Thursday, August 9, 2018

Red Poppy Art House: September, 2018

Usually, I wait until roughly a week before the end of the month before taking stock of the performances planned by the Red Poppy Art House for the next month. However, as readers have observed, September is the month when many performing arts organizations begin their respective seasons; so the month, taken as a whole, tends to be a very busy time of the year. As of today, only three concerts in September are on the Upcoming Events Web page; but by now readers should be used to the fact that this Web page will grow incrementally as more information becomes available. As usual I shall use my Facebook shadow site to provide notification of any changes to this Web page. To review the basics, the Red Poppy is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street on the southwest corner of 23rd Street. Unless stated otherwise, tickets will be available in advance online through Eventbrite. As a result, the dates provided below will be hyperlinked to the Eventbrite event pages for purchasing tickets.

Given the demand for these concerts, it is often the case that only a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Remember, the Poppy is a small space. Even those who have purchased their tickets in advance should probably make it a point to be there when the doors open one half-hour before the performance is scheduled to begin. Here are the specifics for the currently planned events:

[added 8/17, 4:45 a.m.:

Saturday, September 1, 7:30 p.m.: Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and educator Kyle Blaze began playing guitar in 1990. However, twenty years later he encountered his first ukulele and has been hooked on the instrument ever since. His comic approach to stage presence has made him a crowd-pleasing entertainer; and he has also established himself through his teaching skills. He will lead his Call Me Blaze quartet in a program entitled World Ukulele Soul Project. The program will take in the genres of bossa nova, samba, salsa, jazz, funk, and soul. His primary instrument is the electric baritone ukulele. He will be joined by Terrence Brewer on ukulele, as well as guitar and the guitalele “cross-breed” of guitar and ukulele. The percussionist will be Ami Molinelli Hart, and the bass player has not yet been announced. Blaze also plans to have some of his students participate in the performance. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

Sunday, September 2, 7:30 p.m.: The month will begin with a pair of fiddle-guitar duos, both of which have developed a repertoire of traditional Irish music. Adam Agee (fiddle) and Jon Sousa (guitar) will be using the occasion to celebrate the release of their second duo album, Ceol na gCarad, which translates as “music of friendship.” The second duo will consist of Adrianna Ciccone on fiddle and Colin Cotter on guitar. Thus far there is no word on whether the two duos will also join up for four-way jamming; but my guess is that such shared music-making will be likely. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.

Thursday, September 6, 7:30 p.m.: Bassist and composer Petros Klampanis will lead a trio whose other members are Julian Shore on piano and Ofri Nehemya on drums. He describes his music as “Mediterranean jazz;” and it is based on folk influences from both the Mediterranean and the Balkans. He also draws upon both the classical and pop repertoires as sources of influence. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Friday, September 7, 7 p.m.: Violinist Evan Price, who has performed with both the Turtle Island Quartet and the Hot Club of San Francisco, will team up with Ultrafaux, an acoustic trio based in Baltimore. That trio consists of two guitarists, Michael Joseph Harris and Sami Arefin, joined by bass player Zach Serlet. To call Ultrafaux an eclectic combo would be the height of understatement. Their original compositions are inspired by Balkan folk, bebop, swing, French musette, and Brazilian choro. If that were not enough, the quartet will add manouche to the mix with special arrangements of music by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

[added 8/10, 8 a.m.:

Saturday, September 8, 7:30 p.m.Sayat Nvaq Ensemble is a San Francisco Bay Area group that delves into the rich traditions of Eastern Armenian music. The group draws its inspiration equally from the two main pillars of Armenian secular music: the classical troubadour poet traditions of the Ashougs and Gousans—such as Sayat Nova, Ashot, Djivani, and Sheram—as well as the popular regional village music found throughout the countryside. The group includes three vocalists, Khatchadour Khatchadourian, Leslie Bonnett (also on violin), and Briget Boyle (also on harmonium). The remaining two members of the group, Shea A. J. Comfort and Haig Kassabian, play a variety of indigenous instruments. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Sunday, September 9, 7:30 p.m.: The title of this program will be Maracujá: A Journey Around Latin America Through Music. The journey includes genres such as samba, bossa nova, cumbia, and son. Vocalist Caitlin Belem will also perform on a variety of instruments: saxophone, guitar, fiddle, and hand percussion. She will be accompanied by guitarist Terrence Rosnagle. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

[added 8/11, 8:35 a.m.:

Friday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.: Los Angeles-based chanteuse and songwriter Jessica Fichot draws from her multi-ethnic French, Chinese, and American heritage to create an intoxicating multilingual amalgamation of French chanson, 1940s Shanghai jazz, swing, and international folk. She accompanies her vocal work on both accordion and toy piano; and she will be performing with guitarist Adrien Prévost, Sylvain Carton on both clarinet and saxophone, and Ippei Ichimaru on bass. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

[added 8/17, 4:55 a.m.:

Saturday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.: Balkan Folk & Jazz Meets California Avant-Garde will bring together some of the more popular genres in Poppy programming. The Balkan folk and jazz repertoire will be presented by the Triism trio of Levi Saelua on woodwinds, Alex Reiff on bass, and Jim Frink on drums. The avant-garde side will be taken by the Chord Four quartet, which describes themselves as a chord-less ensemble. Their approach to jazz also reflects Balkan influences, as well as those of many other sources. Members are Andrew Conrad (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and melodica), Brandon Sherman (trumpet, flugelhorn, and melodica), Emilio Terranova (bass), and Colin Woodford (percussions and melodica). Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.]

[added 8/14, 7:20 a.m.:

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.: The Levoná Ensemble combines flamenco, Arab, Jewish, and other musical traditions and weaves them together with stories, both ancient and new. The vocalists are Faisal Zedan and Asaf Ophir. Ophir doubles on woodwinds, while Zedan shares percussion work with Josh Mellinger. The flamenco element is provided by guitarist David McLean. The remaining member of the group is Petrick Kelly on bass. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.

Friday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.: Complementing the Near Eastern sources of Levoná, the Alex Hand Band describes its repertoire as “European folk jazz.” They play indigenous folk dance tunes from Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Hand leads on guitar with rhythm provided by Gabe Case on bass, Kevin Gerzevitz on keyboards (including accordion) and Isaac Schwartz on drums. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

[added 8/16, 6:50 a.m.:

Saturday, September 22, 7 p.m.: Flamenkeando is a program that will bring flamenco together with gypsy jazz. Flamenco will be provided by Caminos Flamencos, whose Music Director is guitarist Jason “El Rubio” McGuire. Choreography will be by Yaelisa, who will be joined by dancers Fanny Ara and Marina Elana. They will dance to music by members of Barrio Manouche, including vocalist Felix de Lola, guitarist Javi Jimenez, and percussionist Luis Jimenez. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Sunday, September 23, 2 p.m.: This will be the next installment of the free Monthly Community Rumba, with music provided by Rumberos de Radio Habana. While this is a free event, donations are warmly accepted. All donated money goes to the performing musicians, and a recommended amount is between $5 and $10.

[updated 9/18, 5:20 a.m.: This event has been cancelled.

Thursday, September 27, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz guitarist Leni Stern will lead a trio project featuring original compositions written with reverence to the rhythms and tonalities of Mali and Senegal. The other members of the trio have not yet been announced. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

Friday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.: This will be a duo recital by cellist Georgy Gusev and pianist Ivan Moshchuk. The title of their program will be Musical Review of Russia Through the Revolution, but specific selections have not yet been announced. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.]

[added 8/18, 5:40 a.m.:

Saturday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.: Homenaje, which is the Spanish word for “tribute,” casts a wider net than most world music groups. The ensemble is a quartet led by guitarist Will Brahm, and they draw upon sources from Cuba, Africa, Venezuela, and Israel, as well as traditions from both the classical and jazz repertoire. Dina Zarif is the group's vocalist, and the other musicians are percussionist Chris Wabich and Ross Shodek on bass. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.]

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