Music – Watershed

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Oakland jazz composer Ted Allen combines his idiosyncratic compositions with the work of four California poets in “Watershed,” the latest installment in Allen’s Incendiary Cycle, an ongoing creative music project exploring the dynamic relationships between people, industry, and nature in California.

In “Watershed,” Allen uses the recorded voices of four California poets to add literary resonance to the Incendiary Cycle’s ongoing exploration of the natural and industrial processes shaping California. The poets, Juan Delgado, Imani Love, Emily Kim and Stephen Meadows come from different generations and different parts of California, yet they all share a compelling relationship with their regional environment.

Allen began work on the Incendiary Cycle in 2013 with a video production of the piece “Gold Rush.” He presented subsequent performances of new sections of the cycle at the Sound Room and Temescal Arts Center in Oakland and at the San Francisco Conservatory and Center for New Music in San Francisco. Allen’s compositions for the project deploy an ensemble of four horns, percussion and electronics to evoke powerful and often chaotic processes that cyclically renew the California landscape. Allen will be joined by Zack Pitt-Smith and Sean Norris on tenor sax, Daniel Andrade and Mara Fox on trombone, and Isaac Schwartz on drums.

Allen’s students in the Oakland Tech Jazz Band will open the show with his big band composition “Pullman Sleep.”

“Watershed” is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by InterMusic SF, and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

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