Weekender: Music Highlights Many Events This Weekend and Next Week

Many Events are Free

Aida Cuevas, woman in decorative hat and costume, upcoming event at Mondavi Center
Among the upcoming events at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts is a performance by Aida Cuevas, the "Queen of Mariachi." (Courtesy photo)

The Noon Concert: Sl(e)ight Ensemble: 'Of California Ecology' at Pitzer

Thursday, Oct. 6, 12:05 – 1 p.m.

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert​

Erika Oba, flute; Stephanie Neumann, saxophone; Jacob Lane, piano and UC Davis graduate student of music

The program features Stephanie M. Neumann: Creek/to\Ocean and Julie Herndon: Shadow Prism.

Ongoing at UC Davis Museums

Manetti Shrem — A Trio of Exhibits

‘Young, Gifted and Black’ 

The first public standalone exhibition curated from the renowned Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection explores the history and meaning of Blackness and is organized around four themes: dramatic use of color, reclamation of the color black, materiality (nontraditional materials) and an expanded idea of portraiture. Read more about this exhibition here

Roy De Forest: Habitats for Travelers

First-generation art faculty member and UC Davis Professor Emeritus Roy De Forest (1930-2007) is beloved for his colorful narrative figurative paintings, drawings and prints. Printmaking offered De Forest a means to explore his visual vocabulary — to experiment with the colors, textures and mark-making unique to the medium. 

Loie Hollowell: Tick Tock Belly Clock

Hollowell, a rising star in the art world, grew up in Woodland, California, and is the daughter of longtime UC Davis Professor Emeritus David Hollowell. Known primarily for paintings and drawings that map the body through both figuration and abstraction, New York-based artist Loie Hollowell draws from her own life experiences in her work. 

Find more information on all three exhibits here.

Design Museum:

Woven Air: Dhakai Jamdani Textile From Bangladesh, an exhibition of traditional Bangladeshi textiles noted for a weaving technique that creates surface decorations, opened at the UC Davis Design Museum on Oct. 3.

Woven cloth for UC Davis design exhibit

An example of the woven cloth being exhibited at UC Davis Design Exhibit. (Courtesy photo)

This exhibition features fine-count Jamdani, the ornate textile that has experienced a revival in Bangladesh.

“Of California Ecology” features new works based on different facets of California’s natural world. The trio will perform compositions by ensemble members, Julie Herndon, and Sl(e)ight Ensemble’s 2020 call-for-scores winner Kian Ravaei. Drawing on the artists’ distinct backgrounds in jazz, band and chamber music, the program is inspired by seismic activity, fungal biomes, waterways, and social ecology, among other natural phenomena. The result is a diverse set of works all created with the aim of bringing appreciation to California’s beautiful and delicate environment. 

This program was originally made possible with the support of InterMusicSF.

Founded in 2015, Sleight Ensemble is a group of composers/performers focused on the realization of new music in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ensemble’s performances have included concerts at The Center for New Music (S.F.), The Simm Series (S.F.), Octopus Literary Salon (Oakland), and The Musical Offering (Berkeley) and have featured collaborations with artists such as composer Stephen Parris, violinist Mia Bella D’Augelli, cellist Devon Thrumston, and composer/visual artist Jessie Austin. 

A link to the livestream

Valente Lecture: Yu-Hui Chang, composer, to speak

Oct. 6, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Room 266, Everson Hall

Award-winning composer Yu-Hui Chang has written a wide range of music that compels and resonates with professional musicians

Chang, Valente lecturer
Chang is the Valente lecturer Thursday. See story above.

and audiences alike. Her music has been performed across continents in the Netherlands, Italy, UK, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the U.S. to critical acclaim. Among the commissions she has received are those from Fromm, Barlow, Koussevitzky, Naumburg, Meet the Composer (New Music USA), BMOP, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Earplay, Volti, Boston Musica Viva, Triple Helix, Monadnock Music Festival, Arts Council Korea, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center of Taiwan. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, and Aaron Copland Award. She was also awarded the Charles Ives Fellowship (2009) and the Arts and Letters Award (2017) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

A former UC Davis Department of Music faculty member, Yu-Hui Chang is the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Music at Brandeis University.  

San Francisco Symphony at Mondavi Thursday

Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Mondavi's Jackson Hall

[Canceled Oct. 6]

The San Francisco Symphony performed the first concert in the Mondavi Center in October 2002. They return to celebrate a 20-year partnership, now under the guidance of music director Esa-Pekka Salonen. This celebratory evening features a rich program: a U.S. debut of new piece by British composer Daniel Kidane; Sibelius’s lovely tone poem Luonnotar featuring South African soprano Golda Schultz; and a complete rendering of Stravinsky’s breakthrough ballet score, The Firebird. 

Find more information here.

Graduate Student Works for Percussion at Pitzer Friday

Friday, Oct. 7, 5 p.m.

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

The program includes works by Paul Engle: Cavities, Joseph Donald Peterson: Put the kettle on, Jacob Lane: Ritornello, Colin Minigan: Shaped Scattered, Bryndan Moondy: devant l’eau noir (Glint II), and Adam Strawbridge: counter_culture.exe.

Empyrean Ensemble performs Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Music ensemble

Preconcert Discussion from 1:15 – 1:45 p.m. with composer Yu-Hui Chang and Empyrean’s director Sam Nichols.

The music department’s professional contemporary music group the Empyrean Ensemble will premiere Weaving Sound by Maria Neiderberger, a 1981 graduate of UC Davis, a music department lecturer for nearly 15 years and professor emeritus at East Tennessee State University. The three-movement work interweaves clarinet, viola and piano into a tapestry of sound. Her music has been performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe.


Harrison Birtwistle: Crowd

Jennifer Ellis, solo harp

This piece is an exploration of resonance, and in the essential nature of the earliest harps. Crowd (etymologically related to the Celtic words crwth, cruit, and crot) was the English term used for instruments of the lyre class, and ultimately for a frame harp from pre-Christian to medieval times.

Maria A. Niederberger: New Work PREMIERE

Yu-Hui Chang: Germinate WEST COAST PREMIERE

Commissioned by Boston Musica Viva (BMV), the oldest professional ensemble in the United States dedicated to contemporary music, Germinate was written for their 50th anniversary in 2019. Scored for flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, Germinate is a tribute to BMV for its contribution to the music of our time. A former UC Davis faculty member, Chang now teaches at Brandeis University.

Jonathan Harvey: Still

Portia Njoku, tuba and UC Davis lecturer in music

In Still, written for solo tuba and electronics, the soloist improvises around a series of eight chords, gradually building up a sustained background of reverberations.

Lee Hyla: Polish Folk Songs

Another BMV commission, Hyla’s Polish Folk Songs notably uses the melodica and organ to evoke melodies the composer heard in Zakopane, Poland. Hyla noted, “In my composition I have taken a number of the songs commonly heard in the area and re-combined them, allowing them to bump heads as well as interact peacefully.”

Aida Cuevas 45th Anniversary at the Mondavi

Yo Creo Que Es Tiempo

Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 p.m., Mondavi Center

A legendary and powerful voice in Mexican music for more than 40 years, Aida Cuevas is truly the “The Queen of Mariachi.” Cuevas, the first female mariachi singer to win a Grammy, is beloved for her unswerving devotion to traditional mariachi music and for her mastery of its demanding vocal forms. This rousing celebratory concert will feature beloved hits like “El Pastor” and “Mexico en la piel” as well as her greatest hits “Te Doy Las Gracias” and “Quizás Mañana”.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Three New Exhibitions at the Pence

Worthy Mysteries: new work by Steve Briscoe

Oct. 5 – Nov. 5, artist reception: Oct. 14, 6 – 9 p.m.

Black blob on graphic background artwork
"Field Day" is among the works on display by Steve Briscoe. (Courtesy photo)

Steve Briscoe’s current exhibit, Worthy Mysteries, includes a stunning selection of sculpture, paintings, and installations that invite both contemplation and joyful delight. Using ordinary objects such as boxes, signs, stencils and scrap wood, he builds structures that seem both crafted and improvised. His constructed ambiguous tools point to our universal ability to create implements that contain the potential for creative use and abuse. In his paintings, Briscoe questions our ability to build a complete understanding through language. Bits of words, diagrams, and symbols float across fields of color, offering multiple entry points to communication. Briscoe’s work embraces the simplicity of the everyday object — the tool, the box, the sign — but recontextualizes it to allow for a new understanding of our world as we experience it. Sponsored by MAK Design + Build.

Artist Collective

Oct. 11 – Nov. 27, artist reception: Oct. 14, 6 – 9 p.m.

Interwoven presents work by a cadre of working artists united by the issues of creating art in our time. Members originate from places as distant as India and Germany, and as near as Davis and Woodland. Educated in many aspects of art and design, the group shares a deep curiosity and immersion in art. Their concerns are reflected through their unique pathways to artistic expression, playing out in art forms such as paintings, collage, photography, and sculpture. Sponsored by Rosa Marquez & Yatish Mishra.

Participating artists include Lynn Beldner, Joan Jarvis, Hannah Klaus Hunter, Rachel Kline, Jamie Madison, Edith Sauer Polonik, Sara Post, and Binuta Sudhakaran.

Fiberscapes: Quilted Landscapes by Marjan Kluepfel

Oct. 7 – 30, artist reception: Oct. 14, 6 – 9 p.m.

Fiberscapes features quilted landscapes by artist Marjan Kluepfel, who has been creating art quilts since 1990. After working in academia for many years, she is now a full-time studio artist in Davis, California. Marjan’s works are inspired by the beautiful and varied landscapes that can be found in Northern California. Constructed out of hand-dyed fabrics and machine sewn, her pieces display energetic color and movement which express her adoration of nature and its wonder.

Find more information here.

Honoring the Dead of World War I at Gallery 625

Oct. 7 – Nov. 29

A photographic exhibition commemorating the centennial of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and the “Yolo County Dead of WWIS” will be on display at Yolo Arts’ Gallery 625.

Presented by the Friends of the Yolo County Archives and the “Lest We Forget” Project. “Missing Man” Ceremony by American Legion Post 77.

Find more information here.

Gallery 625, curated by YoloArts, is committed to supporting the continual growth and development of the arts in Yolo County by providing space and opportunity for the exhibition o farts. The gallery provides a diverse selection of artistic mediums by emergent to established artists. They are located at 625 Court Street, Woodland. 

Coming Up

Joseph Donald Peterson, Solo Viola

Thursday, Oct. 13, 12:05 – 1 p.m.

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Joseph Donald Peterson, viola and UC Davis graduate student in music

This program includes J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012, Milton Babbitt: Play It Again Sam, and Pablo Ortiz: Le vrai tango Argentin

The California Studio Artist Lecture: Jessica Segall

October 13, 4:30 p.m.

Manetti Shrem Museum


Jessica Segall, dressed in blue, visiting artist at UC Davis

Jessica Segall is a visual artist whose work is often sited in hostile and threatened landscapes. She has exhibited internationally and attended residencies at MacDowell and Skowhegan. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University and B.A. from Bard College. She is the teaching artist in residence in The California Studio: Manetti Shrem Artist Residencies.

Organized by The California Studio in the Department of Art and Art History. Co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Aztlan Underground, TANA

Oct. 13, 6 p.m., free

Light refreshments & botana available

Join TANA for an exciting musical evening with Aztlan Underground, a longstanding influential band from Los Ángeles that combines Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, Jazz, and electronic music with Chicano and Native American themes, and indigenous instrumentation. The evening will begin with a blessing & danza led by Calpulli Tlayolotl. 

Aztlan Underground, aka Anahuak Underground, is a cultural activist music group that utilizes art as a weapon against colonialism. Aztlan Underground is a fusion band from Los Angeles aka Tovaangar –Tongva land. Since the early 1990s, Aztlan Underground has played hip hop fused with Indigenous instrumentation such as drums, flutes, and rattles. These instruments are commonplace in its musical compositions. Aztlan Underground has evolved into a fusion of indigenous instrumentation combined with elements of jazz, punk, rapcore, and hip hop. This unique sound is the backdrop for the band's message of dignity for indigenous people, all of humanity, and Mother Earth. Aztlan Underground has been cultivating a grass roots audience across the globe, which has become a large and loyal underground following. Because Aztlan Underground chooses a path of empowerment over economic success in their music, they have remained a grassroots band all these years with funding coming from colleges and communities where they are supported. Aztlan Underground has a history of playing shows for indigenous causes, migrant issues. anti-white supremacy and environmental events. 

Participating members for this event include: Yaotl Mazahua: vocalist/percussionist, Bulldog aka F. Aragon: Vocalist/flutes, Genetic Wind songs: Harmonica/Flutes/chants 

Read more about Aztlan Underground here.

Art Social Media of the Week

An Instagram post shows a new art installation in Hutchinson Hall. A web of white paper clay tubes on the wall depict a “mycorrhizal network.”

Media Resources

Arts Blog Editor, Karen Nikos-Rose

Subscribe to the Arts Blog Newsletter, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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