Storm Large has tackled rock and roll (including a stint here in San Francisco), but now she's mostly known as a diva of jazz, pop, and cabaret. She's been part of Portland's Pink Martini and, while we're name-dropping, her memoir was featured by Oprah. She's got a voice as powerful as her name, and she'll be performing in several spots around the Bay Area. Details and ticket information here.
Presidio Officer's Club Grand Opening
Bay Area jazz bassist and composer Marcus Shelby helps kick off the opening weekend of the newly renovated Presidio Officer's Club. Known for his big-band work, Shelby's compositions reflect his well-researched take on African-American history. Don't miss this chance to experience a local legend, at a new venue, for free. Other performers in the opening week include the Alexander String Quartet and Cascada de Flores. Details and ticket information here.
Inara George and Van Dyke Parks with Awesöme Orchestra
Inara George, one half of the duo the Bird and the Bee, grew up as the daughter of the late Lowell George—the heart and soul of the L.A. band Little Feat. After her father died, the producer and songwriter Van Dyke Parks remained a family friend, and in 2008, George and Parks teamed up for a collaborative album titled An Invitation. In a two-night stand at Z Space, the two perform songs from that album accompanied by the Awesöme Orchestra, a group of fun-loving musicians who drink beer at rehearsals and perform "everything from Berlioz to Björk," and aerial choreography by Lexi Pearl. The shows, which benefit the orchestra, should prove stimulating and unpredictable under the creative direction of founder and conductor David Möschler. Details and ticket information here.
Macario, a folk tale about hunger written by the mysterious B. Traven, will be dramatized by one of San Jose’s oldest theater companies, the excellent Teatro Visión. The run includes an Oct. 11 gala performance with tickets costing $45 each. On the flip side, the matinee on Sunday, Oct. 12, is only $15. Details and ticket information here.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
The massive three-day festival of free live music returns with another stellar lineup sure to attract huge, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Golden Gate Park. Along with perennial returnees Lucinda Williams (pictured), Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, John Prine and Robert Earl Keen, this year's lineup includes fun curveballs like Sharon Van Etten, Deltron 3030, Yo La Tengo, Social Distortion and Built to Spill, among many, many, many others. The crowds are large and the bottlenecks between stages are many, but the lineup is fantastic—and thanks to late founder Warren Hellman's insistence that the festival be free, you can't beat the price. Details here.