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Jazz venue’s opening week in Berkeley packs in music fans

San Francisco Chronicle
By Andrew Gilbert | March 5, 2018

Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle

Hovering around the door to Rendon Hall, the intimate 85-seat theater in the California Jazz Conservatory’s new Fiddler Annex, Susan Muscarella looked anxious on Sunday, March 4. Since opening on Wednesday, Feb. 28, the Berkeley venue had been packed every night for concerts focusing on foundational conservatory faculty, like Brazilian pianist Marcos Silva and singer Laurie Antonioli, with disappointed fans turned away at the door.

Sunday’s sold-out show featured another faculty mainstay, trumpeter Erik Jekabson and his 17-piece Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, but Muscarella was fretting about logistics and the show running behind schedule.

“We still have to wrinkle out some irons,” she said, turning a cliche into mysterious koan (which is a pretty good description of jazz).

 

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