Featured Events

From free Saturday afternoon music concerts to a mountain bike festival to Shakespeare in the Park to photography walks, nature hikes, and work parties, it’s happening in McLaren! Click on the images or links below for more information on each event.

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click on image to download printable pdf poster

map ~ MUNI 29, 54 ~ getting there

[click on images to listen to music]

Bill Ortiz, a longstanding member of the Santana Band and lifelong San Francisco resident, will soon help the “Friends of the AMP” celebrate the grand finale of a successful new concert series, Saturday In The Park. He’ll join his All-Star Band at The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in San Francisco’s McLaren Park on October 26th, 2013, starting at 3pm. Local Latin/Caribbean groove artist Hector Lugo and La Mixta Criolla will open the show at 2pm. You are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic! Snacks and beverages will be for sale.

About Bill Ortiz

Winter In America cover art

“Carlos has always used music to inspire and bring people together,” explains Ortiz. “I try to follow in that tradition. I’ve been really inspired by some of the Bay Area hip-hop artists like Casual, Zumbi, and the Grouch who make music with enlightened lyrics,” Ortiz adds of his featured guests. “We often celebrate ignorance in our society, so I wanted to celebrate consciousness.” On his recent EP, which charted in the top 10 on CMJ’s hip-hop charts for over a month, Ortiz covers Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s 1973 hit on the track “Winter in America” as an homage to the recently departed lyrical poet and “Godfather of rap”. [Listen].

While Ortiz is known over the past 13 years as the trumpeter with Santana, he’s been involved in the hip-hop and R&B movements for as long as he’s played music. Ortiz played trumpet on the classic hip-hop Souls of Mischief album “93 til Infinity”, and he has worked and recorded with En Vogue, Sheila E, and TLC, among others. Ortiz began his mastery of the trumpet at age 10. While in school he was first chair trumpet in the San Francisco All-City Band. By his mid-teens he was playing at local dances and clubs with a number of R&B and jazz groups, giving him an early and varied start to his professional career. His horizons were broadened even further during his college years with his first exposure to electronic and Latin music.

In the nineties, Ortiz began working with R&B/hip-hop group Tony Toni Tone’ as a touring band member and featured soloist. He performed on five releases from the multi-platinum selling group, and toured the US, Canada and Europe. He accompanied the group when they joined Janet Jackson on her “Alive” tour and made numerous TV appearances with them.

This exposure led Ortiz to recording with Destiny’s Child and Johnny “Guitar” Watson, among others. Next, Ortiz toured and recorded with the legendary Boz Scaggs, and began a long and fruitful association with highly acclaimed jazz vocalist Lavay Smith (with whom he still works), recording two CDs and touring the US and Europe yet again.

In 2009, Bill Ortiz released his debut solo album “From Where I Stand,”[Listen] which charted on Billboard and garnered huge success among critics From Where I Stand cover artand fans alike. Bill spends a good amount of his time and energy getting involved in music education, both as a clinician and private instructor. He enjoys mentoring younger musicians and spreading the experiences and diversity of his musical background, which he  tries to bring to all of his own playing and recordings.

Presently Ortiz is recording and touring with Carlos Santana. His work include performances on the Grammy® Award-winning singles “Smooth” and “The Game of Love”. In addition, he has been very active as a studio musician. 

“My musical upbringing contains a wide variety of styles, including jazz, hip-hop, Latin, African, R&B/Soul, and blues,” he states. “What I am trying to do with my musical voice is reflect all of those elements of who I am as a musician and a  person. I’m not a purist; I try to bring all these elements of who I am musically into one voice.”

For more information about Bill Ortiz or for music samples and info about future live performances visit Bill’s website http://billortiz.com/.

Hector Lugo y la Mixta Criolla

La Mixta’s repertoire includes originals and funky renditions of traditional tunes, and features a variety of swinging Caribbean grooves, from plena, bomba, guaracha jíbara, aguinaldo, to merengue, son, rumba, seis, cumbia and salsa. Hector explains the group’s origins:

“This band existed in my mind for a few years before it actually came together in the Spring and Summer of 2007 with Camilo Landau on Puerto Rican cuatro and vocals, Ayla Dávila on bass, Javier Navarrette on congas and percussion, Ronald Rosario  on guitar, vocals, and güícharo, and yours truly, Héctor Lugo, on percussion and vocals. We were performing every Thursday at Sol Food Restaurant in San Rafael, CA, and out those sessions emerged a diverse repertoire of originals and funky  renditions of classic Latin Caribbean tunes, as well as a swinging rootsy sound, that gave our group a unique appeal and authentic flavor.

From its inception the band was interested in developing original material – inspired in the folklore and popular music of the Latin Caribbean – as a way to explore the richness and diversity of our musical culture. We also took seriously the weight and power of the written/spoken/sung word as a form of communication. And from the beginning our approach has been to keep it real, keep it funky, and play from the heart. Hopefully we have succeeded!”

You can judge by yourself listening to their debut CD AfroTaíno, A music and dance ensemble inspired in the rich and diverse musical culture of Puerto Rico and the greater Caribbean. The group’s repertoire features a variety of swinging Caribbean grooves, from plena, bomba, guaracha jíbara, seis and aguinaldo, to merengue, son, rumba, cumbia and  salsa. And the band is as comfortable, and passionate, playing a bolero, a slow seis con décimas, or a classic danza.

Some of La Mixta’s performances feature traditional Bomba dancing, a centuries old form of Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance characterized by structured improvisation and the intricate dialogue established between the bailador(a), the dancer, and the primo or lead drummer.

In Puerto Rico, “una mixta” (a mixta) is the quintessential combination of rice  and beans with a meat and/or vegetable accompaniment. Every small restaurant or “fonda” has its mixta of the day and patrons know they can count on getting a homestyle meal full of flavor and, in many cases, love. In the Latin Caribbean at large the term “criolla/o” refers to the blend of African, Spanish-Mediterranean, and Aboriginal cultural influences that give some of the region’s cultures their distinctive character and flavor. La Mixta combines a variety of these influences to cook up a musical stew worthy of the most humble fonda. Hector wraps up his group’s philosophy:

“¡La buena música y la buena comida! We would like our music and lyrics to inspire you to dance, to sing, and also to think about where we have come from and where we are moving towards as individuals, as a people, as a society.”

For more information, visit La Mixta Criolla’s Facebook page.

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Saturday In The Park @ Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 2 – 4pm

Click the poster below for more info at the Saturday In The Park-McLaren Facebook Page

SIPM_poster – pdf for printing

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