Happy New Ear

Give a listen to this city's wide array of authentic music.

Buona musica Italiana
What could go together better than a cappuccino and the music of Italy? Legendary North Beach coffeehouse Caffe Trieste (601 Vallejo at Grant, www.caffetrieste.com) hosts both special Italian musical events and longstanding recurring ones. On Saturday mornings, the group Mattinata di Matteo often performs Italian folk music on multiple mandolins, accordion, and guitar. Approximately one Saturday afternoon a month, the venue hosts the Caffe Trieste Saturday Concert, billed as the longest-running show in the city. The Caffe Trieste Band and others provide an Italian musical revue, filled with music of the old country and accordions galore. Every Wednesday night, Caffe Trieste Band guitarist Ned Boynton serves up Gypsy jazz and beyond with his Café Americain trio, and the restaurant often hosts concerts on Thursday nights as well. The Caffe's sister establishment at 1667 Market (at Gough) holds live jazz, blues, and Argentine tango nights.

On the weekends of April 10-11 and 17-18, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Japantown in the vicinity of Post and Buchanan streets. Now in its 43rd year, this springtime celebration is an ideal place to see traditional performances rooted in the cultures of Japan and other Asian nations. For starters, there's the stunning mega-drum wallop of the world-famous San Francisco Taiko Dojo, a longstanding festival mainstay. Also promised is a Grand Parade on April 18, featuring performances by Japanese classical (buyo) and folk dance (minyo) groups from across the Bay Area. Visit www.nccbf.org for more information; a detailed performer schedule should be posted in February.

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