Sunday, June 17, 2018

Gamelan in the Gardens

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in downtown San Francisco all summer is one of the best-programmed, least-attended free concert series in the Bay Area. Last weekend featured the return of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, an East Bay ensemble formed in 1979 to perform Balinese music.

Having mostly white Americans playing Balinese skirts cultural appropriation, but the group takes the music very seriously. It also hosts visiting Balinese artists and musical gurus for residencies that last from a month to two years, so the effect is closer to cultural cross-pollination.

They have even expanded to a dancing troupe with performers scampering among the musicians.

For a more detailed description of the music, check out Stephen Smoliar's account.

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