Carlsbad Music Festival Sept. 21 - 23 - Schedule of Events

The 2012 Carlsbad Music Festival will include several locals performing, including Carlsbad natives/residents Calder Quartet, Wu Man, Sara Watkins with Sean Watkins (of local bluegrass/Americana family band Nickel Creek) with MandoBasso, Sacra/Profana, the Mattson 2, and Matt McBane. Other highlights will include:

The West Coast premiere of composer-in-residence Michael Gordon's "Timber" by Mantra Percussion, plus performances of his choral and ensemble works.

The premiere of Andy Akiho's new string quartet, commissioned by the Fest for the Calder Quartet as part of their Composers Competition.

Free events including a Village Music Walk and a concert by Sara Watkins.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $20 and Festival Passes are $85. More information is available at

Friday, September 21:

5:30-9:00 Village Music Walk

Free, various locations in the Village of Carlsbad.

Saturday, September 22:

1:30 Timothy Andres, piano - $15, Carlsbad Village Theater

3:00 Andy Akiho, steel pan - Free, Outdoor Stage at St. Michael's by the Sea

4:00 The Mattson 2 - Free, Outdoor Stage at St. Michael's by the Sea. The Mattsons are UCSD alumni, where they studied with heavyweights like bassist Mark Dresser, saxophonist David Borgo, pianist/composer Anthony Davis, pianist/composer Kemau Kenyatta, and percussionist Steven Schick. The twin brothers have already established international careers by carving out their own personal instrumental music dynamic. Their older brother had a punk band called Cut You Up, but early on their father had introduced the boys to Art Blakey and Lee Morgan.

5:00 Sacra/Profana with San Diego Children's Choir - $10, St. Michael's by the Sea. Choral group Sacra/Profana was founded in 2008 by Krishan Oberoi. He received his master’s degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music in 2006. The ensemble’s repertoire includes music by such diverse artists as Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Cohen, Eric Whitacre, and Venezuelan composer Oscar Galián.

7:00 Wu Man, pipa - $20, Carlsbad Village Theater. Born in China, Wu Man is an experimental jazz-world-fusion performer whose specialty is a stringed instrument called the pipa. With cello player Yo-Yo Ma, she was a founding member of the Silk Road Ensemble. As part of the Carlsbad Music Festival, Wu Man will be performing along with Mark Dresser, bass; Kjell Nordeson, percussion; and Kojiro Umezaki on the shakuhachi. Wu Man’s program will feature traditional Chinese music for the pipa, as well as contemporary works to be announced from the stage.

9:00 Mantra Percussion plays Michael Gordon’s Timber - $15, Harding Community Center. Michael Gordon's work Timber is an evening-length tour de force. The piece is scored for six graduated wooden Simantras — Greek liturgical percussion instruments used by French composer Iannis Xenakis — that look surprisingly like tuned 2x4s from the hardware store.

Sunday, September 23:

1:00 Mantra Percussion - Free, Magee Park

2:30 Calder Quartet - $20, Carlsbad Village Theater. The foursome who founded the Calder Quartet graduated from USC in 2003. They've appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, the El Rey theater, and New York's Webster Hall. The lineup includes violinists Ben Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook, cellist Eric Byers, and violist Jonathan Moerschel.

4:30 Sara Watkins with MandoBasso - Free lawn seating + $20 premium seating, Magee Park. Sara Watkins was a member of the family bluegrass/Americana band Nickel Creek before releasing her debut solo album, produced by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Her group the Scrolls includes her brother Sean, and this show will find her backed by MandoBasso, whose founders Gunnar Biggs (bass) and Bill Bradbury (mandolin) met while working on musical projects at Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College. Biggs was 19 when he first joined the San Diego Symphony. He later spent around 25 years as a double bass instructor at SDSU, as well as serving as director of jazz ensembles at Palomar College. Bradbury is a professor of music and music technology in the visual and performing arts department at Cal State San Marcos. He won a 2001 Emmy Award for scoring the film Anza Borrego: Seasons in the Desert.

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