KQED's Cy Musiker and David Wiegand share their picks for great events around the Bay Area this week.
The list is long this week for amazing stuff we couldn't fit in the show. Yiddish songbird Heather Klein premieres her new one–woman musical, Shanghai Angel, about her grandmother's emigration from Austria to Shanghai to America through Angel Island. It's Feb. 26 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Naatak opens the very timely play Airport Insecurity, a Trump-esque tale of an Indian techie stuck at an airport in immigration limbo. It's at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto, running Feb. 24-March 4. And for the ultimate in cool and classical, Mason Bates DJs and directs one of his Mercury Soul shows on Feb. 24, called Baroque & Beats at the DNA Lounge. Now for the show.
Feb. 24–25: Otis Taylor’s new album, Fantasizing about Being Black, is about the history of the African American experience, from the slave ships to the Mississippi Delta, and the blues music that was born of those influences. Taylor has always recognized that the blues are a form of protest music, and there's plenty of comment here on the racism that endures in America today. He's got a great band, too, with Anne Harris on violin. Details for his two shows at Biscuits and Blues are here.
Feb. 28–May 29: The French painter Claude Monet is most famous for his huge water lily paintings, done late in life. But we get a new perspective on the French artist in a show coming to the Legion of Honor called Monet: the Early Years, with 60 paintings demonstrating a period in the mid-19th century when the artist was part of a generation re-inventing painting. "I didn’t become an impressionist," the catalog quotes Monet. "As long as I can remember I always have been one." He was always, as well, a master of color and a lover of landscapes. What a treat to see this first major U.S. exhibition devoted to Monet's early works. Details for the show are here.
Feb. 24: The Oakland Symphony is presenting its annual concert celebrating world music traditions, and this year Conductor Michael Morgan sticks close to home with a program called Notes from Native California. Among the pieces is Big Sur: The Night Sun, by John Wineglass, featuring the voice of Ohlone/Chumash singer Kanyon Sayers-Roods, whose amazing soprano voice I first heard a few weeks ago at the Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland. Sayers-Roods told me she makes up her own songs, and quotes her mom on how they’re not traditional, but still authentic. “My mother goes, 'That is spirit. Those are our ancestors speaking through you. That is your culture being awakened. That is truth,'" Sayers-Roods said. "Because my mother and my grandmother have always shared a quote, 'When song, ceremony and dance stop, so does the earth,' and I too believe that." She's just one of the highlights for a concert that also features Shostakovitch's Ninth Symphony. Details here.