Best Bets: Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, SFJazz tribute concert, MoAD and more

Violinist Anna Pressler will perform a Brahms sonata with pianist Eric Zivian as the two hold a streaming event announcing the 28th season of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. (Photo courtesy of Vivian Sachs)

The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here.

• Playing on through the pandemic: A lot of the Bay Area’s classical music organizations are gearing up to announce their all-digital seasons for the fall, and among the first is the versatile Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, a group that presents chamber music old and brand new in ever-shifting combinations of instruments and players. LCCE will announce its 28th season at 4 p.m. Aug. 23 at a streaming event hosted by artistic director Anna Presler and composer/pianist Eric Zivian that is also a chamber concert itself.  On the program is the Brahms Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, and following the performance, a Zoom session will be held to discuss the music just heard and to announce the programming for the 2020-21 season, which will run from Sept. 21 through June 7, 2021. All concerts will be presented free on YouTube, but donations are encouraged. RSVP at by clicking on Concerts & Tickets and Season 28 Kick-Off Party.

The Swingles will demonstrate their a cappella excellence at a Live From London streaming concert on Aug. 22. (Photo courtesy of The Swingles)

Some capital a cappella: Live From London, an online festival of vocal music, has been streaming live concerts of fabulous a cappella groups at 11 a.m. (PST) on Saturdays since Aug. 1, starting with a concert by the Voces8 ensemble. The festival continues through Oct. 3, winding up with the Bay Area’s own pride, the world-renowned Chanticleer. The stage is set for this week’s version on Aug. 22 for the Grammy Award winners from England, The Swingles, named not so much for their swingin’ style, but for the fact they were founded by Ward Swingle in 1974. Here they are covering Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain” in pandemic style: Tickets for their upcoming concert are $15, but you can sign up for all 10 of the one-hour festival events for $100, and they will all stay available through Oct. 3. Other participating artists are I Fagiolini, the Academy of Ancient Music, The Gesualdo Six, a second appearance by Voces8, Apollo5, The Sixteen and Stile Antico. Go to to sign up.

• Jazz Masters honored: Four months ago SFJazz was set to host the prestigious annual National Endowment for the Arts’ annual Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to that. Until now. The annual show celebrating the recipients of what is arguably the country’s most important jazz award has been reinvented as a streaming production. It takes place at 5 p.m. Aug. 20, hosted by acclaimed singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and featuring honoree bassist Reggie Workman; groundbreaking vocalist Bobby McFerrin, who got his start in the Bay Area; saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, one-time Darius Milhaud Chair in Music Composition at Oakland’s Mills College; and jazz radio programmer and all-around and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk, the widow of legendary sax man Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The tribute concert is free and is followed at 6:10 p.m. with interviews with the participants. You can access the show at or

Dr. Michael White, clarinetist. (Photo courtesy of SFJazz)

• Head to Healdsburg (online): Speaking of jazz, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival is making up for its canceled live performances this year with an ongoing series of streaming shows and workshops on its website. On Aug. 21, catch a performance by jazz guitarist Randy Vincent and his trio in a real-time performance streamed from the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg. From 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 23, the site presents a workshop on the history of New Orleans brass band music, presented by clarinetist Dr. Michael White. Both presentations are free, though donations are encouraged. Go to

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle. (Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley)

• More from MoAD: San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora is keeping particularly busy during the pandemic. Head to the museum’s website and you’ll find an impressive collection of content. At 2 p.m. Aug. 20, take a “virtual tour” featuring artist and UC Berkeley professor Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, whose multimedia work examines race, sexuality and history. At 4 p.m. Aug. 21, catch a live virtual discussion and presentation examining the rich history of storytelling as part of the legacy of the African diaspora. At noon on Aug. 28, author Sarah Ladipo Manyika interviews actress and activist Tatyana Ali. Each event is offered in a “pay what you can” format; tickets and more information are available at

One thought on “Best Bets: Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, SFJazz tribute concert, MoAD and more

  1. Thank you for the “best bet” information on the Live from London vocal music festival. This is a wonderful lineup of varied vocal groups representing many musical eras. I plan to watch!

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