10 great shows and concerts to watch this weekend

East Bay Cajun/Zydeco musician Andre Thierry is one of the performers at the Concord Music & Market concert series.

From free music and market concerts in Concord to new stage shows and a spotlight on Bay Area Americana bands, there’s plenty to see and do this week and beyond. This is a partial review.

Free Music in Concord

This time of year, fans of free live outdoor music can find it just about anywhere. No, we’re not talking about that guy at your local drugstore trying to master “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on the banjo. We’re talking about the Bay Area’s network of talented cover bands and rock, folk, jazz and world music acts that perform for free in parks and other public spaces in the spring, summer and fall.

One of our favorite free concert series kicks off this week at Todos Santos Plaza, Willow Pass Road and Grant Street in Concord. The Music & Markets concert series offers a wonderful one-two punch, with a lively Farmers Market on the Square open from 4 to 8 p.m. and concerts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Andre Thierry, a native Richmond accordionist, plays a spicy fusion of Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco music. Other members of the 2024 Music & Markets lineup include Earth, Wind & Fire-loving band Houserockers (June 13), Santana-playing Holy Fire (June 20), guitar maestro Roy Rogers and Delta Rhythm Kings (one of them). , Aerosmith all-female tribute band RagDolls (August 22), heck, there’s even a Taylor Swift tribute band Twist on Taylor (September 12).

detail: The series will continue through September 26 (no performances on July 4); all concerts are free; cityofconcord.org.

— Bay City Press Foundation

Stage selection: “The Company”, “The Villains”

Here are two new shows fans of the Bay Area scene should know about.

“company”: A new musical based around the songs of Stephen Sondheim debuts in Mountain View this week, as one of the composer’s most beloved classics returns to San Francisco with a twist. We’re talking about Company, Sondheim and George Fiers’ conceptual musical about love, dating and marriage, which was relaunched in 2021 with a male to female lead. This is the touring version of the revival, which has received rave reviews in London and on Broadway.

detail: Through June 29; Orpheum Theater, San Francisco; $55-148; www.broadwaysf.com.

“Dirty, rotten villain”: The concept of a comedy about two charismatic con men on the French Riviera who compete to swindle a woman out of her savings seemed irresistible, which explains why it spawned two films (1964’s Bedtime Story and 1988’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”) and the stage musical, which opened on Broadway two decades ago, is now being revived on the San Jose stage. Starring Keith Pinto, Ashley Garrick and Jonathan Rhys-Williams and directed by Johnny Moreno, the show opens this week and runs until June 30.

detail: Performances at San Jose Stage; $34-$74; www.thestage.org.

—Randy McMullan, Staff

In Memory of Stephen Sondheim

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim remains a legend in the world of musical theater, and his impact on Broadway and American culture cannot be overstated. His clever and beautiful work has helped Broadway explore deeper and broader themes and emotions, which is part of the reason he has won eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, an Oscar and a Pulitzer Prize . But as his rich repertoire of songs and musicals continues to be performed on stages across the country, is there a need for an entirely new show about him and incorporating his work? The folks at TheaterWorks in Silicon Valley certainly think so. The company has a deep connection with Sondheim, performing more of his works than any other composer or playwright in its 54-year history. This week, TheaterWorks will present the world premiere of the musical “Alive: A Celebration of Sondheim,” in which, as organizers say, “Sondheim’s profound understanding of the human heart takes center stage.” Musicals include “Walk” “Into the Woods”, “Little Night Music”, “Sunday in the Park with George”, “Sweeney Todd”, “Company”, “Pacific Overture”, “Jolly We Roll” and more to choose from. The new show from TheatreWorks Artistic Director Robert Kelley and his long-time collaborator William Liberatore will undoubtedly be filled with musical theater classics that will have audiences humming as they leave the theater. That’s why we go to musicals, isn’t it?

detail: Preview ends June 6, main run June 8-30; Mountain View Performing Arts Center; $27-$82; Theaterworks.org.

— Bay City Press Foundation

Classic selection: “Erwartung”, “Notre Dame”

From 14th-century masterpieces to riveting 20th-century dramas, this week is your chance to hear rare performances. These are two events music lovers shouldn’t miss.

Opera with symphony orchestra: The San Francisco Symphony welcomes director Peter Sellars and soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams for the symphony premiere of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Erwartung,” about a woman who walks into the woods and finds herself in an unexpected situation The story of a dark place. Conducted by music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the program also includes Ravel’s “Ma Mére l’Oye” with dancers from Alonzo King Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.

detail: Friday and Saturday, 7:30; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Davis Symphony Hall, San Francisco; $39-$160; sfsymphony.org.

Early Mass: The 14th-century French composer Guillaume de Machaut was a master of the Art Nouveau style of late medieval music. His masterpiece was created at the “Notre Dame Exhibition Center.” With singers from the San Francisco men’s choir Chanticleer joining the early music group Alkemie, the work is performed three times this weekend, including one as part of the 18th Biennial Berkeley Music Festival and Exhibition.

detail: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco ($20-$63); Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Mission Santa Clara ($25-$63); Sunday, 7 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley ( Paid); chanticler.org.

—Georgia Rowe, correspondent

Cowboy junkie rides back to Bay Area

The Cowboy Junkies, long one of the best bands in all of pop music, will be riding back to the Bay Area for multiple concerts.

The sensational country-folk rock band consisting of vocalist Margo Timmins, guitarist and songwriter Michael Timmins, drummer Peter Timmins and bassist Alan Anton is still touring in support of “So Fierce beauty”.

That 2023 album is a damn good one – in fact, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s really the only type of album that Cowboys fans are putting out. The band’s list of past winners includes such ferocious and beautiful songs as 1996’s “Lay It Down,” 2001’s “Open” and 2018’s “All That Reckoning.”

Of course, the band is best known for its remarkable sophomore effort, 1988’s “The Trinity Sessions,” which featured the moving original “Misguided Angel” and a cover of the Velvet Underground classic “Sweet Jane.” .

The orchestra’s current tour includes five Bay Area venues: today at the Guild Theater in Menlo Park; Sunday and Wednesday at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco; and June 13 at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley.

detail: Please visit cowboyjunkies.com for details on all dates.

— Jim Harrington, Staff

It takes a (small) village

Veteran blues keyboardist Jim Pugh is best known for performing with the Robert Cray Band and other bands over the years, but his most lasting contribution to music may be the nonprofit record label Little Village he founded. Little Village is now a decade old and has become a home and launching pad for a variety of talented musicians inhabiting American genres (blues, folk, gospel, etc.) that the mainstream recording industry doesn’t pay much attention to. sky. If you want to see what contemporary renditions of these genres look like, head to Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage on Friday for the annual Little Village Concert Showcase (dubbed the “Freight Mini Festival”). The lineup includes “Bollywood Blues” harmonica player Aki Kumar; critically acclaimed traditional gospel group Sons of the Soul Revivers; Filipino folk trio The Sampaguitas; Latin/blues singer Marina Crouse and singer-songwriter Singer Genesis Fermin plays with veteran singer and producer Vicki Randle. The show will be hosted by Maurice Tani, a well-known Bay Area singer-songwriter who has collaborated and recorded with Little Village for many years. This show promises to be a joyous event and a reminder that American roots music is still going strong—you just have to know where to look for it.

detail: 8 p.m.; $25 ($23 for seniors, $12.50 for those 21 and under; thefreight.org

— Bay City Press Foundation

a group concert

Those who love Mother Goose fairy tales with a little visual and auditory aid are in for a treat this weekend, as San Francisco treasure Alonzo King choreographs Ravel’s ballet ” Ma mére l’Oye” performed with the San Francisco Symphony at Davis Concert Hall.

The music dates back to 1912, first as a piano suite for four hands, then as an orchestral suite, and finally as the composer created the final ballet for such beloved films as Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb and Beauty and the Beast The characters are animated. Also on the program is Arnold Schoenberg’s one-act play Ewartung, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by renowned theater director Peter Sellars Headlining the show, soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams plays a desperate woman searching for her lover in a dark forest at night.

detail: June 7-8, 7:30 p.m., June 9, 2 p.m.; Davis Symphony Hall, San Francisco; $69-$169; sfsymphony.org.

— Bay City Press Foundation

Slavic song night

Slavyanka, a 45-year-old San Francisco choir that takes its name from the Old Russian name for California’s Russian River, will host a trio of Bay Area concerts composed by women from Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Unusual song concert venue this weekend. Entitled “Songs of Faith, Love and Joy,” the program will be conducted by Artistic Director Irina Shachneva and will include Russian-Belarusian composer Irina Denisova , Serbian composers Dragana Velickovic and Ljubica Maric´, Ukrainian composer Iryna Aleksiychuk and Bulgarian composition Home works. The first concert is June 7 at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church in Berkeley, with repeats at Palo Alto’s First Congregational Church at 4 p.m. on June 8 and June 9 at 4 p.m. Held at Star of the Sea Church, 4420 Geary Blvd. In San Francisco.

detail: Tickets can be purchased at slavyankachorus.org; admission is free for under 18s.

— Bay City Press Foundation

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