The Rova Saxophone quartet will celebrate its 25th anniversary with two Bay Area concert programs presented by Rova:Arts. To be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum in San Francisco, each of the concerts will showcase the saxophone quartet in collaboration with renowned Japanese composers and improvisers. The first concert, “Rovate,” is scheduled for Oct. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and will feature the works of pianist/composer Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.
Rova:Arts has commissioned Fujii to write a new work for saxophone quartet for this show. She and Rova saxophonist Steve Adams will both write pieces for an extended Orkestrova ensemble, featuring Fujii, Tamura, and other Bay area, improvising musicians. Two pieces by Fujii for piano and violin will also be performed (with violinist Carla Kihlstedt). The second concert, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rova’s first public performance in February 1978, will be a salute to two of the quartet’s biggest influences, John Coltrane and Steve Lacy. Japanese guitarist and turntablist Otomo Yoshihide and guitarists Nels Cline and Fred Frith will join the quartet on this concert. The group will be interpreting Coltrane’s “Ascension” and Lacy’s “Saxophone Special.” Commemorative performances of works from throughout Rova’s 25-year career will also be performed.