February 8, 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of the first concert presented by San Francisco Live Arts!
I’d like to send a big shout out and thank you to all our friends who have been so great about coming to our concerts and supporting us and all the extraordinary performers we’ve presented throughout these many years.
We hope you’re staying safe and observing all precautions for Covid.
Our series started at the Noe Valley Ministry on February 8, 1981 with a concert by saxophonist Bishop Norman Williams. Originally called Noe Valley Jazz the first series of concerts was held on Sunday afternoons. Bobby McFerrin (with Mark Little) performed two months later. That fall, we switched to Saturday evenings and rechristened it as The Noe Valley Music Series (at Noe Valley Ministry). For the next 30 years we featured many great international and local artists (Bill Frisell, Warren Zevon, Joan Baez, Jesse Winchester, Gil Scott-Heron, & so many more). 10 years ago (due to renovations at NVM) we moved to St. Cyprian’s at Turk & Lyon and continued our great series there, renaming it SF Live Arts at Cyprian’s. We have featured an enormous range of performers -comedians, actors, dance companies, monologists, & visual artists in addtion to, of course, musicians. In fact, we’ve presented a full range of MEGOT performers: Mac Arthur Genius, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winners over the years, Here’s one of our flyers from 1984 (look at those ticket prices!)
We’ve always prided ourselves in presenting top performers in an intimate concert setting at very reasonable prices and will continue to do so (hopefully starting sometime this year).
We’ll be looking forward to having performers we’ve had to cancel, so look out for Trance Mission, Ancient Future & Noah Gundersen, along with others we love, like David Jacobs-Strain, Diana Gameros, Van-Anh Vanesssa Vo, Mahsa Vahdat and many more at our venue in late summer or fall. AND we’ll celebrate the 40th Anniversary of our concert series! With that in mind, we’re planning on doing some shows back at the Noe Valley Ministry (our original venue) as well as at our home venue, St. Cyprian’s Church.
We look forward to seeing you and hearing some great music at our venues next year!
Thanks again for all your support.
Take Care & Stay safe,
Larry Kassin & the SF Live Arts crew
SF Live Arts, formerly known as Noe Valley Music 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.
Over the last 16 years the series featured the first concert hall performances of: Bobby McFerrin, Voicestra, Turtle Island String Quartet, The Modern Mandolin Quartet, Trance Mission and The Bobs.
Besides introducing artists destined for wider recognition, the series has featured an enormous range of world music, acoustic rock, roots, jazz, avant-garde, blues, bluegrass and folk performers ranging from Joan Baez, Warren Zevon, T-Bone Burnett, the Subdudes, The Persuasions, Gil Scott-Heron and Box Set, to Sudanese oud master Hamza El Din, The Necdet Yashar Ensemble (from Turkey), San Jose Taiko, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Kitka, Indian Classical flute master G.S. Sachdev and didgeridoo innovator Stephen Kent.
Folk greats Jesse Winchester, Victoria Williams, Claudia Schmidt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Utah Phillips and John Gorka have performed, as well as jazz greats such as Bobby Hutcherson, Jessica Williams, Dave Frishberg, Kenny Rankin, Bruce Forman, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Andrew Hill; acoustic guitarists Adrian Legg, John Fahey, Robbie Basho, Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi and Peppino D’Agostino and New Music giants AMM, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Room, Splatter Trio and many more.
Comedian/stage performers include: Geoff Hoyle, Marga Gomez, Dianne Amos, Will Durst, the Flirtations, and Paul Krasner. Performance ensembles have included members of A Traveling Jewish Theater, Opera Piccola, An Evening of song (15 different singers and groups each performing one song based on a given theme), Pamela Z, Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones.
This is just a short list of the many quality performers we’ve had over the years. We present 40 performances a year, most of them on Saturday nights, (with an occasional Friday concert).