The Musical Art Quintet
Sascha Jacobsen, bass; Jory Fankuchen, violin; Michéle Walther, violin; Lewis Patzner, cello; Charith Premawardhana, viola
narrated by librettist Bobby Coleman
with special guests Melinda Becker, mezzo-soprano; Carlos Caminos, guitar; Edgardo Cambon, percussion.
Sascha Jacobsen Kanta Judezmo
Duke Ellington Fleurette Africaine
Ariel Ramirez Alfonsina y el Mar
Michel Camilo From Within
Kanta Judezmo is an oratorio that tells the story about the Sephardic diaspora through the lens of its central female character, with universal threads that traverse centuries, borders, language, culture and genre. Kanta Judezmo uses Jewish melodic themes, with motifs and rhythms from Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Sascha Jacobsen is an acclaimed composer and bassist, whose music has been praised by the Strad Magazine for being “stylish and vigorous … beautifully arranged” and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, “his concoctions hop nimbly through a world of styles while impressing with ear-catching intricacy and handsome technique.” Kanto Judezmo is a new San Francisco Arts Commission project, and features special guest, mezzo-soprano Melinda Becker.
The Musical Art Quintet was formed in 2008 in the Mission district of San Francisco during chamber music jam sessions every Sunday night at Cafe Revolution. Each week a new piece of music was written by MAQ band leader Sascha Jacobsen to be performed at Classical Revolution, and ink still wet, we would read through the piece in front of a live audience. As our repertoire grew, a core group of players emerged and the quintet was founded. The name of the quintet is taken from The Musical Art Quartet, a string quartet formed in the 1920’s and led by the Great-Grandfather and namesake of the bassist and composer of the quintet, Sascha Jacobsen.
Although classically trained, the members of The Musical Art Quintet are skilled improvisors and each one brings with him a special area of expertise. Whether it is Jazz, Argentine Tango, Afro-Cuban Son, or Klezmer, the Quintet is at home. The music of band leader, Sascha Jacobsen, propels the group with rhythmic, lyrical, modern compositions, and new arrangements of pieces by great composers of all genres. Collaboration is key to the group’s mission, and they have done so with a wide variety of artists including Painter, Peggy Gyulai, the rock band Third Eye Blind, rapper Phesto Dee of Heiroglyphics, director of the Flamenco Theatre Company of SF, Carola Zertuche, pianists Lara Downes and Serene, The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Cuban percussionist Carlos Caro, Latin Jazz master Doug Beavers, Nuevo Flamenco guitarist Stevan Pasero, banjo virtuoso Tim Weed, and many others.