Dmitri Matheny and Ann Dyer Prove Home Is Where The Jazz Is
March 24, 2000
By Wayne Saroyan

Two of the Bay Area's most prominent musicians, flugelhornist/composer Dmitri Matheny and vocalist Ann Dyer, celebrate a series of Home Season performances around the Bay during the next few weeks.

Matheny’s sixth annual Home Season kicks off tonight with a tribute performance in memory of the young flugelhornist’s mentor, the late Art Farmer.

Joined by the Bay Area’s Del Sol String Quartet - violinists Kathryn Stenberg, Anthony Blea and Charlton Lee, plus cellist Gretchen Egen - Matheny tips his horn to Farmer in the debut of a new composition, “The Angels Sing,” a multi-media work for flugelhorn, flute, piano, doublebass, string quartet and visual projection.

The concert takes place at Old First Concerts, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco, beginning at 8 p.m. with a champagne reception to follow.

Dinner jazz is on the menu for the next night, when Matheny’s group shares the bill with the European-based pianist Amina Figarova and her quartet for “Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Richard Rogers,” at Enrico’s in North Beach. Dinner begins at 7 p.m., Matheny and friends perform at 8:30 p.m., and Figarova’s quartet takes the stage at 10 p.m.

Come Sunday, Matheny presents a special 11 a.m. workshop at The Jazzschool in Berkeley (he’s on the faculty), moderating a panel discussion on tips and tricks for musicians releasing their CDs. Topics covered include production, graphic design, replication, distribution, radio promotion, publicity, advertising, Internet marketing and booking release parties. Tuition for the class is $30. Call The Jazzschool (510) 845-5373 for more information.

Sunday evening, Matheny and Dyer join forces for their third annual “Equinox” performance, set amid the swirling canopy of stars inside Morrison Planetarium in Golden Gate Park. One of the Home Season favorites, the musical starshow highlights music inspired by the cosmos, set to planetarium technician Rick Sanjour’s delightful starscapes.

Also performing: Figarova, fellow Netherlands resident Bart Platteau and local bassist John Shifflett.

Matheny closes his Home Season with a Monday night benefit performance at Yoshi’s for the University of California, Berkeley-based Young Musicians Program, entitled “Diva Night: International Sirens of Song” and featuring Figarova, Johnny Nocturne Band vocalist Kim Nalley and Claudia Villela performing with the Dmitri Matheny Orchestra.

Dyer’s Home Season, which officially begins with the “Equinox” performance at Morrison Planetarium, continues through early May, showcasing a series of concert and club performances highlighting different themes and artistic collaborations by Dyer and her band.

Dyer set the jazz world on its collective ear with the 1995 release of the self-titled “Ann Dyer & No Good Time Fairies,” which she followed in 1999 with “Revolver: A New Spin,” a radical re-imagining of The Beatles’ seminal 1966 recording that showcased eclectic instrumentation (including Tin Hat Trio violinist Carla Kihlstedt and accordionist Rob Burger) along with Dyer’s growing interest in Hindustani vocalizing.

“Revolver: A New Spin,” originally released on Dyer’s own Mr. Brown Records, was reissued last week on Premonition Records, an independent label based in Chicago and perhaps best known for its work with singer/pianist Patricia Barber.

The centerpiece performance of Dyer’s Home Season 2000 is “Of Love and Other Demons,” featuring Dyer and her trio, plus special guests bansuri master Deepak Ram and choreographer Erika Shuch, at the Florence Gould Theatre at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco on April 1 at 8 p.m.

Another highlight of Dyer’s own Home Season is a late-night “Birthday Jam” on April 29 at the Tip Top Inn in San Francisco’s Mission District.