New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA
“jazz in the present tense”
February 5-7, 2015
Highlights include Angélique Kidjo, Henry Threadgill Double-Up, Matana Roberts, 
Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine, Jenny Scheinman solo, Satoko Fujii Duo, 
Rudy Royston’s 303, Myra Melford, Joëlle Léandre & Nicole Mitchell Trio, 
Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch
Plus Special Events, dance classes, interactive performances, and more.
Tickets now on sale for Angélique Kidjo & Henry Threadgill
Tickets for all Festival shows go on sale December 16, 2014
(San Francisco, CA, December 12, 2014) – Yerba Buena Center for The Arts completes its Festival lineup for New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA running February 5-7, 2015.
New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA is a radical exploration of jazz’s future through the lens of its pioneering spirit. The entire program is dedicated to jazz in the present tense while paying homage to the legacy of visionary artists of the 1960s and 70s through their impact on contemporary jazz and improvisational music. The past, current, and future San Francisco jazz scene and New York downtown music scene will be celebrated at this year’s festival as they are hotbeds for creative experimentalism and have nurtured many of this year’s artists. An adventurous underground music festival, New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA edition will present exclusive performances and one-time-only events from trans-generational and revolutionary artists, composers and trailblazing musicians whose work blends a variety of influences, genres, traditions, and styles. New Frequencies was co-curated by YBCA Artist in Residence Myra Melford and Music Curator and Associate Director of Performing Arts, Isabel Yrigoyen.
Guggenheim Fellow Henry Threadgill headlines on Opening Night (Thursday, 2/5/15 8pm) at the YBCA Theater. Threadgill is one of the musicians who came out of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music, and who is still active and considered to be one of the most original jazz composers of his generation. His music transcends styles and genres, and embraces the world of music in its entirety, from ragtime to circus marches to classical to bop, free jazz and beyond. He appears with his large Henry Threadgill Double-Up ensemble, featuring stellar musicians from New York’s current jazz scene including renowned pianists MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran and David Virelles, alto saxophonists Curtis Macdonald and Roman Filiu, drummer Craig Weinrib, tuba player Jose Davila, and cellist Christopher Hoffman. Henry Threadgill Double-Up will pay tribute to another significant pioneer in the world of contemporary improvisational music – Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, who passed away in January 2014 at the age of 65. Mr. Morris was responsible for developing the revolutionary system of conducting ensembles of improvisers he called “Conduction.”
Multiple Grammy-winner Angélique Kidjo also headlines at the YBCA Theater (Saturday, 2/7/15 8pm) and presents songs from her latest recording Eve, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. The singer released Eve in conjunction with the release of Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, an autobiography written with Rachel Wenrick and published by Harper Collins. With a foreword by Bishop Desmond Tutu and a preface from Alicia Keys, the book chronicles Kidjo’s childhood where the telling of her dramatic rise ties in perfectly with the female empowerment themes that make Eve an epic achievement in her career. The power of Kidjo’s unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her, and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs transcend any native tongue. Kidjo’s Eve has just been nominated for a Grammy under the category of “Best World Music Album”, and the 57th Grammy Award Ceremony takes place on February 8th, a day after her performance at YBCA.
Other major highlights of the festival include Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine (Saturday 2/7/15, 11pm), performing his seminal piece to date, inspired by a book of “speculative poetics” from writer Allen Grossman. The ten-movement song cycle, commissioned by Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works and performed by an all-star nine-piece band featuring guitarist-extraordinaire Nels Cline, who has performed with a wide range of musicians from jazz to punk to alternative rock, most recently with Wilco and Carla Kihlstedt on vocals and violin, premiered in 2012. In addition to Cline and Kihlstedt, the ensemble is a who’s who in improvised music including guitar bassist and double bassist Trevor Dunn, best known for his work with musicians such as John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Sean Lennon, and Nels Cline.  In the 90s he was an essential part of the Bay Area scene and a founding member of Mr. Bungle; tenor saxophonist Rob Sudduth and rock and jazz drummer Ches Smith; adventurous trumpeter Ron Miles, a staple of the Denver jazz scene;  vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen, a member of Goldberg’s ground-breaking New Klezmer Trio, and pianist Myra Melford winner of the 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music and YBCA’s Artist in Residence.
Also appearing on a double bill are Satoko Fujii’s Duo Nowake and Rudy Royston’s 303 (2/6/15, 8pm). Until recently, Colorado-based drummer Rudy Royston has been best known as a sideman for guitarist Bill Frissell, but with his new CD and live band 303, he has assembled a formidable group that captures the expansive and out sound of Colorado, including: on horns Nadje Noordhuis, saxes Jon Irabagon, piano Sam Harris, guitar Nir Felder, bass Mimi Jones, and also on bass Yasushi Nakamura.   Opening the first set, pianist Satoko Fujii performs in a duo with trumpeter Kappa Maki. Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii is one of the most original voices in jazz today, seamlessly combining the extremes of delicate lyricism to explosive free jazz into a singular style of her own that defies category.
Other acclaimed female instrumentalists being highlighted include a spontaneous on-the-spot improvisation between celebrated pianist Myra Melford, French double bass virtuoso Joëlle Léandre and acclaimed jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell (Saturday 2/7/15, 10pm). Myra Melford is YBCA’s Artist in Residence and is the festival’s co-curator.  Talented bassist and bandleader Lisa Mezzacappa, known for her adventurous diverse musical palette, brings her newest work avantNOIR, inspired by the crime novels of Dashiell Hammett and Paul Auster, and performed by her ensemble Bait & Switch. Moreover, alto saxophonist and interdisciplinary artist Matana Roberts presents her innovative work Coin Coin: Chapter Two: Moonchile; her highly acclaimed piece about the odyssey of her extended family’s ascent in North America, from Transatlantic servitude through the Jim Crow South and onto her present role as one of the most exciting new spirits in contemporary music, and this year’s recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts in Music. In this particular show, Matana Roberts will be workshopping Coin Coin Chapter Two: Moonchile with special guest artists who are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including YBCA Artist in Residence Myra Melford.
There will be an entire day of activities on Saturday, February 7, as New Frequencies: Jazz@YBCA takes over the building with a variety of offerings. Start your day with dance classes at the 50 Cent Tabernacle with live bands, including John Calloway’s Latin Youth Orchestra.  Two up and coming musicians on the Bay Area scene, Roger Kim and Karl Evangelista, lead ensembles performing their original compositions. Renowned violinist Jenny Scheinman will then perform her solo violin piece in intimate setting of the YBCA Screening Room.
In addition, Jazz@YBCA has engaged a wonderful group of community partner organizations that all contribute to the growth and vitality of Jazz in the Bay Area. They are the California Jazz Conservatory, Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, and Jazz in the Neighborhood.
New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA
Tickets now on sale for Angélique Kidjo and Henry Threadgill Double-Up.  The rest of the festival goes on sale on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit
For further exploration into each of the artists and a detailed festival schedule, please visit:
Thursday, February 5, 8PM, YBCA Theater
Henry Threadgill Double-Up, Tribute to Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris
Friday, February 6, 8PM, YBCA Theater
Double Bill: Satoko Fujii’s Duo Nowake /Rudy Royston’s 303
Friday, February 6, 10PM, YBCA Forum
Matana Roberts, Coin Coin Chapter Two: Moonchile 
From Afternoon until Midnight, Saturday, February 7
11AM – 3PM  50 Cent Tabernacle: Jazz@YBCA edition
3 PM    Roger Kim’s Elliott Smith Hour & Karl Evangelista’s Grex, Youth Arts Lounge
4 PM    Jenny Scheinman: Solo Fiddle For Growing Boys & Girls, Screening Room
5 PM    Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch: avantNOIR, YBCA Forum
8 PM    Angélique Kidjo, YBCA Theater
10 PM  Myra Melford, Joëlle Léandre & Nicole Mitchell Trio, YBCA Forum
11 PM  Festival Closing Night Party with Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine, YBCA Forum
3:00-4:00PM/Youth Arts Lounge
Roger Kim’s Elliott Smith Hour and Karl Evangelista’s Grex
A recent graduate of UC Berkeley and former student of Myra Melford and Brian Pardo, Roger Kim describes his music as swinging and contemplative, an expressive music that likes to “ask questions, take journeys, and describe sentiments.”   The Filipino American guitarist Karl Evangelista, former student of Myra Melford and graduate of the MA program at Mills College, is a fresh new voice in the Bay Area jazz scene, exploring an improvisational aesthetic that blends jazz, rock, western art music, contemporary sound and “noise” based art, and Filipino folk melody into a unique amalgamation of sounds reflecting his own life experience.
4:00pm-5:00pm/Screening Room
Jenny Scheinman: Solo Fiddle For Growing Boys & Girls
Jenny Scheinman is a violinist, singer, and writer of songs with and without words. She has toured and recorded with the likes of Bill Frissell, Ani Difranco, Nora Jones and Nels Cline, and has garnered numerous arranging credits with Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, and Metallica to name a few. Scheinman debuts a newly penned cycle of twenty short violin pieces entitled Solo Fiddle For Growing Boys & Girls, which draw upon cyclical structures prevalent in American fiddle music.
5:00pm-6:00pm/YBCA Forum
Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch: avantNOIR With special guests William Winant and Tim Perkis
Talented bassist and bandleader Lisa Mezzacappa, known for her adventurous and diverse musical palette, presents her newest work avantNOIR, inspired by the crime novels of Dashiell Hammett and Paul Auster.
8:00pm-10:00pm/YBCA Theater
Angélique Kidjo
The evocative and powerful singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo has been described as the “undisputed queen of African music” by the London Telegraph, and The Guardian named her as one of The Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. She performs songs from her latest recording, Eve.
10:00pm-11:00pm/YBCA Forum
Myra Melford, Joëlle Léandre & Nicole Mitchell Trio
Expect the unexpected when these three join for an on-the-spot improvisation with pianist Myra Melford, French double bassist Joëlle Léandre, and flautist Nicole Mitchell. Joëlle Léandre is a dominant figure in new European music, jazz, and improvisation with over 150 recordings to her credit. The intrepid musical adventurer, pianist Myra Melford, not only headlines throughout the weekend in different configurations, but also takes the limelight as YBCA’s Artist in Residence, jazz educator, and festival co-curator. Award-winning jazz flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell explores human experience through creative music and is inspired by nature. She also has single-handedly raised the stature of her instrument in jazz.
11:00pm-12:00am/YBCA Forum
Festival Closing Night Party featuring Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine
Virtuoso clarinetist Ben Goldberg, a staple of the San Francisco Bay Area’s improvisational scene, assembles an all-star band made up of some of the most important improvisers on the national scene to perform his seminal ten movement song cycle inspired by the poetry of Allen Grossman at the Festival’s closing night party.
Friday, January 30
5:30PM-7PM, FREE, Youth Arts Lounge
New Frequencies Listening Lab:
Adventurous Jazz and Improvised Music
with Lisa Mezzacappa
Bay Area bassist, composer, bandleader, and music producer Lisa Mezzacappa hosts a casual after-work guided listening session, focusing on innovative jazz and improvised music from the 1960s to the present.  Listening to selections from Mezzacappa’s LP and CD collection, participants will learn how to identify different instruments and roles in an ensemble, listen for ways improvisers create structure and form in the moment, and learn to appreciate the sensual qualities of sound, timbre, and tone as important aspects of connecting with this music. Kick back after a long work week and start your weekend by filling your ears with some of the most visceral, individual, and joyful jazz to come out of New, York, Chicago, and the Bay Area in the past 50 years.
Wednesday, February 4
9:00pm/Duende, Oakland
We kick off New Frequencies Fest with a really killer party at Duende, the popular restaurant and music club of renowned chef Paul Canales in Downtown Oakland. The Scott Amendola band will be performing and features violinist Jenny Scheinman, guitarists Nels Cline and Jeff Parker,  bassist John Shifflett, and Scott Amendola on drums and electronics. Tickets can be purchased directly through Duende’s website at
Saturday, February 7
50 Cent Tabernacle: Jazz@YBCA edition
11:00am-3:00pm /YBCA Forum/50 Cents
A whole day of activities as New Frequencies: Jazz@YBCA spills out throughout the campus with a variety of offerings, starting with dance classes with live bands, including John Calloway’s Latin Youth Orchestra at our 50 Cent Tabernacle: Jazz@YBCA edition, a series of open, mixed-level dance classes with some of the Bay Area’s foremost masters of the craft. For 50 cents, participants receive an all-day pass! Part interactive celebration, part community movement space, these workshops are organized by the YBCA Young Artists at Work in collaboration with the YBCA Department of Performing Arts, and are open to everyone, with a focus on teens in the community.
YBCA Theater Featured Performances:
$30 in Advance / $35 at the Door
Senior, Teacher, Student: $25 in Advance / $30 at the Door
YBCA Member: $25; YBCA:You FREE
$35 in Advance / $40 at the Door
Senior, Teacher, Student: $30 in Advance / $35 at the Door
YBCA Member: $25; YBCA:You FREE
Group 10+
Thu-Fri: $25 / Senior, Teacher, Student: $20
Sat: $30 / Senior, Teacher, Student: $25
YBCA Member $20   (All Performances)
Discount and Group rates available only through the Box Office, 415.978.2787
Purchasing a ticket to the following performances taking place in the YBCA THEATER gives you additional access to other same day events.
General: $15 in Advance / $20 at Door
Student, Senior, Teacher: $10 in Advance / $15 at Door
YBCA Member: $10 (advance and door)/YBCA:You FREE
Group Rates: General: $10 / Student, Senior: $5
Discount and Group rates available only through the Box Office, 415.978.2787
To purchase tickets: 415.978.ARTS (2787) or visit
In person (no service charge):
Tue–Wed:12:00 pm–6:00 pm
Thu–Sat:12:00 pm–8:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm–6:00 pm
New Frequencies Fest: Jazz at YBCA is supported by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with a focus on Building Demand for the Performing Arts through work with a Resident Artist.
Media sponsors: KQED and San Francisco Weekly.
About Jazz@YBCA
New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA is part of a two year artist’s residency with award winning pianist, composer, Guggenheim Fellow and 2013 Doris
Duke Charitable Foundation’s Performing Artist Award winner, Myra Melford, which explores four key areas of investigation that make up the
Jazz@YBCA program: Mentoring Listeners; Nurturing the Jazz Legacy; Women in Jazz; and Curatorial Experimentations. YBCA embraces
Melford’s artistic vision and programming direction for this year’s festival, and will prominently feature her in various bands.
About Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), located in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena cultural district, is one of the nation’s leading multidisciplinary contemporary arts centers. With a belief that contemporary art is at the heart of community life, YBCA brings audiences and artists of all backgrounds together to express and experience creativity. The organization is known for nurturing emerging artists at the forefront of their fields and presenting works that blend art forms and explore the events and ideas of our time. As part of its commitment to the San Francisco Bay Area, YBCA supports the local arts community and reflects the region’s diversity of people and thought through its arts and public programming.
YBCA presents programming year-round in the Forum, Screening Room, Galleries and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787) or visit