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.
An evening of traditional and original Persian Music with
MAHSA VAHDAT and ATABAK ELYASI
“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
Mahsa Vahdat 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. She and her husband, internationally renowned composer, instrumentalist and music educator Atabak Elyasi now live in the US.
Mahsa’s repertoire is inspired by regional and traditional music from Iran infused 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 speaking about Iranian society.
Recording on the highly regarded Norwegian world music label, Kirkelig Kulturverksted, her recent solo album, The Sun Also Rises has received rave reviews worldwide: “Mahsa Vahdat has masterfully proven how it’s possible for Persian music to continue evolving.” –Neil van der Linden, SONGLINES Magazine
An active campaigner for human rights, Mahsa is an award-winning ambassador of Freemuse, an independent international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. She has attracted considerable attention with her work on the record Lullabies from the Axis of Evil, and her collaboration with soul singer Mighty Sam McClain, A Deeper Tone of Longing (Love Duets Across civilizations).
She was guest soloist with the Women’s choir, Kitka in one of the highlights of our concert season last year.
“…hauntingly graceful, achingly poignant vocals” – World Music Central
This performance is part of our Immigrant Voices series, featuring music from recent immigrants to the US.
A 2ndannual Chanukah concert like no other with:
Book of J and special guests
We’re proud to present one of the hippest and most original Chanukah concerts anywhere, featuring everything from Yiddish melodies to new psalms and stories told through blues and traditional American music. We’ll also light the candles for the 6thnight of Chanukah.
WHAT IS BOOK OF J?
“…an expansive musical landscape that encompasses gothic Yiddish songs, Piedmont blues, queer politics, and Leonard Cohen covers”. – The New Yorker
With the intense vocal stylings of Jewlia Eisenberg (Charming Hostess) and superb, blues-based guitar style of Jeremiah Lockwood (Sway Machinery), Book of J is engaged in new psalmody, drawing from the rich biblical commentary of Black and White American traditional music, Yiddish songs of ghosts and police violence, and piyutim (paraliturgical songs) with a queer bent, plus a Leonard Cohen song or two. Expect old-time religion, radical politics, angels and demons, workers and bosses, diasporic languages, erotic longing, close-text reading, hard times resolved and destiny fulfilled. Also, singing along is good.
Three Northern California Americana – based duos join forces for an evening of outstanding and wildly diverse music.
The Duos will perform an innovative concert Nashville style. All onstage together, they will trade songs back and forth culminating in a rousing ensemble performance.
From China to Italy, and all over the U.S., Dirty Cello brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by vivacious cross-over cellist, Rebecca Roudman, Dirty Cello is cello like you’ve never heard before. Backed up by her guitarist Jason Eckl, the Dirty Cello duo performs down home blues with a wailing cello to virtuosic stompin’ bluegrass. Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!
Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan duo:
As one of the West Coast’s most popular folk duos, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan traverse a wide Americana landscape, stopping at wondrous musical landmarks along the way, tipping their hat to Laurel Canyon troubadours, string bands, blues divas, jazz cats, Village folkies and Bakersfield cowboys. Not many small combos can pull that off, but driven by Russell’s expressive voice and distinctive guitar style with Kaplan’s spot on accompaniment, it all comes together beautifully.
Meredith Axelrod and Craig Ventresco:
Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod and Craig Ventresco envision the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Axelrod’s vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.
Especially for the audience at St. Cyprians, George, Madeline, and Kaeli will be playing the heart-warming magic songs of christmas past and their own unforgettable original music. Delightfully present, Eurocana is a musical feast for the ears and eyes, a sonic synthesis of Americana, and, all things Français. Friends, Djangologists, and Francophiles, George Cole, Madeline Tasquin, and Kaeli Earle have a lot of things in common musically. They’ve played many shows together, collectively, and individually around The Bay and around the U.S. and Canada. Their new record “La Belle Epoque” is in the works. Their west coast summer tour was a big hit and they’re back at it again this winter.
George Cole guitar/vocal, Kaeli Earle on upright bass/vocal, and Madeline Tasquin vocal, guitar, and percussion.
Eurocana has a full complement of sound, three part harmonies delivered by three top-tier vocalists, and amazing instrumental virtuosity. The group swings with infectious joy, bringing audiences to their feet the old fashioned way. No canned beats or backing tracks they are in the moment all the way. Influenced by Django Reinhardt, Rock n’ Roll, Jazz, and French chanson (i.e.: Edith Piaf, Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel).
GEORGE COLE: Singer and breakneck acoustic guitarist George Cole lives in a musical world all his own…. a world in which Django Reinhardt, The Ramones, Nat King Cole and Doc Watson get equal billing with Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Willie Nelson and the Great American Songbook. Cole currently occupies the guitar chair for the David Grisman Quintet and has 2 releases on Grismans highly regarded Acoustic Disc Label. George was guitar teacher and mentor to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt of Green Day for 10 years in the East Bay. Cole, a San Francisco native and BAMMIE award winner brings an expertise to his guitar playing and singing that is filtered through Rock and Roll, Gypsy Jazz and All things American. The music he makes brings to mind the old adage Everything Old Is New Again. David Grisman tapped Cole to play on his most recent Sextet record and Cole in turn featured Grisman on his release George Cole Live. Jazz legend Keely Smith handpicked Cole to play guitar and sing duets with her on her last tour. Chris Isaak also had Cole lay down guitar tracks on his platinum selling Forever Blue release. Cole is currently performing at festivals, performing arts centers, top nightclubs, and vintage theaters. www.GEORGECOLE.net
KAELI EARLE is a singer and bass player from Bellingham, Washington. She came up as a classical cellist throughout high school, dedicating long hours to Bach and Beethoven before getting into jazz bass. After picking up bass, Kaeli jumped straight into gigging. She supported herself through freelancing and busking in her hometown. Kaeli moved to San Francisco joined gypsy-jazz musician George Cole touring the USA. Kaeli currently attends Berklee College of Music on full scholarship, writing and playing with her band in Boston. She returns frequently to Bellingham and the Bay Area to gig and play shows, inciting crowds with her high energy. Her music is a mix of jazz, rock, pop and soul.
MADELINE TASQUIN: Accompanying herself on piano, guitar and ukulele, Canadian-Californian songcrafter Madeline Tasquin weaves from jazz folk to soul ballads in odd meters to playful harmonic pop to delicately dark musical fairytales, delivering it all with a stage presence that radiates joy. With influences including Primus to Billie Holiday to Joni Mitchell to Chopin, it’s no surprise that her songs takes harmonic and rhythmic twists and turns, though whether performing solo or fronting one of her bands, she manages to pull this off without leaving anyone in the room behind
Tickets available soon!