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San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins

  Sunday , Apr 23, 2006         11:00 AM        $15, Children free

Event Details

The festival continues to offer the widest spectrum of mandolin music possible in California; from the blues of Rich Del Groso to the virtuosity of John Reischman with John Miller, from the vibrant latin sound of Eva Scow to the large mandolin orchestra, Aurora. The Hot Frittatas will play for dancing. As a special treat, Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital will make a guest appearance. Avi was recently awarded the first prize of the international competition for Plucked Strings “Città di Voghera” (Italy).

The Concert is scheduled for 3PM followed by dancing to the Hot Frittatas, jamming and an open mic. There will be workshops by the performers from 1-3PM. Everyone is welcome to the BYO Mandolin Orchestra at 12 noon. Food will be available from 2PM.

Special hotel rate for out-of towners:
Rooms are available at Holiday Inn San Francisco International Airport North for $89 for a Single/Double room. The address is 275 South Airport Blvd, South San Francisco, CA 94080. Reservation by calling 1-800-HOLIDAY or 650-873-3550 before 4/7/2006.

About the performers.

John Reischman established himself as a top-ranked mandolin player in the late 70s and early 80s through his work with the cutting edge Tony Rice Unit and eclectic Good Ol' Persons, two renowned acoustic bands in San Francisco. His mastery of jazz, bluegrass and various Latin styles is well documented on recordings of those bands and his solo album, "North of the Border" (Rounder). In recent years, John has made his home in Vancouver and has continued to tour and record in a wide variety of settings, including an appearance on the Grammy-winning "True Life Blues: The Music of Bill Monroe" (Sugar Hill).

The Seattle-based John Miller, known for his unique, propulsive fingerstyle guitar playing, has written extensively in recent years in the Latin-jazz genre. He first came to attention in the early 70s as the bassist for bluegrass iconoclasts Country Cooking. After two albums on Rounder with that innovative band, Miller recorded five critically acclaimed albums on Rounder and Blue Goose that showcased his brilliant technique ina range of settings from country blues to Tin Pan Alley and original compositons.

Rich DelGrosso is a specialist in blues mandolin, with an emphasis on the styles of Yank Rachel, Howard Armstrong and Johnny Young. A truly treat player and teacher, he has taught music for over 25 years. He has performed in venues as far west as the Blue Café in Long Beach, CA, in the Mid-West at Rosa's in Chicago, The Soup Kitchen Saloon in Detroit and east to Passim's in Boston. Festival dates have ranged from the Missouri Valley Blues Fest, Davenport Iowa; the Border Festival, El Paso, Texas; the Sound Advice Blues Fest in Fort Lauderdale; and the Sanremo Blues Festival, Sanremo, Italy. For 10 years he coordinated the Handy Award-winning Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop: Bluesweek in Elkins, West Virginia, teaching classes in bottleneck slide, mandolin, and blues band labs. He has also taught at the Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop and served on the faculty of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the California Coast Music Camp.

Eva Scow was born in Fresno, California, to a Oaxacan mother and an American father.She began playing music at a young age, starting on the piano at age 4. Soon after, she began studying mandolin with Evo Bluestein and classical violin. In addition to Lyquid Amber, Eva plays in the Brazilian group,Tocano. "Eva is incredible. In just 16 short years she has completely absorbed the Brazilian choro musical feel. She tears up all the classic tunes and can improvise with the best from the genre. It is very rare indeed and will be a joy to watch." Mike Marshall, master mandolinist

The Hot Frittatas play European musette style dance music. A trio of accordion, mandolin/fiddle, and guitar, they have appeared the last four years at the Santa Rosa Festa Italiana, sponsored by the Northern California Italian American Cultural Association. They have also played at the popular Cotati Accordion Festival and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, as well as numerous wineries and fine restaurants, such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Pasta Bella in Sebastopol. In addition to the traditional Ballo Liscio style of Italian music, they are equally adept at French café music, Klezmer, Latin American tango and choro music. With just a little encouragement, they can easily launch into Cajun and Zydeco styles as well. The Hot Frittatas are: Gus Garelick-mandolin & violin, Dennis Hadley-accordion, Don Coffin-guitar & mandolin.

Israeli-Italian mandolinist Avi Avital was recently awarded the first prize of the international competition for plucked strings "Città di Voghera" (Italy). He has played as a soloist with important orchestras and Baroque ensembles in Israel and abroad, including the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Milano, the Baroque Ensembles Arion and Fantazyas (Italy), the New Israeli Opera, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and others. He has played under the baton of distinguished conductors such as Mastislav Rostropovitch, Asher Fish, Phillip Antremont, Roberto Balconi, Andrew Lawrence-King and Oskar Gershonzon. His festival appearances include the 1st International Rondella Festival 2004 (The Philippines), "Les Muséiques 2005" (Switzerland), Ravenna Festival 2004 (Italy), and the 4th international EGM plucked strings Festival (Germany). Avi Avital has played over 25 premieres of mandolin pieces by contemporary composers such as Ramon Santus, Leon Schidlowsky, Claudio Lugo, Yehezkel Braun, Abel Ehrlich, Zvi Avni and others. He is often involved with a variety of performing arts - Contemporary Dance, Theatre, Video art and Electronic Music.

Aurora is among the last large mandolin orchestras in Northern California. Ever since it was formed in 1970 by Gino Pellegrini, Aurora ensemble has regularly performed for various festivals and community events on the Peninsula. Aurora’s greatest achievement was the open
ing for the San Francisco Symphony’s gala in 1984. Aurora has promoted fine art of mandolin music through diverse programs consisting of traditional, romantic, semi-classical, and ethnic pieces.

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