Opening of a new performance hall in the Healdsburg Art Gallery
For 14 years, Paul Mahder ran a successful art gallery in San Francisco, but he doesn’t see this as the highlight of his career.
He prefers it to Healdsburg, where he opened his Paul Mahder gallery seven and a half years ago in a nine-meter-high Quonset double hut built in 1946 that once housed an antique store.
“I didn’t know anything about Healdsburg. I was happy in San Francisco, but then I saw this space. It was unique in terms of what it could be, ”said Mahder. “After that, I was like a dog with a bone. I couldn’t let go.
Not only has Mahder retained his space at 222 Healdsburg Ave., but he’s poised to add a new dimension: a performance venue he calls The 222, which will kick off with three concerts August 21-22 by the pianist. New York jazz band George Cables and his trio.
This is a natural progression, as the gallery has long hosted musical events, presented in conjunction with the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
“Healdsburg is looking for an intimate space for the performing arts that I already have,” Mahder said. “I am already here.”
Musician Cables said from his home in New York that he had attended a jazz festival at the gallery before and was looking forward to performing there.
“It will be somewhere between a club show and a concert, not too crowded,” Cable predicted. “It’s a very good space. I think it will be a great place to play.
While Mahder plans to book jazz, classical, contemporary and choral music, as well as film screenings and literary readings at 222, the jazz connection is very strong, thanks to the involvement of Jessica Felix, founder and former director. artistic performance of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, which she directed for 22 years.
“When I retired I had no idea this was all going to happen,” Felix said of his collaboration with The 222. “I can’t resist helping, because this time it’s not My whole responsibility. I can book a show once a month. It’s easy. So obviously I called all my musician friends, and of course there’s always George Cables.
Felix met Cables and many of his jazz favorites at Keystone Korner nightclub in North Beach in San Francisco, first as a fan and then as a talent recruiter for about a decade, starting in the late 1980s. 70s.
Beyond jazz, Mahder plans an eclectic range of events. The programmers at 222 include not only Felix, but five other specialists. Violinist and arts administrator Gary McLaughlin will line up classical music, while artistic advisor and curator John Strawn will plan other contemporary music events. Sanford Dole, artistic director of Cantabile Chorale, will be in charge of the choral music. Sonoma Film Institute director Eleanor Nichols will be responsible for film events and author and poet Laurie Glover for literary events.
For the George Cables Trio concert, seating will be club style with round tables seating four. Seats will be allocated based on the date of ticket purchase.
Mahder estimates that there will be an audience of 100 people. The venue’s website says, “For your safety and that of other guests, COVID vaccination is required. By purchasing, you confirm that you and any other person for whom you are purchasing have been vaccinated. Sonoma County currently requires masks to be worn during indoor gatherings.
To prepare the gallery space for its new role as a performance hall, Mahder added a new 9 foot Yamaha concert grand piano, professional Bose Sound system, stage lighting, temperature controlled gallery auditorium , an elevated stage and club style. seats.
And of course, those who attend the concert will be surrounded by visual creations by artists from around the world.
“Visual art and music really go hand in hand, with sound and color,” Cables said. “When you play, it’s like painting with sound. “
You can reach Editor-in-Chief Dan Taylor at [email protected] or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.