Friday, December 22, 2017

Two Final End-of-Year Gigs at the Poppy

Readers may recall that the article about December performances at the Red Poppy Art House covered only the first half of the month. Nevertheless, I began my account of the December 15 program with “If this turns out to be the final concert of the year.” Word then came out about a concert on December 16; and now “it turns out” that there will be two concerts on two consecutive nights that really will ring out the old year.

The Red Poppy is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street on the southwest corner of 23rd Street. Both of these shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. Those who have not previously been to the Poppy need to know that it is a small space. It is almost always a good idea to be there when the doors open one half-hour before the performance is scheduled to begin. Admission at the door will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20. The Web pages for both of the events claim that information will be added regarding purchasing tickets in advance. Here are the specifics for the two remaining events in December, each with a hyperlink to the Web page that may subsequently provide information regarding advance purchase:

Friday, December 29: This program will see the return of the Peruvian duo of Alejandro and María Laura, both of whom are singer-songwriters. They will perform selections from their third and latest album La casa no existe (the house does not exist). All instrumental accompaniment will be acoustic. Each new song will be performed as it was first conceived. There will also be tunes from the duo’s two previous albums.

Alejandro and María Laura (courtesy of the Red Poppy Art House)

Saturday, December 30: The final concert of the year will see a shift from Peru to Greece. Vocalist Ruth Hunter, who also plays accordion, and her husband vocalist Christos Govetas (bouzouki and clarinet) created the Pasatempo Rebetika ensemble. Their intention was to present the urban heart and soul of Greek rebetika music with authenticity and depth. The group has become a family affair including daughter Eleni on both bass and violin and son Bobby on bass and bağlama (a Turkish instrument from the lute family). The remaining member of the group is guitarist Nick Maroussis. “Pasatempo” is the Italian noun for “pastime;” so this evening is likely to be a Greek reflection on the Tudor spirit of “pastime with good company.”

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