This year’s Mendocino Music Festival has a spectacular line-up of concerts with music to suit nearly every taste. Classical and jazz events are interspersed throughout the two-week time frame. Sweet Honey in the Rock® is a Grammy Award-winning group of African American women whose a cappella spirituals and gospel music preserves the African American traditions while addressing the critical issues of our time. Beau Soleil with Michael Doucet is a spellbinding Cajun group with New Orleans jazz, Zydeco, and bluegrass.
The annual Big Band concert features blues legend Kim Nalley in a tribute to Aretha Franklin. Ruthie Foster, a singer-songwriter from rural Texas, mixes a wide palette of American folk songs and is often compared to Bonnie Raitt.
If your preference is classical music, the featured composer this summer will be Johannes Brahms in lectures and chamber music. The grand Fourth Symphony of Brahms will be performed, as well as the sparkling opera “The Elixir of Love” by Donizetti and Beethoven’s joyous Ninth Symphony with full chorus and soloists. The piano series features Bay Area phenomenon Robin Sutherland, Robert Schwartz, and an afternoon of songs by baritone Mario Diaz-Moresco and pianist Spencer Myer. Internationally acclaimed pianist Stephen Prutsman will join the Festival Orchestra for Mozart’s sublime 21st Piano Concerto, and Spencer Myer will bring his warm, intelligent interpretation of the Piano Concerto of Robert Schumann to Festival audiences. The Calder String Quartet will be presenting the music of Ravel and Beethoven. Other concerts will offer Respighi’s “Pines of Rome,” Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” and Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto.
Besides all the music, there is a special wine tasting with CORO, dinner at the Ledford House, and the annual extravaganza dinner Sostenuto put on by Fedele and Linda Bauccio, in the gardens of their own seaside home. For more information about this summer’s Festival, check the website at www.mendocinomusic.org or call the office at (707) 937-2044.