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Hillside Club Concert Series Archives -2019 -2020

190920-Musaics
FabianaCozza_Trio.jpg

Fabiana Cozza Trio

featuring Douglas Alonso and Ricardo Peixoto

Brazilian Jazz and Samba

 

Friday 6 March 2020 at 8:00pm

 

The Berkeley Hillside Club

2286 Cedar Street

Berkeley 94709

Info: 510-845-1350

 

​Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

 

​The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present a wonderful program of Brazilian music featuring award-winning Brazilian vocalist Fabiana Cozza, percussionist Douglas Alonso, and guitarist Ricardo Peixoto. The repertoire of modern and classic samba songs as well as compositions from Fabiana’s most recent albums will certainly captivate the audience. Don't miss this rare chance to see these remarkable artists performing in an intimate setting in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

 

The Artists:

    Fabiana Cozza — vocals

    Douglas Alonso — drums & percussion

    Ricardo Peixoto — guitar

 

About the Concert:

Visiting from Brazil, Fabiana Cozza and Douglas Alonso present the exciting music of their native land in a repertoire that includes modern and old sambas plus songs from Fabiana’s most recent albums. They are joined by guitarist Ricardo Peixoto.

 

About the artist:

Fabiana Cozza, a vocalist whose unique style fuses Brazilian and African traditions, has built an impressive and award-winning career in the past 20 years as one of the most relevant singers of Brazilian contemporary music. She’s been recognized by music critics, top

Brazilian artists such as Maria Bethânia and João Bosco, and audiences for her extraordinary voice, and has performed in music festivals around the world. The singer has recorded 7 albums and 2 DVDs, and her album “Ay, Amor” won the Best Foreign-Language Album award in the 2018 Brazilian Music Awards.

Screenshot_2019-09-06 Musaics of the Bay

Musaics of the Bay

Music for Cello and Piano


Friday 29 November 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

​Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to partner again with Musaics of the Bay in a cello/piano concert featuring works by Bach, Beethoven, Dutilleux, Prokofiev and Klengel.  Don't miss the wonderfull cellist, Chase Park, and virtuoso pianist, Audrey Vardanega, performing these works in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
   Audrey Vardanega
- piano

    Chase Park - cello


About the Concert:

The program showcases masterpieces for cello and piano, including Prokofiev's rousing Cello Sonata in C Major and Beethoven's Fourth Sonata for Cello and Piano, exploring the dynamic range of sounds - tender, nostalgic, even violent - produced by the cello and piano. Chase Park and Audrey Vardanega have been collaborating over two years since meeting at the prestigious Ravinia's Steans' Music Institute in the Summer of 2017. Don't miss this spectacular program!


The Program:

   Prelude and Sarabande from the Cello Suite No 6 in D Major -  Johann Sebastian Bach

   Sonata No 4 in C major, Op. 102, No 1 - Ludwig Van Beethoven

   Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher - Henri Dutilleux

   Cello Sonata in C Major, Op.119 - Sergey Prokofiev

   Scherzo, Op. 6 - Julius Klengel

About the artists and Musaics of the Bay:

You can find information about Musaics of the Bay, as well as biographies of the artists on the Musiacs of the Bay website:

               Musacis of the Bay

Screenshot_2019-09-06 Musaics of the Bay

Musaics of the Bay

Inaugural Concert

Friday 20 September 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

​Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to partner with Musaics of the Bay to co-present its inaugural concert featuring works by Mozart and Brahms. Don't miss violin sensation Nigel Armstrong, Spanish violist Gonzalo Martín Rodríguez, stunning cellist Monica Scott, virtuoso pianist Audrey Vardanega, and special guests from the ELM Program (Enriching Lives Through Music) performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artists:
   Audrey Vardanega
- piano

    Nigel Armstrong - violin

    Gonzalo Martin Rodriguez - viola

    Monica Scott - cello

    and featuring special guests from The ELM Program of San Rafael

About the Concert:

The program will begin with Brahms' gorgeous Violin Sonata in A Major, Opus 100, composed during the Summer of 1886. The Sonata is known for being filled to the brim with lyrical melodies, also for being the shortest and, arguably, the sweetest of his three Violin Sonatas. The program continues with an arrangement of the delightful Mozart Flute Quartet in G Major, featuring a side-by-side collaboration between the artists and students from The ELM Program of San Rafael. The Flute Quartet in G Major is the second of three flute quartets written by Mozart for the amateur flautist Ferdinand de Jean. The program concludes with Brahms' rousing and passionate Piano Quartet in G Minor, Opus 25. 


The Program:

   Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100 - Johannes Brahms

   Flute Quartet in G Major, K285a - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (special arrangement)

   Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 - Johannes Brahms

About the artists and Musaics of the Bay:

You can find information about Musaics of the Bay, as well as biographies of the artists on the Musiacs of the Bay website:

               Musacis of the Bay

Audrey Vardanega
in Recital


Sunday 30 June 2019 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

​Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

The Berkeley Hillside Club is thrilled to welcome the young piano virtuoso, Audrey Vardanega, back to our stage with a wonderful program featuring works by Chopin, Beethoven, Bach and Mozart.  Don't miss this remarkable artist performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
   Audrey Vardanega
- piano

About the Concert:

Audrey writes: "The program includes works for solo piano including Chopin's Nocturnes in D-flat and E-flat Major, Mozart's Piano Sonata K282, Beethoven's Piano Sonata Opus 10 No 2, and Bach's French Suite in C Minor. Aside from the French Suite which is primarily related to dance rhythms, the bulk of the program is thematically connected to the human voice. In the case of Chopin and Mozart, both composer's reference bel canto opera with soaring melodies and clear distinction between melody and harmony. In the case of Beethoven's Sonata Opus 10 No 2, the composer's references draw from rhetorical timing with the ways that phrases and motifs are linked together. Hope to see you there!"


The Program:

   Nocturne in D-Flat Major Opus 27 No 2 - Frédéric Chopin

   Nocturne in E-Flat Major Opus 55 No 2 - Frédéric Chopin

   Piano Sonata in F Major Opus 10 No 2 - Ludwig van Beethoven

   French Suite in C Minor BWV 813 - Johann Sebastian Bach

   Piano Sonata in E-flat Major K282 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

About the artist:

Praised as a player “with the kind of freedom, authority, and strength…that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” and a “bewitching musical presence” (The Piedmont Post), 23-year-old pianist Audrey Vardanega was born and raised in Oakland, California and began her piano studies at the age of six with Araks Aghazarian. Her past teachers include Seymour Lipkin, Robert Schwartz, Christopher Elton, and Victor Rosenbaum. She currently studies under the tutelage of Richard Goode at Mannes The New School. She graduated with her B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University in May 2017. Along with five other internationally selected pianists, Vardanega participated in the Carnegie Hall Workshops with Jonathan Biss in February 2017, exploring late piano works by Brahms, Beethoven, and Schubert. She is a laureate of the Ravinia Steans’ Music Institute. As of January 2019, Audrey is the founder and artistic director of Musaics of the Bay, a Bay Area-based chamber music series dedicated to presenting chamber concerts and providing mentorship programs to underserved Bay Area youth.

Vardanega made her debut as the youngest soloist in the history of the Midsummer Mozart Festival under the baton of George Cleve in the summer of 2010, appearing again with the orchestra in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Vardanega made her solo recital debut at the age of 12 with IMG Artists’ 2008 Festival Del Sole in Napa Valley—since then, she has performed in numerous solo and chamber recitals with San Francisco Old First Concerts, the Piedmont Piano Company, the Hangzhou Grand Theater, the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, St. Paul Towers, the San Francisco Conservatory, and the Crowden School’s “Sundays at Four.” From 2010-2013, Vardanega served as the principle pianist at the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and was invited to perform on tour with the orchestra at venues like the Munich Gasteig and the Berlin Philharmonie in Summer 2012.

Along with engaging audiences with solo recitals, she also engages with students in masterclasses and lecture-performances at the Zhejiang Conservatory in Hangzhou, China, Sonoma State University, and Berkeley's Crowden School. Vardanega has also been interviewed and featured on various media outlets including Berkeley's "Piano" segment on KPFA 94.1 hosted by Larry Bensky, San Francisco's Classical KDFC, Hangzhou China's Central TV Station, the San Francisco Classical Voice, and New York's WWFM, among others. Vardanega is a Classical Music radio programmer at Columbia University's WKCR 89.9 FM WKCR HD1 New York. 

190630-vardanega
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The Jupiter Chamber Ensemble

with Arkadi Serper play

Arensky and Taneyev

Sunday 23 June 2019 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

​Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to to welcome our friends, the Jupiter Chamber Ensemble, back  to our stage with pair of marvelous Russian piano quintets by Anton Arensky and Sergei Taneyev. Joining the Jupiter Ensemble for this performance will be virtuoso pianist, Arkadi Serper.  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

with special guest:

     Arkadi Serper - piano


The Program:
    Piano Quintet in D Major, Op. 51 - Anton Arensky
    Piano Quintet in G Major, Op. 30 - Sergei Taneyev

About the Composers:

Our program features two brilliant and influential Russian composers working in the late 19th Century, yet rarely played today.

In 1866 Russian-born Sergey Taneyev entered the Moscow Conservatoire, later becoming a composition student of Tchaikovsky. Taneyev also received piano tuition from Nikolay Rubinstein and graduated with a gold medal for performance and composition. As a virtuoso Taneyev was entrusted by Tchaikovsky with premières of virtually all his scores for piano and orchestra. Furthermore, it seems that Taneyev was the only composer from his circle from whom Tchaikovsky sought critical appraisal of his scores.

In 1882, aged only twenty one, Anton Arensky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatoire most notably teaching Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Grechaninov. It was at the Moscow Conservatoire that Arensky became closely associated with and greatly influenced by Tchaikovsky and also by Taneyev.

 

The Artists:
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.

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.

190623-jupiter-serper
190607-romasevich
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Victor Romasevich, Lena Lubotsky

play Schubert, Bach & Mozart

Friday 7 June 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Hillside Club members

 

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present a wonderful program featuring our good friend, S.F. Symphony Violinist Victor Romasevich.  Joining Victor will be concert pianist Lena Lubotsky (who is also Victor's mother!). They will be playing a program including pieces by Schubert, Bach and Mozart. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

 

The Artists:

   Victor Romasevich - violin

   Lena Lubotsky - piano

The Program:

    Sonatina in G minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 137, No.3, D. 408 - Franz Schubert

    Partita No.2 in D minor for Violin solo, BWV 1004 - Johann Sebastian Bach

    Sonata for Piano and Violin, No.42 in A Major, K.526 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  

The Artists:

Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus. His mother, Lena Lubotsky, began teaching him piano at the age of four. When five, he started violin studies with Anna Silberstein. At six, he enrolled in the violin class of Mikhail Garlitsky and Lev Sharinov at The Gnesin Music School in Moscow. As a youth he studied violin with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory with Boris Belenky and Nadia Beshkina.

 

Following Romasevich’s emigration to the United States in 1977, he studied at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist and keyboard player.

-

Lena Lubotsky was born in Moscow, USSR, where she studied piano with professor Konstantin Igumnov and Tamara Bobovich at the Central Musical School, and later graduated from the department of musicology of the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. She has taught piano, music theory, music history and ear training at various music schools in Russia and USA where she has lived since 1977. Ms. Lubotsky has also performed as choral accompanist and chamber music partner with many vocalists and instrumentalists, including her son, Victor Romasevich.

Sun Valley Players
Shostakovich, Beethoven & Bach


Sunday 26 May 2019 at 7:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350


The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited 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 (Grosse Fuge), the Shostakovich Quartet No. 14, the Bach Cello Suite No. 2, and more. 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 double 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
and special guest
   Charles Chandler
- double bass


The Concert:
In the early 18th century
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote six suites for unaccompanied cello that today are considered to be among the most profound works in all of classical music. Because they are technically demanding these solo pieces were little known and rarely performed publicly until they were revived and recorded by Pablo Casals in the early 20th century. The brilliant cellist Amos Yang will perform a version of the Cello Suite No. 2 with the addition of a double bass part, accompanied by Charles Chandler.

 

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 of musicians, scholars, and listeners alike. For this concert the Sun Valley Players will be performing one of these venerated works, the Grosse Fuge, Op. 133. Beethoven originally composed this mammoth piece as the final movement of his String Quartet #13, Op 130, but it was longer than all the other movements of Op. 130 put together so his publisher convinced him to turn in into a separate work. It stands alone as fresh and modern today as it did when it was written.
 

The Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 14  is considered the most accessible of Shostakovich’s late quartets. The words "late quartets" evoke those works of Beethoven which share many qualities with the Shostakovich Quartets: refinement of the composer’s musical language and process as well as experimentation in musical form, whether toward complexity or simplicity; the result being an intensely personal idiom, recondite and eloquent for those who will listen.


The Program:
   Cello Suite No.2 in d minor, BWV 100 - J.S.Bach
/ Shinji Eshima

      (with double bass accompaniment)

   Synchronicity - Andres Martin

      (for violincello & double bass)

   Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 - L.V. Beethoven

    String Quartet No. 14 Op. 142 - D. Shostakovich

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.

190526-sun_valley
190517-Jekabson

The Erik Jekabson String-tet

plays the Music of Duke Ellington

Friday 17 May 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

​​

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased welcome another old friend back to our stage. Trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Erik Jekabson, has delighted our Concert Series audiences with his music, both as a leader and a side-man many times. This time he will be bringing back his String-tet ensemble with a new program of his own arrangements of Duke Ellington's music - this will be some serious jazz!  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall

 

The Erik Jekabson String-tet are:

    Erik Jekabson - trumpet

    Michael Zilber - saxophones

    Mads Tolling - violin

    Charith Premawardhana - viola

    Dan Neville - vibes

    Adam Shulman - piano

    Shimpei Ogawa - bass

    Dillon Vado - drums

    and special guest vocalist Kalil Wilson

 

About the Concert:

Trumpeter and arranger Erik Jekabson leads this 8 piece chamber ensemble which explores the music of Duke Ellington from new angles. Ellington, one of the most important American composers of the past hundred years, offers many rich musical veins to mine for new ideas. This ensemble does it with violin, viola, trumpet, saxophone, vibes, piano, bass and drums - and surpassing creativity and virtuosity; expect some new sounds from old classics.

About the Leader:

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, (the Erik Jekabson Sextet, the String-tet and the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra) teaching a wide variety of students and running the Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Erik has seven CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “Erik Jekabson Sextet” (2018) on the Wide Hive Record Label.  His other CDs are: “Erik Jekabson Quintet” on the Wide Hive label, “A Brand New Take” (2016) on the OA2 record label, and “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (2014) ,“Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) which 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 four other recordings which are widely available: The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra’s “The Falling Dream” (2018) and “Cheap Rent” (2015)(OA2 Records), “Vista: the Arrival” (2000) and “New World Funk Ensemble”(1998). 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 arranged for both vocalists (Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jane Krakowski, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Sandy Cressman, Raz Kennedy, Rachel Efron) and instrumental ensembles. (San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, Stanford Jazz Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, California State University East Bay Jazz Ensemble, SF Composers Orchestra and his own Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, which plays every Sunday at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.)

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Melodiya Chamber Ensemble

Friday 12 April 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

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 Kodaly, Bartok, Debussy, Brahms, and more! 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:

Claude Debussy- Danse sacree, Danse profane

Zoltan Kodaly - Adagio for viola and piano

Bela Bartok - An evening in the village, Slovak peasant dance

Shinji Eshima - Duo for harp and viola(world premiere)

Dmitri Smirnov - Shadows in Light, op.122

Nino Rota - Intermezzo

Johannes Brahms:

    Intermezzo op.18 #1 in E flat  major

    Intermezzo op.18,# 2 in B flat minor

    Sonata op.120,# 2 in E flat major

About the artists:

The San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s Principal Harp Olga Ortenberg-Rakitchenkov was born in Moscow 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 Gnessin 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. Her international career started with her performance in the International
Week of Harp in 1971 in Queekhoven ( Holland) , her next recital was in the Harp Festival in Gargieless ( France) -
1973, and –the highlight of her career as a solo performer - was her participation in International Harp
Competition in Geneva (Switzerland ) in 1974 - where she received a first prize and as a winner of the Competition.

 

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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Clarinet Thing

 

Friday 15 March 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to host another spectacular performance by our favorite quartet of clarinet virtuosos. Clarinet Thing Has appeared many times in our Concert Series and they always amaze.  Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.

Clarinet Thing are:

    Sheldon Brown

    Beth Custer

    Ben Goldberg

    Harvey Wainapel

About the Concert:

Clarinet Thing performs unusual jazz classics and originals arranged by its members and performed on the entire family of clarinets. Clarinet and jazz enthusiasts of all ages abound at their concerts. Founded by Beth Custer in 1989, Clarinet Thing has amassed a large repertoire that includes tunes by Herbie Nichols, Carla Bley, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Giuffre, and Thelonious Monk among many others.

About the Artists:

Beth Custer is an Emmy Award winning composer who's scored the films of William Farley, Brad Coley, Cathy Lee Crane,  Koohan Paik, KQED's Independent View and Deep Look. She has created scores for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist,  San Diego Repertory, Cornerstone, and Magic Theatres; for the dance troupes Joe Goode Performance Group, AXIS Dance Company, Flyaway Productions, and Roco Dance. She is currently working on a song cycle based on Paul Hawken's book Drawdown that will premiere at Center for New Music in SF on May 18th.

Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. In June of 2014 he premiered his extended composition "Blood of the Air" at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. Based on the speech melodies of Beat-era Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia, "Blood of the Air" was made possible with the help of Chamber Music America's 2013 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble program (funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), and with additional support from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Since 1994 he has led Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own compositions, and he recently formed Sheldon Brown Quintet, which performs the music of Herbie Nichols, and Distant Intervals, based on poetic speech melodies. Sheldon Brown Group has performed several times at Yoshiʼs and as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festivalʼs Summer in the City series. Brown has performed internationally as a featured soloist with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and recorded on 5 of Sosaʼs albums. While with Sosa he performed at many famous venues, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag, New Morning in Paris, Tribute to the Love Generation in Tokyo and many others. Brown performs with many groups in the S.F. Bay Area, including: Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Darren Johnston Quintet, Goldberg, Brown, Anderson, Ian Carey Quintet + 1, Club Foot Orchestra Laurie Antonioli, Azesu, Mike Pattonʼs Mondo Cane, Aaron Germain Quartet. As a composer, Brown has written music for his own groups and many of the other groups he performs with. For Club Foot Orchestra he composed music for the silent films, Metropolis, Sherlock Jr., Pandoraʼs Box, and The Hands of Orlac. He also wrote music for Club Footʼs scores for the cartoon series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, which aired on CBS.

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 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. In 2015 Ben released Orphic Machine, a song-cycle with lyrics from the “speculative poetics” of Allen Grossman, performed by a nine piece ensemble including Nels Cline, Ron Miles, Myra Melford, and Ches Smith, and sung by violinist Carla Kihlstedt. The LA Times called Orphic Machine “knotted and occasionally spooky composition marked by dazzling interplay.” 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. Other affiliations include plays monk; Myra Melford’s Be Bread; Kris Davis’ Infrasound; Nels Cline’s New Monastery; Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors; Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom; and Clarinet Thing. The 11- piece Ben Goldberg's Brainchild performs Ben's on-the-spot compositions.

Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel has his feet firmly planted in two musical worlds. His jazz experience has led to performances and/or recordings with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, Joe Henderson, Johnny Coles and the Metropole Orchestra. He has toured internationally with Ray Charles and Joe Lovano. Wainapel’s deep love for and research into Brazilian music has resulted in performances with Guinga, Jovino Santos Neto, Spok, Filó Machado and Paulo Bellinati, among many other notables from that country. Wainapel toured the world with Airto Moreira & Flora Purim. To date he has presented his work in clubs, festivals and studios in 22 countries.

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Jeff Denson Ensemble

 

Saturday 2 March 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome an old friend back to our stage with a new program. Virtuoso bassist and vocalist Jeff Denson fields his largest ensemble yet, consisting of a number of Concert Series alums, as well as some new faces. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:

    Jeff Denson - vocals & double bass

    Lyle Link - tenor & soprano saxophones

    Paul Hanson - bassoon & electronics

    Dahveed Behroozi - piano & keyboard

    Ryan Pate - guitar

    Dillon Vado - drum set & percussion


About the Concert:

Jeff Denson returns to the Hillside Club to premiere new music for his largest ensemble yet, the Jeff Denson Ensemble. The group features six marvelous musicians who each bring their own unique voice to the project, giving Jeff an augmented canvas on which to present his compositions. This project combines two different iterations of Jeff’s well-traveled quartet, by combining the world’s preeminent jazz bassoonist, Paul Hanson (who toured nationally with Jeff and recorded on his 5th album, “Concentric Circles”) and Lyle Link on tenor and soprano saxophones (who just finished another national tour with Jeff and appears on Jeff’s upcoming album, “Jeff Denson Live.”) The rhythm section of this ensemble is rounded out by the members of Jeff quartet, piano virtuoso, Dahveed Behroozi and the fiery multi-instrumentalist, Dillon Vado on drums. Guitarist, Ryan Pate is the newest addition to the group, and he brings a wide array of textures to the ensemble, both acoustic and electric, and bridges the gap between rhythm section and melodic voice.

 

The compositions presented this evening will feature newly arranged pieces from Jeff’s previous twelve albums and brand new works that will be released later this year. The music for this evening will traverse a wide musical terrain from swinging, high-energy jazz to chamber music to electronic music.

 

“Artists are always dreaming up what we’re doing,” Jeff says. “My goal has always been very clearly to create my own musical world.”

 

What they're saying about Jeff Denson:

“Master of the jazz bass."

    —  Lee Hilldebrand, San Francisco Chronicle

 

"The penetrating power of Jeff's voice is outstanding."

     — Kayo Fushiya, JazzTokyo, Japan

"Jeff astonishes as an emphatic singer of 
immense vocal talent.”

    — Alexander Schmitz, Jazz Podium, Germany

 

 "Double bassist Jeff Denson capitalizes on his considerable gifts as an improviser, interpreter and sonic trailblazer..."

    —  Ken Micaleff , Downbeat Magazine

 

"Denson is breaking new musical ground, proving that he should be counted as one of the leading bassists of contemporary jazz."

    — Teddy Doering, Jazz Podium, Germany

 

"I have known Jeff Denson for several years now, and had the great pleasure to perform and record with him throughout Europe, the USA and Canada as a member of my quartet. Jeff is an exceptional musician who is a creative force on the double bass and has an original approach and voice on the instrument. He brings a fantastic sense of composition to his improvisations that allow him to transcend the role of the bass and make many unexpected choices. From his hard driving quarter note swing, to cello-like bowed melodies and interactive counterpoint, he is always surprising and inspiring! Jeff is also an outstanding composer who has written music for jazz and classical ensembles. He is always thinking outside the box and bringing his musicality and lyricism to all of his work."

    — Lee Konitz

 

"Jeff is a bassist who digs deeply into the philosophical principles that define what jazz is and can be. In addition to being a very thorough student of the history of his instrument, he is an accomplished composer, teacher, and arranger.”

    — Marcus Roberts

 

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Almir Côrtes Trio + Harvey Wainapel: “Trançado”

Brazilian Jazz based on that country's folkloric rythms

 

Friday 1 February 2019 at 8:00pm

The Berkeley Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709
Info: 510-845-1350

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to return in 2019 with a wonderful program of Brazilian jazz featuring two of it's most talented practitioners, Almir Côrtes and Harvey Wainapel, along with Scott Thompson and Brian Rice. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall.


The Artists:
  
Almir Côrtes - mandolin, acoustic & electric guitars, viola caipira, guitarra baiana
    Harvey Wainapel - clarinets, saxophones

    Scott Thompson - electric bass

    Brian Rice - percussion

About the Concert:

Visiting from his current home in Rio de Janeiro, Almir Côrtes s presents the exciting repertoire from his CD “Trançado.” Recorded in Brazil and California, the album’s title roughly translates to “braided” or “interwoven,” reflecting the repertoire’s mix of Brazilian folkloric rhythms with jazz improvisation, as well as the cultural interchange between Brazil and the USA. (Special guest Bay Area saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel is featured throughout the recording.) The project was awarded a generous grant from the state of São Paulo, funding the recording as well as a tour throughout that state. For this short tour, Almir and Harvey are joined by two of the Bay Area’s most in-demand experts in Brazilian music, electric bassist Scott Thompson, and percussionist Brian Rice.

 

About the  the Artists:

A native of Bahia, Brazil, versatile multi-instrumentalist Almir Côrtes is equally at home on the mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars, the folkoric viola caipira, and the rarely-seen guitarra baiana. His repertoire of styles and compositions is equally broad, including choro, frevo, samba, maxixe and Brazilian jazz among others. He has toured throughout Brazil as well as the United States, Europe, and Cuba. Almir has performed with Howard Alden, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Nailor Proveta, Armandinho Macêdo and many other luminaries, as well as leading his own Trio.

 

Equally in demand as a teacher/scholar, Almir is currently a professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro’s Villa-Lobos Institute, after several years collaborating at Unicamp (University of Campinas), one of Latin America’s most prestigious universities. He has been a visiting artist at Indiana University, San Francisco State University, and the Latin Music and Culture Celebration, organized by the Berklee College of Music.

 

Mandolin master Mike Marshall says “Almir is a virtuoso instrumentalist who swings like mad in a variety of musical styles and improvises with great energy and creativity. He is a world class performer.”

 

“Almir is redesigning the Brazilian guitar with personality and virtuosity, seeking new paths but always on the roads of his native country.” –– Ulisses Rocha, guitarist & composer, professor at the Unicamp Institute of the Arts

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Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel has his feet firmly planted in two musical worlds. His jazz experience has led to performances and/or recordings with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, Joe Henderson, Johnny Coles and the Metropole Orchestra. He has toured internationally with Ray Charles, Joe Lovano, and Airto Moreira & Flora Purim. Wainapel’s deep love for and research into Brazilian music has also resulted in performances with Guinga, Jovino Santos Neto, Spok, Amilton Godoy, Filó Machado and Paulo Bellinati, among many other notables from that country. To date Harvey has presented his work in clubs, festivals and studios in 22 countries.

 

The San Francisco Examiner stated “Wainapel proves that he is among the most imaginative, sensitive and creative saxophonists of the post-Coltrane era.”

 

Rio de Janeiro’s daily newspaper O Globo wrote “Wainapel displayed incredible intimacy with the language of Brazilian music and great stage presence.”

 

Sax master Joe Lovano states “It’s a pleasure to listen to Harvey’s soulful interpretations

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Electric bassist Scott Thompson's performance credits include Chico Pinheiro, Marcos Silva, Omar Sosa, Toninho Horta, and Jovino Santos Neto.

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Since graduating from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance and Ethnomusicology, Brian Rice  has gone on to tour the country and internationally with such top Brazilian artists as Rogerio Souza, Danilo Brito, Jovino Santos Neto, Mike Marshall, and Hamilton de Holanda. 

 

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