Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m.
Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and
Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco
The Festival presented cross-cultural cool with internationally renowned Indian-British producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist, Nitin Sawhney.
Singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello brought her eclectic blend of folk, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and rock sensibilities.
A world-class producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, orchestral composer, and cultural pioneer, Nitin SawhneyÂ is a versatile musical talent and aÂ latter-day Renaissance man in the worlds of music, film, videogames, dance, and theatre.
He has scored for and performed with many of the worldâ€™s leading orchestras, and collaborated with and written for the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, The London Symphony Orchestra, A.R. Rahman, Brian Eno, Sinead Oâ€™Connor, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, Shakira, Taio Cruz, Cirque Du Soleil, Mira Nair, Nelson Mandela, and John Hurt.
Signed to Universal Music Publishing Ltd., Sawhney has releasedÂ eight, critically acclaimedÂ studio albums, garnering 15 major national awards. In 1999 Sawhney released his fourth Gold selling album, Beyond Skin, on Londonâ€™s Outcaste Records. After a subsequent signing to Richard Bransonâ€™s V2 Records, Sawhney released the Silver certified Prophesy in 2001, winning a BBC Radio 3 Music Award. Sawhneyâ€™s seventh album, Philtre, was released in May 2005, taking yet another BBC Radio 3 Award and in 2008, his eighth album, London Undersound, featured performances from Paul McCartney, Anoushka Shankar, Imogen Heap, and Natty, among others. Sawhneyâ€™s latest 2011 studio album, Last Days of Meaning, previewing at the Royal Albert Hall,Â featured a performanceÂ from actor John Hurt.
Sawhney has served as a judge for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the British Independent Film Awards,among others. He is a recipient ofÂ four honorary doctorates from British universities, and serves on the boards and as a fellow of numerous cultural institutions in England.
Sawhney has scored over forty films as well as a plethora of international TV programs, ads and movie trailers, including work for Mira Nairâ€™s film The Namesake and his current project for the London Symphony Orchestra, Hitchcockâ€™s The Lodger. Sawhney has also scored numerous theatre and dance productions, video game soundtracks, commercials, and the soundtrack for Cirque Due Soleilâ€™s Vaerkai production. He has also written articles and appeared as a commentator on BBCâ€™s Newsnight Review, Newsnight, and Hard Talk. Sawhney has also worked as an actor on television and radio, and is directing and writing workshops at Londonâ€™s National Theater. Â
An acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/ jazz pianist, Sawhney has toured the world and has performed in recent years with international orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra. Cutting his Dj-ing teeth at Londonâ€™s Fabric nightclub, Sawhney has DJ-ed at the Big Chill, Womad, Womadelaide, and across the world at numerous major festivals.
Meshell Ndegeocello has been called her everything from avant garde to a dying breed, and is known as a virtuoso bassist, prolific songwriter and an authentic musical force. She has earned critical acclaim, the unfailing respect of fellow players, songwriters and composers, and the dedication of an international fan base.
Born Michelle Johnson in 1968 and spending the first few years of her life in Germany (her father was both a military man and a jazz saxophonist), Ndegeocello relocated with her family to Virginia in the early '70s. As a teenager, Ndegeocello began to play regularly in the clubs of Washington, D.C., but eventually settled down in New York City after a stint studying music at Howard University. After auditioning for several local bands (one being Living Colour), Ndegeocello struck out on her own and in the early '90s became one of the first female artists signed to Madonnaâ€™s Maverick label.
Ndegeocello's debut release, 1993â€™s Plantation Lullabies, spawned the hit â€œIf That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasnâ€™t Last Night)â€ and received three Grammy nominations. But it was a duet with John Mellencamp on a cover of Van Morrisonâ€™s â€œWild Nightâ€ a year later that brought the singer/bassist the most acclaim. Ndegeocello released her follow-up album, Peace Beyond Passion, in 1996, and her third studio album, Bitter, in 1999. She collaborated with Chaka Khan on the track â€œNever Miss the Water,â€ and with rapper Queen Pen on the track â€œGirlfriend.â€
Subsequent releases include 2002's Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, 2003's Comfort Woman, and Dance of the Infidel, an ambitious jazz-influenced recording, which was released in 2005. The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams, her first release on Decca, featured guest appearances from Pat Metheny and Oumou Sangare. Her first pop-related recording in half a decade, 2009â€™s Devilâ€™s Halo, featured Ndegeocello in a quartet setting. Her latest album released in November of 2011, was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry.
Meshell has played on albums by The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, Madonna, Santana, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chaka Khan, Indigo Girls, Alanis Morissette, Joan Osborne, Basement Jaxx, Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Madeleine Peyroux, and Miguel Miggs, among many others. Her music has been featured on film soundtracks such as Batman & Robin, Love Jones, Money Talks, Down in the Delta, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Hurricane, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Talk to Me, and Soul Men, among others. She supported The Whoâ€™s Quadrophenia shows at Madison Square Garden, as well as tours with both Sting and Dave Matthews Band, and appeared on television shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, Sessions At West 54th, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, MTV Video Music Awards, and Last Call with Carson Daly.
Meshell was the first woman to be featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine in April 1995. She was featured on the cover for the second time in November 2007. She has performed around the world, including appearances at Glastonbury Music Festival; Neil Youngâ€™s Bridge School Benefit, Montreux Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot Music Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Essence Music Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, Wiesen Jazz Festival in Austria, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, and many more.
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