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'Chamber Music' Has Never Been So Muy Grande

October 8, 2013

Grupo Falso Baiano — "Fake Bahians" — due at SFMUSIC DAY The size and scope of the fabulous (if weirdly named) "SFMUSIC DAY. LIVE + FREE" don't jibe with the meaning of chamber music ("serious music performed by a small group of musicians"), but the Oct. 19-20 event at the S.F. Conservatory is the work of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM).

On this sixth edition of the event, more than 30 ensembles from the Bay Area will all celebrate "Latin American connections." In the words of the organizers:

Disfrute nuestra música en vivo en un lugar lleno de energía y libertad, al estilo San Francisco. Explore las conexiones latinoamericanas que van desde las melodías tradicionales de nuestros países hasta las influencias contemporáneas en la música clásica y moderna. Este es un evento que le permitirá explorar la música que a usted le gusta, con la gente que usted prefiere, en un lugar en el que usted puede disfrutarla en vivo y con libertad.

SFFCM is marking its 15th anniversary with the free festival of everything Latin American, from folk and chamber music classics to contemporary ensembles. The purpose: "Presenting music in a way that is accessible to the widest audience possible."

Cascada de Flores to bring musical flowers to the Conservatory Concerts in various locations in the Conservatory are expected to run about half an hour each. Says festival curator Martha Rodríguez-Salazar:

The event will highlight the rich influences and history of Latin American composers and musicians across a range of chamber music including baroque, classical, jazz and experimental. Programming was curated with an ear to the complex and fascinating questions this theme raises — questions encompassing ethnicity, identity, aesthetics, migration and authenticity.

We wanted to highlight the wide range of music coming from Latin America, ranging from Early California missions to the latest influences and cross-pollination of experimental music happening right now in the Bay Area.

The festival will start at 8 p.m. on Oct. 19 with a concert featuring seven ensembles, including MUSA, martha & monica, Mariachi Nueva Generación Cage/Galindo, Angela Lee & Marc Teicholz Duo, Conjunto Nuevo Mundo, Cascada de Flores, and John Calloway, and Clave Unplugged.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, performances will run from noon, including a series of villancicos from the Mexican Baroque with the Vinaccesi Ensemble, classical chamber music selections with the Alexander String Quartet, danzones with Orquesta La Moderna Tradición, and a fusion of Afro-Cuban and jazz styles with the John Santos Sextet.

The festival includes a multidisciplinary panel discussion, "Influences and cultural identities in Latin American arts: How diverse Latin American cultures have affected and influenced the arts in California."

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].