Category: Music - AM Musings
Pachelbel's Canon in D at the Berkeley Rose Garden - click the photo to hear the music
Berkeley Rose Garden Wedding
A boy watches the wedding
August 14, 2011 Berkeley Rose Garden:  While visiting the Berkeley Rose Garden on a sunny afternoon, men in suits and women in fine clothes gathered one by one at the base of the garden.  The strains of Pachelbel Canon in D Major glided over the roses and the bride and her escort aided by a cane proceeded slowly and gingerly down the rose covered walkway and steep steps to the waiting friends and family below.  I don't know anyone in the bridal party, but for a few moments, we were witness to this simple and beautiful ceremony.  It was a chance and happy encounter.  Pachelbel's canon is a popular and beautiful choice for wedding processionals. Friends and relatives of ours may remember a string quartet playing this same canon at a wedding in December 1985. . . 

Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
Freight and Salvage Coffee House featured Dan Hick and his Hot Licks last month, fun but predictable.  The LA based opening act Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, however, blew me away.

I'm a new fan of gypsy jazz and they sounded fresh and exciting.  Check out the encore with Dan Hicks below.

At the end of the performance Dan Hicks invited the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet to join them in a rendition of "I'll See You in My Dreams".
 Gypsy Jazz is making a revival.  Gypsy Jazz also known as Manouche jazz was started in the 1930-1940's by the great guitarist Django Reinhardt, when he formed the group, the Hot Club of Paris.  He died in 1953 at age 43, but he is a legend to guitarists to this day. 

The American revival of Gypsy Jazz was started right here in San Francisco by the Hot Club of San Francisco.  Guacho Gypsy Jazz is a second generation group of the Hot Club of San Francisco that plays first and third Thursdays at Tartine Bakery at 18th and Guerrero Streets from 6-8PM.  Click the video to take a listen. 
Django Reinhardt - Photo NY Times
If you're interested in Django Reinhardt, the source of this music, see the NY Times articles by clicking here.

Fillmore Jazz Festival 2011 Stage at Fillmore and California Streets
Free music concerts can be great, but also really a hassle.  It can be a day-long commitment with traffic, parking, and crowd issues. The annual Fillmore jazz Festival, on the other hand is really convenient.  I have a renewed interest in jazz so I wanted to go.  It's just a short walking distance from my home and I checked it out last Saturday. 

The festival is a giant party for a 10 block length of Fillmore stretching from Jackson Street south to Eddy Street.  There were three main stages for music, but also many smaller performances on the sidewalks.  There seemed to be plenty of people listening to jazz this last weekend.  Maybe jazz has a future and the new Yoshi's Jazz Club and the Fillmore Jazz District is becoming the new hot spot!

The Fillmore has a great tradition and history in 20th Century jazz.  All the great jazz performers flocked to the Fillmore when they played San Francisco.  See this description for a history of Fillmore jazz.
And there was dancing in the Street!




YoYo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble played at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco's Civic Center.  I do mean played.  Incredible music and the crowd demanded two encores.  The ensemble really loved playing together as the second encore was a spontaneous jam.  Absolutely nothing beats a live performance.  Through the lobby windows we could see the Beaux Arts City Hall by Bakewell Brown.  Thank you Chris.

Oscher, my didjerido instructor
Wednesday April 6, 2011
I bought a didjeridoo on-line about 3 years ago and after a short attempt, it just sat in the house.

I found a one evening didjeridoo workshop in the Mission District near our old house -- so I signed up.  I thought a group setting would make it easier.  LUCKY ME!  I was the only student that showed up so I got a LOT of ATTENTION.  An hour later and a little light-headed, my instructor Osher sent me off with hints on  circular breathing.  So I'm off to the car, didjeridoo in tow, wind blowing from the northeast  trying to remember what Osher showed me.