans brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, in a career that spans over thirty-five years.
    In The Banjo in America, Bill presents the music from his three chart topping CDs and takes the listener on a musical adventure, following the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, performing musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on vintage instruments. From an 18th century African dance tune to the music of the Civil War, and from early 20th century ragtime to folk and bluegrass banjo styles to Bill’s own incredible original music, The Banjo in America illuminates as well as entertains, exposing audiences to over 250 years of banjo music.  He has toured with acoustic luminaries David Grisman, Peter Rowan, John Reischman, and Tony Trischka, among many others. www.billevansbanjo.com     

     

    A Special CD Release Concert with:

    DOUG BLUMER & THE BOHEMIAN HIGHWAY

    THE SORENTINOS

     

    Saturday, June 28 8:00pm

    $16 door / $14 advance

    Fronted by veteran Americana singer/songwriter Doug Blumer (hailed as “the Honky-Tonk Sinatra”) The Bohemian Highway takes you on a musical journey through Love, Life, Laughter… all things worth singing about.  With their lush harmonies, thrilling songs and first-class musicianship, their sound invokes an original, 70s style Americana, with shades of The Eagles, The Beatles and Jackson Browne.


    The Sorentinos are a four piece California rock band. They have been pleasing and baffling audiences for more than 25 years with their brand of west coast rock that takes heavy doses of English pop/rock , American garage , blues and country music along with a bit of singer songwriter folk thrown in to make their own special kind of noise. They have released 20 CDs on The Major Label and have opened shows for artists such as Bob Dylan, Buck Owens, John Lee Hooker, Jeff Beck, Dwight Yoakam, Peter Frampton, Chris Issak, Chicago, Creedence, Peter Green, Lucinda Williams, Blues Traveler, The Yardbirds, The Spencer Davis Band, The Radiators, and many more.


    Danny Sorentino’s  music has been heard on many  radio stations in the UK, as well as the US and has been used in many TV shows and movies. Their Americana/rock sound and original compositions harken back to the best of Tom Petty and John Hiatt.


    Fans of great, original-Americana should not miss this evening!

    We present at STUDIO 55 in San Rafael:

    Comedian WILL DURST in his hit show

    BOOMERAGING! FROM LSD TO OMG

    Saturday, June 21 8:00pm

    $22 door / $18 advance

    “Quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today”–NY Times

    The man the Oregonian called “the thinking man’s comic,” Will Durst, is proud to announce his first one- man show since the acclaimed “Elect to Laugh,” ran for 41 weeks in San Francisco in 2012. “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”, is an uproarious tribute to the joys, achievements, frustrations, and looming doom of the Baby Boom Generation. In this rollicking 85 minute heartfelt monologue, Durst encourages his chronologically gifted brethren to refuse to grow old in the face of gravity no matter how many times they forget their online banking security question. Does anyone really have a favorite non- cruciferous vegetable? It’s a celebration of the maturation of the Boomer Nation culminating in an extra, added special treat- the Meaning of Life.

    Ably assisted by his genial wit and trusty overhead projector, Durst explores the Boomer revolutions, evolutions and still vibrant role in today’s youth obsessed society (which we invented, for crum’s sake). He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the Love Generation through segments entitled Racing From The Shadow Of A Mushroom Cloud. The Blinking VCR. Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay. The Brightsides of Extreme Adulthood & Hope I Die Before I… Ooops, Too Late. It’s funny. It’s smart. And uplifting, even.

    Jean Schiffman of the San Francisco Examiner says of “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”, “Durst’s good-natured, acerbic monologue is so funny that… I found myself on the verge of uncontrollable, hysterical laughter. His observations are hilarious.”

    Special Note: Due to the graphic nature and startlingly archaic technology, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a guardian or if they bring a note. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political satirists in the country, Will Durst has patched together an incomparable comedy quilt of a career, weaving together columns, books, radio and television commentaries, acting, voice-overs and stand- up into a riotous patchwork of outraged and outrageous common sense. The New York Times calls him, "quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today." He’s the author of 3 books, told jokes in 14 countries and racked up 800+ television appearances. Despite blistering reproach he continues to slather ketchup on hot dogs.

       1455 East Francisco in San Rafael  www.Studio55marin.com   (415)453-3161

     

    Electric bass summit with:

    MANRING, KASSIN & JOHN R

    OON

    Saturday, June 7 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

     

    Bass avatar Michael Manring, flute master Larry Kassin & piano great John R. Burr plus Oon (innovative bassoon virtuoso Paul Hanson & bass phenom Ariane Cap.)

      1455 East Francisco in San Rafael  www.Studio55marin.com   (415)453-3161

    =====================================

     

    Life Is A Carnival:

    A Tribute to THE BAND on their 45th Anniversary featuring:

    JOHNNY HARPER & CARNIVAL

     

    Saturday, May 10 8:00pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    In April of 1969, The Band – the great Canadian-American rock group whose ground-breaking recordings defined the “Americana” genre – made their first concert appearances in a legendary 3-night stand at San Francisco’s Winterland.  This spring marks the 45th anniversary of those historic shows, which will be commemorated in this concert devoted to The Band’s music, performed by the veteran East Bay band, Johnny Harper & Carnival.

    According to Harper, “This show is really the first time a group has seriously performed The Band’s music in California, or any place west of Woodstock, since The Last Waltz (The Band’s famous farewell performance in 1976).”  Although The Band’s music sounds loose and folksy, it is actually very complex and challenging to play, with its unusual harmonies and rhythms, and the interplay of three overlapping lead singers.  Harper, who is committed to keeping The Band’s music alive in live performance, is a well known Bay Area guitarist, singer, songwriter, band leader, and record producer.  The concert will cover the full history of The Band’s music, from their debut album, Music From Big Pink to later masterpieces like “Acadian Driftwood,” “Life Is A Carnival,” and “Ophelia.” 

    Harper’s veteran four-piece group – guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums, with all four members singing – will add horns and fiddle on this special show, to capture the instrumental textures of The Band’s recordings.   Famous hits like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” will be included in the program, but so will more obscure material, including one well-loved classic which The Band themselves never performed live!  Help celebrate a musical milestone with this unique and amazing show!

     

    The California Bluegrass Association presents
    A Bluegrass Spring Jubilee featuring

    LAURIE LEWIS & KATHY KALLICK

    performing the music of Vern & Ray

    WINDY HILL

     

    Saturday, April 26 8:00pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    We welcome the California Bluegrass Association’s Bluegrass Spring Jubilee concert featuring Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick with an all star band, performing the music of Vern Williams and Ray Park (who introduced Bluegrass to Northern California). Yes, two California bluegrass legends will play the songs of two other California bluegrass legends. Joining Laurie and Kathy are Tom Rozum on mandolin, Patrick Sauber on banjo, and Sharon Gilchrist on bass.


    Opening the show is Windy Hill, one of the hottest, most dynamic young bluegrass bands the Bay Area has seen in many years. Ryan Breen (banjo), Thomas Wille (guitar), Kyle McCabe (bass), and Alex Sharps (fiddle) play the kind of straight-up classic bluegrass that satisfies the souls of the toughest traditionalists, as well as energizing new fans and inspiring them to learn more about the music. The concert will be preceded by a bluegrass jam downstairs in the church at 5PM and goes until 7:30PM.

     

    Lush vocals, original songs, vintage stories

     

    NELL ROBINSON TRIO w/Scott Nygaard & Victoria Blythe

    Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood

    Saturday, March 15 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

    “Like a modern-day Patsy Cline, on par with Emmylou.”     ~  San Francisco Bay Guardian

    We can hardly wait for this refreshing new artist to come to Saint Cyprian’s this March.  Nell has her feet firmly planted in roots, Americana, folk and bluegrass that has a vintage country tinge and a modern bent.  She’s hip, funny and engaging and will lift your spirits with stories from her Southern roots in LA (Lower Alabama). For this show Nell is bringing her virtuoso trio featuring Scott Nygaard on guitar and Victoria Blythe on violin and viola.  A live show you won’t forget! Watch for Nell's live show filmed for PBS this Fall. nellrobinsonmusic.com

    Having been likened to early Emmylou Harris and Victoria Williams, A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor commented, "People aren't going to believe what they just heard..." in response to Nell Robinson's music. She was chosen by PASTE magazine, Top 12 Bands from Alabama in 2013.

    Wendy Burch Steel has been nominated two years in a row for best female vocalist by Northern California Bluegrass Society. Wendy's original and cover material is a subtly textured and patterned blend of the most unique, haunting and sweet aspects of Americana, folk, blues, country and gospel music. Her lyrics and vocals transport the listener to a place of the heart and soul addressing the human conditions facing us all; love, joy, loss, deep grief, happiness and fanciful dreams. Her band, Redwood, involves some of the best known bluegrass names in California: Butch Waller and Glenn Dauphin of High Country, Markie Sanders on bass. www.WendyBurchSteel.com

     

    A special 10-year anniversary celebration with

    MISNER & SMITH

    MAURICE TANI & 77 EL DEORA

    SOUND OF SIRENS

     

    Saturday, March 8 7:30pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    What a long, strange trip it's been! Misner & Smith co-headlining with Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora, are both celebrating their ten-year anniversaries this March with a big show in San Francisco. Opening for both artists is a new band, Sound of Sirens.

     

    MISNER & SMITH
    It has indeed been 10 years since Sam Misner and Megan Smith first walked into the studios at KVMR radio station in Nevada City to promote a little show called "Woody Guthrie's American Song". Everything changed that day, and many miles, and four albums later, they have a lot to celebrate!

    Misner & Smith are featured on the new Roots Channel. This new website showcases live performances from Seattle's state-of-the-art listening room at Empty Sea Studios. To quote a  recent & great review for Seven Hour Storm from the music blog, Independent Clauses: “A beautiful, romantic, charming album - this is earnest, honest, unpretentious music, and it’s just lovely.” 

    Joining Misner & Smith onstage will be their good friend, Josh Yenne (The Easy Leaves, Mazzy Star), playing pedal steel and electric guitar!

    MAURICE TANI
    This year also marks 10 years that supercalifornographic singer-songwriter has been working under, around and through his 77 El Deora band/brand. That decade has seen a lot of evolution from the scrappy, "Oblique Americana" band that took the stage at San Francisco's Make Out Room in 2004 to the critically-acclaimed, intimate, acoustic performances he is known for today.

    Read music critic Robert Sproul's 2013 "blown away" review "Are you listening? We're taking calls" on Maurice Tani in No Depression, The Roots Music Authority:"Maurice Tani writes songs that I would call "Hillbilly Noir" that sound at once familiar, ethereal and beautiful." - No Depression

    Opening: SOUND OF SIRENS
    Like the mythical sea maidens of old, newly formed band Sound of Sirens is mesmerizing audiences with scintillating vocal harmonies and intricate instrumental arrangements. They incorporate traditional music, original compositions and modern hits. Sound of Sirens is Susan Nielsen and Kristina Ziese on vocals; Ken Frankel on guitar, banjo, and mandolin; Glenn Carter on guitar; and Scott Underwood on bass.

    It feels fitting to be celebrating this musical marker in the city that both Misner & Smith and Maurice Tani have called home for so many years.

     

    WILL DURST

    presents BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG

     

    Saturday, February 15 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

    “Quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today”–NY Times

    The man the Oregonian called “the thinking man’s comic,” Will Durst, is proud to announce his first one- man show since the acclaimed “Elect to Laugh,” ran for 41 weeks in San Francisco in 2012. “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”, is an uproarious tribute to the joys, achievements, frustrations, and looming doom of the Baby Boom Generation. In this rollicking 85 minute heartfelt monologue, Durst encourages his chronologically gifted brethren to refuse to grow old in the face of gravity no matter how many times they forget their online banking security question. Does anyone really have a favorite non- cruciferous vegetable? It’s a celebration of the maturation of the Boomer Nation culminating in an extra, added special treat- the Meaning of Life.

    Ably assisted by his genial wit and trusty overhead projector, Durst explores the Boomer revolutions, evolutions and still vibrant role in today’s youth obsessed society (which we invented, for crum’s sake). He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the Love Generation through segments entitled Racing From The Shadow Of A Mushroom Cloud. The Blinking VCR. Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay. The Brightsides of Extreme Adulthood & Hope I Die Before I… Ooops, Too Late. It’s funny. It’s smart. And uplifting, even.

    Jean Schiffman of the San Francisco Examiner says of “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG”, “Durst’s good-natured, acerbic monologue is so funny that… I found myself on the verge of uncontrollable, hysterical laughter. His observations are hilarious.”

    Special Note: Due to the graphic nature and startlingly archaic technology, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a guardian or if they bring a note. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political satirists in the country, Will Durst has patched together an incomparable comedy quilt of a career, weaving together columns, books, radio and television commentaries, acting, voice-overs and stand- up into a riotous patchwork of outraged and outrageous common sense. The New York Times calls him, "quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today." He’s the author of 3 books, told jokes in 14 countries and racked up 800+ television appearances. Despite blistering reproach he continues to slather ketchup on hot dogs.

     

    MONICA PASQUAL

    SPARK & WHISPER

     

    Saturday, February 1 8:00pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    You do not listen to Monica Pasqual's songs lightly.  They stir you, they stab you, they create images of Spain and pain and joy and mountains and the Mediterranean and most importantly, of the contours of the human heart.  Pasqual is best known as the soaring voice, crystal clear piano and modulated accordion in the band Blame Sally but her career stretches far beyond Blame Sally in both time and range. She has had a prolific career making music and scoring films since the mid-90s, blending her background in classical piano with her precisely controlled voice and sharply defined words. Of mixed American and Spanish heritage, she can mesmerize you in both languages. She knows how to craft lyrics that can simultaneously break your heart and sink permanently into your mind.


    Her songs take you on an adventure though a musical Mediterranean landscape of memories, lost childhood and sun splashed, fading villages.  They are often drawn from and evoke the cobblestone lanes and yellow plaster walls of her family's village in the Mediterranean island of Majorca.  Some call her solo music acoustic international folk while others call it dreamy pop.  Some call it the soundtrack of a life consciously lived.
    She has won 6 Independent Music Awards and 6 Emmy Awards.


    Monica will be joined by members of "The Handsome Brunettes", Josh McClain on Cello, Pam Delgado on percussion, Rob Strom on bass and vocals and Velvy Appleton on Guitar.

     

    Modern Folk. Original Voices. True Stories.

    Spark & Whisper is an indie-folk band led by singer/songwriters & multi-instrumentalists Velvy Appleton and Anita Sandwina.  Based in Northern California, S&W delves into the into the rich territory of the modern American experience— our daily encounters and travails with technology, tradition, love, money, and the natural world.


    Spark & Whisper has created an infective original sound based on pitch-perfect vocal harmonies and dynamic acoustic grooves that soothe and move the mind and body.” -The Pacific Sun


    "Spark & Whisper is now a serious force in modern folk."-- Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ

     

    DAVID JACOBS-STRAIN

    REV RABIA

     

    Saturday, January 18 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

     

    Based in Portland, Oregon reknown young blues singer-songwriter David Jacobs-Strain’s gritty style echoes the impassioned intensity of Fred McDowell or Mance Lipscomb, but he's equally capable of nuanced dexterity and finesse. His searing blues guitar lights a fire under his contemporary indy-flavored originals. Those drawn to the roots-based Americana of Lucinda Williams and Railroad Earth will find themselves in friendly territory. Come and witness how one man and his guitar can whip up the presence and fervor of a large-scale blues ensemble. www.davidjacobs-strain.com
    Guitar Player magazine:“David Jacobs-Strain sings and plays slide-driven country blues with a passion and authority that few artists of any age can muster."

    The earthy, soulful and entirely authentic country blues singer, guitarist Rev Rabia has been playing her fluent and expressive style of country blues for over 2 decades. Along the way, she has toured Europe with Sonny Rhodes, been a featured performer at the San Francisco Blues Festival, accompanied Robert Lowery and opened for Ry Cooder. www.revrabia.com

    RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT

    Saturday, January 4 8:00pm

    $25 door / $22 advance

     

    The legendary troubadour, two-time Grammy winner and direct link to Woody Guthrie and the first generation of American folk music, returns to start our concert year. A character based on Jack (Al Cody) is featured in the new Coen Brothers movie, Finding Llewyn Davis and is played by Adam Driver.  The movie portrays the early 60s, pre-Dylan folk scene in Greenwich Village.  Jack is one of the last members of that circle still actively performing and we’re proud to have him, once again, kicking off our concert year.  Vikki Lee will open the evening.

     

    2013

    A Winter Solstice Concert with

    FOUR SHILLINGS SHORT & BROCELIANDE

    Saturday, December 21 7:30pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    Two of the Bay Area’s most celebrated Celtic groups explore Medieval & Renaissance music taking you on “a musical journey through time and across seas.”

     

    ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS

     

    Friday, December 6 8:00pm

    $22 door / $19 advance

    Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame inductee Alasdair Fraser has been hailed as “one of the greatest carriers of the Scottish fiddle music tradition, a fiddler whose warmly expressive playing, mastery of his instrument and deep understanding of his native music as a venerable and continually evolving art is an inspiration to generations of musicians on both sides of the Atlantic.”  Virtuoso cellist Natalie Haas Natalie is in the vanguard of young cellists who are redefining the role of that instrument in traditional music.  Together their cutting-edge musical explorations pierce the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music. 

    "The Memory of All That"

    Celebrating 115 years of George Gershwin, featuring SPIDER SALOFF

     

    Saturday, November 30 8:00pm

    $23 door / $20 advance

     

    "The Memory of All That" is one of the rare, officially sanctioned acts of the Gershwin Centennial.

    As a guest vocalist, Ms. SALOFF has performed with symphony orchestras across the country.   She had the honor of performing the American Premiere of "So This Is Love", a newly discovered song by the great Billy Strayhorn.  Saloff received a special citation for her musical contributions from NARAS (the presenter of the Grammy Awards) and has recorded and performed with jazz luminaries as the late great Les Paul, and current stars, Michael Feinstein, Mark Murphy and Dick Hyman.

    "Rarely have I heard so many musical ideas from one set of pipes with the talent and self assurance to carry them off. Her jazz phrasing is flawless."   -Back Stage Magazine

     

    Anne & Pete Sibley and The T Sisters

    The harmonies are gorgeous, the original songs are spellbinding, and the talent is overwhelming. We are pleased to announce the return of 2 of our favorite ensembles.

     

    Saturday, November 23 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    ANNE & PETE SIBLEY

    For those who doubt that folk music still has anything left to say in these jaded, trying times, I present Exhibit A: the music of Anne and Pete Sibley. You might enter their show weary and beaten down, but you'll leave with your spirit a little lifted, transported by musical alchemy you can scarcely believe exists any more. Their harmonies are sweet and oh, so pleasing. Their original songs are profound beacons of heavenly light illuminating the soul's dark places.

    THE T SISTERS

    Sibling vocal magic from Rachel, Erica, and Chloe Tietjen. Barely more than a rumor 3 years ago, the Sisters have built up a growing rabid following of T Sister fanatics. It's  hard to hear them and not want to tell all your friends. At times they sound homespun, Down From the Mountainish. At other times, they have a swanky, urbane Roches vibe.  Broadway, singer songwriter, jazz, the influences and reference points abound. What's certain is that it's all delivered with charm, energy, and often slightly eccentric sense of fun.

     

    PHIL OCHS SONG NIGHT

    A Musical Tribute and Celebration of the Life and Songs of Phil Ochs; featuring Sonny Ochs, Kim & Reggie Harris, Carolyn Hester, James Lee Stanley and Aileen Vance.

     

    Saturday, November 16 8:00pm

    $20 door / $17 advance

    An American protest singer and songwriter, known for his "sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful lyrics and distinctive voice", Phil Ochs wrote some of the best known songs of his generation, including "I Ain't Marchin Anymore", "There But For Fortune", "Love Me, I'm a Liberal", "Draft Dodger Rag", "Power and the Glory", and "When I'm Gone". Still relevant and powerful today!

    Phil Ochs was a tour-de-force, performing at political rallies, anti-war demonstrations, civil rights rallies, organized labor events, colleges, universities, New York's Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, and the 1963 and 1964 Newport Folk Festivals.

    He wrote hundreds of songs, produced eight albums, and toured all over the United States, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. He helped form the Yippies along with Abbie Hoffman, Paul Krasner, and Jerry Rubin.
    His major influences were Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Gibson, Merle Haggard and Buddy Holly.

    Join us in this very special evening as we celebrate the life and creative brilliance that was Phil Ochs; a spokesperson for his generation whose relevant songs continue to be sung today.

    TINY TELEVISION

    KELLY McFARLING BAND

    Saturday, October 19 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

     

    TINY TELEVISION

    Jeremy D’Antonio and Tiny Television are an SF-based  roots /country outfit that is seriously in touch with their soul side, while also serving up a steady Americana stomp. They play with the passion and confidence of a band that's been touring for dozens of years instead of a mere handful. Two things set them apart from the legion of folksy Americana bands littering California's entertainment byways at the moment. First is D'Antonio's expressive "Johnny Cash meets Levon Helm" singing voice. Second, except for the occasional cover, they do all their own songs that are so full of confidence and experience, that you'll swear that someone named Merle or Hank or Willie must have written them.

    KELLY McFARLING BAND

    Kelly McFarling's sound is effortless, melodic, and full of subtle shifts of emotion. It is generous and wide-open like the wide-open vistas she sings about. She starts with a restless pulse, a driving rhythm. She threads it with wistful melodies full of longing. Her lyrics evoke both a child's wonder of discovery and a determined romantic's refusal to accept the defeat of lost dreams. Born in Atlanta, she now calls San Francisco home. Over the past few years she has honed a unique spare passionate brand of songwriter craft fueled both by her distinctive, commanding vocals and rhythmic soulful banjo.  

     

    LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP

    with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter

     

    Saturday, October 12 8:00pm

    $17 door / $14 advance

    Three of the world's premier Celtic harpers take you on a joyous, dramatic musical journey deep into the myths, legends and history of the Celtic Harp. You will experience breathtaking music, humor and folklore on Irish harps, Swedish Nyckelharpa and much more...

    "A richly theatrical and hauntingly beautiful performance."

    Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and a captivating spoken word artist.

    Lisa Lynne is a multi-instrumentalist and performer who has gained worldwide recognition for her original music featuring Celtic Harp.

    Aryeh Frankfurter is a renowned Celtic harper and world traveling multi-instrumentalist who specializes in intricate Swedish folk and Celtic Music.

    DAVID JACOBS-STRAIN & Rev Rabia - CANCELLED! WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 2014.

     

    Saturday, September 28 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    Based in Portland, Oregon reknown young blues singer-songwriter David Jacobs-Strain’s gritty style echoes the impassioned intensity of Fred McDowell or Mance Lipscomb, but he's equally capable of nuanced dexterity and finesse. His searing blues guitar lights a fire under his contemporary indy-flavored originals. Those drawn to the roots-based Americana of Lucinda Williams and Railroad Earth will find themselves in friendly territory. Come and witness how one man and his guitar can whip up the presence and fervor of a large-scale blues ensemble.
    Guitar Player magazine:“David Jacobs-Strain sings and plays slide-driven country blues with a passion and authority that few artists of any age can muster."

    The earthy, soulful and entirely authentic country blues singer, guitarist Rev Rabia has been playing her fluent and expressive style of country blues for over 2 decades. Along the way, she has toured Europe with Sonny Rhodes, been a featured performer at the San Francisco Blues Festival, accompanied Robert Lowery and opened for Ry Cooder.

     

    AN EVENING of SONG

     

    Saturday, August 10 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    A special evening, hosted by Merle "Ian Shoales" Kessler, features 30 different performers each presenting a different "tribute" song. Backed by The Experimental Love Orchestra (lead by the inimitable Joshua Raoul Brody) performers will provide an evening of surprises with a huge range of music. There's definitely something for every musical taste at this concert.

     

    The KLEZ-X

     

    Saturday, August 3 8:00pm

    $17 door / $14 advance

    “This extraordinary group has absolutely captivated my imagination, knocked my socks off – what more can I say?” –Michael Tilson Thomas

    A rare Bay Area appearance by soulful violinist/composer Daniel Hoffman (he lives in Israel now) prompted us to put together this great concert with his Klezmer/world/jazz/middle-eastern ensemble.  This virtuoso band will tear the roof off our venue with its infectious, celebratory rhythms and hot improvisations. Featuring an all-star roster of musicians, the Klez-X mines the rich depths of klezmer, Yiddish folk and art song, and modern jazz to create a brilliantly original sound. The evening will feature new compositions, reinterpretations of traditional pieces, improvisations, effervescent vocal work, and modernist settings of 20th century Yiddish literature.

     

    Farewell concert-

    MANRING KASSIN DARTER

    plus Kevin Barnard

     

    Friday, July 26 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    "Bach meets Monk meets Varese meets Zappa? MKD tosses colossal musical ideas back and forth as if genres and styles didn’t exist." Ernie Rideout, Keyboard Magazine

    One of the most innovatively, telepathic-improv ensembles plays what could be one of its last concerts as pianist Tom Darter moves to the Great Northwest (Washington state). Their unique blend of Brazilian, jazz, rock, impressionist, funk, “Bartok-jazz”, tango, calypso, 12-tone compositions, bent ragtime and Balinese gamelan, along with their bass, flute & piano format, has been described as "chamber music for the new millennium" or "the world's most sophisticated jam-band." -depending on your point of view.

    Michael Manring has been hailed as "a master of the fretless bass without rival “by Guitar Club Magazine while flutist Larry Kassin was singled out for his "brilliantly abetting" the late, great keyboardist Ray Manzarek on their recordings with poet Michael McClure. This could be a last chance to hear their virtuoso extemporaneous "jazz chamber fusion music" & witness their tearing down of musical walls. “Mind-boggling musicianship. Complex, provocative compositions. Darter, Manring and Kassin are all-around awesome!” –Greg Rule, Keyboard Magazine Guitarist/composer (& local favorite) Kevin Barnard will open.

     

    BHI BHIMAN

    with special guests MEKLIT & QUINN

     

    Saturday, May 18 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    San Francisco artist, Bhi Bhiman, has had an exciting year. His debut record, BHIMAN, received rave reviews from The New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and NPR. Bhiman has recently recorded an album of covers which includes his unique take on songs like ACDC's Highway to Hell. Bhi will celebrate the release of the album, aptly titled Substitute Preacher, at St. Cyprian's Church in San Francisco. He will be joined by his band plus many special guests.

    "The best performance of the evening was Bhi Bhiman's solo acoustic take on 'When Doves Cry,' his vocals giving off a haunted air that left the crowd speechless." -Rolling Stone

    "This is joyous sensory overload." -Time Magazine

    Ethiopian-American singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero's music and life are inextricably linked to the rich cultural tapestry of her background. A catchy crossroads of Chicago blues and New Orleans soul and gospel, singer/guitarist Quinn DeVeaux has been packing dance floors in the Bay Area and beyond for years. Now, for the first time, these two artists join forces. This magnetic duo lend an all-new gloss to MGMT, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Talking Heads, Lou Reed and Arcade Fire. "Meklit & Quinn" was released by Porto Franco Records, last September, to national critical acclaim.

     

    THE TRESPASSERS

    ADRIAN BUCKAROOGIRL

     

    Saturday, May 4 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    From the foothills of Yosemite National Park, The Trespassers have been playing original stringband music together for six and a half years. The most logical way to categorize their music is bluegrass meets Americana, but their influence stems from many genres; rock, blues, gypsy jazz, country, old-time, and pure love of the mountains,...that\'s not really a genre of music, but it comes across in their music so well.

    The band is; Ben Goger (guitar, mandolin), Andy Roberts (banjo, guitar), Sarah Cupery Ottley (fiddle), Benny Lee Friedrich (upright bass), and all the members share vocal duties.

    Horsetrainer Adrian writes and sings cowboy music. With her pure, gorgeous, hi-lonesome voice and poignant lyrics, she sings and writes about things that matter the most to her in life; buckin’ horses, desert country, good cowboys, the elements and other experiences.   She’ll be celebrating the release of her new album, Buckaroogirl, produced, by Tom Russell.

    Fado meets Tango with:

    RAMANA VIEIRA

    TANGO No.9

     

    Saturday, April 27 8:00pm

    $18 door / $15 advance

    Ramana Vieira sings fado, often referred to as Portuguese blues or torch songs. An American counterpart to the dazzling parade of Portuguese fadistas who have reinvigorated a tradition that was already moribund years before fado queen Amalia Rodrigues’ death in 1999, Ramana Vieira has become a leading force in spreading awareness of fado in the United States, building on the international buzz generated by stars like Misia, Dulce Pontes, Cristina Branco, Ana Moura and Mariza.  Unlike  most traditional fadistas, she sometimes fuses it with Latin Jazz  and world music influences.  She sings in both English & Portuguese.

    Quoting a recent New York Times article “Amália Rodrigues is in my DNA, but so is Kate Bush, and I started out in a new-wave band,” Ms. Vieira said before a recent performance in New York. “My purpose is to open up the fado and keep exploring it. My group doesn’t have a traditional fado configuration, so we’ve had to evolve.” March 27, the New York Times   When Emmy Award-winning composer Chris Hedge was commissioned to design an interactive musical installation for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, he and Vieira created a track of her singing fado that was projected on a huge outdoor screen and remixed live every night throughout the games.


    Tango No. 9, is San Francisco's premier chamber ensemble, passionately devoted to all facets of tango music.  This concert will feature recent additions to Tango No.9's repertoire in all its phases – a trademark mix of traditional dance music, the tango nuevo of Astor Piazzolla, and more recent compositions that extend tango conventions into the 21st century.
    The group will also preview material it is preparing for its fifth recording, whose working title is The Vocal Album.  Tango No. 9 is: Catharine Clune – violin, Greg Stephens – trombone, Joshua Raoul Brody – piano, Zoltan diBartolo – vocals.

     

    THE ACCORDION BABES REVIEW

     

     

    Saturday, April 13 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

    The multi-talented, multi-instrumental Accordion Babes (featured on this year's Accordion Babes calendar) perform live, in concert. Each performer plays several instruments (don't worry, it won't be 12 accordions for the whole evening) and sings. This will be the last stop on their West Coast Tour! The band features Renee de la Prade on accordion and guitar, Joan Wilson Rueter on accordion and fiddle, Skyler Fell on accordion, Diana Strong on accordion, Amber Lee Baker on accordion and glockenspiel and the odd man out,  Michael Messer on drums.

     

    MAURICE TANI & 77 EL DEORA

    THE T-SISTERS

    Wry-to-Romantic American Songwriter Comes to St. Cyprian's

     

    Saturday, April 6 8:00pm

    $16 door / $14 advance

    Americana artist Maurice Tani and his band 77 El Deora featuring guest vocalist Pam Brandon come to St Cyprian's to perform their unique and sophisticated take on American music. The Bay Area-based 6-piece, altcountry/Americana outfit, formed in 2004, will be making their fourth appearance at SF LIVE ARTS' long running concert series.


    Tani & 77 El Deora represent the best in Americana: smart without making a fuss about it. The lyrics are worldly but universal. The musical ideas hit home. The playing is as good as you’re going to hear this side of Austin. Above all, the band covers a lot of ground, from wistful ballads to hard driving honky-tonk rock, from personal meditations to satirical cultural observations, from electrified twang to down-home acoustic. Once in a while, they even find new shades of meaning in some cover you thought had been long since played out. This band is different. This band is special.
    “All in all, possibly the best indie ‘Americana’ band to come from the Bay Area . . . ever . . . period.” - Paul Olguin


    OPENING: THE T SISTERS
    The T Sisters are a genuine sister singing group based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Their unique yet classic sound invites a range of likenesses: from soulful 60’s girl groups to the sirens from the Coen Brothers’ film Oh Brother Where Art Thou and the Andrews Sisters.
    With their coveted blend, they have lent backing vocals to some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians: local bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Robin Flower & Libby McLaren, Hot Buttered Rum, Melody Walker, Wendy Burch Steel, Eliza Gilkyson, American Nomad, The California Honeydrops and many more. They are currently beginning their first full-length album under the production of their friend and mentor Laurie Lewis.

     

    Special reunion concert -

    TRANCE MISSION

    Stephen Kent - didgeridoo, percussion, cello-sintir

    Beth Custer - b flat, alto, bass clarinets, percussion

    Peter Valsamis - drums, percussion, electronics

     

    Friday, March 22 8:00pm

    $17 door / $15 advance

    This dynamic trio gives urban tribalism a whole new soundtrack.
    Founded in 1991 by Kent and Custer, Trance Mission, the widely acclaimed "4th World" quartet out of the Bay Area, performed extensively up and down the West Coast and on several successful European tours during the 1990's. Together they created four seminal recordings which were released on San Francisco's City of Tribes label, the first three of which, "Trance Mission", "Meanwhile" and "Head Light" included John Loose on drums and Kenneth Newby on Indonesian winds & percussion and atmospheric electronics. The fourth CD, 'A Day Out of Time' featured Kent & Custer with Peter Valsamis on drums and Electronics and Eda Maxym on vocals.


    This concert, the first reunion of these 3 musicians for over a decade, will revisit trio versions of classic TM works from that era and unleash some new compositions.
    Don't miss an extraordinary evening of gorgeous melodies, scintillating rhythms, and ecstatic drones, with occasional droll interludes.

    Beth Custer Stephen Kent

     

     

    Something completely different -

    An Evening with BOB KANN

     

     

    Saturday, February 23 7:30pm

    $12 door / $10 advance

    Laugh your heads off as Madison, Wisconsin funny man Bob Kann presents stupendous storytelling, jolting juggling, mesmerizing magic, and much more for all ages. Drawing material from thirty years of experience performing the "comic arts" as a family entertainer, Bob presents a participatory variety entertainment extravaganza guaranteed to tickle your funny bones and spark your imagination. Bob usually can be found reading his favorite book on levitation. He simply can't put it down!

    Learn more about Bob on his website.

     

    We celebrate The SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with 3 special concerts!

     

    Sin to Salvation with:

    THE MOUNTAIN MEN

    Misisipi Mike's SOUTHERN COMFORTS

    FRET NOT GOSPEL

    Saturday, February 16 8:00pm

    $16 door / $14 advance

    From an old-time mountain string band (Mountain Men) to spiritual, old-time mountain gospel (Fret Not), to Americana in-between (Southern Comforts), we journey from Sin to Salvation with three rollicking, hard-driving, boot-stomping bands.

     

    Old-Time north and south of the border:

    THE STAIRWELL SISTERS

    CASCADA DE FLORES

    Friday, February 15 8:00pm

    $18 door / $16 advance

     

    Our favorite show of the past two years comes back to be part of the SFBOT. Two of the Bay Area's best-loved ensembles play separately and together, highlighting the surprising similarities and differences between old time music north & south of the Rio Grande. An evening with either of these bands is not to be missed. Having them both together is a rare treat!

     

     

     

    3x2 - Three Dynamic Duos with:

    ANN & PETE SIBLEY, MISNER & SMITH, MELODY WALKER & JACOB GROOPMAN

     

     

    Saturday, February 9 8:00pm

    $15 door / $12 advance

     

    Ann & Pete Sibley - winners of the "Great American Duet Sing Off" on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion.

     

    Misner & Smith - lilting, strikingly in-sync harmonies, charming, personable stage presence, deftly written, engaging story song originals from well-loved local favorites.

     

    Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman - sensational young duo taking the Bay Area by storm with their AmeriCali sound.

     

    Harmonies that thrill. Original songs that amaze. Three duos poised to deliver a night of incomparable songs. Guaranteed to be an SFBOT experience like no other, this evening's SF Live Arts/Cyprian's presentation is specially designed for those who prefer their Americana easy on the ears and thrilling for the soul.

     

     

    Celebrate Django Reinhardt's birthday with:

    GAUCHO

    KALLY PRICE & the Old Blues & Jazz Band

    CRAIG VENTRESCO

     

     

    Saturday, January 26 8:00pm

    $12 door / $10 advance

     

     

    Gaucho recently celebrated their first decade at the forefront of the Bay Area gypsy jazz scene. Knowing a good thing when they hear it, SF Weekly readers voted them number one jazz band in the Bay Area . Though still steeped in the Django Reinhardt songbook, composer Dave Ricketts now adds New Orleans flavored rhythms to stylish originals.   

    Gaucho on YouTube

     

    Kally Price possesses a rich, emotive old time jazz voice. A mainstay of the SF retro blues and jazz band scene, she first made a name for herself with the North Carolina band, The Lazybirds. Lately she fronts The Old Blues and Jazz Band, a 5 piece band comprised of some of the Bay Area's best old time players. Dynamic and full of soulful energy, her voice transports one to rare, exotic musical climes rarely encountered these days. Kally Price on YouTube

     

    RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT plus Vicki Lee & Russ "The Muleskinner" Whitehead

     

    Saturday, January 12 8:00pm

    $22 door / $20 advance

     

    "Ramblin' Jack has been a towering influence on a generation of folk and rock musicians, most notably Bob Dylan" - Boston Globe

    One of the last direct links to the great folk traditions of this country, Jack is one of the legendary foundations of American folk music. He travelled with Woody Gutherie in the 1950s "from the redwood forests to the gulfstream waters" learning the blues along the way from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy and Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, so it's fitting that his second recent Grammy award was in the Traditional Blues category. He received the National Medal of Arts award and was honored with a special dinner at the White House. Recently the award-winning film "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" introduced a new generation to his timeless music and yarns. We are honored to have this national treasure start our concert year.

    2012

     

    Shadowlight Productions presents:

    An evening of Balinese Shadow Puppet Theater with live gamelan accompaniment

     

    Saturday, October 20 8:00pm

    $15 door / $13 advance

    The award-winning, internationally acclaimed ShadowLight Theatre directed by Larry Reed, presents a great event for all ages.  Featuring a stunning array of intricate, handmade shadow puppet figures silhouetted on a backlit screen, the ancient stories blend religious mythology, historical events and humorous improvisation.  This special performance will feature Gamelan Orchestra accompaniment directed by Gamelan Sekar Jaya's Master Artist in Residence, and one of Bali's most internationally recognized modern composers, I Made Subandi.

     

    Audience members are encouraged to come up to the side of the stage & see the exotic Balinese instruments and how the shadow puppets work during the performance.


    The combination of shadow puppets, live music and the sense of humor and fun in the stories themselves make this an evening no one should miss. 

     

    FRANK FAIRFIELD, Craig Ventresco & Meredith Axelrod, The Get Happy String Band

     

    Saturday, October 13 7:30pm

    $15 door / $12.50 advance

    This eclectic, old-time, ragtime, stringband & trad-jazz show features the banjo, fiddle and eerily, haunting voice of Frank Fairfield, who mines the beauty of old time music and was hailed as “a one man folk revival” by NPR.  His many fans include Ry Cooder, and Greil Marcus.


    The hard -driving Ragtime Duo of Craig Ventresco & Meredith Axelrod will knock your socks off, with their fast, virtuoso ragtime guitar and charming vocals; while The Get Happy Stringband unearths the beautiful harmonies and melodies of songs from the 20's & 30's.

     

     

    SF LIVE ARTS AT CYPRIAN'S PRESENTS AN ECLECTIC ROOTS, VARIETY SHOW, SURE TO DELIGHT ALL MUSIC LOVERS!

    The Shook Twins, The Country Mourns, and The Dirt Floor Band

     

    Saturday, September 29 7:30pm

    $12 door / $10 advance

    THE SHOOK TWINS - new folk pop darlings of the Pacific Northwest

    THE SHOOK TWINS Laurie and Katelyn are twin sisters from Idaho who reside currently in Portland and have been tearing it up lately on the Pacific Northwest music circuit. Their music is contemporary folk permeated with world music rhythms, singer-songwritery depth, literary aspirations, and pop playfulness. Their sound is witty, soulful, mischievous, and swinging all at the same time; and their stage show is a fast-paced juggling act of banjos, guitars, mandolins, a giant golden egg, djembe, altered vocal effects, beat boxing, and looping. They're able to mix traditional folk elements, such as passionate sibling harmonizing, with modern gadgetry and experimentation in seamless fashion thanks to their onstage exuberance, charm and rock-solid talent. The Shook Twins

    THE COUNTRY MOURNS - Misisipi Mike's exciting new Americana duo

    THE COUNTRY MOURNS are Misisipi Mike Wolf and Jody Richardson. They play all original songs in a variety of Americana styles. Both Jody and Mike write and sing for the duo, with Jody handling the fiddle duties and Mike on the guitar. Misisipi Mike is a mainstay in the Bay Area Americana music scene, as the leader of  Misisipi Rider, the Midnight Gamblers and countless other cherished local acts. Misisipi Mike Wolf was voted "Best Singer/Songwriter' of 2011 on the San Francisco Bay Guardian readers poll, and his songs have been featured on hit TV shows like "True Blood" (HBO), "Justified" (FX) and "Big Love" (Showtime). ),Jody Richardson is a talented youngster who fiddles and sings with old school charm and conviction way beyond her years. Facebook: The Country Mourns

    THE DIRT FLOOR BAND - 5-piece spirited gypsy bluegrass from Mendocino

    THE DIRT FLOOR BAND are 5 fellows from Mendocino who make a high-spirited brand of California gypsy bluegrass that appeals to dyed-in-the-wool Bill Monroe-loving traditionalists as well as dance-happy scene makers. On the surface the songs seem like up tempo hard-charging celebrations of everything carefree. Lyrically the songs aren't afraid to tackle a wide-range of emotions and the sides of the human condition. Dirt Floor Band songs aim to move you outside and in! The Dirt Floor Band

     

     

    An Evening of Song

     

    Saturday, July 28 7:30pm

    $13 advance / $15 door

    Joshua Raoul Brody & Merle (Ian Shoales) Kessler host 25 singers, each performing their favorite song, which may (or may not) have a summer theme. They will be backed by the amazingly versitile Experimental Love Orchestra. Come join the song fest!

     

    Gospel Night with Men of Endurance and Fret Not

    Saturday, July 14 8:00pm

    $13 advance / $15 door

     

    With four powerful voices (led by Pastor Kenny Mason) and backed by a dynamic, rhythm section, Men of Endurance captures the blues and soul sound that influenced artists such as Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Little Milton and many others. Performing at blues and gospel festivals all over the west, they received the 2004 Gospel Singing Award from the Bay Area Blues Society.
    Led by Lori Arthur's intense and fiery singing, Fret Not plays old-time, boot-stomping roots gospel with songs from the traditions of America's white and black rural churches; backed by fiddle, bass, guitar and banjo.

     

    A REAL DEVINE FOLK BLUES REVIVAL:

    Devine's Jug Band, Dustbowl Revival & Ragtime Skedaddlers

     

    Saturday, May 12 7:30pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

     

     

    SF's Best Jug Band meets LA's finest folk blues orchestra plus the best ragtime stringband around!

     

    Pete Devine's Jug Band

    Don't let these youngsters fool you. They've been playing real-deal, nitty gritty, pre-war jazz, blues, ragtime, and jug band music together and in various combinations for well over a decade. Suddenly there is a proliferation of bands from coast to coast playing the ol' Memphis Jug Band songs. Playing them with the authority and conviction of the originals is another matter. The songs they play date to the turn of the century. Devine's Jug band plays them with such precision and affection that something wholly new and magical is revealed about them. www.myspace.com/devinesjugband

     

    Dustbowl Revival
    Dustbowl Revival is high impact, 10-piece, happy collision of bluegrass, ragtime and New Orleans gypsy folk jive, playing outstanding originals and uniquely arranged classics with vintage finesse and contemporary gusto. Despite the diversity of influences, this rather large collection of vintage clothes wearing, Venice Beach jazzbos has forged a tight cohesive sound framed in a singular vision. In their songs you hear a solid unmistakable affection for horn driven swinging good time jazz. Yet the approach is fresh and oddly modern sounding. It’s like hearing Fats Waller's band jam with the Black Keys. They’re proof positive that boot-stomping good time songs played by talented music lovers will never go out of style. www.dustbowlrevival.com

     

    Ragtime Skedaddlers
    Ragtime is America’s first original popular music. Known for its entrancing syncopated rhythms, it was all the rage from the late 1890s up to World War I, a period that also saw a surge of interest in banjo, mandolin, and guitar ensembles. Cakewalks, rags, "Indian intermezzos", and Latin dances were all arranged for string instruments. The Ragtime Skedaddlers revive the joyous sounds of a ragtime string band consisting of two mandolins and guitar. Their new CD, Mandolins at the Cake Walk, includes the first modern recordings of many early arrangements. www.myspace.com/ragtimeskedaddlers

     

    Music, poetry, electronics & performance art meet in a special CD release concert with:

    Jon Raskin & Carla Harryman (with their 7-piece ensemble)

    Pamela Z

     

    Saturday, April 21 8:00pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

     

    Composer and improviser (ROVA) Jon Raskin and cross-genre poet Carla Harryman celebrate the release of “Open Box” (on John Zorn’s Tzadik label) using Harryman’s texts as scores for musical interpretation and voice.  Animating the connections between music and language, the performance will feature an all-star ensemble with Aurora Josephson, Ava Mendoza, Gino Robair, John Shuirba and Roahm Sheikhani.
    One of the giants of SF’s music/performance art scene, the always amazing Pamela Z, will open the evening.

     

    An evening of election-year comedy & music with:

    Will Durst & Roy Zimmerman

     

    Friday, March 9 8:00pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

    "Live from the Starving Ear"

    San Francisco’s chief political punster teams up with the Bay Area’s top musical satirist to recreate and update an evening at the seminal San Francisco nightclub, the hungry i, in a hilarious evening of biting, political satire & more.  Check it out on YouTube:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufkD_QyY_MY

     

    SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival

     

    Americana Angels with:

    Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack, Evie Ladin Band, Blushin' Roulettes

    Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack

    Saturday, February 18, 7:30pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

    She has a voice like a "soulful howl from the mountains" (California Bluegrass Association), and “comes by her mountain-music sensibility with true authenticity, with original songs deeply rooted in her family's frontier experience" (FestivalPreview.com). A descendant of Cornish miners who sang in the mines, Rita Hosking grew up with a deep regard for folk music and the power of voice. And her delivery is simply intense. Rita’s latest record, Come Sunrise, was selected Best Country Album in the 2010 Independent Music Awards and 3rd Coast Music Magazine named her Female Artist of the Year for 2009.

    Evie Ladin is a natural entertainer with “a gift for infusing folk practices with contemporary verve.” -SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE   A Banjo player, step-dancer, singer, songwriter and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts, Evie Ladin grew up in a trad folk scene up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the US, and tours the world, with her solo project Evie Ladin Band, with The Stairwell Sisters, (an all-gal old-time teardown) and Keith Terry & Crosspulse, performing rhythm-based multi-cultural music & dance works.

    Hailing from the Mendocino coast, The Blushin' Roulettes deliver old-time tunes with a modern twist deeply rooted in a feminine perspective. Songwriter/guitarist Angela Rose belts her sweet and sultry tunes of damsels in their bliss and distress in a warbling vibrato often compared to Iris Dement and Dolly Parton.         Presented with Restless Whim Productions

    A kid's show special with:

    Gayle Schmitt & the Toodala Ramblers

    Gayle Schmitt & the Toodala Ramblers

    Saturday, February 18 2:00pm

    $6 kids / $9 adults

    Come dance, sing, and tap your toes with Gayle Schmitt and her bluegrass pickin’ Ramblers as they present a fun-filled performance of bluegrass, mountain, and folk music for kids. With fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and bass they’ll set your feet a-stompin’ for a barn dance in the City!
    Kentucky-born Gayle Schmitt has released two Parent’s Choice Award-winning CDs featuring bluegrass and old-time songs for kids.
    Gayle and the Ramblers play high energy, fun arrangements of traditional tunes along with unforgettable originals for a toe tappin', sing-a-long experience that'll be hard to forget.
              Children must be accompanied by an adult

    Duo Night with:

    Nell Robinson & Jim Nunnally, Misner & Smith, Jeanie & Chuck Poling

    Nell Robinson Jim Nunnally

    Friday, February 17, 7:30pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

    Join three diverse duos for some very fine singing, sweet harmonies, and hot pickin'.

    Just back from a triumphant tour back East, finishing at the Kennedy Center in DC, Nell Robinson (Red Level, the Henriettas) has taken the local bluegrass scene by storm with her distinctive vocals and sunny stage charisma. Nell teams up this evening with world-class picker and singer, Jim Nunally (David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, John Reischman and the Jaybirds) to put a new face on some old-time music.

    Sam Misner and Megan Smith began their musical collaboration after working together as actors on a production of Woody Guthrie’s American Song.  Balancing their careers as actors and musicians, the two have found the art of storytelling to be one of the common threads running through both forms. Crafting original songs rich in meaning and texture, the duo’s sound is centered around unique vocal harmonies and evocative lyrics, and in 2007, their song “Madeline (Paradise Cracked)” won the West Coast Songwriters Association’s Song of the Year competition.

    Jeanie & Chuck Poling play bluegrass, honky-tonk, and more. Featuring Jeanie’s beautiful and powerful vocals and Chuck’s fine guitar work and inexhaustible supply of stage patter, this duo’s mission is first and foremost to give folks a show. They’ve been entertaining Bay Area audiences for over a decade as a duo and with their band – Jeanie and Chuck’s Country Roundup.        

     

    Foghorn Stringband, Jeff Kazor & Lisa Berman, Anne & Pete Sibley

    Foghorn Stringband

    Friday, February 10, 7:30pm

    $16 advance / $18 door

    We kickoff the SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with a great triple bill!

    The internationally acclaimed Foghorn Stringband has been at the vanguard of a revival in American old-time music for over a decade now. They've traveled the globe, been signed to a major label, and inspired a new generation of old-time musicians, all without compromising their love of traditional American music.

    Jeff Kazor founded his groundbreaking and internationally influential band The Crooked Jades in San Francisco in 1996, recording 7 albums and touring and playing festivals all over Europe and North America. Multi instrumentalist/vocalist Lisa Berman is internationally known as a pioneer in bringing the Hawaiian slide guitar back to old-time music and redefining its sound. She also performs on claw-hammer banjo, dobro, guitar, harmonium, and baritone ukulele. Berman co-founded The Crooked Jades with Jeff Kazor, where her rare gift for harmony singing has been showcased and critically acclaimed as hauntingly beautiful and goosebump-raising. Berman also records and tours with the renowned Stairwell Sisters.

    Originally from New England, Anne & Pete Sibley have been at home in the Rocky Mountain West since 1999. Less than a decade since they released their first album, the Sibleys' music hit the national spotlight in 2009 with a blue ribbon finish in the "Great American Duet Sing Off" on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion.  

    Ramblin' Jack Elliott
    and Vikki Lee

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    Saturday, Jan 21, 8pm

    $20 advance / $22 door

    Music Legend and Three Time Grammy Winner Ramblin' Jack Elliott

    “Ramblin’ Jack Elliott has been a towering influence on a generation of folk and rock musicians, most notably Bob Dylan.”
    – The Boston Globe.

    One of the last direct links to the great folk traditions of this country, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is one of the legendary foundations of American folk music. In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next.   In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree. So it’s fitting that earlier this year, he received his first Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues category for his album, A Stranger Here. (His two previous Grammys were in the folk category). He received the National Medal of Arts award and was honored with a special dinner at the White House.  Recently the award-winning film The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack introduced a new generation to his timeless music and yarns.  We are honored to have this national treasure start our concert year. 

    Americana/Country/Rockabilly artist Vikki Lee opens the concert.

     

    2011

     

    The Stairwell Sisters
    and Cascada de Flores

     

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    Friday, Dec 2, 8pm

    $18 advance / $20 door

    North American & Latin American Roots Meet in a Great Double Bill!

    “Five women who attack string instruments with a veracity that rivals some of rock’s most venerated fret burners….  rarely have songs taken from the public domain sound so modern and vital.” -Dallas Observer.
    Playing “Old-Time music with punk-rock intensity,” The Stairwell Sisters perform their driving brand of stringband music, sweet country harmonies, old-time songs and rowdy fiddle tunes.  Through 10 years and three albums, the Bay Area’s favorite all-gal, old-time teardown has performed all over the US & Europe; from Lincoln Center to A Prairie Home Companion and beyond. 

    "A dream from which you have no desire to return" - Sing Out! Magazine

    Cascada de Flores

     

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    The sound of Cascada de Flores echoes the golden radio age of Latin America, where jazzy bolero and earthy traditions from the countryside were joyously juxtaposed. Its lush and haunting vocal duet features the unique voices of Arwen Lawrence and Sabra Weber, and is reminiscent of the vocal hermanas (sisters) of that era. Virtuoso guitarist Jorge Liceaga carries them, drawing from his mixed heritage of Bibriesca, syncopated Yucatecan bolero and the communicative flamenco art tradition. From heart-wrenching canción and raucous Cuban guaracha, to earthy Mexican son the variety is woven together by the poetic treatment of the Spanish language, the casual and humorous storytelling and the use of traditional instruments: tres cubano, flute, marimbol (a marimba-like instrument related to the African thumb piano), vihuela,  guitarra de son and jaranas of Veracruz, donkey's jaw bone and zapateado (percussive dance).

    “One learns the roots while listening to experts play music they clearly love. The result is rich, delicate, and lovely." - Sing Out! Magazine

     

    Wake the Dead
    and The Rowan Brothers

     

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    Saturday, Dec 3, 8pm

    $20 advance / $23 door

    Wake the Dead stumbled on potent music magic that fateful day a decade or so ago when a group of well-known East Bay musicians decided to take on some Grateful Dead songs Celtic-style. What was intended as a one-CD project has since morphed into a real live Bay Area music phenomenon that has gained considerable traction with fans and critics alike.

     If you're a Dead fan, you'll be amazed to hear your favorites all wrapped up in dazzling Celtic flavors. For the non-GD fans, this is spirited, well-crafted acoustic music with soul-stirring harmonies and top-notch instrumental work played by 20 year vets of the Bay Area scene. Lately the band has been sprinkling their sets with traditional Celtic tunes and the songs of the Dead, the Airplane, the Youngbloods.  Even die hard (tie-dyed?) fans will be surprised by the ever-changing set list.  Plan on getting there early. They've been packing them in at much larger venues lately. Come find out why Amazon.com says: “Five stars! This record captures more fully than any single Dead album or tribute project, the melodic beauty, lyrical depth and timeless quality of the Garcia/Hunter songbook."

    The Rowan Brothers

     

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    The Rowan Brothers' first gig in San Francisco was in 1970, opening for the Grateful Dead. Since then they've recorded dozens of acclaimed albums with Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Jim Keltner, David Grisman, and many others. Expect a lot of stylistic maneuvering from these eclectic brothers: from Everly Brothers, countripolitan, jazzy bluegrass, to contempo-folk with sparkle, finesse and rock n roll energy.

     

    The Kathy Kallick Band
    and Jeanie & Chuck's Country Roundup

     

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    Friday, Nov 18, 8pm

    $15 advance / $18 door
    $13 for kids, seniors & students with I.D.

    Hot Bluegrass & Cool Originals — The Kathy Kallick Band's Between the Hollow and the High-Rise, released last year, spent more time in the national bluegrass charts than any other 2010-11 CD — and also was among the highest-ranked on the folk-dj chart. The release of Kathy's latest — Count Your Blessings — will be celebrated at this show. Since co-founding the Good Ol' Persons, Kathy Kallick continues to evolve as one of the music's extraordinary composers and vocalists, having released 16 albums with over 100 of her original songs. She's won a Grammy and two IBMA Awards, received a Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, and collaborates with the country's top acoustic musicians — including her mighty current intergenerational band, whose members also have played with David Grisman, Laurie Lewis, Darol Anger, High Country, Spring Creek, Town Mountain, and Bearfoot. They are: Tom Bekeny (mandolin), Dan Booth (acoustic bass), Greg Booth (dobro & banjo), and Annie Staninec (fiddle). Everybody sings!

    "Kathy Kallick is one of the best songwriters in bluegrass and acoustic music" - Chris Stuart, Sing Out!

    Jeanie & Chuck's Country Roundup

     

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    Jeanie and Chuck Poling play bluegrass, honky-tonk, and more. Featuring Jeanie's beautiful and powerful vocals and Chuck's inexhaustible supply of stage patter, this duo's mission is first and foremost to give the folks a show. They've been entertaining Bay Area audiences for over a decade as a duo and with their band — which now includes Pat Campbell and Ray Bierl. Pat has played bass with every kind of Bay Area band, and is best known to bluegrass audiences for playing on the legendary "Pistol Packin' Mama" album with Frank Wakefield, Jerry Garcia, Don Reno, and Chubby Wise. Ray is not only a talented and versatile fiddler, but a great entertainer and songster in his own right; check him out to see what one guy and a guitar can do.

     

    Latif Bolat

     

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    Saturday, Nov 5, 2011

    One of the most well-known Turkish musicians in the U.S., Latif Bolat mesmerizes audiences with his mastery of a vast repertoire of Turkish folk music, Sufi devotional songs, classical pieces and sacred ballads that he composed. He employs traditional instruments such as the long-necked lute, the baglama, and the oud, bendir and ney flute.

    Now residing in New Mexico and Turkey, Bolat is in the midst of a world tour. He regularly performs in India, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Turkey,the Philippines, Australia, England, and all across Canada and the United States. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, recorded four popular CDs, and composed music for the PBS Documentary: "Mohammed: Legacy of a Prophet" and George Lucas's TV series "Young Indiana Jones." He also co-authored a book with the compelling title "Quarreling with God." The Turkish Ministry of Culture has sponsored translations of his work on Sufi poetry, and the California Arts Council awarded him with a grant for his contributions to the preservation of Turkish traditional music.

    Pre-Concert Lecture

    Before the concert Latif will present a special bonus lecture and discussion on 1000 Years of Turkish Sufi Mystic Music, Poetry and Philosophy, starting at 6:30pm.

     

    Multi Grammy winner JIM LAUDERDALE
    Maurice Tani & Jenn Courtney

    Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011

    With success in both bluegrass and country music, international recording artist Jim Lauderdale won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the Honors and Awards Show held by the Americana Music Association. A Grand Ole Opry star and one of Nashville's premier songwriters, his songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Vince Gill, George Strait, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack and many others.

    One of our favorite singer/songwriters, Maurice Tani performs his smart, neo-noir, honky-tonk songs with Jenn Courtney and her luxurious, full-sized, strong, vulnerable, sexy, June Carter-like voice.

     

    An evening of BALINESE SHADOW THEATER
    With Balinese Gamelan accompaniment

    Saturday Sep. 10, 2011

    A great event for all ages as ShadowLight Productions presents The Marriage of Adimbi, performed by Artistic director and founder, Larry Reed with live musical accompaniment. Featuring a stunning array of intricate, handmade shadow puppet figures silhouetted on a backlit screen, the ancient stories blend religious mythology, historical events and humorous improvisation.

     

    Film premiere and live benefit concert!
    THE AFRICA PROJECT

    Saturday Aug. 20,2011

    Film maker Joe Baker, founder of the Bay Recorders Organization, has brought together 35 musicians, 3 bands, and 2 choirs from Ghana, South Africa, and USA with the common goal of aiding African education through the power of music with "The Africa Project".

    In June 2010, Baker took basic versions of three American classic songs and field recorded African musicians offering musical contributions to each of the 3 songs. While on location, Baker then recorded the African musicians performing original native songs. During the fall of 2010, American musicians were added to the three original songs as well as to the 9 new songs brought back from Africa, thus creating 12 extraordinary compositions from three different countries.

    The 74 minute film, all shot in high definition, is edited by 11 different volunteer editors, giving each video song its own distinct experience.

    This evening will feature the world premiere of the film, followed by a live concert with many of the American musicians who participated.

    CD, DVD and door proceeds will benefit G.I.V.E., (www.giveghana.org) an organization creating educational opportunities in Ghana, for primary & secondary school children and Amajika Performing Arts Foundation, (www.tunokwe.com) a foundation on 26 campuses throughout South Africa that offers after-school care, tutoring, dance, theater, & music. Part of door proceeds will also benefit St. Cyprian's Church building repair fund.

     

    CD release concert/celebration for Live at the Columbarium
    Tango No. 9

    July 30, 2011

    The fiery, spirited ensemble celebrates the release of their new CD, Live at the Columbarium (recorded at Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland). This will be the farewell performance of bandoneonist/accordionist Isabel Douglass and the welcome performance of new vocalist Zoltan DiBartolo. With their unique instrumentation –Greg Stephens on trombone, Joshua Brody on piano and the passionate violin of Catherine Clune, they cover the history of tango from traditional pieces to Piazolla to original compositions.

     

    Americana meets alt-country meets great songwriting
    Maurice Tani, Jenn Courtney & 77 El Deora;
    Jeffrey Halford & Band

    July 23, 2011

    With their smart, original, neo-noir, honky-tonk sound, 77 El Deora features Maurice Tani's great songs and the luxurious, full-sized, strong, vulnerable, sexy, June Carter-like voice of Jenn Courtney. With Steve Kallai's sweet fiddle, Mike Anderson's slappin', clankin' acoustic bass and Christopher Fisher's virtuoso drumming, this will be their only acoustic show in San Francisco this summer.

    Jeffrey Halford is a "...soulful blues-influenced storyteller and songwriter with a tight delivery. Halford and crew go well beyond a mastery of their instruments. They're performers, storytellers, and entertainers. Their impeccable improvisational skills make listeners feel that each moment of their performance is unique and special, and their energy could make you want to jump out of your chair and shake." (Paula Munoz/Music Connection)

    "I am here to place Jeffrey Halford up on the pedestal with such figures as John Fogerty, Randy Newman, Alejandro Escovedo, and John Prine — and Bob Dylan — in the pantheon of great American singer-songwriters."
    (Buddy Siegal, Los Angeles Weekly)

     

    An Evening of Song

    June 4, 2011

    Joshua Raoul Brody and Merle (Ian Shoales) Kessler host 25 different singers, each performing their favorite song; which may (or may not) have a "spring into summer" theme. They will be backed by the amazingly versatile Experimental Love Orchestra. Our version of American Idol won't involve any judging, but will be tons more fun.

     

    Gospel Night with
    MEN OF ENDURANCE
    FRET NOT Gospel Band

     

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    May 14, 2011

    Rural mountain gospel meets urban soul music gospel in an evening guaranteed to raise the roof!

    With four powerful voices (lead by Pastor Kenny Mason) and backed by a dynamic rhythm section, Men of Endurance captures the blues and soul sound that influenced artists such as Little Milton, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and many others. Performing at blues festivals, as well as gospel festivals, all over the west, they received the 2004 Gospel Singing Award from the Bay Area Blues Society.

    Lead by Lori Arthur's intense and fiery singing, Fret Not plays old-time, boot-stomping roots gospel with songs from the traditions of America's white and black rural churches; backed by fiddle, bass, guitar and banjo.

     

    CULANN’S HOUNDS
    LUCIA COMNES

     

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    April 16, 2011

    Culann’s Hounds have built a reputation for high-energy stage shows and a ruthless dedication to rocking their audiences. Folk melodies, sensibilities, and stories from Ireland, France, and early America permeate their music. This mash-up of tradition and energy is at once thought-provoking, accessible and infectious. The Hounds’ original material is a mirror of their lives, tales of distant lands, love, elation, and loss.

    With a blazing fiddle and a luminous voice, Lucia Comnes has been involved in the Irish (and Balkan) music scene both in Ireland and the U.S. The classically trained violinist has studied with fiddle masters Martin Hayes, Kevin Burke and Oisín MacDiarmada, played in countless sessions, performed with a number of bands (most notably Liam Ó'Maonlaí and The Hothouse Flowers) and recently attended the Traditional Irish Music Program at University College, Cork to study Gaelic and sean-nos, or “old-style,” singing. She has performed at numerous traditional music festivals in Ireland and was featured at the SF Irish Fest in 2008 and 2009. She has also been a member of KITKA, the Eastern European Women's choir.

     

    Colm O’Riain in a (belated) St. Patrick's Day Concert

     

    George Cole / Glass House

     

    March 19, 2011

    The fiery violinist and his band explore the connection between Irish music and jazz, Brazilian, Cuban, Indian and other musical genres.

     

    George Cole Quintet, Glass House

     

    George Cole / Glass House

     

    March 5, 2011

    Direct from Carnegie Hall! The George Cole Quintet plays Django Reinhardt-inspired Gypsy jazz with an added Hot Club meets vocal jazz treat.

    Glass House features stellar beat boxing vocalist Dave Worm (from Bobby McFerrin & Voicestra) with guitar virtuoso Mark Vickness and his exotic harp and acoustic guitars.

    Read more — and see videos — on our blog.

     

    Jackstraw, The Brothers Comatose, Water Tower Bucket Boys

    February 18, 2011

    SF Live Arts at Cyprian's and The San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival presents An evening of hard-driving, virtuoso instrumentals and tight harmonies at St. Cyprian's Church, 2097 Turk (at Lyon) in SF.

    One of today's most exciting bluegrass bands, Portland's Jackstraw features some of the hottest, most amazing pickers to be found anywhere. They play fast and hard (and their driving rhythms are infectious) but the band is best known for its musical depth, feeling and it's soulful, harmonious vocals.

    With their infectious foot-stomping, shout-along sound The Brothers Comatose received a 'Norby' for best country/Americana band. They've performed at the Hardly Strictly festival, Great American Music Hall and the Fillmore and recently headlined at Slim's.

    With their raw, hard-driving sound, and tight harmonies, The Water Tower Bucket Boys play a combination of classic bluegrass, old-time & country. With three studio recordings and successful tours of the US and UK, this Portland-based band is poised to take the acoustic music world by storm.

     

    The Stairwell Sisters, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Misner & Smith

    February 12, 2011

    SF Live Arts at Cyprian's and The San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival presents at St. Cyprian's Church.

    Featured on A Prarie Home Companion, and at New York's Lincoln Center; and through 10 years and 3 albums, The Stairwell Sisters, the Bay Area's favorite all-gal old-time teardown, has performed all over the U.S. and Europe. With Lisa Berman (Hawaiian slide), Evie Laden (clawhammer banjo), Martha Hawthorne (bass), Stephanie Prausnitz (fiddle) and Sue Sandlin (guitar) the Stairwell Sisters are steeped in traditional Appalachian music but also perform contemporary songs such as Bruce Springsteen's Youngstown, which was recently released as a single.

    From Seattle, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West present an entirely new and refreshing take on the bluegrass & old-time traditions, with some northwest, deepwater roots influences added to the pot. They will be celebrating the recent release of their CD, the Holy Coming of the Storm.

    Misner & Smith — With their strong songwriting & an exceptional blend of voices, Sam Misner and Megan Smith began their musical collaboration as actors on a production of Woody Guthrie's American Song. Their tune, Madeline (Paradise Cracked), won the West Coast Songwriters Association's Song of the Year competition. Their influences span many genres from traditional & old-time music, bluegrass, folk and rock to reggae, Motown and the blues.

     

    The NashVillains, Nell Robinson with John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Henriettas

    February 11, 2011

    Join us for Opening Night of the San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival

    An eclectic evening of hot licks and rollicking vocals, bluegrass old and new, whirling banjos, flying fiddles, and mad mandolins: The NashVillains (featuring James Nash of The Waybacks) — dazzling twists and turns along the edge of 'grass with no fear of heights. Nell Robinson w/John Reischman & the Jaybirds — distinctive bluegrass and country vocals with world-class pickin'. The Henriettas — those fine-feathered song sisters fresh from A Prairie Home Companion.

    The NashVillains: This new acoustic supergroup, featuring virtuosos James Nash of The Waybacks on guitar, Bill Evans on banjo, Jesse Cobb of the Grammy-nominated Infamous Stringdusters on mandolin, and Bryan Horne from Hot Buttered Rum on upright bass, promises an evening of innovative, high-octane picking. Sit back, set aside your expectations, and enjoy as this dynamic and adventurous ensemble pushes the boundaries of bluegrass to parts unknown.

    Nell Robinson with John Reischman & the Jaybirds: Known for her rollickin' stage presence, Nell Robinson has joined forces with one of the best group of pickers around John Reischman & the Jaybirds.

    “One of the most refreshing voices in bluegrass. There is more than a little hint of Emmylou Harris (without the vibrato) and a dash of Hazel Dickens” (Penguin Eggs Magazine). The new ensemble opens the festival with a very special evening of three-part harmonies, whirling banjos, original music, and traditional favorites. Nell's debut album, Nell Robinson in Loango, made bluegrass and Americana charts throughout the country and she was quickly snapped up by Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and Strawberry Music Festival. “Loango utterly won me over, charmed me silly!” (Sing Out! Magazine). She's headlined and sold out the Freight & Salvage Coffehouse — don't miss out this time! Check out music, videos, photos, and join the 'gig alert' email list at nellrobinsonmusic.com/bands. Have a listen.

    The Henriettas: The Henriettas (Cary Sheldon and Nell Robinson, with Tony Marcus) revive the music of the DeZurik Sisters, the 1930s novelty yodelling duo who were stars of the National Barn Dance and Grand Ole Opry. Fresh from their appearance on A Prairie Home Companion, these fine-feathered song sisters are joined by Tony Marcus: radio announcer, foil and bass player. You'll find their music on Nell Robinson in Loango: 'As a bonus, there's a brief 'radio show' by Nell and Cary Sheldon as the Henriettas, supposedly a sister act given to clucking like chickens. This pastiche of the Carter Family radio broadcasts is hilarious and winsome' (Sing Out! magazine). Photos and music can be found at nellrobinsonmusic.com/henriettas. Get a free song download!

     

    Ramblin’ Jack Elliot

    January 8, 2011

    Our last performance at the Noe Valley Ministry (for at least quite awhile) will be on Sat. Jan 8th with this year's acoustic blues Grammy winner, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. The great story teller/folk music icon has performed our first concert of the year for about the last 20 years. So it's appropriate that we bring him back for our last performance at our beloved home, the Noe Valley Ministry. The building will be restored and fixed up and (hopefully) we'll be back in two years or so.

    In the meantime, check out our new venue, St. Cyprians Church at 2097 Turk St. at the corner of Lyon, where SF Live Arts will be hosting the SF Bluegrass and Old-Time festival in Feb. Last show at Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St, SF

     

    2010

     

    Tango No. 9 & Special Guests: Last Tango in Noe Valley

    November 6, 2010

    For this special event, Tango No. 9, Joshua Raoul Brody, Catharine Clune, Greg Stephens and their new vocal collaborator, Zoltan DiBartolo will be joined by several musical special guests, Beth Custer playing many clarinets, the lovely Odile Lavault on bandoneon, bassist Daniel Fabricant, and the wonderful sounds of Sandy on vocals.

     

    Marnring Kassin Darter

    November 5, 2010

    CD release concert for Riverrun, recorded live at the Noe Valley Ministry

    “Mind-boggling musicianship. Complex, provocative compositions. Darter, Manring, and Kassin are all-around awesome!” — Greg Rule, Keyboard magazine

    Performing 'improvised chamber music for the new millennium,' Manring Kassin Darter has been astounding audiences for the last 12 years with amazing chops, quiet soul, diverse compositions, and a somewhat twisted sense of humor. Referred to by some music critics as 'the world's most sophisticated jam-band,' the group features three top virtuosos on their respective instruments. With two gold records, over 200 albums, and multiple Grammy nominations to his credit, bass phenom Michael Manring has been hailed as 'a master of the fretless bass without rival' by Guitar Club magazine. Bass Player magazine recently named him Bass Player of the Year. Pianist Tom Darter's compositions have drawn praise from Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, and Karel Husa; and music critics have compared Larry Kassin's flute playing to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Hubert Laws, and Paul Horn. While listeners can hear echoes of jazz, rock, classical, folk, avant-garde, and world music in their performances (despite the absence of a drummer), the net result is music that tears down stylistic walls and refuses to be compartmentalized.

     

    Bill Frisell & The 858 Quartet

    October 23 & 24, 2010

    'Frisell is a revered figure among musicians - like Miles Davis and few others, his signature is built from pure sound and inflection.' - The Philadelphia Inquirer

    It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, hes found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play.' - The New York Times

    We are proud to welcome back one of the most sought after guitar voices in contemporary music. Bill Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie, Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ronald Shannon Jackson and Melvin Gibbs (in Power Tools), Marianne Faithful, Paul Bley, Hal Willner, The Frankfurt Ballet, film director Gus Van Sant (Finding Forester), David Sanborn, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois (on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders film Million DollarHotel). Come hear the preview of Bill Frisell's amazing 858 Quartet featuring Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola) and Hank Roberts (cello) in three performances before they go into the studio to record new compositions and other repertoire they have developed over the years, including Frisell's inimitable interpretations of songs from the American music tradition.

    'For over ten years Bill Frisell has quietly been the most brilliant and unique voice to come along in jazz guitar since Wes Montgomery. In light of this, it may be easy to overlook the fact that he may also be one of the most promising composers of American music on the current scene.' Stereophile

    These performances promise to be the highlight of our concert year.

     

    Ladies of Jazz, with Cathi Walkup, Jennifer Lee, Leanne Weatherly and Melissa Dinwiddie

    October 16, 2010

    Four of the Bay Area's top Jazz singer/songwriters take the stage in the round for an evening of original music.

    Vocalist/lyricist/composer Cathi Walkup has been called 'the thinking person's jazz singer' for her love of lyric driven songs, 'a naturalcomedian' for her wit and ease on-stage, and 'an important bop oriented singer, who is also an excellent lyricist' by jazz writer Scott Yanow in his new book The Jazz Singers, The Ultimate Guide. Jennifer Lee is a vocalist/pianist/guitarist with a warm, lovely voice, extraordinary musicality and hip sense of time. Jennifer frequently accompanies herself on guitar or piano with a simple elegance and sweetness while maintaining a deep, in the pocket groove.Renowned pianist Taylor Eigisti (Concord Music Group) has said of Leanne Weatherly, 'she's got clarity, passion and fun arrangements that anyone would enjoy, wall wrapped up in a very bright future.' Singer/songwriter Meilssa Dinwiddie delights listeners with her upbeat voice and engaging and sometimes comedic delivery. Self titled the Queen of Dating, two of her original compositions, He's Just Not That Into You and Online Dating Blues are audience favorites.

     

    Stellamara Trio and Round Mountain

    August 28, 2010

    With their otherworldly melodies, deep musical meditations and astonishing improvisations; and featuring the siren-like voice of Sonja Drukulich, 'Stellamara travels deeply beyond any derivations or trends in world music diving deeply into a felt experience of the divine.' - Media Deva

    Those who favor Balkan, Medieval, Persian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish or Far Eastern music will find themselves transported by the free flowing music. Debuting new works with multi-instrumentalist and newest band member, Evan Fraser and Stellamara co-founders, Gari Hegedus and Sonja Drakulich, Stellamara plays an array of exotic drums and Middle-Eastern instruments. With Sonja's exquisite voice bringing to mind shades of Loreena McKennit, Azam Ali and Lisa Gerrard, the music ebbs and flows from faraway places and times for a hauntingly elegant listening experience. 'Éundeniably beautiful.' - SF Bay Guardian

    Round Mountain is New Mexico's two-man singing folk orchestra. Featuring Robby & Char Rothschild, Round Mountain explores the territory where folk meets world. Sometimes raucous (imagine trumpet and accordion played simultaneously by one person), sometimes subtle (the harp-like sound of the West African kora), Round Mountain touches audiences with great songs, emotional honesty, and an engaging live show. 'Their original melodies, arrangements and their lyrics in particular, demand a similarly high level of listening from us. The rewards are legionÉ a treasure of sound... which you'll want to share, as well as treat yourself to.' - Jeff Kaliss, Songlines Magazine, UK

     

    Maurice Tani & Jenn Courtney: 77 El DEORA, with Misisipi Rider

    August 21, 2010

    San Francisco-born singer-songwriter Maurice Tani returned to his California alt-country/Americana roots in 2000, following a 15-year stint as the singer-guitarist with the hugely popular club bands Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra and Big Bang Beat. With singer Jenn Courtney as his muse, central character and sparring partner, Tani has constructed a repertoire of alternately wry humor and romantic rumination. With two albums under their belt and a third ready for release later this summer, Tani, Courtney and 77 El Deora have refined an evolving style characterized by his smart, original writing and her vivid persona and luxurious voice.

    Misisipi Rider is a buzzworthy Folk Pop string band driven by tight harmonies and a bluegrass meets the Beatles sound. Since 2008 they have released two critically acclaimed CDs and have toured the globe, from Portland to London to Munich and many points in between. Featuring three prolific songwriters, the music is dynamic, lyrically thought provoking and melodically catchy with an emphasis on uptempo toe tappers.

     

    GEOFF HOYLE previews his new piece, GEEZER

    July 31, 2010

    The wonderful physical comedian/actor/mime/New Vaudevillian presents a preview of his new theater piece about aging, 'Geezer.' The internationally acclaimed performer was hailed by Newsweek Magazine for his 'breathtaking virtuosity.' He has performed in solo and ensemble shows with Berkeley Rep (as well as many other major theaters) was the ringmaster for Cirque de Soliel and starred as Zazu (the bird) for the Broadway run of Disney's 'Lion King.' Don't miss this great evening of theater and comedy!

     

    Another Evening of Song

    June 26, 2010

    Hosted by Merle Kessler, 25 singers each sing a different song based on the given theme 'them's the breaks' backed by The Experimental Love Orchestra led by Joshua Raoul Brody. Our Noe Valley version of American Idol won't involve any judging, but will be tons more fun than the original.

     

    Jim Lauderdale — CD release concert

    June 19, 2010

    Nashville-based Jim Lauderdale is one of the giants of American Roots Music. Tonight he takes time off from his touring with Elvis Costello's band to celebrate the release of his new Americana-based CD, Patchwork River. The CD features original songs co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. With successes in both bluegrass and country music, he was awarded Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the first Honors and Awards Show held by the Americana Music Association in 2002. Subsequently he has hosted the same show for the last seven years. A featured performer at The Grand Ole Opry, he is also one of today's great songwriters. His songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Vince Gill, George Strait, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack and many others. He has toured with Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rhonda Vincent in addition to Elvis Costello. He won his first Grammy for Lost in the Lonesome Pines recorded with the legendary Ralph Stanley and his second for his Bluegrass Diaries album in 2007.

     

    Guitar Summit with Teja Gerken, The San Francisco Guitar Quartet, Matthew Montfort

    June 5, 2010

    In what is certain to be a concert highlight of the year for Bay Area guitar lovers, SF Live Arts & the Noe Valley Music Series present a one-of-a-kind evening featuring three internationally acclaimed acts with deep roots in the local music scene. The San Francisco Guitar Summit features the varied range of music possible on the instrument -- from acoustic fingerstyle through modern classical, to pioneering world fusion. The summit features Matthew Montfort performing on scalloped fretboard and fretless guitars, fingerstyle guitarist Teja Gerken, and classical and modern music by the San Francisco Guitar Quartet.

    Teja Gerken is no stranger to those familiar with the Bay Area acoustic guitar scene. Born in Germany, but calling San Francisco home, he is a seasoned performer, and has shared the stage with players such as Alex de Grassi, Henry Kaiser, and John Renbourn , as well as with his mentor, Peppino D'Agostino. Gerken's playing blends myriad influences into a musical style that hovers around the perimeters of folk, contemporary classical, and world music, often involving alternate tunings, right-hand tapping, and percussive effects. Gerken's CD, Postcards, is featured on KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise list of 'Best New CD's of 2005.'

    The San Francisco Guitar Quartet consists of David Due–as, Jon Mendle, Patrick O'Connell, and Mark Simons -- four Bay Area guitarists presenting an expansive and vibrant repertoire of newly composed works and time-tested classics. Exploring the many and varied possibilities; from the infectious rhythms of Brazil to the whirling dances of the Balkans, from the passion of the tango to the hypnotic textures of minimalism, the SFGQ manifests a modern yet all-embracing approach to chamber music for classical guitar--with deep roots in both the folk and classical traditions. Through their national and international touring, ground-breaking recordings, and featured performances at major guitar festivals, the SFGQ has established itself as an enduring presence in the classical guitar world.

    Matthew Montfort is the leader of the world music ensemble Ancient Future. Featured in the December 2009 commemorative Les Paul issue of Guitar Player Magazine, Montfort is a pioneer among guitarists who have had their fretboards scalloped in order to play various forms of world music that require intricate note-bending ornaments while still being able to play chords. Montfort immersed himself in an intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. He is also known for his work on Glissentar (11 string fretless guitar), electric guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar, charango, mandolin, and gamelan. He has performed concerts worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra in Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai and has worked with many world music legends, including tabla phenomenon Zakir Hussain and Chinese zither master Zhao Hui.

     

    The Crooked Jades and the Kate Weare Dance Company

    May 22, 2010

    For tonight's performance the Crooked Jades will feature special guests Genessa Kealoha on bass, Rose Sinclair on banjo and slide and Elise Engelberg on fiddle.

    The Crooked Jades continue to explore new frontiers as they begin an exciting collaboration with the critically acclaimed New York modern dance group Kate Weare Company, previewed tonight in its formative stages as one highlight in an entire evening of hypnotic old-time music with The Crooked Jades.

    The dance, entitled 'Gone Before and Rattling' features a quintet of dancers and explores the cyclical nature of human experience with piercing, powerful choreography and fiery, soulful live music. Premiering in its entirety at New York's Joyce Theatre in August, the collaboration tackles the emotional undertakings-kinship, belief, suffering, love-that shape us in our lifetimes and repeat in cycles through the ages.

     

    Beth Custer Ensemble

    May 8, 2010

    The Beth Custer Ensemble returns to the fabulous, acoustically unique, concert series of the Noe Valley Ministry. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear Custer's newest work culled from her critically acclaimed release 'Roam', new songs created at her recent residency in Montalvo Arts Center, and much more. The ensembles' influences of jazz, funk, and Latin rock meld with Custer's view of the world as her musical oyster.

    The Beth Custer Ensemble features the crème de la crème of Bay Area musicians, including drummer Jan Jackson (who played with Grammy-nominated Will Bernard, Chuck Berry), guitarist/composer David James (Curtis Bumby, Spearhead, Sila), bassist Lisa Mezzacappa (Duo B; Go Go Fightmaster), Diana Mangano, backup vocals (lead vocal in Jefferson Starship), iconic pianist Graham Connah, trumpet player Chris Grady (Club Foot Orchestra, Mark Growden) and Beth Custer (Trance Mission, Club Foot Orchestra, Clarinet Thing). The band bursts forth with a genre-defying repertoire. Don't miss this intimate show!

     

    The Paper Raincoat with special guest Vienna Teng

    March 26, 2010

    The Paper Raincoat is an imaginative collaboration between Brooklyn songwriters Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong that brings to life a colorful world teeming with compelling characters, dream-like storylines, and metaphorical narratives. Their songs are a cinematic blend of orchestral pop, electronic textures and unforgettable melodies. Their music is featured on One Tree Hill, Real World, and Jersey Shore; and in the upcoming Touchstone Pictures feature film, The Last Song starring Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear. Their live show has been described as 'riveting' by audiences, featuring everything from an a cappella number using nothing but harmonies and body percussion, to a 3 person drum jam, to 'Right Angles', a piece for four hands on piano.

    Spellbinding singer songwriter Vienna Teng will join them for several pieces.

     

    CD release concert for NELL ROBINSON in Loango with John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Henriettas

    March 19, 2010

    With her warm, sexy voice Nell Robinson stays true to her family's rural Alabama roots, performing new and traditional bluegrass and country music with John Reischman and the Jaybirds.

    For this special evening, Nell will be performing backed by a smokin' band with: John Reischman, mandolin; Jim Nunally, guitar, slide steel; Nick Hornbuckle, banjo, brushes; Greg Spatz, fiddle; and Trisha Gagnon, string bass.

    The concert will include a live, radio show appearance by The Henriettas (Nell and Cary Sheldon), a revival of the 1930's sister's act, the Dezurik Sisters (whose barnyard novelty yodeling has tugged at our hearts and become an obsession) complete with a 1930's style radio announcer.

     

    George Cole Quintet, The Fishtank Ensemble

    March 6, 2010

    We present a high energy evening of 'cross-pollinated gypsy music' and American influenced gypsy jazz, celebrating the centennial of the great jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt.

    George Cole combines his crooning jazz vocals with Django inspired guitar work and Gershwin, Mercer and Porter inspired compositions, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the Hot Club of Paris. With Julian Smedley's soaring, Stephane Grapelli like violin, the quintet is 'a must see for any fan of vintage jazz.' --Guitar Player Magazine

    With their unique blend of Romanian, Gypsy jazz, Flamenco, Balkan, Turkish and Tango, the Fishtank Ensemble presents what LA Weekly hailed as 'cross-pollinated gypsy music' and 'one of the most thrilling live acts on the planet.' Tackling everything from French hot jazz to flamenco to wild Serbian and Transylvanian gypsy anthems, the group features French fiddler Fabrice Martinez (who got his start gigging around Europe with a horse drawn caravan), flamenco guitar master El Douje, punk accordionist Aaron Seeman and vocalist/musical saw player Ursula Knudson.

     

    SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with Jackstraw, Crooked Jades, Black Crown String Band

    February 19, 2010

    SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Fest — We close out our SFBOT offerings appropriately enough, with an evening of virtuoso bluegrass & vintage old-time music.

    Bluegrass fans round up your cowboy hats and toe tapping shoes. One of the northwest's finest bluegrass bands, Jackstraw (from Portland) features some of the hottest, most amazing pickers to be found anywhere. They play fast and hard (and their driving rhythms are infectious) but the band is best known for its musical depth, feeling, and it's soulful, harmonious vocals. Jackstraw was born when rhythm guitarist Darrin Craig and lead player Jon Neufeld met mandolin picker David Pugh and bassist Jess Withers in 1997. Four records later, the band has toured all over the U.S., playing roadhouses, listening rooms, clubs and festival stages.

    Performing driving dance tunes and haunting ballads with an amazing array of vintage and eclectic instruments, The Crooked Jades are modern innovators in the old-time Americana world, recreating a cinematic sound based on Americana roots infused with the diverse musical influences of Europe and Africa. On a mission to reinvent old world music, they bring their brilliantly surprising arrangements of obscure old tunes mixed with beautiful original compositions to clubs, concert halls, and festivals around the United States and Europe. The lineup for this special performance is Jeff Kazor (vocals, guitar, ukulele), Lisa Berman (vocals, hawaiian slide, banjo, harmonium), Erik Pearson (banjo, Ukulele, harmonium) and Josh Rabie (Fiddle).

    Black Crown Stringband is the latest supergroup to emerge from the fertile San Francisco Bay-Area bluegrass and old-timey scene. Bringing together founding members of the Earl Brothers and the Mercury Dimes, the band first appeared at the 2008 Berkeley Old-Time Convention Stringband Contest where their hard-driving sound earned them first prize. Black Crown combines the best elements of old-time stringband music and Bill Monroe's 'high lonesome' sound to create a unique fusion that is at once old-school and brand new.

     

    SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival with The Wronglers, Fret Not Gospel, Family Lines

    February 13, 2010

    Fret Not plays boot-stomping, old-time roots gospel. Lead by Lori Arthur's fiery singing, with songs from the traditions of America's black and white rural churches, it's as if the Whitstein Brothers and Sister Rosetta Tharpe held a barn dance together. In fact, Lori's grandparents did just that on their New Mexico ranch during the Great Depression. Fret Not brings the old-time gospel to the dispirited and disheartened of modern life, with appearances in prisons, recovery missions, funerals, and at benefits. There is something in the old songs that uplifts our spirit and helps us through life's trials and tribulations.

    The Wronglers have now been performing together for some three-and-a-half years, much to their own amazement. They continue to expand their repertoire to include more original and old-time material. 2010 is going to be a particularly special year for The Wronglers as they have been invited to perform at both SXSW and The Old Settler's Festival in Texas, as well as return to High Mountain Hay Fever in Colorado for a second time. Of note is the fact that one member of The Wronglers is San Francisco's beloved Warren Hellman, founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

    A trio that performs outstanding original music as well as folk, blues, and roots favorites, Family Lines features rich vocal harmonies that blend somewhere beyond the DNA. Led by SFBOT head honcho, Ken Frankel, Family Lines delivers lively and riveting performances that'll get you out of your seats and make you feel like… family.

     

    TANGO No. 9 in Tango for the new decade

    February 12, 2010

    Just in time for Valentine's Day, Tango No. 9 will explore this great Argentinean music in all its myriad forms: classic standards,Êcontemporary experiments, and the revolutionary tango nuevo of Astor Piazzolla, plus waltzes, milongas, and romantic ballads.

    Tango No. 9, with violinist Catharine Clune, trombonist Greg Stephens, and pianist Joshua Raoul Brody will be joined by singer Zoltan Lundy, who's been adding to the group's repertoire for the past year and will premier pieces from the traditional repertoire; accordion wizard Rob Reich of the Nice Guy Trio; and dancers Mila SalazarÊand Count Glover, who will add a dance dimension to several pieces.

     

    ROVA Saxophone Quartet

    February 6, 2010

    We present an evening with improvised/new music greats, Rova, as they premiere works highlighting their signature, seamless blend of improvisation and composition. New pieces will be presented from individual quartet members, as well as new developments in the ongoing group project, The Glass Head - an innovative composition combining improv strategies with open-ended composed elements. Recently Rova has been busy with commissioned works, collaborative projects, touring and recording. This special evening offers a rare opportunity to hear Rova on its own, performing in a friendly, vibrant and ideal acoustic environment.

     

    Glass House, Sharon Knight

    January 30, 2010

    Featuring Mark Vickness (acoustic guitars, harp guitars, and table) and David Worm (vocals and vocal percussion) Glass House performs in an alternative folk genre, combining acoustic guitars and voice in songs that incorporate elements of folk, rock, pop, jazz, and Indian music.

    In addition to his stellar, soulful voice, David Worm is one of today's great, beat-boxing masters. In 1989 he became a founding member of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra ensemble and performs regularly with McFerrin on recordings, videos, and international tours. David is also one of the founding members of the internationally acclaimed A Cappella group SoVoSo, and the innovative improvisational trio WeBe3, where he teams up with vocal powerhouses Rhiannon and Joey Blake. Mark Vickness has written several film and dance scores. His playing focuses exclusively on acoustic, steel string guitars, and harp guitar using original tunings, harmonics, percussive techniques, and looping.

    'The group's songs mix matters of the heart while tackling divisive cultural issues such as racism, using music as a unifying force.' -East Bay Express

    With her spirited Celtic vocals, Sharon Knight opens the performance.

     

    Red-hot & Blue

    January 9, 2010

    With their thrilling arrangements that break down the barriers of traditional a cappella repertoire, Yale University's award winning a cappella group Redhot & Blue has been blowing away audiences around the world. This year they will perform at the White House, tour both coasts, plus Japan and the Caribbean. Though rooted in jazz, their repertoire spans a wide variety of genres from calypso to rock.

    'From the compositions of Cole Porter and George Gershwin to those of Thelonius Monk, there is a sense of innovation in every Redhot & Blue moment. The arrangements soar and their voices thrive at the soul and center of the music.' --A Cappella Party

    Don't miss this NVM Series version of 'glee!

     

    Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

    January 2, 2010

    Music Legend and current Blues Grammy nominee RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT
    'Ramblin' Jack Elliott has been a towering influence on a generation of folk and rock musicians, most notably Bob Dylan.' --The Boston Globe

    One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin' Jack Elliott is considered one of the legendary foundations of folk music. In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today's fancy.

    He was a mentor to Bob Dylan as Woody Guthrie was to him. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters.

    Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree. So it's fitting that he has just received his first Grammy nomination in the Traditional Blues category for his album, A Stranger Here. (He has 3 previous folk Grammy nominations and won for his South Coast album). He won the National Medal of Arts award and was honored with a special dinner at the White House. Recently the award-winning film The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack introduced a new generation to his timeless music and yarns.

    We are honored to have this national treasure start our concert year.

     

    2009

    • January 3. RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT, Corinne West. The folk music legend returns. Mentored by Woody Guthrie, Jack is one of the key artists responsible for the worldwide embrace of American folk music starting in the 60s.
    • January 17: CULANN'S HOUNDS & THE EARL BROTHERS. Irish & American roots music meet head-on in a rollicking evening.
    • January 30: BRUCE FORMAN presents The Red Guitar. The dazzling jazz guitarist has created a one-man show that explores the psychology and spirituality of music.
    • January 31: MANRING KASSIN DARTER. With bassist Michael Manring, pianist Tom Darter and flutist Larry Kassin; these three improvised-music virtuosos combine jazz, world, rock, folk, avant-garde & classical music.
    • February 7: SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival: Original CROOKED JADES Reunion, HUCLEBERRY FLINT, WATER TOWER STRING BAND. For the first time in 6 years the original Crooked Jades lineup of Jeff Kazor, Lisa Berman, Stephanie Prausnitz and Tom Lucas are joined by Erik Pearson and Megan Adie, playing brilliantly surprising arrangements of Old-Time music with driving energy and thrilling innovation.
    • February 13: SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival: LAURIE LEWIS & KATHY KALLICK ...Together. SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival: Two Bay Area Bluegrass greats perform with their own bands and together.
    • February 14: SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival: The DEL WILLIAMS BAND, BLUE & LONESOME, Homespun Rowdy. The final night of the SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival features a salute to the classic bluegrass style popularized by the First Generation founders of the 40s & 50s.
    • March 28: Winter Flowers, Eagle Winged Palace, Randazzo Robinson
    • April 4: jazz vocalist Kendra Shank & Quartet
    • April 18: AUSTRALIAN BEBOP RAGAS. Celebrating the release of their first CD, Snakes and Ladders this extraordinary and innovative trio weaves together intriguing elements from far-flung corners of the globe to create an adventurous musical hybrid.
    • April 25: Gospel Night with Fret Not Gospel & Rev. Roland Pollard & Friends.
      Lead by Lori Arthur's intense and fiery singing, Fret Not plays old-time, boot-stomping, roots gospel with songs from the traditions of America's white and black rural churches.
    • May 2: TANGO No. 9 & Zoltan Lundy -- with dance performances by Mila Salazar and her troupe!
    • May 9: The Bittersweets. Originally based in SF, the popular alt folk-pop duo makes a much anticipated return to celebrate their new CD, Goodnight San Francisco.
    • May 15: From Germany, Harmony Sweepstakes winners: VOCALDENTE -- plus Stephen Saxon. In the past two years, Vocaldente has won international vocal competitions in Austria, Finland, Taiwan and the US.
    • June 6: Merle Kessler & Joshua Raoul Brody present Another Evening of Song
      Our annual extravaganza, as 25 different singers (some well-known, some ...not so much) each perform a song of their choice, accompanied by J. Raoul Brody & The Experimental Love Orchestra.
    • June 20: JAMES CARAN, The FOLK OPERA by ANNIE BACON
      Performer/composer James Caran's music draws from rock, world, folk and jazz idioms. With his clear voice and fine guitar playing, his sound is sophisticated yet soulful.
    • June 27: The Baguette Quartette. French chanteuse Odile Levault leads this ensemble, the only one in North America dedicated to performing the Parisian cafe music of the 20s, 30s and 40s.
    • July 11: MANRING KASSIN DARTER --live concert recording. Performing 'chamber music for the new millennium,' Manring Kassin Darter has been astounding audiences for the last ten years with amazing chops, quiet soul and diverse compositions.
    • August 14: Bluegrass Blowout with: Spring Creek, Belle Monroe and her Brewglass Boys and Black Crown String Band. Three high energy Bluegrass Bands perform in a special Noe Valley Bluegrass evening.
    • October 2: David Grisman Quintet flutist Matt Eakle with The Matt Eakle Band. One of the world's top improvising flutists, Matt Eakle performs 'flute-fired fusion' with his quartet, featuring bassist Alex Baum, drummer Jack Dorsey and pianist Joey Edelman.
    • October 10: STELLAMARA — CD release concert. Those who favor Balkan, Medieval, Persian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish or Far Eastern music will find themselves transported by the free flowing music.
    • October 24: Kora (African Harp) master PRINCE DIABATE & Band. Hailed as 'the Jimi Hendrix of the Kora' for his lightning-quick, percussive technique, Prince Diabate brings in his acoustic trio, featuring Ken Rosser on guitar and Linda Albertano on bolon (traditional bass) and gongoman (thumb piano), for his first SF performance in four years.
    • November 20: Two time Grammy winner JIM LAUDERDALE. With successes in both bluegrass and country music, international recording artist Jim Lauderdale won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the first Honors and Awards Show held by the Americana Music Association in 2002.
    • November 21: HOUSTON JONES -- CD release concert. One of the smokinest roots bands around, most of the members of Houston Jones got their start as members of the Waybacks.
    • November 27-28: THE BOOKS, Manring Kassin Darter. The Books, a.k.a. Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong, didn't invent the audio collage, but they have perfected the idea of incorporating found sound into their music.
    • December 5: British acoustic guitar legend ADRIAN LEGG, with Teja Gerken. British guitar wizard and one of the world's greatest finger-style guitar players, British guitar wizard Adrian Legg returns for a rare San Francisco performance.

    2008

    JD SOUTHER, April Smith, ROY ZIMMERMAN, STEVIE COYLE, THE STAIRWELL SISTERS, THE CREOLE BELLES, Geoff and Dan Hoyle, The GAS MEN, Merle (Ian Shoales) Kessler & Joshua (Raoul) Brody in SLOUCHING TOWARDS DISNEYLAND, LED KAAPANA, MIKE KAAWA, BAGUETTE QUARTETTE, moira smiley & VOCO w/Keith Terry & Evie Laden, Mimi Fox, Merle Kessler & Joshua Raoul Brody present Another EVENING OF SONG, Peppino D'Agostino, Vienna Teng, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Tango No. 9 with Mila Salazar & Dancers, Houston Jones, WILL DURST plus special guests, The PETER ROWAN BLUEGRASS BAND, ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON, JACKSTRAW, THE WRONGLERS, FRET NOT, the Stairwell Sisters, the Crooked Jades, Spring Creek, MICHAEL MANRING, EDO CASTRO & YVES CARBONNE, Lindsay Mac, Steve Seskin, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Mike Beck.

    2007

    Ya Elah & Miriam Peretz, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, BRUCE BARTHOL, Iva Bittova, KIHNOUA w/Larry Ochs & TIPS Trio, Ben Goldberg, Scott Amendola & Devin Hoff, MARTY EHRLICH & MYRA MELFORD Duo, Jeffrey Halford, Chris Donohoe, Keith Greeninger, PETER FINGER, TEJA GERKEN, STEVE BAUGHMA, Sasha Dobson, SWELL SEASON w/GLEN HANSARD & MARKETA IRGLOVA, Dave McGraw, The Baguette Quartette, ZA'ATAR: Music of the Jews of Arab & Muslim Lands, COUNTRY JOE McDONALD'S Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, ELIO VILLAFRANCA w/Babatunde Lea, Howard Wiley and Jeff Brennan, BILL EVANS String Summit, TANGO No. 9 & Dancers, SLAVYANKA Men's Russian Chorus, KRIS DELMHORST, Ana Egge, PETER ROWAN BLUEGRASS BAND, ALHAMBRA VALLEY BAND, JACKSTRAW, THE STAIRWELL SISTERS, THE WRONGLERS, TIN HAT, ADRIAN LEG, MANRING KASSIN DARTER, RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT, Jeffrey Halford.

    2006

    KITKA presents WINTERSONGS, GEOFF HOYLE & DANIEL HOYLE, The BETH CUSTER ENSEMBLE, JEFFREY HALFORD & The Healers, JIM BRUNBERG (BOX SET), CHRIS DONOHOE, PEPPINO D'AGOSTINO & ENRIQUE CORIA, TANGO No. 9 & Dancers in Tango, The Baguette Quartette, Boulder Acoustic Society, Iron & the Albatross, Hot Club of Berkeley, Larry Reed's Shadow Light Theater, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, THOTH, HOYLE & HOYLE, San Francisco Guitar Summit with TEJA GERKEN, SAN FRANCISCO GUITAR QUARTET, ADAM LEVY & WILL BERNARD DUO, JOHN SANTOS performs 'Rhythmic Stories', KITKA Women's Vocal Ensemble presents SPIRIT VOICES, BILL FRISELL'S Ensemble performs Probability Cloud created with visual artist, JIM WOODRING, BALINESE SHADOW THEATER -- Performed by LARRY REED, Jeffrey Halford & The Healers, MANRING KASSIN DARTER & RAY MANZAREK & MICHAEL McCLURE, THE DREW EMMITT BAND, DONNER MOUNTAIN BLUEGRASS BAND, TH LITTLE & JIM NUNALLY, BELLE MONROE & HER BREWGLASS BOYS, PETER ROWAN w/Sharon Gilchrist, Boulder Acoustic Society, The PAPERMILL CREEK ROUNDERS, KLEPTOGRASS, HIGH COUNTRY, TANGO No. 9 & Tango Con*Fusion, Ray Manzarek & Michael McClure --- with Larry Kassin, Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

    2005

    THE KLEZ- X, Eric Andersen & SONiA, CASCADA de FLORES, The Stairwell Sisters with Smith & Jones, and Keith Terry, SLAMMIN all-body band, Brian Gore & Juan Martine, MAMADOU DIABATE & WALTER STRAUSS, NATASHA MILLER & JAMIE DAVIS, JEFFREY HALFORD & the Healers, THE PINE BOX BOYS, Box Set Duo, Adrian Legg, Prince Diabate & Band, the Baguette Quartette, CUARTETO DOS ALAS with John Santos, Orestes Vilato, Elio Villafranca & John Benitez, Za'atar, Tango No. 9, Crooked Still, Jeff Kazor & The Swerve Beats, Marley's Ghost, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Maria Marquez with John Santos & Larry Vukovich, Ganesh Kumar & Ensemble, The Peter Rowan / Tony Rice Quartet, The Greencards, Jackstraw, Crooked Still, Matt Bauer, John Reischman & The Jaybirds, Due West, Bill Frisell's 858 Quartet featuring Hank Roberts, Eyvind Kang & Jenny Scheinman, Rafe Stefanini, The Shiftless Rounders, Kenny Hall & the Long Haul String Band, Box Set Duo plus Corinne West w/James Nash, Manring Kassin Darter, Ramblin' Jack Elliott plus Sonia.

    2004

    A Celtic Christmas Concert with Todd Denman, Kyle Thayer & friends, A Chanukah celebration with Davka, Mamadou Diabate with Walter Strauss, Tango No. 9 with the Tango Con*Fusion Dancers, Peter Lang, Dale Miller, and Teja Gerken, the music of Phil Ochs with SONiA of disappear fear, Greg Greenway, Magpie, Kim & Reggie Harris, Pat Humphries & Sandy O, David Roth, Tom Prasada-Rao, John Flynn, hosted by Sonny Ochs with Eric Anderson, The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld and Other Fresh American Art Songs --set to music by Bryant Kong, The Incredible String Band, Espers, The California Guitar Trio, 'Dance When You're Broken Open', a poetry concert with Jami Sieber, Kim Rosen, Michaelle Goerlitz & Rhiannon, Terry Riley & Larry Karush, Shana Morrison & Band, Box Set Duo plus Hyim, Rachel Grimes (from Rachel's) plus Brightblack, The Baguette Quartet, The San Francisco Klezmer Experience, Cyril Pahinui & Patrick Landeza, The Palm Wine Boys, Jewels and Binoculars, Leni Stern w/George Brooks, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, The Crooked Jades and Los Cenzontles, Larry Karush, Chirgilchin, Stephen Kent, Danny Heines, Sarymai Urchimaev, Manring Kassin Darter, Jeanrenaud, Masaoka, Ochs, Peppino D'Agostino and Duck Baker.

    and many more since 1981…