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Jazz guitarists (hopefully) featured at Athenaeum winter series

“At this point, we’ve had to reschedule it twice”

Chico Pinheiro, topping the list of incredible guitarists?
Chico Pinheiro, topping the list of incredible guitarists?

Jazz concert impresario Daniel Atkinson has experimented with all types of presentation ideas in the 32 years he’s been bringing music to San Diego. It’s been a while, however, since he focused a show on music from one instrument, as he’s about to do with the guitar for the upcoming Winter series at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. “I found that concept to be too limiting, when it came to putting a series together,” he says. “If someone really good became available that didn’t match whatever theme I had, I would have to pass on them. It was a series of happy coincidences that led to these four concerts that all feature guitarists.”

The series began this week with a rare appearance from Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, leading a trio with American bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade, both favorites of Atkinson’s. “You could say that they both walk on water, musically, so all three are just amazing, top-level musicians.”

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Past Event

Romero Lubambo & Chico Pinheiro

On Sunday, February 6, the series continues with a Brazilian guitar duo featuring Romero Lubambo (Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker), and Chico Pinheiro, who Athenaeum fans will recognize from his past appearances with Anthony Wilson and as the leader of his own quartet. Jazz guitar superstar Pat Metheny is a big fan of Pinheiro. “There are many incredible guitarists out there,” says Metheny. “On the top of that list, I’d include Chico Pinheiro.”

Past Event

San Francisco String Trio

Next up, on February 23, is the San Francisco String Trio, featuring former San Diegan Jeff Denson on bass, Mimi Fox on guitar, and Mads Tolling on violin. Atkinson remembers being impressed with the group after catching them three years ago as a featured act at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.

Past Event

Oscar Peñas Quartet

Rounding out the series on March 2 is the Oscar Peñas Quartet, with Peñas on guitar, Sara Caswell on violin, Motohito Fukushima on electric bass, and Richie Barshay on drums. “This one represents a rescheduled event due to the pandemic. We’ve had a few of those. At this point, we’ve had to reschedule it twice. I feel honor-bound to present artists who got canceled as soon as the conditions allow.”

Atkinson has returned to the concert presenting business with strict post-covid requirements. The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library is a small venue (it seats about 150), and is limiting these events to 70 percent of capacity (just over 100) to allow for social distancing. Mask wearing is a requirement, as is proof of vaccination, or a negative test within 48 hours of the performance, with no exceptions.

Atkinson is keeping a wary eye on a myriad of circumstances that might require a change of plans. “I just sent an email to Wolfgang’s management in Switzerland yesterday, just to double check. He’s doing a two-night run at the Jazz Gallery in New York City, and I checked their website. It’s still on. So far, everything looks solid.”

As the pandemic continues to impact the concert business, he says, protocols must evolve. “The parameters keep changing. I think the biggest thing has been to remain really flexible, and to understand that there are some inherent unknowns that may affect what we think is going to happen, or how it’s going to happen. This has created a level of uncertainty that is a little daunting at times. I’ve become more thoughtful about booking to the current reality of the situation right now. Booking larger bands with more challenging requirements in terms of transportation and general logistics might be too ambitious in that regard.

“On the other hand, it seems like there’s a great feeling of readiness for everyone to get back out there. I think that the artists and the audiences are all pulling together to try and make things work. So, in a sense, it’s been a community building experience.”

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Chico Pinheiro, topping the list of incredible guitarists?
Chico Pinheiro, topping the list of incredible guitarists?

Jazz concert impresario Daniel Atkinson has experimented with all types of presentation ideas in the 32 years he’s been bringing music to San Diego. It’s been a while, however, since he focused a show on music from one instrument, as he’s about to do with the guitar for the upcoming Winter series at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. “I found that concept to be too limiting, when it came to putting a series together,” he says. “If someone really good became available that didn’t match whatever theme I had, I would have to pass on them. It was a series of happy coincidences that led to these four concerts that all feature guitarists.”

The series began this week with a rare appearance from Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, leading a trio with American bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade, both favorites of Atkinson’s. “You could say that they both walk on water, musically, so all three are just amazing, top-level musicians.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Past Event

Romero Lubambo & Chico Pinheiro

On Sunday, February 6, the series continues with a Brazilian guitar duo featuring Romero Lubambo (Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker), and Chico Pinheiro, who Athenaeum fans will recognize from his past appearances with Anthony Wilson and as the leader of his own quartet. Jazz guitar superstar Pat Metheny is a big fan of Pinheiro. “There are many incredible guitarists out there,” says Metheny. “On the top of that list, I’d include Chico Pinheiro.”

Past Event

San Francisco String Trio

Next up, on February 23, is the San Francisco String Trio, featuring former San Diegan Jeff Denson on bass, Mimi Fox on guitar, and Mads Tolling on violin. Atkinson remembers being impressed with the group after catching them three years ago as a featured act at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.

Past Event

Oscar Peñas Quartet

Rounding out the series on March 2 is the Oscar Peñas Quartet, with Peñas on guitar, Sara Caswell on violin, Motohito Fukushima on electric bass, and Richie Barshay on drums. “This one represents a rescheduled event due to the pandemic. We’ve had a few of those. At this point, we’ve had to reschedule it twice. I feel honor-bound to present artists who got canceled as soon as the conditions allow.”

Atkinson has returned to the concert presenting business with strict post-covid requirements. The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library is a small venue (it seats about 150), and is limiting these events to 70 percent of capacity (just over 100) to allow for social distancing. Mask wearing is a requirement, as is proof of vaccination, or a negative test within 48 hours of the performance, with no exceptions.

Atkinson is keeping a wary eye on a myriad of circumstances that might require a change of plans. “I just sent an email to Wolfgang’s management in Switzerland yesterday, just to double check. He’s doing a two-night run at the Jazz Gallery in New York City, and I checked their website. It’s still on. So far, everything looks solid.”

As the pandemic continues to impact the concert business, he says, protocols must evolve. “The parameters keep changing. I think the biggest thing has been to remain really flexible, and to understand that there are some inherent unknowns that may affect what we think is going to happen, or how it’s going to happen. This has created a level of uncertainty that is a little daunting at times. I’ve become more thoughtful about booking to the current reality of the situation right now. Booking larger bands with more challenging requirements in terms of transportation and general logistics might be too ambitious in that regard.

“On the other hand, it seems like there’s a great feeling of readiness for everyone to get back out there. I think that the artists and the audiences are all pulling together to try and make things work. So, in a sense, it’s been a community building experience.”

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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