For one night only, the Bay Area’s own formidable jazz and blues singer Kim Nalley will sing Aretha Franklin’s hits, backed up by the powerful Festival Big Band. This reprise of last summer’s smash sensation Festival performance will be held in Moraga Hall, located at the Presidio Officers’ Club, on April 27. The event will also include food and drink from award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins and her newly opened Arguello.
“The Mendocino Music Festival is an unbelievable event,” said Fedele Bauccio, CEO and cofounder of the event’s sponsor, Bon Appétit Management Company, and a big fan of the two-week festival. “Like good food, good live music has the power to bring people together to create unforgettable memories. Kim performing Aretha’s songs plus Traci’s food is an experience no one should miss — it will give the San Francisco community a taste of what makes the Festival so special.”
The 17-piece Festival Big Band includes the Festival’s Allan Pollack, bandleader and saxophonist; famed drummer Ralph Humphrey from the Mothers of Invention (among others); and New York Jazz pianist and composer Julian Pollack.
Before the concert, guests will get to enjoy beer, wine, sangria, and select bites from neighboring restaurant Arguello. Overseen by award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins, in partnership with Bon Appétit Management Company and the Presidio Trust, Arguello features Mexican cuisine that captures the cultural heritage of the Presidio, as well as an outdoor patio and fire pit. The Presidio Officers’ Club hosts a regular schedule of free public programs, including live musical performances every Friday evening.
Food from 6:30; Music at 8 p.m.
$100 admission includes all of the above
Food at Arguello; Music in Moraga Hall at the Presidio Officers’ Club
Allan Pollack, Saxophone
Maestro Allan Pollack has guided the Mendocino Music Festival as Artistic Director and Conductor since the first note was played in 1987. Festival fans also know Dr. Pollack as a talented musician, soloing on the saxophone on nights he leads the fabulous Festival Big Band. His compositional skills come into play during the Festival’s Big Band Night, for which he often crafts arrangements for much-loved jazz classics. With a Ph.D. in composition from UC Berkeley, Dr. Pollack has composed a variety of pieces especially for the Festival Orchestra and musicians: Albion Song: Jazz Concerto for Saxophone; The Spiral Dance for chorus and orchestra; Two Movements in Time for orchestra; From the Song of Songs for soprano and orchestra; A Summer Evening at the Boonville Fair for orchestra; a Vibraphone Concerto; and a String Quartet. Over the years, memorable performances have taken shape under his baton including Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
Julian Pollack, Piano
Pollack began studying classical piano at age 5 with his mother, Susan Waterfall. In high school he participated in the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts’ Young Arts Program and was awarded the Level One Gold Prize in the jazz discipline. In 2006 he moved to New York to study jazz piano and composition at New York University. In addition to attending school he was featured on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” NPR series, opened at the Blue Note for Chick Corea and Gary Burton, performed as a sideman with Brian Lynch at the Village Vanguard, led his own jazz trio and worked with singer Grace Weber. In 2011 Pollack won an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award for his composition “Blackberry,” was featured in the film In Good Time, a documentary about the life of Marian McPartland, and received a commission from The French Will Never Forget for a September 11th ten-year commemoration. He also received a commission from the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento to write a concerto for piano and orchestra which premiered in March 2012 and was performed again during the 2012 Mendocino Music Festival. His CD with the Julian Pollack Trio, Waves of Albion, will be released this October. julianpollackmusic.com
Ralph Humphrey, Drums
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Ralph Humphrey is one of Los Angeles’ most in-demand drummers. From early experiences playing the intricate rhythms and challenging meters of the Don Ellis Big Band or with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, his recording and touring career spans nearly 40 years. In addition to his appearances at the Mendocino Music Festival with the Tierney Sutton Band, he has performed with jazz notables Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Toshiko Akiyoshi and Lou Tabakin, Manhattan Transfer, Natalie Cole, Free Flight, Pete Christlieb, Joe Farrell, Alphonso Johnson, Milcho Leviev, Alan Pasqua and an assortment of mainstream artists including Seals and Crofts, Barbara Streisand, Jose Feliciano, Bette Midler, Captain and Tenille, Richard Carpenter, and Rita Coolidge. His most recent projects include Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Charmed, Piglet’s Big Movie, Star Trek Enterprise, The Simpsons, ABC 50th Anniversary Special, Far From Heaven, Coca-Cola, and Ping golf clubs. Humphrey is also a long-time educator and is currently co-head of the drum department at the LA Music Academy.