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SF’s “Flower Piano” Festival is Back September 17-21

Golden Gate Park’s Botanical Garden once again turns into an alfresco concert hall for 2021
By - posted 9/17/2021 No Comment

San Francisco Botanical Garden and Sunset Piano are excited to present one of the most unique, creative, and innovative events in the Bay Area. After five successful years, and a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic, we are excited to bring back Flower Piano to transform San Francisco Botanical Garden once again into the city’s own alfresco concert hall where everyone is invited to play and listen

Flower Piano

September 17-21, 2021 (Pianos open at 10am and close at 6pm)
San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park
Tickets Required – FREE for San Francisco Residents (non resident adult tickets are $10 midweek and $13 on weekend)

Download the PDF Brochure | See the Map

  • It appears that you can also get tickets onsite, but the gardens recommend reserving tickets in advance.
  • Please note that for 2021 there is no “Night Piano” event.

Free for San Franciscans, for families receiving SNAP or CalFresh benefits, and for everyone else following $3-12 general admission, Flower Piano is truly accessible and encouraged for all.

Flower Piano Events Schedule 2021

Friday, 9/17

  • 12pm, Fragrance Garden | Mongolounge and Friends: Mongolounge is “Devo done lounge”
  • 4:00pm, Zellerbach | Emil Miland, Cello & Allison Lovejoy, Piano – Romantics and Moderns: Brahms, Boulanger, Harrison
  • 4:00 – 5:30pm, Great Meadow | Community Music Center Performance – Celebrate with the Community Music Center at Flower Piano in their Centennial Year!
  • 3:00 – 6:00pm, Conifer Lawn | Beat Corner – Avante Garden Poetry and Music by Mauro, Dean, and Friends

Saturday, 9/18

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm, Fountain Plaza | Flower Piano Community Art with Messy Art Lab – Lend a hand creating a one-of-a-kind community art piece inspired by Flower Piano!
  • 12:00 – 3:00pm | Twelve Piano Extravaganza
    • 12:00-1:00pm
      • 1.  Great Meadow | Joshua Raoul Brody: Plays Beatles Songs & Accompanies YOU!
      • 2.  Celebration Garden | Mena Ramos & Laura Harris: AfroCuban Meets Classical, Latin Jazz
      • 3.  Garden of Fragrance | Kevin Navarro: Timeless Romantic Works of Frederic Chopin
      • 4.  Rhododendron Garden | Amy Norman: Swingin’ Tunes & Sultry Songs
      • 5.  Ancient Plant Garden | Yaamini Rao & Ryan Jacobs: American Songbook/Jazz Standards!
      • 6.  New Zealand Collection | Eugene Fan & James Stone: One-piano Four-Hands Duet, Classical
      • 7.  South Africa Collection | Robbie Dehlinger: Original Music Which Honors the Classics
      • 8.  California Native Plant Garden | Ben Faulkner & Matt Mangels: Elton John’s Perennial Hits & More
      • 9.  Redwood Grove | Dawn Oberg: Amusing 21st-Century Yacht Rock for Piano
      • 10. Conifer Lawn | Patti Weiss & Anna Toso: To India and Back – a Musical Journey
      • 11. Moon Viewing Garden | Penelope Keep: Mostly Classical Piano Music and Some Jazz
      • 12. Zellerbach Garden | Elektra Schmidt: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms & Chopin
    • 1:00 – 2:00pm
      • 1.  Great Meadow | Robert Dehlinger’s Alpha Rhythm Kings: Jumpin’ Jivin’ Jazzy Swing
      • 2.  Celebration Garden | Free Press Music: Lively Local Jazz/Blues Trio with Vocalist
      • 3.  Garden of Fragrance | Danny Sullivan: Ballet & Opera Mega-Medley Extravaganza
      • 4.  Rhododendron Garden | Samer Fanek: Mediterranean and Arabic Music
      • 5.  Ancient Plant Garden | Eric Shifrin: Eclectic Medleys Twisting through Groove After Groove
      • 6.  New Zealand Collection | Steve Abrams & Heath Proskin: Hard Bop, Swing, Latinjazz, Salsa, Blues
      • 7.  South Africa Collection | Mary Fineman: Joni Mitchell and Debussy Have A Daughter
      • 8.  California Native Plant Garden | Suzanne Ramsey, Kitten on the Keys: Unexpected Eclectic Nostalgic Flapper Rock Originals
      • 9.  Redwood Grove | Colin Farish: Spontaneous Jazzical Musings from the Philoverse
      • 10. Conifer Lawn | Diva Marisa, with Kymry Esainko: Modern and Classical Operatic Arias and Storytelling
      • 11. Moon Viewing Garden | Eric Chase: Classical Music and Improvisations Inspired by Nature
      • 12. Zellerbach Garden | Esther Aeschbach: Bach, Scarlatti, Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, & a Surprise
    • 2:00 – 3:00pm
      • 1.  Great Meadow | Francisco Rosales Ensemble: Musica Cubana
      • 2.  Celebration Garden | Kings and The Tropical Jam: Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Fusion, Rhythmic, Experimental
      • 3.  Garden of Fragrance | Earth, Wind, and Flowers: Chamber Music of Various Styles
      • 4.  Rhododendron Garden | Amy Stephens: Original Third-Stream Compositions for piano
      • 5.  Ancient Plant Garden |Joseph Magdalena: Martuni’s Piano Bar: Standards, Pop, Sing-alongs!
      • 6.  New Zealand Collection | Kymry Esainko: Melancholy Moods to Soothe the Savage Skeptic
      • 7.  South Africa Collection | Lisa Spector: Piano Music for One and Two Hands
      • 8.  California Native Plant Garden | Ben Ames: Emotive Improvisational Cross-Genre Power Piano
      • 9.  Redwood Grove | Jill Tracy: Elegant, mystical, noirish, transportive piano spells
      • 10. Conifer Lawn | Caroluna, soprano, Jennifer M. Lee, pianist: Scintillating, Evocative Art Songs and Arias
      • 11. Moon Viewing Garden | Tin Yi Chelsea Wong: Contemporary Classical Passion, Magnetism, & Vibrant Tonality
      • 12. Zellerbach Garden | Rob Reich: Tribute to Ellington, Waller, and Monk
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm, Garden of Fragrance | Oscar Cervarich – Classical and fun jazz from Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and more
  • 3:00 – 6:00pm, Conifer Lawn | Beat Corner – Avante Garden Poetry and Music by Mauro, Dean, and Friends
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm, Zellerbach | Ensemble SF, formed in 2013 by members of the San Francisco Ballet and Symphony, is dedicated to inspiring a more inclusive world through art. They will present Dvorak’s Piano Quintet. Ensemble SF musicians include:
    • Elizabeth Schumann, piano
    • Wyatt Underhill, violin
    • Rebecca Jackson Picht, violin
    • Matt Young, viola
    • Sébastien Gingras, cello
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm, Great Meadow | Martin Luther McCoy with Paisley Hinton and the Freak Genius Band – San Francisco native and Rebel Soul recording artist Martin Luther McCoy will be accompanied by Paisley Hinton and the Freak Genius band. Join us for sixty minutes of Brits and Beatles classic hits reimagined for piano and voice.  Martin, although a fiercely independent artist, has toured with the Roots, Moon Medicin and is a member of the SFJAZZ Collective.

Sunday, 9/19

  • 9:00 – 9:45am, Great Meadow | Noe’s Garden Music Class Noe’s Garden brings a special good morning concert, ideal for children 0 – 7 and their families. Sing, dance, and move your body along to beloved folk songs from around the world, as well as Noe’s own nature-inspired originals. Celtic harp, acoustic guitar, and puppetry make this a concert the whole family will enjoy
  • 10:00 – 11:30am, Gardens nearest Main Gate | Rabbit Hole Theater Magical Scavenger Hunt – Find a fairy, fortune teller, or other magical being during a family-friendly scavenger hunt through the Garden.
  • 10:00am – 4:00pm, Fountain Plaza | Flower Piano Community Art with Messy Art Lab – Lend a hand creating a one-of-a-kind community art piece inspired by Flower Piano!
  • 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Zellerbach Garden | Featured Artists
    • 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Alon Nechushtan Trio: Striding & Swinging Piano for all ages
    • 1:00 – 2:00pm | Tammy Hall and Leberta Lorál: To Nina Simone, With Love
    • 2:00 – 3:00pm | Allison Lovejoy: Romantic and Impressionist Piano Masterpieces
    • 3:00 – 4:00pm | Kev Choice Trio: Black music infused with classical
    • 4:00 – 5:00pm | Serene: Late 19th-century virtuosity. Plus Russian Jazz
    • 5:00 – 6:00pm | Christian Tumalan Trio: High energy Latin Jazz w. deep Afrocuban roots
  • 11:00am – 4:00pm, Celebration Garden |  Featured Artists
    • 11:00am – 12:00pm | Classical Revolution Trio: Chamber Music for the People
    • 12:00 – 1:00pm | The Kevin Gerzevitz Trio: Monkish Bebop and Soul Jazz
    • 1:00 – 2:00pm | Quinta Tango: Argentine Tango Music
    • 2:00 – 3:00pm | Kash Killion: World, Sun Ra, Jazz, Afro Futuristic
    • 3:00 – 4:00pm | The Cottontails: 30s/40s jazz, blues, R&B
  • 2:00 – 3:30pm, New Zealand | Little Mission Studio – Little Mission Studio is a fun-loving music school based in the Mission inspiring creativity and cultivating musicianship in the community. Join Little Mission Studio as they present curated performances of both solo and chamber piano music from Little Mission students, ensembles, and faculty members featuring a wide variety of musical styles and genres.
  • 2:00 – 4:00pm, Redwood Grove | SF Symphony – Performances by SF Symphony musicians.
  • 2:00 – 4:00pm, CA Native Plant Garden | SFJAZZ High School All-Stars – Four-hands performance by Alex and Lucas Perry, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars

Monday, 9/20

  • 12:00 – 3:00pm, Redwood Grove | Elizabeth Dorman: PlantBerg Project – Join Leipzig International Bach Competition finalist Elizabeth Dorman as she tours Bach’s greatest greenhouse through the lens of SF Botanical Gardens’ most significant plants. Join Elizabeth as she leads an experiential performance of Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations, pairing each variation with a plant from the collection in an arc through the gardens that mirrors the music.
  • 2:00 – 3:00pm, Celebration Garden | Marco Diaz in partnership with Community Music Center – “Journey through the Americas and the Great American Songbook” a solo piano performance hosted by Community Music Center, celebrating a century of music for everyone. Diaz, who is CMC alumni and on the faculty of the Mission District Young Musicians Program, takes you on a musical journey through the Caribbean and Latin America. Musical styles such as the bolero, danzón, cha cha cha, tango, cumbia, son, merengue, and stride piano have helped shape his multifaceted musical career. Diaz will also adapt well-known Great American Songbook standards into rich styles of his choosing.
  • 4:00 – 5:30pm, Celebration Garden | Harlem of the West Talk and Performance – San Francisco Botanical Garden, Bayview Opera House, and San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society welcome authors Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Lewis Watts for a presentation on their book, Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era followed by a musical performance by Sam Peoples, Jr. a born-and-raised San Franciscan, is part of a multi-generational family of musicians and performers with a legacy during the Fillmore Jazz heyday.
  • 4:00pm, Great Meadow | Gail Dobson Band & Vocals for Kids – Music of Love and Peace on Earth

Tuesday, 9/21

  • 4:00pm, Zellerbach | Sarah Cahill and Regina Myers Works by Eleanor Alberga, Terry Riley, and more

About Sunset Piano

Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell together launched Sunset Piano in 2013 when ffortissimo covertly rolled an old grand piano onto the bluffs over Half Moon Bay. As word spread through social media, the crowds grew way beyond the occasional dog walker. Thousands came to hear the music before the county ordered the piano removed. Since then, Sunset Piano has expanded this impromptu musical and social experiment, temporarily placing pianos in a wide variety of unexpected natural and urban settings around the Bay Area every year, from the top of Montara Mountain to Market Street. Flower Piano, a collaboration with San Francisco Botanical Garden, is Sunset Piano’s largest and most ambitious undertaking. Mermell’s documentary about Sunset Piano is entitled Twelve Pianos.