A portal to another time

By Marjorie Leet Ford THE SHOP’S carved wooden front door — both rough-hewn and fancy — quietly announces a portal to another time, when the ancient art of piano building was still going strong, and the world was as full of pianos as it now is of cars. The piano was the heart of the […]

Kim Nalley: back home on Fillmore

By Pamela Feinsilber IF THE FILLMORE were a university, rather than a school of hard knocks, jazz singer Kim Nalley would long ago have been awarded an honorary doctorate. Though she lives with husband Mike Lewis and their new baby girl Lydia in the saddle between Nob Hill and Russian Hill, looking out on the […]

It’s all about the music

THE LINEUP | Jason Olaine It’s that time of year again, when San Francisco’s swingingest, bluesiest and funkiest street party comes alive. The 2012 Fillmore Jazz Festival is July 7 and 8. This is the 28th year of the festival, which was created in 1984 to celebrate Fillmore’s jazz heritage at a time when much […]

Crackdown on booze at jazz fest

By Barbara Kate Repa FOR THE FIRST TIME in its 28-year history, those who wish to drink beer or wine at the Fillmore Jazz Festival this year must buy and consume it within the confines of one of seven “beverage gardens” — designated areas within the festival carpeted in artificial turf and enclosed by white […]

The St. Dominic’s connection

MUSIC | James DeKoven Considering that my favorite bands in high school were the likes of Black Sabbath, Mountain and Thin Lizzy, it made little sense that I was also buying Van Morrison records. His songs didn’t include blistering guitar solos or prophesies of nuclear Armageddon. Yet as a music-obsessed teen, I recognized that he […]

Etta in the Fillmore

EXCERPT | By Etta James Uncle Frank showed up in his car and whisked us up to San Francisco when I was 12. We dropped [my mother] Dorothy off in the Fillmore District, which looked like a hell-hole to me. L.A. was a vine-covered cottage compared to these slums. After the sunny skies of southern […]

Farewell to a big man with a tiny trumpet

JAZZ | Anthony Torres Mike “Coffee Picasso” Pitre, a true original local jazz talent and music scene treasure, died of a heart attack on December 18, leaving friends and admirers stunned at the sudden departure of the Bohemian Knuckleboogie lead man. He was 44. I can still vividly remember that first sighting of Coffee and […]

It’s the symphony’s centennial

NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENT Michael Tilson Thomas is one of the best things to happen to the San Francisco Symphony in its first 100 years. Join in this sing-along for the symphony’s centennial — today, December 8.

From Yoshi’s to Lincoln Center

JAZZ | Jason Olaine It seems like only yesterday that I came back home to the Bay Area after 10 years in New York to become artistic director of Yoshi’s new jazz club on Fillmore. That was May 2009, and here it is soon to be 2012. Now I find myself about to leave Yoshi’s […]

60 years of making music

LOCALS | Fran Moreland Johns Alden Gilchrist has been making music at at the corner of Fillmore and Jackson for the past 60 years — and on October 28 he will be honored with a special concert as the longtime music director of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

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