Carlsbad Music Festival’s 2012 Lineup

by The Editors on September 14, 2012

CarlsbadmusicfestThe Carlsbad Music Festival drums into town September 21-23, 2012 with some old favorites and some new groups as well.

This year’s Festival features everything from the Calder Quartet’s throughly contemporary take on the string quartet to Sara Watkins‘ personal mix of bluegrass, singer-songwriter and pop; from Wu Man’s international take on the traditional Chinese pipa to composer Michael Gordon’s epic and brilliant composition for 6 percussionists playing amplified and tuned 2x4s (yes, from the hardware store), Timber. In short, “adventurous music by the beach.”

With performances in the Carlsbad Train Station, Carlsbad Village Theater, St. Michael’s By The Sea, and the Community center it’s going to be difficult to get away from the sounds of great music in the village. We’re looking most forward to the mellow surf/jazz sounds of The Matson2. Festival passes are available for $85 individual tickets are proved between $10 and $15.

For a complete rundown of the weekend’s event and information on buying tickets follow the jump.2012 CARLSBAD MUSIC FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 21-23
Adventurous music by the beach.

“one of the area’s most innovative music showcases” -KPBS

Festival to feature composer Michael Gordon, the Calder Quartet, Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek), Wu Man and many others in the seaside Village of Carlsbad.

(Carlsbad, CA, August 16, 2012) The ninth annual Carlsbad Music Festival will be held Friday- Sunday, September 21-23, 2012 in Carlsbad, CA. This year’s eclectic and adventurous Festival will feature some of the most interesting musicians working across genres including classical, folk, Jazz, pop and world music. All events will take place in the charming Village of Carlsbad, within a short walking distance of the train, beach, hotels, and restaurants. This year’s Festival features everything from the Calder Quartet’s throughly contemporary take on the string quartet to Sara Watkins’ personal mix of bluegrass, singer-songwriter and pop; from Wu Man’s international take on the traditional Chinese pipa to composer Michael Gordon’s epic and brilliant composition for 6 percussionists playing amplified and tuned 2x4s (yes, from the hardware store), Timber. In short, “adventurous music by the beach.”

The Festival weekend will begin on Friday evening with a continuation of our popular free Village Music Walk, where Festival and community musicians perform indoor and outdoor concerts at intimate unconventional locations throughout the Village. The evening kicks off at the Carlsbad Train Station with a percussion performance timed to the trains and continues with small concerts at venues such as Spin Records, the Foundry at New Village Arts, Giacoletti Music and It’s a Grind Coffee Shop. The Village Music Walk is a fun and social evening of exploring the Village and offers a rare chance to hear world-class musicians in incredibly intimate settings.

The Festival will continue with indoor and outdoor concerts in locations throughout the Village on Saturday and Sunday with a grand finale free outdoor concert in Magee Park by Sara Watkins.

This year the Festival will be featuring works by composer-in-residence Michael Gordon, whose music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power, and who is one of the three founders of New York’s legendary Bang on a Can. Gordon’s residency will include performances of his choral music by Sacra/Profana and the San Diego Children’s Choir, and the West Coast premiere of his major new work Timber by New York-based Mantra Percussion, for whom it was written. Timber, is scored for six wooden 2x4s, cut into different sizes, giving each one a slightly different pitch. The result is a meditation on sound and rhythm, bringing the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level.

Performing at the Festival will be CMF Founding Ensemble-in-Residence, the Calder Quartet, one of the country’s preeminent string quartets know for their interpretations of traditional repertoire, work with emerging and master composers, and cross-genre collaborations. As part of the Festival’s long-standing relationship with the Calders, it has commissioned 12 works for the quartet. Ten of these works will be recorded and released as part of their Eclectic Currents recording project during the Festival’s 10th anniversary season.

Each year the Carlsbad Music Festival, in partnership with ArtPower! at UC San Diego, holds the Carlsbad Music Festival Composers Competition for composers under the age of 35. The competition has become internationally known for giving early exposure to some of the most compelling young composers. This year’s winner is New York-based Andy Akiho who was selected from over 200 applicants from 22 countries to write a major new piece for the Calder Quartet. Akiho is a composer and steel pan virtuoso who has recently performed as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella series at Disney Hall, and has received a commission from the New York Philharmonic Contact Series. Akiho will also play an outdoor concert of his music for steel pan.

Local guitar and drums duo, the Mattson2 will play an outdoor concert immediately following Akiho’s that will feature their signature stylish mix of Jazz meets surf rock. This group of twins Jonathan and Jared Mattson combine these vintage elements for a fresh sound that has found them audiences around the world.

This year, with the generous support of the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, the Carlsbad Music Festival will present a large-scale free outdoor concert on Sunday afternoon at Magee Park. This concert will feature Sara Watkins, a Carlsbad native and former member of the progressive bluegrass ensemble Nickel Creek, with an opening set by Carlsbad-based mandolin and bass duo MandoBasso. Sara Watkins will be performing along with her brother Sean Watkins, and they will be presenting music from Sara’s recent album, “Sun Midnight Sun.” This concert marks the first time the Festival has presented a large-scale outdoor concert, and this event promises to draw a large and diverse audience for the Festival’s grand finale.

Internationally renown pipa (Chinese lute) player and Carlsbad resident, Wu Man, will play a solo concert that will feature traditional Chinese music, original compositions and collaborations with bassist Mark Dresser, shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki and percussionist Kjell Nordeson. Cited by the Los Angeles Times as “the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World”, Wu Man continually collaborates with some of the most distinguished musicians and conductors performing today, and is a principal member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.

The Festival will also include a performance by San Diego-based modern choir Sacra/Profana. Since its debut in 2009, Sacra/Profana has rapidly been gaining a reputation as an exciting new voice in American choral music. The 24-voice ensemble specializes in a unique blend of classic and contemporary style championing seminal work of the modern choral repertoire alongside the newest compositions. Their Festival program will include works by Michael Gordon for which they will be joined by the San Diego Children’s Choir and Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna.

Brooklyn-based pianist and composer Timothy Andres will perform a concert of works by his contemporaries and traditional repertoire alongside his own work. His compositions meld a classical music upbringing with diverse interests in the natural world, graphic arts, technology, cooking, and photography. His debut album on Nonesuch Records, “Shy and Mighty,” received widespread critical acclaim and Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that it “achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene… more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.”

Kicking off both Saturday and Sunday will be hands-on family-friendly activities co-presented by the Museum of Making Music that anyone of any age can participate in. On Saturday, Sean Conway will lead Bombshell Boom Boom, an instrument building workshop using PVC pipe and balloons followed by a spontaneous marching band of those instruments. On Sunday, Mantra Percussion will lead a performance of composer Aaron Siegel’s Science is only a Sometimes Friend for 8 glockenspiels with parts for audience participation (minimal musicianship required) on instruments they bring.

The Carlsbad Music Festival is an annual event that features world-class adventurous performers and composers in the charming seaside Village of Carlsbad. The Festival was founded in 2003 by composer, violinist and Carlsbad-native, Matt McBane and presented its first festival in spring 2004. The Festival has been praised by local and national media including the Los Angeles Times, which called the Festival “magnificently enlightening.” In 2010, the Festival won the national ASCAP Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming at an award ceremony in New York. This year, the Festival was awarded a prestigious Artworks Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

In addition to the artistic quality of the programming, the relationship to the community is of utmost importance to the Festival. This year’s community events include five interactive performance-demonstrations in Carlsbad schools by Festival musicians, hands on activities for families at the Festival, and performances by community musicians at outdoor stages throughout the Festival. In addition, many of the Festival Artists are have long-standing ties to Carlsbad: Sara Watkins, Ben Jacobson of the Calder Quartet and Matt McBane all grew up here; and Sara Watkins and Wu Man are both current residents.

Carlsbad Music Festival Schedule and Ticket information
Paid tickets range from $10-$20 and there are many free events. Festival passes for all events including premium seating at the Sara Watkins concert are $85. Tickets are not required for free events.

Friday, September 21:
5:30-9:00 Village Music Walk
free, various locations in the Village of Carlsbad.
Kicks off at 5:30 at the Village Train Station with a percussion performance. From 6:30- 9:00 there 20+ performances by Festival Artists and community musicians starting every 30 minutes at locations including The Foundry at New Village Arts Theatre, Spin Records, Giacoletti Music, Box’d Restaurant, It’s a Grind coffee shop and St. Michael’s Church.

Saturday, September 22:
1:30 Timothy Andres, piano
$15, Carlsbad Village Theater 3:00 Andy Akiho, steel pan
free, Outdoor Stage 4:00 Mattson2
free, Outdoor Stage 5:00 Sacra/Profana
$10, St. Michael’s by the Sea 7:00 Wu Man, pipa
$20, Carlsbad Village Theater
9:00 Mantra Percussion plays Michael Gordon’s Timber
$15, Harding Community Center

Sunday, September 23:
1:00 Mantra Percussion plays Aaron Siegel’s Science is Only a Sometimes Friend
free, Magee Park 2:30 Calder Quartet
$20, Carlsbad Village Theater 4:30 Sara Watkins with MandoBasso
free lawn seating + $20 premium seating, Magee Park

Venue Locations:
Carlsbad Village Train Station 2775 State Street
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Carlsbad Village Theater 2822 State Street Carlsbad, CA 92008

St. Michael’s by the Sea 2775 Carlsbad Blvd. Carlsbad, CA 92008
Harding Community Center 3096 Harding Street Carlsbad, CA 92008
Tickets are available at:

Festival websites:

Artist websites:

Partner Organization websites:

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