Dan the Automator
The Kronos Quartet
This marks the 76th year for the beloved (and free!) Stern Grove Festival—and this year's concert series is just as jammed pack with local bands, cultural institutions, and world-renowned artists as last. But who, you ask, will be playing? Of course there will be the standard performances from San Francisco Ballet, the Symphony and the Opera, but San Francisco got the exclusive scoop on the rest of the lineup. (You're welcome in advance.) Take a look and plan accordingly.
The Big Picnic Benefit and Concert Starring Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs (June 16)
The season begins with the two Grammy-winners and music veterans. McDonald is known for his work with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers Scaggs, a singer and guitarist, began with The Stevie Miller Band before embarking on his own storied career as a front-man—but he might be more famous around these parts for opening Slim's back in 1988. Be aware: The Big Picnic begins with a ticketed benefit party followed by the admission-free concert at 2:00 p.m, but seats for the concert are first come-first served so make sure to get there with plenty of time to spare. Tickets for the party are available on the Festival’s website.
Ramsey Lewis and Dee Dee Bridgewater with Quadron (June 23)
The legendary jazz composer and pianist (best known for chart-toppers like "Wade in the Water" and "The In Crowd") will be joined by vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater for an afternoon of classic R&B and soul. In a smart bit of counter-programming, the Festival has scheduled the au courant duo Quadron as openers, whose minimalist electronic soul has a track in the upcoming film version of The Great Gatsby.
Deltron 3030 featuring Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Kid Koala with Orchestra (June 30)
Has it really been 13 years since the hip-hop super-group released their first and only album, Deltron 3030? Fear not— after years of work, the powerhouses are finally releasing the follow up this June, Deltron Event II, so you can expect a lot of new material mixed in with the classics.
Kronos Quartet, Featuring a World Premiere Composition by Amon Tobin, and Performances by Geographer with Magik*Magik Quartet and Real Vocal String Quartet (July 14)
The Kronos Quartet is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a world premiere composition by producer, performer, and composer Amon Tobin, co-commissioned by the Stern Grove Festival and the Lincoln Center for Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Kicking off the celebration will be the Bay Area’s own innovative Real Vocal String Quartet, followed by a tribute to Kronos with local indie-electronica group Geographer with Magik*Magik Quartet.
Fanfare Ciocărlia and Red Baraat (July 21)
The Romanian Gypsy brass group, Fanfare Ciocărlia has amassed a huge following in Europe and recently performed at the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Brooklyn-based Red Baraat rounds out the day with their high-energy, globally-inspired melding of hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop.
Shuggie Otis and The Relatives (August 4)
Best known for penning the 1977 hit “Strawberry Letter 23,” for the Brothers Johnson, and son of the legendary rhythm and blues bandleader Johnny Otis, Shuggie just re-leased his cult classic 1974 album Inspiration Information in April 2013 on Sony. Opening the show is the inspiring sound of psychedelic gospel funksters, The Relatives. Founded in the 70’s, the group reunited in 2009 and has been winning accolades at performances ranging from Lincoln Center, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and this year’s South by Southwest.
Pink Martini and La Santa Cecilia (August 11)
Nouveau big band Pink Martini draws inspiration from music from all genres—classical, jazz, and old-fashioned pop—in a style that swings. Opening the afternoon is Latin Grammy-nominated Los Angeles group La Santa Cecelia, a modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock, and world music.