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Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 2019 | SF

Between May and October in 2019, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents 100 free performances on three outdoor stages in Yerba Buena Gardens.

Admission is free and entertainment includes music, theater, dance, cultural events, educational and children’s programs.

2019 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
May 4 – October 27, 2019
Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco
FREE

How to Get There

Most performances take place on the Esplanade just south of Mission Street, with a few performances taking place at Jessie Square (North of Mission) and children’s events taking place at the Children’s Garden south of Howard Street. Directions / Muni / Parking

2019 Festival Series

Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie!, the open-air salsa dance party in Jessie Square (near the Contemporary Jewish Museum), takes place on the third Thursday of each month from May to September from 6-7:30 pm. Performers include the Carlitos Medrano & Sabor De Mi Cuba on May 16, the Jesús Díaz y Su QBA on June 20, the Cabanijazz Project on August 15, and Ricardo Lemvo on September 14.

Children’s Garden Series features Interactive half-hour shows for kids under 10 & their adults. School groups and camps welcome. Featuring Children’s Creativity Museum’s 20th Anniversary. A flamenco troupe, a galloping stallion and a rumba circle Ka-Hon on June 7 (This children’s program repeats at 12:15pm Friday, 6/7/19), Pi Clowns on June 14 (This children’s program repeats at 12:15pm Friday, 6/14/19), Circus Bella – Up in the Air on June 21 (This program repeats at Noon Saturday, 6/22/19 and again at 2:15pm Saturday, 6/22/19) and more.

Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series takes place most Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Bring a lunch and a blanket and kick back on the green grass with friends and work-mates. Music by local and international artists is guaranteed to make the afternoon fly including oghosthaze on May 9, Community Music Center Older Adult Choirs on May 16, Afro-Cuban Ensemble of SFSU on May 23, Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira on May 30, The Onyx on June 6, Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco on June 13, Marcus Shelby Quartet on June 20, Edgar Pantoja & the Afro-Cuban Tribe on June 27, Sueños on July 11, Murasaki Ensemble on July 25, LINES Dance Center on August 8, Kim So Ra: A Sign of Rain on August 15, Rob Reich Swings Left on August 22 and The Anita Lofton Project on September 19.

Thursday Lunchtime Concerts take place on the Esplanade, Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents Poetic Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of each month from May 14 to October 15. Guest curated by Litquake, Poetic Tuesdays runs from 12:30-1:30 pm and features an array of poets and music.

2019 Festival Highlights

Opening Day: The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival opens on Saturday, May 4 at 1 pm featuring a Tribute to Charlie Palmieri by the Uprising All-Stars. The production combines New York’s finest purveyors of Latin dance music with world-class Bay Area talent, including trombonist Doug Beavers, conguero Little Johnny Rivero, and Santana bongo master Karl Perazzo. New York heavyweight Arturo Ortiz, who’s collaborated widely with Latin music giants like Rubén Blades, and Marc Anthony, is the ideal cat for the piano chair.

Each and every week and weekend, the Festival presents a curated lineup of musicians, dancers, poets, and artists from around the world including the street dance theater company, Embodiment Project on May 11, the Roma brass band sensation Džambo Aguševi Orchestra on May 18, Circus Bella – Up in the Air on June 21 (This program repeats at Noon Saturday, 6/22/19 and again at 2:15pm Saturday, 6/22/19), a classically-trained tenor who won Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize Jeremy Dutcher on June 29, Philippine-born singer/songwriter Aireene Espiritu will be making a Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto on July 6, Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest on July 13, Brooklyn Raga Massive featuring Martha Redbone Roots Project on July 20, Berkeley-reared, Juilliard-trained pianist, composer, activist and writer Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes on August 17, and the SFJAZZ-commissioned Brass, Bows & Beats: A Hip-Hop Symphony on September 14.

2019 Events Calendar

May

  • Festival Season Kick-Off May 4, Saturday 1:00 pm
  • oghosthaze May 9, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Embodiment Project May 11, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Poetic Tuesday May 14, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Community Music Center Older Adult Choirs May 16, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Carlitos Medrano & Sabor De Mi Cuba May 16, Thursday 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Celebrate 20 Years of Creativity May 18, Saturday 11 am – 2 pm
  • Roma Festival Džambo Aguševi Orchestra May 18, Saturday 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Afro-Cuban Ensemble of SFSU May 23, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • RigneyMichael Doucet & Tom Rigney with Flambeau May 25, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira May 30, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

June

  • The Onyx Jun 6, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Ka-Hon Jun 7, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Ka-Hon Jun 7, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Tunes of Sudan Jun 8, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Poetic Tuesday Jun 11, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco Jun 13, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Pi Clowns Jun 14, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Pi Clowns Jun 14, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Garba in the Gardens Jun 15, Saturday 1 pm – 3 pm
  • Native Contemporary Arts Festival Jun 16, Sunday Noon – 3 pm
  • Marcus Shelby Quartet Jun 20, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Jesús Díaz y Su QBA Jun 20, Thursday 6 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 21, Friday Noon – 1 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 22, SaturdayNoon – 1 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 22, Saturday 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Edgar Pantoja & the Afro-Cuban Tribe Jun 27, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Unique Derique Jun 28, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Unique Derique Jun 28, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Jeremy Dutcher Jun 29, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm

July

  • Aireene Espiritu – Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto Jul 6, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Poetic Tuesday Jul 9, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Sueños Jul 11, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Chelle! & Friends Jul 12, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Chelle! & Friends Jul 12, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest Jul 13, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest Jul 14, Sunday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Brooklyn Raga Massive featuring Martha Redbone Roots Project Jul 20, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Murasaki Ensemble Jul 25, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Alphabet Rockers Jul 26, Friday 11 am – 11:30am
  • Alphabet Rockers Jul 26, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-splosion! Jul 27, Saturday 1 pm – 3 pm
  • SF Mime Troupe Jul 28, Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm

August

  • Māhealani Uchiyama Aug 2, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Māhealani Uchiyama Aug 2, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • AfroSolo in the Gardens Aug 3, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • LINES Dance Center Aug 8, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Pistahan Aug 10, Saturday 11 am – 5 pm
  • Pistahan Aug 11, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
  • Poetic Tuesday Aug 14, Wednesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Kim So Ra: A Sign of Rain Aug 15, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Cabanijazz Project Aug 15, Thursday 6 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Dholrhythms Dance Company Aug 16, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Dholrhythms Dance Company Aug 16, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes Aug 17, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Brazil in the Gardens featuring Fabiana Cozza Aug 18, Sunday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Rob Reich Swings Left Aug 22, Thursday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Caterpillar Puppets  Aug 23, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Caterpillar Puppets Aug 23, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Red Panda Acrobats Aug 30, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Red Panda Acrobats Aug 30, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

September

  • American Bon Dancing Sep 1, Sunday 1 pm – 3 pm
  • Poetic Tuesday Sep 10, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony Sep 14, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Ricardo Lemvo Sep 14, Saturday 6 pm – 7:30 pm
  • The Anita Lofton Project Sep 19, Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • La Misa Negra Sep 28, Saturday 1 pm – 2:30 pm

October

  • Poetic Tuesday Oct 15, Tuesday 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Halloween Hoopla Oct 27, Sunday Noon – 2 pm

Children’s Garden Series

Yerba Buena Children’s Garden is located at Howard & Fourth Streets. Two performances each day: 11-11:30 am and 12:15-12:45 pm, except Circus Bella and Halloween Hoopla.

  • Celebrate 20 Years of Creativity May 18, Saturday 11 am – 2 pm
  • Ka-Hon Jun 7, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Ka-Hon Jun 7, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Pi Clowns Jun 14, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Pi Clowns Jun 14, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 21, Friday Noon – 1 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 22, Saturday Noon – 1 pm
  • Circus Bella – Up in the Air Jun 22, Saturday 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Unique Derique Jun 28, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Unique Derique Jun 28, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Chelle! & Friends Jul 12, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Chelle! & Friends Jul 12, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Alphabet Rockers Jul 26, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Alphabet Rockers Jul 26, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Māhealani Uchiyama Aug 2, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Māhealani Uchiyama Aug 2, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Dholrhythms Dance Company Aug 16, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Dholrhythms Dance Company Aug 16, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Caterpillar Puppets Aug 23, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Caterpillar Puppets Aug 23, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Red Panda Acrobats Aug 30, Friday 11 am – 11:30 am
  • Red Panda Acrobats Aug 30, Friday 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
  • Halloween Hoopla Oct 27, Sunday Noon – 2 pm

Thursday, August 22

Classic Swing w/ Rob Reich Swings Left: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Thursday, August 22 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Classic Swing w/ Rob Reich Swings Left: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
A key member of some of the Bay Area’s most exciting improvisational ensembles, pianist/accordionist Rob Reich is known for keeping company with adventurous players eager to explore new sonic territory. Looking to meet the needs of the Bay Area’s thriving swing dance scene, he launched ...

Sunday, September 1

American Bon Dancing: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Sunday, September 1 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
American Bon Dancing: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
A joyous celebration of departed ancestors, Bon is a Japanese Buddhist festival that’s been marked for more than five centuries with a traditional dance known as Bon-Odori. Held in conjunction with the 16th World Buddhist Women’s Convention across the street at the Marriott Marquis, American ...

Tuesday, September 10

Poetic Tuesdays: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Tuesday, September 10 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Poetic Tuesdays: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Lines and lyrics from Litquake Nation! Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

Saturday, September 14

Brass, Bows & Beats: A Hip-Hop Symphony | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Saturday, September 14 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Brass, Bows & Beats: A Hip-Hop Symphony | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
A creative force since 2000, the wildly eclectic Jazz Mafia collective brings together many of the Bay Area’s most creative and accomplished jazz instrumentalists, soul vocalists, hip-hop MCs and composer/arrangers. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Jazz Mafia’s most ambitious work to date, ...

Thursday, September 19

Folk Music w/ The Anita Lofton Project | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Thursday, September 19 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Folk Music w/ The Anita Lofton Project | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
About a decade ago Anita Lofton was known as one of the hardest rockin’ guitarists around, a gonzo player whose punk power trio Sistas In the Pit opened for Iggy and the Stooges on their 2007 reunion tour, including a near-legendary show at the Warfield ...
Let’s Go Salsa: Free Open Air Salsa Dance Party w/ Ricardo Lemvo | SF
Thursday, September 19 – 6:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Jessie Square
Let's Go Salsa: Free Open Air Salsa Dance Party w/ Ricardo Lemvo | SF
Raised by Angolan parents in Congo’s capital Kinshasa (when the country was known as Zaire), charismatic Los Angeles vocalist Ricardo Lemvo has honed an irresistibly grooving Afro-salsa sound, blending Congolese rumba and soukous with Cuban charanga and son. Belting out his original songs in Spanish, ...

Saturday, September 28

Afro-Latin Music w/ La Misa Negra: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Saturday, September 28 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Afro-Latin Music w/ La Misa Negra: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF

Between May and October in 2019, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents 100 free performances on three outdoor stages in Yerba Buena Gardens. Admission is free and entertainment includes music, theater, dance, cultural events, educational and children’s programs. 2019 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival May 4 – October 27, ...

Tuesday, October 15

Poetic Tuesdays: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Tuesday, October 15 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Poetic Tuesdays: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | SF
Lines and lyrics from Litquake Nation! Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

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