Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Adventurous Music At Carlsbad Music Festival

Vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth performs at this year's Carlsbad Music Festiv...

Above: Vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth performs at this year's Carlsbad Music Festival.

"Adventurous music by the beach" is the tagline for the Carlsbad Music Festival.

Getting top-notch musicians to San Diego is a little easier when you can offer a beachside perch. For 10 years, the Carlsbad Music Festival has featured cutting-edge composers and musicians from Southern California and around the country.

"Adventurous music is just a way of describing the spirit in all the music," explained Matt McBane, founder and director of the festival. "There are musicians from different genres, but they’re all doing something creative."

The Calder Quartet are the founding artists-in-residence at the Carlsbad Music Festival.

Fifty concerts will take place over the course of three days. The festival's roots are in showcasing contemporary classical music but now includes progressive bluegrass, jazz, indie-rock and world music.

McBane, a musician and composer, started the festival 10 years ago with his friends, the members of The Calder Quartet. The latter are considered founding artists-in-residence at the festival. They will perform a piece composed by McBane on Saturday.

Also slated to perform are The Mattson 2, a jazz meets surf-rock outfit from Encinitas made up of twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson.

Photo credit: Arto Saari

Twin brothers and musicians Jonathan and Jared Mattson of Encinitas-based The Mattson 2.

One of the highlights is a performance by an a capella vocal ensemble based in both Brooklyn and western Massachusetts called Roomful of Teeth. Composer Caroline Shaw, one of the ensemble members, won the Pulitzer Prize this year for a piece she wrote for Roomful of Teeth. She’s the youngest to ever win the composition prize.

McBane said Shaw's understanding of the ensemble's vocal capabilities made for powerful composing.

"They’ve studied all kinds of different international and experimental vocal techniques," explained McBane. "They do tuvan throat singing. They know how to sing like a Bulgarian women's chorus or how to use Bjork-style vocal techniques."

The festival runs through Sunday and includes both free and ticketed events. It kicks off with the Village Music Walk on Friday night. This event features more than 20 ensembles performing over five hours at various venues in Carlsbad Village.

For more information on all the artists, schedule and tickets, go here.

Carlsbad Music Festival Highlights

The Carlsbad Music Festival runs September 20-22 in venues throughout Carlsbad.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.