Affordable, high-quality, cultural and music programs in San Francisco; classical music, chamber music, opera, broadway, piano, jazz, theater

2020 Jazz and World Music

Klezmer-Jazz Project: Alon Nechushtan Jazz Quartet

Date: Friday March 6, 7:30 p.m.

Alon Nechushtan’s music adventures has brought him to various far corners of the globe such as the Yokohama ‘Rejoicing Sounds’ Festival in Japan with his contemporary orchestral compositions, The Manila Cultural Center of the Arts, with his Clarinet Concerto for the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sao-Paolo Brazil Jewish Music Festival with his groove based Quintet Talat, Toronto and Montreal with his words beyond Jazz Trio and Tel Aviv New Music Biannale with his Compositions for Large Ensemble.

Resident of New York City, Alon has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Central Park Summer Stage, The Blue Note Jazz Club and the Kennedy Center with his projects as a band leader of various groups or as an in demand sideman. in October 2015 the kennedy Center has comissioned from Alon Nechushtan a new piece for Billy Strayhorn Centennial Celebration, following by a Far East tour in China and Phillipines, along with Jazz Festivals in Belo Horizonte-Brazil, Israel. In 2017 the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C has commissioned from Alon Nechushtan a new program of Thelonious Monk’s less known compositions.
All About Jazz magazine called him “A fantastic pianist-composer with abundant chemistry and boundless eclectisism”, while DownBeat Magazine recognizes “A talent to watch, with a surfeit of ideas, an unbridled spirit and bold,two-fisted sense of Architecture”.

Duo SF

Date: Saturday March 7, 7:30 p.m.

DuoSF is quickly becoming recognized as one of America’s most promising young guitar ensembles. In a review of their debut CD, Classical Guitar Magazine wrote, “effortlessly played”, and “this interpretation is one of the very best I have heard…an outstanding recording of some lovely music in superb performances beautifully captured. One to hunt for!” Recent concerts have taken their exciting and engaging programs on tours of Southeast Asia with appearances in Indonesia, Malayisa and Thailand to the Kravis Center’s young artist’s series, the Musikfest Festival in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and to many guitar and chamber music series throughout California.

With a deep belief in the power of the arts and the need for artists to rise up as entrepreneurs and advocates for their craft, Robert and Christopher co-founded The California Conservatory of Music in 2011. The school currently enriches and empowers the lives of over 400 students and families in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2012, DuoSF founded The Peninsula Guitar Series, a concert series that brings international talent to the Bay Area to present concerts and masterclasses.

Laura Klein Trio

Date: Saturday March 21, 7:30 p.m.

Laura Klein (pianist/composer) classically trained but deeply steeped in the jazz tradition, has been influenced by the writing of Thelonius Monk, Wayne Shorter, Fred Hersch and Joanne Brackeen. She has recorded her own compositions with FivePlay Jazz Quintet, Triceratops, and vibraphonist Ted Wolff. Laura has appeared with her trio at numerous venues including SF Jazz and Piedmont Piano Company, and was featured on KCSM’s “In the Moment” and “Desert Island Jazz”.  She co-leads FivePlay Jazz Quintet, and leads a busy performing schedule appearing with numerous Bay Area luminaries.

Matt Renzi Quartet

Date: Friday May 15, 7:30 p.m.

Multi-reedist Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. For the past decade, he has been recognized multiple times by jazz organizations in Italy, Spain, Belgium, India and Israel as well as in the United States for his advanced concepts in spontaneous group composition and collective improvisation with The Matt Renzi Trio. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Some of his teachers include Joe Henderson and South Indian Vocalist R.A. Ramamani.

Matt can be heard on a variety of recordings including the award winning “Lines and Ballads” (Fresh Sound Records) as well as his latest release entitled “Lunch Special” (Three P’s Records) which features his trio. Matt has been leading his NY based trio for over 13 years now and continues to use this formation to push the limits of group improvisation and composition. He also leads another project, which combines contemporary classical composition techniques and spontaneous improvisation. As a sideman, Matt has performed and recorded with Marc Johnson, Michael Formanek, Eddie Marshall, Herbie Lewis, Ben Monder, Eberhard Weber, and Bobo Stenson.

Fantastic Landscape: Benji Kaplan and Rita Figueiredo transfix with bright, nuanced portraits of a hidden Brazil

Date: Saturday September 12, 7:30 p.m

Benji & Rita: Brazilian music has a keen ability to tie the magical and surreal with the grounded and historical. New York-based composer Benji Kaplan and Brazilian singer and songwriter Rita Figueiredo pick up that vibrating, multicolored thread and weave it into fantastical new portraits of Brazil and New York on Benji & Rita (release: May 10, 2019), their album-length debut as a duo.

Cinematic and refined, Benji & Rita channels the scents and sounds, the flora and fauna of the couple’s homelands, drawing on everything from samba and baião, to waltzes and pop catchiness, much as Brazilian popular composers have over the last five decades.

Brazzissimo!

Date: Saturday October 10, 7:30 p.m.

BRAZZISSIMO is a ten-piece brass chamber music ensemble.  You may well ask, “What exactly is a brass chamber ensemble?”  Well, it’s a fascinating combination of four trumpets (including piccolo trumpet, various pitched trumpets and flugelhorn), four trombones (including euphonium), French horn and a tuba which comprise this captivating and exciting music ensemble. 

We perform a variety of music especially arranged or composed for this brass ensemble medium, all of which include arrangements of classical, jazz, Latin and contemporary works. 

​Our musicians, past and present, represent some of the finest brass players in the San Francisco Bay Area region.  In addition to our ensemble’s responsibilities, individually we perform in orchestras, bands, smaller chamber groups, and often freelance.  Our continuing goal is to present the most enjoyable and memorable concert experiences possible.

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