Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dancing in the woods

Dancing in the woods on a Sunday afternoon, Stern Grove, August 2008.

One of the best things about summer in San Francisco is the Stern Grove Music Festival, a free outdoor concert series set in a beautifully wooded amphitheater, where you can picnic on the grass, dance and sing-along with performers from around the world in an intimate, natural setting.

Last summer, we watched Bajofondo, the remarkable electronic tango band from Uruguay fronted by Gustavo Santaolalla, composer of the music from Brokeback Mountain, Babel, 21 Grams, and Motorcycle Diaries.

This summer's festival has already seen the likes of Roberta Flack, Joan Baez, and Les Nubians on stage. Tomorrow we are watching Sergent Garcia, the reggae/hiphop phenomenon from Brazil whose beats are as politically charged as they are danceable. My friends, Barry and Deborah, are on the Festival Board of Directors so we get to watch the concerts in style: on an elevated picnic table with front view seats of the amphitheater stage. Still to come for the 2009 season: Bollywood superstar Kailash Kher, Columbian cantadora Totó Momposina, the SF Ballet, and tenor Marco Berti with the SF Opera.

Bajofondo, Pa Bailar

Sergent Garcia, Amor Pa Mi

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