Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 8, 2010

Worth a look

Music

Steve Reich

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich will see his "Mallet Quartet" have its Canadian premiere in April, and then head to Carnegie Hall next year. But first, it's coming to Stanford.

This Saturday, Jan. 9, the spirited young So Percussion quartet gives "Mallet Quartet" its U.S. premiere with an 8 p.m. performance at Dinkelspiel Auditorium. The piece, written for two marimbas and two vibraphones and commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts, will be part of an all-Reich program of works spanning 40 years.

The New York composer will join the group on stage, along with guest percussionist Jim Munzenrider, to perform his 1972 work "Clapping Music." Other pieces planned include "Music for Pieces of Wood" (1973) and "Nagoya Marimbas" (1994). A post-performance discussion is also planned.

Reich, one of the most influential contemporary composers around, is known for his experimentation in the worlds of Western classical music, jazz and other vernacular styles. "His music is a pillar of the repertoire for percussion groups," the members of So Percussion said in a statement.

Tickets for the Stanford performance are $40/$46 for adults and $10 for Stanford students, with other discounts available for groups, other students and people ages 18 and under. Go to livelyarts.stanford.edu or call 650-725-ARTS.

BOX

So Percussion gave an informal free concert earlier this week as a preview of Saturday's show at Stanford Lively Arts. Check out arts editor Rebecca Wallace's blog posting on the concert at blog.paloaltoonline.com/adlibs.

'Palo Alto Performs'

Ryan McDermott, a Los Angeles soul/rock/hip-hop musician, returns to his alma mater tonight, Jan. 8, to give a charity concert at Palo Alto High School.

Held at 7 p.m. in the school's Haymarket Theater, the concert costs $10 to get in. Proceeds will benefit Paly's choirs, Palo Alto's Downtown Streets Team, and the Marin County-based Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, McDermott said.

McDermott will perform with other musicians such as keyboardist Paul Smith and bass player Keith Hatchel. His songs include the gospelly "I Will Be Mended" and the rap-filled "Cycling Brain."

Paly is located at 50 Embarcadero Road. For more about McDermott's music, go to ryanmcdermottmusic.com.

Photos

Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan at sunset and Cook's Meadow all make appearances this winter at Mike's Cafe in Palo Alto, courtesy of nature photographer John Harrison. A photography show called "Water, Light and Textures" from Yosemite National Park is on display through Feb. 2.

Harrison, a Silicon Valley product manager who serves on the board of directors of the Palo Alto Camera Club, describes himself as "a landscape guy."

"I love capturing vibrant colors in sunrises and sunsets, textures in nature, the moon, flowing water and waterfalls," he said in a press release. One of his own favorite images is "Nature's Firefalls," in which the sunset light gives a waterfall a powerfully fiery effect.

Mike's Cafe is at 2680 Middlefield Road in the Midtown neighborhood of Palo Alto, open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more about Harrison's art, go to jharrisonphoto.com or call him at 408-368-1565.

Dance

This Saturday night, Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco will spend the evening trying to answer one question: What does it mean to be?

"Ser y estar" is the title of the evening-length work that the company will perform in Mountain View. Both Spanish words translate into English as "to be." Carola Zertuche, artistic director of Theatre Flamenco, choreographed a work that delves into many facets of what it means to be.

One segment, "In the Shadow of Shadows," dancers celebrate the pleasures of "being a woman" and "being culturally different," looking at women from around the world. Another, "Last Flight of the White Bird," depicts the struggles of trying to live and express oneself freely under a dictatorship.

One of the oldest dance companies in the Bay Area, Theatre Flamenco was founded in 1966. Founder Adela Clara created the group during "a flowering of cultural pride in the '60s that led to the revival of Latino arts," according to a group press release. The company regularly performs, tours and does community outreach.

The Jan. 9 performance includes guest artists such as Juan Siddi and Francisco Javier Orozco, also known as "El Yiyi." The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 500 Castro St. Tickets are $38 general and $33 for students and seniors. Call the box office at 650-903-6000 or go to www.theatreflamenco.org.

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