SF Music Day 2020 Offers Fresh Music and New Performances

Paul Kotapish on October 20, 2020
Tom Stone, Elizabeth Dorman, and Amos Yang filming a performance in Herbst Theatre for SF Music Day 2020 | Credit: Marcus Phillips

InterMusic SF remains a tireless promoter and supporter of the Bay Area’s cornucopia of performers, composers, and presenters who focus on small-ensemble music, and its fall music festival is an annual highlight for lovers of classical, jazz, contemporary, and global music. SF Music Day 2020 carries on the tradition, although this 13th iteration bows to the necessities of the pandemic. Instead of fighting the crowds packing into Herbst Theatre, the Green Room, and the nooks and crannies of the War Memorial Veteran’s Building, enthusiasts can enjoy the concert in the comfort of their own homes.

According to a press release for the event:

This year’s free, daylong festival features exclusive premiere performances by ten stellar ensembles, prerecorded with professional video and glistening audio in the festival’s perennial home, the stunning Herbst Theatre. As this year’s Music Day moves online for the health and safety of audiences and artists, the highly-anticipated fall season gathering of musicians and listeners retains its inviting community spirit, seamless production aesthetic, and unflagging commitment to world-class performances.

At InterMusic SF we know that music can help us weather the toughest of times, and we believe it’s more important now than ever to support area musicians and remind each other of the transformative power of music to connect and inspire us all.”

Destiny Muhammad Trio filming a performance in Herbst Theatre for SF Music Day 2020 | Credit: Marcus Phillips

This year there is a focus on string-oriented ensembles of all sorts. Featured instruments include acoustic and electric guitar, jazz harp, upright bass, piano, violin, and cello, and contemporary string quartet. Also look for some virtuoso accordion playing, expert percussionists, and ensembles that cross from the classical world into jazz, pop, and fiddle music. Keep your ears open for many original compositions by ensemble leaders this year, too.

One benefit of this year’s format is that festival fans will have the opportunity to watch all of the acts, since they will be running sequentially rather than in concurrent time slots in different rooms. Cory Combs, executive director, along with other members of the InterMusic SF staff, will be introducing many of the ensembles, InterMusic SF will publish a digital version of the program book with artist bios, and artist programs later this week.

Motoko Honda filming a performance in Herbst Theatre for SF Music Day 2020 | Credit: Marcus Phillips

In the meantime, here is the tentative schedule for the day, although the organizers are quick to point out that the program is still in flux, so there may be some variance when the concert is broadcast on Oct. 25.

12 p.m. — Telegraph Quartet
Contemporary string quartet

12:30 p.m. — Ricardo Peixoto Trio with Marcos Silva and Brian Rice
Brazilian jazz

1:10 p.m. — Tom Stone, Elizabeth Dorman, and Amos Yang
Classical piano trio

1:45 p.m. — Mads Tolling & The Mads Men
Violin-driven, vintage music from the 1960s

2:25 p.m. — Rob Reich/Daniel Fabricant Duo
Original compositions inspired by gypsy jazz and early swing

3 p.m. — Destiny Muhammad Trio
Original compositions and arrangements of classic soul and jazz

3:25 p.m. — Del Sol String Quartet
Recent works by next-generation composers for contemporary string quartet

4 p.m. — Motoko Honda’s AIR Trio
Improvisation-infused original works for piano, percussion, and electric guitar

4:30 p.m. — Jeremy Cohen & Andrés Vera of Quartet San Francisco
Original compositions for string duo inspired by the rhythms of Latin America

5 p.m. — Terrence Brewer Group
Modern jazz classics

Telegraph Quartet filming a performance for SF Music Day 2020 | Credit: Marcus Phillips