Imagine waking to the sounds of birds and ocean waves outside your window. As you stroll through the lovely gardens about town, you hear the faint strains of trumpets and horns, wafting sweetly from the big white tent on the ocean bluff. You might even go inside the tent and listen to the rehearsals being conducted with a professional orchestra and soloists and marvel at the miracle that has been created in this magical place. Music on the edge of the world in Mendocino is something you will not find anywhere else.
Regardless of the style of music you enjoy, you are likely to find something compatible with your taste at the Mendocino Music Festival and its eclectic line-up of stars. Classical, jazz, bluegrass, Celtic, World Music—it is all there for the taking. Classical buffs are likely to enjoy the opera, Donizetti’s witty, light-hearted Don Pasquale, with world-class singers. The Festival Orchestra’s concerts will include the exotic tone poem Scheherazade, Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, Brahms Symphony No. 1, and the Verdi Requiem with the Festival Chorus. Musicologist Susan Waterfall will explore the history and music of Franz Schubert, in a three-day series. The Calder Quartet returns for those who love great chamber music. The Piano Series, which includes the duo ZOFO, presents piano recitals in the intimate setting of Preston Hall to give audiences the opportunity to get to know the performers and learn about the music.
On the first Saturday night, you’ll hear pioneering a cappella “rock band” The House Jacks whose music has been the soundtrack for NBC’s The Sing-Off, and whose arrangements were used for the smash hit movie Pitch Perfect. Julian Pollack brings his project and band J3PO, exploring popular songs from the later part of the 20th century as well as originals through the lens of “talkbox” vocals, jazz harmony, electronics, and synthesizers, with a nod to contemporary music production. Country and bluegrass fans have a real treat in store—the double whammy of country singer Rita Hosking and traditional folk singer Laurie Lewis. The San Jose Taiko Japanese drummers offer a different kind of excitement with their heart pounding, vitally rhythmic style. Gospel soul singer Zoe Ellis is a phenomenon of epic proportions. This year’s Festival Big Band will feature vocal phenomenon Kim Nalley, who has been called “the most promising jazz and blues vocalist of our time”. The annual opening gala Sostenuto, produced and presented by Fedele Bauccio,
The annual opening gala Sostenuto, produced and presented by Fedele Bauccio, founder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company, has become a highlight for gourmet diners and a celebration of the new Festival season. This year the party, on July 7, will have a New Orleans theme, in both food and music. Sostenuto is held at Linda and Fedele Bauccio’s spectacular cliff-top residence and offers gorgeous food that is as delicious as it is artistic.
The 2017 Mendocino Music Festival starts on Friday, July 8, and concludes on Saturday, July 22. For tickets and information contact (707) 937-2044 or www.MendocinoMusic.org
By Marcia Lotter