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Clarinetist Ben Goldberg to give two San Francisco performances this weekend

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg
courtesy of the performer

It sometimes seems as if there are long periods of radio silence from jazz clarinetist Ben Goldberg followed by multiple bursts of activity, often on the same weekend. That will be the case this coming weekend. Goldberg will be performing in two entirely different settings for two different reasons this coming Friday and Saturday.

On Friday he will be one of several guest artists to perform with the Rova Saxophone Quartet in a tribute concert for saxophonist Steve Lacy. The concert will be a creative exploration of Lacy’s music in recognition of the tenth anniversary of his death on June 4, 2004. Goldberg’s contribution will be a duo performance with Michael Coleman of the six etudes called “Book H of ‘Practitioners,’” recorded on Lacy’s 1986 Hocus-Pocus album. Rova’s contribution will be a performance of seven Lacy tunes recorded by Rova on their Favorite Street album. There will also be a fascinating “first contact” experience, as the post-jazz quartet of Darren Johnston, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, and Doug Stuart will take on performing Lacy’s music for the first time.

This concert will take place on Friday, June 6, beginning at 8 p.m. The venue will be the Capp Street Concert Hall of the Community Music Center, located in the Mission at 544 Capp Street. Admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for youth and seniors.

The following evening Goldberg will be giving duo performances with pianist Myra Melford. This will be the second half of a full-evening program she has prepared entitled Mentors and Mavericks. The first half will consist of solo performances by Melford interspersed with audio and video clips of her principal mentors, all of whom had a strong “maverick” streak. These include Jaki Byard, Don Pullen, Cecil Taylor, Otis Spann, and Henry Threadgill. (In “social network” terms Byard’s influence also reflects the influence of Charles Mingus.)

This concert will take place on Saturday, June 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and lasting 90 minutes. The venue will be the YBCA Forum on the campus of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Admission will be $10, and tickets may be purchased in advance through an event page on the YBCA Web site.