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Mill Valley Film Festival – Music

Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) Music returns for a second year with a diverse series of concerts at the Sweetwater Music Hall. Nine nights of live music include performances by artists featured in MVFF films, as well as local, national, and international musicians. Drop in and discover your new favorite act, or make a night of it and pair a screening about an artist with their corresponding live show!

2016 Music Program

Friday, Oct. 7 at 9 pm: Thao

As Thao Nguyen says in A song for you : The Austin city limits story, she grew up in Virginia watching Austin City Limits, teaching herself to play guitar, and writing songs. So it’s only fitting that the documentary would highlight the first time she and her band, The Get Down Stay Down, played the ACL stage. Now an established San Franciscan who packed the Fillmore earlier this year, Thao brings a special solo version of her “country-tinged indie folk-pop” (AllMusic) to MVFF Music.

Saturday, Oct. 8 at 9 pm: Prezident Brown & The Itals

Join Jamaican roots reggae artist Prezident Brown as he takes the spirit of MVFF39’s Cannabis Focus day into the night. A hard-working artist who’s been touring the U.S. with his band for the last decade, Prez is a champion of the new roots and reality consciousness reggae movement that entertains, informs and inspires.

Sunday, Oct. 9 at 8:30 pm: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas 

You’ve heard the fiddle skills of Alasdair Fraser on such soundtracks as Titanic and Last of the Mohicans. Now the subject of MVFF39 documentary The groove is not trivial, Fraser has also been dubbed “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling” by The San Francisco Examiner. Along with Juilliard-trained cellist Natalie Haas, Fraser presents a musical evening of unrivaled beauty, eloquence, and passion.

Monday, Oct. 10 at 8 pm: Erika Wennerstrom

Erika Wennerstrom, best known as the energetic core and leader of Austin band Heartless Bastards steps into her own spotlight as a solo artist, her powerful, soulful voice “exquisitely engaging in its world-weary twang” (Pitchfork). Insider’s tip: watch MVFF39 selectionA song for you : The Austin city limits story closely, and you’ll catch Erika sharing her thoughts on fellow ACL alumna Lucinda Williams!

Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9:00 pm : Bang! Tribute to Bert Berns

Bert Berns wrote all your favorite songs: “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry to Me,” “Twist and Shout” are all his, along with countless other chart-toppers. Celebrate the late songwriter and producer’s hits with an all-star band featuring Berns’ fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and many more. To assemble the set list, MVFF Music teamed up with music critic and author Joel Selvin, who literally wrote the book on Berns: Selvin’s Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues provided the basis for the MVFF39 documentary Bang! The Bert Berns Story.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 pm: Fred Hersch

In 2006, lauded by Vanity Fair as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade,” Fred Hersch became the first artist in the history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play a weeklong engagement as a solo pianist. Now, having been named the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Jazz Pianist of the Year” and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient for 2016, the eight-time Grammy® nominee graces the MVFF Music stage with another solo performance to complement a new documentary about his life and career, The Ballad of Fred Hersch.

Friday, Oct. 14 at 9:30 pm: Alejandro Escovedo Trio

It’s impossible to classify Alejandro Escovedo in just one genre of music. Born in Texas and raised in southern California listening to ranchera music with his Mexican father and with Latin jazz percussionists for brothers, his own career has encompassed everything from the San Francisco punk scene of the ’70s, the intersection of punk and country in the ’80s, and, after resettling in Texas, all stripes of Americana. After a multi-decade solo career, Escovedo’s musical range manifests as guitar-forward roots rock with emotional depth and sing-along choruses.

Saturday, Oct. 15 at 9 pm: The great Mill Valley Gospel Show

Celebrate MVFF’s eleven days of film church with the second installment of The Great Mill Valley Gospel Show. Musician, producer, songwriter, composer, and multiple-Grammy-winner Narada Michael Walden (who produced hits for Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston, among many others) curates a spirit-moving, hand-clapping, Sweetwater-shaking performance to close out year two of MVFF Music.
Show will feature: Narada Michael Walden on drums, Troy Lampkins on bass, Willis Hickerson on B-3, Kevan Peabody on Keys, Matthew Charles Heulitt on Guitar. Vocalists: Jeanie Tracy, Nate’ Soul Sanger, Cornell Carter, Rusty Watson (director of the Love Center Choir), Gospel Choir