Music at the Center Oct. 2007

Music at the Center: A month-long participatory educational exhibit of music, art and poetry, presented by Point Reyes Music Center, Joyce Kouffman, Director, celebrating its 10th year upstairs at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station,California

Some of the active artists and writers of the Music at the Center festival

When: October 1-31, 2007

Where: Toby's Feed Barn and Gallery, Main Street, Point Reyes Station, CA

What: "Music at the Center" a Multi-Arts Participatory Educational Exhibit to Explore the Creative Process with 20 West Marin painters and poets, inspired by composer, Joyce Kouffman's live and recorded music. Gallery visitors of all ages and levels of experience will be invited to create a piece of art, write a poem, and/or play some music with Toby's Gallery musician-in-residence in October 2007, Joyce Kouffman. Joyce will be in the gallery for special events and on many weekends and weekdays (for weekly and daily gallery musician-in-residence schedule updates, check

Who: Hosted by Point Reyes composer/multi-instrumentalist/recognized educator Joyce Kouffman and co-sponsored in part by Point Reyes Books and Toby's Gallery, participating West Marin painters and poets will be: Julia Bartlett, Nancy Bertelson, Madeleine Blake, Joe Blumenthal, Maureen Blumenthal, Kris Brown, Joyce Clements, Monnie Reba Efross, Jody Farrell, Patsy Krebs, Toni Littlejohn, Connie Mery, Susan Robinson, Ane Carla Rovetta, Wendy Schwartz, Susan Shippey, Nancy Stein, Carla Steinberg, Joan Thornton. Guest musicians thus far will be composer/pianist Mary Watkins, percussionist Barbara Borden, and many present and former students and colleagues of Joyce Kouffman. Photography and video by Ken Ziedman, Jan Watson, and Bert Crews. (See more detail of special guests' biographies below.)

Contact: Joyce Kouffman, Director, Point Reyes Music Center :: 415-663-9176 ::

In addition to daily spontaneous happenings in the gallery with Joyce and fellow artists, there will be a number of special events:

Special Event I

Friday, Oct. 5th, 7:30p.m. Toby's Feed Barn, Main St. Point Reyes Station, CA. Co-sponsored by Point Reyes Books, $15-$25. Reservations and tickets at Point Reyes Books starting Aug. 15. 415-663-1542. view poster

"A River of Words and Music," a benefit for River of Words, a poetry-in-the-schools project founded by Robert Hass while poet laureate of the U.S. Special guest poets: Robert Hass reading from his newest book, plus award-winning poet, Jane Hirshfield and twice National Book Award finalist, Linda Pastan. Several of Joyce Kouffman's music compositions inspired by their poetry will be premiered, including a major work based on the Linda Pastan poem, "It is Raining on the House of Anne Frank," which will be dedicated to children in war torn areas of the world. Music will also accompany Jane Hirshfield's reading of her poem entitled "Percolation." A chant-like theme will be interwoven through the evening for cello and classical guitar, inspired by the Robert Hass line "...the melancholy beauty of giving it all up..." from his volume entitled "Praise." Books will be available for author signing at the event.

Special Events II

1. Main Public Event: ."Art, Music, and Poetry in the Moment,"

Sunday, Oct. 7th, 12:30-2:00p.m, Reservations recommended (45 seats). $10-$25. Toby's Gallery, Main St., Point Reyes Station, CA. Visual artists Toni Littlejohn and Ane Rovetta, poetry by special guest, former poet laureate of Maryland, Linda Pastan. Special guest composer/pianist Mary Watkins and multi-instrumentalist Joyce Kouffman will play music to inspire a number of paintings produced in front of the audience by Littlejohn and Rovetta. Linda Pastan, celebrating her 75th year, will read from her newest volume, "Queen of a Rainy Country" plus others.

2. "Music at the Center of the Art," Sunday, Oct. 7th, 2:00-3:00p.m.

Opening Reception with all artists and poets in the exhibit. Free/donations. Refreshments. Toby's Gallery, Main St., Point Reyes Station, CA

Special Events III

1. "Joyce Kouffman's Drum Class Alumni Reunion" at the Farmer's Market, Sat. Oct. 13, Toby's, Main St. Point Reyes Station, CA 9:30a.m.-1p.m. Free/donations.

2. "Community Music and Poetry Day," Sat. Oct. 13, 2:00p.m.-5:00p.m., Free/donation, for all ages and levels of experience. Musicians and local poets, such as Julia Bartlett, Nancy Bertelsen, Kris Brown, Jody Farrell, Monnie Reba Efross, and Joan Thornton will be invited for an all-day open music and poetry mic. Guest musicians: Native son singer-songwriter Sky Nelson will be sharing two sets of original music throughout an afternoon filled with performances by local artists near and far such as Bill Horvitz, Charlie Morgan, and many others! Sign up ahead or just show up with instruments. Mic provided. Acoustic music in all styles welcome. Children over 10 and teens especially welcome. This is an intergenerational event built for experienced players and writers to cheer on the novices, so all are invited to share that poem scratched on the note paper or that song that needs to be heard. Experienced players and writers will also intersperse their own latest sketches and improvisations.

Special Event IV

Local Poets Reprise: Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 7:00p.m.,

Free/Donation. Poets Julia Bartlett, Nancy Bertelson, Kris Brown, Jody Farrell, Joan Thornton and others return to Toby's Gallery after their very special evening of recitation in September 2006 at Nancy Stein's exhibit. Some open mic time for other poets. Please sign up at

Special Event V

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2:00-5:00p.m., Toby's Gallery, $10-$25

"Closing Reception for all Artists/CD Release short performance of Joyce Kouffman's Newest Recording with Special Guest Percussionist Barbara Borden." Casual and soft Latin-style dance music from this new "crossover" short recording for classical guitar, cello and percussion, in an interpretation of J.S. Bach - not for the Bach purist. Bring dancing shoes. Archival video showings of jazz, film documentaries with Joyce's film scores, a variety of offerings from Joyce's 30 years in the music profession. Refreshments.

    • 3:00-4:00 Performance of music from Joyce's new CD, "J.S.Bach-Back to Dance," with special guest percussionist Barbara Borden

    • 2:00-3:00 Film shorts with Joyce's music on the soundtrack; slide shows of the month's participants and special events. Special rare jazz footage of Joyce in a Big Band with jazz legend, Illinois Jacquet

(2-4 pm: Sliding scale, $10-25)

    • 4:00-5:00 Closing Reception for Artists and Writers of Music at the Center. (Free/Donation)

Month-long Fundraising Effort for Oxfam. This is a personal aspect of the project for Joyce Kouffman, originating from her time spent studying traditional drumming in West Africa. After witnessing the devastating poverty of the children there, she plans to track the time of all music playing minutes during the month by all musicians. Sponsors will be invited to match the time with financial contributions to Oxfam Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, and other locations where Oxfam serves.

Joyce's hours in Toby's Gallery

Tuesday, Oct. 16

    • 12:30-1:30p.m. Ready to Jam

    • 1:30-5:00 Working with Private Students from Point Reyes Music Center

Wednesday, Oct. 17

    • 11:00-11:45 Come play music, write, draw with Joyce

    • 11:45a.m.-2:30p.m. Working with Private Students from Point Reyes Music Center

Thursday, Oct. 18

    • 12:00-1:00p.m. Come play music, write, and draw with Joyce

Friday, Oct.19

    • 11:00a.m.-12:00p.m. Come play music, write, and draw with Joyce

Saturday, Oct. 20

    • 3:00-5:00p.m. Welcoming your music, poetry, and art-making with Joyce.

Sunday, Oct. 21

    • 3:00-5:00p.m. Welcoming your music, poetry, and art-making with Joyce.

Monday, Oct. 22

    • 11:30-12:15p.m. Possible visit by West Marin School Art Class with Colleen Conley

    • 12:15-3:00p.m. Joyce in residence

Tuesday, Oct. 23

    • 7p.m. Local Poets Night with Action Theatre by Claire Peaslee. To sign up to read poetry, email

Biographical Notes

Very Special Guest, Linda Pastan, in her 75th year, is author of eleven works of poetry, including "The Last Uncle," "Carnival Evening, New and Selected Poems 1968-1998," and "An Early Afterlife." In addition to winning a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement, she was twice a finalist for the National Book Award and has won the Maurice English Award and the Pushcart Prize. Pastan taught at the Breadloaf Writers Conference for twenty years, served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995, and currently lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Robert Hass was born and raised in California and worked for his Ph.D. at Stanford between 1963 and 1967. He worked at SUNYAB (New York) before returning to teach in Carlifornia. He spent a year in England at Cambridge on a Bicentennial Exchange Scholarship and has spent time in Europe. In the 1990's Hass became Poet Laureate of the United States where he originated the River or Words project to encourage school children to venture into natural areas and write poetry about it.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of five volumes of poetry and a book of essays, "Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry." Jane Hirshfield has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Bay Area book Reviewers' Award, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Poetry Medal, amonth other honors. Her work has appeared in the "Best American Poetry," "The Pushcart Prize Anthology," "The Atlantic Monthly," "The New Yorker," "The Nation," and many literary periodicals.

Joyce Kouffman, Director of Point Reyes Music Center, in her early years followed a traditional track of classical musical training, with studies on cello with members of the Boston Symphony. She also studied classical guitar, improvising cello, piano, percussion, and music theory and composition, all before college years. After many years of playing classical cello in chamber groups and orchestras, including several performances with YoYo Ma as classmates at Harvard/Radcliffe College, she turned to in-depth study of African-style drumming and jazz drumming for a decade, including travels to Senegal, West Africa to study with the master drummers and dancers of the National Ballet of Senegal. During that time, she also studied in Boston with jazz master, Alan Dawson (Dave Brubeck's former drummer) while teaching at Harvard University with her former professor in the music department. She received a certificate for excellence in teaching undergraduates and two major grants to initiate and produce a far-reaching, innovative jazz residency series with the great tenor saxophone legend and big band leader, Illinois Jacquet over a four year period, with sell-out concerts and major radio and TV coverage. Significant video footage was also taken to preserve the oral tradition of jazz education. This was the initiation of a now twenty-year video archive of all visiting artists at Harvard. After moving to the SF Bay Area in 1987, and Point Reyes in 1990, Kouffman has been focusing mainly on composing and performing with Bay Area legend, award-winning composer/pianist Mary Watkins. They have collaborated on two acclaimed CDs, one of which was selected in the Top Ten Picks of 2004 by KCSM-FM 91.1, the Bay Area's main jazz station.

Mary Watkins, please see

Barbara Borden, please see