Every Sunday this summer, Stern Grove Festival presents a free yoga class in the West Meadow, thanks to our friends at Office Yoga. This Sunday’s class will be led by instructor Michelle McManus, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. before the concert with Ziggy Marley & Jennifer Johns. Get to know Michelle and what you can expect from the class this week.
Sessions are beginner and kid friendly. Spare mats available at a first come, first serve basis.
How did you start teaching yoga?
I went through an awful break-up, and at the time, the only thing I knew that I loved to do was practice yoga. I ended up in Stephanie Snyder’s class at Urban Flow serendipitously and by the end of class I knew I had to sign up for her teacher training. After which everything just clicked!
Why yoga? Why not Zumba? Or TRX?
I practice both yoga and TRX! They are excellent parallels and really support each discipline. Yoga is my first love, though, for the sake of the sacred texts. The sacred texts are the guiding factors to the physical practice of yoga, and they have improved my life beyond description. For a type-A rule follower, they provide just the right amount of guidance, and freedom, in my life.
What do you LOVE MOST about teaching yoga?
I love the a-ha moments. As soon as a student locks into a pose, or takes a huge sigh, or just softens a little bit more… You can see they’ve found refuge. It’s such a magical moment!
What do you LOVE MOST about teaching Office Yoga?
Office Yogis are the BEST. They’re always smiling and excited to practice.
What can Stern Grove Festival Yogis expect from your class?
Movement, breath work, and most importantly, fun times. I’m a high energy teacher—I’ll be sure to perk you up before Ziggy Marley, that’s for sure!
Anything else you would like to share?
My spirit food is Swiss Chard.
Join us at the Impulse Department at Macy’s Union Square on Thursday, June 21 for a shopping party and check out the latest in festival fashion with local blogger Mandana Ansari of Girl and the Bay. Enjoy sips and sweets plus great gift-with-purchase treats!
While you’re there, enter for a chance to win* reserved picnic table seats and parking for you and five of your friends at Stern Grove Festival’s July 1st concert featuring M. Ward and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.
*No purchase necessary to enter. See store for complete details.
Calling all Festival Foodies!
This summer, Stern Grove Festival is rolling in local food trucks every Sunday to round out your picnic in the Grove.
From samosas to sundaes, falafel to chicken and waffles, tacos to Thai, there’s something to tempt your palate. Stop by the West Meadow at every concert for an array of tasty treats!
You can also visit Tante’s in the Esplanade for classic festival fare like garlic fries, burgers, chicken skewers, and more.
Here’s the food truck line-up for this summer:
Food trucks are subject to change.
Yoga at the Grove
Every Sunday at Stern Grove Festival
This summer, Stern Grove Festival is excited to announce a new series of free on-site yoga classes, provided by local business Office Yoga.
Building off the Festival’s belief that the arts help strengthen our community, Office Yoga will provide a fun, active opportunity for people to connect with each other, nature, and themselves. Yoga classes in the natural beauty of the Grove are a perfect way to strengthen minds, bodies, and our community. And, as with all of the Festival’s programs, the classes are completely admission-free to the public.
Initially, Festival Executive Director Bob Fiedler approached Office Yoga to develop a plan for Festival staff to help ease stress in the whirlwind of activity leading up to the season. When Maryam Sharifzadeh, CEO of Office Yoga, met with Bob to develop a plan for the staff, they also saw an opportunity to provide free yoga classes for Stern Grove Festival attendees.
Maryam says, “I believe in Stern Grove Festival’s mission of providing affordable events for residents and visitors of San Francisco while also maintaining the cultural reputation of this city. I’m humbled to be collaborating with such a historic event and enhancing the on-site experience through yoga.”
Festival staff have benefited already from Maryam’s stress-relieving classes in our office. We’re excited to collaborate with Maryam and the entire Office Yoga team to share yoga with Festival audiences this summer.
ABOUT YOGA AT STERN GROVE FESTIVAL
When are the classes?
Yoga classes will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. before each Sunday concert, June 17 – August 19, 2018.
Where are the classes?
The West Meadow at Stern Grove Festival.
Who teaches the classes?
Classes will be taught by certified Office Yoga Instructors and other reputable teachers in the Bay Area:
June 17: Brandi Zorzy
June 24: Michelle McManus
July 1: Raquel Seeley
July 8: Cindy Raspillar
July 15: Neil Wadhawan
July 22: Chelseah Healey & Ege Sanli
July 29: Martin Scott & Ege Sanli
August 5: Betsy Peterson
August 12: Charlotte Birkett
August 19: Maryam Sharifzadeh
Who can participate?
- Anyone! No prior experience is necessary and all levels and ages are welcome.
What do I need to bring?
- Please bring your own yoga mat if you can. A limited number of yoga mats will be provided.
- Comfortable clothes and water.
We couldn’t me more happy to introduce the fourth and final artist featured in the 80th Season’s Local Artist Commission Series: Oakland-based pianist, rapper, emcee, and music historian Kev Choice. Together with a handful of talented musicians, the Kev Choice Ensemble will perform a never-before-heard song at their Stern Grove Festival performance this Sunday, August 27, when they open for the legendary Mavis Staples.
Pulling inspiration from the strength it takes to push forward during tough times, Kev Choice’s brand new song, “Strong As Us”, reminds us that there is more to come from love than from hate, and that those who band together during tough times are sure to prevail. Read on to learn more about Kev Choice as a musician, the Kev Choice Ensemble sound, and what to look forward to when you come to the closing concert of Stern Grove Festival’s 80th Season this Sunday.
SGF: Tell us a bit about yourself as a musician/performer. Where/when did you first begin practicing music, and where did your passion take you from there?
Kev Choice: I was exposed to great music just from listening to my mom’s records at an early age. I first started taking formal piano lessons at age 11 in 7th grade at Westlake Junior High School in Oakland. I was deeply dedicated to getting better and it led me to the Young Musicians Program at U.C. Berkeley. I was also writing poems and formulating my first raps at that time. My keyboard skills helped me be able to produce and write my first songs. From there I continued to perform in Jazz Band and Orchestra at Skyline High in Oakland while also doing hip-hop shows around town. After high school, my piano training helped me gain a scholarship to Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from there and then went on to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to obtain my Master’s degree in Piano Performance. After college, I came home and established myself on the local scene and then began to tour with artists such as Michael Franti and Spearhead, Goapele, The Coup, Lyrics Born, Zion I, Too Short, Lauryn Hill, and more.
SGF: What is the Kev Choice Ensemble? How did you form the group?
Kev Choice Ensemble is the band I formed back in 2007 as a vehicle to perform my original music that I produce, write, and arrange. I had just finished touring with Lauryn Hill, and had the confidence and inspiration to really go full steam pushing my own music and own style combining elements of hip-hop, jazz, soul, R&B, classical, funk, and other contemporary styles of music. I wanted to showcase some of the dope young musicians on the East Bay scene as well. I was playing a lot at that time, but other people’s music or in cover bands, and I didn’t want to do that the rest of my life. I wanted to get my music heard and spread my message because I felt it was as dope and valid as anyone else’s.
SGF: Who is in the Ensemble?
Currently my Ensemble consists of:
Kev Choice – Keys, synths, lead vocals
John “Omayga” Adams – Drums
Kenshay Gooden – Bass
Andrew Levin – Guitar
Daniel Riera – EWI, Flute, Sax
Viveca Hawkins – Vocals
SGF: What sort of music should the audience expect this Sunday?
We play a mixture of conscious Hip-Hop, Soul, Jazz, R&B, Funk, and other contemporary styles of music like Electronic and Trap.
SGF: Have you ever attended Stern Grove Festival to see a concert? If yes, what stood out to you about the experience?
I have and what stood out to me is just the amount of people in attendance and how people really have a great energy and come to enjoy the environment and the music. It’s a great atmosphere to perform in because people really appreciate the music and being surrounded by nature adds a beautiful dynamic.
SGF: What do you—as a performer—look forward to during your Festival performance?
I look forward to really giving a ton of energy to the crowd and really connecting with them, especially those who haven’t seen me perform. I want it to be fun, to showcase my band’s amazing musicianship and inspire and express with the message I try to convey in the music. I also look forward to exposing the new fans to my repertoire from my five albums that I’ve released and the new piece I’ve been working on. I also look forward to looking out and seeing all those beautiful people in the audience.
SGF: In what ways has living in the Bay Area shaped or influenced your music or musicianship?
Living in the Bay Area, especially Oakland, has influenced me in many ways as an artist and musician. With so many legendary artists from here and so many great artists here now, it really makes me push hard to create music at a high level to live up to that legacy and continue to push the boundaries of our scene. There is also a certain feel, that is associated with the Bay that is recognized around the world, influenced by funk, soul, hip-hop, gospel, rock and more. There is also the legacy of artists using their music to express their opinions or take on issues of social justice that we see in our environment. I definitely want my music to be the voice of the people in my community that I represent and love so dearly.
SGF: Tell us about your new piece, part of the Festival’s local artist commission series. What is the song title, and is there any story behind the piece, or anything special you’d like to share?
The new song is titled, “Strong As Us”. It’s just about me pushing forward through adversity and staying positive about everything I go through and equating it to what I see happening in our country right now. It’s pretty disheartening with the recent events in Charlottesville. I felt like there is a lot of negative energy surrounding this coming from the media and the government and hate groups. As an artist, I always want to use my music as a voice of a positive perspective and inspiration. Sometimes I feel like going out and being confrontational but I realize that that can lead to a dangerous and non-productive situation. I wanted to remind people that we are stronger united and together and spreading love is much more powerful than hate.
SGF: Tell us a bit about your creative processes. Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when starting a new piece? Do you have a general process you follow, or does the piece come together more randomly?
Musically, I love to listen to vinyl and old records. I’ve collected all genres of records since junior high school. I especially love music from the 70’s so I turn on records a lot to get inspiration. I also use many current forms of looking up music like Soundcloud, YouTube, and streaming sites. Lyrically, just what I go through in life and what I see happening in my community inspires me.
Sometimes I start by playing around on the piano or keyboard, trying to find a motif or progression. I use programs on my computer so I often search through sounds and drums and see if anything touches me. I could also be inspired by a sample that I find on a record.
SGF: Do you have any advice for younger musicians in the Bay Area who are looking to move forward with their careers?
My advice would be always work on your craft, always be a student and continue to learn. Stay up on all forms of current promotion, marketing, production, and watch the greats as well. Also, never get deterred, every artist has a different path to success and the best thing to do is stay persistent and patient.
SGF: Is there anything else you’d like to share with your current or soon-to-be fans?
This Monday, we were proud to stand alongside Wells Fargo, our longtime sponsor, as they celebrated the opening of their latest branch at 1183 Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, the fourth branch to open in San Francisco this year. At the opening ceremony, Wells Fargo presented a $50,000 grant to Stern Grove Festival as part of their long-running commitment to sustain the performing arts in the Bay Area. The grant funds the Festival’s 80th Season education and outreach programs.
“Stern Grove Festival and Wells Fargo have enjoyed an incredible relationship which has spanned decades,” said Bob Fiedler, executive director of the Stern Grove Festival Association. “During this time, Wells Fargo has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the Festival’s free concerts and arts education programs. These programs would not be possible without Wells Fargo’s ongoing investment in the community.”
As part of their Community Mural program, Wells Fargo also unveiled a new mural located inside the branch, depicting the history of the Ingleside neighborhood.
According a press release from Wells Fargo, “Through our Community Mural program, some branches feature murals that respect the history of local communities. Since the company is committed to strengthening local communities, we are glad to present a donation to a local community organization.”
And we are glad to partner with a company that cares about local arts institutions and their patrons. Thank you to Wells Fargo for its support of Stern Grove Festival’s mission as we celebrate our eighth decade!
This Sunday we’re partnering with Kaiser Permanente to promote a healthy body and a healthy mind. When you come to the Festival on Sunday, you’ll be treating your mind to the worldly, upbeat music of Amadou & Mariam and enjoying the natural beauty at Stern Grove.
So when you’re there treating your mind right, stop by the Esplanade to treat your body right with the help of Kaiser Permanente and Nutrition Health Coach Heather D’Eliso Gordon, RD, CSSD. Heather will lead a food preparation demonstration from noon to 1 p.m. in the Esplanade, featuring two summer dishes that are easy, fast, delicious, and sure to impress. Check out the recipes below and stop by on Sunday!
Summer Black Bean Salad
Time: 15 minutes
Makes ~8, ½ cup servings
1 clove of garlic, minced, then mashed with some course sea salt
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ avocado, mashed
2 ears fresh corn kernels ( cut them off in a bowl so they don’t scatter all over your kitchen)
1 orange bell pepper, diced (could be red or purple)
½ small red onion, chopped finely
1, 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed or 1½ cups beans cooked, from dry
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ ripe avocado, diced (the remaining avocado used for dressing)
¼ cup cilantro, chopped finely
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lettuce leaves to cover six salad plates
In a jar with a tight fitting lid, add the lime juice and avocado to the mashed garlic. Add chili powder and cumin. Mix all the other ingredients, with the exception of the lettuce and toss with the avocado vinaigrette. Season to taste. Scoop onto a bed of lettuce leaves for each plate.
This salad is rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, essential fatty acids and calcium.
Recipe adapted from Food for Health Blog, Dr. Preston Maring July 24 2013. Image courtesy of Leigh Angel (httpsgfe.st2vmKqX2). https://foodforhealth.kaiserpermanente.org/recipes/black-bean-salad/
Time: 15 minutes
Makes ~8, ¼ cup servings
3 large peaches, pit removed, diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients except cilantro and salt; mix to combine.
Add sea salt to taste, mix gently, then add cilantro and mix again. Enjoy as a snack with baked corn tortilla chips or as part of a main meal in a grain bowl or on top baked tofu, chicken, fish or shrimp.
This refreshing salsa is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and even calcium.
Recipe from: Dr. Rajiv Misquitta and Dr. Cathi Misquitta.Healthy Heart, Healthy Planet: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes and Tips to Reduce Heart Disease, Lose Weight, and Preserve the Environment Paperback – November 11, 2014. Image courtesy of Becky Striepe (http://sgfe.st/2waY6C2).
About the Author:
Heather D’Eliso Gordon, RD, CSSD
Heather has been a resident of San Francisco since 1994 where she completed her studies to become a Registered Dietitian in 2003. For the past 10 years, she practices as the Nutrition Health Coach for Kaiser Permanente’s Health Education Department in San Francisco. Heather coaches clients and patients on eating for health, weight management, chronic disease reversal and sports performance using a Food as Medicine approach. She also develops and facilitates engaging nutrition programs and cooking demonstrations for corporate wellness client. Her passion for healthy, whole, plant-based foods gives her an edge when coaching clients on eating optimally for overall health and easing chronic disease.
Prepared by Heather D’Eliso Gordon, RD, CSSD
Nutrition Health Coach, Sports Dietitian
Health Education Department, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco
Just to the south of the famed Napa and Sonoma wine regions lies the Carneros American Viticultural Area, whose proximity to the San Francisco Bay breeze produces stunning cooler-climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The region is home to dozens of highly praised wineries, but our favorite is none other than the Festival’s wine sponsor, Bouchaine Vineyards.
Bouchaine is a privately-owned boutique winery, which means they have the ability to experiment both in the vineyard and the winery. This also means that they truly care about their customers, and want to provide them with an exciting experience every time they come to visit.
This year, Bouchaine has been stepping up their offerings on-site with wine and food pairings in partnership with a variety of Bravo’s Top Chef stars at their monthly Chefs Series. Most recently, they brought in Angelina Bastidas (season 13) of Bin 36 in Chicago to bring together Bouchaine’s wines and her incredible culinary pairings to highlight the love affair between food and wine.
If you’re interested in learning more about this series, visit the Bouchaine website or call the winery directly at 707-252-9065 for more details.
There are few things more “summer” than Stern Grove Festival, but beer and picnicking comes pretty close. This weekend, we’re teaming up with our sponsor Anchor Brewing Company for the first Grove Gourmet Picnic Contest of the 80th season.
Bring your favorite beer-inspired picnic to the San Francisco Symphony’s performance at the Grove on Sunday, July 9. First place wins a private VIP brewery tour and tasting for 8 adults at Anchor Brewery. Second place will take home an Anchor merchandise gift basket.
Come prepared with enough to share with our judges! Anchor brewers in white coveralls will be in the Grove to judge picnic spreads between noon and 1:30 p.m. Be sure to let us know you’re entering into the contest by sharing an Instagram or tweeting a picture of your picnic and tagging #sterngrovefest and #RaiseYourAnchor.
Not sure what to bring? Here are some of delicious recipes for Anchor Brewing beer-centric bites, courtesy of Chef Kenneth Hernandez, Culinary Engineer and Founder of Collective Green SF.
If you’re of age, you can find the following tasty brews and others with Anchor Brewing’s Beer Finder.
|Anchor Summer Wheat Potato Salad – Serves 10
3 12 oz. cans of Anchor Summer Wheat® 3 cups vegetable stock or water
3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes cut to medium dice
2 bay leaves
1/2 red onion diced and quickly pickled in red wine vinegar
2 stalks of celery diced
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 oz. of mayo or vegan mayo
2 tablespoons mustard Salt pepper, mustard powder and paprika to taste
Lemon juice or red wine vinegar to taste
Anchor IPA Beer Bread – Serves 12
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sea salt or salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon fresh dill
1 12 oz. cans/bottles Anchor IPA™
1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or lime juice
1/4 Ghee, Butter or Vegan Butter
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, grease baking pan (9” x 4.5” pan or similar)with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
- In a bowl or standard mixer add self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, dill. Mix until evenly combined.
- Add beer and lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar and mix until moist.
- Transfer dough to baking pan. Top with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
- Bake 40 minutes to 1 hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- Top with fresh dill, herbs and sea salt.
Liberty Ale Peanut Butter Brownies – Makes 3 dozen cookies (medium-sized)
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate roughly chopped
1/2 Cocoa Powder
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or fresh vanilla bean
1 1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Liberty Ale®
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a bowl mix cream, peanut butter, butter, Liberty Ale® and a dash of salt
- Beat eggs and vanilla extract (or vanilla bean) until combined
- Add flour, cocoa powder and a dash of salt
- In a greased baking pan pour brownie butter and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.
All photos credited to Joseph Phillips Photography.