San Diego Arts Weekend: Seashells, Black Music Festival, Zombies and Books

Popular picks

San Diego Symphony 2024 Summer Opening Night

music, classical | The San Diego Symphony kicked off its summer season at Lady Shell Concert Hall, welcoming conductor Gemma New on opening night. New is a New Zealand-born conductor with an impressive resume. Among her many positions in orchestras around the world, she was the first woman to hold a conducting position, including her current appointment with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. New will conduct the San Diego Symphony this Friday at the Rady Shell at 7:30 p.m. Pianist Olga Cohen will also perform.

Conductor Gemma New wore a black jacket and white shirt.  Her hair was blond and curled around her face.  She held the baton in both hands, holding it horizontally in front of her.  She is looking at the camera.

Conductor Gemma New appears in an undated photo.

One such work is the creative, propulsive work A Short Journey in a Fast Machine by contemporary American composer John Adams.

Cohen will perform works by Rachmaninoff with the orchestra, who will also perform folk music by Rimsky-Korsakov and Aaron Copland.

The Copland piece they will perform is a set of four dance moves from “Rodeo,” including the recognizable earworm “Hoedown.”

For more art events or to submit your own, visit KPBS/Art Calendar. If you want more time to plan, get KPBS/Art Newsletter Check out your inbox every Thursday for a selection of events from the coming weeks.

“It’s just so popular,” New said of Copeland’s work. “I love doing it and every time I go back to the score I have very happy memories of playing with other orchestras. I know it will create a new memory – overall, for this show, we Really wanted to have a festive feel, we wanted our musicians to stand out with their virtuosity, we also wanted to celebrate America, and of course Copland’s music is absolutely perfect.

Click the play button above to listen to my full interview with New.

detail: Activity Information. Friday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. $24+.

North Park Mini Book Fair

books | Can’t wait to attend the next big North Park Book Fair in October? You’re in luck: Verbatim Books is hosting a mini version of the festival at North Park Mini Park, with a small selection of bookstores, small presses, authors and vendors to suit your book-buying needs. Throughout the day, there will be author readings, story times, musical performances, and craft activities (such as making bookmarks from Burn All Books). Participating bookstores include Libélula Books, The Book Catapult, Joyride Bookshop, Nuclear Comics and more, with more than 30 stalls and stalls. Plus, it’s free, suitable for all ages, and dog-friendly.

Customers browse books at the North Park Summer Book Fair on July 17, 2021.

Customers browse books at the Summer North Park Book Fair on July 17, 2021.

detail: Activity Information. Saturday, June 29, 10am to 5pm. free.

San Diego Black Arts and Cultural District Music Festival

music | The closing event for Black Music Month is a festival that celebrates the great music and art of San Diego’s Black creatives. The San Diego Black Arts and Cultural District was established last year as a nine-block area in the Encanto neighborhood dedicated to preserving and promoting the community’s creativity. The area was also hit hard by flooding in January this year. Mary Wiedemann Memorial Park, which surrounds the area, was originally scheduled to host the festival, but repair work is still underway at the park due to extensive flooding. The event will be held at Martin Luther King Community Park. The event is free, but you can reserve free tickets online in advance.

This is an all-day event with art, food, vendors and (of course) music. Performers include Daneen Wilburn, Lyrical Groove, Geminelle and Rebecca Jade. We recently had an in-studio interview and mini-performance with Lyrical Groove’s Kendrick Dial, which you can listen to here . Rebecca Jade just released a new single last week, a cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me” recorded with the Evan Marks Band 》.

detail: Activity Information. Saturday, June 29, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. free.

Sabrosas Latin Orchestra: “Music in the Square”

music | The Sabrosas Latin Orchestra, which bills itself as San Diego’s first and only all-female salsa band, celebrates its fifth anniversary with a concert in Escondido. The group is more than just a band, they are a non-profit organization with partnerships and mentoring in schools and other arts groups. They are dynamic, engaging and talented performers.

The concert was held in the outdoor Lyric Court space at the California Center for the Arts. The concert is free unless you prefer to sit in the $20 reserved seating area at the Bistro.

detail: Activity Information. Friday, June 28 at 7pm. $0-$20.

“Dirt”: Flowers and Ceramics Exhibition

visual art | Bed Bud Flora, AYI Shop and Art School Dropout team up to present a unique art exhibition highlighting the work of local floral designers and ceramics artists. Floral artists include Bed Bud, The Flower Boy, Trim and Tru Design, Yeritza Marie and more. Ceramics artists include Naked Ceramics, Art School Dropout, Perro Y Arena, Lollipots and more.

The exhibition is for one weekend only at the AYI Shop in South Park, with a reception on Friday evening from 4 to 7 p.m.

detail: Activity Information. Reception: Friday 28 June 4-7pm. AYI Store, 2234 30th St., South Park. free.

“Twelfth Night of the Living Dead, or, What Did You Kill”

theater | Loud Fridge Theater Group presents playwright AJ Schaar’s horror-filled adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, or As You Like It.

In this version, our heroine Viola doesn’t survive the shipwreck at the beginning of Shakespeare’s play and therefore spends the rest of the plot in zombie form. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays – it’s already fun and a little ridiculous, with lots of themes and quips about identity and deception – so adding zombies felt like a natural move.

Actors Karen Saul and Nick Kennedy in Loud Refrigerator Theater Company's production of

Actors Kaylin Saur and Nick Kennedy will star in Loud Fridge Theater Company’s production of “Twelfth Night of the Living Dead,” which runs through July 7, 2024.

No strangers to creative theatre, Loud Fridge will be bringing this play to the City Heights Performance Annex stage along with director Kate Rose Reynolds and a host of local stars. The show is free.

detail: Activity Information. Deadline for performances is July 7th. City Heights Performance Annex, 3795 Fairmount Ave., City Heights. free.

San Diego Symphony Orchestra: Audra McDonald

music, classical, drama | Another recommendation from the San Diego Symphony’s opening weekend at the Shell: The acclaimed Audra McDonald will perform Broadway favorites with the symphony on Sunday night. I spoke with McDonald this week on KPBS Midday Edition and you can listen here Hear her talk acting, motherhood, the state of theater and joy.

detail: Activity Information. Sunday, June 30 at 7:30 pm. $24-$104.

Live music selection

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