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photo of john santos News | Concerts
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society Sets Winter 2016 Concerts

Following a successful, sold-out run of concerts to mark its re-emergence as a local music venue after the unexpected passing of its founder, the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay has announced its Winter 2016 concert season.

Conguero and bandleader John Santos, trumpeter Dave Douglas, alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune, Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill's Blacktet and more are slated to perform early in 2016.

Member pre-sale tickets go on sale December 18, and the cut-off date to become a Society member is December 17. The first concert in the Winter series is scheduled for January 24, 2016.

Located on Miramar Beach, midway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, The Bach — whose owner and founder, Pete Douglas, passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the age of 85 — brought a sophisticated, thoughtful and intelligent concert approach to the rustic beachfront setting, and somehow imbued it with the intimacy of a club ambiance.

Douglas provided a much-needed alternative to the noisy, smoke-filled urban nightlubs, and he nurtured a distinctive venue in which local and touring musicians could perform with the benefit of a superb sound system and an attentive (some would say devoted) audience. The Bach was a perfect beach experience that reflected the nature of the curator. There was a communal feeling to the Beach House's wood-paneled concert room, which countless musicians proclaimed "the best small venue in the United States."

The venue and its host were virtually inseparable, both in mind and deed, and the eclectic booking policies over the years reflected Douglas' equally eclectic musical tastes. Yet regardless of the headliner on any given Sunday, audiences were guaranteed a brilliant performance. The place was a font of musical joy.

But with The Bach's pater familias no longer present, the fate of the beach house was in question.


Flugelhornist Marquis Hill's Blacktet performs on Sunday, March 6, 2016

After Douglas' death, the popular seaside venue along the often-blustery Pacific coastline went through a quiet phase devoted to re-organization and re-imagining that eventually resulted in the announcement of a four-concert season at The Bach for May-June 2015 featuring Benny Green, Dafnis Prieto, the Marcus Shelby Orchestra with vocalist Tiffany Austin, and the Peter Erskine Trio featuring Bob Sheppard.

All four shows sold out almost instantly, and two more four-concert series were soon booked for the fall 2015 season, including performances from San Francisco vocalist and native Mary Stallings, the Ancestral Memories Quartet featuring Yosvany Terry and Baptiste Trotignon, Joey DeFrancesco, Anton Schwartz, Mads Tolling, and Larry Coryell's Passing Dreams Trio featuring Frank Tusa and Vishna.

"Pete was a pioneer in jazz presenting and presided over one of the longest tenured jazz venues in the country. His passion for quality music and developing audience engagement — or a 'scene' as Pete always said — was paramount and never diminished," said Tim Jackson, Artistic Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival and Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz and the newest member of the Bach's board of trustees. "He was truly unique and was able to develop a venue that expressed his own personal viewpoint. I will miss that chiseled face with the pipe and Greek fisherman's cap (Etta James called him 'Popeye') and will always remember the spirit he brought to any conversation."

After becoming a registered non-profit for the musical arts in 1964, Douglas began presenting regular jazz and classical programs to the public. National and local jazz luminaries such as Betty Carter, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Art Blakey, Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Etta James, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, and Milt Jackson, to name just several of thousands, played at the Bach over its 50-year history. Notables in the classical music world such as the Kronos Quartet and Mariano Cordoba performed as well.

Here's the line-up for the six-concert Winter 2016 series at the Bach:

  • Sunday, January 24: The John Santos Sextet
  • Sunday, January 31: The Michael O'Neill Quintet
  • Sunday, February 14 (Valentine's Day): The Sonny Fortune Quartet
  • Sunday, February 21: The Dave Douglas Quintet
  • Sunday, March 6: The Marquis Hill Blacktet
  • Sunday, March 21: The Orrin Evans Trio

All concerts will begin at The Bach's traditional time of 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoons.

For more information about membership in the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, or to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, please call 650.726.4143 or visit the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society website.

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