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Cal Performances Presents 
Mohammad Reza Shajarian And The Pournazeri Brothers In Colors Of Transcendence 

Cal Performances presents a major event in Persian culture to celebrate Nowruz. Master of Persian classical music Mohammad Reza Shajarian charts new directions in Persian music in Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. Joining him are the Pournazeri Brothers, in their Cal Performances debut, and an ensemble of twelve musicians from North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Considered “Iran’s greatest living master of traditional Persian music” (Los Angeles Times), Ostad (Persian honorific meaning “master”) Shajarian is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and two-time Grammy Award nominee. Tahmoures and Sohrab Pournazeri are two of Iran’s most innovative young composers and principal members of the renowned Shamss Ensemble. The program centers on the Pournazeris’ new music, composed for and inspired by a family of string instruments designed and handmade by Ostad Shajarian. The Pournazeris’ new settings of works by Nezami, Rumi, and contemporary Iranian poets will allow the “audience to take away an experience where they are touched by…a new culture of Iran” (Sohrab Pournazeri to the Los Angeles Times).

Entitled Colors of Transcendence, the concert is in two parts. First, Ostad Shajarian and the Pournazeris will perform improvisations from the radif, the modal foundation upon which Persian classical music rests. Then the ensemble will join the three virtuosi, performing on instruments invented by Ostad Shajarian. The Pournazeris’ innovative compositions for these instruments introduce new harmonies and rhythms into Persian classical music, expanding the range of Persian musical composition and offering the audience an experience of music both fresh and new.

Born in 1940 in Mashhad, Iran, Mohammad Reza Shajarian is world renowned as a master of Persian classical music. He began studying singing at age five and began his career in 1959, singing for a local radio station. Since then, he has taught in the Department of Music at Tehran University and has worked for Iran’s National Radio and Television. When he is not singing or researching Persian music, he is a practitioner of Persian calligraphy. In addition to his two Grammy nominations, Ostad Shajarian is a recipient of UNESCO’s Mozart and Picasso Medals (2006 and 1999, respectively) for his contributions to world culture. He is the only person ever to win both awards.

Born in 1977 and 1982 respectively, Tahmoures and Sohrab Pournazeri are the sons and protégés of Kaykhosro Pournazeri, founder of the Shamss Ensemble. Tahmoures, a multi-instrumentalist who is equally well-versed on all the major Persian instruments, began studying music at a very young age and joined the Shamss Ensemble at age 12. His younger brother Sohrab, a vocalist and virtuoso of the tanbour and kamancheh, joined the ensemble at age 13, and since then has developed his own distinct, idiosyncratic style. Upon joining their father’s ensemble, the brothers began composing new music that fused Persian classicism with the music of other nations. This constant innovation has kept the Shamss Ensemble at the top of record-sales charts in Iran for over 30 years.

Tickets for Mohammad Reza Shajarian and the Pournazeri Brothers on Sunday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $26.00 to $200.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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Yan Pascal Tortelier Leads The San Francisco Symphony With Oboist William Bennett In Performances Of Debussy, Strauss And Mendelssohn February 21-23 At Davies Symphony Hall

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelierleads the San Francisco Symphony(SFS) February 21-23 at Davies Symphony Hall, in a program featuring SFS Principal Oboe William Bennett in Strauss’s Oboe Concerto. The program also includes Debussy’s Petite Suite and the Orchestra’s first performances of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1.

The San Francisco Symphony first performed Debussy’s Petite Suite in 1920 with Alfred Hertz conducting. This is the first time the SFS will perform the work on a regular concert in almost 50 years; the most recent performances were in 1965 under the direction of Paul Paray. Strauss’ Oboe Concerto was first performed by the SFS in 1982, with Heinz Holliger as the soloist and Dennis Russell Davies conducting. William Bennett was also the soloist for the most recent SFS performances of the Oboe Concerto in 1991.

Yan Pascal Tortelier began his musical career as a violinist and at fourteen won first prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire and also made his debut as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following general musical studies with Nadia Boulanger, Tortelier studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and was Associate Conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

He served as Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2011, and is now that orchestra’s Guest Conductor of Honor. Following his work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992-2003, which included annual appearances at the BBC Proms and a successful tour of the US to celebrate the orchestra’s 60th anniversary season, he was given the title of Conductor Emeritus. He continues to work with the orchestra regularly. He also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

William Bennett joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Oboe in 1979, and has served as Principal Oboe since 1987. A regular soloist with the SFS, Bennett performed the world premiere of John Harbison’s Oboe Concerto in 1992 with Herbert Blomstedt conducting. The music was commissioned for him by the SFS, and Bennett went on to perform it with the Orchestra on tour in Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe, including performances in Vienna and London. He recorded the concerto with the Orchestra for Decca. Bennett has appeared in solo recital, concerto, chamber, and orchestral engagements throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has performed at the Marlboro Festival, the Festival de Inverno in São Paulo, the Aspen Festival, and at the Berkshire Music Center and Music@Menlo. A graduate of Yale University, Bennett studied oboe with Robert Bloom at Yale and at the Juilliard School of Music. He serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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SF Symphony Wins a Grammy

Recording of music by Bay Area composer John Adams wins for
Best Orchestral Performance

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony’s (SFS) live concert recording of works by Bay Area composer and longtime collaborator John Adams has won a 2013 Grammy® Award today in the category of Best Orchestral Performance. The recording of Harmonielehre and Short Ride in a Fast Machine was released in March 2012 in conjunction with the Orchestra’s month-long American Mavericks festival and tour. This award marks the 15th Grammy win for the San Francisco Symphony and the 8th award on its own SFS Media label. MTT and the Orchestra garnered seven Grammy awards for their recent recording cycle of works by Gustav Mahler.

The SFS commissioned, premiered, and recorded Harmonielehre in March 1985 during Adams’ tenure as SFS composer in residence. Hear Adams and MTT’s insights about the work at

Michael Tilson Thomas commissioned Short Ride in a Fast Machine from John Adams in 1986. A video excerpt of the Grammy winning performance from the Orchestra’s Centennial Season Opening Gala in September 2011 can be viewed at Adams and Tilson Thomas talk about the genesis of Short Ride in a Fast Machine in a short video found at

MTT and the SFS’ releases on SFS Media reflect the artistic identity of the orchestra’s programming, including its commitment to performing the work of American maverick composers alongside that of the core classical masterworks. The recording is available as a hybrid SACD, playable in conventional CD players as well as in SACD stereo and SACD surround formats for audiophiles who want a greater range of premiere sound options, and as a studio master quality digital download. All SFS Media recordings are available from the Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online at well as other major retailers. The recordings can also be purchased as downloads from iTunesand other digital outlets. SFS Media recordings are distributed by harmonia mundi in the U.S., SRI Canada, IODA digitally and Avie internationally.

For more information about this and other Grammy awards visit

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Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Mammoth Fundraiser

The annual fundraiser for the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) will be held on Saturday, February 23rd, 12 Noon & Sunday, February 24th, 2013, from 9 AM to 4 PM, at the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, California.

The auction of fabulous bonsai – Saturday, February 23rd will have preview of items start at 12 Noon and auction begins at 1 PM. On Sunday, February 24th bonsai and pre-bonsai material, bonsai soil, tools, pots, and other bonsai related items will be on sale. The vendor area will be open from 9am to 4pm. The BGLM Plant Sale Area where traditionally awesome deals can be found will be open from 10 AM to 4 PM. Demonstrations by Sensei Kathy Shaner and team start at 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM, raffle drawings at 1 PM, 2 PM,  and 3 PM.

This year the items to be auctioned on Saturday will include over 20 bonsai trees from the private collection of Frank Bardella, long time and honorary member of Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS), Santa Rosa, California. The auction will include bonsai tools, stands, and bonsai pots in addition to the bonsai trees. There are several Japanese Black Pines and an exceptional Olive tree up for auction.

Those interested may view the bonsai items to be auctioned at For general questions, contact Randi Keppeler at 650-598-0127 or email, attn: Randi Keppeler. Please help support the BGLM in this once a year event. Ensure we have operating funds for the entire year.

All donations are tax deductions as a 501 (c) (3) organization.


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First Major Touring Exhibition Of Garry Winogrand’s Work In 25 Years Debuts At SFMOMA


The first retrospective in 25 years of work by artist Garry Winogrand (1928–1984)—the renowned photographer of New York City and of American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s—will debut at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from March 9 through June 2, 2013. Jointly organized by SFMOMA and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Garry Winogrand brings together the artist’s most iconic images with newly printed photographs from his largely unexamined archive of late work, offering a rigorous overview of Winogrand’s complete working life and revealing for the first time the full sweep of his career.

More than 300 photographs in the exhibition and more than 400 in the accompanying catalogue will create a vivid portrait of the artist—a chronicler of postwar America on a par with such figures as Norman Mailer and Robert Rauschenberg who unflinchingly captured America’s wrenching swings between optimism and upheaval in the decades following World War II.

The exhibition has been conceived and guest-curated by photographer and author Leo Rubinfien with Erin O’Toole, assistant curator of photography at SFMOMA, and Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art.

While Winogrand is widely considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, his overall body of work and influence on the field remains incompletely explored. He was enormously prolific but largely postponed the editing and printing of his work. Dying suddenly at the age of 56, he left behind approximately 6,500 rolls of film (some 250,000 images) that he had never seen, as well as proof sheets from his earlier years that he had marked but never printed. Roughly half of the photographs in the exhibition have never been exhibited or published until now; over 100 have never before been printed.

“There exists in photography no other body of work of comparable size or quality that is so editorially unresolved,” says Rubinfien, who was among the youngest of Winogrand’s circle of friends in the 1970s. “This exhibition represents the first effort to comprehensively examine Winogrand’s unfinished work. It also aims to turn the presentation of his work away from topical editing and toward a freer organization that is faithful to his art’s essential spirit, thus enabling a new understanding of his oeuvre, even for those who think they know him.”

The exhibition is divided into three parts, each covering a broad variety of subjects found in Winogrand’s art. “Down from the Bronx” presents photographs taken for the most part in New York from his start in 1950 until 1971; “A Student of America” looks at work made in the same period during journeys outside New York; and “Boom and Bust” addresses Winogrand’s late period—from when he moved away from New York in 1971 until his death in 1984—with photographs from Texas and Southern California, as well as Chicago, Washington, Miami, and other locations. This third section also includes a small number of photographs Winogrand made on trips back to Manhattan, which express a sense of desolation unprecedented in his earlier work.

Winogrand was known as great talker with a flamboyant, forceful personality, and what he said accompanying his slide shows and lectures was often imaginative and very funny. A number of videos edited for presentation in the exhibition will allow visitors to experience the living Winogrand as audiences have rarely been able to do for 30-odd years. A short selection from Winogrand’s experimental 8mm footage taken in the late 1960s will also be on view.

After premiering at SFMOMA in spring 2013 Garry Winogrand will travel to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (March 2 through June 8, 2014); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 27 through September 21, 2014); the Jeu de Paume, Paris (October 14, 2014 through January 25, 2015); and the Fundacion MAPFRE, Madrid (March 3 through May 10, 2015).

An Epic Chronicler of Postwar America

Born in the Bronx, Winogrand did much of his best-known work in Manhattan during the 1960s, and in both the content of his photographs and his artistic style he became one of the principal voices of that eruptive decade—so much so that influential Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski anointed him “the central photographer of his generation.”

Known primarily as a street photographer, Winogrand, who is often associated with famed contemporaries Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander, photographed with dazzling energy and incessant appetite, exposing some 20,000 rolls of film in his short lifetime. He photographed business moguls, everyday women on the street, famous actors and athletes, hippies, rodeos, politicians, soldiers, animals in zoos, car culture, airports, and antiwar demonstrators and the construction workers who beat them bloody in view of the unmoved police. Daily life in postwar America—rich with new possibility and yet equally anxious, threatening to spin out of control—seemed to unfold for him in a continuous stream.

Yet if Winogrand was one of New York City’s prime photographers, he was also an avid traveler who roamed widely around the United States, bringing exquisite work out of locations that included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ohio, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Colorado, and the open country of the Southwest. “You could say that I am a student of photography,” he said, “and I am; but really I’m a student of America.” Winogrand’s expansive visual catalogue of the nation’s evolving social scene has led to comparisons to Walt Whitman, who also unspooled the world in endless lists of people, places, and things.

Winogrand’s pictures often bulge with twenty or thirty figures, and are fascinating both for their dramatic foregrounds and the sub-events at their edges. Even when crowded with people or at their most lighthearted—he was fond of visual puns and was drawn to the absurd—his pictures can convey a feeling of human isolation, hinting at something darker beneath the veneer of the American dream. Early on, some critics considered his pictures formally “shapeless” and “random,” but admirers and critics later found a unique poetry in his tilted horizons and his love of the haphazard.

“Winogrand was an artistic descendant of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, but differed sharply from them,” says Rubinfien. “He admired Frank’s The Americans, but felt the work missed the main story of its time, which in his mind was the emergence of suburban prosperity and isolation. The hope and buoyancy of middle-class life in postwar America is half of the emotional heart of Winogrand’s work. The other half is a sense of undoing. The tension between these qualities gives his work its distinct character.”

After serving in the military as a weather forecaster, Winogrand first began working as a photographer while studying painting on the G.I. Bill at Columbia University (1948–51). During that time, he also studied briefly with Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. While pursuing his personal work, he began supplying commercial photographs to a number of general-interest magazines such as Life, Look, Sports Illustrated, Collier’s, and Pageant, which were then at the height of their power and reach. His career was further shaped by the decline of those magazines and the rise of a new culture of photography centered in the art world.

“Winogrand worked at a moment when the boundaries between journalistic and artistic photography were less certain than they had ever been, yet it was also a time when the most advanced photographers were consciously abandoning journalistic values,” says Greenough. “The social landscape he photographed—the dislocation of urban life, the rise of the suburb with its growing alienation, the skepticism of youth, and the collusion of the press and the powerful—was of concern to many Americans. Yet Winogrand rarely pursued an obvious means to explicate these ideas, preferring poetic evocation over intelligible journalism.”

Winogrand went on to exhibit widely at prominent museums and achieved renown in his lifetime. Yet despite this recognition, he is perhaps the most inadequately understood of all his contemporaries.

“Unfinished” Late Work Thoroughly Investigated for the First Time

The act of taking pictures was far more fulfilling to Winogrand than making prints or editing for books and exhibitions—he often allowed others to perform these tasks for him. Near the end of his life, he spoke of reviewing and reediting all of his photographs, but never had a chance to oversee the shaping of his legacy, or even to review much of the output of his later years. Because of his working methods and his lack of interest in developing his film toward the end of his life, he left behind more than 2,500 rolls of exposed but undeveloped film, an additional 4,100 rolls that he had processed but never seen—an estimated total of 250,000 images that have remained virtually unknown.

Furthermore, Winogrand published just five modest books during his lifetime—The Animals (1969), Women Are Beautiful (1975), Garry Winogrand (1976), Public Relations (1977), and Stock Photographs (1980)—that represent only a fraction of his work and are mainly confined to narrow topical frames that don’t suggest the full scope of his importance.

“One reason that Winogrand is only now receiving the full retrospective treatment already devoted to peers of his era, including Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Frank, is that any truly comprehensive consideration of his life’s work requires contending with the practical and ethical issues surrounding the vast archive he left behind,” says O’Toole. “In the absence of explicit instructions from him regarding how he wanted his work to be handled after he was gone, its posthumous treatment has been the subject of ongoing debate and raises provocative questions about the creative process and its relationship to issues specific to the medium.”

“Some argue that what was left behind should be left alone, and that no one should intrude upon the intentions of an artist,” adds Rubinfien. “But the quantity of Winogrand’s output, the incompleteness with which he reviewed it, and the suddenness of his death create a special case in which the true scope of an eminent photographer’s work cannot be known without the intervention of an editor.”

Now housed at the Center for Creative Photography of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Winogrand’s “unfinished” work was initially organized in the years just after his death by several colleagues and friends in preparation for the artist’s first major museum retrospective, held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) in 1988. Exhibition curator John Szarkowski felt the quality of Winogrand’s work had significantly deteriorated in the last 15 years of his life, and included only a small group of pictures from the mysterious late work in MoMA exhibition.

Nearly 30 years have elapsed since the last attempt to grapple with the complete arc of Winogrand’s career. Benefiting from new curatorial research undertaken for this project, the current exhibition will provide a long-awaited reevaluation of his accomplishments. As one of the first museums to recognize photography as a legitimate art form, SFMOMA has collaborated with the National Gallery of Art—who, like SFMOMA, is known for its photography scholarship— in a multi-year endeavor to spearhead the presentation of this important exhibition and publication.

An Art-Historical Contribution

The exhibition catalogue Garry Winogrand (448 pages; $85 hardcover; $50 softcover)—published by SFMOMA in association with Yale University Press—will serve as the most comprehensive volume on Winogrand to date and the only compendium of the artist’s work. Five new essays and nearly 400 plates trace the artist’s working methods, major themes, and create a collective portrait of Winogrand.

Leo Rubinfien provides an extensive overview of Winogrand’s life and career. Erin O’Toole, assistant curator of photography at SFMOMA, considers the Winogrand archive at the Center for Creative Photography and matters relating to the ethics of posthumous printing of the artist’s work; she also writes introductions to each of the three main plate sections. Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, considers the magazine culture that gave birth to Winogrand’s early work and the emergence of the museum context that fostered his ideas in the 1960s. Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, writes about Winogrand’s relevance for contemporary photography. Tod Papageorge, professor of art at Yale University and Winogrand’s intimate friend, protégé, and sometime editor, writes of his early years in New York when he met Winogrand and became one of his closest friends. And Susan Kismaric, former curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, offers a selected bibliography, full chronology, and annotated checklist that enables the reader to tell who among Winogrand’s various editors has been responsible for the selection of any photograph, and when.

Garry Winogrand is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Leadership support for the presentation at SFMOMA is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher. The international tour of the exhibition is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Major support for the presentation at SFMOMA is provided by The Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by Linda and Jon Gruber. Additional support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, the George Frederick Jewett Foundation, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Kate and Wes Mitchell.

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Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit: International Tribunal Cites Ecuador and President Rafael Correa in Breach of its Obligations Under International Law

An international arbitration tribunal issued an award yesterday finding that the Republic of Ecuador and the administration of President Rafael Correa has violated the Tribunal’s prior Interim Awards authorized under international law and a treaty between the United States and Ecuador by not preventing the attempted enforcement of a $19 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX)  In prior rulings, the Tribunal put the Republic on notice that if Chevron’s arbitration ultimately prevails, “any loss arising from the enforcement of (the judgment) may be losses for which the (Republic) would be responsible to (Chevron) under international law.”

This decision is a stunning rebuke to President Correa and his re-election campaign in Ecuador and casts a pall on all efforts by the plaintiffs in the case  because of the illegal behavior of Ecuador and the plaintiffs.

Convened under the authority of the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (the BIT) and administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, the Tribunal found Ecuador in breach of the Tribunal’s prior rulings and ordered the Republic to explain why it should not be ordered to compensate Chevron for all harm resulting from the plaintiffs’ attempts to enforce a judgment resulting from an environmental trial against the company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.

Almost one year ago, the Tribunal issued a Second Interim Award ordering the Republic of Ecuador—and all of its branches, including the judiciary—to take all necessary actions to prevent enforcement and recognition of the Lago Agrio judgment, both inside and outside of Ecuador.  That award expanded upon a prior award requiring Ecuador to “take all measures at its disposal to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement or recognition within and without Ecuador of any judgment.”

“The Tribunal’s decision confirms that the enforcement actions being pursued against Chevron in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada fly in the face of international law,” said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel.  “Yet Ecuador has consistently aligned itself with American trial lawyers who have used corrupt courts to advance an unprecedented fraud.  It is not too late for the Republic to reverse course, declare the Lago Agrio judgment illegitimate, and address the real challenges facing its citizens.”

Despite the Tribunal’s Awards, the Republic of Ecuador has facilitated the plaintiffs’ pursuit of enforcement in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.  These actions are the result of Ecuador’s failure to meet its international law and treaty obligations.

Chevron’s arbitration claim stems from the government of Ecuador’s interference in the ongoing environmental lawsuit against the company in Ecuador and its courts’ failure to administer justice in a trial that has been marred by fraud.  Additionally, Chevron maintains that the government of Ecuador has failed to uphold prior settlement and release agreements that the government of Ecuador entered into with Texaco Petroleum Company (now a Chevron subsidiary) when the consortium between Texaco Petroleum and Petroecuador was terminated.

In its ruling, the Tribunal found that “Neither disagreement with the Tribunal’s orders and awards on interim measures nor constraints under Ecuadorian law can excuse the failure of the (Republic), through any of its branches or organs, to fulfil its obligations under international law imposed by the Treaty, the UNCITRAL Rules and the Tribunal’s orders and awards thereunder, particularly the First and Second Interim Awards on Interim Measures.”

In August 2011, a different international arbitration tribunal convened under the BIT awarded Chevron and Texaco Petroleum $96 million, plus interest, in a claim against the Republic of Ecuador related to past oil operations.  The Tribunal found that Ecuador’s courts violated the BIT and international law through their decade-long delays in ruling on certain commercial disputes between Texaco Petroleum and the Ecuadorian government.  A court in the Netherlands has upheld the award and Ecuador has filed a second appeal.


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Trisha Brown Dance Company Brings its Namesake Choreographer’s Final Works to Cal Performances

The Cal Performances appearance by Trisha Brown Dance Company on Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall marks the last opportunity Bay Area audiences will have to see new works by the celebrated and groundbreaking choreographer. Brown, who has revolutionized modern dance since 1961, has retired from creating new work.  Her final two pieces, Les Yeux et l’âme and I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them, they’re yours, a Bay Area and California premiere respectively, will be danced in Berkeley, along with a restaged work from her muscular 1980s repertory, Newark (Niweweorce). “From her involvement in pioneering postmodern movements like Judson Dance Theater to her decades-long collaboration with the artist Robert Rauschenberg, which she calls ‘my best dance,’ Ms. Brown’s innovations and influence are hard to overestimate” (New York Times).

Les Yeux et l’âme (“the eyes and the soul”) was created by Brown in 2011 and will receive its Bay Area premiere. The 15-minute work consists of the dance sections of Brown’s evening-length one-act opera Pygmalion (2010), set to music by French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764). Les Yeux et l’âme is a showcase for Brown’s athletic yet graceful duets. The other new work on the company’s Berkeley program, I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them, they’re yours, is a California premiere commissioned by Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France in 2011. Set to a piano and electronic tape soundtrack created by former Mills College music professor Alvin Curran, the work inventively employs large industrial fans blowing at—and dismantling—the shimmering white costumes of the dancers.

The repertory work in the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s program, Newark (Niweweorce), was choreographed in 1987, set to sound designed by New York–based composer and trombonist Peter Zummo and sculptor Donald Judd (1928–1994). A 30-minute work for seven dancers, Newark is part of Brown’s Valiant Series, a late-1980s set of athletic works (which also includes 1989’s auto-themed Astral Convertible) that pushed dancers to their physical limits. Newark is noted for its shifting stage design created by Judd, and has been completely restaged for the company’s current tour.

Trisha Brown is among the most celebrated, prolific, and admired choreographers alive today. A native of Washington State and a 1958 graduate of Mills College, Brown moved to New York City shortly after college, immersed herself postmodern dance at Judson Dance Theater, and began a choreographic career that would spawn more than 100 original works. Brown formed her own dance company in 1970 and quickly garnered notice for choreographing works for alternative spaces, including walls and rooftops in her SoHo neighborhood. Over decades of inventive choreography, Brown’s collaborations with Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Alvin Curran, John Cage, Donald Judd, and other prominent and cutting-edge artists have expanded the definition and boundaries of modern dance and extended her presence onto the opera stage, where Brown has worked as a director. Brown, who also danced herself until 2008, has received countless awards and accolades. She was the first woman choreographer to win a MacArthur “genius” grant, and received the first-ever “Bessie” lifetime achievement award in 2011. Also in 2011 Brown won the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Most recently, in January 2013 Brown received the Foundation for Contemporary Art’s inaugural Robert Rauschenberg Award, endowed by the estate of the artist with whom Brown enjoyed a decades-long friendship and creative collaboration. Brown is also an accomplished visual artist who has had her drawings shown in galleries and museums worldwide.

Brown founded the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970 upon leaving the experimental Judson Dance Theater. The company of eight dancers, which last appeared at Cal Performances in 2007, presents dozens of performances, classes, and other events annually, both in their hometown of New York City and internationally. The 2012–2013 season has the company performing and presenting classes in France, Italy, Brazil, and Canada, as well as California, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The company’s education program offers classes and workshops, and works to perpetuate Trisha Brown’s choreographic repertory through restaging and preservation projects with dance companies, universities, and arts organizations worldwide.

Brown has decided to withdraw from leading her company, citing a series of mini-strokes in the last few years. Barbara Dufty is now the executive director of the company while longtime collaborators Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas serve as associate artistic directors.  The company will embark on a three year international farewell tour. The company’s official website is

Tickets for Trisha Brown Dance Company on Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00–$68.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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Brentano String Quartet Returns With A Program Of Haydn, Purcell, Bartók And Beethoven On 
Sunday, March 3, 3:00 P.M. At Hertz Hall

A Cal Performances’ favorite, the Brentano String Quartet, returns to Hertz Hall on Sunday, March 3, with a program of chamber music classics. The quartet, made up of Mark Steinberg (violin), Serena Canin (violin), Misha Amory (viola) and Nina Lee (cello), is known for performing with “an almost unearthly level of perfection” (The Times, London). Their concert will include Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33, No. 2; a group of Henry Purcell’s Fantasias; Béla Bartók’s Quartet No. 4; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quart in E-flat Major, Op. 74, No. 2. Additionally, the ensemble can be heard playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No.14, Opus 131, in the critically acclaimed film A Late Quartet starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener; Nina Lee plays a cameo role as herself in the film.

The Brentano String Quartet was formed in 1992. The group takes its name from Antonie Brentano, considered by many to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous confession of love. The Quartet first rose to prominence by winning the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has been praised by The New York Times for its “tight interplay and beautiful hues.” The ensemble is also internationally renowned for its stylistic elegance and deep insight and has performed on many renowned stages, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Concertgebouw. In addition to standard quartet repertoire, the ensemble performs many works that pre-date the string quartet as a medium, including works by Gesualdo, Purcell and Josquin. The group is also interested in new music and has commissioned works by contemporary composers Charles Wuorinen, Bruce Adolphe, John Mackey, David Horne, and Gabriela Frank. Distinguished collaborators include soprano Jessye Norman and pianists Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida. Their discography includes a recording of the Op. 71 String Quartets of Hayden and a Mozart album for Aeon Records, as well as contemporary works.

Violinist Mark Steinberg is both an active chamber musician and recitalist. He has participated for four summers in the Marlboro Music Festival, with which he has toured extensively. He has also been a soloist with the London Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philadelphia Concerto Soloists in addition to working with conductors Kurt Sanderling, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Violinist Serena Canin is an accomplished chamber musician who has toured the United States with Music From Marlboro, Brandenburg Ensemble and Goliard Concerts. She holds teaching positions at Princeton University and New York University. Violist Misha Amory won the 1991 Naumburg Viola Award and has been an active solo and chamber performer ever since. He has released a recording of Hindemith sonatas on the Musical Heritage Society Label. Amory is a faculty member of both the Juilliard School of Music and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Nina Lee, cellist, has performed at Tanglewood and Marlboro Music Festivals and has toured with other musicians as part of Musicians from Marlboro. She currently teaches at Princeton University and Columbia University.

Tickets for Brentano String Quartet on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Hertz Hall are $46.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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Introducing One-Off Wednesdays (or sometimes Two-Off) At The Marsh Berkeley Cabaret & Bar

The Marsh Berkeley is happy to introduce ONE-OFF WEDNESDAYS (or sometimes Two-Off), a series of performances on occasional Wednesday nights. Here’s our latest line-up:

Wayne Harris in “The Letter; Martin Luther King at the Crossroads”
February 20 at 8:00 pm

TICKETS:           $15-$35 Sliding Scale; Reserved Seats: $50.00

Wayne Harris Is Going To Jerusalem!…from where he will take the story of Martin Luther King’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” to high schools, universities and peace organizations throughout Israel.

The US State Department is sponsoring a series of performances and workshops that will share the story of King and the Civil Rights movement during the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama campaign.

While in jail for protesting segregation laws in what was widely regarded, at the time, as “the most racist city in America” Martin Luther King responds to an article written by “moderate” white clergymen warning the local African–American community to disregard King and his organization (The Southern Christian Leadership Conference) and labeling them “outside agitators”.

King responds with a letter that will define the course of the civil rights movement as well as America’s journey toward fulfilling its promise “…that all men are created equal”

“The Letter; Martin Luther King at the Crossroadsis set against a tumultuous time in our history, when churches are being bombed, freedom riders are murdered and four little girls are martyred while trying to attend a Sunday school lesson on unconditional love.

The Marsh is very proud to present this project and one of its favorite performers in a special performance just days before Wayne takes off for the Middle East.

Roy Zimmerman: Wake Up Call
February 27 & March 6 at 8:00 pm

TICKETS:           $15-$35 Sliding Scale; Reserved Seats: $50.00In 2012, Roy and his wife and co-writer Melanie Harby traveled 47,000 miles to complete a 50-state tour of all 49 states. (Hawaii was “Omission Accomplished,” he says.)  “Wake Up Call” is a funny, tuneful and unabashedly progressive look at what they saw and heard across America in the Obama Era, songs like “Abstain With Me” and “I Want a Marriage Like They Had In the Bible,” heartfelt songs like “Hope, Struggle and Change” and “I Approve This Message,” and impassioned comic commentary.

In thirteen albums over twenty years, Roy has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for Peace and Social Justice. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime.  He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records, and he’s been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”  His YouTube videos have amassed over seven million views, and he’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.


For tickets, visit <>  or call 415-282-3055

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Voices Of Afghanistan Returns To Cal Performances 
Featuring Ustad Farida Mahwash, Homayoun Sakhi And His Ensemble On Saturday, March 2, In Wheeler Auditorium

Two legends of Afghan music, Ustad Farida Mahwash and Homayoun Sakhi, return to Cal Performances with a program of traditional and contemporary Afghan music titled Voices of Afghanistan. Mahwash, Afghanistan’s leading female vocalist, and Sakhi, a rubâb virtuoso  and leader of his eponymously named ensemble, will perform on Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium. The Sakhi Ensemble consists of a quartet of esteemed musicians:  Khalil Ragheb (harmonium), Pervez Sakhi (tula) Abbos Kosimov (doyra) and Ezmarrai Aref (tabla). In the group’s first Cal Performances engagement, part of 2010 Ojai North!, Mahwash was praised for her performance in which “words, expression, ornamentation and piercing plaintive sound combined with mesmerizing naturalness” (The New York Times).

Sawol-jawab—the interplay of questions and answers—is the foundation upon which much of Afghan music rests. With implications beyond the stage, it posits that only the most thoughtfully constructed questions can elicit meaningful answers. Mahwash and the musicians from The Sakhi Ensemble test this belief at every performance. For their tour, artistic director Sakhi has created an acoustically rich crossroad in which the musicians explore the interconnectedness of the seeker and sought, sacred and secular, traditional and contemporary. Afghanistan is a regional hub of cultural and social activity and is home to a vast array of musical genres. The ghazals, folk songs and traditional melodies spotlighted on tour, speak to the human need for love, grace and transcendency.

Long considered “the voice of Afghanistan” and the first woman to be granted the honorific title of Ustad (Maestra), Farida Mahwash is celebrated around the globe for her ghazal repertoire. Her story is one of unyielding perseverance as witnessed by the great personal risk she encountered by performing in public during the early years of Taliban rule. After decades of political turmoil, she was forced to leave Afghanistan in 1991. She moved to Pakistan where she took refuge from the two warring sides of the time, each of whom warned her to sing for their cause or else face assassination. Her plight was recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and she was granted political asylum in the United States.

Usatad Mahwash was born into a conservative Afghan family. Her mother was a Quran teacher and religion loomed large throughout her upbringing. For many years, her interest in music was suppressed. Upon completion of her studies, Farida accepted a position in the Kabul Radio Station. There, she was discovered by the station’s director who encouraged her to pursue singing as a career. Her musky voice with its command of the subtle art of ornamentation has dazzled audiences worldwide, as she shares the country’s rich musical heritage through her performances and recordings. For further information go to

Homayoun Sakhi was born in Kabul in 1976 into one of Afghanistan’s leading musical families. From the age of ten, he studied rubâb with his father, Ghulam Sakhi, in the traditional form of apprenticeship known as ustâd-shâgird (Persian for “master-apprentice”). His artistry demonstrates how an imaginative musician working within a traditional musical idiom can enrich and expand its expressive power while respecting what had been passed down from master musicians of the past. Sakhi’s personal story illustrates the extraordinarily challenging conditions under which he and his fellow Afghan musicians have pursued their art.  During Afghanistan’s many years of armed conflict, when music was controlled, censored, and finally, banned altogether, the classical rubâb style to which Sakhi had devoted his career not only survived but reached new creative heights. He was granted residency in the United States, and settled in Fremont, California, bringing with him the sophisticated and original rubâb style that he had developed. Fremont claims the largest concentration of Afghans in the United States. In Fremont, Sakhi established himself as a leader of the local musical community, and received National and International acclaim for both his work as a performer, teacher and composer.  As a composer, he has created works for Kronos Quartet and Hannibal Lokumbe and has collaborated with celebrated musicians from around the globe. He is now working on some of his most passionate compositions to date for Ustad Mahwash. More information is available at

Tickets for Voices of Afghanistan on Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m. are priced at $36.00.  Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at; and at the door. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit

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Marsh Berkeley Cabaret & Bar Happy Hour Fridays


The Marsh Berekely’s Friday Happy Hour, with its free, eclectic entrainment, is fast becoming as East Bay Tradition.

Here’s the February – March line-up:

February 8 & 22:
Larisa Migachyov, the amazingly wonderful ragtime pianist

February 15:
Wayne Harris and The Intones (The East Bay’s Best Rock, Blues, R&B & Bugle Band)

March 1:
‘The Night Before Leonard’ 
with Sylvie Simmons author of “I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen,” the New York Times bestseller that NPR named the best biography of last year. On the eve of Leonard Cohen’s two shows at the Paramount Theater, Sylvie celebrates with words, women, songs and cocktails…all of which, Sylvie, assures us, are his favorite things.

She will be reading from her book—and singing some of his songs, accompanied by Colleen Browne. She’ll also be drinking cocktails. Tickets are free (several hundred dollars cheaper than the Paramount.) There’ll be books for sale and to sign.

Praise for the book: “The major, soul-searching biography that Leonard Cohen deserves. Mesmerizing“-NY Times; “A new gold standard of bios”-LA Times

About Sylvie Simmons:
An award-winning writer and one of the foremost rock journalists since the late seventies, Sylvie Simmons was born in London in the UK and lives in the Mission district of San Francisco. Her previous books include Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes, which J.G Ballard named as one of his favorite books, and a cult short story collection, Too Weird for Ziggy. When not writing about music (for MOJO magazine, the BBC and the UK Guardian newspaper), Sylvie sings and plays a ukulele.

March 8 – 29:
Kike Adedeji ‘s “Ca C’est L’amour.”
Actress and singer, Kike Adedeji workshops her new cabaret show, Ca C’est L’amour. Luscious, a deliriously delightful and ever-effervescent chanteuse, will wrap her mouth around the men who never disappoint—Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Brian Wilson—and talk about the men who do.

This is not your usual story of loves lost, but a wild ride on a geographical safari! A Nigerian in London, a German from New York, a Mexican without papers in San Francisco, all have their songs and say: Come join the fun!

The Marsh Berkeley’s full bar offers festive happy-hour discounts including specialty cocktails and handpicked wine and beer. There is also great bar food—Panini’s, Corn Crusted Pizzas, Mango Guacamole Salsa and fresh-baked cookies.

Everyone is welcome; including those getting an early start for our 8 pm performances.

This is all not-to-miss and completely free—what better way to start the weekend!

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Marin Ballet Presents a 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance


Alumni dancers John Lam, Robin Cornwell, Josie Garthwaite Sadan, Jessica Wagner, and Mila Lavoie return to Marin Ballet to perform in works by Ronn Guidi, Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli, Robert Moses, Robert Sund & Robert Dekkers

Marin Ballet, a premier classical ballet training center based in San Rafael, CA, is pleased to announce the program for its 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance, April 13, 2013. Since its founding in 1963, Marin Ballet has been a leader in promoting the art of dance, in providing exceptional dance training, and in nurturing career-aspiring and recreational dancers alike.

A celebration of the past, present and future, the 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance features current Marin Ballet students performing alongside professional dancers who studied at Marin Ballet. The evening’s program features new works by established choreographers and the return of some favorite works from Marin Ballet’s archives.

“We feel very proud and fortunate to celebrate a milestone anniversary,” says Marin Ballet Artistic Director Cynthia Lucas. “Marin Ballet has grown a tremendous amount over the last 50 years creating outstanding dance training for the next generation of professional dancers, as well as a strong sense of community and an appreciation for the arts.”

Among the dancers returning to Marin Ballet for this special evening are Boston Ballet’s John Lam, who will perform a solo by choreographer Val Caniparoli; Smuin Ballet’s Robin Cornwell who will dance in a solo choreographed by Robert Sund; and Robert Moses’ Kin’s Josie Garthwaite Sadanwho performs a new solo by Robert Moses.

The program includes a remount of Trois Gymnopedies, Ronn Guidi’s work set to music by Erik Satie. Trois Gymnopedies was first set on Marin Ballet in 1967, and was then performed by Marin Ballet’s current Artistic Director Cynthia Lucas. This performance will feature alumnae Mila Lavoie of the Sacramento Ballet and Jessica Wagner, who dances with the dawson/wallace DANCE project, as well as Travis Bradley of Memphis Ballet.

Students from Marin Ballet will also perform new works by Robert Dekkers and Casey Thorne, a remount of Amy London’s Pardoname Signore Green, and an excerpt from George Balanchine’s Raymonda.

The second half of the program features Julia Adam’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a work she created for Marin Ballet in 2003 (Adam has created four full works for Marin Ballet, including Where’s George? in 1996, Butterfly’s Day Out in 1997 and most recently, Nutcracker). Adam’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will feature students from Marin Ballet performing alongside guest artists Pierre-François Vilanoba, a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet, as well as John Speed Orr andJonathan Mangosing, both of whom dance with Smuin Ballet.

The evening will also feature an Archival Display focused on Marin Ballet’s earliest years – featuring photos, playbills, costumes, and memories of Marin Ballet’s founding era.

Founded in 1963 by Leona Norman and now under the artistic leadership of Cynthia Lucas, Marin Ballet is nationally recognized for preparing young dancers to succeed and instilling in its students a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Students who have trained at Marin Ballet have gone on to perform or choreograph for such renowned companies as San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Houston Ballet, Smuin Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet, among others.

Recent alumni include San Francisco Ballet’s Alexandra McCullagh, Shane Wuerthner and Joanna Berman (retired), Boston Ballet’s John Lam, Dutch National Ballet’s Elaine O’Malley (retired), Ballet West’s Silver Barkes (retired), Smuin Ballet’s Robin Cornwell, Olivia Ramsay (retired), and Amy London (retired), Zurich Ballet’s Thomas Kendall, Diablo Ballet’s Hiromi Yamazaki, Washington Ballet’s Carly Wheaton, Robert Moses’ Kin’s Josie Garthwaite Sadan, and choreographer Edwaard Liang, who has created works for some of the world’s top ballet companies. Alumni from Marin Ballet have also gone on to pursue studies and careers in many other areas of the arts, and to serve their communities in a wide range of important fields.

About Marin Ballet

The mission of Marin Ballet is to provide excellent classical ballet training and education, and to promote the art of dance. Since its founding in 1963, the school has been a leader in promoting the art of dance in the community, where dancers not only receive excellent classical ballet instruction, but enjoy a spirit of camaraderie and a feeling of belonging to the larger dance community as well. Marin Ballet currently serves approximately 350 youths per year and more than 150 adults in a diverse schedule of more than 75 classes per week. Classes range from pre-ballet for 3 year olds who are just starting to explore movement to advanced ballet for aspiring professional dancers. Marin Ballet also offers fun, challenging classes for the adult amateur. Marin Ballet’s Scholarship Assistance programs, which benefit from long-standing partnerships with service agencies and local schools, support the training needs of approximately 36 percent of its students. Marin Ballet is a school that is known nationally as an organization that can as successfully prepare young students to succeed in the dance profession as it can instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts in all of its students, whether they go on to pursue a professional dance career or not.

About Artistic Director Cynthia Lucas

Cynthia Lucas was born in San Rafael and received her ballet training from Leona Norman at Marin Ballet. Ms. Lucas joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1972 and was widely recognized as a dramatic ballerina during her stellar 18-year performance career. She became Ballet Mistress of that same company in 1989 and was promoted to Principal Ballet Mistress in 1996. After 26 years with the National Ballet of Canada, Ms. Lucas was appointed Marin Ballet School Director in 1998 and promoted to Artistic Director in 2000.





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Cal Performances’ First Stage For Families Series Continues With Kaila Flexer, Oakland Folkharmonic And Teslim In Wheeler Auditorium At 11:00 A.M. And 3:00 P.M. Sunday, February 24

Special hour long events are created for children and their grown ups

The second First Stage for Families offering of the 2012-2013 season features a program led by Kaila Flexer on Sunday, February 24 at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium. Known for her work in various folk traditions from around the world, including Jewish klezmer music and Turkish folk music, Flexer’s concerts will showcase the ensembles’ eclectic repertoire, ranging from traditional modal music of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to medieval music to original compositions by Shira Kammen, Gari Hegedus, Ross Daly, and Flexer. The Oakland Folkharmonic is a five-piece string band that includes fiddler/composer Kammen. Teslim features Flexer and long-time collaborator Gari Hegedus, a multi-instrumentalist and the other half of the “exotic…spellbinding” (Billboard) musical duo.

The First Stages for Family series concludes with two performances by four-time Grammy-nominated duo, Trout Fishing in America, on Sunday, April 14. “Embody[ing] a kind of goofball gestalt at odds with the sugary-sweet format of so much other music for the younger crowd” (The New York Times), bassist Keith Grimwood and guitarist Ezra Idlet create an broad mix of folk and rock music that is family-friendly. The series kicked off with a performance by Dell’Arte Company in November 2012.

First Stage for Families series features two Sunday one-hour performances by each company at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Wheeler Hall. Tickets are priced modestly at $10.00 for children and $20.00 for adults. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door. For more information visit

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Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s Spring 2013 line-up Announced

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive released its spring 2013 line-up for L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA. The much-lauded after-hours performance program returns with a typically eclectic schedule, melding dance, theater, music, and more. The season’s highlights include a concert by an all classical-guitar ensemble, a closing performance of an iconic postmodern dance work, a live-band mash-up of the music of Bob Dylan and Prince, appearances by boundary-busting vocal virtuosos, innovative theater groups, and mind-expanding laptop musicians—plus a lunchtime rock ‘n’ roll swap meet.

Guest programmer Sarah Cahill continues her acclaimed series of new musical happenings at L@TE with evenings featuring the innovative eight-piece Pacific Guitar Ensemble, bi-continental electroacoustic music and sampling pioneer Carl Stone, and an eco-conscious collaboration between composer and vocal performer Pamela Z and video artist Christine McPhee.

BAM/PFA’s Sean Carson programs a not-entirely quiet series of events in conjunction with BAM/PFA’s major spring exhibition Silence. An unlikely live mash-up of the music of Prince and Bob Dylan by all-star Bay Area funk band PC Munoz’s Singing Blood, a new performance by innovative homemade instrument performance project Thingamajigs with the Dandelion Dance Theater, and an evening of reworked scenes and songs from popular musicals by the UC Berkeley student theater group BareTroupe, will stretch conventional understandings of what silence can mean.

East Bay choreographer, dancer, and punk rocker Brontez Purnell, who performed at L@TE in 2011, returns to host three stellar events. New Diaspora promises to explore the work of “artists hailing from diverse dimensions of the African diaspora.” Part party, part recital, part family reunion, Other Dancers brings together some of the area’s most innovative dancers and performers. Finally, Purnell transforms Gallery B into a Rock N Roll “Flea Market” for a one-off E@RLY: Sundays @ BAM/PFA event that will feature pop-ups from several local record sellers, publishers, zines, as well as musical sets by Warm Soda and High Anxiety.

Legendary choreographer Anna Halprin will present the final stagings of her most iconic dance work Parades and Changes at BAM/PFA as part of the MATRIX exhibition program, including a special L@TE performance. Programmed by BAM/PFA curator Dena Beard, the work was previously performed at BAM/PFA in 1970 to open the current building. The BAM/PFA Student Committee teams up once again with video curator Steve Seid for BAM/PFA’s annual Cine/Spin extravaganza. A fleet of student DJs will transform vintage Buster Keaton and other slapstick silents, mixing beats new and old.

To view the L@TE and E@RLY schedules online visit:

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Michael Tilson Thomas Leads Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 and Selections from Mozart’s Zaïde

Soprano Nadine Sierra makes her SFS debut in these concerts

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and soprano Nadine Sierra in Three Arias from Mozart’s unfinished opera Zaïde and the Orchestra performs Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 February 28 – March 2 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Two of the arias performed by Nadine Sierra as part of her SF Symphony debut, Trostlos schluchzet Philomele and Tiger! Wetze nur die Klauen, are receiving their first San Francisco Symphony performances at these concerts. The third aria is Ruhe zanft.

Nadine Sierra  is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and an alumnus of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, where she appeared as Adina in L’elisir d’amore. Sierra has also participated in the Palm Beach Opera’s Young Artists Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute, and the Music Academy of the West. Currently an Adler Fellow, Sierra made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2011 creating the roles of Juliet and Barbara in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier.

The San Francisco Symphony first performed the original 1883 version of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 with then-Music Director Pierre Monteux conducting in 1947. MTT will be conducting the Robert Haas edition of the score for these concerts, as he did in the most recent SFS performances in 2003.


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The Waiting Period Resumes At THE MARSH San Francisco From March 1– 30, 2013

During February, in honor of Black History month, Brian Copeland will be performing his mega-hit show, Not A Genuine Black Man, at The Marsh San Francisco. Then, in March, his critically acclaimed show about depression, THE WAITING PERIOD, will resume its sold-out run. The Marsh could not be more proud of this very special show’s continuing and significant contribution to the local discussion and understanding of this often fatal disease. It is not an easy subject, and yet, on March 30, the last day of the run, we will be celebrating its 100th PERFORMANCE on our stage.

The show plays on Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 5:00 pm on The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For tickets, the public may visit <> or call 415-282-3055.Fridays are Educator Nights. Please note: teachers, students and those working in the mental health field get special discounts. For information call 415-282-3055.

Copeland, a multi-talented actor, playwright, author and talk show host, has basked in the glow of both public and critical acclaim for nearly a decade. And yet, along with such other well-known figures as Mike Wallace, Tipper Gore and Yves San Laurent, he suffers from debilitating bouts of depression. As William Styron, another well-known sufferer, put it: “Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience…depression takes on the quality of physical pain…it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.”

This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory ten-day waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him (how much should he spend on the gun?), indeed serves him insidiously well as a buffer against the grim reality of his intention. Copeland hopes this very personal, and ultimately redemptive, story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones. Interspersed with interviews with other sufferers, the play, like so many Marsh stories, also offers outsiders an insider’s view, thereby expanding our understanding and, hopefully, our humanity. As critic Sam Hurwitt put it in The Idiolect: “It’s a play I’d strongly recommend to anyone who is now or has ever been depressed or who knows someone in that situation. But honestly, it’s such a strong piece that I’d recommend it just as heartily to anyone who’s ever been human.”

In 1995, San Francisco ABC radio affiliate KGO  premiered The Brian Copeland Show that remains the most listened to program in its time slot. His previous hit show, Not A Genuine Black Man, ended a seven-year run at The Marsh Berkeley earlier this year.

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The Castro Street Fair Announces Date for 40th “Ruby Anniversary” Celebration; Prepare to Paint the Town Red! The 40th Castro Street Fair, October 6, 2013 at Castro & Market

The 40th Castro Street Fair, October 6, 2013 at Castro & Market

Today, the Castro Street Fair Board of Directors announced the date for their Ruby Anniversary, celebrating 40 years! The fair will take place on Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Castro & Market Streets.
“It’s such an honor to continue a tradition that was started by Harvey Milk almost 40 years ago,” said Fred Lopez, President of the Castro Street Fair Board of Directors. “This year, we plan to highlight how this incredible San Francisco tradition continues, year after year, to bring this wonderful community together. We will celebrate the unique spirit of the Castro as we move toward the day of the fair,” he continued.

The Castro Street Fair is a part of the enduring legacy of Harvey Milk, who founded the Fair along with other local merchants in 1974. Since then, the Fair has been a thriving celebration for the Castro neighborhood, and for all of San Francisco. Plans are under way to make this one of the biggest and best Castro Street Fairs ever. Live performances and dance areas will pay tribute to some of the original Castro Street Fair entertainers– such as disco legend, Sylvester.


Every year, the Castro Street Fair raises money for local charities and the 40th year will be no different. The 39th Annual Castro Street Fair was a huge success, amidst one of San Francisco’s busiest weekends in history. The Fair attracted huge crowds and raised over $76,000 for local charities.

More than 460 individuals logged nearly 2,000 volunteer hours to assist with the production of the event.

On December 11, 2012, the Castro Street Fair Board of Directors distributed $76,327.21 in proceeds to over thirty local beneficiaries.
“The Castro Street Fair takes its role as a fundraising vehicle for local non-profits very seriously, while ensuring that everyone who comes to the Fair has a seriously good time” said George Ridgely, Executive Director of the Castro Street Fair Board of Directors.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

There are many exciting sponsorship opportunities for the Castro Street Fair 40th Anniversary. Exhibitor booths are expected to go on-sale in late March. For more information, contact:

About the Castro Street Fair

The Castro Street Fair is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and all proceeds go directly to charitable causes important to the Castro community. Additionally, the Fair funds the rainbow flag that flies over the intersection of Castro and Market.

The Fair is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, at the intersection of Market & Castro Streets and the surrounding area. The Fair is a piece of the enduring legacy of Harvey Milk, who was a co-founder of the Fair in 1974. The Castro Street Fair is a community street celebration – with hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople, and community organizations lining the streets to celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. Stages with live entertainment and dance stages can be found throughout the fairgrounds.

For more information about the Fair, visit

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CAL Performances and SF Opera Present the World Premiere of The Secret Garden by Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison

Cal Performances and San Francisco Opera present the world premiere of composer Nolan Gasser and librettist Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden, a new opera based on the beloved children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Opening Friday, March 1 at Zellerbach Hall with four subsequent performances through March 10, this new opera will be conducted by Sara Jobin, directed by Jose Maria Condemi and will feature scenic visual designs by Naomie Kremer. Soprano Sarah Shafer stars as Mary Lennox, alongside tenor Scott Joiner as Dickon Sowerby, 14-year-old tenor Michael Kepler Meo as Colin Craven, bass-baritone Philippe Sly as Archibald Craven and mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm as Martha Sowerby. Maestra Jobin will lead a chamber ensemble comprised of members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. “The Secret Garden has been an ideal operatic vehicle – a timeless tale of triumph over tragedy, and a paean to the value of friendship and the healing power of nature,” commented composer Nolan Gasser. “It is especially inspiring to create an opera geared for the entire family, and to play a role in our vital need to grow the operatic audience.”

Commissioned by San Francisco Opera, this new opera, is created for the entire family. It tells the tale of Mary Lennox, a pampered but lonely young girl. Following the sudden death of her parents, she is sent to live with her uncle, where she finds herself in a bleak and unfamiliar land. Unexpected friendships blossom between Mary and her maid’s brother and her sickly cousin Colin Craven when they discover the hidden wonder of an abandoned secret garden. Together they make the garden—and each other—thrive, leading both young and old on a path of healing and understanding. Complete casting information can be found at

A pre-performance Artist Talk will take place before the first performance on March 1 in Zellerbach Hall at 6:00 p.m. Composer Nolan Gasser and director José Maria Condemi will discuss the process of creating a new opera. This event is free and open to the public.

Cal Performances and the San Francisco Opera also join forces to present interactive workshops based on the themes, story, characters and music of The Secret Garden. These events will introduce youngsters and their families to opera through dynamic and engaging activities and will be held on March 2 and 9 prior to performances. Exploration Workshop: Inside the Secret Garden! will be led by San Francisco Opera’s Stage Manager Rachel Henneberry. The workshops take place at 3:30–4:30 p.m. and 5:00–6:00 p.m. on Saturday March 2 and Saturday March 9 at the Toll Room, Alumni House on campus at UC Berkeley. Snacks will be served after each workshop. These events are recommended for children ages 6 and older. Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, please visit

A Sightlines talk with the creators will be given on Sunday, March 10 at 1:00 p.m. with the artists in a location to be announced. This event is free to event ticket holders and designed to enrich the experience of concertgoers.

Nolan Gasser is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist, as well as the architect of Music Genome Project—the technology behind Pandora Radio. His original works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, La Salle Pleyel and the Rose Bowl, among many others. His upcoming projects include a new musical, Benny and Joon, in partnership with MGM On Stage, and a forthcoming book on musical taste and the interrelation of music and science. Outside of composition, Gasser is the artistic director of Classical Archives, the largest classical music website on the Internet. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University, where he had been an adjunct professor in Medieval and Renaissance music history. As a pianist, Gasser performs and records as a soloist and with the San Francisco Jazz Quartet.

Carey Harrison is the author of 35 stage plays and 16 novels, most notably Richard’s Feet, winner of the U.K. Society of Authors Encore Award. He has received numerous grants from the U.K. Arts Council, as well as the Sony Radio Academy Awards, Giles Cooper Award, Prix Marulic, U.K. Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play, Prix Italia Silver Award, and Best Play Award from the Berlin Akademie der Künste. His drama output for radio and television includes Hitler in Therapy, which won the 2005 WorldPlay Award for best broadcasted play in the English lanuage. Harrison is professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and has been a book reviewer for numerous publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, The New York Sunday Times, and the London Review of Books.

Conductor Sara Jobin, who has previously led performances of Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, Norma, the world premiere production of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, and Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince at San Francisco Opera, returns to conduct members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Jose Maria Condemi, artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara who has directed Così fan tutte, Tosca, Faust, Madama Butterfly, and Carmen at San Francisco Opera, directs this new production.

A painter and multi-media artist, Naomie Kremer has created text animations, painting animations and video for stage performance. Kremer’s large-scale, intensely colored abstract paintings incorporate text, architectural elements, nature, and figures inscribed beneath the bold brush strokes and bright, startling colors. Her work includes an all video set for the Berkeley Opera’s production of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and a video-based set for Light Moves, a collaboration with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Her paintings are in many public and private collections including the Fine Arts Museums of SF, the Magnes Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum and the US Embassy in Beijing. In 2008 she began making hybrid paintings: oil on canvas paintings with video projected on their surface, marrying the physical world of canvas and paint with the digital world of video.

Soprano Sarah Shafer holds the Alfred Greenberg Memorial Fellowship in Opera at the Curtis Institute of Music. Shafer recently made her professional operatic debut in the role of Barbarina and covered the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival and at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall. This season she will make her American debut with Opera Memphis as Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) and with Opera Company of Philadelphia as Papagena (Die Zauberflöte).

Since his professional debut in 2009, at age 10, Michale Meo has performed as a principal singer with Portland Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera and with the opera companies of St. Louis and Wexford (Ireland). He has also appeared as a soloist with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the Corvallis Symphony. Meo recently created the title role of Northwest Children’s Theater’s world premiere
production of El Zorrito, a performance that earned him the Portland Area Musical Theater Award for Outstanding Young Performer.

Tenor Scott Joiner has performed with Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Knoxville Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, the Opera Company of Brooklyn, American Opera Projects, the Intermezzo Opera Festival and Teatro Magnani di Fidenza in addition to performances with the Escher String Quartet, Bryan Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. As a principal artist with Asheville Lyric Opera, Joiner has sung nine roles over four seasons, including Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Nemorino (L’Elisir d’Amore), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) and Goro (Madama Butterfly).

A winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, bass-baritone Phillipe Sly is a first-year Adler Fellow and makes his San Francisco Opera main-stage debut in 2013 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. A native of Ottawa, Ontario and a graduate of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Sly’s first solo album, In Dreams, was released in 2012.

Mezzo-soprano Laura Krum is a first-year Adler Fellow who makes her San Francisco Opera debut in this fall’s Rigoletto. She has her master’s from the University of North Texas and was a 2011 participant of the Merola Opera Program. She was a finalist in the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Competition.

Tickets for The Secret Garden on Friday-Sunday, March 1-10 in Zellerbach Hall, range from $30.00 to $80.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door. Tickets can also be purchased at through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street)], or by phone at (415) 864-3330. Tickets for the workshops are $5 per person, regardless of age. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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Bill Wilson: Not so Straight from my Archives — Tammy Baldwin and Joe Biden

This trip to my archives was inspired by Tammy Baldwin being elected to the United States Senate. Among the people who were elected to the seat she now occupies was Senator Gaylord Nelson, who served in the Senate from 1962 until 1980. My first paying job was working for Senator Nelson as a clerical assistant from April of 1972 until September of 1979. One of the people who worked in our office was hired by Senator Biden so I became good friends with several people on his staff.

Senator Biden at a Senate hearing in 1977.


To say that I was in the closet at this time would be a very vast understatement. I believed that I was the only person in the world attracted to people of the same sex. I also believed that if I were to look someone in the eye they would be able to tell and that wouldn’t be a good thing. I can now look back and realize how incredibly naïve I was, but at the time it was very painful trying to find a way to fit in.


Senator Biden campaigning for the Presidency in 2008

If we were walking in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building I could show you the exact spot were I was when I realized that I could look people in the eye and still keep my secret. While the phrase, “I never thought I would live to see…” is overused, it fits in this case because the memories are so recent and so real.

Tammy Baldwin and Zoe Dunning pose during a reception in San Francisco.

There is always a special burden placed on anyone who is the first of any category to assume an office.  Senator Baldwin has prepared herself well serving in Congress as a Representative from Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district. I hope that she will enjoy a long tenure in the Senate like Senator Biden who spent more than thirty years in the Senate before being elected Vice President.

The Vice –President of the United States swears in Tammy Baldwin as a United States Senator.

Before January 21 this is where my article would have ended. However as a gay man listening to President Obama use his second inaugural speech to connect Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall was a very powerful affirmation. That very frightened young man who spent seven years walking the halls of the Senate in fear now knows he isn’t alone. Future generations of similar young people will never have to doubt their worth and someday will live with equal treatment.

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Z SPACE 20th Anniversary highlights include world premiere works by Word for Word, Mugwumpin, Joe Goode Performance Group, Margo Hall & Marcus Shelby, and a 20th Anniversary Gala

Z Space, one of the nation’s leading laboratories for the development of new theater works, celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2013. Among the artistic highlights of this anniversary year are world premiere works by Word for Word, Mugwumpin, Joe Goode Performance Group, Margo Hall & Marcus Shelby, and a 20th Anniversary gala featuring new works by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and Mark Jackson, among others. Z Space will also bring back its offbeat fundraiser, RentWalk, for which Z Space’s visionary founder David Dower will return to San Francisco.

Z Space has roots in a collective of theater artists (The Zuni Collective) who came together while working at San Francisco’s popular Zuni Café. The Collective, formed in 1987, developed a devoted following for its provocative productions of challenging scripts. Six years later, in 1993, the collective disbanded and Dower, one of its members, founded Z Space in an effort to support a large and evolving community of Bay Area theater artists.

Operating out of a studio in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, Z Space provided developmental support to theater artists and produced plays at theaters and venues throughout the city. When Dower left Z Space to become Artistic Associate at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, producer Lisa Steindler was appointed Artistic Director.

Shortly thereafter, in 2009, Z Space secured a long-term lease to Theater Artaud, a 13,000-square-foot theater space located in the Mission District, allowing the organization to deepen its support to the artistic community in San Francisco. Today Z Space is the thriving home to more than 40 weeks of public multidisciplinary arts programming a year, and actively commissions, develops, and produces works from a variety of disciplines, including theater, dance, visual art, music, and performance art.

Among Z Space’s signature programs are Z Space New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to completion, Word for Word, an in-house theater company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage, and Youth Arts, Z Space’s outreach to schools, promoting literacy and engaging students’ creativity.

“The years I have been with Z Space have been some of the most satisfying times for me as an Artistic Director – it’s been an exhilarating ride with an organization that I respect and appreciate,” said Steindler. “The combination of Z Space’s mission and history offers a singular opportunity to fuel the San Francisco arts community, and the audiences and patrons who value it. Being a part of that community is humbling and outrageously exciting.”

Z Space’s 20th anniversary programs include:


Word for Word: You Know When the Men Are Gone “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star” by Siobhan Fallon

January 31 – February 24, 2013

Word for Word, a program of Z Space, gives its signature theatrical treatment to Siobhan Fallon’s gripping portrayal of the home front during the Iraq War, You Know When the Men Are Gone. The two interconnected stories, “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star,” show experiences of war – how those who are left behind to carry on survive their daily lives, as well as what it’s like for the wounded vet “returning to normal.” Word for Word’s ensemble is charged with the mission to tell great stories with elegant theatricality, staging performances of classic and contemporary fiction. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, Word for Word believes in the power of the short story to provide solace, compassion, and insight into our daily lives.


Mugwumpin: The Great Big Also

Directed by Christopher W. White

March 7 – 24, 2013
Award-winning theater ensemble Mugwumpin returns to Z Space in March with its unique blend of bracingly original staging, precise physicality, and sharp-toothed humor. Inspired by the riotous variety of prophetic movements throughout America’s history, Mugwumpin’s immersive performance escorts the audience through an unstable terrain of wrought-iron certainty and gnawing doubt. The ensemble brings its unsettlingly humorous and clear-eyed view to examine what America has promised us and what is asked of us in return.



May 18, 2013

After a five-year hiatus, Z Space is bringing back its favorite fundraiser, RentWalk. Participants will start at Fort Mason and wind their way to Baker Beach, the site of the first Z Space public performance. It’s a beautiful walk followed by a beach barbecue, in the company of actors, playwrights, dancers and artists of all stripes. Z Space founder David Dower returns to San Francisco for this special event.


Word for Word: Sodality: A Celebration of Stories by Zona Gale

August 15 – September 8, 2013

The Word for Word Charter Members come together to present stories from the acclaimed author Zona Gale (the first female to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama). These are stories about a small American town in the beginning of the last century, that speak of the “sodality” of women, of community, democracy and of a group that has been together for many years in good times and bad. Among the stories features will be “The Face of Friendship Village” which centers on election day in the village, the women’s frustration at seeing how the men take their democratic right for granted, and at not being able to take participate.


Joe Goode Performance Group: Hush

September 26 – October 6, 2013

Z Space reprises its partnership with dance theater visionary Joe Goode and Joe Goode Performance Group. This time Goode is integrating his unique style of dance theater with Foley effects via a collaboration with sound effects artist Sudhu Tewari. A meditation on belonging and the various ways we are “hushed” as we are marginalized in society, Hush combines dance, visual effects and innovative ambient sound techniques drawn from film.


Z Space’s Fundraising Gala

October 10, 2013

Z Space hosts a 20th Anniversary fundraising gala featuring three new commissioned works: two short plays and one story. Z Space Playwright in Residence Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and actor, director and playwright Mark Jackson, who was just named theater’s MVP of 2012 in the San Francisco Chronicle, are among the writers who will contribute new works.


Title TBD: A new work by jazz composer Marcus Shelby and actress Margo Hall

November 8 – 24, 2013

Z Space is currently working with jazz composer / bandleader Marcus Shelby and actress Margo Hall on a theatrical work based on Hall’s childhood growing up in Detroit. This work-in-progress will draw on Hall’s father’s work as a bandleader and feature original compositions by Shelby, with an original score performed live by The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra.


All events take place at:

Z Space

450 Florida Street

San Francisco, CA 94110


Tickets and more information available at


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Leonidas Kavakos Makes His CAL Performances Debut With an All-Beethoven Recital

While virtuosity is the calling card for many artists today, it is only the  jumping-off point for violinist Leonidas Kavakos, whose deeply emotional music making has garnered him the nickname a “fiddler’s fiddler.” Kavakos comes to Cal Performances for the first time Sunday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. with an all-Beethoven program. This concert is also a celebration of his recent release of Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas on the Decca label. Kavakos will perform Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12, No.1; Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, “Spring”; and Sonata No. 9 in A major, “Kreutzer” with pianist Enrico Pace. On Kavakos and Pace’s performance of the “Kreutzer” Sonata in concert, The New York Times wrote “their interpretation showed eminent poise and authority as well as a flexibility that attested to keen listening and added a welcome hint of spontaneity.”

This season Leonidas Kavakos is the focus of London Symphony Orchestra’s UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait and the Berliner Philharmonic’s Artist in Residence. He first rose to prominence as a teenager after winning the 1985 International Sibelius Competition, taking second prize at the 1986 Indianapolis International Violin Competition and first prize at both the 1988 Naumburg and Paganini competitions. He has since become known for his superb musicianship and virtuosity and has made a name performing as a soloist with the leading orchestras including Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw and New York Philharmonic.

Kavakos is also an esteemed chamber musician and finds himself a favored artist at the Verbier, Montreux-Vevey, Bad Kissingen and Edinburgh festivals. In August 2012, he and Pace performed the complete Beethoven violin sonatas at the Salzburger Festival. The performance was recorded as part of a documentary about Kavakos by Bayerischer Rundfunk. His other chamber music partners have included Emanuel Ax, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Antoine Tamestit, Nikolai Lugansky and Yuja Wang. For more info, visit

Enrico Pace was born in Italy and studied piano with Franco Scala at the Rosssini Conservatory and the Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro, Imola. He launched his career after winning the Ulrecht International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 1989 and has since toured extensively all over the world. As a soloist he has performed with the Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked with conductors Roberto Benzi, David Robertson, Andrey Boreyko and many more. In chamber music, Pace has performed with the Kellar Quartet, Quartetto Prometeo, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, clarinetist Sharon Kam and others.

Tickets for Leonidas Kavakos on February 17 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $48.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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Code for America Develops San Francisco App to Tackle Unused Public Benefits

From the Huffington Post

San Francisco nerds aren’t taking revenge. Instead, they’re giving back.

Programmers from Code for America, also known as the Peace Corps for Geeks, announced plans to create a $360,000 app to connect low-income San Franciscans with unused public benefits.

Each year, Code for America awards fellowships to nine American municipalities. The money is used to fund a tech product that addresses a local issue.

This year, San Francisco, Oakland and San Mateo County made the cut.

Four programmers will arrive in San Francisco this month. Between now and November, they will develop an app to match veterans, homeless individuals and other low-income residents with applicable goods and services. Ideally, the app will be completed by November and turned over to the Human Services Agency.

“We know of a lot of low-income San Franciscans who could be taking advantage of these benefits, but are not,” Human Service Agency Director of Contacts David Curto told the San Francisco Examiner.

The programmers will be paid through city funds and a grant from Code for America. In total, they will receive $35,000 for the year. Utilizing this program is believed to be cheaper than enlisting the help of private companies.

Since its founding in 2009, Code for America has become a highly competitive program. Only 28 programmers were selected to participate from a pool of 550 applicants.

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Rhodessa Jones Receives 2013 Mayor’s Art Award

Co-Director of Cultural Odyssey & Founder of Acclaimed Medea Project Receives City’s Top Artistic Honor

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced Rhodessa Jones, an acclaimed performance and community artist, has been named to receive the 2013 Mayor’s Art Award.

“Rhodessa Jones embodies the spirit of the Mayor’s Art Award, as an artistic powerhouse of international acclaim whose work has saved and transformed lives,” said Mayor Lee. “It is my great honor to recognize one of our City’s most prized cultural treasures and to acknowledge Rhodessa’s tremendous contributions to the cultural, artistic and civic life of San Francisco.”

“I’m so honored to receive this award. Politics don’t work, religion is a bit too eclectic, but art could be that parachute that catches us all,” said Rhodessa Jones.

“Rhodessa Jones is a force, a pinnacle of our artistic community who practices what she preaches,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “For over 30 years she has made groundbreaking work that shines a light on important social issues related to power, race, class, gender and historically under-represented voices. It is an understatement to say that she is magnanimous. She is truly one of a kind and a true San Franciscan.”

Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed performance company Cultural Odyssey with her talented partner Idris Ackamoor. An actress, teacher, singer, dancer, and writer, Jones is also the Founder and Director of the award-winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation for women in the prison system. The message of the Medea Project has taken her around the globe, including South Africa where she made history by directing a full-length theater production with female inmates inside “Sun City Prison”. Jones also collaborated with the Women’s HIV Program at UCSF Medical Center, conducting workshops and residency activities, which resulted in the world premiere of “Dancing with the Clown of Love” in 2010.

Jones adds the Mayor’s Art Award to other accolades including an Honorary Doctorate from California College of the Arts, a GOLDIE Lifetime Achievement Award, an Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater, and a San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Award. In 2001, her film collaboration “We Just Telling Stories,” which profiles Jones and her work with the Medea Project in the San Francisco County jails, won Best Documentary at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Mayor Lee will present the 2013 Mayor’s Art Award to Rhodessa Jones on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6 p.m. at an event at City Hall hosted by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

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Mayor Lee & Atlanta Mayor Reed Make Friendly Wager On NFC Championship Game

Losing City Will Light its City Hall in the Winning Team’s Colors & Fly the Winning Team’s Flag

Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta agreed to a friendly wager on the outcome of this weekend’s NFC Championship game. The San Francisco 49ers will play the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta at 12:00 p.m. Pacific time, with the winning team advancing on to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3rd.

The losing Mayor will light up his City Hall for a night in the winning team’s colors – Red & Gold on the Atlanta City Hall if the Niners win and Red & White on the San Francisco City Hall if the Falcons prevail. The losing Mayor will also fly the flag of the winning team on a City Hall flagpole for a day.

In addition, San Francisco is wagering 25 pounds of Philz Coffee against Atlanta, and Atlanta is wagering a case of Georgia peaches against San Francisco.

“The Niners are on a roll – with an unstoppable quarterback, incredible linemen, a deep secondary and talented wide receivers,” said Mayor Lee. “The Quest for Six is well underway, and San Franciscans watched and celebrated as the 49ers dismantled the Packers last weekend in impressive fashion. I’m certain that they’ll roll right through the Falcons as well. Atlanta’s City Hall will look great awash in Red & Gold.”

“The Atlanta Falcons have been unstoppable all season long, and this Sunday will be no different,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “With an explosive offense and dynamic playmakers, I’m confident that our Falcons will ‘Rise Up’ and defeat the 49ers on Sunday.”

The 49ers reached the NFC Championship game for the second season in a row after defeating the Green Bay Packers last Sunday at Candlestick Park by a score of 45-31. The Falcons, the No. 1 overall ranked team in the NFC, beat the Seattle Seahawks last week in an exciting 30-28 contest that came down to a last-minute Atlanta field goal to win the game. This is the first meeting of the 49ers and Falcons in the 2012/2013 season.

Mayor Lee is encouraging 49ers fans from across the Bay Area to frequent their neighborhood establishments to watch the NFC Championship game, and no matter what the outcome, to treat our City with dignity and respect.

Last week, Mayor Lee raised the 49ers team flag off City Hall’s balcony and ordered City Hall, Coit Tower, Ferry Building and the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) lit in Red & Gold to reflect the City’s enthusiasm and passion for the San Francisco 49ers.


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Eighth Annual Vima Ball Brings SF’s Best Ballroom Dancers Together for a Night of Entertainment and Dancing

Vima Dance Studio, the largest private ballroom dance space in San Francisco, presents the annual Vima Ball on February 23, 2013.

This is the first year that the Ball will be at the new location on 820 26th St (at Third) in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.   The new location will easily accommodate the overflow crowds from years past.

The evening includes performances by some of the best dance teams in California including Same Sex Dance title holders Jose Comoda, Citabria Phillips and Angie Esswein, and “Photon”.   The group performers include the Vima Vice Squad, Halau Ha’a Kea o Kinohi and Freeplay Dance Crew.

There will be dancing throughout the evening led by DJ Marina Garza.

Tickets are $25, but if purchased before February 16, they are only $20.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, contact Vima at 977-0203 or visit online at

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