The Neighborhood Concert Hall
Since 1981, SF Live Arts at Cyprian’s (formerly Noe Valley Music Series) has earned a reputation as one of the most diverse and innovative music/performance series in the Bay Area.
The series has garnered praise for its programming of nationally and internationally known musicians (many who’ve won Grammys, Academy Awards, Mac Arthur “Genius” Grants and Guggenheim fellowships) and Bay Area performers of the highest quality. Founded by jazz flutist, Larry Kassin, SF Live Arts depends on grants and donations to bring their special blend of international and local musical talents to San Francisco.
Our Immigrant Voices series continues!
Mahsa Vahdat (Iran) and Van-Anh Vanessa Vo (Vietnam)
Saturday May 4, 2019
$25 door / $22 advance
We are honored to be hosting this groundbreaking performance, as these virtuoso performers from Viet Nam and Iran collaborate for the first time! Each will perform solo, together and with Vanessa Vo’s ensemble.
“Vo pushes the envelope of the past, engaging sounds and complex, multi-layered concepts to unfurl new spaces for the music she loves.” Tom Huizenga, NPR
An award-winning performer and virtuoso on 16-string dan tranh (zither), voice and other traditional instruments, Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is also an Emmy Award-winning composer who has performed at Carnegie Hall, Zellerbach Hall,Lincoln Center, the Olympic Games Music Festivaland more recently, with artists such as Terry Riley and Kronos Quartet.In this performance Voand Vahdat will brilliantly fuse vibrant Vietnamese string and percussion instruments with haunting Persian influenced vocals. Vo and her ensemble will also take the audience on a journey to Vietnam through music — and the culture behind it. Masterfully combining her traditional Vietnamese foundation with new structures and compositions, she was composer and arranger for the Oscar® nominated documentaryDaughter from Danang.
“The Iran born singer Mahsa Vahdat has one of the most beautiful voices in the universe. So intense, so mystic, so passionate, it can express the deepest longing, sorrow and pain that exists.” – LIRA Magazine
Internationally beloved vocalist, Mahsa Vahdat is inspired by regional and traditional music from Iran, which she infuses with her unique and resilient artistic sensibility. Her song lyrics are mostly mystical and love poems by great Persian poets like Hafez, Rumi and Saadi, who lived several centuries ago, as well as works of contemporary Iranian poetry. Kronos Quartet’smost recent album Placeless,featuring Mahsaand her sister Marjan,has risen to the top of the World Music charts. She first attracted considerable worldwide attention with her work on the record Lullabies from the Axis of Evil.
Mahsa was trained in classical Persian singing and regional folk music by master musicians in Iran. After the Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, public female singing was banned. To this day, female singers can only perform for authorized women-only audiences or alongside a male voice, and can never perform solo in public. This situation has led to her award-winning work as an ambassador for Freemuse, an independent international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide.
MISNER & SMITH and MAURICE TANI
Saturday May 11, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
$22 door / $18 advance
An evening of great harmonies, clever and poignant original songs and strong & varied lead vocals, as two of the Bay Area’s great duos (Maurice will be joined by Mike Anderson on bass) perform the first in a series of concerts honoring Marlene Aron.*
Misner & Smith’s music is a combination of soaring vocal harmonies, tight instrumental arrangements, and story-filled, poetic songwriting, adding up to some of the most electrifying music on the scene today. The band’s sound harkens back to the bedrock of American rock & folk, but the diversity of styles and genres are one of the things that set M&S apart. They can shake the walls like a freight train and then quiet the room to a whisper in a single song.
With two singers who could easily lead a band independently, Sam and Megan sing with one voice, with music that captures longing and belonging in the same moment. Their vocal blend, lyrical potency, and diverse songwriting make this duo one of the most unique and beloved bands around. The award-winning original songs range from folk to rock to Americana to country, but essentially are something all their own, defined by the stories that each song tells.
Misner & Smith create an extraordinarily full sound for only two people, and tour extensively both in the U.S. and overseas. Headlining regularly at venues such as the Freight & Salvage, and the Palms Playhouse, they have also appeared at The Kate Wolf Music Festival, San Francisco Folk Festival, and can be heard on radio dials all over the world.
Singer-songwiter Maurice Tani will be celebrating the release of his eighth album — his second on the Little Village label, “THIS IS IT!” recorded live at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage this past summer.
Known for his wry/rye-to-romantic songwriting, agile guitar style and expressive singing, Tani’s particular flavor of Americana is a broad spectrum tincture of influences to cure what ails you. While rooted (at times distantly) in country music, his writing is centered on an urban-western perspective; short musical narratives of life on the left coast; a sort of cinema for the blind.
“I was actually blown away. Maurice Tani writes songs that sound at once familiar, ethereal and beautiful. … songwriter’s songwriter with reoccurring themes and his own life experiences, a mournful world critics to date have rushed to categorize as “country music.”
– Robert Sproul, No Depression Magazine
*Marlene, an indispensable part of our SF Live Arts family for decades and an internationally respected artist was sadly struck and killed while walking in a San Francisco crosswalk last Fall. We wish to thank The East Bay Community Foundation and Hillary Perkins for helping to fund these concerts in her honor.
Tickets available soon!
Charming Hostess and Trio Pizzicato play the music of Jewish and Italian immigrants.