Playlist :: WOMEX 2015 Highlights


Posted by Judy Tsang, Director of Programming

During my recent travels, I made a stop at this year’s WOMEX conference in Budapest. Every year, WOMEX brings artists, agents, artist managers, and arts presenters from all over the world together; this year, WOMEX hosted over 2,500 delegates from 90 countries over five days of workshops, networking, and band showcases. There are always new and exciting bands to discover (and re-discover) at the conference. Here is a playlist and videos of some of my favorites from this year’s conference.

A-Wa

Three sisters from Israel who combine Yemenite folk singing with electronic dance music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3bjZlmsb4A

Tritha Electric
Funk- and rock-infused band fronted by Bengali singer/guitarist Tritha Sinha.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu3lNIKRtJ8

Artist Talk with Talib Kweli and Davey D

Artist Talk with Talib Kweli and Davey D

Talib Kweli and Davey D

Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli gave a pre-concert Artist Talk at Stern Grove Festival on August 16, 2015. Led by KPFA radio host Davey D, the interview explores Kweli’s activism and involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement, his collaboration with legendary MC Rakim, and the challenges of making music as an independent artist. Listen to the interview below.

Zakiya Harris – “Interplay” and Kids Camp

We met up with local singer Zakiya Harris during the last day of her songwriting Kids Camp at Stern Grove Festival. She spoke about being one of the seven local artists chosen to participate in this season’s “Interplay” local artist commission series, her dynamic sound and band, Elephantine, and more.

She’ll perform her new song this Sunday, August 16 when she opens for Talib Kweli at 2 p.m.


Interplay – Con Brio

We attended a rehearsal with local funksters Con Brio in their Oakland studio to hear the band’s (almost finished) new song “Wings of Love”, which was created as part of the Festival’s local artist commission series, titled “Interplay: Artists In Concert With Nature”.

When front man Ziek McCarter got his first wave of inspiration to begin the commissioned piece, he was – believe it or not – in nature! After a long morning walk the band began throwing ideas around, and they eventually crafted a slow, grooving piece.

But after attending the tUnE-yArDs concert earlier this summer at Stern Grove Festival, both McCarter and keyboardist Micah Dubreuil knew that slow wouldn’t cut it. Their goal is to make everyone in the Grove dance and they created a completely different, high-energy song that will debut on the Stern Grove Festival stage.

Check out the interview and learn more about one of our favorite local bands, who will open for funk legends Morris Day and The Time on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Stern Grove Festival.


Artist Talk at the Troc with SF Ballet Principal Dancer Lorena Feijoo

Prior to SF Ballet’s only summer appearance on the Stern Grove Festival stage, Principal Dancer Lorena Feijoo was interviewed by Dance Educator Mary Wood at an Artist Talk at the Troc. Listen below to hear about her thoughts on performing with San Francisco Ballet, and more. This talk was held on July 26, 2015 in the Trocadero Clubhouse at Stern Grove Festival.


Interplay – Bhi Bhiman

We asked local singer/songwriter and guitarist Bhi Bhiman to be part of the Festival’s local artist commission series, titled “Interplay: Artists in Concert with Nature”, in which seven local artists create pieces specifically for the Stern Grove Festival stage.

Bhi feels very comfortable in a place like Stern Grove, which he says reminds him of his hometown, St Louis. He wrote “Going Back Home” as a tribute to the feeling of missing your friends, your family, and everything that makes you feel “home.” For Bhi, his home is now in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter. Listen below to hear a preview of the song and learn about his creative process behind the commission. Come hear Bhi perform it live this Sunday, August 2 at Stern Grove Festival, when he opens for five-time GRAMMY-winning artist, Mary Chapin Carpenter.


Interplay – Kawika Alfiche of Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i

We caught up with kumu Kawika Alfiche of Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i at a Kids Day at Stern Grove, where a group of 100 kids learned the art of hula dance.

Hālau ‘o Keikiali’i was commissioned by Stern Grove Festival, as part of the “Interplay: Artists In Concert with Nature” series, to create a new work to debut this summer. Alfiche and the Hālau are crafting a 30-person hula dance and musical piece that represents both their hometown of San Francisco as well as the natural elements of Stern Grove itself.


Grove Gourmet – Anchor Brewing picnic contest

There are few things more “summer” than Stern Grove Festival, but beer and picnics on Independence Day weekend come pretty close! In celebration of the Fourth of July, we’re teaming up with our sponsor Anchor Brewing Company for the first Grove Gourmet Picnic Contest of the season.

Bring your favorite patriotic or beer-themed picnic to the San Francisco Symphony’s performance at the Grove on Sunday, July 5. First place takes home two tickets to a San Francisco Symphony performance and a VIP brewery tour and tasting for 10 adults at Anchor Brewery. Second place wins 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 SaladServes 10
Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

  1. Soak diced red onions in red wine vinegar for at least 1 hour.
  2. Bring Anchor Summer Wheat® and vegetable stock or water to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes with bay leaves. Add potatoes and cook until soft.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl (red onions should be removed from red wine vinegar), add potatoes.
  4. Add salt, pepper, mustard powder, paprika, and lemon juice/red wine vinegar to taste.

Anchor IPA Beer Bread – Serves 12

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, grease baking pan (9” x 4.5” pan or similar)with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
  2. In a bowl or standard mixer add self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, dill. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Add beer and lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar and mix until moist.
  4. Transfer dough to baking pan. Top with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
  5. Bake 40 minutes to 1 hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  6. Top with fresh dill, herbs and sea salt.

Anchor California Lager Kebobs – Serves 10

Ingredients:
3 lbs. of boneless organic chicken breast
Chicken Marinade: 1/4 cup chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, basil; salt, pepper, lemon juice, red chili flakes to taste; dash of grape seed oil and 2 12 oz. cans/bottles Anchor California Lager®.
1 lb. red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch square pieces
1 lb. red onion, cut into 1-inch square pieces
1 lb. wild mushroom or crimini mushroom, cut into 1-inch square pieces
10 10-inch wood skewers (soak in cold water for up to an hour)
Aluminum foil 

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a large bowl, whisk until emulsified
  2. Cut chicken breast into medium size squares. Add to marinade and let sit for 2 hours (8 hours maximum)
  3. Pre-heat grill or oven at 375 degrees
  4. Wrap foil around bottom of skewers up to 4 inches (this will prevent skewers from breaking apart on grill)
  5. Skewer vegetables and meat in desired order (red pepper, chicken, red onion, chicken, mushroom, chicken, red pepper)
  6. Grill skewers on each side until cooked (internal temperature for chicken should be 165 degrees)

Liberty Ale Peanut Butter Brownies – Makes 3 dozen cookies (medium-sized)

Ingredients:
5 Eggs
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®

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl mix cream, peanut butter, butter, Liberty Ale® and a dash of salt
  3. Beat eggs and vanilla extract (or vanilla bean) until combined
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder and a dash of salt
  5. 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.

Interplay — Hot Club of San Francisco

Jazz Club or Outdoor Park, Hot Club of San Francisco Welcomes All


 

Hot Club of San FranciscoWhat words come to mind when imagining Stern Grove Festival? For Hot Club of San Francisco, the words “beautiful, outdoors, open, clean, and fresh” inspired their most recent song, crafted for the Stern Grove Festival stage as part of the “Interplay” commission series. Vocalist and guitarist Paul Mehling of this local gypsy jazz band shared with us the challenging process of translating these words into a sound that evokes the unique experience of being “In Concert with Nature” at Stern Grove.

“Using the copious amount of time we spend in rented vans while on tour together, we managed to brainstorm some ideas that were almost unanimously agreeable to all of us, which we then slowly molded into the song’s now ‘finished’ state,” says Mehling of their newest song, “Groovin at the Old Stern Grove”.

Hot Club understands, but embraces the challenges in working with the environment of a concert space, whether it is a jazz club, on the street, a full stage, or among towering eucalyptus trees. Not every band can adapt their sound to the claps of a crowded jazz hall and keep up with the rhythm of the wind blowing through 100-foot trees, but Hot Club looks forward to the environment of Stern Grove advancing their sound.

Mehling feels that the quintet is uniquely aware and involved with the environment of a venue. “Since our goal is to somehow reach and touch our audience, we need to be acutely in tune with our environment and how best to circumvent any blockages which might preclude us from connecting with listeners.” This could be something mechanical (like sound system issues), something personal (a broken heart), or something out of their control, like fans unfamiliar with their style of music.

Groovin at the Old Stern Grove scoreGypsy jazz, which promotes the swinging sounds made popular by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in 1930s Paris, carries a welcoming aura in each twang and pick of a guitar. Fans are drawn in by its lively rhythm, and Mehling and the crew take the next step in treating each audience member as a friend that they haven’t yet met. “While audiences may or may not be familiar with us, or our genre of music, we hope to establish an interplay and connection with them that they won’t find anywhere else, and which will stay with them.”

The five members of Hot Club take being San Franciscans—and the area’s influences and long list of contributions to the evolution of jazz—very seriously. These ties are evident while listening to their new song, where nods are given to local insider jokes like “vegan/pagan hipsters” and “high-tech chief execs” grooving together at everyone’s favorite urban getaway, Stern Grove.

Mehling says he and the rest of Hot Club feel a huge sense of indebtedness to the people in the Bay Area jazz scene that they’ve learned from, been inspired by, and have been a part of for more than 27 years. “We are extremely proud to not only be a part of this artistic tapestry, but we see our role in preserving and pushing it forward as an integral part of our purpose.”

Hear Hot Club of San Francisco perform “Groovin at the Old Stern Grove” and more at Stern Grove Festival this Sunday, June 28 when they open for one of America’s favorite lyricists, Randy Newman. The show kicks off at 2 p.m.

June, 2015 Stern Grove Festival