The Whale and Jazz Festival kicks off with "Poetry & Jazz" at Point
Arena CityArt on Thursday, April 5. This event was held for the first time at the 2006
Festival and was a smashing success.
The event will feature legendary poet QR Hand, Jr., North Beach Poets Ronald Sauer and Rebecca Peters,
as well as local poets Fionna Perkins, Janet DeBar, Blake More, Steve
Hellman, and Leo Barton.
Poets will be accompanied by the CityArt Jazz Combo, featuring Harrison Goldberg on sax, Burton Segall on bass,
Chris Campbell on drums, plus Karl Young on shakuhachi and other surprise guests.
A recognized "house" of poetry, CityArt is the home of the
longstanding Third Thursday Poetry Series, and will be festooned
for the event with mood lighting, cocktail tables and a no host bar.
On the night of the event, San Francisco artist Jeff Grove will
be doing live drawings of the poets and musicians. The CityArt walls
will feature the acrylic paintings of Miguel Delisi.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m., music at 7:30 p.m., poetry at 8:00 p.m.
Admission $12 in advance, $15 at the door (if available).
Advance sale tickets available at:Gualala Arts Center (MC/VI) and The Record in Point Arena.
For more information, contact event organizer Blake More
707-884-9189). For more information on CityArt, please visit their
www.cityart.ws or call 707-882-3616.
Q.R. Hand, Jr. - Guest Poet
Q.R.'s works are complicated, intricate tapestries of mental associations, words torn apart by a scattered mind, made more scattered every day. "We are of the saying," he has said with the spoken-word troupe known as the Word-Wind Orchestra - a group of musicians and writers who have a self-published CD available at Bird and Beckett Books and Music in San Francisco.
We are of the saying. And that is that.
Ronald Sauer - Guest Poet
Multi-faceted Sauer is a poet/New Yorker musician, art collector, translator of Charles Baudelaire's Le Spleen de Paris (1868) and many another great French poets. His translations include Gaspard de la Nuit, by Aloysius Bertrand, (the first book of French prose-poems from 1838), Voltaire, Jacques Prevert, the Haitian writer Jacques Roumain with altogether some four hundred pages of French writing. He is also a book, film, and art critic. Sauer was Professor of Film History at the Academy of Art College for three years. Resident of Europe for eight years, he organized poetry events and edited magazines, including the Ins-And-Outs Poetry Anthology, Amsterdam (1980).
Among others, Poetry (and Translations from the French) published in: City Lights Journal (Editors: Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Nancy Peters); American Poetry Review; Androgyne Magazine (Editor Ken Weichel, Androgyne Press, S.F.); Oxygen Magazine (Editor: Richard Hack, S.F.); Beatitude Magazine, North Beach S.F. (Various editors): Beatitude Silver Anniversary Issue (Editor: Jeff Grossman); Canyon Cinema Catalogue, S.F. (Movie Reviews. Editor: Dominic Angerame); Ins-And-Outs Magazine Amsterdam (Editor: Eddy Woods); Ins-And-Outs Poetry Anthology (Editor: Ronald F. Sauer); North Beach Journal (Editor: Howard Munsen); North Beach Now Magazine (Editor: Tony Long); North Coast Review (Editor: Vince Storti)
Rebecca Peters - Guest Poet
Rebecca Peters was born 1962 in Ventura, California with university in Santa Barbara, into a happy cultural vacuum (or a "Bakersfield on the beach") where her formative influence was an early single-minded enthusiasm for classic Hollywood film from between the wars: silents through pre-code and ending with Film Noir. The intriguing distance in eras had the lucky effect of providing fertile ground for a creative inner world, as well as a taste for the music of the era, the Tin Pan Alley and Jazz Orchestras, and for the Art influences from still earlier years, the Avant-Garde and the Expressionists. This was also the start of a larger world outlook by triggering a desire to travel, which began in 1986 and continued for eight years: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Nepal, Thailand, (five years in) Japan, Bali, New Zealand, the Trans-Siberian Railway eastward into Europe, (and two years in) Greece, before moving somewhat unexpectedly back to the West Coast, as a confirmed ex-pat, to San Francisco in 1993.
In San Francisco, she still teaches English as a second language, the gig she had taken up abroad, but it was here that she also met spirited poet, musician and artist Ronald Sauer and fell into the North Beach art scene, there being something about the collective spirit in SF that can prod one to turn inner enthusiasms outward. In North Beach, she began to show her own art, Deco-influenced collage. And it was Ronald Sauer who, as a guitarist dovetailing his own musical interests with hers by learning jazz-chord arrangements to 20s and 30s songs Peters knew by ear, encouraged her to take a step further by performing duets with him, chanteuse-style. They also continue to exhibit their artwork in North Beach several times a year as part of their 'Fly-By-Night' productions, curating group art shows and spotlighting both well-known and emerging artists from this unique and ever-creative neighborhood.
Blake More - Poetry & Jazz Event Coordinator - Poet
Blake More is a poet, teacher, visual artist, performance artist, local art entrepreneur and self-proclaimed dork. A visit to her website
"be more creations" will illuminate many facets of this extraordinary, multi-faceted and talented woman.
Blake wowed the crowd at the 2005 Whale & Jazz Festival Main Event with her poetic tribute to John Coltrane accompanied by Steve Heckman on Tenor Sax. That performance led to the Festival Committee's wanting to include a poetry and jazz event in its lineup, and Blake stepped up to become the event coordinator and a featured poet for the opening of the 2006 Whale & Jazz Festival with "Poetry & Jazz" at CityArt.
Later that year, Blake received the Arts Council of Mendocino County 4th Annual Art Champion Award in the category of Artist. Blake was honored for her demonstrated excellence in the fields of literary, visual, and theater arts, while integrating art into the daily life of her community and for supporting and inspiring youth participation in the arts.
Blake works extensively in the South Coast Area as a California Poet in the Schools (CPITS) Poet Teacher at Point Arena Elementary and High School, Pacific Charter and Horicon School. She also coaches the Point Arena High School Poetry Slam team.
Currently, she is designing costumes for the SF Mime Troupe's 11th Annual Youth Theater Festival opening in early April. She is also on the Board of Directors of Point Arena CityArt and is the driving force behind the Third Thursday Poetry Reading Nights. Talk about multi-tasking!
Fionna Perkins - Point Arena Poet Laureate
A poet, journalist, writer, wife, feminist, environmental activist, animal lover, one-time bookstore owner, and library founder, Fionna was honored as the City's Poet Laureate at the turn of the century. She moved to the north coast in 1962 with Richard, her husband, an architect, after opening Mendocino Village's first bookstore, Fionna's Bay Window Gallery. Her own book of poetry, The Horse Orchard, was published in 2000 by Floreant Press, © 2000 by Fionna Perkins. Her love of nature is reflected in written word, with a particularly warm spot for horses. She takes pen to paper in recognition of recent events, including Point Arena's Independence Day Celebrations, Kite Day, and the fall harvest and has honored us with inspirational words in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001. Our Poet Laureate is a true gem and a local treasure.
Steve Hellman - Poet
Improvisational poet Steven Hellman has appeared at venues from Los Angeles to San Francisco and throughout the West Coast for more than two decades. He began performing in San Francisco in the early 1980's under the mentorship of poet Max Schwartz where Hellman learned the rhythms and oral cadences that go with improvising, along with the technique of drawing directly from the unconscious mind.
Spontaneous work takes a leap of faith, Hellman explains, to leave the page and the written word behind. "Like with any leap, it's a felt sensation," he says. "Trusting the heart and mind to come forward with their truth, once you do it, there's no turning back. The spontaneous process literally frees you to draw from your barest and most honest and immediate sources."
Through his spontaneous spoken word, Hellman forges work not only from his own personal experiences, but also from words and images given to him from his audiences. "What I do," he says. "I build a mental skeleton for a piece, then I improvise freely to add in the flesh, or I ask the audience for a word and do a completely pure improvisation."
Hellman points to the growth of spontaneous work in hip-hop music and its ongoing presence in filmmaking. He likens the process to an actor improvising lines during a film shoot, lines which actors and directors often admit become the best part of performance for the screen. "I'd like to see more poets take the leap," Hellman says. "Not long ago I encouraged one poet to try improvising at an open reading in Willits. She did wonderfully, a felt poem about love and family. She amazed herself and the rest of us with her outcome." While Hellman admits the spontaneous process doesn't work for everyone, he says he has found no better way to express the sheer joy and the deepest meaning of being humanly alive and in the moment.
Janet DeBar - Poet
Janet DeBar has been reading and writing poetry since her childhood in Beech Bottom, West Virginia. She studied English Lit at the college of Wooster in Ohio and at Stanford University but hopes that these experiences have not made a lasting impact on her poetry. She began reading her poems to audiences when she moved to the North Coast about seventeen years ago. Her work appears in Wood, Water, Air and Fire, the Anthology of Mendocino Women Poets. She is delighted to have been included with ruth weiss and the Checkered Demon in the Café Review.
Leo Barton - Poet
I was born not quite a city kid, not quite a hick, in the Santa Cruz mountains, and if that were not enough, I home schooled too. Needless to say, when my family and i moved here in late 1999, my background was fitting for any resident of the south coast. However, high school was to pose a problem: my home schooling and spending my time with adults left me ill prepared for the IQ suppressing structure and truly sickening displays of teenaged romance / "circle of friends" bs.
In response to my new situation, I gave up on trying to fit in, and instantly found my niche. I picked up a guitar, (yes, it was high school and yes i was trying to impress a girl and no it didn't work), partly as a way of expressing myself (and maybe getting a date), and partly to acquire class time to work on my new found way of getting out of work, i.e. Artistic goal.
What started out as a testosterone-induced display of musical exploits, eventually (after it didn't work and I was still single) the music became the passion. I found the muse of sound. Eventually, I think I was spending half the time officially dubbed 'school time' and 'homework' working on music, either in the classroom with port royal, the point arena high school jazz ensemble, or at home, playing 'voodoo child' or the like at full volume, (in lieu of English homework... Does it show?)
As with all things that take forever to end, high school ended all too soon, with my guitar playing just starting to get good enough to start 'faking' it with other social rejects (also known as musicians) in whatever unpaid gig I could scrape up.
In the half year or so I have been free of the shackles of public education, I have luckily already come to the conclusion there is no such thing as an 'unpaid' gig: the payment, for me, is ample the moment just one person's toe taps the floor in time with mine.
Event Coordinator Blake More has gathered a talented group of jazz musicians that will open the evening with a mellow jazz set and then accompany the poets on the program.
Harrison Goldberg - Saxophones
Harrison Goldberg is a versatile artist whose art forms include the visual arts, poetry and music. He plays a Yamaha soprano sax, Selmer MKVI tenor sax, and Conn classic silver alto sax. Goldberg's departure from mainstream jazz began in 1992 with the formation of the performance art collaborative Tabula Rasa. This four-piece ensemble undertook an intentional regimen of mental and musical exercises designed to reach beyond the players' musical "programming" as jazz musicians, and augment it with the pure ability to create - by inspiration as it were - through attentive, intuitive listening. Although Goldberg now works with many contemporary improvisational artists, the fruit of these years of musical experiment and growth are best represented in Neon Egypt, a continuing collaboration between Goldberg and Tabula Rasa multi-percussionist Steven Miller. Their modern music is fully and spontaneously improvised and recorded live without overdubs or retakes.
Goldberg is an alumnus of Boston's Berklee College of Music and a member of the International Association for Jazz Education. His musical epic story And Music Was King is currently being scripted for theater performance. Besides his music activities, 'Harrison', as he is popularly known, is recognized in northern California as an award winning visual artist and wine label designer, and is presently assembling a book of his artwork and poetry for publication. He makes his home on The Sea Ranch in Sonoma County. Please visit Harrison's website at
Burton Segall - Acoustic Bass
Burton Segall, bassist, was born in Los Angeles and moved to Mendocino County in 1992. He supports himself as Operations Director at the public radio station KZYX&Z, where he has been working since 2001. He has been co-hosting "Sunday Evening Jazz" there since the Spring of 2000.
Burton realized his bassness after 20 years of searching, including taking lessons on violin, clarinet, guitar, saxophone and piano. In the late '70's, he played tenor sax in an all black Big Band. That South Central Los Angeles based group included musicians who were active on the L.A. jazz scene in the '40's and '50's, and one the trumpeters toured with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie.
After years as a self taught bassist, Burton began studying in 2001 with what has become a series of teachers. In dealing with his music obsession, he teaches music and musicianship, is co-teaching a high school jazz combo class, and performs in groups from duos to big bands (and larger).
Burton is especially excited about his on-going relationships with multi-instrumentalist and educator Bob Ayres, who directs the Boonville Big Band, in which Burton plays; guitarist Pilar Duran, who appears with Burton in duo and trio (the Boontniiks); and his current bass teachers Chris Amberger and Henry Franklin.
Karl Young - Shakuhachi
Karl Young, a physicist by day, has been playing the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, for many years, having studied with a number of master players including Yoshio Kurahashi, Kaoru Kakizakai, and Riley Lee. His main interest is in the traditional Buddhist pieces, known as honkyoku, but having played jazz for many years he has been working on finding a jazz voice for the shakuhachi as well.
Chris Campbell - Drums
A San Franciscan who found his way to a life on the coast three years ago, Chris Campbell started playing drums as a youth and never stopped. From his early performance days in concert bands, jazz band, theatre pit orchestra, and marching bands to forming rock bands with his classmates, he has developed a varied style. He is comfortable in almost any genre and finds himself at home on stage. He prefers to keep his interests varied musically and currently plays with a handful of bands on the coast and in San Francisco.
Chris can be heard playing drums in a variety of local venues including regularly at Bones Roadhouse in Gualala . . . at both "Blues Jam" and "Open Mike" Nights.
On Saturday evening, the
Main Event Jazz Concert at Gualala Arts Center features the Montclair Women's Jazz Ensemble, with vocalist Rhonda Benin selected from the Montclair
Women's Big Band, and 11-year-old jazz flute sensation, Elena Pinderhughes.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for beer, wine and a martini bar along with savory and sweet tapas plates available for purchase. Limited open cabaret seating at 7:00 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance or $35 the day of the event. Call Gualala Arts at (707) 884-1138 weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Visa and MC accepted.
Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival
runs four days and kicks off Thursday, April 5 evening at Point Arena CityArt for
Poetry & Jazz,
with a jazz ensemble accompanying both local and guest artist poets. The
Dinner & Jazz,
Brunch & Jazz and
Sunset & Jazz
events hosted by local restaurants are returning by popular demand,
Chowder & Jazz and the Whale and Jazz Festival
Main Event, both
at the Gualala Arts Center.
And what about the whales? There will be plenty of opportunities around the
jazz events to observe the gray whale migration that passes Gualala heading
north at this time of year.
Point Arena Lighthouse
offers exceptional spots
to view the whales, as does Gualala Point Regional Park,
and the film,
Whales: An Unforgettable Journey,
will be shown on Saturday, April 7.
The Whale and Jazz Festival is produced by Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce and Gualala Arts, Inc.
More information about festival events is available
in Gualala Arts' monthly newsletter,
and at whaleandjazzfestival.com.
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.