June 17 – Sept. 18: When was the last time you saw a piece of art from the 1400s? Or the 900s? The Emperors’ Treasures at the Asian Art Museum offers that much more, including work that has never been seen in the United States. This exhibit, featuring pieces from The National Palace Museum in Taipei, shows off items from four different dynasties that stretch over 800 years. That’s a lot of history to cover, but the paintings, drawings, pottery and even a rock that looks like pork belly, shows how an emperor’s taste could influence art for hundreds of years. Details here.
June 18: Is there such a thing as a modern renaissance man? Well, if there were, it would be Dario Slavazza. The San Jose-native isn’t just an arranger with Magik*Magik Orchestra, but he’s a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, studied ethnomusicology at UC Santa Barbara, worked in biotech and models. Now add solo artist to that list. His dreamy pop is showcased on his debut EP Guilty Steps, just the first of three he’ll release in the next year. Catch him at Brick & Mortar with Horses Heaven and Be Quiet. Details here.
June 18 – 19: Oedipus Rex is the inspiration and The Bayview the backdrop for Los Angeles playwright Alshea Harris’ new play, Crack. Rumble. Fly.: The Bayview Stories Project. She worked with community members to develop the A.C.T. play, which is based on interviews and stories from neighborhood residents. “Early on just in listening to the stories we noticed some parallels between Sophocles play (Oedipus the King) and what we were hearing,” she says. “There was a lot of interest in family and familial history, so I think it was just a matter of drawing connections, and digging even deeper and letting them lead me where I might go.” You can see the play for free Saturday at 1pm at The Bayview Arts Festival and Sunday at 2pm at Laughing Monk Brewing. Details here.
June 19: Musician Jim Pugh has traveled the world for 40 years, playing with musicians like Van Morrison and B.B. King, but his Little Village Foundation has discovered musical treasures closer to home. Last year LVF released four albums by homegrown artists, all recorded and produced at no cost to the artist, while kicking any proceeds their way too. On Sunday, they’ll be celebrating another crop of releases: Aki Goes To Bollywood by Silicon Valley software engineer Aki Kumar, The Real Deal from Redwood City’s John “Blues” Boyd, a retired roofer, Filipina folk singer and East Bay resident Aireene Espiritu’s Back Where I Belong and from the Central Valley city of Delano, Mariachi Mestizo’s Te Doy La Libertad. You can see them all live at the Freight and Salvage on Sunday afternoon. Details here.
June 19: It would be hard to dispute McCoy Tyner’s places as one of the greatest piano players in jazz. His amazing career stretches back over 50 years, with some of his earliest work as member of John Coltrane’s band from 1961 to 1965. But that was just the beginning to an amazing solo body of work. At 77, Tyner still tours regularly, but you don’t want to miss this chance to see him play as well as be honored by some of his fellow jazz pianists: Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Marcus Roberts, Benny Green, Geri Allen and Taylor Eigsti. Saxophonist Joe Lovano, a member of Tyner’s Quartet will also be there to fete the jazz master. Details here.
June 23 – 25: There have been many stories about Bay Area arts organizations having to shut down or downsize, so it’s great to hear about the debut of a brand-new dance company. SFDanceworks was founded by James Sofranko, a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet. Sofranko is one of the folks behind the annual fundraiser, Dance For a Reason, which brings dancers of different companies together With .For SFDanceworks’ inaugural performances, he’ll be featuring the work of five choreographers, including himself. Above, you can sneak a peek at one of the three world premieres, Joe and Ida. Details here.