At a glance ….

Women in Jazz – at SFJAZZ

While Dee Dee Bridgewater is wowing audiences in the Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ this week, there are plenty of great things going on in the Joe Henderson Lab as well.

Thursday evening, September 7, sees two sessions by young saxophonist and vocalist Grace Kelly, hailed as “the future of jazz” by NPR. A seven-time winner of the DownBeat Critics Poll, she’s led nine full-length albums, and appeared on stage with names such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington at the Kennedy Center’s 15th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

The Grace Kelly performances are for SFJAZZ members only.

Violinist Jenny Scheinman and composer and pianist Myra Melford  make a rare appearance together in the Joe Henderson Lab on Friday, September 8. The New York Times has showered both with praise – describing Jenny Scheinman as “a key arrival to jazz, an outsider with a voice and ideas”, and referring to Myra Melford as “one of the most interesting and underrated pianists in jazz today”.

Kris Davis, appearing in the Joe Henderson Lab on Saturday evening, has been named by DownBeat as “one of the top 25 upcoming artists that will shape the direction of jazz for decades to come”. Playing music which has been likened to the meeting point of jazz improvisation and 20th century classical composition, she’s been described by Jason Moran as “A free-thinking, gifted pianist …. she tackles prepared piano, minimalism, and jazz standards, all under one umbrella.”

Sunday September 10, features two sessions by the Cosa Nostra Strings.  A spin-off of Adam Theis’ Jazz Mafia, this group of classically-trained musicians – Shaina Evoniuk (violin), Keith Lawrence (viola), Lewis Pazner (cello), with Adam Theis on trombone and bass, and Aaron Kierbel on cajon and percussion – produces a distinctive sound, delivering a mix of chamber music, funk and jazz, with what SFJAZZ describes as a “punk-rock personality”.

For more information on all these performances, and for tickets, visit the SFJAZZ website.

San Francisco Ballet rehearses for Unbound LIVE

San Francisco Ballet is introducing a fascinating concept to its 2018 season. Entitled Unbound: A Festival of New Works, this initiative, spread over four programs, features 12 world premieres by some of the world’s most creative choreographers – such as David Dawson, Alonzo King, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Dwight Rhoden, Myles Thatcher, Stanton Welch, and Christopher Wheeldon.

The dancers are already in rehearsal for Unbound, and San Francisco Ballet has been presenting a series of live broadcasts of these rehearsals over the past two months. The final one – on Friday, September 8 – features Alonzo King, Cathy Marston and Trey McIntyre putting the dancers through their paces, and can be seen on the SF Ballet Facebook page at 5.30 pm.

The video above was filmed during rehearsals on August 18.

More information on Unbound: A Festival of New Works can be found on the San Francisco Ballet website .

Transcendence Theatre Company celebrates its success

The Transcendence Theatre Company completes its 2017 season of Broadway concerts this week with a special Gala Celebration at Jack London Historic Park – and the Company has good reason to celebrate. The performers have raised over £351,000 for the Park with their Broadway Under the Stars concerts this summer, playing to over 110,000 people. Transcendence Artistic Director, Amy Miller, says they’ll end this season “with an intimate twist on our audience’s favorite performance of the summer” – a mix of Broadway and popular music, including community tributes and reflections.

The performances take place in the 150-year-old Winery Ruins at Jack London Historic Park in Sonoma, from September 8 to 10. For more information visit the Transcendence Theatre website .

San Francisco Opera in the Park

A scene from San Francisco Chronicle Presents Opera in the Park 2016 – photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

In another open-air performance, San Francisco Chronicle Presents Opera in the Park on Sunday, September 10, the traditional admission-free Bay Area presentation celebrating the opening of the San Francisco Opera Season.

Led by Music Director Nicola Luisotti, the performance is hosted by Matthew Shilvock, General Director of San Francisco Opera, and features artists from the Company’s Fall Season – tenor Brian Jagde and soprano Toni Marie Palmertree, stars of the season-opening production of Puccini’s Turandot; mezzo-soprano Jill Grove and bass-baritone Alfred Walker from the cast of Richard Strauss’ Elektra; soprano Aurelia Florian, tenor Atalla Ayan and baritone Artur Ruciński from Verdi’s La Traviata; and San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow sopranos Sarah Cambidge and Amina Edris, and tenors Pene Pati and Kyle van Schoonhoven.

Bring the family – and a picnic – to Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Sunday September 10 at 1.30 pm and enjoy some of the finest opera music around – all completely free. More details can be found on the San Francisco Opera website.



SFJAZZ and Artists’ websites

Transcendence Theatre website

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Opera

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