This may well be the busiest week of the year for those with a taste for the adventurous, and things start tonight! Fortunately, many of the events have already been given advance notification. That includes one of the options for tonight, the launch of the 2017 ROOM Series season with Splinter Reeds performing the world premiere of a composition by Theresa Wong. There will also be three notable concerts this week at the Center for New Music (C4NM). Then, of course, there is the three-concerts-in-one-day celebration of the centennial year of the birth of Lou Harrison presented by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players on Saturday. Finally, two of the choices for Sunday have also already been enumerated. All this is far more than the tip of an iceberg, but there is still a generous amount of iceberg that remains. Here are the remaining specifics:
Monday, April 17, 7 p.m., Adobe Books: This will be the next installment in the monthly music series curated by Ben Tinker. As was the case last month, this will be a three-set evening. The first set will be taken by composer Luciano Chessa, whose work is as imaginative as it is diverse. Details have not yet been provided, so be prepared to expect anything! He will be followed by the Ctrl-Z trio of Ryan Page, Daniel Steffey, and Nick Wang, which is dedicated to the performance of music for live electronics composed by others. Such composers include John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, and Alvin Lucier. They also perform their own compositions. The program will then conclude with the DunkelpeK duo of percussionist Nava Dunkelman and Jakob Pek on guitar, piano, and any other instrument that may take his fancy.
Adobe Books is located at 3130 24th Street in the Mission. The gig is free. However, donations will go directly to the performing artists and are strongly encouraged.
Wednesday, April 19, 9 p.m., PianoFight: This will be a two-set evening of progressive rock and original mind-altering jazz. Reconnaissance Fly is a quintet that describes itself as “a band of goofball composers and superhero sidemen creating prog rock nerd jazz outside the recommended cheese.” The members are Brett Carson on keyboards, Rich Lesnik playing clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano and tenor saxophones, Polly Moller on flutes and guitar, as well as vocals, Larry the O on drums, and Tim Walters on bass guitar and electronics. Sources for lyrics come from Linear A inscriptions, the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon, and concert reviews. They will be followed by the Actual Trio, which also takes jazz as a point of departure and heads off in its own source of unlikely directions. Members are guitarist John Schott, bassist Dan Seamans, and drummer John Hanes.
PianoFight is a theater complex. However, there is a restaurant and a bar at the front entrance; and this serves as a cabaret space, which is probably where these two groups will perform. PianoFight is located on the eastern edge of the Tenderloin at 144 Taylor Street (about a block north of C4NM and on the other side of the street). As is the case at Adobe Books, there is no charge for admission; but seating is for customers of the restaurant and bar. Donations will be collected for the performing artists.
Thursday, April 20, 8 p.m., Luggage Store Gallery: This will be the first of two Outsound Presents concerts begin given this week. This one is the latest installment of the Luggage Store Creative Music Series. It will be a two-set evening of free improvisation with each set lasting a little less than an hour. The first set will be taken by a quartet that calls itself Jason’s Instructions. The members are Ben Zucker on trumpet, Ben Westfall on guitar, Leo Tracey on bass, and Joe Orimo on drums. Rent Romus will then be featured in the second set, playing alto, C melody, and soprano saxophones. Rhythm will be provided by Alex Cohen on guitar and Donald Robinson on drums. The Luggage Store Gallery is at 1007 Market Street, directly across from the Golden Gate Theatre at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Taylor Street. As always admission will be on a sliding scale between $6 and $15.
Saturday–Sunday, April 22–23, afternoon and evening, Gray Area: Gray Area Art and Technology will present a two-day festival entitled Don Buchla Memorial Concerts. This will be a celebration and remembrance of electronic music and design pioneer Don Buchla. Gray Area will be assisted by Recombinant Media Labs, Buchla & Associates, and Obscura Digital in presenting this festival. There will be two evening concerts, both beginning at 7 p.m. There will also be shorter programs presented during the course of each afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. Participation will be vast and diverse, to say the least. Gray Area has created a Web page with details for all events.
The Gray Area Art And Technology Theater is located in the Mission at 2665 Mission Street. As might be guessed, there are a variety of ticketing options, all of which are accommodated online by a single Resident Advisor Web page. A Weekend Pass for all afternoon and evening events is only available online for $45. Similarly, there are All Day Passes for both Saturday and Sunday, both of which are also only available online for $33. Tickets for the evening concerts will be sold at the door for $30 (for each concert); but the Web-based advance purchase price will be $25. Similarly, a pass for all afternoon events on either Saturday or Sunday will be available at the door for $12 but will be $10 if purchased in advance. Finally, there will be a Student Discount for an All Day Pass that will cover either Saturday or Sunday. These will require identification at the door and will be sold for $20.
Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Bird and Beckett Books and Records: This will be Seamans’ second gig of the week. This time he will be playing bass for The Lost Trio, whose other members are Phillip Greenlief on tenor saxophone and tom hassett on drums. This group maintains an ongoing collaboration project in which they invite others to expand their trio sound. On this particular occasion, there will be two such special guests, guitarist scott foster and Cory Wright on a diversity of woodwinds.
Gigs at Bird and Beckett usually consist of two sets. The shop is located at 653 Chenery Street, a short walk from the Glen Park station for both Muni and BART. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated. The collections of both books and records are pretty impressive, so making a purchase will also be looked upon with great favor!
Saturday, April 22, 8 p.m., Community Music Center (CMC): This will be the latest installment in the Jazz in the Neighborhood concert series. It will be a performance by a quartet led jointly by Jon Jang on piano and Francis Wong on saxophone. Rhythm will be provided by Gary Brown on bass and Deszon Claiborne on drums. The concert will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Asian American Improv Arts, founded by both Wong and Jang. The performance, which will feature music of resistance and a treatment of Chinese folk music in a black music context, will be the first part of of the program. It will be followed by a panel in which Wong and Jang will reflect on the past thirty years of their efforts, joined by Deborah Wong, author of Speak It Louder: Asian American Making Music.
The performance will take place in the CMC Concert Hall, which is located at 544 Capp Street, between Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue and between 20th Street and 21st Street. Admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the hyperlink to this concert on the Jazz in the Neighborhood events Web page.
Sunday, April 23, 2 p.m., The Nunnery: Tom Nunn will go back to his more familiar schedule of opening up his garage for performances on a Sunday afternoon. This particular occasion will be a celebration of the release of a new CD by Ghost In The House. Nunn plays his invented instruments in this group. He is joined by percussionist Karen Stackpole (who has a special interest in gongs), Kyle Bruckmann on double-reed instruments, David Michalak on lap steel guitar, John Ingle on saxophones, Polly Moller on bass flute, and vocalist Dean Santomieri. The Nunnery is located in the Mission at 3016 25th Street. Admission will be by a $10 donation.
Sunday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., The Musicians Union Hall: The next SIMM (Static Illusion Methodical Madness) Series concert offered by Outsound Presents will follow the usual two-set format. The first set will be taken by The Hung Professionals, a trio led by Tom Weeks on alto saxophone with rhythm provided by Nathan Corder on guitar and Scott Siler on drums. They will be followed by the Koskinen Trio led by Heikki Koskinen on both piano and digitally-enhanced e-trumpet. He will be joined by Robinson and Romus, both following up on Thursday’s Luggage Store gig.