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The San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins

San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins

In late April the Croatian American Cultural Center hosts The San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins. Mandolin playing is presented with a multi-ethnic twist. In past festivals musical traditions have included Greek, Croatian, Italian, Irish, Old Time Appalachian, Bluegrass, Cowboy, Klezmer, and Brazilian. There is a sit down concert in the afternoon, workshops, good food & drink, and plenty of chances to play. Please check the year listed above for detailed information about past or check events for information about upcoming Mandolin Festival.

Origin of the Festival.

It all began with Janice Fournier, a relentless mandolin player from the Slavonian Traveling Band, who decided to expand her musical horizons by joining the Silver Strings and Aurora mandolin ensembles in 1999. Before long it was clear to the rest of us in the Slavonian Traveling Band that Janice had become addicted to the immortal tangos and Italian tarantellas that she played with her newly acquired mandolin communities. Each time we met for the rehearsal, Janice could not help but talk about this truly underground culture that seemed to live in its own time. It was only natural then that John Daley, the bugarija player in the Slavonian Traveling Band, and the Cultural Director of the Croatian American Cultural Center, gave Silver Strings a chance to work their magic in a short performance during the Poklade Festival in the Spring of 2000. To his and everybody's surprise, this performance was an instant success that simply intoxicated the audience. This performance inspired John Daley to organize a larger event that would feature Silver Strings and similar mandolin ensembles with a multicultural twist. The result was the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins held in the Slavonic Cultural Center on May 6, 2001. The Festival presented seeming incompatible ethnic music traditions by putting an emphasis on their common denominator-the mandolin.

The Mandolin Bridge is available as a poster in a limited edition of one hundred. The text reads "San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins 2004" See Order Form

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