The Ponticellos at 142 Throckmorton Theatre

Cello, jazz and rock, oh my! The Ponticellos are all that and more. It was a joy to attend their latest concert at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA.

You may recognize cellist Rebecca Roudman from some of my earlier galleries of Whitney Nichole. Rebecca has been joining Whitney on stage for over a year now, and it was great to get out and see her perform in her new Ponticellos outfit. All of the members of the group are world class, classically trained musicians, and if you get the chance to catch one of their upcoming performances, I highly suggest it. You’ll be entertained and amazed at the breadth of repertoire from the group. Countless guests join them on stage to perform original arrangements of popular tunes.

An amazingly diverse group, The Ponticellos are all current or past members of world class orchestras, and have traveled the world sharing their music. Check out more of The Ponticellos at http://theponticellos.com/.

 (Niall David)

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Special thanks to my friend Rebecca Roudman for inviting me to capture the event!

 

See the full gallery here.

Whitney Nichole ‘100 Strong’ Record Release Party at Cafe Du Nord with Pebble Theory, Kindness and Lies and Keeley Valentino

I think one only can imagine how much I love the musical stylings of miss Whitney Nichole. Not only is she the best person I could be lucky enough to be spending my life with, but she’s also incredible on stage, especially when the energy of celebrating the release of her debut album ‘100 Strong’ is flowing through her veins… Her band that evening was comprised of Shelby Grolig (V0x), Adam Rossi (Keys), Kevin T. White (Bass), Abigail Picache (Drums), Julia Jurkiewicz (Cello) with guest appearances on ‘100 Strong’ by Ziva Hadar, Heather Pierce, Debbie Neigher, Ash Scheiding and Niki Marie.  The house was jam packed at San Francisco’s magical Cafe Du Nord and it was amazing to have Pebble Theory, Kindness and Lies and Keeley Valentino on tap for the show. Everyone came through with their A game and it was no surprise that this lineup carried the energy right on through the night. A few photos of Whitney’s set at the gig below, full gallery here. Posts with pics from sets from the other bands to follow!

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Amazing show Whitney, congratulations on the release of 100 Strong!

Available now (released today March 8, 2011!) on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and BandCamp, or (my personal favorite:) pick up a physical CD with complete album photography by yours truly and an amazing graphic design layout exquisitely composed by Reflectur.

 

See the full gallery here.

 

George Winston at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA | Article, Interview and Photos

Originally published on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/concert-photography-in-san-francisco/profile-and-photos-george-winston-at-the-freight-and-salvage-berkeley-ca

Recently, world-renown pianist George Winston treated the SF Bay Area to a magnificent performance. George is one of the nicest guys you would expect to be making a living as a recording and performing artist, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a delightful phone conversation and access to soundcheck during his recent visit to Berkeley, CA at the beautiful Freight & Salvage.

Preferring smaller intimate venues where an unmic’d piano stands alone on stage, George treated patrons of the newly renovated Freight and Salvage to a wondrous night of one of his “winter sets;” a mix of tunes from his own repertoire as well as classic songs from those of his mentors. We had a few moments to sit down, and I asked George some questions about his music, his life and career.

It was intriguing to me that in the early years of his music life, he didn’t set out to have a career in music, but diligently studied and played tunes from New Orleans jazz, blues and stride pianists out of pure love of the songs. His major influences growing up and in the early years were Professor Longhair, James Booker and Henry Butler. He feels he’s just now thoroughly understanding Professor Longhair’s style of piano playing, a lifelong dream of his.

 (Niall David)

I have always been a fan of George’s “Seasons” project – the series of albums he put out over a ten-year period (~1973-1983). It was no surprise to learn that his major inspiration for the seasons project drew from childhood memories and the influence of the seasons, topography and terrain on his life growing up in Montana. I got the sense from George that the series wasn’t entirely planned at the onset, but quickly became a long-term project, like most of his work. He wrote and recorded Autumn from 1973-79, December was recorded in 1973, Summer was a product of 1981, Winter was released in 1983 and Spring was a project from 1982-83.

 (Niall David)

I asked George about the moments and turning points that really stood out to him regarding his career in music. In the beginning, from 1961-67 he bought records, played them and loved simply enjoying music. The first step was being an avid music lover. When mentioning turning points in life, he lists 5 prominent memories:

  • The first time he heard the Doors in 1967 lead him to desire to learn to play the organ
  • Hearing Fats Waller in 1971 lead him to piano
  • Discovering Professor Longhair’s music in 1979,
  • James Booker in 1982, and
  • Henry Butler in 1985 forever changed what he thought possible with studying and stylizing music in ways “I just knew I wanted to do.”

George goes on to mention how he typically enjoys playing prominent composers music, more so than he feels he plays “like them.”

I knew I was getting sage advice when George said “I didn’t know what it was going to be, I just knew I wanted to do it.” Logistics, how to get there, etc. weren’t part of “the plan” per se, just getting out there and doing it was.

 (Niall David)

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Read More of the Article HERE…

Ziva, Niall David, and Jessica Perlstein at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco

We all had a great time at the Red Poppy Art House this week. Live music from Ziva, photographic slideshows from yours truly, and live art by Jessica Perlstein. Thanks to everyone who came out in support of local art and music!

A little about the event in my previous post here:

http://nialldavid.com/2011/01/please-join-us-thursday-january-13-at-the-red-poppy-art-house-in-san-francisco/

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See the full image gallery here.

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MarchFourth Marching Band at The Independent

 (Niall David)

What do you get when you take everything awesome about a percussive multi-headed drum section, funky horns, smooth guitar and bass licks all paired together with hip hop circus, vaudeville burlesque, one hilarious cowboy MC, and a little bit ‘o something you just can’t explain… you get: MarchFourth Marching Band. Add that fantastic combination of originality and pull together a sellout crowd at The Independent, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a grand ‘ol time. And a grand ‘ol time is what everyone had during M4’s recent visit to San Francisco.

 (Niall David)

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Having been to dozens of shows at The Independent I was in awe that there were about 20 musical performers crammed on the stage. They were joined, as were those of us in the crowd, by elegant dancers and stilt walkers throughout the show. When on the lookout for cool shows to photograph in San Francisco, I always keep my eyes on the The Independent, and when I saw this one, something told me it would be more than cool. And that’s not just the high school marching band dork in me. I had really only watched the promo video on their website, and checked out the few tracks they have up on MySpace, so I had a sense, but really had no idea what I was in for – except that I knew I was walking into a photographer’s paradise of an event that would be both exciting and challenging to capture.

 (Niall David)

Lighting at the Indy is often a little dimmer than I’d hope, and ISO was at or above 1600 at f/2.8 the whole time, but my strategy with this group was to continually rotate focus as best I could on each performer, and when it was their time to solo or stand out, follow the spot lights and wait for the right combination of expression, gesture and lighting to snap away. It was “one hell of a show,” and one I’ll certainly never forget! Sometimes I just bob my head and shoot, not here. Everyone, including me, was full on rockin’ the house!

 (Niall David)

Special thanks to Marnee of M4 for having me come out to make images of the group. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys back in SF this year! Seriously dudes, keep an eye out, and when they’re in your neck of the woods, pre-buy your tix and prepare to party your ass off.

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery here.

See the gallery on SF Station here.