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Hillside Club Concert Series Archives - 2017

New Esterházy Quartet
Vienna 1784—Quartet Party at Storace


Friday 17 November 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet with a wonderful program featuring works by Haydn, Ditters, Vanhal and Mozart. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
   Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme - violins
   Anthony Martin - viola
   William Skeen - 'cello


About the Concert:

The New Esterházy Quartet will be partying the way Mozart and Haydn did with their friends in Vienna. One night, in 1784, there was a party with great music and food at the house of Stephen Storace. Before everyone sat down for a delicious dinner, Mozart and Haydn played string quartets together with violin virtuoso Ditters and composer Vanhal. The New Esterházy Quartet’s program features four string quartets from the 1780s, one by each of the composers Mozart, Haydn, Ditters, and Vanhal.


The Program:
    Quartet, Op. 33, No. 4 in Bb - Joseph Haydn
    Quartet No. 4 in C (1788) - Karl Ditters
    Quartet in G (1786) - Jan Baptist Vanhal
    Quartet in G, K387 (1782) -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

The Ensemble:
Founded in 2006 and currently in its ninh year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber

171117_NEQ

Sarn Oliver, Robert Pollock & Friends

play Cone, Crumb, Park and More

Saturday 4 November 2017 @ 8:00pm

 

The Berkeley Hillside Club, in collaboration with Sarnworks and Ebb & Flow Arts,  is proud to present a remarkable program of new music, featuring pianist Robert Pollock and  S.F.Symphony violinist Sarn Oliver. Joining them will be three other S.F.Symphony artists, YunChu, David Goldblatt and Matthew Young. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:

    Sarn Oliver - violin, composer

    Yun Chu - violin

    David Goldblatt - cello
    Matt Young  - viola
    Robert Pollock - piano, composer

About the Concert:

This concert will include modern works by Shinhee Park, Edward T. Cone and George Crumb, including Crumb's famous "Black Angels." Also featured will be the world and U.S. premiers of pieces by composer and pianist Robert Pollock and composer and violinist Sarn Oliver.

The Program:

    Piano Synergy #1 (2016)*                                                           Robert Pollock

    Abstract Paintings No. 1* (in 6 movements) (2003)**       Shinhee Park

    Page From A Diary  (1976)***                                                   Edward T. Cone

    Piano Synergy #2  for solo piano (2017)*                                Robert Pollock 

    Plum Blossoms Floating  for violin and piano                      Sarn Oliver

    Black Angels  for string quartet                                                George Crumb

171104_Oliver

Clarinet Thing

Friday 27 October 2017 @ 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to host the return of Clarinet Thing featuring Beth Custer, Sheldon Brown, Ben Goldberg, and Harvey Wainapel.Together they play their own unique brand of jazz and new music, originals and arrangements of unusual works. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

Clarinet Thing are:

    Beth Custer - A, Bb, alto, bass clarinets 
    Sheldon Brown - Eb, Bb, bass clarinets
    Ben Goldberg - Bb, contralto clarinets
    Harvey Wainapel -  Bb, alto, bass clarinets

About the Concert:

If you missed Clarinet Thing's sold out all Duke Ellington show at Musically Minded Academy, this will be a chance to hear some of the new repertoire. Founded by Beth Custer in 1989, Clarinet Thing has amassed a large repertoire in it’s twenty-six years of performing including tunes by Herbie Nichols,Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Thelonious Monk, Eubie Blake, Abdullah Ibrahim, Alexandre Stellio, John Carter, and original compositions by band members.


The Artists:
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. Since 1994 he has led his own band, Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own compositions, and in 2010 formed Sheldon Brown Quintet, which performs the music of Herbie Nichols. He also leads Distant Intervals, a band that performs original compositions based on Brown's transcriptions of speech melodies of modern poets, such as Andrew Joron, Clark Coolidge and Ivan Arguelles. Distant Intervals just received a grant from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music to perform a new composition by Brown based on the poetry and poetic speech melodies of noted Bay Area Surrealist poet, Philip Lamantia. Brown has performed internationally as a featured soloist with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and recorded on 5 of Sosa's albums. While with Sosa he performed at The North Sea Jazz Festival in den Haag, New Morning in Paris, Tribute to the Love Generation in Tokyo and many others. Brown is a prolific composer who has written music for his own group and many other groups he performs with. For Club Foot Orchestra he composed music for the silent films, Metropolis, Pandora's Box, The Hands of Orlac and Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. He also wrote music for Club Foot's scores for the cartoon series The Twisted tales of Felix the Cat, which aired on CBS.

Beth Custer is an original member of the ensembles Club Foot Orchestra (CFO), purveyors of live, original, collaboratively created scores for classic silent films; of the trance-dance band Trance Mission with didgeridu master Stephen Kent, of the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach with DJ Christian Jones, of the improvising monsters Dream On: Frith/Custer/Fajt; and the founder of the quartet of esteemed jazz clarinetists Clarinet Thing and of The Beth Custer Ensemble. Beth has appeared on numerous recordings and produced 15 on her own label, BC Records and toured extensively at an international level both solo and with her ensembles. Recent commissions include: What If, Would You for AXIS Dance Company's 25th Anniversary season, (Oakland, 2013), Peter for 200 teens with ROCO Dance (Marin, 2013), Prokofiev for BCE premiered at Davies Symphony Hall's After Hours Series (SF, 2012), a score for the documentary film Strong! (Julie Wyman, dir., Roxie Theatre, SF 2012), Youth, Fully for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble's (LCCE) woodwind sextet (War Memorial Green Room, SF, 2011), Bear in Shamanic Transformation for Intersection for the Arts Jazz Series with Will Bernard (DeYoung Museum, 2010), Private Life of a Cat, At Prague Castle, Aimless Walk live silent film scores for SF Cinematheque (Alexander Hammid, dir., SF MOMA, 2010); Buckminsterfullerene for Clarinet Thing (Capp Street Community Music Center, SF, 2010).

Ben Goldberg, whose group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (San Francisco Chronicle), lives in Berkeley. He recently released two records on his BAG Production label: Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues ("Traces the evolution of an artist whO now seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path." - Andrew Gilbert, NPR), and Unfold Ordinary Mind ("A feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising." - Ben Ratliff, New York Times). The Downbeat Critics' Poll has named Ben the #1 Rising Star Clarinetist, with Peter Margasak commenting that "Ben Goldberg has few rivals as one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music." In addition to Clarinet Thing and Unfold Ordinary Mind, Ben's projects include DIALOGUE, a duo with pianist Myra Melford; and the Ben Goldberg Trio, with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. This fall Ben will record his large project Orphic Machine, funded by a recent Shifting Foundation grant.

Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel (pronounced "wine-apple") has performed with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, and Joe Henderson. Besides working with these and numerous other leaders, Wainapel has toured extensively under his own name, and has performed in 22 countries. His heavy involvement with the music of Brazil has led to performances with top-level musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Dori Caymmi, Guinga, and Jovino Santos Neto. Saxophone master Joe Lovano says, "Wainapel plays with the performance attitude which for me is what jazz and improvisation is all about. It's a pleasure to listen to Harvey's soulful interpretations." A favorite of critics, musicians and fans, Wainapel was nominated for two BAMMY (Bay Area Music) Awards: Outstanding Reed Player and Outstanding Jazz Musician. (The short list of fellow nominees included Joe Henderson, Peter Apfelbaum and Charlie Hunter.) The 2009 Downbeat Critic's Poll lists Harvey as a "rising star" on clarinet.

171027_Clarinet_Thing
171013_Kreston

Elaine Kreston & Friends

play Schubert, Dohnányi, and Mozart

 

Friday 13 October 8:00pm
 

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present the wonderful local cellist, Elaine Kreston, and three of her talented colleagues, in a program of classical masterpieces spanning three centuries. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
   Elaine Kreston - cello
   Emanuela Nikiforova - violin
   Linda Green - viola

   Monica Chew - piano

About the Concert:

Four of the Bay Area’s vibrant and visionary musicians join forces to present the beautiful chamber music of Schubert, Dohnányi, and Mozart. Elaine Kreston, Emanuela Nikiforova, Linda Green, and Monica Chew bring musical and cultural experiences from around the globe and contribute diverse offerings to the Bay Area music scene, both in their own performances and their influence on young musicians and education.


The Program:
    String Trio in Bb Major, D 471 - Franz Schubert
    Serenade in C Major, Op. 10 - Ernő Dohnányi
    Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K 478 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


About the Artists:

Elaine Kreston is both an inspired classical cellist and a versatile improviser. She has performed throughout Europe and the United States, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, Broadway theatres, recording studios, radio broadcasts, spiritual retreats, and arena rock shows, as well as schools, bookstores, and cafés.  In classical music settings, Ms. Kreston currently focuses on chamber music, where she enjoys the intimacy of the repertoire for small ensembles. She is known for her passionate interpretations of the solo cello suites of J.S. Bach, now available on CD. Bay Area audiences have seen her perform with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony chamber players, the Maybeck Trio, the Cello Chixtet, and RumiCello.  Originally from the Chicago area, Elaine lived in Boston, Texas, Poland, Italy, and New York City before finding her way here. With a spirited desire to share the wonders of music with future generations, she leads a teaching studio in Berkeley and frequently visits schools to perform, teach, and inspire. One of her favorite things about the cello is the first lesson: “Give your cello a hug.” To learn more about her latest adventures, please visit www.elainekreston.com.

Violinist Emanuela Nikiforova has gathered eclectic musical influences during her studies in Bulgaria, at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, as well as her residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studies in Louisiana State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has concertized internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician, and a principal violinist of Camerata Lysy, Gstaadt (Switzerland), and recorded for Bulgarian TV, the labels Revista Classica (Argentina) and Claves (Switzerland). A Bay Area resident of 15 years now, Emanuela is a member of 5 Symphony orchestras, violin instructor at The Renaissance International School in Oakland, and artistic director of Antika Slavic Strings - a formation that celebrates the togetherness of the Slavic cultures and the deep relationships between Classical and Folklore music.

Linda Green, violist, is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She performed in Europe and Asia during her nine year tenure as the assistant principal violist of the Orquestra Nacional do Porto (Portugal), where she also played in the Quarteto Jacob and performed many solo recitals and other chamber music. Other ensembles she has performed with include the Oakland Symphony, the Classical Music Festival (in Eisenstadt, Austria) the Toledo Symphony, the Carol Trio, the Syracuse Symphony, the Binghamton Symphony, the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Marin Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic, and is principal violist of the Vallejo Symphony. She was also a participant in the 2017 Gateways Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music. As a teacher, Ms. Green’s private students have won competitions here and abroad. She has lived in the Bay Area since 2001, where she teaches music in the Oakland Public Schools and co-founded both the Home of United String Ensembles (HOUSE) and the Oakland Symphony sponsored MUSE VIVO Orchestra.

 

Monica Chew is a Bay Area pianist. She founded Minsky Duo with Nato and Duo Moderna with Jerry Kuderna. She prefers chamber music to concerti, Haydn to Mozart, and lately Bartók above all things. Her favorite thing is to produce concerts with a strong narrative arc. You can find where she's performing next on her website, monicachew.com.

170922_NEQ

New Esterházy Quartet
Italy 1766—The Tuscan Quartet


Friday 22 September 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet's opening concert of their new subscription series with a wonderful program featuring works written by members of the famed 18th century Quartetto Toscano. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
   Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme - violins
   Anthony Martin - viola
   William Skeen - 'cello


The Program:
    Quartet, Op. 2, No. 1 in C minor, (1761, rev. 1767) Luigi Boccherini (1743–1806)
    Quartet Op. 2, No. 6 in F minor (1775) Giuseppe Cambini (1746–1825?)
    Quartet No. 4 in F (1782) Pietro Nardini (1722–1793)
    Quartet, Op. 8, No. 6 in A (1769) Boccherini


The Ensemble:
Founded in 2006 and currently in its ninh year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.

The Berkeley Choro Ensemble
with Duo Violão Brasil


Friday 8 Sept 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome The Berkeley Choro Ensemble, a quartet of brilliant local artists, in a concert of Brazilian music. Joining the ensemble will be Duo Violão Brasil featuring two virtuoso guitarists from Brasil, Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
Berkeley Choro Ensemble
    Harvey Wainapel - sax & clarinet
    Jane Lenoir - flute
    Ricardo Peixoto - guitar
    Brian Rice - percussion
Duo Violão Brasil
    Rogério Souza - guitar
    Edinho Gerber - guitar


About the Concert:
The Berkeley Choro Ensemble joins forces with Duo Violão Brasil to present a diverse program of compositions showcasing a history of Brazilian Popular Music. The group will appear in duo, trio and full ensemble settings, featuring works by some of the great composers in Brazil , including Pixinguinha, Baden Powell, Ernesto Nazareth, and others.


About the Ensembles:
The Berkeley Choro Ensemble (pronounced "shoro"), is a group of world-class musicians from the SF Bay Area that made its debut in January, 2010, at the Berkeley Public Library. The group celebrates the music, culture and history of Brazil, with a special emphasis on the Choro genre, a style of music which emerged in the 1800's in Brazil, fusing the music of Brazil's European immigrants and the native music of Brazil's indigenous and African-Brazilian population. In particular, the choro sound is somewhat akin to a combination of European classical music, ragtime, and blues. Historically, the choro style influenced Brazil's most famous classical composer, Heitor Villa Lobos, to compose some of the world's most hauntingly beautiful music, the Bachianas Brasileiras. Our repertoire also includes samba, bossa nova, jazz, and the music of Northeast Brazil.

Duo Violão Brasil is the result of guitarists Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber's reverence for Brazilian guitar, the “violão”, and their desire to explore and expand the musical possibilities of putting two “violões" together. With repertoire from composers like Pixinguinha, Baden Powell, and Tom Jobim, the duo navigates effortlessly through the many styles of 20th century Brazilian popular music while showcasing original works and inventive arrangements.


About the Artists:
From a family of professional musicians, flutist Jane Lenoir grew up in Tampa, Florida, and left home at 15 as a scholarship student to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and then to Oberlin Conservatory of Music. A performer comfortable in many diverse styles, Jane appears regularly as a soloist, chamber player, orchestral musician, and jazz performer. She first began her study of Brazilian music in 2006, and has since performed with Marcos Silva, Jovino Santos Neto, Hermeto Pascoal, and recorded with Carlos Oliveira and Ceilia Medeiros, Live at Anna's Jazz Island and Brazilian Choro 2009. In 2010 she visited Brazil and studied with Hermeto Pascoal, Jovino Santos Neto, Paulo Sergio Santos, Allessandro Pennezzi and Ted Falcon. She is principal flutist with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Grass Valley, and also performs with Sexteto Matiz, an Afro-Cuban ensemble, and numerous jazz, and new music and chamber ensembles in styles ranging from early music (baroque flute) to free improvisation.

Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel (pronounced "wine-apple") has performed with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, and Joe Henderson. Besides working with these and numerous other leaders, Wainapel has toured extensively under his own name, and has performed in 22 countries. His heavy involvement with the music of Brazil has led to performances with top-level musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Dori Caymmi, Guinga, and Jovino Santos Neto. Wainapel was a featured soloist on two CDs that were final nominees for Latin Grammy Awards™ "Best Latin Jazz Recording" (with Jovino Santos Neto in 2004 and with Mark Levine in 2003). Harvey has been called "one of the most promising and versatile players of his generation" (All Music Guide to Jazz 1998)

Originally from Rio de Janeiro and based in the Bay Area, guitarist/composer Ricardo Peixoto is among the top representatives of Brazilian guitar in the US, with a fluid melodic style and a keen compositional sense. His performances explore Brazil's rich and diverse traditions, both in his original work as well as in arrangements of Brazilian classics. His approach is grounded both in the jazz and Brazilian music traditions, but always ventures well beyond their borders, combining rich melodies, sophisticated harmonies, and the unmistakable rhythms of Brazil. Ricardo came to the US on a scholarship to the Berkeley School of Music in Boston, and later continued his studies in classical guitar at the SF Conservatory of Music. He has recorded, performed, and collaborated with, among others, Claudia Villela, Flora Purim and Airto, saxophonist Bud Shank, percussionist Dom Um Romão, Toots Thielemans, Dori Caymmi, Guinga, guitarist Carlos Oliveira, Harvey Wainapel, Marcos Silva and Terra Sul. He has performed throughout the US, Europe, Canada, Japan and Brazil.

Percussionist Brian Rice graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a B.M. in Percussion Performance and Ethnomusicology. A well-rounded musician, Brian is a highly acclaimed performer, educator and recording artist adept at numerous musical styles ranging from classical and jazz, to Latin, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian, to contemporary and experimental music. Brian's study of the Brazilian pandeiro began in 1986 when the Sao Paulo State University percussion ensemble visited Oberlin and percussionist/composer Carlos Stasi, then a student at SPSU, gave Brian a quick pandeiro lesson after the concert. Since then Brian's obsession with the pandeiro has led him to study with Guello, Marcos Suzano, Airto, Claudio Bueno and Clarice Magalhaes, and his prowess on the instrument has led him to perform with numerous Brazilian artists including, Jovino Santos Neto, Paulo Sergio Santos, Danilo Brito, Dudu Maia and Jorge Alabe. It was studies with Marcos Suzano that inspired Brian to expand his use of the pandeiro outside the Brazilian music world and apply it to Balkan, Celtic, Middle Eastern, Spanish, and Cuban music with great effect.

Son of a Brazilian mother and American father, guitarist and composer Edinho Gerber possesses a rich musical vocabulary developed in the two countries where he was raised: the United States and Brazil. Navigating effortlessly between the genres of choro, jazz, samba, and blues, he is always in search of the intersection points within his dual cultural identity. A staple in the Chicago music scene for many years, he was a highly in demand sideman having played with countless U.S. based Brazilian groups, including Som Brasil, Renato Anesi Trio, A Cor do Brasil, and led the samba-jazz group Zona Sul. He has performed in prestigious festivals and concerts in throughout the United States, Russia, and Japan, and currently resides in Rio de Janeiro where he performs regularly with Duo Violão Brasil and is preparing for the upcoming releases of his debut solo album and of an inventive new cross cultural collaboration with Ben Lamar.

Rogério Souza is a guitarist, composer and arranger from Rio de Janeiro. He is one of the most important representatives of the genuine Brazilian guitar tradition. Has since his professional debut in the early 1980's been involved in big events in the Brazilian popular music, specially the choro and the samba, participating as musician, arranger and music director in tv sessions, recordings and concerts. Rogério has played and recorded with a variety of Brazilian top-artists, including Baden Powell, Sivuca, Raphael Rabello, Turibio Santos, Paulinho da Viola, João Bosco, Ney Matogrosso, Ivan Lins, Elizeth Cardoso, Dona Ivone Lara, Elsa Soares, Zélia Duncan, Leila Pinheiro, Paulo Moura, Guinga, Altamiro Carrilho, Cristóvão Bastos and the choro-group Época De Ouro.

 

170908_Berkeley_Choro

Allessandro Penezzi, Jane Lenoir & Friends

In Concert


Sunday 27 August 2017 at 3:00pm
 

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present the brilliant São Paulo guitarist and composer Allessandro Penezzi, flutist Jane Lenoir, and friends in a concert celebrating the release of Jane's new CD, "Jane Lenoir plays Penezzi." The concert will feature Penezzi's original compositions. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The artists:
    Alessandro Penezzi - guitar
    Jane Lenoir - flute
    Brian Rice - pandiero

    others tba


About the Concert:
Every year in late summer in Cazadero, CA, a unique, weeks-long musical retreat called "Brazil Camp" draws top musicians from Brazil and around the world to perform, share, teach, learn and enjoy the wide variety of musical forms of Brazil; forms like choro, baião, maxixe, waltz, lullaby, chamamé and more. This year we are extremely fortunate to be able to "borrow" one of the Camp's star faculty, the renowned Brazilian guitarist and composer, Allessandro Penezzi, to perform for us. Performing with Penezzi will be virtuoso flutist, Jane Lenoir, whose new CD features Penezzi's original compositions. Joining these two remarkable artists will be another member of the Brazil Camp faculty, Brian Rice, on pandiero. And we wouldn't be surprised if other talented players joined in the fun!

About the Artists:
Considered one of the great Brazilian guitarists of his generation, composer, arranger and guitarist Allesandro Penezzi was born in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. He began his musical studies at seven years old. A multiinstrumentalist, Alessandro plays 7-string guitar, tenor guitar, cavaquinho, mandolin and flute. Alessandro has recorded over 20 CD’s of music, and has performed with many of the great Brazilians musicians: Yamandú Costa, Rogério Caetano, Sizão Machado, Alex Buck, Alexandre Ribeiro and Nailor Azevedo "Proveta". He also played with Dominguinhos, Hermeto Pascoal, Zimbo Trio, Beth Carvalho, Sílvio Caldas, Billy Blanco, Alaíde Costa, D. Ivone Lara and the Symphonic Jazz orchestras of São Paulo and London Symphony. He has taught at California Brazil Camp since 2010, and is building a following in the US as one of the great virtuosos and composers in Brazilian popular music today.

Flutist Jane Lenoir grew up in Tampa, Florida and was trained classically at Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin Conservatory. She moves comfortably between several genres, including classical music, new music, improvisation, jazz, latin music, Brazilian music and early music and appears regularly as a soloist, chamber player, orchestral musician, and jazz performer. She is the founder and flutist with Berkeley Choro Ensemble and Co-Director of the Berkeley Festival of Choro. She is artistic director of a new series in Albany in 2017, Third Sunday Concerts at St. Alban’s Church, which is celebrates many local outstanding groups in jazz, world music, latin and classical styles. Attracted to choro music through the inspiration of her sister Annie Lenoir and the great Rio-based clarinetist Paulo Sergio Santos, she has been playing Brazilian music for 10 years.

170827-penezzi

Sergey Musaelyan
Piano Recital


Friday 30 June 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is honored to present the brilliant Russian pianist, Sergey Musaelyan, performing  sonatas by Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Liszt.  Don't miss this remarkable artist performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artist:
     Sergey Musaelyan - piano

 

The Program:
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2

    Sergei Prokofiev
    Piano Sonata No.7 in B♭ Major, Op.83

 

    Franz Liszt
    Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178

 

About the Artist:

The internationally acclaimed Russian pianist, Sergey Musaelyan, was born in 1950, to a respected piano teacher in the Moscow Central Music School for gifted and talented children, which he attended. After graduation he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and studied there under the celebrated pianist, Jakob Flier, whose tradition of performing and teaching he has since pursued. He is an Honored Artist of Russia and the winner of numerous International piano competitions. He has performed solo recitals and concertos with orchestras in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world, and under the baton of such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazi, Valery Georgiev and many others. Musaelyan was named the Person of the Year by the US Biography Reference Center in 1995, and was featured in the 2012 documentary film. "Pianism," by Ivan Tverdovsky.

Performances:

Sergei Musaelyan plays Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3

Sergei Musaelyan plays Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No.7

170630_musaelyan

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble

Russian Chamber Music Masterpieces


Sunday 11 June 2017 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to welcome our friends, the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, back  to our stage with a wonderful program of Russian chamber music including works Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Catoire, and Andriasov (pere et fils).  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble are:
    Victor Romasevich - violin
    Michael Jones - violin
    Stephen Levintow - viola
    Paul Rhodes - cello


About the Concert:

San Francisco Symphony violinist Victor Romasevich and his colleagues in the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble have a special affinity for the Russian repertoire, and this concert showcases some superb examples of the genre from both the 19th and the 20th Centuries.



The Program:
    String Quartet in f# minor, Op. 23 – Georgy Catoire
    Piece for String Quartet, Op. 7 – Arshak Andriasov
    'Spring' for String Quartet, Op. 32 – Iosif Andriasov
    String Quartet in D, Op.1  – Iosif Andriasov
    Finale from the String Quartet on the Theme 'B-la-F– Aleksandr Glazunov
    Elegy in memory of M.P. Belaieff in D minor, Op. 105– Aleksandr Glazunov
    String Quartet #2 in F, Op. 22– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The Ensemble:
In 1997, two veteran freelancers, violinist Michael Jones and Juilliard-trained violist Steve Levintow, recruited BBC Orchestra violinist Andrew Davies and cellist Paul Hale of the Oakland Symphony to found the Jupiter Chamber Players. The group had the good fortune to connect with Marvin Sanders, director of Live Oak Concerts at the Berkeley Art Center, just as the Center's previous ensemble-in-residence, the Cypress Quartet, left to launch their international career. The Art Center remained the Jupiter's "home" venue for 10 years. Paul Rhodes replaced Hale in 2000, bringing his years of experience in numerous orchestras and as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival. Two years later, Davies left to pursue other projects, and San Francisco Symphony member Victor Romasevich took over as first violinist. Romasevich brought deep fascination with Russian chamber music, including masterworks by such composers as Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire, and Iosif Andriasov (with whom Romasevich studied violin and viola) - all links in a tradition going back to Tchaikovsky through the Moscow Conservatory. The Jupiter Chamber Players take pleasure in introducing wider audiences to the work of these composers, while continuing also to present more familiar Russian and European repertoire

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The Circadian String Quartet
Rhythm, Revolution, and Ritual:
Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" Re-imagined


Saturday 27 May 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the Circadian String Quartet's  return to our stage with the David Ryther's remarkable transcription of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" for string quartet and percussion. The CSQ previewed Part I of the piece at the Club last October to great acclaim and they are now returning with the complete work. Also on the program is a suite of Russian folksongs, performed by the brilliant vocalist Lily Storm, and the premiere of a new work "Rites" written especially for the CSQ by Benjamin Leeds Carson. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Circadian String Quartet are:
     Sarah Wood & David Ryther - violins
     Omid Assadi -  viola
     David Wishnia - cello

 

with special guest:
    Lily Storm - vocals


About the Concert:
The Circadian String Quartet presents "Rhythm, Revolution and Ritual: The Rite of Spring Re-imagined.” the first concert in a series of three programs developed to explore the revolutionary sound world from Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring and its links to the explosive events of the decades from which it sprung. This iconic 20th century masterpiece, which infamously caused a riot at its 1913 premiere, struck a powerful nerve in a Europe wracked by political and social tension. Since then, the music has provoked unending fascination with its mix of French harmonies & deep, primal Russian roots. This concert features the Circadian's own version of Stravinsky's masterpiece transcribed for string quartet and percussion.

For Stravinsky, revolutionary meant making use of ancient Russian folk music. In that spirit CSQ also presents Russian folksongs in collaboration with the brilliant singer, Lily Storm. We are also proud to present the premiere of composer Benjamin Leeds Carson's "Rites," written especially for CSQ as a companion piece for the Rite of Spring. "Rites" takes Stravinsky's primal rhythms as a jumping off point for a sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant adventure in rhythmic ritual.

The Program:

    Russian Folk Songs sung by Lily Storm

    'Rites" for String Quartet (3 movements) - Benjamin Leeds Carson

    The Rite of Spring: Scenes of Pagan Rus’ in Two Parts  -  Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
        Part I - L'Adoration de la Terre (Adoration of the Earth)
        Part II - Le Sacrifice (The Sacrifice)
    (Transcribed for String Quartet and Percussion by David Ryther)



The Ensemble:
Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to promote the classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire, in particular music of cultural and folkloric significance. Since then, the group has been featured by Mt. Shasta's Music by the Mountain Chamber Music Festival, SunsetArts Chamber Music Series in San Francisco, and the Merced Symphony Association. CSQ has collaborated with many fine musicians, including the St. Petersburg-based Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet during their 2014 North American tour, and with local musicians of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet. CSQ is proud to have given world- and U.S. premieres of exciting new pieces of chamber music, a result of working closely with several living composers, including Sahba Aminikia, Toronto-based composer and pianist Noam Lemish, and British composer Ian Venables. The Circadian String Quartet has recently been accepted as an ensemble with the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Members of CSQ serve as resident teaching artists for the Villa Sinfonia Foundation's Zephyr Point Chamber Music Workshop in South Lake Tahoe, NV. Dedicated to music education, the quartet works intensely with musician of all ages in developing their musical abilities in chamber music. The quartet has also developed and presented interactive school programs for grades 4-12.

The Artists:
David Ryther
(violin) has brought his interpretive powers as a soloist to such festivals as the Darmstadt Summer Festival of New Music, the Banff Center, and the Green Umbrella Series at the Bing theater in Los Angeles. He has been featured playing new music with adventurous ensembles sfSoundGroup, Earplay, San Francisco Contemporary Players, the Berkeley New Music Ensemble, Sonor, and Octagon. An active violinist, he can be found playing in many of the orchestras and ensembles in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. David graduated with highest honors in music from UC Santa Cruz and recently received his doctorate in contemporary violin performance from UC San Diego. A dedicated teacher and conductor, David is a teacher and assistant conductor with Villa Sinfonia in San Francisco, teaches violin at the Crowden School, and has served as coach and interim conductor with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra. As a composer, David has had world premieres played by the Villa Sinfonia, an orchestra piece called "Friend" commissioned by the Croi Glan dance troupe in Cork Ireland, and has worked in residency with Kate Weare company in New York and Dandelion Dance Theater in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sarah Wood (violin) leads a versatile career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has soloed with the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra and the Panache, Villa Sinfonia, and Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestras. In addition to her membership with the Circadian String Quartet, Sarah has performed chamber music concerts across the Northwestern and Western United States, and is a frequent recitalist. Sarah is currently acting assistant concertmaster of the California Symphony, acting Principal Second Violin of the Berkeley Symphony, and a member of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra. As an educator, she is on faculty at the Crowden School of Music and teaches privately. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with the Takacs String Quartet and Lina Bahn, and also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Paul Kantor and William Preucil.

Native of Iran, Omid Assadi (viola) holds a B.M. and M.M. from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodie Levitz and Bettina Mussumeli. Mr. Assadi is an active ensemble player and soloist; he has concertized with many of the Bay Area’s orchestras and has appeared numerous times as soloist with Golden Gate Philharmonic, City College of San Francisco String Orchestra, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, and Villa Sinfonia. Omid’s love for chamber music has led him to study chamber music with the members of the Kronos String Quartet as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members. In addition, he has collaborated with Jennifer Culp, Jodi Levitz, Jorja Fleezanis, and with the Shams Ensemble.

An active chamber musician, David Wishnia (cello) routinely concertizes with both the Circadian String Quartet and the Villa Piano Trio, and has taught at the Zephyr Point Chamber Music Camp and Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop. David has also appeared as a soloist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and Villa Sinfonia. He is currently a member of the Marin Symphony, and has performed in numerous Bay Area ensembles, including the Berkeley Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Russian Chamber Orchestra, and Marin Oratorio, among others. David received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. He also studied with Jerome Carrington and Maurice Gendron, and received coaching from Paul Tortelier, Janos Starker, and Pierre Pasquier.

Lily Storm is a singer specializing in traditional music, with particular experience in Eastern European styles. She has studied with many traditional singers (Donka Koleva, Kremena Stancheva, Merita Halili, Mariana Sadovska, Christos Govetas, Carl Linich, Tsvetanka Varimezova, Radostina Kaneva, Tatiana Sarbinska), and has traveled extensively, living for some months in Hungary and Greece and visiting Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and India. She also makes use of archival recordings to study ancient styles preserved into the early 20th century.  Previously she sang with the Bay Area vocal ensemble Kitka for 5 years. As part of Kitka, she recorded as a soloist (The Vine, Wintersongs), collaborated in concert with ensembles including Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Ziyia, Ensemble Alcatraz, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Davka, and Mariana Sadovska, and appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion and NPR's Performance Today.  Lily holds a Masters in Music (with emphasis on Kodály pedagogy) from Holy Names University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College.

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Sun Valley Players
Beethoven, Dvořák & Eshima


Sunday 21 May 2017 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to host the return of the Sun Valley Players, an ensemble of virtuoso musicians, to our Concert Series. They will be performing one of Beethoven's Late Quartets, along with some music by Dvořák and Eshima. And there's a secret ... this super-group are all mild-mannered members of the San Francisco Symphony, including Assistant Concertmaster Jeremy Constant, and Assistant Principal cellist Amos Yang, as well as violinist Polina Sedukh and violist Adam Smyla.  Joining them for this concert will be pianist Peter Grunberg and bassist Charles Chandler. Don't miss these world-class artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Sun Valley Players are:

Jeremy Constant - violin
Polina Sedukh - violin
Adam Smyla - viola
Amos Yang - cello

 

with special guests:
Charles Chandler - bass
Peter Grunberg - piano


The Concert:
In the last several years of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven created a series of six string quartets of surpassing beauty, subtlety, and sophistication. These pieces have become known as the "Late Quartets." At the time of their composition, however, Beethoven's contemporaries didn't know what to make of them; one commented that "we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is." Composer and conductor Louis Spohr called them "indecipherable, uncorrected horrors." Since that time, however, these works have become revered by generations musicians, scholars, and listeners alike, and indeed sound modern even in the 21st Century. For this concert the Sun Valley Players will be performing one of these venerated works, "String Quartet No.12 in Eb Major, Op. 127."

The young Dvorak composed his String Quartet No. 5 in F minor early in his career but abandoned it. Seven years later, as his fame spread, he took the lovely, lyrical cantabile from the Quartet and turned into the exquisite miniature that is his "Romance in F minor, Op.11."

The beautiful cello-bass duo "Bariolage" by Shinji Eshima has a multitude of local connections. The piece was commissioned for S.F Symphony players Amos Yang and Charles Chandler in 2015, and Eshima himself was born in Berkeley and is currently a member of the S.F Opera and S.F. Ballet orchestras.

The Program:
"Bariolage" (duet for bass & cello) - Shinji Eshima
Romance in F minor, Op. 11 - Antonin Dvořák (arranged for violin & piano)
String Quartet No. 12 in Eb Major, Op. 127 - Ludwig van Beethoven


About the Artists:
After winning the Grand Prize in the 1979 Du Maurier competition in Canada, violinist Jeremy Constant studied in New York with Ivan Galamian and then with the great violinist Itzhak Perlman before making the San Francisco Bay Area his home. He became a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 1984, with whom he continues to perform as Assistant Concertmaster. He has been Concertmaster of the Marin Symphony since 1994 and in 2000 was named Concertmaster of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is a frequent soloist with the orchestra and participant in the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Series. As an active soloist and chamber musician both here and abroad, Jeremy has performed on radio and television around the world. He was violinist in the San Francisco Piano Trio, and a founding member of the Navarro Trio and Navarro Quartet. He can be heard as Assistant Concertmaster on Grammy Award winning releases such as the continuing Mahler cycle by the San Francisco Symphony and can been seen on their ongoing television project Keeping Score. Jeremy plays the ex-Heberlein Stradivarius from the year 1700, which was donated to the San Francisco Symphony for his exclusive use. Residing in Oakland with his wife Sharon, Jeremy is a pilot who took over 7 years to build a plane which he currently enjoys flying.

Born to a family of musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, Polina Sedukh began studying violin at the age of four, her first teachers being her father Grigory Sedukh and Savely Shalman. She is a graduate of Special Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, where she studied under the guidance of Lev Ivaschenko and Vladimir Ovtcharek. She also holds Artist Diploma from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she studied with Laura Bossert and Malcolm Lowe. Prizewinner of the International Spohr Competition in Weimar, Germany, Ms. Sedukh made her solo orchestral debut at the age of seven with the Chamber Orchestra of Liepaya, Latvia and has since appeared as soloist with St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Virtuosi Orchestra, St.Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, Newton Symphony Orchestra and Weimer State Capella Orchestra. Following her passion for symphonic music, Ms. Sedukh pursued career in major American orchestras, presently being a member of 2nd violin section of San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and having previously served as a member of Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.

At age 17, violist Adam Smyla won the first prize at the National Viola Competition in his native Poland. Within six months, he became the youngest member of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra and was invited to join the Penderecki String Quartet with whom he toured throughout the world for nearly a decade. Adam was Assistant Principal Violist of the Chicago Lyric Opera and Principal Violist of the Concertanti di Chicago before becoming a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 2000. Adam appears frequently in chamber music concerts throughout the Bay Area, often in collaboration with his wife, pianist Edna Koren.

Amos Yang is the Assistant Principal cellist for the San Francisco Symphony. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., the Far East and Europe. He has also collaborated in chamber music with the Ying Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, pianists Ann Schein and Melvin Chen, violinist Earl Carlyss and composer Bright Sheng. Yang’s awards include the Performer’s Certificate at Eastman School of Music and first prizes in the American String Teacher’s Association and Grace Vamos competitions. He was finalist in the Pierre Fournier International Cello Competition and was awarded the CD Jackson Prize at the Tanglewood Music Festival for outstanding musical contribution. As cellist of the Maia String Quartet from 1996-2002, Yang was involved in many educational programs, performing throughout the country for schools under the auspices of such organizations as Arts Excel, Young Audiences Inc. and the Midori Foundation. During this time he also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute. Yang holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. Before joining the San Francisco Symphony, Yang was a member of the Seattle Symphony, maintaining a private teaching studio as well as cultivating an active solo and chamber music life. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir.

 

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Matt Renzi's

"In Breath"
 

Friday 12 May 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to welcome an old friend with a new project back to our stage. Matt Renzi has performed both as a leader and a side-man a number of times in our series; for this concert he will bring a wonderful woodwind-based quartet. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

 

(Please note that, due to unavoidable circumstances, the previously-announced "Arm-Sized Legging" program has been replaced with "In Breath")


'In Breath' are:
Mat Renzi - woodwinds
Ben Goldberg - clarinet
John Wiitala - bass
Hamir Atwal- drums

 

About the Program:

'In Breath' is an expandable ensemble featuring woodwinds, bass and drums playing a repertoire of all original music.The music is rooted in the jazz tradition but also explores contemporary classical harmony as well as the Carnatic rhythmic system of South India. This version of 'In Breath' will feature the creative interplay of clarinet master Ben Goldberg and woodwind virtuoso  Matt Renzi, along with the great rhythm section of bassist John Wiitala and drummer Hamir Atwal. .

 

About the Artists:

Multi-reedist and composer Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Matt can be heard on a variety of recordings including the award winning “Lines and Ballads” (Fresh Sound Records) as well as his latest release entitled “Rise and Shine” (Three P’s Records) which features his New York trio. Matt has performed and recorded with Marc Johnson, Michael Formanek, Eddie Marshall, Herbie Lewis, Ben Monder, Eberhard Weber, Bob Moses, Ralph Alessi, Bobo Stenson, and the Berlin Philharmanic Quintet.

Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path." (NPR). Through his many bands and compositional projects The New York Times has noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. Ben leads or co-leads The Out Louds, Invisible Guy, Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home, “a searching ensemble that welcomes lyrical improvisation while embracing the groove” (The New Yorker); Ben Goldberg School; and Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. He is a member of the avant-chamber jazz ensemble Tin Hat; and performs in a duo with pianist Myra Melford called DIALOGUE.

Bassist John Wiitala is a native of Oakland, CA. He started playing on the San Francisco Jazz scene in 1980 with Hal Stein, Jessica Williams as well as short stints with the Joe Henderson Big Band, the Joe Henderson/Warren Gale Quintet, and John Handy. John also backed countless visiting artists, among them Charles McPherson, Benny Golson, Roger Kellaway, Lou Levy, Enestine Anderson, Mark Murphy, Junior Cook, James Moody, Red Holloway, Jack Walrath, Joe Locke, Arthur Blythe, Delfayo Marsalis, Kenny Barron. John Has also toured Europe in Japan with artists such as Jessica Williams, Bruce Forman, Richie Cole and Arturo Sandoval.

Drummer Hamir Atwal is a Berklee College of Music graduate who has taught at Oberlin College, Peabody Conservatory, Stanford University, CalArts, and the California Jazz Conservatory. Hamir has performed with Bill Laswell, Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Patrick Wolff, Patrick Cress, Joshua Smith, Ben Goldberg, Darren Johnston, Myra Melford, Joshua White, Grant Levin, Larry Vuckovich, Michael Coleman, Shelley Berg, Dave Santoro, Ruben Rogers, Mike Sopko, Michael Formanek, Donny McCaslin, Kenny Wollesen, Drew Gress, and Stomu Takeshi.

The Melodiya Chamber Ensemble
"Solos & Duets"

 

Friday 5 May 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to host the return of the Melodiya Chamber Ensemble, bringing a unique combination of instruments and repertoire to our stage. The program will feature works by Marais, Debussy, Ravel, Salzedo, Beethoven, Schumann, and Enesco. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Melodiya Chamber Ensemble are:
   Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov - harp
   Arcadi Serper - piano
   Sergey Rakitchenkov - viola


The Program:   

   Suite No.1 in D minor (selections) - Marin Marais

   Arabesque #1 - Claude Debussy
   Pavane pour une infante défunte - Maurice Ravel
   Variations on a Theme in Ancient Style, for solo harp, Op.30 - Carlos Salzedo

   Romance in G Major, Op. 40 - Ludwig van Beethoven

   Märchenbilder; Fairy Tale Pictures for Viola and Piano, Op.113 - Robert Schumann
   Konzertstück for Viola and Piano - George Enesco

About the Artists:

The San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s Principal Harp Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov was born in Russia into a family rich in musical tradition. Her mother was an editor of Musica, a major Russian publishing company, and her granduncle was a member of the Budapest Quartet. The former Associate Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera, Adolf Bruk, is her uncle. Olga started piano lessons at seven at Moscow’s Gnesin School for Musically Gifted Children. At eleven, she began to study harp in the class of Mark Rubin, making it her primary instrument. She graduated with Highest Honors from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, studying with Professor Vera Dulova. Olga won the position of Associate Principal Harp in the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in 1973 and was promoted to Principal. In 1989, after immigration to the United States, she won the position of Principal Harp for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Arkadi Serper is a prominent pianist and composer. He had an outstanding career as Musical Director of the Musical Theater Department at the Gnesin Conservatory prior to his move to the Bay Area in 1992. Mr. Serper has performed in Europe, the United States, and Asia. His compositions have been performed by the Stockton Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Kairos Youth Choir, The Crowden School, and the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus. He has been a member of the Crowden faculty since 1992, coaching chamber music and teaching music theory and composition. Mr. Serper teaches piano at CCMC.

Associate Principal Viola in the San Francisco Opera, Sergey Rakitchenkov was born in Moscow and attended the Central School for Musically Gifted Children. He graduated with honors from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Moscow, where he studied with Fyodor Druzhinin. For fifteen years he performed with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, rising to become Principal of the viola section. In 1980 he won the prestigious All-Union Musical Competition. His playing was broadcast on a major Soviet Union radio station. In 1987, soon after arriving in the United States with his wife Olga and daughter Liza, he won a position in the viola section of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, where he currently serves in the Associate Principal chair. He also performs at special events around the San Francisco Bay Area and in Europe.

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The Oakland Jazz Choir
 

Friday 21 April 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the the Oakland Jazz Choir celebrating their 25 years of outstanding performances with a program of jazz originals and standards in unique choral arrangements. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

About the Oakland Jazz Choir:
The Oakland Jazz Choir, (OJC)
a non-profit, has been an East Bay institution for 25 years. During this span the group has taken many shapes, sizes and forms but the common denominator has always been the same: Joy of expression, using the voice to communicate the triumphs, as well as the turbulence, of the human spirit. We are committed to bringing vocal jazz to underserved audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Choir membership includes 16 singers, as diverse in age, religion, and race as our hometown. Artistic director Ben Flint, a native of Memphis TN, is steeped in gospel, jazz and R&B, but applies his diverse musical experience to finding a uniquely Oakland sound. This multicultural, multi-talented group of people volunteer their time, energy and skill to produce some of the sweetest harmonies around. OJC delivers exquisite 5 and 6 harmonies performing original and contemporary arrangements that include pieces by hit makers such as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Pat Metheny, as well as Bobby McFerrin, Michael Jackson, Thelonius Monk, Tower of Power & Tears for Fears.

Over the past 25 years, OJC has performed with such notables as: singers Madeline Eastman. Marlena Shaw, Faye Carol, and most recently, Kenny Washington and The Bobs, and collaborated with rhythm dancer Keith Terry and percussionist, composer John Santos. They’ve gigged at such venues as: Yoshi’s and Piedmont Piano in Oakland, both the San Francisco and San Jose Jazz Festivals, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, the Valhalla Boathouse Theatre at Lake Tahoe, the Grass Valley Center for the Arts, Piedmont Piano, First Fridays Oakland, and auditioned and won a coveted spot to perform in the prestigious International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE). OJC is supported entirely by individual donations and small grants.

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Michael Zilber's
Originals for the ORIGINALS

 

Friday 7 April 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present our friend, saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber with a program of his original compositions written in honor of seven shining lights of the jazz saxophone. Joining Mike for this gig will be Matt Clark, Peter Barshay, and Hamir Atwal. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
Michael Zilber
- saxophones

Matt Clark - piano

Peter Barshay - bass

Hamir Atwal - drums
 

special guest:

Zachary Shubert - piano



The Program:  
In a tribute to saxophone giants, one of the Bay Area's top saxophonists Michael Zilber performs all original music from his new ORIGIN CD, Originals for the ORIGINALS, written in homage to John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Paul Desmond and Joe Henderson. Hailed by leading jazz critics such as Andrew Gilbert and Bill Milkowski, Zilber's 11th release as a leader is being widely described as his best and most personal recording.  Zilber will be joined at The Hillside Club by the outstanding rhythm section of pianist Matt Clark, bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Hamir Atwal.

Opening for the group will be jazz piano prodigy Zachary Shubert, the pianist with the SFJAZZ ALL STARS and the Downbeat-award-winning Jazzschool Advanced Jazz Workshop.

About the Artists:
Michael Zilber is a San Francisco-based saxophonist and composer. Jazz legend Dave Liebman calls him “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” He has released 10 albums as a leader to numerous rave reviews, the latest being Originals for the Originals, his homage to saxophone giants. Featuring jazz greats Dave Kikoski, James Genus and Clarence Penn, the album was released in January 2017. In late 2016, he and guitar virtuoso John Stowell released Basement Blues, their 3rd recording together on Origin Records.  Zilber is currently a sideman in trumpeter/composer Erik Jekabson’s Stringtet, as well as playing and composing for the highly regarded Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, whose recent release Cheap Rent received 4.5 stars in DownBeat. Zilber also teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory where his student groups have won more than a dozen national DownBeat awards.

Pianist Matt Clark is a masterful artist who evolved from a child prodigy into a pillar of the San Francisco jazz scene. After his formal education at Ohio’s prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Clark planted roots in the Bay Area and quickly became a first-call rhythm section player, working steadily with an impressive list of jazz heavyweights including Bobby Hutcherson, Marcus Shelby and Joshua Redman. In addition to his sparkling résumé as a sideman, he’s led a pair of sessions for the Elixir label that focus on the work of composer/arranger Ron Ermini, both featuring esteemed bassist John Shifflet and veteran drummer David Rokeach.

Peter Barshay is a veteran bassist who has established a strong reputation over the years from his sideman work on both the New York City and Bay Area jazz scenes. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders, Blue Mitchell, Tony Williams, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Johnny Griffin, Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Rowles, Tommy Flanagan, the Mingus Big Band, Victor Lewis, Lou Donaldson, Lew Tabackin and Joe Chambers. Barshay began cello lessons at age nine. During his year at the San Francisco Conservatory Peter was able to add one particularly impressive name to his resume. "I actually got to play under Igor Stravinksy," he explains. "It was for the official opening of Zellerbach Auditorium in 1968 and they commissioned Stravinsky to come here and conduct four concerts.” Peter has appeared at Chez Hanny with Larry Schneider, Michael O'Neill, and Dave Scott.

Hamir Atwal is one of Bay Area's finest musicians and is known for his versatile style of drumming. He has worked with acts ranging from pop to the avant-garde. Some of these artists include tUnEyArDs, Michael Formanek, Ben Goldberg to Joe Lovano, and Greg Osby.  Hamir is also a guest clinician/teacher at schools which include: Oberlin College, Peabody Conservatory, Stanford University, CalArts, and the California Jazz Conservatory.

New Esterházy Quartet
Grand Concert Symphonique II

Friday 24 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm


The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the New Esterházy Quartet with an exciting new version of their Grand Concert Symphonique series. This program will feature symphonic music of Haydn arranged for string quart and featuring guest soloists. The artists of this celebrated San Francisco Bay Area string ensemble are internationally-known period instrument and chamber music specialists, and have gained a well-deserved reputation for virtuoso playing and interesting programs. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme
- violins
Anthony Martin - viola
William Skeen - 'cello

The Program:

   Joseph Haydn:

   Concerto in G for Piano, with Karen Rosenak, fortepiano
   Concerto in E♭ for Trumpet, with Jonathan Impett, keyed-trumpet
   Symphony No. 100 in G "Military"



The Ensemble:
Founded in 2006 and currently in its eighth year of subscription concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, the New Esterházy Quartet continues to present masterworks of the classical period alongside intriguing works from less-familiar composers. With Haydn's 68 quartets as its core repertoire, NEQ is increasingly recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets. The ensemble has been presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Carmel Chamber Music Society, has performed in New York and Los Angeles, and appeared as a Main Stage event for the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. NEQ was also selected for Early Music America's Touring Artists Roster and has received two grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Recent seasons have featured works by pupils and admirers of Haydn, late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, and novel explorations of early Bartók and Schoenberg. January 2014 saw the world premiere of Esterházy, book II, written for the ensemble by noted New York composer Paul Brantley. NEQ's 2014 summer project was the complete Mozart "Haydn" Quartets, performed at Berkeley's historic Hillside Club in a three-concert Amadè-Athon. The coming season will include an appearance on Pittsburgh's prestigious "Renaissance and Baroque" series in January and a summer cycle of the late Beethoven quartets. Four Haydn recordings are currently available, and a world premiere recording of a mid-19th century string quartet by Hungarian composer Imre Székely is near release.

The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists: Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen. As individuals, the players have performed and recorded in the top echelon of early music ensembles worldwide. In addition to many years of musical collaboration in Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and a long list of renowned chamber ensembles, these four Bay Area musicians have enjoyed decades of friendship and shared experience. Their history as both colleagues and friends endows the quartet with an unusual commonality of musical language and gesture, and provides a strong foundation for a unique and original ensemble voice. In addition to concert appearances, NEQ enjoys performing in private homes and other intimate settings where the traditional experience of true chamber music is renewed and shared by players and listeners together.

For more information on the New Esterházy Quartet and this program, please
check their website:

   http://newesterhazy.org/

 

170324-neq

Erik Jekabson's Vista Nonet

Art Songs & Chamber Jazz
 

Saturday 18 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to present an old friend with a new ensemble. Composer and trumpet player Erik Jekabson has performed numerous times in our concert series over the years and we've become great fans of his compositions and his playing. For this performance he is bringing his Vista Nonet, a nine piece ensemble including vocalists, violin, trumpet, reeds, vibraphone, and a jazz rhythm section. They will be performing Erik's original compositions, including musical settings of poems by Frank O'Hara and Elizabeth Bishop. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall


The Ensemble:
Erik Jekabson
- trumpet
Becca Burrington & Alexis Jenson - vocals
Alisa Rose- violin
Matt Renzi - woodwinds
Dillon Vado - vibes
Jeffrey Burr- guitar
Jeff Denson - bass
Alan Hall - drums.

 

About the artists:

Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students.  Erik has five CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “A Brand New Take” on the OA2 record label.  His other CDs are “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (released in 2014) which like “Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label.  His debut CD,  “Intersection”, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.  Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: “Vista: the Arrival” and “New World Funk Ensemble”. He’s recorded as a sideman on numerous other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.  As an arranger and composer, he’s written for both vocalists (Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jane Krakowski, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Sandy Cressman, Raz Kennedy, Shanna Carlson) and instrumental ensembles. (San Francisco Symphony, the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, the Realistic Orchestra, the California State University East Bay Jazz Ensemble, the SF Composers Orchestra and his own Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, which plays every Sunday at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco.)

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Multi-reedist Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. For the past decade, he has been recognized multiple times by jazz organizations in Italy, Spain, Belgium, India and Israel as well as in the United States for his advanced concepts in spontaneous group composition and collective improvisation with The Matt Renzi Trio. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Some of his teachers include Joe Henderson and South Indian Vocalist R.A. Ramamani.

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Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as the rich American musical tradition, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin.  Alisa Rose has performed with a wide range of artists including the Real Vocal String Quartet, 2008 Rockygrass winners 49 Special, and Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Alisa performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe as an Ambassador of the State Department, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, NPR's Weekend Edition, the historic Carter Family Fold festival, TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Song of the Mountains on PBS, as well as numerous international tours.

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Dillon Vado grew up in San Jose, California and began playing music at the age of 7. Learning at first informally from a close family friend, he immediately showed an interest in music. He played music in middle school, and high school focusing on primarily tenor saxophone, and percussion. At Del Mar High School, Dillon spent a lot of time playing in the various music programs offered, from concert percussion in the concert band, to snare drum and tenor drums in the marching band and winter drumline. By the age of sixteen Dillon was gigging and playing regularly. His experiences in high school really helped launch his professional career, because he had many opportunities to play musicals, play in the jazz band, and lead/compose for the drumline. These experiences led him to play snare drum after high school in the first ever Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Drumline, while also studying music at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. It was at West Valley that he started playing vibes more often, and eventually formed his own band, Grooveyard Shift. After West Valley, Dillon transferred to The California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California and is currently there pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies.

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Jeff Denson is currently focused on four projects as a leader, Jeff Denson Quartet ( featuring Jeff on bass and vocals and has included such extraordinary trumpeters as Ralph Alessi and Cuong Vu), Electreo (an experimental ensemble of electric bass, electric bassoon and percussion), The San Francisco String Trio, and the Jeff Denson Trio +1 – a project featuring a special guest artist each season, beginning appropriately with Lee Konitz in 2014/15, that has toured in the U.S and Europe. In addition, Jeff performs solo and in some special duets. In 2013 he released two duo recordings on pfMENTUM Records: I’ll Fly Away, a re-imagination of hymns and spirituals with Joshua White; and Two, with the remarkable European clarinetist Claudio Puntin.

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Alan Hall has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats including Paul McCandless, Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Art Lande, Geoff Keezer, Jimmy Haslip, Kai Eckhardt, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Rebecca Parris. He’s worked with Cirque Du Soleil in NYC and Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco. Alan taught drum set and ensembles at Berklee College of Music for seven years and he currently teaches drum set and ensembles at California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and Cal State University East Bay in Hayward. He is the author of several articles and a drum book entitled: “Internalization”- A non-reading intensive approach to mastery of the jazz drumming language. He is a proud endorser of Brooks Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Aquarian Accessories and Vic Firth Sticks.

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Becca Burrington graduated in trombone performance with honors at Oberlin Conservatory, where she received the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award. She also studied at Interlochen Arts Center and received the Governor’s Scholar and Outstanding Brass Performance award. An active freelancer on trombone and voice, performances have included trombone with the Silk Road Project with Yo-Yo Ma, San Francisco Sinfonietta, California Chamber Symphony, Women’s Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and the Montclair Women’s Big Band. She is a founding member of Solstice, an award winning female vocal septet. Ms. Burrington is also a member and frequent soprano soloist with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and the ground breaking vocal jazz group the Mirabai Ensemble. She has sung with an a wide array of artists including Bobby McFerrin, Sufjan Stevens, Meredith Monk, Andy Williams, and John Zorn. Becca’s students have played in the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have attended major conservatories including Oberlin.
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Bay Area native Alexis Jensen is an active local singer and actor.  She has performed on a wide variety of stages with companies such as Berkeley West Edge Opera, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Lamplighters Music Theater, Exit Theater, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Ray of Light Theater, Altarena Playhouse, Cinnabar Theater and Contra Costa Civic Theater.

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