This week we welcome back as co-host KQED Youth Media Manager and music geek Ariana Proehl. Despite the fact that it's summer, we are overstocked with cool stuff: We didn't have a chance to talk about the incredible John Luther Adams festival, running July 26–30 at SFJAZZ (and outdoors, at Sutro Baths). It looks like a huge deal, with a world premiere by the Alaskan composer on the schedule — details here. And there's no place better to be for families than at the free 30th annual Berkeley Kite Festival, running July 29-30 at the Berkeley Marina. Details here. Now on with the show.
Aug. 11–13: San Jose Jazz Sumer Fest always features a lot of salsa — and this year, the woman from Benin, Angélique Kidjo, does her own tribute to the musical style. The gifted Cuban singer Daymé Arocena also delivers her intoxicating mix of rumba, Santeria and jazz, and the Bay Area's dance kings, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, is also there. But the festival embraces all kinds of music, with a strong hit of R&B and funk this year, with Maceo Parker, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic representing the past, and East Bay band The Seshen exemplifying the future. Traditional jazz lovers will be happy to catch bassist Eddie Gomez (in a quintet with George Cables, Randy Brecker, Javon Jackson and Jimmy Cobb), and B3 organ jazz master Dr. Lonnie Smith. Details here.
Aug. 4: One extra jazz note as the gifted ukulele player Taimane, who gets a huge sound with her three finger technique, follows her San Jose Jazz performance with a gig at Don Quixote’s in Felton, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, on Aug. 15. Details here. And then she's at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on Aug. 16. Details here.
Aug 3, 10 and 17: Who better to interpret challenging visual arts than poets? That's the idea behind Community Voices: Poets Speak at the The Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) — where every week a new poet offers their insights into the exhibition The Ease of Fiction, which presents the work of four African artists living in the United States. Poet Arisa White is the curator for the series, tapping fellow Bay Area members of Cave Canem (Latin for "beware the dog"), a poetry fellowship for African-American poets. As Ariana notes, what a beautiful and fun way to experience visual art — with a poet as your guide. Details for upcoming evenings (featuring Oakland poet George Higgens and former San Francisco Poet Laureate devorah major) are here.