Saturday, August 13, 2016

City College of San Francisco's Jazz Studies Program Needs More Students

Last May Bay Crossings profiled David Hardiman Sr. – the legendary thoroughbred race track Golden Gate Fields, where he presides as the bugler. He also happens to be Prof. Emeritus of Jazz Studies at City College of San Francisco.

We recently learned that his son, David Anthony Hardiman Jr., is sending out an urgent appeal for students to register for courses he teaches at CCSF before August 16:

Jazz Band/Stage Band and Jazz/Rock Improvisation.

Both classes have produced stellar players in the past, but the program is not getting the support it needs to continue this fall. All promising young musicians are encouraged to sign up.

Details can be fournd here:  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

VENDETTA: Casual Elegance

VendettaMen’s Apparelwhere living well is the best revenge – is a handsome well-appointed men’s fashion boutique located at the lobby level of San Francisco’s legendary Fairmont.

Bespoke service is key here, making this destination a far cry from the usual hotel retailer.

While of modest size, Vendetta’s range of fashion offerings is impressive – everything a man could want from Italian clothing and accessories to pre-embargo Cuban cigars from the 1950’s.

An added delight here is the store’s cigar smoking room, providing a stunning view of Nob Hill and the California Street cable car line. Besides featuring rare vintage cigars, Vendetta also has a broad selection of today’s most popular brands. Competitively priced cigar cases and related items are a staple of the inventory at Vendetta. 

Men – and/or those who love them – can find leather goods from Moore and Giles; Persol sunglasses;  S.T. Dupont lighters and accessories;  pima cotton knitwear from Left Coast Tee; neckwear from Massimo Bizzocchi and Dolcepunta of Italy; outerwear from Beretta of Italy and caps and hats from Borsalino. A variety of Jack Victor sports coats are also on hand.

The Vendetta experience is curated by its founding owner -  Bruce Rothenberg – who is always on hand to attend to the customer’s personal needs.

Open Tues.-Sat.12:30-7:00 pm or by personal appointment. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

More on Legendary Trumpet Players: SF Writer Profiles Lee Morgan

As we noted earlier, Pink Martini's Gavin Bondy has great chops and may well be on his way to a legendary career. The San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera both have outstanding trumpet players in their own right, and even some former players have found a way to stay engaged with this exotic instrument. 

Jeffery S. McMillan, for example, played the horn before going to work for the as an archivist for the New York's Metropolitan Opera. He's now working with SFO's media relations department, and that's how we became acquainted with his engaging biography of Jazz great, Lee Morgan. 

His book, Delightfulee, has won praise and awards from leading jazz experts and we found it to be a very entertaining read. this is the first biography to seriously examine Morgan's vast contributions to jazz, both as a performer and as a composer. Thanks to exclusive access to Lee Morgan's now-deceased brother, McMillan is also able to provide unparalleled insight into Morgan's personal and family life.

Cover photo by Francis Wolff © Mosaic Images

"By the time of his death, at thirty-three—murdered in a New York City club by his girlfriend during a gig—Morgan had begun a new phase of his career, experimenting with freer-forms of musical expression," says McMillan. "It is my hope that this work will address the need for greater attention in the literature to this magnicent and inuential artist. If it can stimulate interest in Morgan’s legacy and attract newcomers to his music, all of the effort will have been worth it."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Intoxicating Evening with Pink Martini and SF Symphony

Touring this season with the innovative and always entertaining pop chamber orchestra, Pink Martini, is Storm Large and Ari Shapiro. Both were engaging when they performed with the San Francisco Symphony on July 28 in what appeared to be a sold out house.

Storm, as many Cultural Currents readers know, lives LARGE. She is not only a singer, but also an author and playwright who gained national prominence ten years ago as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova.

Shapiro is a multifaceted guy in his own right, chiefly known as a hell bent for leather news anchor and analyst for NPR.

The Symphony was in fine form, as it has been throughout the Summer Season. We were also very impressed by Martini’s cellist, Pansy Chang, and trumpet virtuoso, Gavin Bondy.