Steve Schick and Vanessa Tomlinson
Twenty years is a lot of time to put into any musical project, but for Bonnie Wright, her love of experimental and under-the-radar music has proven to be a fruitful one. She has curated the local Fresh Sound music series for over two decades now, and whereas others might have given up after a while, Wright says she’s never lost sight of her original goal.
“Every once in a while people will say to me, ‘why don’t you present more popular music?’, and I say popular music doesn’t need me. It’s popular,” says Wright, who started Fresh Sound in 1997 and has since curated over 200 concerts. “The whole goal was to expose San Diegans to contemporary music whatever the genre, and it’s been fun for me.”
For the series’ 20th anniversary season—which begins Friday, Feb. 24 at Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave.) and runs through Thursday, May 18—Wright has tapped musicians who have performed at the series in the past or who have a history with the series. The opening concert on Friday will feature percussionists Steve Schick and Vanessa Tomlinson. The duo played the inaugural Fresh Sound show and while both have performed solo concerts over the years, the Feb. 24 concert marks the first time they’ve performed on the same night since Tomlinson was a grad student at UCSD where Schick was, and still is, a professor.
“I asked them first because they were the first concert in February 1997 and they both said yes so that was thrilling,” Wright says. “I think they’re going to have two sets, so Vanessa will play and Steve will play. I don’t know if they’re going to play as a duo. I hope they do.”
Other concerts in the Fresh Sound series include the Chris Speed Quartet (Wednesday, March 15), the Nordeson/Brandtsegg Duo (Thursday, April 14) and Lukas Ligeti’s Notebook (Thursday, May 18). All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are $20 for general admission ($10 for students). See freshsoundmusic.com for full details.
Photo courtesy of Gaslamp Mardi Gras
Gaslamp Mardi Gras
BIGGER AND BEAD-ER
You can spend hundreds of dollars for a NOLA Mardi Gras experience or you can save money and celebrate at the Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras. This year, the event has been extended into the weekend with a celebration on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. where a Big Easy Booze & Bites Tour in downtown San Diego offers Mardi Gras-inspired food and cocktails from 20 bars. The big party is still on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the Gaslamp Quarter. The celebration begins with beads, live entertainment and music and ends with a parade of confetti, dancers, floats, stilt walkers, decorated cars, performers and samba dancers. Tickets for Saturday range in price from $25 to $30, while tickets for Tuesday are $30 to $70 for VIP. This is a 21-plus event. sdmardigras.com
Image courtesy of the artist
“Gravitational Lensing” by Melissa Walter
TIME AND SPACE
Melissa Walter is something of an extraordinary anomaly in the local art scene. Whereas most artists often give up on their artistic dreams to work in a more financially dependable field, Walter quit a promising job working at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to devote more time to her personal artwork. Her work in astrophysics and astronomy are clear influences in A Study of Dark Matter, her new exhibition at Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave.). Opening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, Walter’s work—the result of a month-long artist-in-residence stay at Bread & Salt—features illustrations and installation pieces that explore the wonders of the universe. What’s more, astrophysicist Dr. Karin Sandstrom from UCSD will also be on hand to speak about dark matter and gravitational lensing. melissawalterart.com