Every now and then, an event at the Red Poppy Art House has popped up on this site, usually as part of a “Bleeding Edge” column. The fact is that there is considerable diversity in the offerings they present, and one is as likely to encounter an innovative approach to the string quartet repertoire as the latest in free jazz improvisation. As the Facebook Events site seems to be gradually easing press releases out of the picture, I realized that this venue deserves more than occasional notice; and I am hoping that I shall be able to provide “batch” summaries similar to those I have been trying to provide for the Center for New Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM).
The Red Poppy is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street. Tickets are usually available at the door, and selected events allow for advance sales. The doors usually open half an hour before the performance begins. Those who have not previously been there need to know that the Red Poppy is a small space. Even if tickets have been purchased in advance, it is almost always a good idea to be there when the doors open. Here are the specifics for the events scheduled for the remainder to this month, beginning this evening:
Thursday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.: Subhi is a singer, songwriter, and composer born in Chicago. As a music-maker she is highly eclectic, drawing upon her Indian roots, Chicago, an ongoing interest in the pop scene, and just about anything else she experiences. This will be her debut at the Red Poppy; and she will use it to perform selections from her debut album Shaitaan Dil (naughty heart), consisting of songs composed during her travels between Mumbai and Chicago. In addition, she is currently producing an Indian jazz album and will preview some of its tracks. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25. A limited number of tickets will be available in advance for $20 online through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
Friday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.: The Circadian String Quartet, whose members are violinists Sarah Wood and David Ryther, violist Omid Assadi, and cellist David Wishnia, will present a full concert recital entitled Songs in the Key of Home. The idea behind the title will be presentation of three string quartets, each of which reflects a different way of experiencing home: coming home, paying tribute to home, and watching with alarm as a homeland erupts in strife and division. The compositions to be played have not yet been announced specifically; but the composers will be Antonín Dvořák, Sahba Aminikia, and Philip Glass. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Saturday, September 16, 7 p.m.: Following their afternoon outdoor performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” for the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Brooklyn Raga Massive will head down to the Red Poppy. Their program will be more in the spirit of their Raga Music Jam Sessions, which are inspired by Indian Classical Music and the instruments involved in performing that music. The group will be led by co-founder Sameer Gupta on percussion. The other performers will be Jay Gandhi on bansuri, Neel Murgai sitar, and Michael Gam in bass. The group will be joined by several special guest artists whose names have not yet been announced. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Thursday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.: This will be a concert by the Bay Area jazz quartet Zona Blu. Steve Teich plays both alto saxophone and flute with a rhythm section consisting of Jim Wasco on piano, David Kaufer on guitar, and Greg Galli on drums. This is an eclectic group whose interests include Latin jazz, funk, and swing. They will be joined by vocalist Suzanne Kramer. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Friday, September 22, 7:30 p.m.: The Los Angeles-based trio Homenaje will present a program entitled Different Cultures, Universal Emotions. Members are Will Brahm on guitar, Chris Wabich on percussion, and Ross Schodek on bass. Their primary influences are Cuban and African music; but they are also well-grounded in jazz, classical, and folk. They will probably perform selections from their new album, La Mariposa y el Mentiroso (the butterfly and the liar). Dina Zarif will appear as guest vocalist. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Saturday, September 23, 7:30 p.m.: Another take on Latin influences will be presented by the Maracujá duo in a program entitled A Musical Journey Around Latin America. The players are guitarist Terrence Rosnagle and Caitlin Belem, who plays a variety of instruments and also serves as vocalist. Both of them have impressively broad eclectic interests, but they will come together on a single focus in this program. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Sunday, September 24, 2 p.m.: One final nod to Afro-Cuban influences will be the Monthly Community Rumba. The band for this gig will be Rumberos de Radio Habana. This will be a free afternoon of beat-making, hip-shaking, and good company.
Thursday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.: The next classical offering will be a duo recital by Russian cellist Yulia Fomicheva and Polish pianist Joanna Rozewska. Both are SFCM alumna, as well as international competition winners. Once again, the specific program has not yet been announced. However, the composers to be represented will include Frédéric Chopin, Nikolai Myaskovsky, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Friday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.: Irish Fission will be a program led by Irish violinist and composer Colm Ó Riain. His interests, however, are decidedly global, drawing on jazz, blues, and music from the Roma, India, Cuba, and Brazil. He is also an accomplished and fiery improviser in many different genres, as well as a vocalist. He will perform with a rhythm section of Joe Kyle, Jr. on bass and Geoff van Lienden on guitar. There will also be special guests, whose names have not yet been announced. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25, and tickets will be sold only at the door.
Saturday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.: Film Scores Without Films will be a program of music by Beth Custer and David James. This will provide an opportunity for Custer’s growling bass clarinet to confront James’ versatile guitar in the context of a bed of grooves provided by Scott Amendola on drums and Jordan Glasgow on keyboard. Expect these original compositions to be embellished by adventurous spontaneous improvisations. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25, and tickets will be sold only at the door.