Concerts start August 9th

Concerts start August 9th


For Immediate Release                         Contact: Linda D’Avirro

July 25, 2014                                              (415) 999-3814

Saturday in the Park- McLaren Free Concert Series Returns

Following last year’s successful six-concert series, Friends of the AMP (Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park) announces six new 2014 Saturday in the Park – McLaren afternoon concerts in McLaren Park’s outdoor Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. The Saturday in the Park – McLaren free family friendly performances showcase talent to appeal to all ages and musical tastes.

2014 lineup:

August 9 –         The season opener features, Bluegrass, Classic Rock and R&B Show with Back Porch, The Michael Ahern Band and The Eddie Neon Project

August 16 –     A Day of International Music & Dancers features Maikaze Daiko, The Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band and the Duniya Dance & Drum Company

August 23 –    Blues, Funk & Soul Show With Tia Carroll & Alvon Johnson & The All-Star Band

September 27Charity and the JAMBand – A High-Energy, Fun Children’s Sing-Along & Dance Concert

October 4 –       Singer/Songwriter Showcase – A Tribute to Pete Seeger, with songs and music by Karney, Rocker T, Katie Garibaldi, Ray Vaughn, The Devil’s Chord & Pete Kronowitt

October 11 –    The season finale featuring: Celtic Jam Band, Wake The Dead; Bluegrass band, The Beauty Operators and Delmarva, with original instrumental rock.

All concerts start at 1:00 PM

The Mission of the Saturday in the Park – McLaren Concert Series is to promote and foster local talent, present an eclectic range of free live music performances in an outdoor Greek-style stage, and work to revive San Francisco’s legacy of a rich original music scene that produced today’s music legends.

Situated on a sunny hillside meadow and surrounded by tall shade trees, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre creates an intimate, friendly setting, allowing for the talents of these artists to truly shine.Concert goers can enjoy bringing the family and a picnic lunch, away from the “hustle and bustle,” for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. “We want to bring people together in special way and showcase area talent,” said Linda Litehiser of Friends of the Amp.

In-between shows, the Friends of the AMP want you to discover over seven-and a-half miles of serene beauty, hiking, biking and natural trails and spectacular vistas running throughout the 318 acres in San Francisco’s second-largest park.

Saturday in the Park-McLaren is funded by SF Parks Alliance, grants & donations and support from SF Recreation & Parks, SF District Attorney’s Office & the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

For more information about Saturdays in the Park – McLaren visit the Saturday in the Park McLaren Facebook page at: and Eventbrite.


Saturday in the Park – McLaren–Fun, Fun Fundraiser

Sunday, July 13, 2014

1pm – 4pm

BBQ at Gleneagles Golf Course

2100 Sunnydale Ave, McLaren Park
Live Music, Games, Raffle and Silent Auction

Back Porch publicity photo

Back Porch Band

$25/single ticket. $40/for two! Kids (ages 5-12) $10
(Special Golfer’s Price Available at Gleneagles)
Tickets may be purchased at the door but please RSVP
FREE Parking

RSVP by: July 10th 415-413-7501
or by email:

Reserve and buy your tickets now at:

or visit our Facebook page for more information

Thank You to the Magic Seven!

Today’s workday went extremely well even with an extremely thin crew (7 folks which included one beautiful 6 months pregnant lady!) We got the new playground in ship shape by taking down all the weeds and sweeping the rubber surfaces and paths nearby.  All the bark was spread evenly again on the landscaped areas and then we were off to the Gambier Plaza to take on the weeds around the fountain and cut back the crab grass that’s slowly starting to encroach on the plaza.  As if that wasn’t enough, my magic hardworking crew still had enough energy to  move  large amounts of wood that gardener Ken Kelley was clearing from the old Cyprus trees at the Harvard street entrance.  Please see the piles of wood for yourselves.  By this time we were all quite exhausted and we were unable to continue our efforts  on Harvard Street but there was so much to show for our hard work.

The Magic 7 at Work

Two of “Seven”

Thank you again so much to those who came out on a weekday, even during a world cup event.  It goes to show, all it takes is 7 folks to make magic happen in McLaren Park.

Pictures soon to come!



New Pacific Chorus Frog Habitat Near McLaren

Kids in Parks and the students of Visitation Valley (VVMS) and Herbert Hoover (HHMS) Middle Schools are revitalizing neglected areas of the school grounds measuring more than 2,500 square feet, transforming them into a thriving habitat for local native plants and animals.

The totem species of this project is the Pacific Chorus frog, once found throughout San Francisco but now limited to one naturally-occurring population. The essential components of its habitat are small, shallow, ephemeral ponds for mating during the rainy season, and brushy areas of low growing native plants in which it lives during the dry season. Over the past five years, Kids in Parks has already successfully created six ponds at VVMS and HHMS. For the last five winters, frogs have returned to the ponds and reproduced. [Read More…]

Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project Survey, Webinar, and Workshop

[From SFPUC]

Provide Your Input Online for the Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project 

Thank you to those who were able to attend our Community Open House on October 2, 2013 and helped us identify the community’s priorities for daylighting Yosemite Creek near McLaren Park and the Louis Sutter Playground. We enjoyed meeting all of you from the neighborhood and gathering your feedback. If you weren’t able to make it to the community open house or were unable to finish the survey, you can still provide input online through the end of the month. Take the survey here today. It takes just a few minutes to learn about the project, give us your input, and contribute to the greening of San Francisco.

Discover Your Urban Watershed Web Seminar – Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mark your calendar for the first in the Discover Your Urban Watershed webinar series. Learn about SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program and the role of the Urban Watershed Assessment planning process in this program. This webinar will focus on current conditions in San Francisco’s Islais, Sunnydale, and Yosemite watersheds. Join in and learn how you may get involved. The webinar will be held on October 24, 2013 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Please sign-up here.

SF Watersheds Interactive Workshop

The SFPUC is excited to announce an interactive workshop on Saturday, November 16 from 10:00am – 1:30pm at the Southeast Community Facility to help plan for necessary upgrades to San Francisco’s combined sewer system.    We especially want to make sure that folks from the southern and eastern sections of the City are represented.

This interactive workshop will take the form of a participatory planning game and focus on developing infrastructure solutions to sewer system challenges in three of San Francisco’s urban watersheds: Islais Creek, Yosemite, and Sunnydale.

During the workshop participants will learn about their watersheds and use grey infrastructure game pieces (pipes) and green infrastructure game pieces (permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs) to solve challenges specific to each watershed. Your input will contribute to the SFPUC’s Urban Watershed Assessment and the next 20 years of green and grey infrastructure upgrades in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

Help us plan for healthy urban watersheds.  Click here for more information and to RSVP. Please note that space is limited and you must RSVP in advance.  Lunch will be provided.

If you cannot make it on November 16, there are other ways to get involved.  Also, please feel free to pass this along or suggest others who might be interested.   We would like at least one person from your organization—and the more the better!

Latin Jazz Fusion Explosion for Final Saturday Concert

Bill Ortiz with his All-Star Band & Hector Lugo y la Mixta Criolla

[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 McLaren Park 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 2pmYou are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic! Snacks and beverages will be for sale.

map ~ MUNI 29, 54 ~ getting there

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 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 and fans alike. Bill spendsFrom Where I Stand cover art 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

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. Our Mixta combines a variety of these influences to cook up a musical stew worthy of the most humble fonda!

¡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.