Kick up your heels and slap your knees for this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. With 350 musicians on five stages, there’ll be a whole-lot-of banjo pikin’ and honky-tonk to satisfy even the most cynical mountain folk and urban cowboys. Founders of the musical genre like Earl Scruggs will be out there as well as some new “hardly bluegrass” musicians, like Los Lobos and Gillian Welch spreading their twangy flavor. Not too many free festivals can claim all this musical talent in one weekend. (An estimated 750 thousand people are scheduled to attend, so be forewarned if you hate crowds.) An occasional interruption by the Blue Angles flying overhead is also possible, however it won’t be long before the mandolins and fiddles reclaim their rightful space in the park.
For something a little less down home, hop on over to the de Young for the Ben Goldberg Quintet. Celebrated award-winning clarinetist Ben Goldberg studied under the renowned clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo as well as Jazz greats Steve Lacy and Joe Lavano. His groundbreaking work with the New Klezmer Trio in the late ‘80s “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music (SF Chronicle).” The event is free and open to the public.