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LUSH FINESSE October 2nd, 7-11 pm

by mana on July 26th, 2010

“Open Conversations” is a series of events organized by Chez Mana, as a way to communicate and come closer through the arts. The first event, “Lush Finesse,” takes place at the Fremont Hills Country Club, in Los Altos Hills, on October 2nd, from 7-11 pm. When you see the green hills surrounding the club, you feel the soothing effect of nature. The sounds of the horses, the sight of the tennis players concentrating on hitting the ball, and the beautiful expanse of water in the pool complete an image that is warm and inviting. Up the stairs there waits a gourmet dinner and a talented group of jazz musicians led by Larry Vuckovich. For further details, please see

Lush Finesse poster

Our first event!

Larry Vuckovich is a Montenegro-born, San Francisco-raised pianist. He calls his program Beyond Category.  He will perform swing, bebop/post-bop, contemporary jazz, blues-funk, Balkan-Middle Eastern-flamenco, Afro-Cuban, salsa and Brazilian music. New York Village Voice critic Gary Giddins says:  Larry Vuckovich has a book of piano gems that will keep you guessing. Larry has performed with top players including Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Mel Torme, John Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and Bobby Hutcherson. He played on the New York scene for five years, winning critical acclaim for his performances at top jazz clubs and recently returned there to perform at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. He has appeared as a guest with Marian McPartland on her Piano Jazz show heard on NPR national and international outlets.

Belgrade-born Buca Necak is a creative, fluid, powerful acoustic bassist and master at soloing, notable for his sensitive bowing techniques, who has worked with Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Freddy Cole, Anita O’Day, and Jessica Williams, among others.

International drum master Akira Tana has been a top performer in New York and has played/recorded with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Paquito D’Rivera, Lena Horne, ManhattanTransfer. He participated in a U.S. State Department concert-clinic tour of South America with Tootie, Percy and Jimmy Heath, and is equally at home in classical music, having performed at the Tanglewood Festival under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Gunther Schiller.

A professional actress, vocalist, dancer and director, Kay Kostopoulos has performed in plays and musicals in many Bay Area theaters, including the Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, the San Francisco and California Shakespeare Festivals, Stanford Summer Theater and A.C.T. (American Conservatory Theatre). She has taught and directed in many university theatre arts programs. She currently teaches at Stanford University.

Percussionist-vocalist Sanna Craig has performed with Larry Vuckovich and his bands at the Filoli Gardens Summer Jazz series, COPIA, the Food and Wine Institute in Napa, Lincoln Theater in Yountville, and Jazz at Pearl’s in San Francisco.  She was the featured vocalist for the Bay Area based Moonglo’ Orchestra.

Pierrick Gaumé, a French-born graphic designer, painter and photographer has been selling his art work to private collectors since 1994. In his Automorphose series, he catches photos of furtive urban scenes whose color and spectacular distortions inspire a sense of fusion and power.  There is a deep sense of exhilaration when you see your neighborhood building in its visual remix.  Urban poetry or street surrealism, these anamorphic city reflections captured in natural light can end up looking like human body parts.

French-born Fabienne Bismuth, a biochemist by training, has transformed her love for the human body from a molecular level to an emotional one through the creation of her sculptures.
Her work has been shown in Gallerie Gantois, Cannes, Gallerie Universalis, Saint Paul de Vence, California Ave Gallery & Simmons Gallery, San Francisco, and the Los Gatos Museum. She is the recipient of the Best of Show Award at the AvArt Fest 2009. She sculpts women out of clay and casts them in stone and bronze to give them volume and strength.

Nilou Farzaneh, an Iranian-born painter, uses acrylic and mixed media on canvas to create rich, vibrant and highly textured works of art. Her style — simple and elegant themes coupled with complex layering of color — is mischievous, lighthearted and refreshingly unique.

Register for Lush Finesse:
An Intimate Soirée of Jazz, Visual Arts and Poetry in Los Altos Hills, CA  on Eventbrite

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