San Francisco will honor the memory of philanthropist Warren Hellman this weekend with a fittingly free, live bluegrass showcase. The event includes performances by: Poor Man's Whiskey, John Doe, Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane & Fats Kaplin, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, The Wronglers (Hellman's old band) with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Gillian Welch, Boz Scaggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Earl Keen, Emmylou Harris with special guest The Go to Hell Man Clan.
The Warren Hellman Public Celebration takes place Sun/19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. down by Ocean Beach, in the Great Highway (Hwy 1) parking lot between JFK Drive and Lincoln Avenue. The event also will be streaming live at www.strictlybluegrass.com.
As Guardian city editor Steven T. Jones expressed the week following Hellman's death late last year, “Warren Hellman left a hole in the heart of San Francisco when he died.” As most San Franciscans know by now, Hellman, a venture capitalist, was a music lover at heart – he bankrolled the city's prized fall festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.
When culture writer Caitlin Donohue visited Hellman in his office two years before his passing she noted, , “I realize that central to [Hellman] is bluegrass music. His corner office is comfortably packed with stacks of banjos and guitars, a signed CD from Emmylou Harris that wishes him a happy birthday, a metal sculpture that wears aviator sunglasses and a white cowboy hat, thank you plaques from the Berkeley music venue Freight and Salvage, where Hellman is a keystone donor and acted as chairman for the club's fundraising campaign in years past. It's impossible to avoid the music in the room, indeed the music is the room.”
Warren Hellman Public Celebration
Sun/19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free
Great Highway (Hwy 1) parking lot
Between JFK Drive and Lincoln Avenue, SF