• Bang on a Can All-Stars
  • Bang on a Can All-Stars

“‘Steel Hammer’ bangs out a spectacularly inventive social message.”
Los Angeles Times

New Music

Bang on a Can All-Stars

JULIA WOLFE Steel Hammer

New York’s iconoclastic contemporary music ensemble returns with an acclaimed oratorio by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe, a fascinating work that mines the sounds and stories of Appalachia. With Steel Hammer, Wolfe creates a musical amalgamation of every version of the folktale of “John Henry” that she could get her hands on—more than 200!—and weaves these often contradictory stories into an expansive allegory about the human cost of industrialization. The music marries folk cadences with driving rhythms in Wolfe’s densely layered compositional style, and is performed by three female vocalists and a chamber ensemble that features hammered dulcimer, mouth harp, bones, clogs, banjo, and metal percussion. “A musical archaeology of a familiar tale—one that preserves, even enlarges, its central mystery” (The New Yorker).

An Illuminations: Fact or Fiction event >


Patron Sponsors: Françoise Stone

Sat, Jan 23, 2021
8pm PST
Tickets start at $38


Donor Benefits

Donor Parking
As a service to our donors at the $750 level and above, we offer the opportunity to reserve parking for our performances. Reserve parking online 5 business days or more in advance of the performance, or by contacting Cal Performances’ Development Department at 510.642.8653 or email donate@calperformances.org.

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Additional information regarding donor parking benefits can be found on our Donor Services/Parking page.

Program Notes

Program notes will be available approximately one week before the performance.

Sat, Jan 23, 2021
8pm PST
Tickets start at $38

Please note that our Ticket Office windows are closed in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s decision to limit campus operations. The Ticket Office phone lines are open on the following limited hours: Tuesday–Friday, noon–4pm.

Cal Performances update on COVID-19

Due to continuing uncertainties regarding public health recommendations on large gatherings, Cal Performances has postponed the single ticket on sale of all 2020/21 Season performances. We will communicate with patrons once a new date has been set.

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