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Best Making of the Band: Blue Bear Music School

You’re just as likely to see a preschool percussionist as a baby-boomer bassist emerge from the Blue Bear School of Music’s bustling Fort Mason Center headquarters, where jamming is key and age ain’t nothin’ but a number. The nonprofit community school has been rocking out since 1971, attracting thousands of kids and would-be professional musicians for an array of affordable private and group classes. We’re huge fans of the quarterly nighttime gigs around town, where you’ll find gathered the unlikeliest of onstage bandmates (think: middle-aged engineer-mandolin-player alongside 20-something blues-crooning barista.) A bonus? The concerts double as fundraisers for Blue Bear’s Schools That Aspire to Rock program, which provides free classes to SF’s public-school students.

Fort Mason Center, Building D, 415-673-3600