Matheny's Concerts Distinctive By Design
March 17, 1999
By Andrew Gilbert

Every March, Berkeley-based flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny organizes a series of Bay Area concerts before he sets out on a long road trip. This year's schedule features an especially impressive, disparate array of performances, with four different concerts between March 20 and 24.

Matheny celebrates the release of his third Monarch album, Starlight Café, with a champagne reception-release party at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor's Florence Gould Theatre in San Francisco at 6 p.m. March 20. Tickets are $20.

The album, recorded last year at the Jazzschool, is a ravishingly beautiful session with bass master Bill Douglass and the superb young pianist Darrell Grant, who will join Matheny at the Gould Theatre.

On March 21, Matheny returns to the Jazzschool at 4:30 p.m. for a concert billed as "Talkin' to the Sun: The Magic of Abbey Lincoln." Dedicated to the great jazz chanteuse, the performance features Grant, Douglass, drummer Jason Lewis and special guests Andre Bush on guitar and vocalist Jenna Mammina, who covers two Lincoln tunes on her superb debut CD Under the Influence. Tickets for the concert are $12; $10 for students and senior citizens, $6 for Jazzschool students.

Monday night, Matheny leads a big band at Yoshi's in a benefit for UC Berkeley's Young Musicians Program. The 17-piece band, featuring both Bay Area veterans and YMP students, will celebrate the centennials of Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Tickets are $18, $10 for students and senior citizens.

Finally, Matheny gets cosmic at the Morrison Planetarium in the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. In a follow-up to last year's celebration  of the vernal equinox, "Equinox II: Music of the Cosmos," features Grant, bassist John Shifflett and vocalist Ann Dyer, as well as visual effects by Rick Sanjour. Tickets are $12; $10 for students and senior citizens, $8 for Jazzschool students.

Tickets are available for all shows at Rasputin Music, Telegraph and Channing, Berkeley (510-848-9004) and Streetlight Records on 24th Street (between Noe and Sanchez), San Francisco (415-282-3550). For $100, you can buy a pass for two to all shows. Call 510-843-5299 for more info.