2019 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Announces Programming
100 Free Programs from Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, October 27, 2019
Opening Concert Saturday, May 4, 1:00PM
Tribute to Charlie Palmieri by The Uprising All-Stars
Festival Highlights Include:
- Embodiment Project
- Roma Festival with Džambo Aguševi Orchestra
- Circus Bella
- Jeremy Dutcher
- Aireene Espiritu – Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto
- Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest
- Brooklyn Raga Massive & Martha Redbone Roots Project
- SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-Splosion!
- San Francisco Mime Troupe
- Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes
- Jazz Mafia’s Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony
- Let’s Go Salsa @ Jessie!
- Children’s Garden Series
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake
From May 4 to October 27, 2019, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival will present over 100 free music, theater, circus, dance, poetry, and children’s programs with artists from the Bay Area and around the world.
Yerba Buena Gardens is a world-renowned cultural destination for Bay Area residents, families, workers, and tourists alike and is located between Mission Street and Howard Street and 3rd and 4th Streets in downtown San Francisco. For more information, visit www.ybgfestival.org or call 415-543-1718.
The Festival begins on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00pm with Tribute to Charlie Palmieri by The Uprising All-Stars led by music director Jimmy Bosch, the definitive salsa trombonist of his generation. Charlie Palmieri, the older brother of Latin music legend Eddie Palmieri, was a progressive force on the New York Latin music scene from the moment he joined Tito Puente’s band at the Copacabana in 1947 until his death at the age of 60 in 1988. Featuring the Uprising All-Stars, the production combines New York’s finest purveyors of Latin dance music with world-class Bay Area talent including trombonist Doug Beavers, conguero Little Johnny Rivero, bongo master Karl Perrazo, and vocalist Frankie Vasquez.
The Festival closes with the 19th Annual Halloween Hoopla on Sunday, October 27.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Executive/Artistic Director Linda Lucero says, “The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is a summertime of admission-free music, dance, theater, and poetry that represents the vibrantly diverse Bay Area arts community and audiences. The outdoor gardens are perfect places to witness the magic of the city of San Francisco and of the world in which we live.”
The Festival includes the very popular Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! dance series, the family-friendly Children’s Garden Series, Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, and Thursday Lunchtime Concerts. Each and every week and weekend, the Festival presents a curated lineup of musicians, dancers, poets, and artists from around the world.
Festival Highlights include the Roma Festival featuring Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra from Macedonia on May 18, Circus Bella’s “Up in the Air: Relishing the Joy of Uncertainty” on June 21 and 22, Canadian tenor Jeremy Dutcher on June 29, Aireene Espiritu’s Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto on July 6, Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest on July 13 and 14, Brooklyn Raga Massive featuring Martha Redbone Roots Project on July 20, Ukulenny and Cynthia Lin’s SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-Splosion! on July 27, San Francisco Mime Troupe on July 28, Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes on August 17, Jazz Mafia’s Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony on September 14, and La Misa Negra on September 28.
Festival Programs & Series
Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie!, the open-air salsa dance party in Jessie Square (near the Contemporary Jewish Museum), takes place on the third Thursday of each month from May to September from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. The series includes Carlitos Medrano & Sabor De Mi Cuba on May 16,Jesús Díaz y Su QBA on June 20, Cabanijazz Project on August 15, and series favorite Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca on September 19.
Children’s Garden Series features interactive performances specially designed for kids and families every Friday from June to August in the Yerba Buena Children’s Garden at Fourth and Howard Streets. The series presents a return performance by 2018 Grammy-nominated Alphabet Rockers on July 26. Other performers include Māhealani Uchiyama, Dholrhythms Dance Company, Circus Bella, Unique Derique, Duniya Dance & Drum, Caterpillar Puppets, Chelle! & Friends, Pi Clowns, and Red Panda Acrobats. The series ends with the wildly popular 19th Annual Halloween Hoopla on Sunday, October 27.
Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series takes place most Thursdays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm and is a favorite destination of downtown workers, shoppers, tourists, and students. This year features the very best of local and international musicians including oghosthaze on May 9, Community Music Center Older Adult Choirs on May 16, Afro-Cuban Ensemble of SFSU on May 23, Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira on May 30, The Onyx on June 6, Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble on June 13, Marcus Shelby Quartet on June 20, Edgar Pantoja & the Afro-Cuban Tribeon June 27, Sueños on July 11, Murasaki Ensemble on July 25, LINES Dance Center on August 8, Kim So Ra: A Sign of Rain on August 15, and Rob Reich Swings Left on August 22.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival proudly hosts annual cultural celebrations: the 22nd Native Contemporary Arts Festival on June 16, the 19th Annual AfroSolo in the Gardens on August 3, the 26th Annual Pistahan on August 10 and 11, and Brazil in the Gardens featuring Fabiana Cozza on August 18.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents Poetic Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of each month. Guest curated by Litquake, Poetic Tuesdays run from 12:30pm-1:30pm and feature an array of poets and music. The first event is Tuesday, May 14.
The Festival also presents three performances of a new one-ring circus from Circus Bella on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22. Conceived and directed by Abigail Munn and Joel Baker for Circus Bella, the new show “Up in the Air: Relishing the Joy of Uncertainty” includes static trapeze, rope walking, juggling, contortion, unicycle, original clowning, acrobatics, and more. Circus Bella is partnering with Prescott Circus Theatre, a youth development and performing arts program based in West Oakland as a pre-show and opening act.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Commissions
Continuing a longstanding commitment to commissioning new works, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival has commissioned the following project:
YBG ChoreoFest is a site-specific dance festival on July 13 and 14 curated by RAWdance’s Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith. The third annual YBG ChoreoFest features nine local companies and leads audiences on an exciting journey throughout the lawns and architecture of Yerba Buena Gardens.
2019 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Programming
All events are free.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival IS NOT part of YBCA.
All programs take place outdoors in Yerba Buena Gardens, Jessie, off Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco.
- Bay Area Dance Week Kick-Off: One Dance, Friday, April 26, 12:00pm-1:00pm
- Tribute to Charlie Palmieri by The Uprising All-Stars, Saturday, May 4, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- oghosthaze, Thursday, May 9, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Embodiment Project, Saturday, May 11, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, May 14, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Community Music Center Older Adult Choirs, Thursday, May 16, 12:30-1:30pm
- Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! with Carlitos Medrano & Sabor De Mi Cuba, Thursday, May 16, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
- Roma Festival with Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra, Saturday, May 18, 12:30pm-3:30pm
- Afro-Cuban Ensemble of SFSU, Thursday, May 23, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Michael Doucet & Tom Rigney with Flambeau, Saturday, May 25, 1:00-2:30pm
- Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira, Thursday, May 30, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Betsayda Machado, Saturday, June 1, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- The Onyx, Thursday, June 6, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Tunes of Sudan, Saturday, June 8, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, June 11, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble, Thursday, June 13, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Garba in the Gardens, Saturday, June 15, 1:00pm-3:00pm
- Native Contemporary Arts Festival, Sunday, June 16, 12:00pm-3:00pm
- Marcus Shelby Quartet, Thursday, June 20, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! with Jesús Díaz y Su QBA, Thursday, June 20, 6:00pm-7:30pm
- Circus Bella, Friday, June 21, 12:00pm-1:00pm; Saturday, June 22, 12:00pm-1:00pm & 2:15pm-3:15pm
- Edgar Pantoja & the Afro-Cuban Tribe, Thursday, June 27, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Jeremy Dutcher, Saturday, June 29, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Aireene Espiritu- Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto, Saturday, July 6, 1-2:30pm
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, July 9, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Sueños, Thursday, July 11, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest, Saturday, July 13 & Sunday, July 14, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Brooklyn Raga Massive with Martha Redbone Roots Project, Saturday, July 20, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Murasaki Ensemble, Thursday, July 25, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-Splosion!, Saturday, July 27, 1:00pm-3:00pm
- San Francisco Mime Troupe, Sunday, July 28, 2:00pm-4:00pm
- AfroSolo in the Gardens, Saturday, August 3, 1:00pm-3:00pm
- LINES Dance Center, Thursday, August 8, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Pistahan, Saturday, August 10 & Sunday, August 11, 11:00am-4:00pm
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, August 13, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Kim So Ra: A Sign of Rain, Thursday, August 15, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Cabanijazz Project, Thursday, August 15, 6:30pm-7:30pm
- Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes, Saturday, August 17, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Brazil in the Gardens featuring Fabiana Cozza, Saturday, August 18, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Rob Reich Swings Left, Thursday, August 22, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- American Bon Dancing, Sunday, September 1, 1:00pm-3:00pm
- Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, September 10, 12:30pm-1:30pm
- Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony, Saturday, September 14, 1:00pm-2:30pm
- Anita Lofton Project, Thursday, September 19, 12:30-1:30pm
- Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! with Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca, Thursday, September 19, 6:00pm
- La Misa Negra, Saturday, September 28, 2019, 1:00-3:00pm
Children’s Garden Series
Yerba Buena Children’s Garden is located at Howard & Fourth Streets. Two performances each day: 11:00am-11:30am and 12:15pm-12:45pm, except Circus Bella and Halloween Hoopla.
- Ka-Hon, Friday, June 7
- Pi Clowns, Friday, June 14
- Unique Derique, Friday, June 28
- Duniya Dance & Drum, Friday, July 5
- Chelle! & Friends, Friday, July 12
- Alphabet Rockers, Friday, July 26
- Māhealani Uchiyama, Friday, August 2
- Dholrhythms Dance Company, Friday, August 16
- Caterpillar Puppets, Friday, August 23
- Red Panda Acrobats, Friday, August 30
- 19th Annual Halloween Hoopla, Sunday, October 27, Noon-2:00pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is made possible through the generosity of the City and County of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy, National Endowment for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Bernard Osher Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Center for Cultural Innovation, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Target, Metreon, and Generous Individuals who support admission-free performing arts in public spaces.
Program Partners: AfroSolo, American Indian Contemporary Arts, American Obon Consortium, California Brazil Camp, Children’s Creativity Museum, Community Music Center, Filipino-American Arts Exposition, Litquake, MoAD, SFJAZZ, Consulate General of Canada, Consulate General of Japan, Consulate General of Sweden, Red Poppy Art House, Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, MELA Arts Connect (partial list).
Pro-bono contributions: InterContinental Hotel; MJM Management Group; Millennium Partners; The Keystone Social House; Cole Fox Hardware; Trader Joe’s; Whole Foods Market SOMA; Bill Martinez; Tom Ehrlich; Amal Bisharat Photography; Jim Watkins Photography; Kelsey Ogden Film and Photo (partial list).
Media sponsors: BART, KPFA, KPOO, KXSF, Where Magazine, 7×7, FunCheapSF, Red Curtain Addict, SF Station, PlazaCUBA, All About Jazz, International Salsa Magazine.
Yerba Buena Arts & Events, producer of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, is located at 760 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Phone (415) 543-1718; website: ybgfestival.org.