The soft sounds of live jazz flow through a low-lit restaurant, easing guests into a comfortable state as the aroma of grilled steak and seared fish fills the air. It's just another night at Bistro 135, a multi-level space that hosts local musicians throughout the week on a balcony stage, who spice up the atmosphere as diners savor a fusion of international and American cuisines. Pairs can share blackened jumbo scallops and manchurian cauliflower at high-top tables in the bar area and enjoy their meals in the cozy outdoor courtyard to soak in the warm weather or surprise eclipses.
Costa Rican Jorge Strunz and Iranian Ardeshir Farah first united their guitars and their surnames into an improvisation-flecked duo in 1980, blending Afro-Latin, Middle Eastern, and jazz styles. Their 1992 album Américas vaulted to international attention with its infectious Afrocuban, Gypsy, and pre-Columbian rhythms, collecting both Billboard's World Music Album of the Year award and a Grammy nomination. With the assistance of Leah Zeger on violin and Majeed Ghorbani on percussion, Strunz and Farah's melodies vault up and down exotically modulated scales. Though their fingers are fluent in flamenco, the duo's signature style is saturated with international influences sharing only a common disregard for speed limits.
Now in its 38th year of performance, the charming "Symphony on the Bay" exudes a passion for music and community, offering a bevy of concerts to please young, old, and canine listeners alike. "Celebrating Fifteen" honors James R. McKay's 15 years as Symphony Hamilton's music director. In addition to conducting the community-based volunteer symphonic orchestra, the maestro stays active as a bassoonist, acoustic researcher, and university teacher. "A Family Christmas" will offer a slew of traditional Christmas songs featuring mezzo-soprano Sophie Roland and a mandatory Christmas-carol sing-along. "Beethoven's Heroines and Emperors" will contain classics such as the Leonore Overture No. 3 and Symphony No. 3, "Eroica." "Film and Symphonic Classics" will feature pieces by Mozart, Barber, and Dvorak, as well as John Williams' Schindler's List and The Imperial March from Star Wars Suite. Guest conductor Pratik Gandhi will lead "Music Through the Ages" with numbers from Holst, Mozart, and J.C. Bach.