Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Digging in the Garden 

Wednesday, Apr 28 2010
Playing quietly: It's cause for suspicion when children do it. We feel sort of the same way about really great Bay Area artists — if we haven't heard from them in a while, we start to suspect they're making something. Far from the mess in the kitchen one suspects from too-quiet kids, though, we usually figure the artists are busy coming up with some exciting new thing for us to enjoy. In the case of Marcus Shelby, we're so, so right: To kick off the truly huge and free Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra performs the world premiere of his second "secular oratorio," as he calls his jazz-operatic historical storytelling pieces. The last one was called Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land, and this one is simply MLK. Using deep and critical looks into the history of the civil rights era, Shelby rearranges gospel, blues, work songs, shouts, spirituals, and jazz from the 1950s and '60s, noting that King himself said, "Freedom songs and spirituals were the 'soul' of the movement."

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival runs May-October.
Sat., May 1, 1 p.m., 2010

About The Author

Hiya Swanhuyser


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"