HSC Concert Series Past Programs

The Berkeley Hillside Club Concert Series has been proud to host some of the finest artists performing today. Click on the following links to view some of the past programs in our series:

2017-Current Concerts


2013-2014 Concerts

2011-2012 Concerts

2009-2010 Concerts

2007-2008 Concerts

2005-2006 Concerts

Clarinet Thing
In Concert
Friday December 19th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present Clarinet Thing, a quartet of virtuosic clarinetists from the Bay Area. Sheldon Brown, Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg, and Harvey Wainapel perform arrangements of a wide range of jazz, world, and new music on the entire family of clarinets. Clarinet Thing has enjoyed many sold-out performances with audiences of all ages. Don't miss this virtuoso artist performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

Founded by Beth Custer in 1989, Clarinet Thing has created a large repertoire of arrangements of unusual tunes by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, John Carter, Pixinguinha/Larcerda, Eubie Blake, Bobby Bradford and others. Original compositions by band members are also performed.

Clarinet Thing performs acoustically using no amplification whatsoever. The entire family of clarinets is used, from the baby Eb clarinet up to the large contra alto clarinet. Clarinet and jazz enthusiasts abound at our concerts.

Beth's label, BC Records released /Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks/, a retrospective CD culled from years of live recordings. The CD has enjoyed brisk sales and the group will be recording another CD in studio in '09.

"Clarinet Thing's Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks CD featuring sixteen lush and woody tracks...the startlingly beautiful music is pithy and expansive, like a great collection of short stories." -Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle

"Clarinet Thing is a killer quartet that plays a rich, woody blend of original music and Ellingtonia, Polish polka, Brazilian choro, Kurt Weill Weimar waltzes and other pieces that pop and sway with the pregnant sound of an improvising clarinet choir." -Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle.

Deno Gianopoulos
In Recital
Friday December 5th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is honored to present renowned local pianist, Deno Gianopoulos, in a recital including works by Mozart, Chopin, and Brahms. Don't miss this virtuoso artist performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

The program will consist of some important cornerstones of the modern keyboard literature, beginning with Mozart's C minor Fantasy, and Brahms's colossal and beautiful Variations on a Theme by Handel. The second half of the evening will include some virtuoso pieces by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Albeniz and and Joaquin Nin-Culmell.

Deno Gianopoulos is a bay area native who by his teen age years was winning piano competitions , piano prizes, and performing piano concerti with symphony orchestras. His talent came to the attention of the pianist ,Gina Bachauer, who mentored him as a young man. Gianopoulos studied piano in London, Berkeley, and New York and considers his studies with Marjorie Petray and Joaquin Nin-Culmell -both of Berkeley- to have had the greatest influence on his development as a musician. He has performed piano recitals and with orchestras in many U.S.cities and in Europe. For more than 3 decades, Gianopoulos was a member of the piano faculty of the Music Department at U.C. Berkeley.

from the San Francisco Chronicle: "he is a cultural resource" --in playing Schubert there was "a radiant feeling of humanity and tender good will-the effect cannot be synthesized" -- " It was an evening of service to music -there are few such events".

from the San Mateo Times: playing a Mozart concerto in Zellerbach auditorium --"there is a superior fluency and softness of touch to his playing-- and has that all important ingredient: impeccable taste."

The JazzSchool's Advanced Jazz Workshop Ensemble
In Concert
Friday November 14th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club proud to present a stellar ensemble of young jazz artists performing at the highest level in our acoustically-excellent hall.

Directed by Bay Area composer and saxophone virtuoso Michael Zilber, the Jazzschool's Advanced Jazz Workshop Ensemble is the top ensemble at the Berkeley Jazzschool. Consisting of a remarkably talented group of high-school-age players, these young artists are the future stars of jazz. Having performed at Yoshi's, Anna's, Pearl's, the Berkeley Jazz festival and multiple times at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the group is widely held to be among the best and most creative high school jazz groups in the country, as its national Downbeat awards for the past 5 straight years will attest. Previous members have already gone on with scholarships to some of the best schools in the country, including Julliard, New England, Manhattan, NYU and Berklee. The students write and arrange much of their own material, and play at a level of assurance and style far beyond their years. This year's group comes from all over the Bay Area, from San Jose to Davis, and will be featured in concert in December at Yoshi's with trumpet superstar Ambrose Akinmusire.

Advanced Jazz Workshop Ensemble personnel:

Ben Kreitman - trumpet
Michael Czaja - saxophone
Chase Jackson - vibraphone
Adam Nash - guitar
Greg Chen - piano
Dorsey Bass - bass
Colin McDaniel - drums

If you have children or know other young aspiring jazz musicians, you might want to make a special point of bringing them by for a great evening of music and some inspiration.

Happy Hour
In a Post-Election Celebration Concert
Friday November 7th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club delighted is welcome back one of our favorites, the all-star jazz ensemble Happy Hour in a post-election concert of celebration. Don't miss these fabulous players performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

Come celebrate with Happy Hour in a post-election Happy Hour Obamabration. Unabashedly and unapologetically working for and rooting for an Obama victory, the group will have a swinging blowout.

This innovative and virtuosic group is made up of five of the leading jazz lights in the Bay Area, who come together in a high-spirited and entertaining collective which has garnered accolades and ovations throughout the Bay Area. The chordless quintet consists of Trumpet, Saxophone, Trombone, Bass and Drums.

For this performance, Happy Hour will consist of Erik Jekabson, the brilliant, lyrical trumpeter/composer who is a member of the Trumpet Supergroup, his own quintet and the Realistic Orchestra when not in Happy Hour, Saxes/Composer Michael Zilber, a multiple Downbeat winner, who collaborates with John Stowell, Dave Liebman, Peter Horvath and Billy Collins among others,and is hailed by jazz legend Liebman as "one of the best players and composers anywhere, period", Grammy-winning trombonist-arranger Doug Beavers of Eddie Palmieri fame, MVP bassist Peter Barshay, a rare combination of virtuosity and powerful grooves, who counts Mike Stern, Bob Shepherd and Joe Lovano among his credits, and the Bay Area's most requested drummer, the fiery and singular Jeff Marrs, who anchors a multitude of groups, including Marcus Shelby, Mitch Marcus and Faye Carroll.

Still, the group's individual achievements alone do not describe the musical experience of Happy Hour. A committed collective, the group has been playing, writing, arranging and rehearsing together for close to three years, dedicated to creating a harmonically full three horn sound that is at once rich and transparent, one where the bass, drums and horns all take on and reimagine the contribution often supplied by a pianist or guitarist. The extra breathing space and flexibility created by the chordless quintet makes for compelling, imaginative and exciting musical synergy, sure to please the jazz connoisseur and listening novice alike.

Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Concert
Friday October 3rd 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to host the fabulous Rova Saxophone Quartet, in concert. Don't miss this remarkable group performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

The Bay Area Rova Saxophone Quartet, recently named Best Jazz Combo by the East Bay Express, kicks off its 32nd year with a two set concert of original works at the historic Berkeley Hillside Club. The concert will focus on recently recorded Jon Raskin and Steve Adams pieces composed using graphic notation-compositional systems that employ images and symbols outside traditional music notation to convey the composer's intentions to the performer. Including a good measure of the graphically notated pieces along with other Rova originals, the quartet performance will explore fresh methods to mine the fertile ground of improvised music, finding new correspondences between composed and open forms. The Berkeley Hillside Club offers a rare opportunity to hear Rova in an optimal acoustic environment.

The Artists:

A student of Architecture and Fine Arts (1966-69), Rova founding member Bruce Ackley formed Sound Clinic, an improvising wind trio (with trumpeter George Sams and saxophonist Lewis Jordan) and a 1970's precursor to the all-winds Rova. Ackley has contributed to several recording sessions with such musicians as John Zorn, Henry Kaiser and Eugene Chadbourne. He also organized the quartet Unchambered with cellist Rohan de Saran, koto player Miya Masaoka and bassist Stefano Scodanibbio (1996) and leads the ongoing jazz trio Actual Size. He recorded a 1997 CD of his trio compositions with drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen for Avant.

Highlights of Rova founding member Jon Raskin's early career include his '70s participation in new music ensembles directed by John Adams (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) and Dr. Barney Childs (University of Redlands). Before Rova, Raskin served as music director of the Tumbleweed Dance Company (1974-77), was a founding member of the Blue Dolphin Alternative Music Space and participated in the creation of the Farm- an art project that included a city farm, a community garden, Ecology Center, Dance and Theater companies and organized the creation of a city park. Highlights as a member of Rova include composing a collaborative work for SF Taiko Dojo/Rova, working with Howard Martin on the installation work Occupancy, composing music for Mr. Bungle/ Rova, organizing the 30 year Anniversary Concert of John Coltrane's Ascension, performing the music of Miles Davis at the Fillmore with Yo Miles! Raskin has received numerous grants and commissions to work on a variety of creative projects: NEA composer grant for Poison Hotel, a theater production by Soon 3 (1988); Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer (1992 & 2000); Berkeley Symphony commission (1995). Raskin's recording experience include Anthony Braxton, Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 For Warne Marsh (1989) and The Bass & the Bird Pond with Tim Berne (1996), Wavelength Infinity- A Sun Ra Tribute, Between Spaces with Phillip Gelb, Dana Reason & Pauline Oliveras, Terry Riley'sIn C 25th Anniversary, and solo work on the Artship series. He also performs with the Phillip Greenlief and Phillip Gelb in the Wind Trio of Alphaville and in a trio with George Cresmaschi and Ches Smith.

Since 1978, Larry Ochs's professional activities have been primarily centered around the Rova Saxophone Quartet, which has made over thirty European tours and numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as recording over 30 CDs as a quartet and/or in collaboration with other artists. Ochs has composed some 2 dozen compositions for saxophone quartet as well as many other pieces for mixed ensembles (see groups mentioned in previous paragraph). His most recent composition for saxophone quartet, a thirty-minute piece entitled Certain Space, was commissioned by Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation, and he has twice previously been commissioned by Commissioning Music USA / Meet the Composer Fund. He composed the music for the film Letters Not About Love which won best documentary film award at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival. His monograph on "Strategies for Structured Improvisation" was published in 1999 as part of the book Arcana, a collection of composers' writings edited by John Zorn (Granary Press, New York). He has also composed for theater and one video play.

A graduate of the School of Contemporary Music in Boston, Steve Adams has appeared on over 40 recordings, including four with Boston's Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet and three as a leader for the Nine Winds label. Adams joined Rova in 1988. He has written the music for seven productions of the annual California Shakespeare Festival, contributed compositions to the repertoires of the Empire Brass Quintet and the violin/marimba duo Marimolin and performed as a sideman with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Donald Byrd, Jaki Byard, Vinny Golia and Ted Nugent. Adams received a Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer commissioning grant in 1993.

In Concert
Friday September 26th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome back to our stage the remarkable Carnatic jazz ensemble, VidyA. Don't miss this unique and energetic group performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

VidyA is an adventurous new group that merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music. Led by critically-acclaimed saxophonist, Prasant Radhakrishnan along with Sameer Gupta (Drums), special guest bassist, Eric Vogler, VidyA has emerged with a soulful, penetrating sound that stretches the envelope of labels like "fusion" and "world music."

The drums and bass lock into one another, driving the music forward like a Jazz rhythm section, while the tenor saxophone elaborates and improvises on Carnatic ragas. The group weaves in and out of the two genres while all the time merging them into one. VidyA translates the language of Carnatic music into the idiom of Jazz.

The Artists:

Prasant Radhakrishnan is VidyA's saxophonist, founder, composer and leader. A senior student of Carnatic saxophone pioneer, Kadri Gopalnath, Prasant has performed solo internationally in both the Carnatic and Jazz traditions and released three critically acclaimed Carnatic saxophone albums.

Sameer Gupta has established himself as a powerful voice in percussion and improvised music. His background in Indian classical percussion combines with his powerful drumming to create a dynamic soundscape for VidyA. Also a composer, Sameer has worked in several succesful ensembles, including the Supplicants, which he founded. David and Sameer have performed together in various ensembles for several years.

Bay Area native Eric Vogler received a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music, and studied in UC Berkeley's music program, as well as privately with John Handy. Vogler has performed at some of the best venues in the area, including the Great American Music Hall, and he has worked with a diverse array of artists including Steve Coleman, Lonnie Smith, Calvin Keys, Sheila E., and Herbie Lewis.

The Reviews:

"VidyA's music breathes at the very center of a cultural crossroads between the North American jazz idiom and the Carnatic music of South India. VidyA's music is a new vein of North American music... present tense, present location, new culture in the making." -Todd Brown, Red Poppy Art House

"When these patterns are played on saxophone, violin, string bass, and jazz drums, there is a build-up of emotional energy and intellectual complexity which seems to recreate the energy that was present at the birth of bebop in 1940's New York. In fact, if Charlie Parker or Dizzie Gillespie had heard VidyA at that time, I think it would have never have occurred to them that VidyA's music was Indian. They would simply have wondered where these cats had found a sound that was so mercilessly free of the standard melodic and rhythmic clich's." -Teed Rockwell, India Currents (March 2007)

"A style that's madly percussive and sparkling -combines jazz's sweet dreaminess with the Indian form's insistent rhythmic and tonal changes." - SF Weekly (Feburary 2007)

"Imagine ragas and American blues folded into a single moment. It's a fusion of Indian classical and jazz, and the leader, Prasant Radhakrishnan, 24, points the way for a number of Bay Area improvisers." - SF Chronicle, "Year in Jazz" (January 2007).

The Lantana Koto Ensemble
In Concert
Friday September 19th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is thrilled to present the Lantana Koto Ensemble in a concert of 20th and 21st century works composed and arranged for the traditional Japanese instruments, koto and sangen. The concert will include the world premier of "Night Procession of the Hundred Demons" by Hyo-shin Na, as well as works by Astor Piazzolla, Eric Satie, and others arranged for koto. Don't miss this amazing ensemble performing their rarely-heard repertoire in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Ensemble:

The Lantana Koto Ensemble is an exciting new performance group with a fresh approach to the Japanese koto and sangen. All of its members are associated with the Sawai Koto Institute (Tokyo). Founded in 1979 by Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai, this organization is recognized for its unique artistry and emphasis placed on contemporary music for the koto. All the members of the Lantana Koto Ensemble have strong training in traditional koto methods, as well as significant experience in the US, Japan, and Thailand performing solo, with ensembles, and in collaborations with various musicians and artists.

The members of the ensemble include Shoko Hikage (koto, bass koto), Ryuko Mizutani (koto, bass koto, strings) Michie Kobayashi (koto, bass koto, sangen), Noriko Tsuboi (koto, bass koto), Kanoko Nishi (bass koto), and Tomoko Kaneda (bass koto). Joining the ensemble for several pieces will be special guest artist, saxophonist Jon Raskin.

The Instruments:

The koto, similar to the Chinese gu-zheng, is a 13-string plucked zither, which was introduced to Japan from China through the Korean Peninsula in the 7th century. This was at the about the same time that Buddhism and many other cultural influences arrived in Japan from the continent. [It is though that there was also a koto-like zither which already existed in Japan, evidenced in a small, clay figurine dating from the Yayoi period (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD).]

According to legend, the shape of the koto originated from that of a crouching dragon and parts of the instrument are named after the dragon. The koto is roughly six feet long and usually has thirteen strings arched over independently moveable bridges that sit on a hollow body of paulownia wood. The movable bridges are called ji and are made from plastic, ivory or wood. By adjusting these bridges, any thirteen-note scale can be produced, even one with microtonal intervals. In addition to the notes available through the adjustment of the bridges, each pitch can be altered by pushing down the strings with the left hand. Such a movement stretches the string to produce up to a whole step difference in pitch.

The instrument has been part of the gagaku court ensemble for over one thousand years, and also became popular among the merchant class of the Edo period (1600-1868). An important member of the traditional sankyoku ensemble, along with the three-strings shamisen and shakuhachi (bamboo flute), the koto developed further in a solo capacity, eventually gaining its place as one of Japan's most prominent instruments. Today a varied repertoire of compositions, along with a wide range of playing techniques providing a wonderful palette of sound textures, make the koto appealing to audiences the world over.

A 17-string bass koto was developed early in the 20th century by koto master Michio Miyagi, and this instrument now plays an integral role in contemporary ensembles.

The sangen is a three-string long necked lute. The neck extends through the head of the instrument over which skins are stretched in the front and back. There are no frets on the neck, so it easy to make subtle changes in pitch and tone quality through slides and various other techniques. There are numerous traditions of sangen performance, each with a unique sound and repertoire. Neck and head size, shape and size of plectrum and type of lower bridge all vary depending upon genre.

The Artists:

Shoko Hikage began playing Koto at the age of three. Her first teacher was Chizuga Kimura of the Ikuta-ryu Sokyoku Seigen Kai in Akita Prefecture, Japan. From 1985, 1985, she received special training from the 2nd and 3rd IEMOTO Seiga Adachi (hereditary head master of the Ikuta-ryu Sokyoku Seigen Kai). In 1988, hikage graduated from Takasaki college with a major in koto music, and she was accepted as a special research student (uchideshi) in Sawai Sokyoku In (Sawai Koto Academy) under Tadao and Kazue Sawai where she subsequently received her master's certificate(kyoshi). Hikage also completed a one-year intensive seminar at the Sawai Sokyoku In. In 1992, she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to teach koto at the Sawai Kotot Kai Hawaii (Sawai Koto Academy branch) and University of Hawaii koto class. There she held her first American solo recital at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Theatre as part of the New Music Across America series. In 1997, she moved to San Francisco, where she continues her pursuits in improvisational dance and music. www.ShokoHikage.com

"Shoko Hikage, koto player extraordonaire will take you through the universe and beyond on her strings of sound. From Cherry Blossoms to John Cage, Shoko's performances will make you hear things you never even dream before." -- Lynda Hess, Artbeat

"The relationship between Shoko Hikage and the audience is "moving". Everyone is inspired during and even after the concert." -- Masami Teraoka, painting artist

"Everthing was perfectly, nothing seemed to Shoko Hikage's control as she soared through this riveting and often startling piece." -- Heuwell Tircuit, SFCV world music

Shoko Hikage has been interested in collaborating with musicians and artists of other genres, has worked with Anshin uchida -Japanese Noh play, Trinth Minh-Ha -film, Mary Sano -dance, Judith Kajiwara -butoh dance, Mark Izu -bass and Japanese sho, Hyo-shin Na -composer, Marina Piccinini -flut, Tokyo Nammy-voice and more. Hikage is member of Wooden Fish Ensemble, Natto quartet (Philip Gelb -shakuhachi , Tim Perkins -electronic and Chris Brown-electronics & piano), Ghost dance trio (Pauline Oliveros -accordion & Toyoji Tomita -trombone), Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, Koto emsemble Lantana, Koto Phase and Sawai Kazue Koto ensemble.

For more information about this artist, please see: www.ShokoHikage.com .

Ryuko Mizutani graduated from the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting Company) School for Performers of Traditional Japanese Instrument in 1987. She then studied both classical and modern koto music under the koto masters Tadao and Kazue Sawai, even living with them for three years as an apprentice (uchideshi). Mizutani also completed a one-year intensive seminar at the Sawai Koto Academy. Further, she has been interested in improvisational and experimental music and she continuously explores new musical possibilities for the koto by collaborating with western musicians and artists of other genres. From 1999 to 2000, she received a fellowship from the Japanese Government overseas Study Program for Artists, studying with Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In her concerts at Wesleyan she performed entirely new experimental works for koto by Wesleyan composers, including a work for solo koto and pure-wave oscillator by Alvin Lucier composed for her. It was recorded and published by Lovely Music Ltd. in June 2001. Mizutani has an impressive list of premieres and continues to commission new works for the koto by composers from around the world.

For more information about this artist, please see: www.www.Ryuko-koto.com.com .

Noriko Tsuboi began studying koto at age eight, concentrating on traditional Japanese music. She was awarded with Lecturer^Òs certificate by the Sawai Academy of Music in 1987, and entered this academy as a Special Research Student. She also completed NHK (The National Television Broadcasting Network) Traditional Music Program, and Two-year Intensive Seminar in Sawai Academy of Music while performing in many concerts, recordings, and participating in tours abroad. She has not limited herself to traditional music and has collaborated with musicians of other genres, performing improvisational music at an outdoor theater and many other activities. On 1992, Noriko was invited to University of California, San Diego as a koto instructor and went to the United States. Her complete devotion to teaching impressed many in the university and her koto classes were very well received. She also directed student koto ensemble and held concerts in California area. In addition to teaching, Noriko has held solo recitals and concerts collaborated with various fields of musicians. After returning to Japan in 1998, she had continued performing various types of music and appeared in three music CDs released in Japan and The United States. Since 2001, Noriko resides in Bangkok, conducting unlimited musical activities in Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Japan.

Michie Kobayashi graduated from Takasaki Collage with a major in koto music, and completed one year special course with this collage. She studied both classical and modern koto music under the koto masters Tadao and Kazue Sawai where she received her master's certificate. Kobayashi also completed NHK traditional Academy, and a one-year intensive seminar in Sawai Koto Academy. In 2000, Kobayashi received award for her koto performance from Osaka Butai Geijutsu Shourei. Kobayashi has performed in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Europe, U.S., and Japan. She lives in Chiba prefecture, Japan where she teaches koto and performs as a solo player and also as a member of Sawai Tadao Koto Emembel Tokyo.

For more information about this artist, please see: www.kobayashi-michie.com .

Kanoko Nishi graduated from Mills collage with a major in piano and she studied koto under koto master Kazue Sawai at the Sawai Koto Academy.

Tomoko Kaneda, a koto and shamisen performer and producer, graduated from Hosei University, and completed one-year course in NHK (Japan National Broadcasting Association) Academy of Japanese Traditional Music. She started her training in Japanese traditional music when she was twelve years old, and holds a master's license from the Sawai Koto Institute. Currently residing in Yokohama where she teaches koto and shamisen, Tomoko Kaneda performs wide variety of koto music, not only the traditional one, but also modern pieces. She has been also engaged in producing of many koto and shamisen concerts, including the annual charity concert performed by the 40th graduates of NHK Academy of Japanese Traditional Music. In 2007, as a member of Kawasaki International Friendship Ambassador (KIFA) appointed by Mayer of Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture, she performed Japanese and Chinese music in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, the People's Republic of China.

Jon Raskin has been a member of Rova Saxophone Quartet for the last 30 years exploring the relationship of improvisation and composition, developing and honing the language of ensemble music and researching linguistic possibilities of the saxophone. He has performed and/ or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Sam Rivers, Nels Cline, Vladimir Tarasov, Leo Smith and Henry Kaiser. Currents CD's include Juke Box Suite, Rova Saxophone Quartet (Not Two), JR Quartet (Rastascan), Kaolithic Music, Jaw Harp Music recorded in a 587 Gallon Vase(Evander Music) and Music Plus One- An Improvisation Compendium which is solo recordings from Bay Area improvisers designed for others to improvise along with.

Robert Bowman
In Recital
Friday August 29th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome back to our stage keyboard artist Robert Bowman in a concert of keyboard music spanning three centuries, including works by Prokofiev, Mozart, Scarlatti, Gottschalk, and Brahms. Don't miss this wonderful artist performing in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Artist:

Keyboard artist ROBERT BOWMAN has performed extensively on the West and East Coasts of the United States in solo and chamber ensemble recitals, numerous appearances with orchestra, and on radio and television since 1960. He has also performed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, and Prague (Czech Republic). He has also performed and lectured for state conventions and local branches of the Illinois State Music Teachers, CAPMT, MTAC, AGO, and Northern Nevada Music Teachers Association.

He received a BA in music and MA in Orchestral Conducting from Stanford University as well as a DMA in piano and harpsichord performance from the University of Southern California. His principal teachers and coaches include Gertrude E. Weeth, Adolph Baller, Martin Canin, John Crown, Alice Ehlers, Nina Scolnik, and Marc Steiner. He has performed in master classes with Rosina Lhevinne, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Dorothy Taubman, and Edna Golandsky.

He has taught on the music faculties of U.S.C., Eastern Illinois University, and California State University, Chico where he was coordinator of the keyboard program for 33 years and Certification Program in Keyboard Pedagogy for the past 7 years. He was awarded Professor Emeritus in 2003 and fully retired at the end of the Spring Semester 2008 after teaching half-time for the past 5 years. He also maintains a private piano studio in Chico, presents keyboard master classes and interactive workshops on a wide variety of subjects, and has been an active adjudicator for festivals and competitions throughout California and Nevada including the U.S. Open Piano Competition in Oakland, Ca. He recently returned from performing in 5 concerts in Karlsruhe and Baden-Baden, Germany as well as teaching a one-week course entitled "The Joy of Improvisation" at the Musik Hochschule in Karlsruhe.

The Program:

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
      Sonata #1 in F Minor, Op. 1: Allegro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
      Sonata #8 in A Minor, K 310
            Allegro maestoso
            Andante cantabile con espressione

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)
      Le Bananier (Chanson Nègre), Op. 5
      Souvenir de Porto Rico (Marche des Gibaros), Op. 31
      Le Banjo (Esquisse Américaine), Op. 15

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
      Sonata in F major, K. 44, Allegro
      Sonata in C minor, K. 84, Presto
      Sonata in F minor, K. 238, Andante
      Sonata in F minor, K. 239, Allegro
      Sonata in C major, K. 531, Allegro

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
      Sonata #3 in F minor, Op. 5
            Allegro maestoso
            Andante. Andante espressivo - Andante molto
            Scherzo. Allegro energico avec trio
            Intermezzo (Rückblick / Regard en arrière) Andante molto
            Finale. Allegro moderato ma rubato

Ben Bolt

In Recital
Friday August 8th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present renowned classical guitarist Ben Bolt in a recital of compositions spanning the gamut from the Renaissance to the Romantic to the Modern. Don't miss this sublime evening of music performed in our acoustically wonderful hall!

The Artist:

Ben Bolt, once a student of famed Spanish guitar master, Andres Segovia, is now a celebrated performer and teacher in his own right. Possessing, according to Segovia, "...a sound to be admired!" Bolt has led many young guitarists, enamored of the more modern idioms, into the realm of classical repertoire and in so doing has enriched the modern guitar canon.

Here's what some people are saying about Ben Bolt:

"Ben plays with an elegance and emotional commitment that is rare these days. He exudes an Old-World grace, and his playing displays a deep love of the instrument and its traditions".
--William Kanengiser, Los Angeles
Grammy award winning founding member, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

"An enthusiastic crowd of over three hundred was thrilled by the performance of classical guitarist Ben Bolt. His subtle, caressing style, always maintaining the balance of tone was reminiscent of Segovia."
--Howard Lane, Star Herald Balboa Panama

"Ben Bolt is a really great guitarist!"
--Chet Atkins

"A guitarist of high musicality, impressive technique and emotional intensity"
--Philip Rosheger, Spain

The Program:

John Dowland (1563-1626)
      Frog Galliard
      Sir John's Smiths Almaine
      Lady Clifton's Spirit

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
      Sonata in E Minor
      Sonata in E Major

Albert Harris (1916-2005)
      Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel

Joaquin Malats (1872 - 1912)
      Serenata Española

Guido Santorsola (1904 - 1994)
      Three Airs of Court

Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982)
      Castillos de España
            Alcázar de Segovia

Artist Biography:

Armed with a plywood classical guitar, a Spanish/English dictionary, and a dream, Ben Bolt set sail for Spain when he was seventeen. His goal was to study with the "Father of Classical Guitar," Andrés Segovia. The year was 1971. It would take him nearly three years to turn his vision into reality. He found favor with his first teacher in Spain, Jose Luis Rodrigo. On his eighteenth birthday while registering for the draft at the United States Embassy in Madrid, his destiny magically appeared. Sitting just two meters away was maestro Andres Segovia waiting to sign his visa papers to enter America for his annual tour. After Ben introduced himself, Segovia helped him by setting up lessons with one of his assistants, Jose Tomas.

All of Ben's sacrifice would soon be rewarded in Madrid. In the summer of 1973 he would study with the ultimate, Andres Segovia. Segovia bequeathed a full scholarship for Ben to continue his music studies in Spain. "Clean, with a sound to be admired!" was Segovia's acclamation after hearing Ben play. In the spring of 1974 Ben headed to Paris to meet Abel Carlevaro. Impressed with Ben's enthusiasm, Carlevaro invited Bolt to study with him under full scholarship at the yearly Master Classes held in Porto Allegre, Brazil. In Montevideo, Uruguay, Bolt completed his music studies under the direction of maestro Guido Santorsola at the "Escuela Normal de Musica".

Ben Bolt first received national attention in "Spotlight", an article written by Mike Varney, columnist for Guitar player magazine. His arrangement of Bach's Bourree in E minor was the first classical guitar transcription to appear in "Guitar for the Practicing Musician" bringing classical guitar to the attention of heavy metal guitarists worldwide. Ben reached higher acclaim after signing contracts with Cherry Lane Music in New York More success followed with the publication of his version of Classical Gas by Mason Williams. Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida presented his first public performance on national television. For more than a quarter of a century, he served as an adjunct professor of guitar at Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Music Trades magazine, National Public Radio, and Mel Bay Music Publishers Inc. credit Ben Bolt with being the first guitarist ever to introduce the classical guitar to the masses using notation, tablature, and the recording format in the same package. Ben Bolt has three best-sellers with Mel Bay. His best selling titles with Cherry Lane Music (dist. by Hal Leonard), "39 Progressive Guitar Solos Volumes 1 & 2" have been in print for over two decades.

He has published works with recordings of Tárrega, Sor, Carcassi, Mozart, Paganini, J.S. Bach, Carulli and Giuliani. Along with Walt Disney, Luciano Pavarotti, and Shinichi Suzuki, Ben Bolt is the only guitarist inducted into Delta Omicron as a National Patron. He won first place in the, "Concurso Internacional A.E.M.U.S." by unanimous decision held in Montevideo Uruguay (1975). Columbia Music published Ben's, his first publication, Valses Poeticos by Enrique Granados. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music invited Ben Bolt to assist maestro Carlevaro in his debut in North America in 1976. He was awarded the "Premio al Merito" at the National Library of Montevideo by Abel Carlevaro

Ben Bolt uses D'Addario guitar strings for all performances and recordings.

Robert Pollock & Sarn Oliver

In Concert
Sunday July 27th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club and Ebb & Flow Arts (www.ebbandflowarts.org) are delighted to present violinist Sarn Oliver and pianist Robert Pollock, joined by several special guest artists, in a recital spanning a century of compositions. Don't miss this superb evening of music performed in our acoustically wonderful hall!

The Ensemble:

Sarn Oliver and Robert Pollock joined forces several years ago in New Jersey and New York through the vehicle of modern music. They performed Roger Sessions "Duo" several times including Alice Tully Hall. they also performed music by Oliver's father, Harold, Pollock, Webern, Debussy, Brahms and others. Joining Pollock and Oliver for this performance will be special guest artists Mariko Smiley and Amy Hiraga on violin, and Victor Romasevitch on viola.

The Program:

This concert reveals a 'classics to moderns' panorama of compositional approaches during nearly a century, from 1910 to 2003. The program ranges from Webern's 1910, "Four Pieces" to Sarn Oliver's "Sonus." Nearly a century separates the works on our program. This renders the earlier work "classical" or aged in nature. Yet, Debussy's "Sonate" speaks a much different musical tongue than the Webern that preceded it by just a few years. Each generation adds a new contribution to the musical language. Each contribution transcends and includes the previous. Thus, today we have a rich diversity of musical approaches within the "avant garde."

Departure (1976)
Impromptu (1994).....Robert Pollock

Robert Pollock - piano

Four Pieces (1910).....Anton Webern
1. Sehr Langsam
2. Rasch
3. Sehr Langsam
4. Bewegt
Robert Pollock - piano
Sarn Oliver - violin

Duo (1942)......Roger Sessions
Robert Pollock - piano
Sarn Oliver - violin

Sphinxes: 25 Aphorisms for piano* (1974).....Edward T. Cone
Robert Pollock - piano

Sonus* (2008).....Sarn Oliver
Mariko Smiley - violin

String Trio (2006).....Sarn Oliver
Sarn oliver - violin
Amy Hiraga - violin
Victor Romasevitch - viola

Sonate (1917).....Claude Debussy
1. Allegro Vivo
2. Intermède: Fantasque et léger
3. Finale: Très animé
Robert Pollock - piano
Sarn Oliver - violin

* premiere

The Artists:

Robert Pollock, composer and pianist, now directs an arts presenting organization, Ebb & Flow Arts, Inc., in Hawai'i. He co founded Guild of Composers, New York, 1975, and founded and directed Composers Guild of New Jersey, 1980-1997. He recently performed solo piano and chamber music recitals in Honolulu, Hawai'i, Seoul, Korea (twice), and Tokyo, Japan (twice). He participated as composer-in-residence in the Festival for New American Music, Sacramento State University, and Composer in Residence Day, William Paterson University. Some of his nearly one hundred (100) compositions received recent performances in Israel, Moscow, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Honolulu, Italy, Poland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Russia, Bulgaria, Denmark, New Jersey and New York City. He has received numerous commissions and awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Grant Fellowship, Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music Award, Ingraham Merrill Award, several New Jersey State Fellowships and Composers String Quartet Award, first prize. Several of his works are recorded for Furious Artisan, CRI, CGNJ and Union of Composers, Tartarstan, Russia, labels. Several works are published by Mobart, E.C. Schirmer, Veritas Musicae and Rosalime Productions.

the critics rave about Pollock's playing:

"...splendid performances"....Dika Newlin, Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"...a powerful player with no lack of temperament..." Michael Redmond, Newark Star Ledger

"...performed with passion and inner concentration..." Bogumila Mika, Musical Movement (Warsaw)

"...performed with urbanity and polish...." Raymond Ericson, New York Times

and his composition:

"...Pollock's luscious "Cygnature Piece" in which the first movement - full of beautiful blendings, empty of expressive cliche, splendid and sonorous - was even better than the ensuing tango..." Paul Griffiths, New York Times

"...The piece ("Trio #5" for violin, cello and piano) crackled with excitement..." Liz Janes-Brown, Maui News

As a violinist Sarn Oliver has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. As winner of several competitions he has appeared in solo performances with numerous orchestras such as the Dallas Symphony, Sacramento Symphony and the Shreveport Symphony. He was a featured artist on the PBS television program "State of the Arts" and his concerts have been broadcast on radio stations throughout the country. Mr. Oliver's violin playing has been described by San Francisco Classical Voice as "simply phenomenal." His performances can be heard on several recordings including his 1991 recording of the Benda and Stamitz Violin Concertos with the Montpellier Chamber Orchestra, Sete France on the Rarête Classiques label. and on the 2002 Fish Creek Music recording of Eric Ewazen's Quintet for English horn and String Quartet. This season Mr. Oliver performed with his trio; Tilden Trio, The Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Diablo Symphony in 2008 as well as many chamber music engagements throughout california.

Recent chamber music performances include appearances Ruby Mountain Festival, Nevada, where he will soon be appearing in August 2008 at the Kohl Mansion with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and frequent performances on the SF symphony chamber series at Davies hall and Chamber Music Sundays, Berkeley. Mr. Oliver has also been a member of The Archduke Trio and The Ansonia Trio in NY and is currently a member of the Tilden Trio. Other accomplishments include the creation of the jazz group, the Continuum which performed throughout California.

Also a composer. In 2005 Mr. Oliver' Trio One for two Violins and Viola was premiered at The Chamber Music Series at Davies Symphony Hall. His Trio One was enthusiastically received by the San Francisco Classical Voice, which hailed him as: "an unusually thoughtful and eclectically-minded composer." In 2008 His piano trio "Tilden Park " was performed on the SF Symphony series at Davies Hall. An advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Oliver performed frequently for the New York and the New Jersey Composer Guilds, and has premiered many new works including Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra written for him by Harold Oliver.

Mr. Oliver attended the Juilliard School for precollege and also receiving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees as a student of Sally Thomas. He was a teaching assistant at Juilliard Pre-College and at the Meadowmount School. Other teachers, include Ivan Galamian and Elmar Oliveria. Mr. Oliver has served as violin faculty at the University of the Pacific, Stockton California, and UC Berkeley.

Mr. Oliver is currently a first violinist with the San Francisco Symphony and a founding member of the Tilden Trio (tildentrio.com). He is the former Principal Second Violin of the Sacramento Symphony and Concertmaster of the Santa Cruz Symphony.

Mr. Oliver plays on a 1703 Joseph filius Andreas Guarnari violin and a modern Grubaugh and Siefert violin.

Born in Los Angeles, Mariko Smiley began piano lessons at four, at the encouragement of her parents, who were both musicians. Her father, David Smiley, was a violist with the SFS from 1962 until 1973, and Smiley began taking violin lessons from him when she was six. She studied with two other former SFS violinists, Leonard Austria and Stuart Canin, before leaving home to attend Juilliard, where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees under the tutelage of Dorothy DeLay. When she returned to San Francisco, she freelanced before winning a position with the Orchestra in 1982.

Smiley never entertained a career outside professional violin playing. Her family connections within the SFS violin section are impressive: her brother, Dan Smiley, and his wife, Suzanne Leon, are both SFS violinists, as is Suzanne's sister, Kelly Leon-Pearce. Smiley's violinist husband, Sarn Oliver, whom she met for the first time at the Music in the Mountains Festival in the early 1990s and married in 1999, is also in the Orchestra. So it is not surprising that one of the things Smiley likes most about being in the Orchestra is the feeling of community she has with her colleagues. She is devoted to chamber music, performing on the SFS Chamber Music series, in Chamber Music Sundaes concerts, and as a member of the Aurora String Quartet. She appreciates the democracy of playing chamber music and the rich repertory, "and the intensity of working with others is deep and fulfilling."

For Smiley, sincerity and musical integrity are the most important parts of being a musician, "and you must maintain a passion for playing." She also encourages the audience to remember how important they are to music-making. Her other interests: listening to world music and early music, hiking, Tai Chi, spending time with her cats.

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 his 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, Mr. Romasevich joined the Orchestra 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.

Violinist Amy Hiraga was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1991 to 1999. She is currently a permanent member of the San Francisco Symphony. She also studied with Dorothy Delay at Juilliard and Emanuel Zeitlin in Seattle. She has performed and appeared as soloist with many symphonies and chamber orchestras in the United States, and has also performed in many music festivals. She and her husband, cellist Peter Wyrick, live in Mill Valley with their two daughters, Mayumi and Mariko.

The Eric Muhler Quartet
In Concert
Friday July 25th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the Eric Muhler Quartet playing original jazz by Muhler and others. This will be a remarkable evening of music performed in our acoustically wonderful hall!

The Ensemble:

Pianist Eric Muhler and his San Francisco Bay Area based ensemble have been making new friends, new jazz fans, and lasting impressions everywhere they appear. Eric's original compositions and playing virtuosity manage that most delicate and difficult of all balancing acts. It is serious music; intense, driving, complex, and multi-layered, yet accessible to a wide and varied audience. The ensemble brings together some of the finest, first-call players in the Bay Area, including Sheldon Brown on horns, Michael Wilcox on electric bass, and Brian Andress on drums and percussion.

The Concert:

Eric and the band will be performing from his book of original compositions entitled Thirty Five Dreams Worth Remembering. Some of the songs are very simple blues and swing based classic jazz and others reflect what one critics called an "exercise in tension building and suspense....that gnaw(s) at your musical soul.

Some of Eric's compositions are multi-sectional scores that mutate through musical styles suggesting, Latin, Brazilian, African, gospel, rock, and blues as well as straight ahead jazz and bop.

The Artists:

Jazz has always been full of colorful individualists, characters whose music is as unique as their lives. Eric Muhler, a pianist inspired by Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner but always sounding very much like himself, has had an unusual life, and the result is music that would not be mistaken for anyone else.

Born in Oakland, Eric heard pop and jazz standards of the 1940s and ^Ñ50s while growing up. After his older sister and brother had piano lessons but eventually quit, it was his turn. He stuck with it and had classical music lessons for 11 years, starting when he was six. However Eric, who also played clarinet and bass clarinet through eighth grade, had no plans to become a classical pianist. "I was a professional rock and roll pianist by the time I was 12, starting a rock band, so the clarinet went by the wayside. I preferred Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. We played fraternity parties, society parties, sixth grade graduations, high school dances, and any gig we could get. I used to make $75-100 a night, which is the same amount of money they pay these days to play clubs in New York! 1962 and 2008 seem to have the same pay scale."

In the early 1980s he co-led the jazz quintet Mobius Band with guitarist Jim Slick. During 1982-85, Eric co-led Quiet Fire with Dave Creamer, a modern jazz group that featured tenor-saxophonist Larry Schneider. Their one recording, Red Daze (which has been recently reissued), features Eric's originals and playing, displaying his interest in the music of Keith Jarrett, Art Lande and the ECM label in general while offering a fresh approach to jazz. He also recorded eight of his songs as unaccompanied piano solos on Other Worlds. In addition, Eric became involved in providing accompaniment for jazz, modern and ballet dance classes which evolved into him working with the Bay area choreographer Martha Jenkins, at Peralta Colleges, UC Berkeley, CSU Hayward and the Contra Costa Ballet, and as the Company Class Accompanist for the Oakland Ballet. In 1984, he began a successful career working with computer animation. "My improvisational and writing skills made it easy for me to make up tunes for background music for animation, children's videos and action feature films." He also composed the score for Of Men And Angels.

In 1988 Eric began a 15 year hiatus from performance to become a full-time parent, though he never forsook music. In 2003 with his daughters developing into increasingly self-sufficient teenagers, Eric returned to music. He has since formed the Eric Muhler Trio with bassist Michael Wilcox and drummer Rob Gibson, recording Live At The Jazz School and the solo CD Something New. Eric can be heard playing with his trio and quartet (and occasionally solo) in jazz clubs, restaurants, bars, a country club and parties in Northern California from Calistoga to San Jose. He has composed over 50 original compositions and this summer will be recording a new quartet CD featuring Sheldon Brown on saxophones that is scheduled to be released in the fall. As with his four previous recordings, all are available from his Slow Turn label.

While Eric Muhler's style remains recognizable, he has grown in depth and feeling due to his life experiences. "I create original music that is not fusion, bop or retro. I am not into recreating Miles Davis or bringing back bebop. Although I'm still writing complex pieces, I'm also enjoying utilizing simplicity more. These days I only play acoustic piano, performing with a trio or a quartet rather than having a five or six piece band with percussion and guitar. I have a much broader view now of people and I'm much more accepting, which is displayed in my music."

Sheldon Brown has been involved in the Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. He formed Sheldon Brown Group in 1994 to perform his original compositions, which range from the intense and complex to the sublimely serene. Sheldon Brown Group has performed in many of the Bay Area's premier jazz venues, including several appearances at Yoshi's Nitespot, The Jazzschool and Bruno's, and was featured in S.F. Jazz Festival's series Jazz in the City. His group features some of the Bay Area's finest players: Dave MacNab - guitar, Alan Hall - drums, Michael Wilcox - bass, and Jonathan Alford - piano.

Brown has toured internationally with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and plays with Clubfoot Orchestra (which recently performed his music at the San Francisco Jazz Festival). He also plays with and contributes compositions to Clarinet Thing (led by Beth Custer) and Hemispheres (featuring Paul MacCandless), and performs with Mitch Marcus Quintet + 15, Realistic Orchestra, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Darren Johnston Quintet, and various Graham Connah ensembles. He is currently teaching at The Jazzschool.

Michael Wilcox has performed and taught extensively in Arizona and the San Francisco Bay Area. He has performed with the Fifth Dimension, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Oakland Eastbay Symphony, Eddie Duran, Jules Broussard, Richie Cole, Larry Schneider, Kenneth Nash, Glenn Cronkhite among many others. KUAT Radio (Tucson, Arizona) aired "The Michael Wilcox Special" which featured his compositions and arrangements for solo and overdubbed basses, trio and quartet. He has been recorded by KCSM (formerly KJAZ) See's Sunday Night Live at Yoshi's Nightspot with Michael Smolens' progressive Jazz Quintet KRIYA and the Sheldon Brown Group. He is featured on the CD "Shifting Currents" by the Sheldon Brown Group.

In addition to private teaching he has presented clinics for Up With People, University of Arizona, Pima Community College, Young Audiences of Arizona, etc. He studied theory with legendary guitarist Dave Creamer and bass with Steve Swallow, Dave Holland and Mike Richmond. He was an Adjunct Faculty member in the Jazz Department at San Jose State University for five years (1989-1994). Michael has done session and jingle work in Arizona, Toronto and the Bay Area including commercials, TV shows and short features. He has also toured with the theatrical companies San Francisco Mime Troupe (appearing on the network TV show Latenight and in the documentary feature Troupers) and the Pickle Family Circus. He is working on a method book and a book of bass duets. An excerpt from the duet book (written in collaboration with bassist Keith Jones) appeared in the March/April 1991 issue of Bass Player magazine. He has also written for Acoustic Guitar magazine. He has done clinics for Tobias Guitars and SWR. Recordings in 2001 include "Lee Waterman and Jazz Caliente", Stephanie Bruce "April In Dogtown", among others. He is in the staff of the Jazzschool in Berkeley and is staff bassist for Community Presbyterian Church in Danville.

Brian Andres was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a family of professional musicians. His father is a woodwinds specialist and his mother a vocalist and pianist. The house was filled with the sounds of his fathers constant practicing and his mothers piano and voice students. It's no surprise that Brian found himself drawn to the origin of all music: Rhythm.

After nearly being put up for adoption due to his constant banging on inanimate objects, his parents decided to embrace their obstreperous sons undeniable talent by purchasing him a drumset and themselves earplugs. There was no turning back for Brian. At the age of nineteen, armed with years of daily practice and countless lessons, Brian began playing professionally. The next ten years found him performing all over the midwest and east coast in musical groups as diverse as Rock, Jazz, Big Band, R & B, German Traditional, Blues and Afro-Caribbean.

In early 1999 Brian's growing interest in latin music and culture resulted in his relocation to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continues to focus on latin music while also performing various other styles of music.

The Randy Vincent Quartet
In Concert
Friday July 18th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present the Randy Vincent Quartet in a concert of original jazz and jazz standards. Don't miss this rare performance by these noted artists in our acoustically warm and welcoming hall!

The Ensemble:

The Randy Vincent Quartet was formed in 2005 when Bay Area veteran guitarist Randy Vincent and bassist Chris Amberger collaborated with two up-and- coming talents in the area, drummer Alex Aspinall and vibraphonist Tyler Blanton. Tyler and Alex, both Sonoma State University Alumni, had the opportunity to work with and learn from Randy in the classroom, as well as on the bandstand. Randy, one of the founding faculty members of Sonoma State's jazz program, has a long standing reputation for mentoring young musical talents. The group plays mostly original music composed by Tyler and Randy, as well as a handful of jazz standards which have been arranged to suit the group's instrumentation. They have frequently performed throughout the Bay Area since 2005 including The Benbo jazz festival and The Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco, to name a few. The groups first full length album, "Nisha's Dream" was released in 2007 on the Triangular music label.

The Artists:

Randy Vincent began his career in Florida and moved to the San Francisco Area in 1980. Since then, he has divided his time between performing and teaching. Among the many musicians with whom he has performed and recorded are: Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson, Leny Andrade, Stephanie Ozer, Mel Martin, Benny Barth, Mel Graves, Bennett Friedman, Larry Baskett, Peter Welker, Chris Amberger, George Marsh, Smith Dobson, Bill Watrous, George Cables, Tony Dumas, Akira Tana, Billy Childs, Bob Sheppard, Steve Smith, Harold Jones, Bob Badgley, Ernie Watts, Warren Gale, Herb Pomeroy, the Bay Area Jazz Composers' Orchestra, the New Oakland Jazz Orchestra, Dave Eshelman Jazz Garden Big Band, and The Turtle Island String Quartet. He plays on a regular basis with many local musicians throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has performed at numerous jazz festivals such as Monterey Jazz Festival, Mount Hood Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Telluride Colorado Jazz Festival, Space Coast Jazz Festival, North Coast Jazz Festival, Fairfax Jazz Festival, Benicia Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Sacramento Jazz Festival, Cotati Jazz Festival, Jazz on the (Russian) River, Harvest Festival, San Miguel de Allende Jazz Festival in Mexico, and at the Hollywood Bowl for Dizzy Gillespie's 75th birthday celebration.

Randy has taught jazz guitar at Sonoma State University (in Sonoma County, California) since 1981 and has conducted clinics throughout the U.S. While on tour with Joe Henderson, he taught at Taller de Musicos in Madrid, Spain. Randy's students include Julian Lage, the young prodigy who appeared on the 2000 Grammy Awards show. Randy has also taught Dave McNab, who has worked with Shelby Lynne and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman; and Liberty Ellman, who works on a regular basis with Greg Osby and Henry Threadgill.

Bassist Christopher Amberger's has studied music at Merritt College in Oakland, Berklee College in Boston, Cowling Institute in England, and Cal State, Los Angeles. Chris has made several tours around the United States and Europe with The George Shearing Quintet and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and has also made tours with Rosemary Clooney in South America, to mention just a few. He has worked with Helen Forrest, Vaughn Monroe, Bobby McFerrin, Helen O'Connell, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Red Garland, Stan Kenton, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Dorham, Herb Ellis, and many other outstanding performers. Some of the musicians that Chris has recorded with include Red Garland, Art Blakey, Noel Jewkes, and Rosemary Clooney. He has also performed with the Buffalo Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony.

Alex Aspinall is one of the San Francisco bay area's up and coming jazz drummers. Alex graduated from the music department at Sonoma State University in 2002. While earning his BA at SSU Alex studied extensively with drum legend George Marsh. Alex keeps a busy schedule performing, recording and teaching. He currently performs with the Randy Vincent Quartet , Edo Castro, the Erik Lindquist Trio, Shea Breaux Wells, Michael Lamacchia, and SF swing band Lee Press On and the Nails. Alex has also performed with Mel Graves, Julian Lage, and award winning vocalist Kathleen Grace.

Jazz vibraphonist Tyler Blanton moved to New York in 2007 from the San Francisco Bay area where he quickly gained recognition as an up and coming talent on the instrument. He has shared the stage with Randy Vincent, Mel Graves, Eddie Marshall, and Chris Amberger, among many others. In 2006, his long standing musical collaborations with veteran Jazz guitarist Randy Vincent was documented with the release of 'Nisha's Dream" on the Triangular music label. As a bandleader, Blanton performs regularly both in New York and abroad with his trio featuring original music and arrangements of known Jazz Standards. Blanton's repertoire ventures into swing, bebop, brazilian, modern jazz styles, and everything in between.

Mitch Marcus Quintet + 13
In Concert
Friday June 20th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to present the Mitch Marcus Quintet + 13 in a remarkable evening of original jazz. This award-winning ensemble will fill our stage with virtuoso players and our acoustically-wonderful hall with sublime sounds. Don't miss this event!

The Mitch Marcus Quintet + 13 Big Band is a highly energetic, innovative group featuring 18 of the best musicians in today's jazz scene. After receiving the 2004 Subito music award from the American Composer's Forum, the Mitch Marcus Quintet was expanded to form this super-group. The MMQ + 13 Big Band will be performing new arrangements of the quintet material as well as other cutting-edge compositions stretching beyond the post-bop idiom. The group features works by collaborators Mitch Marcus and Sylvain Carton. Their arrangements and compositions experiment with dense harmony, polyrhythmic ideas, and altered song forms, bringing the exploratory spirit of the underground jazz scene into a traditional big band setting - juxtaposing improvisation with orchestration. Every musician, being a distinguished soloist, enables the music to reach new heights through improvisation and personal interpretation.

"Mingus meets Prokofiev at a luncheon with Gunther Schüller hosted by Duke Ellington and 70's cop show heroes Starsky and Hutch. Art Blakey is the chef."

The Band:

Mitch Marcus - tenor sax
Sylvain Carton - alto sax
Sheldon Brown - tenor sax
Marcus Stephans - alto sax
Charlie Gurke - baritone sax
Henry Hung - trumpet
Darrin Johnston - trumpet
Erik Jekabson - trumpet
Mike Olmos - trumpet
John Gove - trombone
Jeanne Geiger - trombone
Danny Grewen - trombone
Marc Bolin - bass trombone/tuba
Jason Slota - vibraphone/percussion
Jeff Mars - drums
Mike Abraham - guitar
Geroge Ban-Weiss - bass
David Ewell - bass

John Butcher & Carla Kihlstedt

Sixth Annual Matthew Sperry Memorial Concerts
featuring performances over two evenings:

Thursday, June 5th 2008
John Butcher

Friday, June 6th 2008
Carla Kihlstedt

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to host the Sixth Annual Matthew Sperry Memorial Concerts. Matthew Sperry was a talented bass player and beloved member of the local avant garde music community who was tragically killed while bicycling in 2003. Since then his friends and fans have gathered annually to honor his memory in music.

Thursday's Program:

John Butcher - saxophone
Solo, duo, trio, and quintet
with special guests John Shiurba - guitar, Tom Djll - trumpet,
Tim Perkis - electronics, and Gino Robair - percussion.

Friday's Program:

Carla Kihlstedt - violin & vocals
Solo, duo, and trio
with special guests Marika Hughes - cello, Myles Boisen - guitar
Fred Frith - guitar, and Chris Sipe - drums.

Featured Artists' Bios:

John Butcher's music ranges through free improvisation, composition, multitracked saxophone pieces and work with live electronics, amplification and feedback. He is well known as a solo performer, recently exploiting extreme acoustics, and has composed pieces for Chris Burn's Ensemble, Polwechsel, the Elision Ensemble and the Rova Saxophone Quartet. He started playing the saxophone whilst studying physics, but, after finishing a doctorate on quantum chromodynamics he left academia in 1982 and went off with music - working with Burn, John Russell, Phil Durrant, Paul Lovens and Radu Malfatti. In the early '90s he joined what became the final version of John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble and also began playing with Derek Bailey and Phil Minton.

Electronic music was an early influence on his approach to saxophone playing, and became explicit in his electromanipulation duo with Durrant, and, more recently, in duos with Christof Kurzmann and Toshimaru Nakamura. Some current projects include Thermal with EX guitarist Andy Moor & Thomas Lehn, The Contest of Pleasures with Axel Doerner and Xavier Charles, and duos with Steve Beresford, Gerry Hemingway, Rhodri Davies, Paal Nilssen-Love, Gino Robair, John Edwards and Eddie Prevost. Butcher continues to play in many occasional, sometimes just one-off encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper, Radu Malfatti's Orkestra and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, and Otomo Yoshihide.

For more info on John Butcher check out www.johnbutcher.org.uk.

Carla Kihlstedt enjoys many kinds of music with many kinds of people. Most recently, these people have included Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Matthias Bossi, Colin Jacobsen, and Lisa Bielawa. She also enjoys what happens when people form groups. Some of her favorite such groups that she works with are The Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, 2 Foot Yard, Tin Hat, The Book of Knots, The ROVA Saxophone Quartet, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Cosa Brava.

She is in the process of starting her own label for her own music (Twelve Cups), as a way of sidestepping the evils of the recorded music industry and losing her own damn money. In three days time, she will make a record with Matthias Bossi and Shahzad Ismaily called Causing a Tiger, based on field recordings that she has collected on her travels. Later this month, she will record with one of her favorite musicians, Satoko Fujii. (The resulting cd will come out on Tzadik later this year.) She has also been working very hard on a staged song cycle called Necessary Monsters (featuring Nina Rolle, Theresa Wong, Freddi Price, Michael Mellender, Matthias Bossi, Chris Fisher-Lochhead, and the words of Rafael Oses) that she hopes to bring to the Bay Area next year.

Larry Karush and Gyan Riley
with Scott Amendola

In Concert
Friday, May 23rd 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present pianist Larry Karush, guitarist Gyan Riley, and drummer Scott Amendola in concert. These virtuoso artists, each celebrated for his own individual musical achievements, will collaborate in a concert featuring new works and improvisation. Don't miss these three wonderful players performing in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Program:

For Larry Karush, improvisation is integral to the genesis and performance of compositions created out of his roots in jazz, world, and western classical and 20th century music. This concert of "comprovisations" will feature new works, and selections from original repertoire, including "The Salsa Way", "The 5-Star Rag", and "Meditation: American Granite". Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Karush's last Bay Area appearance was in a shared concert with Maestro Terry Riley. For this event, he will share the stage with M. Riley's son, guitarist/composer Gyan Riley, in a program including solo and duo works by both artists. Joining Karush and Riley for this evening's performance will be the celebrated Bay Area jazz drummer, Scott Amendola.

The Artists:

Larry Karush is an improvising pianist/composer with roots in Jazz, 20th century western music, African-based percussion, and the classical music of North India. From Carnegie Hall to the Purple Onion, he has performed Jazz with John Abercrombie, Jane Ira Bloom, Jay Clayton, Bennie Wallace, and Oregon, World Music with Kanai Dutta, Francisco Aguabella, and Glen Velez, and New Music with Steve Reich and Terry Riley, in addition to his solo piano performances.

His compositions and improvisations have been recorded on the ECM, Vanguard, Inner City, AudioQuest, Music of the World, and NAXOS labels. He has received grants and commissions from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NEA/Arts International, Meet the Composer, the California Arts Council, and the City of Los Angeles. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition, and a nominee for the 2008 Alpert Foundation Prize in Creative Music.

He has performed concerts of original music for solo piano and his piano/bass/three world percussion ensemble, The Combination, throughout the United States in addition to festival appearances in Europe, Canada, and South Africa.

Mr. Karush has been an artist-in-residence at the University of California Santa Barbara, a composer-in-residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and has presented lecture/demonstrations of his approach to integrating composition and multi-stylistic improvisation at the Universities of California, Tufts, Brandeis and New York, Reed and Berklee Colleges, and the California Institute for the Arts. He is currently on the faculty of Occidental College in Los Angeles.

"In Art of the Improviser, a riveting set of solo piano tracks, Karush draws together such disparate elements as bluegrass banjo, stride, tinges of Erik Satie, boogie-woogie, country and the blues. But his own vision - one of the most fascinating in current jazz - remains constant." --Los Angeles Times (Don Heckman)

"Elegant and earth... (Karush's) music travels around the world carving out some real poetry. Highly recommended." --Cadence

Gyan Riley brings together elements of American fingerpicking, Indian raga, jazz, flamenco, and classical guitar techniques to form a highly compelling compositional and performance style unto itself.

In 1999, Gyan became the first guitarist ever to be awarded a full scholarship from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While still studying at the conservatory, he received a recording contract for his debut CD of original works, Food for the Bearded (New Albion Records). Gyan's awards include First Prize in the Portland International Guitar Festival Competition and First Prize in the San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Concerto Competition.

Concert tours have taken him to some of the world's most prestigious concert halls in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Norway, Ireland, and throughout the United States. Gyan tours regularly with the Los Angeles based Falla Guitar Trio, the Feinsmith Quartet, and father/composer/pianist Terry Riley. Gyan has received commissions from the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the New York Guitar Festival, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center.

Gyan served as the artistic director for the San Francisco Classical Guitar Society from 2002-2004, and as professor of guitar at Humboldt State University for the 2005-2006 academic year. This year he serves on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

"Gyan Riley is the future of guitar, now." --Guitarra Magazine, Dec. '02

"(Riley's) musical range reaches well beyond standard idiomatic cliches with almost improvisatory freedom." --Gramophone, Feb. '03

While rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area scene, Scott Amendola has woven a dense and far reaching web of bandstand relationships that tie him to influential figures in jazz, blues, groove, rock and new music. An organizer by nature, he has become a creative nexus for a community of musicians stretching from Los Angeles and Seattle to Chicago and New York.

While he first gained widespread notice a decade ago for his work in eight-string guitar ace Charlie Hunter's trio, in recent years Amendola has stepped forward as the leader of several compelling bands that showcase his supremely supple trap work. He continues to work as a sideman, accompanying artists such as the tart-toned vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, guitarist and singer/songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps and the Nels Cline Singers (a volatile instrumental trio without a vocalist), but it's as a bandleader that Amendola's dynamic, ever-evolving style is best showcased.

Around the Bay Area, Amendola explores the many facets of his expansive rhythmic sensibility in an intriguing series of small combos. As a jazz player, for instance, he's performed extensively with the cooperative group 'plays Monk', a trio featuring clarinetist Ben Goldberg and bassist Devin Hoff that focuses on the brilliant, knotty composition of modern jazz giant Thelonious Monk. "We've created certain moods for tunes, more than developing set arrangements," Amendola says. "What really makes the trio its own thing and opens up possibilities is the lack of a chordal instrument. We've all played and listened to a lot of Thelonious Monk. One could really study Monk's music for a lifetime

Amendola's past musical connections are vast and varied, including recordings, tours and performances with artists such as Bill Frisell, Wadada Leo Smith, Shweta Jhaveri, Larry Goldings, Jeff Parker, Sex Mob, Larry Klein, Darryl Johnson, Carla Bozulich, Robin Holcomb and the Joe Goode Dance Group, Wayne Horvitz, Johnny Griffin, Viktor Krauss, Tony Furtado, Julian Priester, Jessica Lurie, Sonny Simmons, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Pat Martino, Peter Apfelbaum, Jim Campilongo, Bobby Black, Paul McCandless, Ben Goldberg, Noe Venable, and Mark Turner. He considers all of these formative experiences, but singles out a few gigs as particularly inspiring, including a six-week European tour with pianist Jacky Terrasson, and a performance at the Jazzschool in Berkeley with saxophonist Dave Liebman that was documented on a live recording.

"If Scott Amendola didn't exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him." -- Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Amendola, certainly the most accomplished and inventive drummer on the local scene, maintains a constant flurry of percussive sounds - drums, cymbals, tom-toms - smoothly shifting dynamics and rhythmic emphasis." - Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

Lily Storm & Dan Cantrell's MegaBand
In Concert
Friday, May 9th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present a fabulous double bill with Lily Storm in a concert of folk songs from Eastern Europe and neighboring countries, and Dan Cantrell's MegaBand featuring a set of original compositions inspired by traditional Romani (Gypsy) Jewish, and American Folk music. Don't miss this innovative new acoustic music in the sonic splendor of our hall!

The Program:

Lily Storm will open the night with song selections from Eastern Europe accompanied by the Indian Harmonium. Then she be joined by vocalists Briget Boyle and Dan Cantrell to premier a new set of Greek polyphonic vocal music from Epirus.

Dan Cantrell's MegaBand features an amazing cast of musicians specializing in World music traditions. These songs are presented with modern compositional complexity and sung primarily in the English language. The group will be joined by special guest dancers to premier some tasty collaborative treats for the eyes.

The Artists:

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.

Lily performs with several ensembles in the Bay Area, working with musicians including Ryan Francesconi, Dan Cantrell, Aya Davidson, Beth Bahia Cohen, Eric Perney, Peter Maund, Shea Comfort, Leslie Bonnett, Dan Ziagos, Bill Lanphier, Bryan Bowman, and Lucia Comnes. She also performs early music with Shira Kammen, Tim Rayborn, and Kit Higginson; Scandinavian folk music with the Swedish duo Dråm, and she has collaborated with Kane Mathis, an accomplished kora and oud player. Highlights of the last year include singing with the Toids to open for Joanna Newsom, and performing in Greece with Lucia Comnes at the Voices of Stone Festival, sharing the stage with Petro-Loukas Halkias and Domna Samiou, among others.

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 then-NPR's Performance Today.

For more information about Lily, visit http://songbat.com

Dan Cantrell's Mega Band:

Dan Cantrell - Accordion, Voice
Briget Boyle - Voice
Peter Jaques - Clarinet
Eric Oberthaler - Trumpet
Lila Sklar - Violin
Eric Perney - Bass
Sean Tergis - Percussion

For more band info, visit http://www.myspace.com/dancantrellsmegaband

Dan Cantrell began composing at age 11. Since that time he has continued performing and writing music of all kinds featuring his main instruments, accordion, piano and musical saw. Dan received a rigorous training in Classical, Jazz, and improvisational performance styles as well as extensive formal composition training from an early age. He attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts studying piano performance and musical composition. Drawing from his rich musical experience, he strives to bring exciting new sounds to the world in collaboration and composition for interdisciplinary art. In recent years his attention has been focused on the study and performance of Eastern European folk music as well as compositions for film, dance, and theatre.

As a composer, Dan has scored over thirty films and numerous plays. He has been commissioned by several dance companies and circus arts groups to produce live and recorded scores. His work has been premiered by a variety of ensembles ranging from brass bands, to chamber orchestras, Balkan women's choirs, to the California Shakespeare Festival ensemble cast. Dan has been musical director for ensembles in theatre, dance and for television with the PBS children's series Mark Kistler's Imagination Station.

In recent years, Dan received an Emmy award for his soundtrack to KQED documentary Home Front, as well two Golden Gate awards from the San Francisco International Film Festival for his work on local films. He is excitedly now writing the score for a new television series "The Misadventures of Flapjack". This new cartoon produced by the Cartoon Network which will air this Summer.

As a performer, Dan recently had the honor of recording with legendary songwriter Tom Waits. He has also recently toured and recorded with emerging and internationally celebrated independent artist Joanna Newsom.

For more information about Dan, visit www.bellowhead.com

Carl Ludwig Hübsch & Gino Robair
In Concert
Sunday, May 4th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club excited to present German tuba virtuoso and composer Carl Ludwig Hübsch, and Bay Area percussionist and composer Gino Robair in a concert of improvised music that will stretch your ear and your mind. Don't miss this exciting exposition of sound on the cutting edge of creativity in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Concert:

Carl Ludwig Hübsch plays accoustic music that melds the traditional brass sound of the tuba with the extended sound/noise music genre, along with strong influences from electronic and contemporary compositions. Perhaps one could say Hübsch plays electronic music with mechanical means. In composition Hübsch's work focuses on interweaving improvisation and ideas written in advance of the performance. In the concert at the Hillside Club he will play in a duo with the renonwned percussionist Gino Robair. Together with the audience they step into the unknown and let music grow from there.

The Artists:

Carl Ludwig Hübsch's early musical encounters were with Punk, Rock and a local brass band. He later studied at the University of Freiburg, earning diplomas in voice, percussion and classical theory. He has studied composition and New Music with Johannes Fritsch. He composes and performs in concert halls, studios and theatres lending his talents to ensembles and orchestras. He is well known for his unique solo concerts. Hübsch concentrates on Improvised Music and Composition. He also leads workshops for tuba and improvisation.

"Considering the dearth of good solo tuba recordings in recent years Carl Ludwig Hübsch would be in a field of his own even if he didn`t try to be different. DER ERSTE BERICHT ("the first report") acknowledges the inevitable novelty charge with a Cover of Kashmir-we don`t get many Led Zeppelin covers in these pages either but what persists is Hubsch`s control, and, yes, poetry with an instrument that, for jazz, was long relegated to huffing in the end zone, Creating overtones by singing through his horn, he extends his instrument the way Albert Mangelsdorff stretched the trombone, while his drumming on the side of the instrument in M5 and Ross 780 adds a third party. Away from those extensions, he has astounding control of his instrument`s softer range, as the reverie of Groombridge 34 affirms so handsomely. -Coda Magazine July 2000"

Gino Robair is a percussionist, music journalist, and published composer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gino frequently tours North America and Europe as a soloist and often improvises in ad-hoc groups. He has performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Butcher, LaDonna Smith, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Club Foot Orchestra, and he is a founding member of the Splatter Trio.

Gino Robair ...holds the listener captive as he oscillates between the accidental and the intentional; between the tiniest, most delicate noise and a torrential outpouring of sound." -San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Robair is an enormously talented percussionist, with a thorough-going musicality and an instinct for the unexpected." -The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

"Robair has taken the notion of open-ended improv to its logical endgame; milking maximum-impact rhythms from the most unlikely sources." -Jazziz

The Second Annual Bay Area
JazzPoetry Festival
Saturday, April 26th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club pleased once again to host the Second Annual Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival. As only the great Count Basie could put it: "Let's try it one more once!" he called out at the end of his classic "April in Paris." April in Berkeley will once again be filled with jazz and poetry. Building on the enthusiastic crowd response to its 2007 debut, the Second Annual Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival returns to celebrate April's intersection of Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month. "The mix of spoken word with the soundscape of music was incredible. It was like painting on a canvas with emotion-colored paints. Strikingly beautiful." (from an attendee at the First Annual Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival.) The Festival continues its mission of presenting jazz and poetry collaborations from both New York and the Bay Area.

This Year's Featured Artists:

The New York based Jessica Jones Quartet featuring poet Arisa White. Berkeley High "jazz factory" alums Jessica Jones and Tony Jones, are perhaps the only avant-garde, tenor-sax playing husband-and-wife tandem in jazz. Their 15-year track record revolves around experimental composition, freer forms and collective improvisation.

Singer-poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) and Her Trio. Mentored by saxophonist Jackie McLean, Lisa B grew up in NY and California. With two poetry books authored and three CDs released "daring, dexterous singer, songwriter, and poet Lisa B...appeals to both traditional and contemporary jazz tastes and even...hip-hop hipsters." (Philadelphia Daily News)

Yancie Taylor Quartet featuring poet Julian Carroll. A genuine Bay Area treasure and acclaimed vibraphonist, Yancie has entertained audiences at numerous clubs and festivals with jazz giants such as Pharaoh Sanders and John Handy. Whether he's performing here or in Tokyo, France, Holland, or Germany, Yancie spreads the truth of his motto: "Love, Peace, and JAZZ GREASE!"

Berkeley-born, Oakland-based jazzpoetry group, UpSurge! is "an ensemble that earns its exclamation point with dynamic performances that capture the soul, humor and off-the-cuff inventiveness of a cascading saxophone solo." (Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times)


This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.

The Festival also appreciates support from Poetry Flash, KPFA, KCSM, KALW, KPOO, Cafe de la Paz, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley City Councilmembers Max Anderson, Kriss Worthington, and Laurie Capitelli, Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) and National Poetry Month.

For more info: www.upsurgejazz.com/newsletter.

John Blakelock

César Cancino, Kathyrn Miller

Anna Pressler, Graeme Jennings, Leighton Fong

Spotlight on Local Composers
New Works by John Blakelock
Friday, April 18th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present a new feature in our Concert Series. Recognizing that the Bay Area is a hotbed of new musical creativity, both in academic programs and on the part of talented individuals, we have decided to shine a spotlight on the work some of these wonderful local artists. The first of what we hope will become a regular part of our Concer Series features the world premieres of four new works by composer John Blakelock. Come join us for a remarkable evening of new music performed by stellar artists in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Program:

The Burning Barn - piano solo
Cesar Concino - piano

The World is Charged - four settings of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins for mezzo-soprano and piano
Kathryn Miller - mezzo-soprano
Cesar Concino - piano

Piano Sonata No. 2
Scott Hawkins - piano

To My Father's Father
Poem and String Trio
Anna Pressler - violin
Graeme Jennings - viola
Leighton Fong - cello

The Artists:

César Cancino enjoys a musically diverse career as pianist, musical director and conductor. He graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and then studied piano with Alain Naude, a pupil of the great Dinu Lipatti. He was for many years the musical director/pianist for "Teatro Zinzanni" (a european style circus-cabaret in San Francisco) and for several years toured with singer/songwriter Joan Baez as her musical director and pianist. He is also a recipient of the Bay Area Theatre Critic's Circle award for "Outstanding Musical Director." Mr. Cancino has performed throughout North America, Europe and Australia in such venues as "Montreux Jazz Festival," Carnegie Hall, "Int'l Music Festival of Mexico City," Atlanta "Summer Pops" Symphony and the "New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival." He has appeared with such diverse artists as singers Liliane Montevecchi, Thelma Houston, Maria Muldaur, Mercedes Sosa; cellist Ron Leonard; and violinists Pierre d'Archambeau, Martha Caplin and Tracy Silverman. Local credits include "Menopause, The Musical", "Spelling Bee", Broadway By The Bay, 42nd Street Moon, Theatreworks, Beach Blanket Babylon, Plush Room in San Francisco, Monterey County Symphony, Alameda Civic Light Opera, Circus Center/New Pickle Circus and Musical Director/Conductor of Morrison Theatre Chorus. He is currently the new musical director for "Palazzo", a German company that produces a variety of circus-cabaret shows in Europe.

Leighton Fong is a longtime member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and serves as Principal Cello with the California Symphony. He plays regularly with the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players and the Empyrean Ensemble and is an active freelancer in the Bay Area. He has taught at UC Berkeley since 1997. Mr. Fong studied at the San Francisco Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, the Bern Conservatory in Switzerland, and the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. He joined the San Francisco Contemporary Players in 2006.

Australian violinist, Graeme Jennings, formerly a member of the legendary Arditti String Quartet (1994-2005), has toured widely throughout the world, made more than 70 CDs, given over 200 premieres and received numerous accolades including the prestigious Siemens Prize (1999) and two Grammaphone awards. As a recitalist, Mr Jennings has a wide repertoire ranging from Bach to Boulez and beyond. HIs main focus these days is on chamber music, as well as being an enthusiastic proponent of new music. He has worked with and been complimented on his interpretations by many of the leading composers of our time. After hearing him give the Australian premiere of his "Partita" in 1987, Lutoslawski described Graeme as an "inspired performer". In recent seasons, he has given performances of Berg's Violin Concerto, and in 2003, the first Australian premiere of Ferneyhough's "Terrain" with the Elision Ensemble. Graeme is now based in San Francisco where he enjoys pursuing a wide range of musical activity.

Mezzo-Soprano Kathryn Miller began her vocal studies at UC Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Conservatory, before obtaining a post-graduate diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London. She focuses primarily on early music, and has performed with the Vancouver Early Music Festival, where she sang Dido; MusicSources, where she performed re-constructed court ballets from France and Italy, and Bay Area Classical Harmonies with whom she sang alto solos in the St. John Passion and Cantata 80. Opera roles include the Messenger from Monteverdi's Orfeo and Menotti's Mrs. Nolan, both with BASOTI and Hansel, with both the San Francisco Conservatory and the California Opera Association. She currently studies with Michael Sokol.

A resident of Berkeley, California, violinist Anna Presler plays in several Bay Area chamber ensembles. For ten years she has played with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, bringing contemporary and classical works to San Francisco audiences. She is a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, where she has recently served as a soloist. As a member of the Sun Quartet, Ms. Presler is on the faculty of Sacramento State University. She has participated in programs at the Banff Art Center, the International Music Seminar at Cornwall, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Ms. Presler holds a degree in history from Yale University and studied music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

The Composer:

Composer John Blakelock began studying composition with Dr. Gary Clarke as an undergraduate student at Washington College. It was there that he received thesis honors for his senior composition recital and the Alpha Chi Omega Award for Outstanding Music Major. He went on to attend The Catholic University of America where he studied composition with Dr. Helmut Braunlich and Dr. Stephen Strunk and earned a master's in music composition. In 2004 Mr. Blakelock moved to Berkeley to pursue his compositional interests and recently studied compositon with Dr. Brian Kane. His piece Tribute to Johannes Brahms was premiered by the Menlo Brass Quintet in May of 2006.

Art Lande & Paul McCandless Duo
In Concert
Sunday, April 13th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to welcome back two illustrious alumni of our Concert Series. Art Lande and Paul McCandless, both internationally- renowned jazz artists in their own right, are teaming up for a fabulous duo concert that promises to be one of the hottest events of the season. Don't miss these two superb artists performing in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Art Lande and Paul McCandless Duo:

Art Lande (piano) and Paul McCandless (saxes, bass clarinet, oboe, English horn) have been performing and recording together since the mid 1970's. They have had feature concerts in festivals world-wide including Montreal, Zurich (Switzerland) and Santa Fe. Their recordings for labels like ECM (German), Windham Hill, (U.S.) and Musidisc (France), also reflect their place in the international jazz community.

Both prolific composers, Lande and McCandless weave their compositions together with improvisational interactions where rhythm, texture, mood and style can go in many directions. McCandless' wide variety of instruments give a signature sound to each piece. Many musical traditions show themselves in the course of an evening - from modern jazz to blues to Indian music to salsa to modern classical and gospel sounds. Both players' ftexibility on their instruments make it possible for the duo to feel truly orchestral- full, lush, and rhythmically alive, so that a rhythm section is never missed. Between their sense of humor, driving intensity and penchant for reflective beauty, their concerts satisfy a wide range of listeners whose ears will surely get freshened, tweaked and indulged.

The Artists:

An adventurous and subtle improviser who has established himself as a creative voice in jazz as a pianist, drummer, composer, arranger and educator, Art Lande was born in 1947 in New York City and studied classical piano there under Joseph Kahn. He attended Williams College before moving to San Francisco in 1969 and during the early 1970s played electric piano in a jazz quintet with Steve Swallow. In 1973 Lande recorded in a duo with Jan Garbarek and with the Ted Curson's septet and in 1976 he formed Rubisa Patrol, a quartet that regularly visited Europe and made its recording debut that year on ECM Records. He left Rubisa Patrol in 1983 to teach for three years at a jazz school in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and in 1987 moved to Boulder, CO, where he still resides, to teach at the Naropa Institute. Lande, whose work as a pianist considerably advanced the harmonic innovations pioneered by Bill Evans, has worked with Chet Baker, Woody Shaw, Kenny Wheeler, Gary Peacock, Ernie Watts, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Joe Henderson, Sheila Jordan, Mark Isham and Paul McCandless among others and over the years has mentored emerging improvisers and composers in the Denver-Boulder area, North America and abroad. Art is currently a faculty member of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The son of two music teachers, Paul McCandless grew up playing with parts of musical instruments he found in his grandfather's repair shop. By age nine he was playing classical clarinet and was introduced to jazz in middle school when he took up the saxophone and his primary instrument, the oboe. McCandless continued his musical studies at Duquesne University and the Manhattan School of Music before embarking on a career as a multi- instrumentalist and composer that has spanned three decades beginning with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and continuing with the Paul Winter Consort which he joined in1968. In 1973 he left Winter to form the quartet Oregon with guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, bassist Glen Moore, and percussionist Collin Walcott (now succeeded by Mark Walker after Walcott's death). Oregon's discography includes recordings on Vanguard, Elektra/Asylum, ECM, Epic, Chesky and Intuition Records and the ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Vienna's Mozartsaal and other intemationally renowned venues as well as at clubs and festivals around the world. In addition to Oregon, McCandless has had an eclectic and active solo career working with Jaco Pastorius, Carla Bley, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Steve Lacy and Bela Fleck, among others. His recordings as a leader include All the Mornings Bring (Elektra), Navigator (Landslide), Heresay (Windham Hill) and he contributed to several Windham Hill anthologies including Bach Variations and The Impressionists. In addition to his ongoing association with Oregon, McCandless works with artists in both the jazz and classical worlds and appeared as a guest soloist with the LA Philharmonic in 2005.

Jerry Kuderna

In Recital
Friday, April 11th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present a celebrated local piano virtuoso in a brilliant program of 20th Century masterworks. Jerry Kuderna is well known as a solo performer, teacher and member of the popular Maybeck Trio. He has kindly consented to perform this program on short notice to help the Club showcase a stunning new Grotrian Concert Royal piano on generous loan to us from JB Piano Company of San Rafael. Don't miss the opportunity to hear this wonderful artist performing on this amazing instrument in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Program:

Two Centenaries: Elliott Carter and Joaquin Nin-Culmell

  Claude Debussy: Etudes (1915)
      Pour les arpèges composés
      Pour les cinq doigts

  Milton Babbitt: Tableaux (1973)

  Elliott Carter: Night Fantasies

  Joaquin Nin-Culmell: Tonadas (selections) (1957-1972)

  Federico Mompou: Musica Callada (selections) (1959-1971)

The Artist:

Jerry Kuderna received his initial training in piano and conducting in Denver with Antonia Brico. After moving to California at age 10, he continued private studies with Laura Nast Nicolaisen and later worked with Adele Marcus at Juilliard and Robert Helps at the San Francisco and New England Conservatories. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University where he wrote his dissertation on the piano music of Milton Babbitt.

He studied Webern and Schoenberg with Rudolf Kolisch at the New England Conservatory and while teaching piano at Princeton University during the 70's developed his commitment to the works of Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt. He was also assistant and accompanist for soprano Bethany Beardslee, whose groundbreaking recordings of Berg and Schoenberg were a decisive influence. Her encouragement led to the first performance of Babbitt's Phonemena and its subsequent recording on New World Records by Kuderna and Lynn Webber.

Mr. Kuderna has performed numerous concertos for piano and electronic sound, including the American premiere of Philippe Manoury's Pluton, under the auspices of CINMAT at the University of California, Berkeley. He substituted for the listed performer at the last minute in a performance of Babbitt Reflections for Piano and Tape at the SCREAM Festival, LA County Museum. He has premiered the work of Bay Area composers, Edwin Dugger, Richard Swift and Herb Bielawa , and has performed with Composer's Inc., Earplay, and Cal Performances .

Jerry Kuderna is known to Berkeley Symphony audiences for his 2001 premier of Daniel Brewbaker's Piano Concerto No. 2, "To Kalon," which occurred in the weeks following 9/11. The following year he performed with the Berkeley Symphony in the U.S premier of Galina Ustvolskaya's 4th Symphony under Kent Nagano. Most recently, in January 2006 he gave the west coast premiere of Elliott Carter's Piano Concerto under the baton of George Thomson.

Jerry gave the Irving Fine memorial concert at Brandeis University and a program of 20th century nocturnes (including Carter's Night Fantasies) at the Berkeley Arts Festival. He performs with the Maybeck Trio and teaches at Diablo Valley College where he recently conducted its orchestra. He continues to give open classes on the classical and contemporary piano literature which he has taught in the communities of Berkeley, Concord and, currently, Walnut Creek. Mr. Kuderna lives in Berkeley.

Dan Zemelman Quartet
In Concert
Friday, April 4th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the Dan Zemelman Quartet in a concert of great contemporary jazz. This excellent ensemble has been one of the most popular acts in the three years of our Concert Series. Don't miss the return of this great group to our acoustically-outstanding hall!

The Dan Zemelman Quartet:

This ensemble is comprised of four of the finest local jazz artists playing today. Each has achieved individual recognition, but when they come together to make their music the results are truly magic. Each of the quartet members brings something special to the ensemble, including unique original compositions and arrangements, as well as a wide range of musical influences. The music thus created is a tasty blend of the different creative visions and musical backgrounds present including jazz, afro-latin influences, rock, blues, and classical music.

The Artists:

Dan Zemelman maintains a very busy jazz life in the bay area. He has performed numerous times with the bay area's great bassist, Marcus Shelby, and also appeared on the last John Lee Hooker album made, 'Face to Face'. Dan currently teaches at the JazzSchool and Jazz Camp.

Erik Jekabson is one of the hottest trumpet players in the Bay Area jazz scene. Jekabson, a conservatory-trained musician with a master's degree in composition, currently works as a freelance composer, arranger and trumpeter, leading his own bands as well as playing with bands like the Realistic Orchestra, Mitch Marcus Quintet +13 and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Erik also teaches at the Jazzschool in Berkeley.

Fred Randolph is a busy freelance acoustic/electric bassist, composer, and educator who works with top local and national jazz artists. He has also turned out several great albums of his own that feature some very talented bay area jazz players.

Alan Hall is among the finest drummers on the local jazz scene. A first-call player, Hall has also performed and/or recorded with such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Harris, Paul McCandless, and Art Lande, among others.

Thomas Pandolfi

In Recital
Friday, March 28th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is honored to present international prize winning pianist Thomas Pandolfi in a brilliant program of music by Liszt, Scriabin, Chopin, and Gershwin. Lauded for the "intensity, technical brilliance and clarity of his playing," Thomas Pandolphi has been described as "one of the finest young pianists of his generation." Don't miss this wonderful recital in our acoustically-excellent hall!

The Program:

This program features "Apres Une Lecture du Dante (Fantasia quasi Sonata)" by Franz Liszt, "Nocturne in D-Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 for Left Hand Alone" by Alexander Scriabin, "Four Etudes," "Fantasy-Impromptu, Op. 66," and the "Polonaise in A-Flat Major, Op. 53" by Frederic Chopin, as well a selections from the work of George Gershwin.

The Artist:

American pianist Thomas Pandolfi is emerging as a prodigious virtuoso who excels in reviving the core repertoire from the golden age of pianism. Praised for his interesting and innovative programming, his recitals regularly include works by Busoni, Godowsky, Dohnanyi and Chasins, and his orchestral appearances often feature concerti by Paderewski, MacDowell, Moszkowski and Anton Rubinstein.

The young pianist's career has already included performances with such European orchestras as The George Enescu Philharmonic, The Moravian Philharmonic, and The National Philharmonic of the Republic of Moldova, as well as the American symphony orchestras of Mississippi, Cedar Rapids, Asheville, Princeton, and San Angelo, to name but a few. He has collaborated with such conductors as Dimitru Goia, Peter Schmelzer, Mihail Agafita, Andreas Delfs, Christian Tiemeyer, Ron Spigelman, William Kushner, Nicholas Palmer and Robert Hart Baker. Following a performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Asheville Symphony, The Asheville Citizen-Times remarked, "Pandolfi is a standout among today's young pianists, demonstrating a great technician's grace, finesse and polish...his virtuosity and strength might have had some believing that Liszt himself had taken over the keyboard." After a recent recital, The Washington Post described him as "an artist who is master of both the grand gesture and the sensual line. Pandolfi possesses first-rate technical skills, an unerring command of phrasing, a quicksilver touch and cunning legerdemain when it comes to pedaling...etched with calm and crystal clartiy...outstanding."

In the "Pops" genre, Thomas is also considered a leading interpreter of the works of George Gershwin.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Pandolfi earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees as a scholarship student.

For more information please visit the artist's website: www.thomaspandolfi.com.

Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi
performs Azerbaijani classical music
on the Azeri (11-string) Tar
Friday, March 21st 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is privileged to present Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi, virtuoso of the Azeri Tar, an 11-string traditional instrument, in a concert of classical music from Azerbaijan. Don't miss this opportunity to hear this rarely-played repertoire performed by a master musician in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

About the Artist and the Performance:

Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi, originally from Sheki, Azerbaijan (of the south-east Caucasus), is a well-known folklorist and an outstanding tar player. Chelebi holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology (his 1999 dissertation was dedicated to the Azeri instrumental genre called "reng"). Chelebi has written many scholarly articles in the Russian and Azeri languages; currently he is Professor in Music at the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia and a research fellow at the Russian Institute for History of the Arts, both located in St. Petersburg.

At the same time, Chelebi has a long and very successful career of solo performance on the Azeri tar, an 11-string version of the original Iranian 5-string tar. His repertoire consists of the instrumental mughams. The Azeri mugham is a highly original Azerbaijani version of the well-known Iranian classical cycle dastgah. This Islamic art music, based on modal principles, is emotionally deep and beautiful, and represents an amazing typological parallel to European baroque music.

Faik Chelebi will present the unique solo "poem" version of the traditional mugham suite usually performed by a singer accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. However, the mughams, tantamount to classical tradition, can be performed on the tar alone when the musician is a deep connoisseur of the genre and a great virtuoso and improviser.

Faik Chelebi is a gifted pupil of a famous Azeri musician Bahram Mansurov (1911-1985), one of the most distinguished tar performers and teachers of the last hundred years. Chelebi as a tar-player performed in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and many other places. In the USA he is, for the first time, performing at the invitation of Indiana University in Bloomington, City University of New York (CUNY), CREEES at Stanford University, and the Silk Road House in Berkeley. His visit is sponsored by the Silkroad Foundation.

During his presentation, Dr. Faik Chelebi will offer an improvisational set of various mughams. Dr. Izaly Zemtsovskyi, currently visiting professor in music at Stanford University, will be introducing and commenting his performance.

Members of the Mirage Ensemble

Songs Without Words: great instrumental music inspired by song.
Friday, February 22nd 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is thrilled to present two members of the aclaimed Mirage Ensemble in a program of masterworks from popular song composers, performed in the classical idiom, and featuring arrangements, improvisations and homages. Don't miss this fabulous evening of music in our wonderful hall!

The Ensemble:

The Mirage Ensemble members in this performance are clarinetist Rob Bailis, and pianist Hadley McCarroll. Critical acclaim for these two artists is glowing:

Rob Bailis has been lauded for his "sweet, singing tone...and technical wizardry" (S.F. Classical Voice). "Robert Bailis' memorable debut performance in London, doubtless the first of many appearances in this country, was the highlight of our summer season." - Matthew Greenall, Director, British Music Information Centre

Hadley McCarroll, a familiar face in our Concert Series, has been hailed for her "...lively and exhilarating..." pianism, (San Francisco Classical Voice). "Hadley McCarroll is one of the most expressive pianists I have heard. She is a technically intuitive and sensitive musician who plays magnificently..." - Matthias Kuntzsch, Conductor: Previously the General Music Director, Opera and Symphony of Lübeck; State Theater and Orchestra of the Saarland, Saarbrücken.

The Program:

Songs Without Words: great instrumental music inspired by song.
works by Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland, and others!

This program features an evening of great music, paying homage not just to popular song but also to the composers who produced memorable classical vocal music as well as major instrumental chamber music works. Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" for solo piano was the most popular song in its day. George Gershwin had such success with his songs that he published improvisations for solo piano on "I Got Rhythm" and "Clap Your Hands", in addition to arranging his wildly popular "Three Preludes for Piano" for clarinet and piano. In 1942 Leonard Bernstein published his first work, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, which looks ahead to the musical "West Side Story" with its Cuban and jazz rhythms, and to his opera "A Quiet Place" with its intimate, poignant melodies. In 1920, while studying in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Aaron Copland was delighted and shocked that he could sell a quickly composed piano piece "The Cat and the Mouse" (Scherzo Humoristique) to Debussy's publisher! Gerald Finzi composed nine vocal cycles, countless choral works and, sadly for us, few chamber music pieces. The Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano are a cornerstone of the clarinet and piano literature by one of the most popular 20th century British composers.

The Artists:

An emerging leader of major arts organizations in his native northern California, Rob Bailis is artistic director of San Franciscor's acclaimed ODC Theater and a founding director of Accendi Performances, a presenting/service organization for independent musicians in the Bay Area. Previously he held posts at the Perry Mansfield School for Performing Arts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, California, as well as the San Francisco Community Music Center. In addition to his activities as a performing arts curator, Mr. Bailis is an accomplished touring clarinetist, appearing regularly with orchestras and in chamber recitals across the U.S., Canada, Asia, and the U.K. He was appointed to the Napa Valley Symphony in 1999; he performs as well with many other symphony orchestras and chamber groups throughout Northern California. A proponent of contemporary music, he has premiered many new works, including pieces from Luciano Berio, Martin Bresnik, Jack Perla, and Arlene Sierra. Mr. Bailis received his early training from San Francisco Symphony clarinetist Don Carroll. He went on to earn degrees from Northwestern University School of Music, where he was a student of Russell Dagon, and the Yale School of Music, where he studied with David Shifrin. The recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, Mr. Bailis was recently nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award, honoring his performances in service to dance for the Composers' and Choreographers' Consortium at the West Wave Dance Festival. Highlights of past seasons have included recitals in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and at Cambridge University.

Pianist Hadley McCarroll appears regularly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the United States, and internationally as a solo and collaborative artist. An active vocal coach, Hadley enjoys collaborations with local companies San Francisco Opera and Opera Center, Festival Opera, Berkeley Opera, and West Bay Opera. She has frequently collaborated with conductor Kent Nagano, serving as musical preparer for concert performances of operas by Elliott Carter (West Coast premiere of "What Next?") and Phillip Manoury (West Coast premiere of "The 60th Parallel"). An active teacher, Hadley has served on the faculty of the San Francisco Community Music Center since 1997, in addition to running a private music studio in Oakland. In the spring of 2006 and summer of 2007 Hadley was invited to serve on the musical staff of the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. Other projects in 2007 included assisting in preparing, for Kent Nagano, Unsuk Chin's staged vocal work Sopranica Cantatrix, for two sopranos, countertenor and chamber ensemble; Hadley was a featured pianist at a forum on the music of George Gershwin at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, moderated, among others, by conductor Michael Morgan and George Gershwin's nephew Michael Strunsky; she finished the year with performances throughout the Bay Area as a member of martha & monica, a piano-cello duo. In March of 2008 Hadley will accompany a major concert of Wagner and Strauss arias at the Marin Center featuring local heldentenor Roy Stevens, and in April she will perform concerts at Old First Church in San Francisco and in Point Reyes. Hadley received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Danielle Martin. Ms. McCarroll has also coached with Richard Goode, Mike Reynolds, Samuel Sanders, Martin Katz, Warren Jones, and Isaac Stern.


In Concert
Friday, February 1st 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is tickled at the thought of presenting Hemispheres, in concert. This ensemble is the musical collaboration of some of the best jazz artists playing anywhere today. Each of these stellar players has achieved recognition in his own right, and their gathering for this performance can truly be called a super-group! Don't miss the rare appearance of this ensemble in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Ensemble:

Blending African, Middle Eastern, Asian and South American instruments with more traditional Jazz instrumentation, Hemispheres merges myriad elements of Jazz with colors and flavors from around the globe. Woodwind virtuosi Sheldon Brown and Paul McCandless, blazing world percussionist Ian Dogole, master bassist/flutist Bill Douglass, pianist extraordinaire Frank Martin, and special guest vocalist Hossein Massoudi collaborate to take their listeners on an unforgettable aural journey, replete with humor and a spirit of high adventure. Original compositions by Hemispheres members, plus pieces from the Jazz and "World" traditions will be featured at this special performance.

The Artists:

For over 25 years, Ian Dogole has articulated his vision of Global Fusion Music as a multipercussionist, bandleader, composer, recording artist, producer and educator. He has released five records and a DVD as a leader - Along the Route, Dangerous Ground, Ionospheres, Night Harvest, Convergence and Ian Dogole & Hemispheres In Concert (DVD). Dogole has recorded and performed with artists such as Hamza el Din, Paul McCandless, Alex DeGrassi and Ancient Future. Dogole's compositions are available on the recordings, Dreamchaser and Asian Fusion by Ancient Future, and have been used by the San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies, Brown University and the Indonesian Park Service. Dogole performs on a wide variety of percussion instruments, including udu, cajon, hang, talking drums, global drum set, mbiras and dumbek. He received a Jazz Performance Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1991and Marin Arts Council grants in 1994, 1995 and 1998 for his educational program, Adventures in Global Fusion Music. Dogole has been a frequent participant in the San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music program, presenting assemblies to more than 20,000 elementary school students throughout the San Francisco Public School system. He is currently a faculty member of the Sierra Jazz Society's summer Jazz Camp and is a contributing writer for JazzTimes Magazine.

Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown formed the Sheldon Brown Group in 1993, and in 1996 he released the jazz/fusion CD Shifting Currents. Brown has performed internationally (most recently with pianist Omar Sosa) at world-renowned venues such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Moers Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Jazz d'Or, Toronto Jazz Festival and the Spoleto Festival. He is featured on Omar Sosa's CDs Prietos, Bembon, Spirit of the Roots and Free Roots and on Ian Dogole's CDs Ionospheres and Night Harvest. Brown is a member of San Francisco's Club Foot Orchestra, for whom he has composed scores for Film Roman's cartoon series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat and silent films such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. and Cops, G. W. Pabst's Pandora's Box and Robert Wiene's Hands of Orlac. Club Foot has performed at New York's Knitting Factory, Walter Reade Theater, at Lincoln Center and the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. Brown performed in Anthony Braxton's Composition No. 132 at Grace Cathedral as part of the 1986 San Francisco Jazz Festival. Brown currently teaches composition at Jazzschool in Berkeley, California.

Bassist/flutist Bill Douglass was influenced early in his career by Rafael (Don) Garrett, who inspired him along his lifelong path of pursuing both bass and bamboo flutes. In the 1970s, Douglass joined Rubisa Patrol, led by pianist Art Lande and later joined The Flowing Stream Ensemble, a Chinese music group in which he played bamboo flutes. Douglass is noted for his flute work both in concert performances throughout the world and in soundtracks for many highly acclaimed films, including 1000 Pieces of Gold, The Black Stallion and Never Cry Wolf. Over the last three decades, he has performed and recorded on double bass with world-renowned musicians such as Marian McPartland, Mose Allison, Mark Isham, Terry Riley and Art Lande and has performed at many of Europe's major Jazz festivals. Douglass has also performed Chinese folk and classical music for over 20 years and has served as a Jazz instructor at the Cazadero and Aptos Jazz camps. Currently, Douglass is the artistic director of the Sierra Jazz Society, which presents the annual summer Jazz Camp, along with year-round concert performances and educational programs to the community in Nevada County, California.

During a distinguished career spanning three decades, Paul McCandless has brought a soaring lyricism to his playing and composing that has been integral to the ensemble sound of two seminal world music bands, the original Paul Winter Consort and the relentlessly innovative quartet, Oregon. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer, McCandless has specialized in an unusually broad palette of both single and double reed instruments that reflect his grounding in both classical and jazz disciplines. With the innovative quartet Oregon, McCandless has performed at major festivals throughout the world such as Kool Jazz, Telluride, Berlin, Montreux, Montreal and Pori. Oregon was also presented with the St. Paul Chamber and Philadelphia Orchestras and traveled to Asia for the U.S. State Department. McCandless's career includes appearances on over 200 albums and scores or performance collaborations with artists such as Steve Lacy, Nguyen Le, Jaco Pastorius, Wynton Marsalis, Carla Bley, Pat Metheny, Elvin Jones, Mark Isham, Al Jarreau, Stephanie Mills, Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck. His solo recordings include All the Mornings Bring, Skylight, Navigator, Heresay and Premonition. He plays a vast array of instruments, including: soprano and sopranino saxophones, oboe, English horn, penny whistle, wood flutes and bass clarinet.

Keyboard virtuoso/arranger/musical director Frank Martin has amassed a very impressive track record working with world-class performers in a diverse array of musical styles. In the pop arena, Martin has performed and/or recorded with stars that include Sting, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Steve Winwood, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Chris Isaak, Andrea Bocelli, Cheryl Crow, Philip Bailey, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Madonna and Ricki Martin. In the jazz world, his performance credits include Flora Purim & Airto Moriera, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Dizzy Gilespie, Mel Torme, Bobby McFerrin, John Handy, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Farrell and the Slide Hampton Big Band. Orchestra performances have included concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the "Orchestra of St. Lukes" (New York Philharmonic Orchestra). As a producer, he has worked with high-profile artists such as Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin's "Voicestra," SoVoSo," Joey DeFrancesco and Alex Acuña, Jazz guitarist Mimi Fox, vocalist Angela Bofill and the Turtle Island String Quartet. As musical director, he has toured with such artists as Patti Austin, Angela Bofill, Narada Michael Walden, Mickey Thomas, Roy Ayres, and Clarence Clemens. Currently, Martin is on staff at the University of California in Berkeley as well as the Jazzschool in Berkeley, California. He is in demand as a clinician both in the United States and in Europe.

Steeped in the folkloric Kurdish vocal tradition of his native Iran, vicalist and percussionist Hossein Massoudi integrates his knowledge and love of Persian Classical with his Kurdish roots, resulting in a musicality which is rarely heard. Hossein is largely a self-trained and intuitive singer. He was a member of the San Francisco City Chorus for four seasons, and attended San Francisco State University vocal Jazz Combo under jazz singer Molly Holm for over a year. Hossein's style reflects a union of these diverse traditions with his original interpretations and an improvisatory approach that moves effortlessly from the soulful to the whimsical. He is a founding member of Aleph Null (world, middle eastern, and jazz)ensemble since 1997.

The Los Angeles Electric 8

In Concert
Friday, January 25th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is intrigued to present the eclectic Los Angeles Electric 8, in concert. These artists meld the sensibilities of a classical chamber ensemble with the modern tones and timbres of the electric guitar. This promises to be a superb evening of unique music; don't miss it!

The Ensemble:

Upon hearing Italian virtuoso Mauro Giuliani play, Beethoven remarked, "The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself." What would Beethoven have said had he heard Derek Bailey, Eddie Van Halen, or Jim O'Rourke? What would he have said had he heard eight?

The Los Angeles Electric 8 is a group of eight guitarists who bring the electric guitar to a chamber ensemble, channeling their classical backgrounds into an instrument usually reserved for rock. They rectify the electric guitar's absence in classical music, revealing the instrument's enormous potential in the world of art music.

The 8's founding principle is to showcase the variety of rich sounds made by guitars and vacuum-tube amplifiers. They draw from and adapt a variety of art music including organ works, string arrangements and Indonesian gamelan pieces. The effect is an exploration of a greater potential of the electric guitar with both intentional and accidental nods to the rock characteristics of the instrument -- Mendelssohn meets Mogwai. The 8's sound is a lush interweaving of clean and occasionally overdriven guitar figures that often conjure harpsichords, bells, massive pianos and choral textures. Their repertoire spans the late Renaissance to today, including new works written specifically for the ensemble.

The Program:

Felix Mendelssohn: Organ Sonata in F minor
The organ and the electric guitar have a lot in common: the physical distance between the played instrument and the sound source, the range of possible effects (organ stops and guitar pedals), the sheer volume, and even some timbral similarities. This arrangement splits the voices juggled by an organist among six electric guitars and two electric basses, creating "clean" and "overdriven" halves of the group. The result showcases the dynamic timbral range of the electric guitar and offers another perspective on the music of Mendelssohn-a romantic era composer who rediscovered the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, experimenting with the then exotic sound of counterpoint.

Wayne Siegel: "Domino Figures"
Originally for 10-100 classical guitars, we think the sound of eight electric guitars makes up for being two instruments shy. This long minimalist piece highlights the acoustic artifacts produced by blending the sounds of many electric guitars, creating ethereal undertones and overtones. The effect is greater than the sum of the parts, revealing both a grandeur and simplicity of sound unique to the electric guitar.

Dmitri Shostakovich: Octet, Op.11: Prelude & Scherzo
We'll never know what Dmitri Shostakovich would have written for the electric guitar, but this arrangement of his double string quartet makes you wonder if he would have found voice for his early works in a metal band-Schostakovich wrote these two disorienting contemplative pieces at age eighteen following the Russian Revolution.

Randall Kohl: "Balinesa"
Contrasting with Braddock's "Ill Tempered Lancaran," this adaptation of Balinese Kecak brings the music of 100 men reenacting a battle from the Ramayana to electric guitars. The tight interlocking figures create thick textures of sound reminiscent of American minimalist compositions.

Nathaniel Braddock: "Ill Tempered Lancaran"
Chicago guitarist/composer Nathaniel Braddock funnels his knowledge of Javanese gamelan into a composition for six electric guitars and two electric basses. The result is an aural double-take, confirming the timbral similarity of two seemingly different types of instrument-guitar and gamelan. The piece is written in traditional Javanese lancaran form and the guitars retune their strings to achieve the microtonal nuances of the Javanese slendro tuning.

The Artists:

Philip Graulty is a native Los Angeleno. As a soloist, he has performed works ranging from the Pavans of Luys Milan to Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint." As a chamber musician, he has participated in numerous festivals including MicroFest and the Minimalist Jukebox Series. Philip received his M.M in Guitar Performance from UCLA and his B.A. in Music from California Polytechnic State University Pomona.

Chelsea Green is completing her Doctorate in Musical Arts at UCLA where she has received both the Mimi Alpert Feldman Scholarship and the Randy Rhoads Memorial Scholarship. California Guitar Archives publishes her transcriptions of art songs for guitar and voice entitled Erik Satie: Four Songs from 1886. Chelsea currently performs, teaches, transcribes and plays in the alternative band SuperDuperStar.

Ben Harbert directs the Electric 8 and is the primary arranger for the group. He studied classical guitar with three Andrés Segovia protégés: Benjamin Bolt, Philip Rosheger and José Luis Rodrigo. In Chicago, he led the guitar department at the Old Town School of Folk Music where he taught classical guitar and played the electric guitar and bass in rock bands Mezodigm and OX.

Brandon Mayer studied guitar at UCLA with Theodore Norman and Peter Yates. He has performed extensively as a solo and ensemble artist. He has composed music for theater productions and films that have been performed/screened at festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Mayer lives and works as a teacher in Los Angeles, primarily working with blind and autistic students.

Andy Nathan is a bassist/guitarist/composer who spent his formative years training in big band jazz, funk, classical guitar, free improvisation, rock and blues. A graduate of Mills College, Andy has studied with Fred Frith and Joëlle Léandre, Joel Ryan, Konrad Boehmer, and Ken Benshoof. Performance master classes with Cecil Taylor, Merideth Monk and Leo Smith; performed with Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers. Andy currently teaches guitar full time while pursuing interests in film composition and country guitar.

Marc Nimoy recently graduated from CalArts with an MFA in Music Composition/Experimental Sound Practices and received his B.A. in Classical Guitar Performance from UCLA. He is a working musician, teacher, and programmer, performing regularly with laptop as well as guitar. He has received the Randy Rhoads Memorial Scholarship and the STEIM artist residency in Amsterdam.

Felix Salazar is a Los Angeles-based composer-guitarist whose music ranges from works for solo guitar to large ensemble. After graduating from the California Institute of the Arts, Felix collaborated with world-renowned DJ, Paul Oakenfold, where he composed and conducted arrangements for an unprecedented live performance of dance DJ with live orchestra. In every manifestation, Felix fuses contemporary classical music, improvisation, and popular music into his own unique, empathic and emotionally driven compositions.

JohnPaul Trotter has been playing on records since he was 20, playing electric and acoustic guitars for arists such as folk/rock singer Courtney Chambers, hip-hop/reggae group Grand Marquis, and funk/rock group the Dialectics. He holds a degree from Cal Poly Pomona in Music with an emphasis on classical guitar. He teaches guitar full-time and performs frequently with his rock band and jazz quintet.

Carla Zilbersmith

In Concert
Friday, January 11th 2008

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to open our new year with the critically-acclaimed vocalist, Carla Zilbersmith, previewing material from her upcoming CD, "Extraordinary Renditions". Carla will be accompanied by an ensemble of the finest local jazz artists, including John R. Burr (piano), Michael Zilber (sax), David Rokeach (drums), and Robb Fisher (bass). Don't miss these stellar artists performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Program:

Carla's upcoming CD is heavily influenced by some of Herbie Hancock's recent recordings including The New Standard, River - The Joni Mitchell Letters, and Gershwin's World. She is intrigued by finding the jazz standards within the work of artists like Prince, James Brown, the Beatles and of course fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell herself. Carla's singing marries her Canadian folk upbringing with her love for singers from both the jazz and R&B world, including Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughn and others. She is joined by musicians who are equally comfortable straddling those worlds and who share a commitment to exploring the new American Standard.

The Artists:

Carla Zilbersmith has been performing professionally for over 15 years as both a singer and actress in Canada, Boston, New York, and presently in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where she has performed at The Coronet Theater, The Hayworth Theater, Steinway Recital Hall, Gardenia Lounge, Anna's Jazz Island, Yoshi's, Slims, Mr. E.'s, The Marsh, Venue 9, Theater Artaud, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Don't Tell Mama, The Strand, Prism and elsewhere.

Carla has performed in diverse settings ranging from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to solo performance to folk/rock bands to sketch comedy. She is the founding member of We're Redheads, a women's sketch comedy troupe, Lighten Up John, a musical improv group and was the Artistic Director of the College of Marin Drama Department for many years. Carla is the vocalist for The SubUrbans and was one of the year 2000 Lilith Fair finalists. The band's CD is entitled Paradise . Lee Hildebrand of the East Bay Express calls Carla "a superb singer." Carla"s new CD "Extraordinary Renditions" will be released January 2008.

Carla's one-woman musical, Wedding Singer Blues has received rave notices up and down the west coast, including a Best of the Bay award(under Best Solo Flights). The LA Times compared her favorably to Lily Tomlin.

Carla has written several plays and solo pieces: A Motherhood , which debuted at The Luggage Store Excess Baggage Festival , Car Sex , developed with Charlie Varon and performed at The Marsh, and License to Drive , also developed with Charlie Varon, a piece chronicling her 15-year journey to learn how to drive. License to Drive was a regular feature in The Marsh's Saturday night series Night Schtick . Carla's off-Broadway production Notes , won her the Washington Square Players Young Playwright's Award and was produced at the Intar Theater in Manhattan. She is currently writing a new solo piece as well as performing with We're Redheads, a sketch comedy duo with Gina Ottobini-Stahl.

John R. Burr is that rare pianist who combines jazz technique with a genuine love for folk music. The Philadelphia Weekly said, "Pianist extraordinaire John R. Burr has the most sparkling style since former Allman Brother-turned-Rolling Stone hired hand Chuck Leavell." Discology wrote, "John R. Burr ranks with the best of the elegant jazzers." Burr was first drawn to the piano at the age of 10 when he heard Vince Guaraldi's playing on the Peanut's animated TV specials. He started out as a child prodigy drummer; he was the only child out of 5 siblings not forced to study the piano. It wasn't until he was in high school that his focus turned to the keyboard. He then discovered that there were too many drummers to compete with and the piano became his instrument of choice.

After years of touring with such artists as Maria Muldaur, The Alison Brown Quartet, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring and Kathy Kallick and recognition including a feature spot on Windham Hill's Piano Sampler II, Burr is stepping out with his first solo album, Piedmont Avenue. His playing is as likely to be inspired by James Taylor or Doctor John as by Oscar Peterson or the Yellowjackets although he says it is his love of folk music that has influenced him most. His musical diversity has enabled him to tour and record with a variety of artists and has made him the ideal pianist for the ground breaking folk/jazz group, The Alison Brown Quartet. Burr explains, "I play a sort of jazz piano version of the vocal music that I love to listen to. That's what influences me. I love to play and study jazz but I listen to vocal, folk/singer/songwriter music. I'm always searching for that melodic song-like quality when I improvise."

Burr's playing is engaging and his breezy style blending jazz and folk influences makes for a rare and articulate debut album. Piedmont Avenue is cohesive in its conception, inspired in its execution and serves as an excellent introduction to the wonderfully original piano voice of John R. Burr.

Saxophonist Michael Zilber, whom jazz great David Liebman calls" one of the best players and composers around anywhere, period", has recorded 7 CDs as a leader, including an independent music award finalist in 2000 and a Billboard pick of the month in 1993 and over 20 as a sideman. He has performed and/or recorded with too many leading artists in Jazz to list here, co-led a band with drumming legend Steve Smith for 8 years and has received multiple Downbeat awards as a jazz educator. His current projects include a song cycle of poems by poet laureate Billy Collins, as well as recording projects with guitarist's guitarist John Stowell, a two sax-two drum CD with Liebman, Steve Smith and Marko Marcinko, a collective project with the group Happy Hour and leading the Jazzschool Composers Collective, a big band made up of the bay Area's best musicians. He is very proud to be part of Carla Zilbermsmith's new CD project, believing her to be the best singer he has ever worked with.

A long time Bay Area resident, drummer David Rokeach has been working primarily in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas for more than 20 years. David toured nationally and internationally with Ray Charles from 1990-91. This included concert videos and many television appearances, including an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Doc Severinson Orchestra. In recent years he has performed/recorded with Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Lou Rawls, Grammy winner Joe Henderson, Down Beat Poll winner Mark Murphy, Bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, The George Brooks-Zakir Hussain Group, Wilson Pickett, Linda Tillery, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Joyce Cooling, Maria Muldaur, Calvin Keys, Barry Finnerty, Merl Saunders, David Grisman, Melvin Seals, The Family Stone Experience, Louis Bellson, Wayne Wallace, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Paula West, Brazilian Master Marcos Silva, Bluegrass Grammy winner Alison Brown, Ernestine Anderson, Oscar Brown Jr., award-winning trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, acclaimed composer and Grammy winner, Maria Schneider, and many more.

Since 1998 David has had the honor of playing with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. In addition to live concerts, this has included television appearances on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, The View, Good Morning America, and VH1's Divas Live 1998, where he also performed with Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, and Carole King for the show's finale.

For the past few years, David has been working with Bay Area Composer Joel Evans. Their recordings have appeared in numerous motion pictures and television shows, including Universal's For the Love of the Game, Paramount's What Women Want, Showtime's Seventeen Again, Fox's Say It Isn't So, The Young and the Restless, All My Children, Nash Bridges, The District, The X-Files, Sex and the City, Frasier, The Osbournes, Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, The O.C., LA Doctors, The Chris Isaak Show, and many others.

David currently teaches at the Berkeley Jazz School, and has also been a regular faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and at the Rhythmic Concepts Jazz Camp West. Recently he played the Broadway Shows "Les Miserables," "Ragtime", and the Janis Joplin show "Love, Janis" during their San Francisco runs. He also plays on many commercial jingles, and film and television soundtracks, both in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Roberta Piket and Eric km Clark
with Special Guests
In Concert
Saturday, November 10th 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is tickled to host the return of piano phenom Roberta Piket, joined this time by talented violinist Eric km Clark, along with some special guest artists, performing their exciting blend of classical, jazz and experimental music. Don't miss these stellar artists performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Program:

Roberta Piket is a superbly talented and accomplished jazz pianist and composer whose music blends neo-classical and post-modern jazz influences. Her musical relationship with violinist Eric km Clark lies at the nexus of classical music and improvisation. They will perform original works in duo and with special guests including drummer Billy Mintz.

The Artists:

In the time since Roberta Piket returned to her native New York, the pianist/composer has played professionally as a sidewoman with David Liebman, Rufus Reid, Michael Formanek, Lionel Hampton, Mickey Roker, Billy Mintz, Harvey Wainapel, Eliot Zigmund, Benny Golson and the BMI/NY Jazz Orchestra and has twice been a featured guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, on National Public Radio. It is in her work as a composer and bandleader, however, that the depth of Roberta's talent becomes most evident.

Roberta, who holds a B.S. in Computer Science which she earned concurrently with her music degree, turned away from a future as a software engineer after a year in that field to pursue an inevitable path in creative music. A gifted composer, Roberta placed second in the first annual Thelonious Monk BMI Composers' Competition.

Roberta's trio has toured Japan and Spain as well as the U.S. She has performed her music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the Earshot Festival in Seattle, at the Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, and in New York at Small's, the Blue Note Club, Birdland, the Knitting Factory and the Kitano.

Roberta's CDs frequently make the "best of" lists of the major jazz magazines. Whether performing her original compositions or highly personalized reworkings of standards, Roberta's daring rhythmic modulations and vast harmonic expansiveness set a new standard for the piano trio. "September of Tears", released in Japan, finds Roberta joining forces with Rufus Reid and Billy Hart for an adventurous program of originals and reworked standards. A new release features the virtuosic gifts of Roberta's new trio: bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. A new release features the virtuosic gifts of Roberta's new trio: bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. This working group has toured the West coast during the past two autumns and performs regularly in New York.

Roberta maintains an active schedule as an educator. She has held master classes at the Eastman School of Music (where she performed solo and in duo with Marian McPartland), Rutgers University, Cal Arts, Duke University, the Northwestern University Composers' Colloquium, and many others in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has coached ensembles at Long Island University, has several private students, has served as a panelist for the Queens Council on the Arts grant review process and has taught at the Litchfield Jazz Camp and the Vermont Jazz Center. She is also the author of the Jazz Piano Vocabulary series of workbooks, published by Muse-Eek Publishing.

Eric Kenneth Malcolm Clark is a composer and violinist originally from Victoria, BC, Canada. A recent addition to New York, he spent the past two years in LA studying composition with James Tenney. Eric has also worked privately or in masterclass with artists as diverse as Charles Castleman, Dave Douglas, Stefano Scodanibio, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Alcan Quartet, and the Purcell Quartet, among many others. Over the years, he has been fortunate enough to collaborate in performance with artists such as Han Bennink, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, Mark Dresser, Jurg Frey, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Julia Wolfe. Eric recently played lead violin with Ensemble Sospeso in a series of performances of filmmaker Guy Maddin's silent film Brand Upon the Brain!, which included live foley sound effects and guest narrators, including: Tunde Adebimpe, Laurie Anderson, John Ashbery, Justin Bond, Crispin Glover, Edward Hibbert, Anne Jackson, Joie Lee, Lou Reed, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Scarlet, and Eli Wallach.

Eric has enjoyed success performing in many genres, though most often in new music, experimental, and improvisational settings. He has performed throughout Canada, the US, Europe, and Australia, recently completing a tour of Belgium and Oslo with his high octane group Skakk Trio. Eric also enjoyed a series of performances as violinist with the legendary west coast new music group California EAR Unit last spring 2006. Other notable recent appearances include the premier of his New York band Passenger Fish, the 2006 Minimalist Jukebox festival in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Michael Gordon's new opera What to Wear and Decasia, and the Creative Music Festival at RedCat. Eric just completed a recording in LA of Anne LeBaron's Opera Pope Joan, to be released November 1st 2007 on New World Records.

Compositionally, Eric is an extremely diverse composer, ranging from writing for hearing-deprived musicians to improvisational works for his bands in New York and Europe. He has recently returned from the neither/nor new music festival in Toronto, in which he performed and presented his works Mein Schatz and Slaughter Series I-IV. Eric's music has been performed by numerous ensembles and soloists, such as ARRAYMUSIC, Bang on a Can, the California EAR Unit, the ANAlog Arts Ensemble, and the Bozzini Quartet.

In an extraordinary career spanning nearly 40 years, drummer Billy Mintz has played with some of the biggest names in the jazz and pop worlds.

Mr. Mintz was born in Queens, New York in 1947. By the age of 15 he was firmly entrenched in several of the show bands of the Catskill Mountain resorts, and as his musicianship developed he would eventually tour with jazz artists such as Lee Konitz, Eddie Daniels, Harold Danko, Mike Garson, Mose Allison, Mark Murphy, and the Kim Richmond Sextet. He also toured and recorded extensively with Bobby Shew. At the same time, his credentials grew in the pop arena, leading to tours with Juliette Prowse, James Darren, Gloria Gaynor, and a stint with the show band for the Merv Griffin Show. In 1986, Mr. Mintz toured Japan with the Los Angeles Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (having relocated to Los Angeles in 1981). In 1988 he toured Europe with saxophone great Charles Lloyd, and from 1989 to 1995 he performed with the Alan Broadbent Trio.

Throughout his life Mr. Mintz has taught privately and done clinics at schools around the world, including the Berklee School of Music, the Dick Grove School of Music, Bloomingdale House of Music, Long Island Drum and Percussion Club, Eagle Rock H.S., Arizona State University at Tempe, University of Arizona at Phoenix, and North Texas State University. He also taught extensively while on tour with various artists in Sydney, Australia, Tel Aviv, Israel and Wellington, New Zealand. Mr. Mintz has written two books: Different Drummers, originally published by Aamsco Music Publishing and Advanced Sticking and Sight-Reading (BM Publications). He has also had articles published in Not Just Jazz and Modern Drummer magazines.

Mr. Mintz appears on records by the following artists, among others: Bill Perkins/James Clay Quintet; Vinny Golia; Fred Tompkins; The Cryers; Harold Danko; Eddie Daniels; Bobby Shew; Bob Magnusson; Mike Garson; Art Resnick; Walking Wounded; Kim Richmond; Clay Jenkins; Ken Filiano; John Woods; Joey Sellars; Bruce Fowler. In recent years, Mr. Mintz has taken on new roles as a bandleader and a composer, performing his own compositions with various ensembles. He also performs solo drumset concerts with increasing frequency.

For more info on these artists, check out their websites:

Roberta Piket

Eric km Clark

Billy Mintz

Shoko Hikage and Yoko Hirano-Itatani

In Concert
Sunday November 4 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is honored to present koto virtuosi Shoko Hikagei and Yoko Hirano-Itatani, along with special guest artists performing a concert of contemporary Japanese music. Don't miss this group of world-class artists performing rarely-heard repertoir in our acoustically-excellent hall.

The Program:

Selected Koto Works of Michio Miyagi (1894-1956) and Tadao Sawai (1937-1997)

Known as the "Father of Modern koto music" Michio Miyagi (1894-1956) was a great koto performer, composer, and educator who revolutionized koto music through the utilization of new playing and compositional techniques and the invention of instruments.

Tadao Sawai (1937-1997) has changed the koto from being a traditional Japanese instrument to an instrument of universal expressiveness, furthering the work of the late Michio Miyagi, the forerunner of the "New Japanese Music" movement.

Recognized as the greatest composer/performer for the koto of the late twentieth century, Tadao Sawai had the keenest musical sense and most natural talent for bringing his instrument to life.

Shoko Hikage and Yoko Hirano-Itatani will perform two great contemporary koto music composers, Michio Miyagi and Tadao Sawai. Compositions will include Haru no Umi (koto & shakuhachi), Hira (koto, shamisen and shakuhachi), Hakkafu (koto and bass koto) and more. Guests performers will be Shirley Muramoto (koto), Brian Mitsuhiro Wong (koto) and Robin Hartshorne (shakuhachi)

The Instruments:

Koto - Similar to the Chinese gu-zheng, this 13-string plucked zither entered Japan from the continent in the 7th century. The koto has been part of the gagaku court ensemble for over one thousand years, and today a varied repertoire along with a wide range of playing techniques makes the instrument appealing to audiences the world over.

Players of the koto by tradition are also generally versed in the music of the shamisen. More recently the jushichigen (bass koto) has also become an important means for expression.

Shamisen - Having entered Japan from the southern Ryukyu islands (present day Okinawa), this 3-string long-necked lute is generally played with a large plectrum. There are basically three different instruments used today, the distinguishing feature being the size of the neck. The jiuta shamisen featured here has a neck of medium thickness.

Jushichigen - The 17-string bass koto was developed early in the 20th century by koto master Miyagi Michio. Originally intended to add depth to ensembles, the instrument now plays an integral role in contemporary music and as a solo instrument on concert stages.

Shakuhachi - The shakuhachi is an end-blown Japanese bamboo flute. It was brought from China to Japan more than a thousand years ago by a Zen priest. During the Edo period (1615-1868) the shakuhachi was played by wandering monks called "komuso" or "priests of emptiness and nothingness." Today, performances of traditional solo meditative "honkyoku" and "sankyoku" chamber music with koto samisen, are common.

The Artists:

Shoko Hikage studied the koto with Chizuga Kimura, 2nd IEMOTO Seiga Adachi, 3rd IEMOTO Seiga Adachi of the Ikuta-ryu Sokyoku Seigen Kai. In 1988, she graduated from Takasaki College with a major in koto music, and was immediately accepted as a special research student in Sawai Koto School where she subsequently received her master's certificate. In 1992, she moved to Honolulu to teach at the Sawai Koto Kai Hawaii. There, she held her first American solo recital at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Theater as part of the "New Music Across America" series. In 1997, she moved to San Francisco, where she continues her pursuits in improvisational dance and music. www.ShokoHikage.com

Yoko Hirano-Itatani was born in Kanagawa, Japan. She has graduated the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1997, having majored in Japanese traditional music under the renowned musician, Professor Masateru Ando. She performed in Young Artist Concert in of 1995 in Chiba, Japan, and held annual recitals of her musical trio "Sonet" (violin, piano and Koto) in 1998-2000. She performed the Koto at the Tulip festival in Ottawa, the Music and People Festival in Montreal, and at several cultural events at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Museum of Civilization, and the Parliament Hill. In Bay Area, she continues her music activity having several joint concerts and teaching Koto and Shamisen.

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, a native Japanese-American of Oakland, California, Muramoto learned to play the koto as a child. Koto music became a part of her family legacy, when during WWII, Muramoto's grandparents were incarcerated in internment camps. Her grandparents encouraged their young daughters to take up the koto to keep their minds occupied in a creative manner, and determined to keep the Japanese culture alive in their daughters' lives. In 1976, Shirley received her "Shihan" degree (instructor's license) with "Yushusho" (highest) honors from the Chikushi School in Fukuoka, Japan, and her "Dai shihan" Master's degree from the same school in 2000 for her mastery of the koto. Muramoto is also the director of the world jazz fusion group, the Murasaki Ensemble. Playing the koto for over 40 years, Shirley has the ability to perform in a variety of genres and styles. She has been teaching students privately and in koto classes since 1976, including koto classes at UC Berkeley, Montclair Elementary School and Nihon Gakko Japanese School in Oakland.

Brian Mitsuhiro Wong carries on the musical family tradition inherited from his mother Shirley Muramoto and grandmother. Wong has played the koto since the age of 4. In the tenth grade, Wong experienced the most important musical influence of his young life; a concert performed by one of the top koto masters in Japan, Madame Kazue Sawai. Wong had the great fortune to meet Madame Sawai after the concert. She invited Wong to come to Japan to study the koto with her at her koto conservatory in Tokyo. In 2003, Wong became an 'uchi-deshi', a live-in student at the Sawai Soukyokuin. Last year, he achieved his "Koshi", or instructor's degree, winning the top award, or "Grand Prix", with the highest scores. He is the third generation koto teacher in his family, and also in the U.S. This spring, he will graduate from California State University, East Bay at Hayward with a bachelor of arts degree in music composition.

Pandit Anindo Chatterjee

In Concert
Sunday October 28 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club Concert Series is honored to present the world-famous tabla virtuoso Pandit Anindo Chatterjee in concert. Don't miss this sublime artist performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

The Artist:

Pandit Anindo Chatterjee is a rare phenomenon in art of tabla playing. Throughout history, few artists stand out in each generation. They preserve a heritage while defining it anew, marking its evolution in time . Anindo Chatterjee is one of those few. The power and speed combined with the total clarity and sweetness of his playing is unparalleled and speaks of years of back breaking practice; his vast knowledge of repertoire and ability to improvise in every style of tabla playing make him an invaluable asset to Indian music and a reference for its scholars; the spontaneity and intuitiveness of both his accompaniment and his solo improvisations speak of the depth of his artistry and leave his audiences speechless. Anindo Chatterjee is one of the great musicians of our time.

The guiding force of Anindoji's amazing musical journey was his beloved uncle Biswanath Chatterjee. His family was full of music and from the beginning Anindo was groomed to become a tabla player. Early childhood lessons were received from his uncle Amarnath Chatterjee. After receiving first prize in the all India Children's Music Competition at the young age of 6, he was accepted his technique and learned the rich repertoire of traditional tabla. He also received two years of taleem from Ustad Afaq Hussain Khan (1964-66) of Lucknow Gharana. Anindoji's tabla solo debut was at age 10. He has since developed one of the most dynamic and rich table solo performances of his generation.

Infused with the legacy of the Farukhabad gharana yet enriched with aspects of all gharanas, his performances are unpredictable and extraordinarily diverse. With technical and artistic brilliance he presents some of the rarest and most difficult material in the tabla repertoire: this at extreme speeds with uncompromised clarity and beauty. In addition to his vast traditional repertoire, He himself is the composer of countless compositions, through which he explores the edge of possible and makes his timeless contribution to the art from. For the tabla lovers around the world his playing is the pinnacle. No Jawab.

As an accompanist, Anindoji made his world debut in 1975 with one of the greatest musicians in the history of Indian Music, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Anindoji's musical sensitivity and technical genius, combined with his majestic stage presence make him the favorite accompanist to all the preeminent musicians of India . He continued to perform with Pandit Nikhil Banerjee till his death and has shared the stage with the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Raise Khan, Ustad Imrat Khan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur, Parveen Sultana, Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Bhimsen Jhoshi, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Ram Narayan, Dr. L. Subramanium, Dr. Balmuruli Krishna and many others. In addition to performing on the great stages of over 60 countries, Anindoji had the honor of performing as a delegate for the Government of India in Japan , Mongolia , and Russia and in 1990 was the youngest tabla player ever to perform at the House of Commons in London . Anindoji has made countless recordings for both National and International recording houses touching the world with his music.

As a guru and a teacher Anindoji is equally accomplished. He has taught at the American Center for the Performing Arts in 1978 in Berkley (USA), Texas University at Austin (USA), Bard College in New York ( USA ), Pittsburg University (USA), Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC , Ritburg Museum in Zurich Switzerland , Leeds University in the UK , and Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. From years of dedicated teaching Anindoji has many very promising disciples making their way to the stage as stalwarts of the next generation. Among them are his only son Anubrata, who is making his mark as one of the finest tabla players of his generation, and several talented foreign students who are performing both in their countries and in India.

From the very beginning, great musicians, scholars, and music lovers have appreciated and praised Anindoji's music. In honor of a lifetime of effort and achievement, Anindoji has received many awards and honors. Included among them are a Gold Medal at the All India Radio Music Competition at the tender age of 16, "Talsamrat" from Ustad Amir Hussain Khan Memorial Foundation of Bombay in 1991, the "Shiromoni Award" by Asian Paints of Kolkata in 1995, "Best Performer of the Year" in 1997 from the All India Critics Association, "Tala Rishi Samman" by Aurangabad State Academy in 1997, the "Guru Kelucharan Award" from the government of Orissa in 2003, "Swarsagar Puraskar" by the Maharastra Municipal Corporation in 2005, and the prestigious "Sangeet Natak Akademi Award" by the honorable President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in 2002.

martha and monica is...
Monica Scott, cello and Hadley McCarroll, piano

martha and monica
In Concert
Friday, 26 October 2007

martha & monica embark on their second concert season and the Hillside Club Concerts Series is delighted to host the return of these two superbly talented artists in our wonderful hall.

The Program:

On October 26th, 2007, the duo launches a brand-new program entitled Voyages - a journey traversing a wide stylistic territory while crossing new frontiers. The program sets off with songs from Banalites, Fetes Galantes and other cycles (transcribed by martha & monica) composed by Francis Poulenc and Claude Debussy, both masters of mood - always with the lightest of touches - balancing perfectly crafted phrasing and sensitive poetic nuance.

Two works for solo piano and cello, respectively, show off some singular qualities of each instrument. Ondine, by Maurice Ravel, is from a larger suite for the piano entitled Gaspard de la Nuit. Ingeniously, the work creates a sublime reverie by conjuring an aural equivalent to "mist" by exploring the qualities in the tuning of the piano itself. Invece, by Pascal Dusapin was composed with the idea of trying out novel techniques on the cello that were not only unusual, but also breaking many of the composers' own conventions. The Italian word invece translates as "instead of", or "on the contrary". Stemming from a period in which Dusapin composed a series of solo works for various intruments, all beginning with the letter "i", Invece is an energetic tour de force.

Nadia Boulanger was one of the most influential French musicians of the twentiethy century: teacher, composer and pianist, she counted Elliott Carter, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland and Philip Glass among her many famous American students. 3 pieces for cello and piano offer a glimpse into Boulanger's musical soul.

The journey ends with the great Sonata, Op. 65 by Frédéric Chopin. Despite requesting his heart be sent back to his native Poland after his death, that heart remained French to its core! His compositional aesthetic embodied all that was distinctly Parisian: elegance, embellishment, taste and refinement - all coupled with exquisite technical mastery. Chopin's friendship with the notable cellist Franchomme inspired him to write numerous works for cello, the only instrument besides piano for which he did compose solo works. The Sonata is a major work in four movements, exploiting the richness and depth of the cello's singing qualities, arabesquing around a beautiful, delicate yet forceful piano part. A performance featuring the Sonata, with Chopin at the piano and Franchomme on cello, was the last public concert Chopin ever gave!

The Artists:

Offering a rewarding and eye-opening experience, pianist Hadley McCarroll and cellist Monica Scott share an intense and passionate desire to communicate through music. As martha & monica, Ms. McCarroll and Ms. Scott come together to perform music from eras, styles, and cultures that run the gamut, their own curiosity leading them in repertoire choices and interpretation. Both artists have extensive chamber music and solo performing experiences, both in the U.S. and abroad. martha & monica is an affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and is generously supported by the Bay Area community. The 2007-08 season includes concerts in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Point Reyes.

Monica Scotta, cellist, [monica] has had a varied career of solo, chamber music and orchestral work on both sides of the Atlantic. After completing her studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she received her soloist's diploma from the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. Ms. Scott has played at numerous festivals in Germany and Switzerland, as well as in Prussia Cove, England, and Sarasota, Florida. After an artist residency at the Banff Centre, Monica performed for four seasons with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in Portugal, a position which included performing over 50 concerts per year with the Alcantara Quartet. During this time she was also a featured soloist with the Orquestra Metropolitana, performing concertos under the baton of Eduardo Alonzo Crespo, with whom she has also performed Dvorák and Haydn concertos in Argentina. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1997, Ms. Scott has concentrated on the presentation of little known twentieth century repertoire, and programming mixed recitals both on modern and baroque cello. Formerly the cellist in the Del Sol String Quartet, Monica performed countless premieres in that capacity, helping to develop an artistic vision for the ensemble which led to two consecutive Chamber Music America/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. Monica has performed with Composer's Inc and the Composer's Alliance, is a member of the sfsoundGroup, and also has a duo with her mother, pianist Irene Schreier. She teaches cello both privately and in the Preparatory Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Hailed for her "...lively and exhilarating..." pianism (San Francisco Classical Voice), Pianist Hadley McCarroll [martha] appears regularly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, United States, and internationally as a solo and collaborative artist and opera coach. Ms. McCarroll enjoys collaborations with local companies San Francisco Opera and Opera Center, Festival Opera, Opera San José, Berkeley Opera, North Bay Opera, West Bay Opera. Ms. McCarroll also serves on the music staff of the Royal Danish Opera, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Under the baton of maestro Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, she has served as musical preparer for concert performances of operas by Elliott Carter and Phillip Manoury. In the spring of 2007 she assisted in preparing Unsuk Chin's work Sopranica Cantatrix, a chamber work for two sopranos and countertenor. In addition to directing her own private piano and coaching studios in Oakland, she has served on the piano faculty of the Community Music Center since 1997. Ms. McCarroll has received an individual artist grant from the City of Oakland to perform concertos for piano and chamber wind ensemble. As a member of the acclaimed Bay Area vocalinstrumental trio The Mirage Ensemble, she has presented chamber music masterclasses and concerts at the Northwestern University School of Music.

Kurt Ribak Ensemble
with Special Guests
In Concert
Friday October 12, 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present the Kurt Ribak Ensemble in concert. Don't miss this talented group performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

The Ensemble:

The Kurt Ribak Ensemble definitely qualifies as a local treasure; bassist Ribak and his group have been delighting Bay Area audiences for almost a decade. While their repertoir has a firm grounding in jazz standards and the Great American Songbook, much of the ensemble's performance features Kurt's original compositions. For this date the ensemble features Kurt's long-time collaborator, pianist Greg Sankovich, and the superb Bay Area drummer Bryan Bowman. Featured guest artists will include vocalist Sheilani Alix, and Johannes Mager on trombone.

The Artists:

Kurt Ribak grew up in Berkeley, CA. Early musical experiences included singing in the San Francisco Boys Chorus. In grade school Kurt began studying the cello. Kurt later studied with major cellists, including Bonnie Hampton, Susie Napper, and Elisabeth LeGuin.

While a student at UC Berkeley Kurt began playing electric bass, buying his first good bass with money made working as a janitor. At Cal he continued to play classical music and studied jazz under Neal Heidler and Jeremy Cohen while playing in the UC Jazz Ensembles, where he met and first played with pianist Greg Sankovich. Kurt also studied West African drumming with C.K. Ladzekpo and spent summers teaching at Cazadero Music Camp, where he played with trombonist Julian Priester, guitarist / composer Paul Dresher, and steel drummer Andy Narell, as well as working in the local early music scene.

Kurt subsequently earned a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, after a bout with tendinitis. He graduated with top honors, studying bass with Whit Browne, Bruce Gertz, and John Repucci. Kurt spent many hours transcribing and absorbing the styles of bassists Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, and Charles Mingus, but also spent hours dissecting the compositions and arrangements of African bandleader Fela Kuti and R&B giant James Brown.

Kurt first learned of his love of composition while at Berklee College of Music. His early tunes often reflected a strong Thelonious Monk influence, while others reflect his love of the great bassists/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus, whose music he studied intensively at Berklee. Later tunes bring to mind the South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim a.k.a. Dollar Brand, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, and Cannonball Adderley.

After graduation from Berklee Kurt returned to the San Francisco Bay area. Drummer Bryan Melvin, formerly with the great electric bassist Jaco Pastorius, said Kurt plays bass "the way it should be played." R&B legend Johnny Otis sought him out to say Kurt's playing reminded Otis of the late bassist Curtis Counce, a favorite sideman of Otis.

Kurt has played with many prominent musicians. Among them are jazz/blues vocalist Faye Carol, new music composer Paul Dresher, Broadway singer Lillias Brooks, JC Hopkins (writer and former bandleader for Norah Jones), guitarist Adam Levy, sideman with Tracy Chapman and Norah Jones, and with Ralph Carney, best known for his work with Tom Waits. Kurt's also played with prominent non-jazz musicians, including Danny Carnahan of Wake the Dead and Eric and Suzy Thompson, who have received international acclaim for their performances of bluegrass and Cajun music. Kurt also appeared as an actor in commercial videos and films, including Erica Jordan's "In the Wake" (released in 2001) and Rob Nilsson's upcoming release "Scheme." He also contributed music to both films.

In 2001 Kurt started his own group, the Kurt Ribak Trio, which has been his primary musical focus. In 2003 he re-connected with UC Jazz Ensembles bandmate Greg Sankovich, the trio's pianist. The Kurt Ribak Trio features Kurt's own compositions but includes select jazz standards and under-appreciated tunes from the Great American Songbook. The Kurt Ribak Trio's second CD, "more," featuring his compositions, has just been released on Rodia Records.

Greg Sankovich has been performing on keyboards and producing music since he was twelve years old. He began with classical studies when he was five years old. Later he studied with some of the finest jazz and Latin pianists and educators in the Bay Area. His musical inspirations included Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Keith Jarrett.

Greg attended University of California, Berkeley, where he was active in the UC Berkeley Jazz Ensembles, touring Japan, Northern Europe, Poland, and Scandinavia. After graduation from UC Berkeley, Greg moved to Japan with a UCB inspired jazz-fusion band, Taikun. Greg lived in Japan over ten years, performing and composing for a long line of top Japanese artists.

Greg, a Bay Area native, returned to the san Francisco area in the mid-1990s and has since contributed to an eclectic range of musical projects from jazz to house to hiphop to pop. He has worked with many talented artists including Terry Francis, Brenda Boykin, H-Foundation, Onions, and Doc Martin. He has contributed music to over 20 record labels including Warner, Columbia, Siesta, Tango, and Yoshitoshi. Greg's music can also be found in the soundtrack for "Groove," a Sony Classics film.

Greg produces dance music and performs regularly in the SF Bay Area. Greg has produced dance music currently in Europe's Top Ten. He performs with many groups, including bassist/composer Kurt Ribak's original groups, jazz-funk band Times 4 featuring sensational saxophonist Lincoln Adler, jam band Ten Ton Chicken, R&B band Blue Sky Band, and various jazz projects. Times 4 has appeared at the JVC Jazz Festival, Pearl's in San Francisco, and Yoshi's in Oakland.

Born in Los Angeles, Bryan Bowman was surrounded by music from an early age. His Father Robert is a classical pianist and music professor at Chico State University and his mother plays the cello and is an international folk dancer. These influences guided his musical journey toward the study of classical, jazz, rock, Balkan and North Indian classical music.

He has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and rock artists including: Deron Johnson (Miles Davis, David Sandborn, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clark), Mike Zilber, Dayna Stevens, Thomas Morgan, Sam Bevan, Bob Kenmotsu, Mike Abraham, Jeff Massanari, Randy Vincent, John Stowell, John Wiitala, Ben Stolorow, Mark Levine, John Shifflet, Andre Bush, Ken French, Clairdee, Harvey Winapel, Dahveed Behroozi, Betty Fu, Sarah Manning, Mario Guaneri, Jessica Neighbor, Loose Wig, Anton Schwartz, and Brian Kane.

Bryan recorded and toured the United States with RCA recording artists Behan/Johnson. He has also recorded and performed in the international music arena which such groups as Ivan Milev and Bulgarika, Edessa, Trio Mopmu with Lily Storm, Late Cift, Members of Kitka and Aleph Null.

Bryan studied music formally at The Berklee College of Music in Boston, CSU Long Beach and CSU Chico. He is currently a free lance performer and composer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Antonio Jorge Gonçalves and Gino Robair:
Improvised Light Painting with Skronky Music
Tuesday October 2, 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is enraptured to present Antonio Jorge Gonçalves and Gino Robair performing a piece entitled"Improvised Light Painting with Skronky Music". This promises to be be a one-of-a-kind event; don't miss it!

The Performance:

Portuguese multimedia artist Antonio Jorge Gonçalves will improvise with light and drawings throughout the Hillside Club, accompanied by two local musical groups-the Acme House Band and the Jon Raskin Ensemble. Gonçalves creates his visuals using a laptop, a Wacom tablet, and a portable projector, which he pushes around in a cart in order to use the entire performance space as a canvas. He calls his real-time digital drawing "live comics and projection."

The music and visuals will take advantage of the entire performance space, with sound bathing the room from all directions and nearly every surface becoming a canvas. As a special addition acclaimed Butoh dancer, Monique Goldwater, will be a "living screen" for a section of the performance.

The Performers:

Through the '80s and the '90s, Lisbon-based Antonio Jorge Gonçalves published his graphic novels in books, newspapers, and magazines in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy. He has also designed sets and costumes for several theater productions, and he recently created the Subway Life Project.

Jon Raskin is a founding member of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet (he's the R in the acronym) and an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Raskin has collaborated with a Who's Who of contemporary artists, including Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran, Tim Berne, Henry Kaiser, and Nels Cline. He has composed for dance, theater, and the score for the film Just Another Weekend. Jon's ensemble includes Liz Allbee (trumpet), Matthew Goodheart (piano), Kjell Nordesen (drums), and Jon Raskin (saxophones).

The Acme House Band is a group of electro-acoustic improvisers including Tom Djll (trumpet), Matt Ingalls (clarinet), John Shiurba (guitar), Tim Perkis (electronics), and Gino Robair (synth). The musicians are an integral part of the Bay Area scene and have performed and recorded with artists as varied as Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Merce Cunningham, and John Zorn.

Rova Saxophone Quartet
In Concert
Friday September 28th 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is ecstatic at the thought of presenting the Rova Saxophone Quartet in concert. Don't miss this wonderful, world-famous ensemble performing in our acoustically-excellent hall.

The Group:

Rova Saxophone Quartet, the acclaimed all-saxophone ensemble, has fundamentally extended the horizons of music since forming in 1977. Positioning themselves at music's most dynamic nexus, Rova has become an important leader in the movement of genre-bending music that has its roots in post-bop free jazz, avant-rock, and 20th century new music as well as traditional and popular styles of Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. With its potent mix of stellar musicianship and compositional creativity, Rova explores the synthesis of composition and collective improvisation. The result is adventurous works that are ardent and riveting, exhilarating and free-spirited. While much of Rova's music is composed by its members, the group has also collaborated with and commissioned new works by a wide range of creative artists. Since its founding, Rova has released nearly 3 dozen recordings of original music.

Rova is currently performing pieces using scores which are graphically notated. Non-traditional symbols and graphic images are used along with traditional musical notation to create highly original works which are vehicles for interpretation and improvisation. Additionally, the Quartet continues to explore its unique blend of improvisation and composition. 30 years later the players are still fascinated by the myriad ways that sound can be put together to present exciting performances with this unique instrument - the improvising saxophone quartet.

Headed for Poland, Austria and Lithuania in October, Rova is gearing up for tour mode and a very busy 30th anniversary season.

The Artists:

A student of Architecture and Fine Arts (1966-69), Rova founding member Bruce Ackley formed Sound Clinic, an improvising wind trio (with trumpeter George Sams and saxophonist Lewis Jordan) and a 1970's precursor to the all-winds Rova. Ackley has contributed to several recording sessions with such musicians as John Zorn, Henry Kaiser and Eugene Chadbourne. He also organized the quartet Unchambered with cellist Rohan de Saran, koto player Miya Masaoka and bassist Stefano Scodanibbio (1996) and leads the ongoing jazz trio Actual Size. He recorded a 1997 CD of his trio compositions with drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen for Avant.

Since 1978, Larry Ochs's professional activities have been primarily centered around the Rova Saxophone Quartet, which has made over thirty European tours and numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as recording over 30 CDs as a quartet and/or in collaboration with other artists.

Ochs has composed some 2 dozen compositions for saxophone quartet as well as many other pieces for mixed ensembles. His most recent composition for saxophone quartet, a thirty-minute piece entitled Certain Space, was commissioned by Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation, and he has twice previously been commissioned by Commissioning Music USA / Meet the Composer Fund. He composed the music for the film Letters Not About Love which won best documentary film award at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival. His monograph on "Strategies for Structured Improvisation" was published in 1999 as part of the book Arcana, a collection of composers' writings edited by John Zorn (Granary Press, New York). He has also composed for theater and one video play.

Highlights of Rova founding member Jon Raskin's early career include his '70s participation in new music ensembles directed by John Adams (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) and Dr. Barney Childs (University of Redlands). Before Rova, Raskin served as music director of the Tumbleweed Dance Company (1974-77), was a founding member of the Blue Dolphin Alternative Music Space and participated in the creation of the Farm- an art project that included a city farm, a community garden, Ecology Center, Dance and Theater companies and organized the creation of a city park. Highlights as a member of Rova include composing a collaborative work for SF Taiko Dojo/Rova, working with Howard Martin on the installation work Occupancy, composing music for Mr. Bungle/ Rova, organizing the 30 year Anniversary Concert of John Coltrane's Ascension, performing the music of Miles Davis at the Fillmore with Yo Miles!

Raskin has received numerous grants and commissions to work on a variety of creative projects: NEA composer grant for Poison Hotel, a theater production by Soon 3 (1988); Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer (1992 & 2000); Berkeley Symphony commission (1995).

Raskin's recording experience include Anthony Braxton, Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 For Warne Marsh (1989) and The Bass & the Bird Pond with Tim Berne (1996), Wavelength Infinity- A Sun Ra Tribute, Between Spaces with Phillip Gelb, Dana Reason & Pauline Oliveras, Terry Riley'sIn C 25th Anniversary, and solo work on the Artship series.

A graduate of the School of Contemporary Music in Boston, Steve Adams has appeared on over 40 recordings, including four with Boston's Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet and three as a leader for the Nine Winds label. Adams joined Rova in 1988. He has written the music for seven productions of the annual California Shakespeare Festival, contributed compositions to the repertoires of the Empire Brass Quintet and the violin/marimba duo Marimolin and performed as a sideman with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Donald Byrd, Jaki Byard, Vinny Golia and Ted Nugent. Adams received a Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer commissioning grant in 1993.

Adam Shulman Quartet
In Concert
Friday September 7th 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present The Adam Shulman Quartet in concert. Don't miss this talented ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

The Adam Shulman Quartet was formed in January of 2007 to make Adam's debut record as a leader, "On Second Thought." The album features all original material from Shulman. The compositional style borrows from many different influences including traditional and modern jazz, classical and pop. The overall goal of the music is to be highly interactive and intimate but intense and driving at the same time. The band features some of the most talented jazz musicians in the bay area: Dayna Stephens on tenor saxophone, John Wiitala on bass and Jon Arkin on drums.

The Artists:

Since Graduating from the Monk Institute in 2003, Dayna Stephens has been performing and teaching actively. He plays regularly in San Francisco & New York City and has performed in recent times with Salvador & Carlos Santana, Kenny Barron, Roy Hargrove, OZOmatli, Patrice Rushen,Tom Harrell, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Parker, Freddie Hubbard, Steve Coleman, Oliver Lake, Eric Gravatt, Ndugu Chancler, Idris Muhammad, Bobby Short, and Josh Roseman. Dayna also plays upright bass and has performed with Stefon Harris, Marcus Belgrave, Sonny Fortune, Roy Hargrove and Natalie Douglas.

Adam Shulman has been a staple of the San Francisco Jazz scene since he moved to the city in 2002. Before the move, Adam was a student at UC Santa Cruz where he studied with the great Smith Dobson and the trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown. He received his degree in classical performance under the tutelage of the Russian pianist Maria Ezerova. Currently, Adam plays regularly with Marcus Shelby in large and small group contexts and with Anton Schwartz mostly in a trio setting. He can also be seen as a sideman with countless bay area musicians and vocalists such as John Wittala, Vince Lateano, Kitty Margolis, Andrew Speight, Dayna Stephens, Ian Cary, and Mike Zilber. Adam has played as a sideman with internationally renowned artists Stefon Harris, Willie Jones III, Paula West and Bobby Hutcherson and with the Glen Miller Orchestra.

John Wiitala has performed with, among others, Buddy Tate, Hal Stein, Shorty Rogers, Charlie Rouse, Joe Henderson, James Moody, Charles McPherson, Rob Schneiderman, Pete Malinverni and Richie Vitale. He has performed and recorded with Mark Levine, Scott Hamilton, Jessica Williams, Bruce Forman, and Wesla Whitfield. John currently teaches at the Stanford Jazz workshop, and is a member of Mark Levine's trio.

Originally from the Boston area, Jon Arkin grew up in a diverse musical setting. His family's musical influence inspired him to learn how to play piano, orchestral percussion, and finally drumset, which led to his attending the University of Miami School of Music in Coral Gables, Florida. During his years there, his studies included many styles of music and composition, and he became active in the Miami local music scene. He received several Downbeat awards for his participation in the School's top jazz combo, and he performed with many of the local legends, including Ira Sullivan, Barry Ries, Grady Tate and others. After earning his degree in 1998, he relocated to the Bay Area, where he continues to perform and compose in a wide variety of musical styles. In addition to leading his own groups, he has been busy as a freelance musician with many notable Bay Area/West coast/NY-based artists.


In Concert
Friday August 31st 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present VidyA in concert. Don't miss this unique and remarkable ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

VidyA is an adventurous new group that merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music. Led by critically-acclaimed saxophonist, Prasant Radhakrishnan along with David Ewell (bass) and Sameer Gupta (Drums), VidyA has emerged with a soulful, penetrating sound that stretches the envelope of labels like "fusion" and "world music."

The drums and bass lock into one another, driving the music forward like a Jazz rhythm section, while the tenor saxophone elaborates and improvises on Carnatic ragas. The group weaves in and out of the two genres while all the time merging them into one. VidyA translates the language of Carnatic music into the idiom of Jazz.

The Artists:

Prasant Radhakrishnan is VidyA's saxophonist, founder, composer and leader. A senior student of Carnatic saxophone pioneer, Kadri Gopalnath, Prasant has performed solo internationally in both the Carnatic and Jazz traditions and released three critically acclaimed Carnatic saxophone albums.

David Ewell is one of the most sought after bass players in the Jazz and contemporary music scene. His innate sense for improvised music has made him a inseparable part of VidyA's intense sound. David has travelled the world playing with jazz greats while performing regularly with Marc Cary, Howard Wiley, Lavay Smith and many others.

Sameer Gupta has established himself as a powerful voice in percussion and improvised music. His background in Indian classical percussion combines with his powerful drumming to create a dynamic soundscape for VidyA. Also a composer, Sameer has worked in several succesful ensembles, including the Supplicants, which he founded. David and Sameer have performed together in various ensembles for several years.

The Reviews:

"VidyA's music breathes at the very center of a cultural crossroads between the North American jazz idiom and the Carnatic music of South India. VidyA's music is a new vein of North American music... present tense, present location, new culture in the making." -Todd Brown, Red Poppy Art House

"When these patterns are played on saxophone, violin, string bass, and jazz drums, there is a build-up of emotional energy and intellectual complexity which seems to recreate the energy that was present at the birth of bebop in 1940's New York. In fact, if Charlie Parker or Dizzie Gillespie had heard VidyA at that time, I think it would have never have occurred to them that VidyA's music was Indian. They would simply have wondered where these cats had found a sound that was so mercilessly free of the standard melodic and rhythmic clich's." -Teed Rockwell, India Currents (March 2007)

"A style that's madly percussive and sparkling -combines jazz's sweet dreaminess with the Indian form's insistent rhythmic and tonal changes." - SF Weekly (Feburary 2007)

"Imagine ragas and American blues folded into a single moment. It's a fusion of Indian classical and jazz, and the leader, Prasant Radhakrishnan, 24, points the way for a number of Bay Area improvisers." - SF Chronicle, "Year in Jazz" (January 2007).

New West Guitar Quartet
In Concert
Friday August 24th 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to present The New West Guitar Quartet in concert. Don't miss this talented ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

What started as a class for individual guitarists became an opportunity for Perry Smith, John Storie, Brady Cohan, and Matt Roberts to create a group like none other. In reference to their west coast roots and passion for new music, the group dubbed themselves the New West Guitar Quartet. By arranging classic jazz standards and exploring original compositions, NWGQ established themselves as a notable jazz group when they were all students at the University of Southern California. As music majors, NWGQ collaborated with USC to become the first group to receive the coveted Thornton Protégé Grant. Since the group started in 2003 they have performed in major venues throughout Canada, Japan, Europe and all over the Western United States. With the release of their second album "Wide Awake" on Art Song Music, NWGQ focuses to combine the improvisational elements of jazz with the performance standards of a chamber group. By utilizing all the colors of the guitar, New West Guitar Quartet creates a new medium of chamber music.

The Artists:

Perry Smith:

Born in San Francisco, CA has been playing guitar since age eleven. Guitarist for the California-All-State High School Jazz Band and SF All-Star High School Jazz Band. Recipient of the USC Undergraduate Outstanding Leader Award, 2006 ASCAP Young Composers Award, and a finalist for the 2007 International Songwriting Competition.

John Storie:

Born in Walla Walla, WA has been playing guitar since age five. A three-time Down Beat Student Music Award Winner and four-time Oregon High School State Champion of Classical Guitar, John was selected as a semi-finalist for the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition.

Brady Cohan:

Born in Los Altos, CA has been playing guitar since age 12. Guitarist for the Grammy High School Jazz Band and the SF All-Star High School Jazz Band, and Monterey All-Star Jazz Band.

Matt Roberts:

Born in Bellflower and raised in N. Hollywood, Ca., Matt has been playing guitar since 12. Winner of the 2003 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award and LA Music Awards Independent Jazz Ensemble of the Year 2004 (Matt Roberts Group).

Happy Hour
In Concert
Friday August 17th 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present Happy Hour in concert. Don't miss this talented ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

Happy Hour is an all-star quintet made up of some of the Bay Area's best and best-known musicians. Trumpet, sax, trombone, bass and drums make up this high energy and highly original collective, whose individual credits number Dizzy Gillepsie, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Smith, Stefan Harris, Art Lande and numerous others as well as more than 20 CDs as leaders.

Happy Hour is:

Erik Jekabson - trumpet
Michael Zilber - saxophones
John Gove - trombone
Peter Barshay - bass
Jeff Marrs - drums

The Art Lande / Bruce Williamson Quartet
In Concert
Sunday 1 July 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present The Art Lande / Bruce Williamson Quartet in concert. Don't miss these jazz legends in a stellar ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

Art Lande - piano
Bruce Williamson - sax & woodwinds
Alan Hall - drums
Peter Barshay - bass

Art Lande (Boulder, CO) and Bruce Williamson (New York) have been making music together since the 1970s, when Lande's band Rubisa Patrol was performing regularly in the Bay Area with trumpeter Mark Isham. This quartet includes two of the Bay Area's finest musicians; bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Alan Hall. The music is a unique blend of intriguing compositions and flexible interplay, creating music of lyrical beauty yet also seeking the mystery of uncharted sonorities and rhythms that wake up the ears. The realms of jazz, classical, world music and pure improvisation blend together seamlessly to create concerts that are unique and inspiring.

The Artists:

As a pianist, Art Lande has recorded some 40+ albums for ECM, Arch, Elektra and Windham Hill Records, appearing with Gary Peacock, Eliot Zigmund, Jan Garbarek, Steve Swallow, Mark Isham, Paul McCandless, Ron Miles, Mark Johnson and Peter Erskine. He has also performed with such musical greats as Chet Baker, Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Ernie Watts, Jon Hendricks and Sheila Jordan. As a teacher he has influenced countless musicians, including pianists such as Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner and Myra Melford. He has composed over 250 songs and has collaborated with dancers, visual artists and poets, including Allen Ginsberg. Art brings a vast vocabulary of musicianship and composition to a performance ensemble which strives for creativity, interaction and improvisational flexibility.

Bruce Williamson, from Oakland California, has lived in New York since 1983 and has performed over the years with jazz artists such as Toshiko Akiyoshi , Dave Douglas, Benny Green, Tom Harell, Fred Hersch, Mark Isham, Art Lande, Mark Levine, Jack McDuff, Gary Peacock, Jim Pepper and Jack Walrath. He performs regularly in the NYC area and can be heard on dozens of recordings. Over the last decade Bruce has also worked with composer Elliot Goldenthal and director Julie Taymor on many of their theatre and film projects (including "Across the Universe" and the Academy award-winning "Frida"). As a jazz composer he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his jazz septet (Timeless CD "Big City Magic" featuring trumpeter Randy Brecker) and an extended piece for string quartet, sax quartet plus percussion (featuring soprano saxist Tim Ries and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi). Bruce is on the music faculty at Bennington College, Vermont.

Alan Hall has played and/or recorded with bassists Stuart Hamm, Brian Torff and Kai Eckhardt; guitarists Larry Coryell, Mick Goodrick and Joyce Cooling; saxophonists Ernie Watts, Paul McCandless, Bobby Mintzer, John Handy, Jerry Bergonzi and Eddie Harris; trumpeter Bobby Shew; and pianists Billy Childs, Tom Coster, Kit Walker and Smith Dobson and vocalists Mark Murphy and Rebecca Parris. Alan's work has been heard on jazz radio stations nationally and his original compositions have been recorded and released on the "Blue Crescent" and "Polymorph" record labels. His performances have been aired on B.E.T.' s Jazz Discovery Series and KRON TV's Daybreak. He is currently a member of several groups including Ray Brown's: Great Big Band, Dave Eshelman's: Jazz Garden Big Band, Michael Smolens' quintet: Kriya. He is currently a faculty member of The Jazzschool in Berkeley, CA. and a participating faculty member of The Brubeck Institute, University of the Pacific, Stockton. CA.

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, Peter Barshay has performed with such jazz luminaries as Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Henderson, John Handy, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders, Blue Mitchell, Tony Williams, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Johnny Griffin and Bobby McFerrin. On his debut recording as a leader, Pit Of Fashioni , the bassist-composer steps out as a leader in his own right. Barshay's numerous appearances at clubs and jazz festivals have taken him around the world, helping to establish his reputation as a solid, reliable bassist. Having soaked up a lifetime of sounds on both coasts -- everything from salsa and straight ahead to funk-fusion, avant garde and music derived from the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian traditions -- he brings a wealth of experiences to the table on Pit Of Fashion with the common thread being the deeply rooted sound of his upright bass.

Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet
In Concert
Friday 22 June 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased (and slightly frightened) to present Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet in concert. Don't miss this unique and amazing ensemble performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

The Group:

Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet has the distinction of being the world's only original, composing band of four bass clarinetists, they invent and perform heavy chamber music. The bass clarinet has a 5 octave range and a huge span of tonal, melodic, and rhythmic capabilities. Since 1996, Cornelius Boots has led and composed for Edmund Welles, which received a Chamber Music America Grant in 2004 for the creation of Agrippa's 3 Books, a multi-movement work inspired by occult philosophy and heavy metal music. This piece is featured on their debut album of the same title [mixed and mastered by Grammy-award winning sound alchemist Oz Fritz]. The album made the Top Ten Albums of 2005, and the New York premiere of the piece made the Top Ten Performances of 2005 in All About Jazz NYC.

Drawing virtuosic precision from the classical realm; innovation and texture from jazz; and power, rhythm and overall perspective from rock and metal, the quartet's sound is characterized by a thickness of tone, a density of texture, absolute rhythmic precision, and the extreme use of dynamic contrasts: a dense, pulsing sound capable of expressing and reflecting the full range of human emotions.

This past year, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco commissioned the group to compose and perform 2012: A Requiem for Baktun 12, the 13th and Final Cycle; and another Boots composition for the quartet, Tooth & Claw, placed 2nd out of thousands of entries in the "Instrumental" category of the 2006 International Songwriting Competition.

The Program:

The evening's program will feature primarily original heavy chamber music, which takes the form of short barn-burners, expanded epics, sonorous ballads, and multi-movement mystical, occult, or esoteric explorations. The writing style is as inspired by boogie woogie and heavy metal as it is Rossini or Pink Floyd, and the arrangements likely to be addied to the set may be from Josquin de Prez, the Residents, Black Sabbath, or the Swan Silvertones.

The Artists:

Cornelius Boots performs, records, composes and instructs classical, rock, jazz, and blues styles of music on clarinets, saxophones and flutes. In spite of these primary focal points, Cornelius continues to strive for authentic self-expression, discovery and expansion with reverence towards but not allegiance to any particular style. Some specialties include hard rock bass playing on both acoustic and robot bass clarinets; composing and arranging virtuosic heavy chamber music for Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet; and rock, funk and blues baritone saxophone performance. Other interests, which constantly inspire and inform Boots' approach to music and sound, include kung fu, tree cosmography, theological metaphysics, breath awareness, sensory deprivation floatation, throat singing, flutes and beekeeping.

The conservatory style training received at the Indiana University School of Music (BM Clarinet '97, BS Audio Recording '97, MM Jazz Studies '99) was an essential developmental aspect of the core of his woodwind abilities and provided the groundwork for his continuing education which takes many forms including intensive study of Japanese Buddhist honkyoku music on the shakuhachi flute; methodical transcription and analysis of the bass lines, song forms and lyrics of Geezer Butler as written and performed with Black Sabbath from 1970-1978; and the synthesis and application of Zen, Taoist, Mayan, occult, Jedi and Shaolin philosophies towards personal expansion and woodwind performance. This last element has led to the evolving Wu Wei Woodwind Method, which Boots utilizes in private woodwind instruction on all levels for all ages. The realizing and remembering of the true self and the power of breath and sound is at the core of each of Cornelius' projects including the multi-movement CMA commissioned work Agrippa's 3 Books, the YBCA commissioned 2012: A Requiem for Baktun 12, the in-progress opera-esoterica Books of the Dead featuring the wind, gong and throat-singing ensemble Sabbaticus Rex, and two unpublished books, The Black Sabbath Sutras, and A Method for Life and the Bass Clarinet.

Aaron Novik has been living and performing in the Bay Area for a decade now, in too many ensembles, and with too many great musicians to mention here. He now is focusing his energies on his groups Floating World and Simulacra, as well as performing with the bass clarinet quartet Edmund Welles, and the singer Andre Karpov.

As with most musicians, Aaron has a lot of opinions about how music should sound. Music should draw attention to itself, without being grating or experimental per se. Music should sound good (it sounds too simple, but believe me...) and all other goals are secondary really. After that the main focus is melody, harmony, rhythm and order. Music can be unique and beautiful and interesting all at the same time!

Jonathan Russell is active in the Bay Area as a composer, performer, and conductor. His compositions have been performed by numerous ensembles and performers, including the San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) Orchestra, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Woodstock (NY) Chamber Orchestra, the new music group FIREWORKS, and the pianist Sarah Cahill.

Jonathan is a versatile and creative performer on clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto saxophone. A member of the genre-defying Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet and the Balkan/Klezmer/Experimental band Zoyres, he also plays in, composes for, and is a founding member of the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo and the rock chamber music band Oogog, both frequent performers at clubs, galleries, and churches throughout the Bay Area. He has also performed locally with the Marin Symphony, Ensemble Parallele, and the Thick Description Theater Company, and has appeared as soloist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Harvard Univeristy's Bach Society Orchestra, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra.

Jonathan has conducted over thirty premieres of works by students and other young composers in the past four years, and regularly conducts the SFCM Orchestra student composer reading sessions. Jonathan received his Bachelors degree in music from Harvard University and his Masters degree in Composition from SFCM. He has studied clarinet with Janet Greene and Alan Kay and composition with Dan Becker, Elinor Armer, Eric Sawyer, John Stewart, Bernard Rands, and Eric Ewazen. He is currently a Professor of Musicianship at SFCM, Music Director at First Congregational Church, San Francisco, and a Concert Reviewer for the San Francisco Classical Voice. For more information, visit him online at http://www.jonrussellmusic.com.

Jeffrey Anderle, clarinet, is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory, where he received his Master of Music degree. He studied clarinet with Luis Baez and bass clarinet with Ben Freimuth. Equally active with both instruments, he has presented numerous solo and chamber music recitals on each. He also performs regularly around the San Francisco Bay Area with Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet and with his bass clarinet duo, Sqwonk, which will be releasing a CD in the spring of 2007. Mr. Anderle received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a Gluck Fellow studying the clarinet with Gary Gray. Also in Los Angeles, Jeff was a member of the Definiens Project, a chamber music group dedicated to redefining chamber music in a contemporary context. Jeff has spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, the most recent one as a member of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. He has also studied the clarinet in Budapest with József Balogh.

The Reviews:

"The music is simply remarkable...Never before has the instrument been written for so well..."
---Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz NYC

"You might call it 'clarinet rock.' Never have you heard the clarinet take on so much attitude, so much angst, so much personality. Mixing in styles and approaches from contemporary classical writing to jazz to just good old rock 'n roll licks..."
---CD Baby Staff Review

John Stowell and Michael Zilber
In Concert
Friday 15 June 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is delighted to present guitarist John Stowell and saxophonist Michael Zilber in concert. Don't miss these two talented jazz artists performing in our acoustically-wonderful hall.

John Stowell is a unique jazz guitarist influenced as much by pianists and horn players as he is by guitarists. His original take on harmony, chords and improvisation sets him apart. Of John's music, jazz legend Paul Horn says, "In the age of mediocrity and clones, John Stowell's uniqueness and originality is a breath of fresh air. I love playing with him."

"John can make the electric guitar sound like a singing voice" - Nat Hentof

Michael Zilber is one of the top saxophone artists on the scene today. His playing is charged with an energetic, yet lyrical originality. Saxophone great Dave Liebman says, "Mike is one of the best composers and players around, anywhere, period!"

"Vibrant and sure-toned saxophonist Mike Zilber plays jazz like it should be played, with emotion, virtuosity and a lightning agility. His style is fluid and always full of rewards, as if he had an entire orchestra tucked away in his horn." - Jerry Karp

The Presidio Ensemble
In Concert
Friday 1 June 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is pleased to present The Presidio Ensemble in concert. They will be performing a collection of pieces that explore nature through sound (animal sounds, sound as describing nature etc).

The Program:

"Music For..."				John Cage
"A Night Piece" Arthur Foote
"Pan" Mauricio Kagel
"Moments in Time, Mvt. II" Brett Eastman
"The Children's Eternal Rain Forest" David Ryther
"Study no. 5 for String Quartet" Matthew Goodheart
"Impressiones de la Puna" Alberto Ginastera

The Presidio Ensemble is a musical collaborative comprised of five outstanding young musicians with a wide range of international performance experience. The group performs to critical acclaim throughout the bay area and offers programs of complex yet accessible repertoire, with a focus on new music.

The Presidio Ensemble are:
Amelia Lukas - flute
Kathryn Thompson - cello
Deborah Katz - violin
David Ryther - violin
Victor Lowrie - viola

For more information, please visit their website: www.presidioensemble.com

martha and monica is...
Monica Scott, cello and Hadley McCarroll, piano

martha and monica
In Concert
Friday, 18 May 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the cello and piano duo martha and monica. Performing music from eras, styles, and cultures that run the gamut, martha & monica offers its audiences a rewarding, eye-opening experience. Both pianist Hadley McCarroll and cellist Monica Scott bring to the ensemble an intense and passionate desire to communicate through music, their own curiosity leading them in repertoire choices and interpretation.

The Program:

A glimpse into the far-reaching influence of Antonin Dvorak on twentieth century Eastern European composers' music inspired by national pride while displaying deeply personal sentiments, this program offers fresh, innovative works by composers Peter Eotvos (Hungary), Vladimir Godar (Slovakia), Witold Lutoslawski (Poland), contrasted with sonatas and solos from the Czech Republic by Bohuslav Martinu and Leos Janacek.

Vladimír Godár - Sonata in Memory of Viktor Shklovsky (1985)
Leos Janácek - In the Mists (1912)
Peter Eötvös - Erdenklavier-Himmelklavier (2003)
Witold Lutoslawski - Sacher Variations for Violoncello Solo (1975)
Bohuslav Martinu - Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano (1939)

Artists Bios:

Cellist, Monica Scott, has performed throughout the United States, in almost every European country, Argentina, Canada and South Korea, engaging audiences with her energetic, eloquent playing. With a stylistic range that includes historically informed performances on baroque cello, all music from the classic and romantic eras, to the less charted territories of twentieth and twenty-first century avant-garde and improvised music, Ms. Scott has enjoyed a varied career both abroad and in her native California. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. After an artist residency at the Banff Centre (Canada) in 1994, Ms. Scott performed for four seasons with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in Portugal, a group with which she also appeared as concerto soloist. Since her move to the Bay Area in 1998, Ms. Scott has been actively promoting new music, performing with sfSoundGroup, Composers' Inc, the Composers Alliance, and in numerous chamber music groups. Most recently, Ms. Scott was the cellist with the Del Sol String Quartet, a group with which she developed an artistic vision that was recognized with two consecutive awards for Adventurous Programming by Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Ms Scott is also an enthusiastic educator; besides teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and privately, she coaches chamber music, and leads innovative workshops in creative music-making to both children and teachers.

Pianist Hadley McCarroll has been hailed for her "...lively and exhilarating..." pianism (San Francisco Classical Voice). Born in Washington D.C., she received her formative training at the Levine School of Music and the Washington Conservatory of Music, where she was a scholarship student in the piano and opera studios, in addition to private study under Santiago Rodriguez. While still in high school, Ms. McCarroll had the opportunity to accompany famed Bolshoi Opera mezzo-soprano Renata Babak in one of her last public appearances, at which time critic Joseph McClellan of the Washington Post noted in his review of the concert that her accompanying was noticeable for its high level at her age , and that accompanying was a skill which few pianists master even later in life. She went on to earn Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she made her orchestral debut under the baton of the renowned American composer and conductor Gunther Schuller. Ms. McCarroll has worked with many eminent artists, including Richard Goode, Vladimir Viardo, Isaac Stern, Martin Katz, Warren Jones, and Marlena Malas.

Ms. McCarroll is a well-known performer throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, working with many local composers and performers, and has worked throughout the United States and internationally as a collaborative artist and opera coach. In the spring of 2006 Ms. McCarroll was on the music staff of the Royal Danish Opera, where she assisted in preparation of a new Ring cycle. She enjoys collaborations with many local opera companies-Ms. McCarroll has worked with every local Bay Area opera company-including San Francisco Opera, Opera San Jose, Festival Opera, and West Bay Opera. She has accompanied such artists as Jane Eaglen, Nucia Focile and Linda Watson. Under the baton of Kent Nagano she has served as musical preparer for concert performances of operas by Elliott Carter and Phillip Manoury, as well as preparing singers for Unsuk Chin's Sopranica Cantatrix, a chamber work for two sopranos and countertenor. Ms. McCarroll has presented chamber music masterclasses and concerts at the Northwestern University School of Music, and has served on the faculty of the San Francisco Community Music Center since 1997, in addition to directing her own private studio. An active chamber musician, Ms. McCarroll was awarded an individual artist grant from the City of Oakland to perform concertos for piano and chamber wind ensemble, as well as three Shenson Faculty Grants from the Community Music Center. Upcoming projects include Porgy & Bess with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

The First Annual Jazz Poetry Festival
Friday, 27 April 2007

* Golda Solomon and Saco Yasuma (NYC)
* Avotcja and Modupue (Oakland)
* Adam David Miller and Gael Alcock (Berkeley)
* UpSurge! (Oakland)

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to host
The First Annual Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival

The First Annual Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival features New York City alto saxophone sensation Saco Yasuma paired with New York poet Golda Solomon. Time Out New York said "Avant-Jazz altoist Saco Yasuma has a theatrical bent-but she is not hiding anything. She's got a killer sound and soulful compositions." Dubbed the Medicine Woman of Jazz, "an insightful observer of the scene and narrator of a thousand hipper yesterdays, Golda Solomon lays it all out with streetwise authority on Word Riffs, the second recording to document her compelling partnership of poetry and jazz."-Bill Milkowski, Jazziz, Jazz Times

Avotcja, poet and host of KPFA's popular Music of the World segment "BeBop, CuBop y Loca Saya" will perform with her band Modupue (Mow-dew-pway) voted Jazz Group of The Year 2005 by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame. A gifted poet, Avotcja fluidly goes back and forth between Spanish, English and Spanglish while never veering from truth, justice and the blues.

Adam David Miller, Berkeley's revered, esteemed poet author whose memoir "Ticket to Exile" is due to publish this coming fall from Heyday Books performs with cellist Gael Alcock. The classically trained Alcock works with composers and new music ensembles, and accompanies singers, dancers, poets, and artists. Her solo compositions explore jazz, middle-eastern, and free styles of improvisation. The Bay Area JazzPoetry Festival's eclectic and exciting line-up will include world beat band COPUS. "COPUS produces music that is part jazz, part classical, cerebral and sexy. Think of COPUS as the love child of Jack Kerouac and Grace Jones."-Music Connection Magazine." Although I have always been a jazz fan, the spoken word aspect was never one of my favorites. COPUS has definitely changed that perspective. It is my belief that this music could be legendary if given the opportunity to thrive." -MusicDish.com

Oakland's own UpSurge rounds out the first year festival's lineup with their unique fusion of eclectic jazz and courageous poetry that reaches deep into your soul. Their conscious words, assorted grooves and feels, dissolve boundaries that separate genres and people. Voted "Best of the East Bay" (East Bay Express Reader's Poll 2003), critic Lee Hildebrand describes UpSurge as a "free-pushing jazz band with two strong poets out front...fresh energy."

pickPocket Ensemble
in Concert
Friday 20 April 2007

The pickPocket Ensemble makes a new music at the crossroads: inspired by many world folk and instrumental traditions, it is soulful and cinematic, with chamber-music grace and a street-wise edge. The music of the pickPocket ensemble has been called "soul-wrenching" for its evocative and passionate expressiveness. For its ability to communicate across cultures, the pickPocket ensemble has been termed "una banda del pueblo para el pueblo."

"They play a certain style of music that can't be found anywhere ... Middle Eastern? Gipsy Music? Let's call it pickPocket style... beautiful music with no boundaries of any kind." - Javier Moreno, The SF Tribune

"A sublime and nuanced hip acoustic band." - West Coast Live Radio.

The Sun Quartet
Natsuki Fukasawa

Sun Quartet
In Concert
with special guest pianist
Natsuki Fukasawa
Thursday, 12 April 2007

The Sun Quartet is:

Ian Swensen - Violin
Anna Presler - Violin
Anna Kruger - Viola
Andrew Luchansky - Cello

Haydn - Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3
Elliot Carter - Elegy for String Quartet
Brahms - F minor Piano Quintet

Artist Bios:
Pianist Natsuki Fukasawa's active career has taken her around the world in the role of both soloist and chamber musician. As a founding member of the award-winning Jalina Trio, Ms. Fukasawa has won many accolades and international prizes, including a January 2006 rave review in Fanfare magazine. The reviewer wrote of the trio's recording of the Mendelssohn and Brahms piano trios: "Never--and I mean never--have I heard either of these works played with such expressive nuance and exquisite, heartfelt sensitivity. When I am moved to tears of joy, I know I am hearing what music can and should be." She has released two additional compact discs with the trio of contemporary Danish music titled Now!Denmark (Classico label) and Kaleidescope (da capo label). She collaborates regularly with many fine chamber musicians in Northern California and appears frequently in chamber music concerts. Natsuki holds degrees from the Juilliard School, Prague Academy of Music and the University of Maryland. She studied chamber music intensively with Ferenc Rados (Liszt Academy in Budapest) and Tim Fredericksen (Royal Danish Music Conservatory).

Ian Swensen is one of the very few musicians to have been awarded top prize in both the International Violin Competition and the International Chamber Music Competition (as first violinist of the Meliora String Quartet) of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation; he received the awards consecutively in 1984 and 1985. Since then he has performed as soloist and chamber artist in many prestigious concert halls, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Symphony Hall in Boston, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He has also performed with the Spoleto, Santa Fe, Aspen, Marlboro, and Chamber Music West festivals, among others. Swensen studied at the Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay and at the Eastman School with Donald Weilerstein, and has taught at the Longy School at Cambridge, Florida State University, and Oberlin Conservatory. His recordings can be found on the Telarc, Mercury, and Musical Heritage labels.

Anna Presler is a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, where she frequently serves as soloist and Associate Concertmaster. She is also a member of the Left Coast Ensemble's Onyx Quartet, and a former member of Alternate Currents. As a member of the Sun Quartet, Ms. Presler serves on the faculty of Sacramento State University. She has participated in programs at the Banff Art Center, the International Music Seminar at Cornwall, and the Tanglewood Music Center. She is a graduate of Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

As founding violist of the renowned Lark Quartet, Anna Kruger toured extensively for 13 years throughout the United States and Europe, to Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and Russia. Among many competition prizes awarded the Lark were the Gold Medal in the 1991 Shostakovitch International String Quartet Competition and the 1990 Naumburg Chamber Music Award.

Highlights of Ms. Kruger's seasons with the Lark include performances at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria at the invitation of Gidon Kremer, the Beethoven Festival at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, (under the direction of Sviatoslav Richter), Lyon's Musicades Festival in France, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Northern Germany, and Mexico's Festival de Musica de Camera. Major centers where she has performed include NY's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, St. Paul's Ordway Theater, San Francisco's Herbst Theater, and in the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Honolulu, Chicago, Atlanta, and Indianapolis. She has concertized abroad in the major cities of London, Paris, Basel, Stockholm.

Andrew Luchansky earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music from State University of New York at Stony Brook. In addition, he studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, as well as the Beaux Arts Trio. Prior to joining the CSUS faculty in 1993, Mr. Luchansky served as Professor of Cello at the Florida State University School of Music, and also as Principal Cellist with the Tallahassee Symphony. Before joining the FSU faculty, Mr. Luchansky spent ten years in New York City, where he was a frequent performer on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's Avery Fischer Hall. He has performed in nearly every other major U.S. city, as well as in Europe. In addition to teaching at CSUS, Mr. Luchansky also coaches chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory and has recorded for the Sony Classical label. Mr. Luchansky has presented Master Classes at The University Of Florida,


The Fred Randolph Quintet
In Concert
Friday, 23 March 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present The Fred Randolph Quintet in concert, celebrating the release of their new CD, "New Day." This ensemble features talented local artists including Tim Bulkley on drums, Erik Jekabson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Rob Roth on tenor and soprano saxophone, Dan Zemelman on piano, and band leader Fred Randolph on basses. The ensemble will be performing all original music from their new CD as well as some new compositions. Don't miss this opportunity to see this excellent group in our acoustically-outstanding hall.

Brazilian Origins
In Concert
Friday, 16 February 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present Brazilian Origins, featuring four of the best Brazilian Jazz musicians in the Bay Area: Carlos Oliveira - 7-string guitar, Mauro Correa - 7-string guitar, Harvey Wainapel - clarinet & saxophone, and Claudio Bebianno - percussion. These virtuoso players will explore the classic genres of choro, baiao, bossa, and samba, as well as original compositions, including music by Pixinguinha, Toninho Horta, Chico Buarque, Sivuca, Carlos Oiveira and others. Don't miss this evening of fabulous Brazilian music.

Pianist Sontraud Speidel In Concert
Wednesday, January 31st 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present the internationally acclaimed pianist, Sontraud Speidel of Karlsruhe, Germany. Speidel will play a program from the Schumann-Brahms circle of German Romantics. The featured works in this concert will include Robert Schumann's Kinderszenen, op. 15 and Kreisleriana, op. 16, Clara Schumann-Wieck's Quatre pièces fugitives, op. 15, and Johannes Brahms' Sonata #1 in C major, op. 1. Don't miss the opportunity to hear this superb artist in our wonderful hall.

About the artist:

Sontraud Speidel has performed solo recitals, chamber music, and with orchestra in concert, radio and television worldwide. She has performed on 32 commercially sold CD's recording in most European countries, the former Soviet Union, Canada, the United States, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil. She regularly serves on jury panels for International, National, and Regional Competitions. Her students have won numerous prizes in Germany and other countries.

She has been featured in prestigious international festivals including the Schwetzinger Festspiele; Bayreuther Festspiele; Kfar Blum Chamber Music Festival, Israel; Euro-Event, Korea and numerous other cities and countries.

She has conducted master classes in Maryland, Tennessee, Alabama, Hawaii, Washington, Minnesota and California as well as Germany, Vienna (Austria), Israel and Greece. In 1979, she was invited by former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt to perform at the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn.

She was "Distinguished Visiting Professor" at California State University, USA, and at the Université de Montréal, Canada. She was also guest professor at Tel Aviv University; in Bologna, Bruxelles, London, South Korea; and Tokyo. Sontraud Speidel is currently Professor of Piano at the Music University of Karlsruhe, Germany, where she is head of the Keyboard Department and head of the Department for Advanced Studies.

Many composers such as the Greek master Yannis Papaioannou, Violeta Dinescu and Kurt Hessenberg have dedicated piano works to Sontraud Speidel. She also plays piano music which has been neglected (Fanny Hensel, Clara Schumann, other women composers; Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Theodor Kirchner, Carl Reinecke) and is active in several chamber music ensembles. She has recorded 22 commercial CD's. She was the first pianist to record works for piano solo by Fanny Hensel, the sister of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Her principal teachers include Irene Slavin, Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, and Géza Anda. After winning various awards in Germany, she won the first prize of the Johann Sebastian Bach International Piano Competition in Washington D.C. She is also the recipient of the Boston Symphony's Jackson Prize for Modern Music and Italy's Ettore Pozzoli Prize.

Her playing has gained great acclaim by critics around the world. The comments below are typical:

"Sontraud Speidel is one of the most outstanding pianists of our days"
(Wolf-Eberhard von Lewinski)

"With an artist of this calibre every piece has authority"
(Washington Post)

"Sontraud Speidel - a Clara Schumann of our days"
(Neue Zeitschrift für Musik)


The Four Bags
In Concert
Friday, 26 January 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present The Four Bags in concert. Combining the vibrancy of modern jazz and popular music with the sophistication of a classical chamber group, The Four Bags features a captivating blend of Trombone (Brian Drye), Accordion (Jacob Garchik), Guitar (Sean Moran) and Woodwinds (Mike McGinnis). Each member brings a distinct compositional voice to the ensemble, creating a body of original work that traverses jazz, classical and pop with an astonishing array of tonal colors. In addition to mind-bending improvisations and fresh originals, The Four Bags draw from a diverse collection of music from Arnold Schoenberg to Brian Wilson. These elements result in richly layered performances led WNYC's David Garland to describe the music as "wonderfully difficult to define, easy to enjoy."

About the artists:

Saxophone/clarinetist Michael McGinnis performs regularly with the four bags, the Lonnie Plaxico Group, OK|OK, and the Loser's Lounge. He has one recording with his group Between Green on RKM Music (an independent NYC-based label started by Ravi Coltrane). He has also recorded two CD's with the four bags and one each with DDYGG and the MG Marching Band for NCM East. His performances and compositions have been featured on WNYC and WFMU. Michael is a native of Sanford, Maine and studied at the University of Southern Maine and the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his current musical projects Michael has performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Barry Manilow. He is a founding member of the Creative Music Workshop and also teaches at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Village Community School.

Accordionist and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Garchik has lived in New York since 1994. Since then he has played accordion with a Balkan brass band, a "old-time" country band, and at a concert of contemporary music organized by the composer's collective Wet Ink. He played slide trumpet, percussion, and conducted music in a play by Stanislaw Witkiewicz at La Mama. He has worked as a piano accompanist for the Imani Singers of Medgar Evers College. He also improvises on a laptop computer with the group the Ben Gerstein Collective. His mobile bugle calls became a staple of the monthly political and environmental bicycle ride/protest "Critical Mass".

Guitarist and composer Sean Moran has worked with artists such as Steve Wilson, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Teo Macero, Ron McLure, and John D'earth. He currently performs and has recorded with Bift, Twelve 20 six, vocalist Andrew Thompson, singer/songwriter Allison Tartalia, One Ring Zero, and Alvin Walker (of the Count Basie Orchestra). Sean is a faculty member at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and also has several private guitar and composition students. He recently completed a piece for the Soundclock contemporary music ensemble that was performed at Merkin Concert hall. Sean studied music at Virginia Commonwealth University and New York University.

Brian Drye plays trombone and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed with many famous pop stars and big bands including The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Four Tops, Dianne Schuur and Paul Anka. He is a regular member of "Slavic Soul Party" a Balkan Brass Band based in NYC. In addition to "The Four Bags" he has recorded on NCMEast Records with several NYC based groups including "SLOG", "DDYGG", and "The Morpholinos". Brian currently teaches trombone and jazz improvisation at CPSM at Queens College and is the director of Jazz Studies at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, NJ.

Dangerous Rhythm
In Concert
Friday, 19 January 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present DANGEROUS RHYTHM in concert. This group of virtuoso players is a marvelous musical experiment performed to answer an intriguing "what if" question. Join us in the acoustically- wonderful Hillside Club for this evening of musical mischief.

What would swing have become had it not turned into bop? This is the musical premise behind guitarist Tim Fox's group, DANGEROUS RHYTHM. Playing mostly original compositions and the occasional not-so-moldy oldie, this group will get your toes tapping, your heart pumping, and your mind racing. Veteran bassist and vocalist Steven Strauss (Penelope Houston, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Old Puppy), vibraphonist and aspiring ukulelist, Gerry Grosz, accordionist extraordinary, Dan Cantrell (The Toids, Peoples Bizarre, Tom Waits), and percussionist Brian Rice (the Paul Winter Consort, Mike Marshall's Chôro Famoso, Wake the Dead, the pickPocket Ensemble) complete the group.

It's Twenty-First Century Swing, folks. Accept no substitutes.

The Dan Zemelman Quartet
In Concert
Friday, 12 January 2007

The Berkeley Hillside Club is proud to present The Dan Zemelman Quartet in concert. The quartet, featuring Dan Zemelman on piano, Erik Jekabson on trumpet, Fred Randolph on bass, and Dave Rokeach on drums, is an exciting new jazz ensemble consisting of talented and experienced Bay Area artists.

With each of the players contributing original compositions and arrangements, the ensemble's performances are diverse musical forays exploring new and traditional forms. They set no musical limits and no genre that is out of bounds for them. The music that is results is a tasty blend of all the different musical backgrounds present, including standard jazz, afro-latin, rock, blues, and classical music.

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy this talented group in concert in an acoustically wonderful hall.

About the artists:

Dan Zemelman is currently working with an original jam band project, Plum Crazy, as well as maintaining a very busy jazz life in the bay area. He has performed numerous times with the bay area's great bassist, Marcus Shelby, and also appeared on the last John Lee Hooker album made, 'Face to Face'.

Erik Jekabson, a wonderful trumpet player from New Orleans via New York; he has toured with the funky jam band, Galactic and pop star,John Meyer. He is currently a mainstay in the bay area jazz scene.

Fred Randolph, a busy freelance acoustic/electric bassist, composer, and educator who works with top local and national jazz artists. He has also turned out several great albums of his own that feature some very talented bay area jazz players.

Dave Rokeach, a fine jazz and rock drummer with a long history of bands in the bay area and also stints with Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.