r&j Performs Roses are Blue
with special guest singers Caitlin Austin, Lorin Benedict, Michael Mellender, and Ron Shalom
and narrator Judy Grahn
Friday, September 11, 8pm
Subterranean Art House, 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704,
(510) 508-3492 / subterraneanarthouse.org
Saturday, September 12, 7:30pm
Red Poppy Art House, 2698 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA
(415) 826-2402 / redpoppyarthouse.org
Dina Maccabee and Jesse Olsen Bay, known as Ramon & Jessica, will present a new work, Roses are Blue, a suite for vocal ensemble inspired by experimental author Gertrude Stein’s 1938 children’s book The World is Round. The song cycle explores Stein’s playful language and imagery, using lyrical melodies and complex rhythms to tell the story of the young adventurer Rose and her fellow characters, from Pepe the dog to her irreverent cousin Willie and his pet lion.
Performances will feature the voices of Ramon & Jessica, with an all-star ensemble, featuring Kitka alum Caitlin Austin; pioneering jazz vocalist Lorin Benedict; Sleepytime Gorilla Museum alum Michael Mellender; and composer, and multi-instrumentalist and time artist Ron Shalom. Esteemed poet Judy Grahn, a pioneer of feminist writing who has published a book on Gertrude Stein, will narrate.
Funded by San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music’s Musical Grant Program, Roses are Blue continues R&J’s decade-long juxtaposition of “art,” “folk,” and “popular” music. Using Stein’s story as a springboard, this new work challenges the conventions of a cappella music, in intimate all-ages venues.