Aaron Neville - vocals
Chester Thompson - synthesizer
Evelyn Cisneros - ballet dancing
(choreographed by Michael Smuin)
From the first public Mime Troupe events in 1965 to his untimely death in 1991, Bill Graham set the standard for excellence in concert presentations and in doing so, redefined the art of communication for an entire generation. To honor Bill Graham, Steve Kahn and Melissa Gold, the BGP staff organized a free concert in Golden Gate Park for Sunday, November 3. Mother Nature cooperated and provided a comfortable and cloudless day as 300,000 people gathered in the Polo Field of Golden Gate Park.
Although the Grateful Dead were expected to make an appearance, the list of performers was kept well under wraps and few had any idea who exactly would be performing. It didn't seem to matter though, as the feeling that permeated the crowd was one of quiet reflection. This concert marked the end of an era, but also memorialized Bill Graham in a manner that was fitting - a free concert in the heart of where it all started. The sad circumstances aside, this was truly a celebration of Graham's life and as the poster for this event noted, it was to be a day filled with Laughter, Love and Music.
Between incendiary sets by Joe Satriani and Santana, a brief but remarkable performance took place. Specifically for this day's performance, Michael Smuin choreographed "Ave Maria" for San Francisco Ballet dancer Evelyn Cisneros to perform during the concert. Providing the musical accompaniment for Neville Brother, Aaron Neville, was Santana keyboardist, Chester Thompson . Although the recording is lacking any visuals, Neville's performance of "Ave Maria" is nothing less than outstanding. Needless to say to those familiar with his remarkably tender voice, he sings like an angel.