Things to do in Mendocino County … Mendocino Music Festival July 7-21, 2012
Mendocino Music Festival … music on the edge of the world
By Debbie L. Holmer
“All music is surrounded by silence.” – Walter Green
The big white tent is up and the yellow flags are flying. The Mendocino Music Festival – it all started 26 years ago with an eclectic collection of musicians and music – from classical to bluegrass to jazz and a little bit of everything in between.
It was 26 years ago that Allan Pollack, Susan Waterfall, and former principal bassoonist of the San Francisco Symphony Walter Green first presented a classical music festival in a tent on the Mendocino Headlands State Park. Today, Allan is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the festival, Susan is director of the Piano Series, and 22-year-old Julian Waterfall Pollack, who oversees the JazzSeries, is a pianist, composer and arranger. It is truly a family affair.
On Opening night, Saturday, July 7, Artistic Director and Conductor Allan Pollack starts this year’s Mendocino Music Festival off with The Festival Orchestra featuring violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn. Next evening on the bill is the Turtle Island Quartet, known for pushing forward the boundaries of musical evolution; they’ve revolutionized the notion of a string quartet, performing jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, funk, be-bop and rock. Wow! Monday night, July 9 features a double bill with New York based singer/composer/guitarist Becca Stevens and gypsy circus troubadours, Taarka. On Tuesday, July 10, the Sierra Hull & Highway 111 band moves between straight ahead bluegrass and new-grass with style and brilliance.
Experience the world of ancient Chinese music played by pipa virtuoso Wu Man, teahouse and Taoist lore, and more with Susan Waterfall, pianist and narrator. This delightful evening, “Music for a Teahouse,” (come early for tea), takes place Thursday, July 12. On Friday evening, the 13th of July, the Festival Orchestra will be performing Mozart, Ginastera and Tan Dun, a Pipa Concerto. And to end the first week with a big bang is none other than “Big Band Night” on Saturday, July 14 featuring vocalist Kathleen Grace — it will be a smashing evening with swingin’ and singin’ throughout the evening.
Tuesday, July 17 we mellow out a little bit with a Festival Chamber Orchestra concert conducted by Les Pfutzenreuter. Wednesday, July 18 The Festival Orchestra, along with Maestro Allan Pollack, will perform Mendelssohn and Mahler.
Called “the first truly great Irish band to arise from America” by the Boston Herald, Solas takes the stage on Thursday, July 19. On Friday, July 20, the Four-time Grammy® Nominee for “Best Vocal Jazz Album” Tierney Sutton Band entertains the Mendocino Music Festival audience.
The Grand Finale on Saturday, July 21 features The Festival Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Julian Pollack, performing his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra. This evening will be a highlight.
In addition to the evening concerts, there are afternoon Village Chamber Concerts, The JazzSeries concerts and Piano Series concerts. There will be a special Emerging Artist’s Program concert on Saturday, July 21, at 3 p.m. You won’t want to miss any of them.
Yes, the Mendocino Music Festival is truly magical, but it doesn’t just happen. It is also due to the dedicated years of hard work by volunteers (over 200), musicians, and all those who are involved year after year.
For more information and tickets, call 707-937-4041 or visit email@example.com
On Wednesday, July 11 at 8 p.m. in the Mendocino Music Festival tent, three-time Grammy winner Kris Kristofferson and acclaimed musician Bill Bottrell will present a special evening of musical entertainment in a benefit concert for the Hendy Woods Community to help keep Hendy Woods State Park open. Tickets are available online at www.hendywoods.org