Last summer, when I reviewed those events planned for the 2012–2013 season art the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) likely to interest serious listeners, I singled out the current incarnation of the annual New Frequencies event. This year the event is called New Frequencies Fest 2012; and it will be a two-day mini-festival with an emphasis on adventurous underground music. Each of the two days will offer a single concert in the YBCA Forum beginning at 8 p.m. and featuring multiple performers oriented around a common theme. Here are the specifics for each evening:
- Friday, November 16: The concert is entitled Women, Strings & Song. As the title suggests, it will be an evening of song by contemporary women songwriters and composers who use the voice and strings as their principal instruments of expression. The opening act will be Brooklyn-based cellist Marika Hughes, who will be performing selections from her two most recent releases, Simplest Thing, all of whose tracks are her own songs, and Afterlife Music Radio – 11 New Pieces for Solo Cello, which includes pieces written for Hughes by Carla Kihlstedt, Nasheet Waits, Jenny Scheinman, and Evyvind Kang. Hughes will be followed by San Francisco’s acclaimed bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa, who will perform with New York vocalist, poet, and improviser Fay Victor. The program will conclude with the San Francisco debut of the Parkington Sisters, who will perform both their original music and unique interpretations of a variety of songs by the likes of Radiohead, Lead Belly, and June Carter Cash.
- Saturday, November 17: This evening will be a lively celebration of the African Diaspora through the repertoire of Afro-Cuban folk styles and creative jazz improvisation. The featured act will be the Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio, with its characteristically unpredictable approach to improvisation. They will be preceded by the Afro-Cuban folkloric band from Oakland, Sandy Perez y Su Ladé, which will perform in collaboration with the celebrated Ramon Ramos Alayo Dance Company. The evening will conclude with a dance party in the YBCA Galleries space, featuring contemporary Cuban dance music by Rumbaché playing timba, son, and fresh originals. There will be a cash bar and an open dance floor.
Admission for each concert will be $25 at the door with a $20 rate for students, seniors, and teachers. There will be a $5 discount for tickets purchased in advance from the individual event pages for the Women, Strings & Song and Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio event pages on the YBCA Web site. YBCA members get a special rate of $15, and YBCA:You participants will be admitted without charge.