Sunday, July 7, 2019

Red Poppy Art House: August, 2019

As usual, it is too soon to tell just how many concerts will be scheduled for next month at the Red Poppy Art House. However, the 2019 Summer Festival of the Merola Opera Program, the American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy, and West Edge Opera will collectively make the first half of August a very busy time. Since the Upcoming Events Web page of the Poppy’s Web site now accounts for that period of time, it seems only fair to acknowledge those events when readers may be finalizing their plans for next month. Those who follow this site regularly know that this Web page will be updated to reflect additions to the Upcoming Events list and that I use my “shadow” Facebook site to put out the word each time there is an update.

The Red Poppy is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street on the southwest corner of 23rd Street. Tickets are now being sold 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 likely 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 events that have been posted thus far:

Friday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.: Sandy Cressman is a San Francisco-based jazz vocalist, who has developed a passion for the many different aspects of Brazilian jazz. To this end, she formed the group Homenagem Brasileira (homage to Brazil) in 1998. That group has released three albums and toured the United States, Europe, and Brazil. The instrumentalists are Jeff Cressman (trombone), Murray Low (piano), David Belove (bass), and Dillon Vado (drums); and Sandy augments her vocal work with percussion. The title of the program will be Brazilian Jazz – Classic to Contemporary, which should indicate the scope of the group’s repertoire. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Sunday, August 4, 7:30 p.m.: Jenna McLean is another jazz vocalist, whose own tastes turn to American standards. She will perform with a rhythm section consisting of Steve Kovalcheck on guitar, Seth Lewis on bass, and Ryan Leppich on drums. The quartet will celebrate the release of McLean’s debut solo jazz album Brighter Day, which features original lyrics and fresh arrangements. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Friday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.: The Sibarg Ensemble will return to the Poppy following their last appearance this past February. The group is a quartet that explores creative intercultural music by combining the sounds of traditional Iranian melodies with jazz improvisations. The original quartet was formed by vocalist Hesam Abedini in 2010, and keyboardist Josh Charney was part of that original group. The drummer and bass player for next month’s performance have not yet been announced. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Saturday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.: [updated 7/13, 4:05 p.m.: A more modern approach to jazz will be presented by guitarist Robert Papacica. He will lead a trio, whose other two members will be Eddie Mendenhall on organ and Marcello Perez on drums. They will present an evening of original music and approaches to improvisation that draw upon both jazz tradition and more recent avant-garde styles.] Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Sunday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.: This will be the next Poppy offering to include dance; and, once again, the dance will be flamenco. The group is Tamar Ilana & Ventanas, and Ilana provides the vocals, as well as the dance. The members of Ventanas as Jessica Deutsch on violin, Tyler Emond on bass, Benjamin Barrile on flamenco guitar, and Derek Gray on percussion. The program will be based on the group’s third album, MISTRĀL, named for the wind that traverses the Mediterranean. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.

[added 7/21, 4:50 p.m.:

Friday, August 16, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz pianist Milo Sprague will lead a trio whose other members are Alex Boneham on bass and Christian Euman on drums. The group performs primarily original works by Sprague, but their book also includes interpretations of jazz standards. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.]

[added 7/17, 10:20 a.m.:

Saturday, August 24, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz vocalist Jamie Zee will return to the Poppy with a program to celebrate the release of her self-titled EP. She is an eclectic performer whose genres include funk, soul, jazz, reggae, and Afro-Cuban jazz. She then adds her own original compositions to that mix. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Sunday, August 25, 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.]

[added 7/22, 11:05 a.m.:

Thursday, August 29, 7:30 p.m.: Americana Meets the Middle East will reflect the innovative eclecticism of the Sandcatchers, a quartet based in New York City. The group is led by oud player Yoshie Fruchter, whose sonorities are complemented by Myk Freedman playing lap steel guitar. The rhythm section of the quartet is provided by Michael Bates on bass and percussionist Mathias Kunzli. For this performance the group will be joined by vocalist and composer Jewlia Eisenberg. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25.

Saturday, August 31, 7:30 p.m.: Following their impressive tribute to Billy Strayhorn this past May, Citizens Jazz will return to the Poppy. This time they will focus on the music of Dizzy Gillespie, presumably including his interest in world music along with his pioneering efforts in bebop and modern jazz. The group continues to be led by Caroline Chung on bass, who will return along with Riley Bandy on alto saxophone, James Mahone on tenor saxophone, and Grant Levin on piano. For this performance the drummer will be Malachi Whitson. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $15 and $20.]

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