Harry Bernstein is no stranger to the challenges of organizing live events. For the past 15 years or so, the retired TV producer and head of development for long-shuttered online retailer reel.com has been hosting intimate performances by Tuvan throat singers, modern classical composer David A. Jaffe and countless other artists at his home in Berkeley.
But when Bernstein was in 2019 asked to curate a festival for the 25th anniversary of Other Minds, the new and experimental music organization, he had no idea of the difficulties he would face.
“It was originally scheduled for March 2020,” Bernstein says. “We were set to go. The program guide was printed. We were selling tickets. And then, boom, the world changed. I was a little over-optimistic because I rescheduled it twice thinking that the pandemic was coming to an end. Now, I’m confident that the festival is going forward, but up until a month ago, I was holding my breath.”
Bernstein will have the chance to more fully exhale when Other Minds 25 gets underway on Oct. 14 at the Taube Atrium Theater, the event space situated within the San Francisco War Memorial Complex. The four day festival, subtitled “Moment’s Notice,” boasts a jaw-dropping lineup of living legends and young talents from the world of avant-jazz.