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Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival 2007

San Francisco’s Indie Festival Spotlights Local Talent

For ten days this May, over a dozen San Francisco venues will be hosting an explosion in local musical and visual talent. The Mission Creek Music and Arts festival will kick off its 11th year on May 10th with the usual brilliant lineup of new and promising musicians and artists. This year also marks the first time the festival has opened its stages to include dance artists in the much anticipated Dance Maverick performances.

A truly San Francisco experience, The Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival is as unique a festival as its founders. Eleven years ago, founder Jeff Ray, an entrepreneur who at the time was a member of the local band Zmzrlina, organized an impromptu gathering of his friends' bands at the El Rio bar, he called it the "Mission Creek Music Festival", naming it after the creek that used to run through Zmzrlina’s practice space and not knowing at the time that in the following years the event would grow into a full-fledged festival sparking the careers of many indie favorites.

Indeed Mission Creek reflects a vision of supporting community and cultivating local arts. Fledgling artists have an opportunity to perform for record labels, radio representatives, agents, publicists and the press. As in past festivals, it is at Mission Creek where some artists prove their clout, taking flight, and going on to achieve international acclaim and shining careers. Some notable former Mission Creek graduates include Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Erase Errata, Deerhoof, Vetiver and Rogue Wave, among many others.

This year promises not to disappoint. For those who missed last year’s sold-out performance by Vincent Gallo and Sean Lennon at Bimbo’s 365 Club, mark your calendars for May 19th when Gallo returns with RRIICCEE, Lee Granet and Eric Anderson at the Swedish American Hall. Some other up-and-coming musicians to look out for include: The Finches, Lavender Diamond, Track Star, Edith Frost, Citay, White Tigers, and I am Spoonbender.

For the second year, Mission Creek will bring its Collision series back to the LAB, focusing on cross-disciplinary performance and showcasing local and international music acts that collaborate with artists working in video, film, dance, theater, and media arts. Featuring Lucky Dragons, Kevin Blechdom and James Goode to name a few, these performances veer away from the traditional and will appeal to the open-minded audience interested in experimental music and performance.

In another exciting development, this year will be the first to incorporate local Bay Area dance performances. On the evenings of May 11th and May 12th, Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory will host Maverick Dance, featuring artists and choreographers who bring new shape and movement with anything from punk to hip hop, which serve as the backdrops to their unconventional avant-garde performances. Look out for Jessica Fudim’s Cave In Cave Out, Funsch Dance Experience’s trio, Baysic Project Bboy/Bgirl Dance Company, Lesley Braithwaite, and ArtFace’s Les Quatre-vingt-dix-sept Pas.

On Saturday May 19th, the Mission District Brass Parade is an event not to miss. Presented by Teacher With The Bus and MCMAF, the Parade will include hundreds of brass musicians, tribal drummers, Samba dancers, performance artists, and costumed pedestrians all filling Valencia Street with music and color in celebration of the Mission District music and arts community. Anyone can participate and represented genres include Balkan dance, experimental electronica, Soul/Funk, Latin and Afrobeat. The parade will begin at The Revolution Café (22nd , at Bartlett) and continue down 22nd Street, turning right onto Valencia Street and onto 18th Street, concluding with performances in Dolores Park. In true San Francisco style expect to see a bio-diesel bus generating electricity, volunteer-manned recycling stations, and a wealth of information about sustainable living thanks to MCMAD’s “green” sponsors.

Mission Creek will run from May 10th through May 20th. To find out more about this year's Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival and a schedule of performances, check out: http://www.mcmf.org.