Today is the final day to head out to the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park to hear people playing a dozen pianos in a pastoral setting. And over the last week and a half there have been plenty of Instagram and YouTube videos of the festivities.
The 12-day event known as Flower Piano began in 2015, and is now the largest annual draw of visitors to the Botanical Garden. This year's edition came with ticketed nighttime editions as well with food trucks and scheduled performers. The initial impetus for the event, the likes of which have happened in the streets of Boston and New York as well, came from Sunset Piano, an organization run by musician Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell, who located, restored, and transported the pianos themselves. This all began with ffortissimo wheeling a piano onto the bluff near his home in Half Moon Bay.
This SFist editor was out there under a blanket of fog on Saturday afternoon to take in the performance of Na Lei Hulu I ka Wekiu, the local hula dance school, which brought 140 dancers to do a pair of performances, including one on the Great Meadow in the garden. I also caught Mauro and Dean doing a "Beat Corner" performance with poetry readings on the lawn, musicians from the San Francisco Symphony in the Zellerbach Garden.
Below, a few sights and sounds from the week, beginning with local great Tammy Hall playing and singing "Cotton-Eyed Joe."
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Last minute piano improvisation at #flowerpiano @sfbotanicalgarden in the Redwood Grove. Had no idea what I was going to play until the music was being played and rushed as we had somewhere else to be. Final day of #flowerpiano2019 is tomorrow, Monday, 22 July 2019. Oddly, my first time attending the annual Flower Piano event. #pianoimprovisation #piano #improvisation #music #musicianlife #unplanned #sfbotanicalgarden Video by @rainbowychen.