Skip to Navigation


Nonesuch Events for the Weekend of October 5–7

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012: Emmylou Harris, Sara Watkins

Emmylou Harris and Sara Watkins will be among the performers at the 12th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, which takes place this weekend in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. This will be the first Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to be held since its founder, the financier, philanthropist, and bluegrass lover Warren Hellman, passed away last December due to complications from leukemia. The area in Golden Gate Park where the free festival is held has been named the Hellman Hollow in his honor.

Harris, who has performed at every HSB since its founding in 2001, takes part in a musical tribute to Warren Hellman and two American musical pioneers also lost this past year, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson. The set, Tribute to the Founding Fathers, takes place on the Banjo Stage at 2:45 PM, and will feature performances from Stuart Duncan, Tim O'Brien, Steve Earle, Nick Lowe, and more. Harris, who will be joined by Heidi Clare and Colleen Brown, of Hellman’s band The Wronglers.

Harris also takes her usual spot as the festival's closing headliner on the Banjo Stage Sunday evening at 5:45 PM.

Sara Watkins plays the festival's Porch Stage Saturday at noon. She remains in San Francisco another day, to perform at the Fillmore Sunday night with Conor Oberst and Beachwood Sparks. Watkins was the featured guest on last weekend's episode of the Nerdist podcast, which can be heard at


The Black Keys, who launched a tour of the US West earlier this week, bring the show to Los Angeles for two nights at the Staples Center, tonight and Saturday, marking the band's headline debut at the venue. Tegan and Sara open both shows and those all along this leg of the Keys' tour. The Los Angeles Times, in a preview of the weekend's shows, says The Black Keys "have for the last decade tapped into the rich, deep well of American roots music and have proved over and over again that they understand the Truth of rock 'n' roll, blues, country and western, and rhythm and blues."


As noted earlier today in the Nonesuch Journal, Carolina Chocolate Drops launch their European fall tour with a show at Roisin Dubh in Galway, Ireland, on Sunday. The tour, for which the band will be joined by supporting artists David Wax Museum, continues in Ireland and into the UK next week before heading to the Continent.


Fatoumata Diawara brings her debut headline US tour to a close with three performances this weekend: at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC, tonight, followed by two days at the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival in Pittsboro, North Carolina, on Saturday and Sunday.


Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra conclude their three-concert residency at Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria, with two concerts this weekend, at Bergkirche Donnerskirchen on Saturday and Haydn Hall on Sunday.

The latest album from Kremer and the Kremerata, The Art of Instrumentation: Homage to Glenn Gould, was released last week on Nonesuch Records. Released on what would have been Glenn Gould’s 80th birthday, the album comprises 11 pieces and arrangements by contemporary composers that quote from or are inspired by works, mostly by Bach, that Gould famously recorded during his career. The Guardian, giving the album four stars, says that "Kremer and his superb young orchestra give them the respectful attention they deserve."


Kronos Quartet plays several special shows close to home in the Bay Area in the days ahead, starting with an opening set for electronic musician Amon Tobin at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre tonight, as part of his ISAM:LIVE tour.

Up next, Kronos is the guest artists of the Santa Rosa Symphony for a three-night residency, performing Saturday and Monday nights and Sunday afternoon, in the recently opened Weill Hall at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. The Quartet joins for the world premiere of Berkeley composer Edmund Campion's The Last Internal Combustion Engine, a concerto for string quartet, orchestra and electronics written for Kronos. Also on the program are Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute and Mahler’s Titan Symphony.


Jessica Lea Mayfield plays a set for the eighth-annual Vulcan AfterTunes series at Vulcan Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday. She and brother David Mayfield are set to launch a US tour together at the end of November.


Brad Mehldau performs four solo sets at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room in New York City tonight and Saturday, playing two sets each night. The Hartford Courant, previewing Mehldau's solo show in Hartford last night, describes the pianist/composer's home-state performance as "one of the premier jazz events of the year."


Pat Metheny and his Unity Band—featuring Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass—close out the Southern leg of their extensive US tour with three shows this weekend: at the House of Blues in Dallas tonight, the MSU Reilly Center in Meridian, Mississippi, on Saturday, and the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on Sunday. The remainder of the tour takes the band to the Northeast, through next weekend.


Punch Brothers join The New Yorker's Alec Wilkinson for a conversation at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City tonight as a part of The New Yorker Festival's Conversations with Music series. Chances are good that the conversation may touch upon the announcement earlier this week that band member Chris Thile has been named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.

The band resumes its US tour on Sunday with a show at The Paramount in Huntington, New York, on Sunday. Tom Brosseau opens.


Allen Toussaint plays a set at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, on Saturday, opening for Galactic featuring Corey Glover (of Living Color).


wow - so many great events, wish I could have attended TBK!

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.