Tribute to Black Composers of Dance Music w/ Michael Gabriel and MoonCandy
Feb
23
9:00 PM21:00

Tribute to Black Composers of Dance Music w/ Michael Gabriel and MoonCandy

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $17 Advance / $20 at the Door

Them People Productions Presents: Tribute to Black Composers of Dance Music with Mooncandy and Michael Gabriel This night of dancing, singing, and celebrating will also help our audience learn about the vast contributions Black composers and musicians had on the shaping of music culture all over the world, across multiple genres. The evening will feature a set by two dynamic bands known not only for their strong music performance but also for their deep connections to Black music history, music education, and community outreach. The performers will also discuss the history and context of some of the songs in their intimate sets, a rare and worthwhile opportunity for our entire music community.

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MoonCandy (Live House Music, Soul, Jazz, World Music Fusion) MoonCandy is a live soulful house ensemble led by powerhouse Oakland vocalist and band leader Valerie Troutt, that features the inspirational voices & composition of some of the East Bay's most understated jazz,soul,blues and gospel singers. MoonCandy is a church without walls... soulful, uplifting and fabulous! Mooncandy creates an environment for survival music to live and thrive through live performance. Using the dance floor as a it's universal synagogue, MoonCandy's inspirational lyrics and transfixing grooves gives birth to a "House Church" where everyone is welcome to dance for love.

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Michael A Gabriel (Steel Pannist, Vocalist, Educator, Composer) Michael Gabriel is a steel pan player, educator, arranger, builder, and tuner. He began playing pans young, and by age 13, was touring the world with some of Trinidad's best steel pan bands. As a soloist with the stage side bands of Cassablanca Steel Orchestra and Phase II Pan Groove, Michael performed at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, The White House, and The United States Capital Building. Growing up in Trinidad, Michael also learned to craft and tune steel pans. He worked and apprenticed for several master craftsmen including Roland Harrigan.

He moved to the United States in 1987, and after a few years in New York City, Michael settled on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There, he honed his talents as a vocalist, leading reggae/funk/calypso bands Ambakyala, Jamm Down, Shango Axe, and The Dunebilly Allstars. With these groups, he has shared the stage with legendary artists Burning Spear, Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff, and others. In addition, Michael performs as a steel drum soloist at weddings, corporate functions, and private events throughout New England. He is an educator in partnership with Berklee College of Music at the City Music Program in Boston, as well as working with the Mattacheese Middle School Steel Pan Ensemble.

Michael travels home to Trinidad each winter for Panorama, where he plays lead with seven time champion Phase II Pan Groove. In 2016, he was also the composer and arranger for Casablanca Steel Orchestra.

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Tribute to Big Mama Thornton: Anita Lofton Project featuring Kofy Brown, Sandy House, Kevin Carnes, Bryan Dean, and Brian Hill
Feb
24
9:00 PM21:00

Tribute to Big Mama Thornton: Anita Lofton Project featuring Kofy Brown, Sandy House, Kevin Carnes, Bryan Dean, and Brian Hill

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advance / $20 at the Door

For one night only during Ashkenaz's Black History Month celebration, six legendary Bay Area musicians will come together under the direction of Anita Lofton to bring you a tribute to rock-and-roll pioneer Big Mama Thorton. Big Mama Thornton's songwriting and vocals in the 1940s and 50s paved the way for rock and roll as we know it, with hits at the core of American music such as “Hound Dog” and “Ball and Chain”. More than 30 years after her passing, The Anita Lofton Project and Guests take the Ashkenaz stage to perform a special night of music influenced by Big Mama Thornton, including covers and original songs, as homage to her legacy.

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Big Mama Thornton's songwriting and vocals in the 1940s and 50s paved the way for rock and roll as we know it, with hits at the core of American music such as “Hound Dog” and “Ball and Chain”. More than 30 years after her passing, The Anita Lofton Project and Guests take the Ashkenaz stage to perform a special night of music influenced by Big Mama Thornton, including covers and original songs, as homage to her legacy. Anita Lofton Project: The move an artist makes from punk beginnings to more complicated crafts is fascinating to hear.

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Anita Lofton makes the trek with the Anita Lofton Project. The talented guitarist and singer-songwriter of the punk trio Sistas in the Pit, toured China and Europe, and took an infamous national tour supporting a certain James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg and the Stooges during that band's reunion in 2007. The Anita Lofton Project was established over 8 years ago, illustrating an energy and Bay Area based bounty of styles, and rich instrumentation that stretches from current day fascinations to vintage rhythm & blues rock traditions. Special Guests: Kofy Brown from The Kofy Brown Band, Kevin Carnes from the Broun Fellinis, Sandy House from Afrofunk Experience, Bryan Dean from A Band Called Pain, and Brian Hill from 4 Now.

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Kofy Brown has been in performing for over 20 years, touring worldwide with her uncompromising stage show, winning national audiences in Europe, Canada and the United states.  Kofy Brown has thrived by following her own creative path.  She and her band the KBB have developed a reputation for putting on an outstanding live show.  Her music is a soulful combination of funk, rock, blues and hip-hop topped off with a singing and rap style she calls word song. Kofy Brown is co-creator /bass player and one of the lead songwriters and vocalist in the legendary all black girl rock trio Sistas in the Pit. Kofy Brown is also currently playing drums and vocalizing with her latest project, Skip the Needle. Skip the Needle is comprised of veteran vocalists and musicians, Vicki Randle, Shelley Doty and Katie Colepits.  The four women deliver a hard edge blend of soul, funk, rock and more. Kofy Brown is a fiercely independent recording artist and authentic talent who is based in Oakland CA, the Washington DC native has released eight full length recordings; Live & Delicious 1995, Hungry 1997 Skinny & Tight 1999, Area 32 2001, Love Warrior 2005, Stompin at the Paard – Live in The Netherlands 2006, The Mecca Sessions – Live in San Francisco 2006 and Soul Rock 20008 on her own indie label Simba Music.

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Kevin Carnes is an acoustic and electronic drummer, percussionist, composer, and producer who has played music ranging from jazz to punk rock for more than 25 years. He has performed and recorded with George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars; Lady Miss Kier of Dee Lite; Matt “Dr.” Fink of Prince; and world music DJ Cheb i Sabbah. Carnes is a founding member of the jazz roots trio the Broun Fellinis, and political punk noise band The Beatnigs. Kevin composed and Music Directed the City Circus productions of Kamikaze Heart (2009) and Echo's Reach (2010) at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. Kevin has composed scores for film, radio, television, and special events including MTV’s Liquid Television and a Macy’s promotional event with his band Broun Fellinis.

Sandy House has always had a love for singing since she was a child. She has been singing professionally since high school. Sandy joined the Wade Love band in 2005 and has opened for well known acts including Earth Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight, the Gap Band and many more. She also joined the Afrofunk Experience in 2009 as the lead/female vocalist/song writer. Sandy is also involved in projects with her husband, Ken House, with her debut album scheduled to be released mid 2018.

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Bryan Dean, also known as “Dark Kent” has made a name for himself in the San Francisco Bay Area, as a versatile, high-energy bassist. Dean finds himself at home in a variety of musical settings as he’s been involved with projects that run the gamut – from blues to bhangra, metal and more. Dean's bands have shared the stage with a diverse group of internationally known acts such as De La Soul, Patti LaBelle, Living Colour, Smashing Pumpkins, The Bravery, Zigaboo Modeliste and Buckethead. Of late Dean is holding down the low end for the Madd Vibe Orchestra, fronted by legendary Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore. Dean has also rocked the stage at such prestigious events as SXSW, the CMJ Music Marathon, Symbiosis Gathering and the High Sierra Music Festival. B.Dean’s journey towards a career in music was a slightly roundabout one. Although he played piano and bass clarinet as a youth in Saint Louis, Missouri, his focus was on sports and other academic pursuits. He left music behind at age 16 to begin laying a foundation for what was to be a career in banking. After a few years however, the desire to play professionally consumed him. The crux of this transformation was a life changing summer spent in Washington, D.C. with a group of close friends. It was then that the true power of expression via music, specifically that embodied by the Black Rock Coalition bands fully captured his imagination and solidified his path as an artist. When summer concluded, Dean picked up a bass for the first time and it’s been by his side ever since. Brian Hill (guitar) has been performing rock, jazz and a variety of other styles of music in the SF Bay area and beyond for more than 20 years. Besides the Anita Lofton Project he's currently a member of 4 Now, an original jazz/funk quartet. Brian is also a member of Murray, RJFski and Hill a jazz/groove improv trio which has toured Thailand as performers in the Southern Thailand Jazz and Blues Festival. He was formerly the guitarist with the Kofy Brown Band in which he performed across the U.S and in the Netherlands and played on her CDs "Area 32", "Love Warrior" and "Live in San Francisco - The Mecca Session”

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Feb
25
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Talking About Racism: The "Elephant" in the Room
Feb
25
6:00 PM18:00

Talking About Racism: The "Elephant" in the Room

Doors at 5:30 pm; Event at 6:00 pm in the Back Room

Tickets are $15

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“Race” or the idea that people of different ethnicities and cultures are fundamentally different is not supported by science. “Racism” or the systematic oppression and regulation of ethnic groups based on the fiction of “race” is endemic to the culture, politics, traditions and legal structure of the U.S. In a nation built on the labor of enslaved Africans, the inequalities in justice, housing, healthcare, employment and education between Black people and White people have never been greater. Now, when the election of the current president has given license to the expression of hate – how can we begin to have dialogues that explore common interests? How can we speak to each other without denigration and accusation? Where can we learn tools for communication and community building? This workshop will address why we don’t talk about race and offer positive strategies to begin dialogues with family and friends. Open to people of all backgrounds, we will explore the mono-ethnic perspective that overshadows (and dehumanizes) our social, economic and political relationships, and model new ways of appreciating the richness of our multi-ethnic heritage and experience.

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Ann-Ellice Parker is a death educator and counselor. She is the owner of Seasons of Change, an end of life training and consulting company. She worked for 25 years as a health educator specializing in reproductive health and HIV prevention education. She brings a lifetime of political activism to her current anti-racism work. She is the proud grandmother of two, who believes that “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

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Creative World Ensemble Reunion with Hafez Modirzadeh
Feb
25
7:00 PM19:00

Creative World Ensemble Reunion with Hafez Modirzadeh

Doors at 6:00 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $10-$15 Sliding Scale at the Door

 

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The Creative World Ensemble was started at SF State in 1998 by Dr. Hafez Modirzadeh as a way to give musicians of all the world's traditions a space to create together. Over the past twenty years, the number of brilliant, and now notable, musical artists who have passed through this ensemble are too many to name here. Modirzadeh returns to Ashkenaz this February 25th, 2018, to direct a spontaneous reunion of past/present members and guest artists of the Creative World Ensemble, continuing to ignite the collaborative spark of peace and purpose through sound.

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Old Blind Dogs
Feb
26
8:00 PM20:00

Old Blind Dogs

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Since forming in the early 1990's, Old Blind Dogs have stood on the cutting edge of Scotland's roots revival. The band has developed its own trademark style with an energetic mix of songs and tunes. Dynamic percussion, polished vocals, soaring fiddle and stirring pipes fuel the delicately-phrased melodies and traditional songs.

The Dogs have released eleven albums and have won numerous awards including the prestigious title of Folk Band of the Year at the 2004 and 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards. Their album 'Four On The Floor' picked up the IAP 'Best Celtic CD' Award and their last CD, 'Wherever Yet May Be' was nominated for the same award.

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Blues Box Bayou Band plus Dance Lesson with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson
Feb
27
8:30 PM20:30

Blues Box Bayou Band plus Dance Lesson with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $15 at the Door/ $12 Advance

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The BluesBox Bayou Band adds swamp beat boogie and blues to Louisiana dance grooves to create its own Americana/Cajun/zydeco sound. Based in Sonora, the BBBB has built its chops and fan base over more than 15 years of performing, including gigs at fundraisers and festivals from the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee to the Gilroy Garlic Festival and the Isleton Crawdad Festival. Singer and accordionist Pete (PD) Grimaldi formed the band in 1996 after a stint as a promoter of shows in hometown Modesto by acts from Queen Ida and Buckwheat Zydeco to Tom Rigney. That exposure to music from Louisiana and beyond inspired Grimaldi to pick up the squeezebox himself and put his own spin on “roots music.” The current BBBB also features Pete’s brother Frank Grimaldi on lead guitar, bassist and singer Julie Johnson, and a rotating cast of friends including drummer Peter DeMattos and rubboard player Deb Krilanovich.

 

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Feb
28
7:00 PM19:00

The Ultimate Purim Party!

Doors open at 6:30 pm, Megillah Reading at 7:00pm, PURIM SHPIEL at 8:00pm Dancing with ADAMA at 9:00pm

Advance tickets $15 or $20 at the door.
Members of Jewish Renewal congregations: $15
Children under 13 FREE

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COOLEST MEGILLA READING EVER (Bring noise makers and be ready to use them at the mentioning of you-know-who’s name)

Enjoy THE REAL DEAL SHPIELERS with ever-fresh Purim-with-a-twist theatrics. It’s 2018, and a mysterious plot brings a Jewish detective all the way to the holiest part of the holy land. It's a comical/noir tale about a high-stakes battle between reason and fanaticism and the fate of a sacred cow.  And yes, there’s a villain named you-know-who.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: ADAMA and friends will rock out with their unique brand of Middle Eastern and Klezmer fusion for your dancing pleasure.

COME IN COSTUME! Bust out your polyester and start growing your mustache!

Children are welcome!

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Bachata Nightz
Mar
1
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 at the Door

Women's History Month BACHATANightz   will feature an all women showcase in honor of women's history month. The Bay area Latin dance scene has amazing talent with different dance companies that provide women of any age and background the opportunity to learn, and showcase styles such as Bachata, Salsa, Cha Cha, and more. The idea is to empower women and bring them together to express and get inspire through the art of dance.  

We will have an amazing lineup with some of the Bay Area's Ladies teams such as KathyReyesDance, Inessence, Latin Symbolic, and more.

We Also have the honor to present to you Erika Lachenmeier and Amanda Lowrey an amazing Duo who represented the Bay Area and became champions of the same gender ladies division at the World Latin Dance Cup this past Dec 2017. 

 

Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

Hello, World!

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Women's History Month Series Kick-Off Party and Maestra Jam
Mar
2
9:00 PM21:00

Women's History Month Series Kick-Off Party and Maestra Jam

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $5 Advance  
$10 - $50 Sliding Scale at the Door

Women's Jam & Fundraiser for the Maestra Series!
Hosted by Shelly Doty (guitar and vocals), Angeline Saris (bass) and Denise Martin.

Come jam with:
Kelly Takunda Orphan, Masaru Koga, Francis Wong,
Hafez Modirzadeh, John Carlos Perea, Shura Taylor,
Garyan Wong, Jesse Lemme Adams, Bruno Panunzio,
Mark Davis, Enrique Rojas, Alex Farrell,
David Boyden, Lee Corbie-Wells, Mali Carter,
Gabriel Case, Julian Shipp, Lilian Wu,
Carolyn Brandy, Amikaeyla, Michaelle Goerlitz
Regina Wells, Lilly Robinson. 
Open jam sign up, all genders welcome.

Other upcoming Maestra Series events:
April 1 - Mabiba's Drum Sunday wk shop
April 7th - the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble

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Shelley Doty is known for her masterful guitar licks, soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. Her original tunes are sprinkled with respect for the music of her youth (rock, R&B, jazz, funk), and are sung and played with an authentic raw energy that cuts through the air with jubilant imagination and freshness. In addition to performing and recording her own material, Shelley is a versatile lead guitarist . As well as fronting her own band the Shelley Doty X-tet, she currently spends much of her time playing with Skip The Needle (featuring Vicki Randle, Kofy Brown and Katie Colpitts). Shelley was one of the founders of jamband legends Jambay, and has played with and recorded CDs withl Bonfire Madigan, Pyeng Threadgill, Gina Breedlove, Dawn Richardson (of 4NonBlondes) and Cris Williamson among many others. Her musical range runs the gamut from tender acoustic music, to raucous kinetic electric Funk Rock, and as a musician, Shelley Doty is well respected as one of the preeminent guitarists in the Bay Area and beyond.

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Denise Martin began playing drums at age 16 and was touring the US, Asia and Europe before her 20th birthday with legendary artist, Merl Saunders. She went on to tour with several artists including Sony recording artist, Eric Martin. She inked endorsement deals with Paiste cymbals, Regal Tip sticks and Evans heads early on in her career and was welcomed at NAMM show with a life-sized display of her promo photo for the “Women of Paiste” booth. Denise has recorded major label albums and several indie releases as well as sessions for commercials, soundtracks and various online projects.

 

 

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One minute of Angeline Saris' low-end thumping coming at you and you’ll know she is just as much beast as beauty. She is a monstrous talent and has the schedule to prove it. In the last year alone, Angeline recorded 2 albums and toured with the Narada Michael Walden Band, rocked the stage with Santana when he joined Narada’s band at their most recent show, joined forces with reggae and ska legend Ernest Ranglin, laid down some serious shredding bass on Gretchen Menn’s album Hale Souls (and works regularly as her touring bassist), recorded 4 instructional DVD’s for Hal Leonard as well as a demo video for GHS strings, joined the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella and continues to moonlight as a hired gun in the studio and for local shows. 
Angeline has worked as an instructor at the National Guitar Workshop and continues to teach private lessons in Northern California to a small group of students, covering a wide curriculum of techniques tailored for each student. “I love watching my students learn. There is nothing quite like seeing their faces light up when they nail a new bass part. Plus, I feel teaching is an important part of my own growth as a musician.” 

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Dance Concert with VNote Ensemble and Special Guests
Mar
3
8:00 PM20:00

Dance Concert with VNote Ensemble and Special Guests

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

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This group of superstar Maestras (and one spectacular Maestro de Bajo), led by the great Jackeline Rago on Venezuelan Cuatro and Bandola, features Donna Viscuso on Flute, Dan Feiszli on Bass and the one and only Michaelle Goerlitz on Percussion. 

Hailed for its spirited performances and fascinating fusion of Venezuelan folk music with adventurous jazz explorations,The VNote Ensemble gives voice to the hidden treasure of Venezuelan music. Original compositions, keen arrangements and great musicianship blend together to deliver a unique musical sound.

Special Guests for tonight's performance include Anna Marai Violich on vocals, and Mara Fox on Trombone.

Bring your dancing shoes!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Mar
4
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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The Heart of Rock and Roll featuring James Nash
Mar
4
6:30 PM18:30

The Heart of Rock and Roll featuring James Nash

Doors 6:00pm; Show at 6:30pm

Tickets $12 Advance/ $15 at the Door

Ashkenaz is proud to announce our Heart of Rock and Roll series, launched to celebrate the sounds of the heart that keeps on beating. Come enjoy a beat and a beer on the first Sunday of the month at 6:30pm.

 

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James Nash is no stranger to musical diversity. As at home with Charlie Parker and Bill Monroe as he is with Django Reinhardt and Jimi Hendrix, the accomplished guitarist embraces the potential challenges of playing multiple genres with both joy and aplomb.

Nash’s broad vocabulary, both as scholar and stylist, has led to a genre-bending approach that has served him well for a decade as a lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter for the eclectic and virtuosic Americana ensemble, The Waybacks. Similarly, they make him a fitting helmsman for both the electric rock 'n soul grooves of The Nomads and the daredevil acoustic escapades of The NashVillains.

James’ musical breadth is readily matched by his astonishing facility as a player and dynamism as a performer, leading reviewers to describe him as "graceful but fiery... elegant and colorful... rampantly eclectic" (Guitar Player), and praise his “near-ideal balance of irreverence, chops, discipline, and originality” (Chicago Tribune). Heralded by Acoustic Guitar as a “revered new-acoustician,” he approaches the flat-top steel-string guitar with both the subtleties and bravado of a rock guitarist. His spirited improvisational flights, whether on his Santa Cruz acoustic or electric Fender Stratocaster, are dazzling to behold, a deft combination of innate musicality and jaw-dropping technique.

Raised in Nashville, his musical career began to take shape when he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991 to attend Stanford University, where he earned a BS from their Engineering School while spending his nights gigging in local clubs and making the rounds cutting tracks in legendary rooms like Fantasy Studios and Coast Recorders.

Along that musical path, James has recorded a dozen albums and performed at countless festivals and venues across the country, serving as bandleader for ensembles with the likes of everyone from Elvis Costello to Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck to Bob Weir, Chris Thile and Jerry Douglas to Darol Anger and Mike Marshall.

Wedding his musical and tech-savvy sides, he worked with the founders of Pandora to create the Music Genome Project. He also served as co-curator of TEDxAlcatraz 2010 and was a featured performer of the 2011 TEDx Global Music Project, offshoots of the renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference.

James has been interviewed, featured, and had his solos transcribed in numerous magazines, Wired, Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Flatpicking, and Dirty Linen among them. His music has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Folk Alley and he is a contributing writer and reviewer for Guitar Player. His forthcoming instructional DVD, “Acoustic Guitar on the Edge,” evidences both the technically disciplined and free spirited player he has become.

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Mitch Polzak and the Royal Deuces plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Mar
6
8:00 PM20:00

Mitch Polzak and the Royal Deuces plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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The ace guitarist in an array of hot Bay Area dance bands, Mitch Polzak switches hats and leads his own group, the Royal Deuces, in a honky-tonk/Cajun dance that’s meant to be a nonstop party. Polzak is well-known to Ashkenaz dance regulars for his sizzling guitar playing in the Cajun Cottonpickers, MotorDude Zydeco, and Andrew Carriere’s Zydeco/Cajun Allstars. He launched the Royal Deuces in 1999 to play rockabilly from the late ’50s Sun Records era, Bakersfield honky-tonk and truck-driving music, even guitar instrumentals influenced by such pickers as Joe Maphis, Merle Travis, and Chet Atkins. Polzak says of this show, “There will be plenty of two-steps, shuffles and waltzes for the folks!” Along with Polzak, the Royal Deuces are bassist Hank Maninger and drummer Les James. Polzak has worked and/or recorded with such artists as Deke Dickerson, Peter Rowan, Lazy Lester, Chris Sprague, and Johnny Cuviello (Bob Wills’ drummer) and has published articles for Play Guitar magazine. The Royal Deuces have torn it up at big fests across Europe and from Seattle’s Shake the Shack Festival to Las Vegas’ Viva Las Vegas event. There’s a reason that the band’s latest album is titled “Everything You Want and Nothing You Don’t.”

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Balkan Folk Dance
Mar
7
8:00 PM20:00

Balkan Folk Dance

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $7

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience.

 

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International Women’s Day Comedy Night with  Eloisa Bravo, Priyanka Wali, Mary Carouba, and Lisa Geduldig
Mar
8
8:00 PM20:00

International Women’s Day Comedy Night with Eloisa Bravo, Priyanka Wali, Mary Carouba, and Lisa Geduldig

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15-$20 Sliding Scale

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Berkeley, CA… Bay Area comedian/comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy), and Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center joined forces last Fall to bring the East Bay a new monthly (the second Thursday of the month) comedy series Comedy at Ashkenaz! featuring a different line-up each month.

The next show in the series, Women’s History Month Comedy will take place on Thursday, March 8, International Women’s Day, and will feature a multicultural line up of comedians: 

Eloisa Bravo, Priyanka Wali, Mary Carouba, and Lisa Geduldig

 

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Eloisa Bravo is an enigmatic and highly personal comedian. She started her comedy career soon after she discovered she couldn’t have children and a subsequent divorce. She holds nothing back and derives her material from real life, exploding with energy on stage. You’ll notice her immediately for her Venezuelan accent and highly expressive performance, yet it’s the nature and intensity of her material that will stick with you, with its unique perspective on the issues affecting urban, single women. She comes with a voice that is unique in the world of comedy, eliciting strong reactions in audiences that leave surprised, because they had no idea what to expect. Packed with energy and cuteness she will make you laugh, assuming you are lucky enough to understand her. www.eloisabravo.com

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Priyanka Wali, named by Refinery29 as "50 Female Stand-Up Comedians You Need To Know,” is a stand up comic who performs routinely all throughout the United States and abroad, including corporate gigs, casinos and comedy clubs.  She has been featured on KFOG Radio, Women's Health Magazine, The Today Show, Business Insider, Uproxx, Cosmopolitan, India Currents Magazine, and Healthline. Priyanka truly believes laughter is the best medicine but likes to cover her bases as a board-certified practicing physician in Internal Medicine too.  www.priyankawali.com

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Mary Carouba is a comedian, performance artist, and professional speaker. She is also the co-author of the highly acclaimed book, “Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion.” Drawing on her Arab-Irish roots, her turbulent yet strangely funny childhood (her Irish-Catholic mother describes Mary's childhood as a "test of my faith"), the drama of 9/11, followed by a near-death experience and subsequent liver transplant, Mary likes to ride the razor's edge of tragedy and comedy and take audiences to places they've never been. Mary’s house recently burned down in the Sonoma fires, and she takes it as a sign that something is truly, deeply wrong with her that it’s put her in the mood for comedy.

Lisa Geduldig is a Bay Area-based comedian and comedy producer who is the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year) and Comedy Returns to El Rio! (now in it 10th year). Lisa moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) freelance publicist. www.KosherComedy.comwww.SFPublicist.com

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Bobi Céspedes and Band
Mar
9
8:00 PM20:00

Bobi Céspedes and Band

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

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Gladys “Bobi” Céspedes has been at the forefront of representing and promoting Cuban music in the Bay Area and the United States for over 40 years. A vocalist, composer, band leader and educator, Bobi first won international recognition as director and lead singer for Conjunto Céspedes. The band recorded 4 albums, including Una Sola Casa and Vivito Y Coleando which won awards for Latin Album of the Year in 1993 and 1995 from the National Association of Independent Records Distribution (NAIRD). With the Conjunto, Bobi toured the United States and internationally, winning raving reviews in every major city where they performed, and opening for such stars as Los Van Van, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, and Brian Ferry.  Bobi also toured and recorded with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum project, appearing on his Supralingua and Spirit into Sound releases.  

Since 2003, working in a septet format with a band under her own name, Bobi has continued to perform and tour, and recorded two albums: Rezos and Patakin. She was invited to perform at the Grand Opening Weekend for the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016, as part of a lineup that included such divas as Angélique Kidjo and Meshell Ndegeocello. 

By integrating folkloric and modern elements in an authentic and distinctive sound, Bobi gives a modern voice to traditional Cuban music, providing fresh ways for contemporary audiences to be touched by her rich musical heritage.   Her dynamic performances lead you on a journey from Afro Cuban chants to Cuban són, rumba, cha cha chás and boleros. In the rich field of Cuban music, Bobi Céspedes stands out as a gem and can rightfully be considered one of our national cultural treasures.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Mar
11
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Songs to the Female Orishas - Song Workshop by Bobi Cespedes
Mar
11
4:00 PM16:00

Songs to the Female Orishas - Song Workshop by Bobi Cespedes

Doors at 3:30 pm; Show at 4:00 pm

Tickets are $20 at the Door

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As part of the Maestra Series, renowned singer and folklorist Bobi Céspedes returns to Ashkenaz to lead another workshop on the chants to the female deities found in the Yoruba spiritual tradition known as Lucumí in Cuba. The Orisha represent divine forces manifested through nature and are summoned through music, song and dance. Bobi is one of the very few female akpwóns (lead singer of the Lucumí ceremonial music), providing a remarkable opportunity to learn from a distinguished priestess and elder in the tradition. Bobi will supplement what she covered in last year’s popular class by including different chants and Orishas, such as Oyá, a female warrior representing the wind. This workshop is suited for both practitioners and those interested in Cuban music since the influence of Orisha music permeates Cuban popular music and dance. No previous experience necessary. The chants are sung in a call and response pattern, giving everyone the opportunity to join in praise of the feminine goddesses of nature.

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Tom Rigney and Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Mar
13
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney and Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Ace fiddler Tom Rigney and his Louisiana-drenched band Flambeau can be heard in concerts from the Caribbean to Alaska, at the big festivals in the summer, and monthly at his favorite neighborhood dance palace: Ashkenaz. Tonight the band celelbrates the release of its new CD, “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later than You Think).” The unusual title song (recorded by everyone from Guy Lombardo to the Supremes) is a real surprise. According to Rigney, it’s “a great song, although I must admit when I heard it when I was a kid it made no sense at all. I listened to the Guy Lombardo version a couple of years ago and realized what a brilliant, funny, and on-the-money song it is.”

In addition to old favorites and Rigney’s own compositions, some of tonight’s songs are pulled from the CD/DVD “Swamp Fever – Live at Three Stages,” whose video was part of the PBS-TV series “Music Gone Public.” Featured songs range from “Iko Iko” to “Orange Blossom Special” and “C’est la Vie.”

What sets Rigney and Flambeau apart is their fresh musical takes on Louisiana Cajun and zydeco, New Orleans R&B, down-home blues, and other styles he loves to play from rock to classical, creating a celebration of life through dance rhythms. Flambeau is a tight ensemble of virtuoso musicians, with guitarist Danny Caron (Charles Brown’s bandleader; he and Rigney met when both backed up Rockin’ Sidney in the ’80s), boogie-woogie keyboardist Caroline Dahl, bassist and singer Steve Parks, and drummer Brent Rampone.

Son of baseball legend Bill Rigney, Tom Rigney has long been a force in Bay Area music. He began in bluegrass-Western Swing band Back in the Saddle, then went from helping bandleader Queen Ida pioneer zydeco in the 1980s, to 15 years leading his New Orleans-drenched rock-R&B-zydeco outfit the Sundogs. At the turn of the 21stcentury he launched Flambeau, which has remained busy on the road ever since, releasing records mixing traditional and original fare. Not long ago, after teaming up for a few shows at Ashkenaz, Rigney and fellow fiddler Michael Doucet recorded the critically acclaimed CD “Cajun Fandango,” a hot collection of fiddle duets on Parhelion Records.

 

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Stu Allen
Mar
14
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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DyaTribal, with Twin Harps and Carlos Reyes
Mar
15
9:00 PM21:00

DyaTribal, with Twin Harps and Carlos Reyes

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at the door
 

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The members of DyaTribal met when they won a 24 hr band contest in Santa Rosa. They knew at that moment that they were meant to play together, and went on to create jubilant dance music inspired by India, Arabia, Africa, and every corner of the Americas. After building an enthusiastic following in Sonoma County, they are now ready to take the Bay area by storm. For their Eastbay debut at Ashkenaz, They have collaborated with two local favorites to create an unforgettable experience that will energize your body, spirit, and mind.

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The evening begins with the Twin Harps of Diana Stork and Cheryl Ann Fulton. Their performances at the finest concert halls, and on several internationally distributed albums, have led thousands of people into realms of spiritual ecstasy.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From there, the torch passes to Grammy Award winning Paraguayan Harp Virtuoso Carlos Reyes, who will create a Latin multicultural fantasia with a gradually increasing rhythmic pulse. As the music travels through the many mansions of Carlos memory and imagination, percussion and drums will appear, then increase in intensity and power, climaxing with the driving electric fusion music that has made Carlos a radio star throughout the world. 
 

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Carlos will then  join DyaTribal on his electric violin for World Music dancing. Each DyaTribal musician brings something different to the mix for every song, resulting in creations that are more than the sum of their parts. Touchstyle Veena player Teed Rockwell combines ragas with funk, uniting bass and melody lines by tapping the strings simultaneously with both hands. Deborah Axe sings and composes original lyrics in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Sanskrit & Arabic. Raised on the blues, she combines a three & a half octave range & the ability to hold a note for over 30 seconds. Drummer/Inventor Andy Graham has designed and built custom instruments for Stevie Wonder and Indian multipercussionist Sivamani. He also designed the drum set with 3 rack mounted didgeridoos that provides the many different dyatribal beats, both electric and acoustic.

Dancing in any style you choose or create is encouraged at every stage of this musical experience. Call it what you will – a ritual, a festival, a party, a night on the town, – it will be an evening you won’t forget.

 

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Tempest - St Patrick's Celebration
Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

Tempest - St Patrick's Celebration

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

Formed in 1988, Celtic rock band Tempest has recorded 15 CDs and played more than 2,000 shows in near and faraway places, especially at Celtic fests from Philadelphia to the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Cropredy in England, and Denmark’s Skagen Festival. For a while the band even hosted its own Karflukifest with like-minded bands from around the world. Tempest fuses Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences, and other world music elements in its high-energy concerts. The new CD, “The Tracks We Leave,” is officially released Feb. 24 on Magna Carta Records. The title is inspired by a Dakota Sioux proverb: “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave,” a reference to the environmental, spiritual, and musical imprints we leave upon the world we live in. 

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, Tempest’s founder and lead singer-electric mandolinist Lief Sorbye is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after nine years in pioneering Celtic folk band Golden Bough. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her international award-winning playing to the Tempest stage. Born in Colorado and brought up in small-town Missouri, Gregory Jones is the latest in a long line of Tempest guitar greats. His fiery licks and hard-rocking approach to the instrument, combined with his experience and understanding of Celtic music, have made him a favorite with fans new and old alike. Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band’s sound with inventive rhythms and rock-steady drumming. The newest member is Josh Fossgreen, an exceptional young talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape.

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Love in Dúo: Maestras of Soul - Faye Carol with Joe Warner plus Linda Tillery & Tammy Hall
Mar
17
8:00 PM20:00

Love in Dúo: Maestras of Soul - Faye Carol with Joe Warner plus Linda Tillery & Tammy Hall

Doors at 7:00 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $30 Advance / $35 at the Door

 

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The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, and four Cabaret Gold Awards, in addition to her 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame. 

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way. 

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, today Ms. Carol performs as The Dynamic Duo with talented young pianist Joe Warner and continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. 

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

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Before becoming a prominent figure in women's music in the 1990s, San Francisco native Linda Tillery began her singing career in the 1960s with the gender-integrated psychedelic/soul band the Loading Zone, which was modeled somewhat after Sly and the Family Stone. After two albums with that band, Tillery released her solo debut, Sweet Linda Divine, on CBS in 1970 to enthusiastic reviews and high praise. She spent most of the '70s singing and playing drums on over 40 albums, including efforts by Mary Watkins and Teresa Trull. Having become a staff musician and producer at Olivia Records, Tillery released her second solo album, a self-titled effort, on the label in 1978, garnering a Bay Area Music Award for Best Independently Produced Album; Tillery has twice gone on to win Bay Area Jazz Awards for Outstanding Female Vocalist. 

In subsequent years, Tillery collaborated with such female musical powerhouses as June Millington, Deidre McCalla, Barbara Higbie, and Margie Adam, as well as on the Olivia Tenth Anniversary Album, Meg/Cris Live at Carnegie (1983). 

In 1985, Tillery released Secrets on her own 411 label; distributed by Redwood Records, it returned her to center stage. In recent years, she has assembled a large band, Skin Tight, which plays jazzy, funky blues, as well as briefly joining the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra. She has also branched out into areas like radio, film, theater, and television commercials, worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, and appeared with artists ranging from Santana to Kenny Loggins and Huey Lewis to the Turtle Island String Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, and Holly Near. 

In 1992, Tillery decided to form an outlet for her desire to perform the traditional spiritual music of African-American slaves and their descendants. The Cultural Heritage Choir today includes Tillery and fellow Bay Area vocalists Rhonda Benin, Elouise Burrell, sometime solo artist Melanie DeMore, and Emma Jean Foster-Fiege. The group has released the albums Good Time a Good Time (1995) and Front Porch Music (1997).

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Tammy Lynne Hall began playing the piano at age four, in Dallas, Texas, where she was raised by two grandmothers, a grandfather and numerous aunts and uncles. Her earliest memories of the piano were of climbing onto the piano bench and pick out the notes to tunes she heard either on the radio, record player or something the choir sang at church. Later, Tammy became the pianist not just for the Junior Choir at her home church but also the pianist and organist for her godfather’s church in Terrell, TX, some 40 miles away and she was sometimes the rehearsal accompanist for her school choir from sixth grade at Pearl C. Anderson Junior High to her senior year at the Hockaday School. It became evident that Music had chosen Tammy to walk it’s path. Giving full support for this journey were Tammy’s two grandmothers, who pooled their resources to make sure she had access to private lessons from age 8 to 18. Tammy participated in juried recitals, resulting in her winning several awards and honorable recognition in regional and national recitals and competitions. Because of her talent and impeccable academic record, Tammy was encouraged to apply and was accepted to the Hockaday School, where she attended on an academic and musical scholarship, which also led to her attending the prestigious and progressive Mills College in Oakland, CA from 1979 to 1981. Tammy’s grandfather also contributed to her musical journey by showing films of the greats Fats Waller, Dorothy Donegan, Hazel Scott, Duke Ellington and Count Basie; he was one of the first Black projectionists in the country and regularly showed films in his home and at public school auditoriums and churches for the community. These films along with the music she heard on the radio, at church, and the r&b, soul and pop records of the time, even the incidental and theme music she heard on television, all influenced Tammy’s playing. These early experiences would form the triad of Tammy’s core sound: a fusion of Jazz, Gospel and Classical. In pursuit of developing her own voice and the experiences of a ‘Jazz’ life, Tammy left Mills College and gained more improvisational and accompanying experience sitting in with local bands in the Bay Area when visit to Brussels turned into a 2 year stay. During this time Tammy along with saxophonist Dr. Josylyn Segal, formed the quintet Touche Differente (Different Touch), playing in venues and festivals including the Brussels Jazz Club and the North Sea Jazz Festival, Antwerp, France, Holland and Ibiza, as well as performing and recording with the late saxophonist Noah Howard. <br><br>Since returning to the Bay Area in 1989, Tammy has with worked award-winning cabaret singer and actress, Connie Champagne, the Supreme Mary Wilson, chanteuse and actress Debbie De Coudreaux, The Montclair Women’s Big Band, Houston Person, the late David ‘Fathead Newman’, jazz violinists Regina Carter, Jeremy Cohen, Mads Tolling,  orchestra leader and bassist Marcus Shelby, guitarist Terrence Brewer, vocalists Kim Nalley, Denise Perrier, Pamela Rose, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Holly Near, Lynne Asher, Melba Moore, Miki Howard, Rhonda Benin, Darlene Love, Lady Mem’fis, Veronica Klaus, Diane Witherspoon, Queen Esther Marrow, Ernestine Anderson, Derek Lassiter, Frankye Kelley, Nicolas Bearde, Kenny Washington, Lisa Ferraro  Erika Luckett, Karen Drucker and the late Etta Jones. Tammy’s continued involvement with her musical and cultural community include working as an instructor (faculty)/mentor, with a number of non-profit arts organizations making music and theatre accessible to under-funded inner city children and well known and funded organizations such as: Adventures In Music (AIM), under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony in collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District, The Handful Players Children’s Theatre (San Francisco public schools/Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco), the Drew School (San Francisco), Jazz Camp for Girls at the Jazz School (Berkeley), The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Alameda Unified School District, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Zellerbach Foundation, Yoshi’s and the Jazz & Heritage Center of San Francisco and most recently, Musically Minded Academy in Oakland and the Narada Michael Walden Foundation. Tammy has also accompanied the Porter College Gospel Choir at University of California, Santa Cruz as well as the Inner Light Ministries Choir in Soquel,California, both under the direction of Valerie Joi Fiddmont and shares a Music Ministry with the Centers for Spiritual throughout the Bay Area and California. She has traveled and performed extensively in Japan, Europe and Mexico, including a 30-city tour with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  Other venues and festivals of note include Kennedy Center (Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Sala Filharmonica (Trento, ITALY), Herbst Theatre, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, SFJazz Center, Yoshi's Oakland and San Francisco and Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, CA.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Mar
18
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Get Down on the Blues with Faye Carol
Mar
18
4:00 PM16:00

Get Down on the Blues with Faye Carol

Doors at 3:30 pm; Show at 4:00 pm

Tickets are $20 at the Door

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Blues master Faye Carol has shared the stage with Albert King, Lowell Fulson, Charles Brown, & many more. Learn about the many grooves and regional sounds of the blues and explore how you can Get Down on the blues too. Open to all!

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MotorDude Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Mar
20
8:00 PM20:00

MotorDude Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Winner of everyone’s vote as one of the Bay’s hottest dance bands, MotorDude Zydeco purveys a high-energy hybrid of Cajun and zydeco styles. The group is powered by the hardest-working man in the local Cajun/zydeco scene, multi-instrumentalist Billy Wilson – who plays accordion for MDZ – along with singer/rubboard player Lloyd Meadows, guitarist Ian Lamson, drummer and singer Willy Jordan, and bassist Dennis Calloway. Launched in 1989 by veterans of other zydeco and dance bands, MDZ takes its name from Motor Dude, a horse owned by the late, great accordion player and zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis.

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Stu Allen
Mar
21
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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LOVING JANIS: The Music of Janis Joplin and Janis Ian Imagined & Performed by Kyra Gordon
Mar
23
8:00 PM20:00

LOVING JANIS: The Music of Janis Joplin and Janis Ian Imagined & Performed by Kyra Gordon

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $17 Advance / $20 at the Door

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Vocalist Kyra Gordon with Pianist and arranger Larry Steelman bring us their hypnotic and far-out arrangements of two iconic singers: Janis Ian and Janis Joplin. In “Loving Janis” the stylistic interpretations of both Janis Joplin and Janis Ian will encompass jazz, rock and folk arrangements of the iconic performers. Epic song classics including “At Seventeen”; “Jesse”; “Piece of My Heart”; “Bobby McGee” and others will be joyfully sung in a heartfelt tribute by singer-songwriter Kyra Gordon.

The idea of creating the "Loving Janis”  tribute show evolved from an inspirational event Kyra experienced at age 17. While living in Los Angeles she was asked to audition for the role of Janis Joplin in a film project titled “Piece of My Heart” for Paramount Pictures. The project was scrapped and Kyra did not get the part, but carried the script around wondering “what if I were to do something based on Janis?”Kyra did indeed do a more “jazz tinged” tribute to Janis Joplin titled “Turtle Blues” in April 2017. Later in the year Kyra wanted to create the Janis tribute with a more “yin and yang” approach and contrast the work of Joplin with that of folk singer-songwriter Janis Ian.

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When asked what she admired and found important about each Janis, Kyra replied; “For me, Janis Joplin was all about her charisma as a performer and the trance [of the performance]. Janis Ian tells stories about life and the human experience.”

Kyra elaborated on the connection she felt to both Janis’. “I felt a real connection and kinship to Janis Joplin as a young woman. She wasn’t the norm but Joplin’s attitude became ‘I don’t fit and I’m going all the way with it.’ Kyra expressed similar feelings, having lived on her own at a young age, and feeling like she “never fit anyone’s vision of what was beautiful or appropriate”. 

Kyra reflected that she felt drawn to Janis Ian because she “chose to dedicate her life to being a songwriter and a master of her craft.” “Her lyrics are poetry. They conjure such vivid imagery.” Kyra observed that although many of Ian’s better known songs were crafted in the 1960s and 1970s, “Her songs are definitely of their time, but are timeless and feel as relevant today as ever.” A few years ago Kyra sent a video clip of her performance of Ian’s song “Ruby” to Janis Ian through her website, who responded back with a note of encouragement commenting, “That is a hard song to sing and you sang it bravely.”

A large Mandala tapestry on the back wall, a shrine to Joplin, and an authentic liquid-projection light-show by the pioneering Kitty Crowe of “Fantasy World Lights” will help to set the ambiance of the “Loving Janis” stage.

Audience members from the “Boomers” to the “Millennial” generations alike will relate to “Loving Janis”. Songs from a time before that are just as relevant today celebrating two strong, quintessential female musicians!


 https://www.lovingjanis.com
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGdLjwavJy8&feature=youtu.be

 

Fantasy World Lights:

Kitty Crowe created her first liquid-projection light-show out of the contents of her kitchen in January of 1966 for the "Trips Festival” at Longshoremen’s Hall in SF, where the band known as the “Warlocks” first appeared as “The Grateful Dead.”

 

Loving Janis Ensemble:

Larry Steelman is a composer and musician who has worked with such artists as Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Mick Jagger, Willie Bobo, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Paul Eastman is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist freelance musician from the SF Bay Area.

Alan Hall taught drum set and ensembles at Berklee College of Music for seven years and he currently teaches drum set and ensembles at California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and Cal State University East Bay in Hayward. He has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats including: Paul McCandless, Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Art Lande, Geoff Keezer, Jimmy Haslip, Kai Eckhardt, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Rebecca Parris.

Matthew Charles Heulitt has been a guitarist on the bay area scene for 20 years doing session work, touring internationally, working for a multitude of artists as a side-man, as well as leading his own groups. He spent 15 years with legendary funk drummer Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), and the last 10 touring and recording with Grammy award winning producer/drummer Narada Michael Walden (Jeff Beck, The Mahavishnu Orchestra).

 

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Daughters of the Drum: Amikaeyla, Susu Pampanin and Spirit of Sultana
Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Daughters of the Drum: Amikaeyla, Susu Pampanin and Spirit of Sultana

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

This is also a fundraiser for Women Drummers International

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Proclaimed as one of the “purest contemporary voices” by NPR, powerhouse Amikaeyla embraces the best of many types of music. Her sultry sound is “like listening to velvet waterfalls” (MTV) and her soulful flavor captures the listener with dynamic passion and sincerity. Winner of Eight Washington Area Music Association Awards for Best Jazz, World and Urban Contemporary Vocalist, Amikaeyla was named DC’s best female composer; won the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts, and was recently honored with first prize for Best World Music Composition from the Maryland State Arts Council. She has studied, recorded with, and shared the stage with many award winning artists, including Take 6, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Baba Olatunji, Mickey Hart, Gil Scott Heron, Wyclef, Pete Seeger, Shiela E and Esperanza Spalding to name a few. Her strong academic interest in Sacred Ethnomusicology led her to study with many spiritual and musical masters from many different cultures, and she was invited to perform in India at the Inaugural Festival of Sacred Chanting and Singing for the commemoration of the Golden Buddha at the request and invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

Currently, Amikaeyla serves as a Cultural Arts Ambassador for the US State Department and for over the past 15 years she has travelled the world extensively as a liaison between communities and fostering relationships amidst artists, healers and the general populace by designing strategy platforms which allow different cultures and nationalities to gather together and address issues concerning our communities at large. As the Founder and Executive Director of the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI), she has appeared internationally on numerous radio and television programs performing and speaking about her “Music As Medicine - Healing with an Artful Purpose” programming - a multi-faceted therapeutic approach through music, movement, & theater modalities.  This program has been implemented around the world to at-risk women and children hoping to aid in alleviating pain and trauma caused by war. She is the proud recipient of the Voss Foundation Emerging Leaders Women Helping Women Award, Global Woman Award, the Pioneer Award for Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Service in Social Justice and Advocacy Award, and the Hero for Peace and Forgiveness award.

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Susu Pampanin: Spirit of Sultana is a women’s percussion ensemble focused on drums, songs and dance from Egypt, Morocco and beyond. Pampanin’s heartbeat is her drum; her life stories are her songs; her dreams are her dances. Working most recently with singer Holly Near, she has been heard in numerous world music groups including Keith Terry’s Crosspulse, Wild Mango and Stellamara. Respected world-wide as a master of Arabic drumming, she leads Spirit of Sultana in songs, timeless melodies, intricate improvisations both melodic (taqasim), and vocal (mawwal, reminiscent of the ancient call to prayer) while highlighting the percussive sounds of its Middle Eastern rhythm section. The music draws inspiration from Andalusian, Tarab (Classic), Sufi, popular and folkloric genres. Pampanin says, “Spirit of Sultana aspires to take you to a faraway place, where the spirit of the queen lives.” In addition to Pampanin the group features percussionist-dancers TerriAnne Gutierrez and Amina Goodyear; oud player, singer and percussionist Fatima Zohra Lahlou and percussionist Mohini Rustagi.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Mar
25
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Iko Yaya plus Dance Lesson with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson
Mar
27
8:00 PM20:00

Iko Yaya plus Dance Lesson with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

Iko Yaya dishes out steaming New Orleans-drenched “swamp and roll” for dancing. Iko Yaya is made up of longtime members of some of our favorite local bands, and it’ll be a night of “bon temps roulez” big time! The musicians got together in 2013 to play the Louisiana-influenced music that moves them, and, as Jim Scott reports, “That’s when the party started!” Tonight it’s a full plate of their favorite New Orleans-based dance music – blues and boogie, Cajun/zydeco, R&B, Second Line, and even country – all delivered with a Mardi Gras vibe. Among the dance favorites are “Mardi Gras Mambo,” “It’s All Over Now,” “Hey Pocky Way,” and “Waltz Across Texas.” Iko Yaya is singer-percussionist Cheryl McBride (born and raised in New Orleans, a member of SwingThing, and one of our regular dance teachers), guitarist Jim Scott (Mark St. Mary, CZ & the Bon Vivants, Jeffery Broussard), bassist-singer Ryan Houck, guitarist-percussionist Lance Houck, saxophonist Otoe Mori, trumpeter Marty Arvan, and drummer Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Courtableu, Creole Belles).

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Stu Allen
Mar
28
11:00 PM23:00

Stu Allen

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Meastres de Mexico: "Chavela" Film Screening, with Acoustic Performance by Cascaded de Flores
Mar
29
8:00 PM20:00

Meastres de Mexico: "Chavela" Film Screening, with Acoustic Performance by Cascaded de Flores

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm, Film at 8:45 pm
Cascada de Flores will be performing as a duo tonight

Tickets are $12 / $15 at the Door

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Chavela (2017, 93 min.) Produced and directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi. Through its lyrical structure, Chavela takes viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself – the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being. Winner of the Golden Athens Award for Best Documentary at Athens Internation Film Festival (2017), Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize at both OutFest L.A. and OUTshine Fort Lauderdale (2017), Audience Award & Honorable Mention Jury Award at Frameline (2017), Second Place Audience Award at Berlinale Film Festival (2017), Audience Award & Best Documentary Feature at Reeling35 (2017), Official Selection of AFI Docs, Hot Docs, Austin Gay & Lesbian Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest and many more.

An audience favorite: “A wonderful tribute to a queer icon” – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
“Dazzling. Poignant. Thoroughly enthralling.” – Claudia Puig, The Wrap
"Donald Trump’s ultimate nightmare – a Mexican lesbian diva who can wring your very soul." – Jonathan Romney, The Guardian
“A trailblazing free spirit whose appetite for tequila and women was as legendary as her soul-stirring vocals...” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas receives justifiably laudatory treatment in this documentary celebrating her refusal to compromise together with her musical brilliance.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety.

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The core members of Cascada de Flores have been re-imagining Mexican tradition for years. After falling for Mexican music as a young woman, Arwen Lawrence toured with Grammy-winning L.A. mariachi heavyweights, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, an apprenticeship that honed her skills and deepened her love for Mexico's musical language. With them, she recorded and performed in venues such as the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara and Lincoln Center of New York. Nati always nudged her towards what she already did naturally: to sing with heart.

Jorge Liceaga grew up in Mexico City, buying his first guitar with the money he'd earned shining shoes. Self taught, he was later mentored by local legend Leonardo 'El León' Salas, a transplant from Yucatan, who taught Jorge to 'guasanguearla' (play with that special Yucatecan swing). Jorge followed his sister and found himself amongst local masters of artistic communication: The flamencos of Gitanerías. From them he received a raw and complicated education, which contributed to his special sensitivity as accompanist.

The pair founded Cascada de Flores in San Francisco, CA in 1999. They began by journeying into the hidden corners of Mexico, seeking the real stories of that hugely diverse country. Inspired by the fact that even as deep as its diversity goes, Mexico has a continuous love affair with foreign cultural phenomenon and incorporates them as if they were its own, the ensemble spends 14 years swimming in a magical place somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea where rancheras, boleros, sones and guarachas from México, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Colombia meet.

Cascada de Flores has recorded now four albums, collaborated in numerous projects, including theater and cinema and toured to several areas of the United States. In Mexico they have been delightfully received in venues such as The central plaza in Mexico City with Jorge Saldaña, la Tasca in Jalapa, and lately in the beautiful Biblioteca Henestrosa in Oaxaca city and the main festival of Tezoatlán, Oaxaca. They even traveled to study with the trovadores of Santiago de Cuba. Cascada de Flores is now a phenomenon, cherished by the Latinos that hear them, and opening the minds of its non-Latino fans. Opening minds and hearts to the real stories of Mexico and Latin America has become this group's unofficial mission; Jorge feels pride at being able to arrive at a performance without a wide sombrero and still be received with open arms

In Radio Flor, in the format of a historic yet half-imagined Radio program, this Mexican-American duet has found a venue in which they can express their vast curiosities and talents, while shining in collaboration. In Radio Flor they are joined by musicians with similar longings from both sides of the 'border', three veterans of San Francisco's traditional music and Latin Jazz scenes: Saul Sierra-Alonso (bass, Mexico City), Marco Diaz (piano & trumpet, San Francisco), Brian Rice (percussion, Michigan). The duet has always thrived in collaboration with like-minded artists. The current Cascada de Flores family includes Sabra Weber (voice, flute), Jorge Mijangos (guitars), Rick Flores (guitar), Miguel Govea (accordion, trumpet, bass), Kyla Danysh (violin), Jim Connelly (bass) and Cynthia Holberg (voice).

Additionally, Cascada de Flores is firmly committed to music and cultural education. They present a bilingual music and dance program for children in schools, libraries and theaters such as Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga), Herbst Theater (San Francisco), Mexican Heritage Plaza (San Jose) and Lobero Theater (Santa Barbara). They have performed in over 1000 Western US schools and Libraries reaching over 500,000 children with their educational program. Recently, the Dúo brought their musical story to la Mixtecan hills of Oaxaca, Mexico. Close to home, members of Cascada de Flores present ongoing bilingual classes and special workshops for children and families focused on traditional Latin American folk songs and Mexican traditional music and dance.

 

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Marley's Ghost
Mar
30
9:00 PM21:00

Marley's Ghost

Doors 8:30pm; Show 9pm

Tickets $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Marley's Ghost is nothing less than a national treasure, the capable inheritirs of the archetypal Americana blueprint drawn up by The Band.

As the L.A. Weekly aptly put it, “This West Coast group deftly dashes across decades of American music to create a sound that’s steeped in tradition but never bogged down by traditionalism.”

An eclectic aggregation composed of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr., Jerry Fletcher, and Bob Nichols – the band can sing and play anything with spot-on feel, from roots to rock, blues to bluegrass, gospel to stone country, which is what they’ve been doing – to the ongoing delight of a fervent cult that includes many of their fellow musicians – throughout their first quarter century as a working unit. Their trademark multi-part harmonies never cease to captivate, whether on record or in live performance.

The band celebrates its 30th anniversary with the release of The Woodstock Sessions, helmed by Grammy-winning producer Larry Campbell. Known for his artful work with Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, and countless others, Campbell guides the Ghost’s dig into its garden of deep roots to uncover a host of hidden gems. Featuring its trademark multi-part harmonies and multi-instrumental skills, the band’s 11th album is a resonant road trip through America’s past set firmly in the present.

Campbell, a master musician of all things stringed and winner of an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, brought Marley’s Ghost to the legendary Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY after working with the group as a sideman on its previous recording, the scintillating roots-music tour de force, Jubilee. That album, produced by legendary Nashville cat Cowboy Jack Clement and recorded at the city’s venerable Sound Emporium, also features guest performances from Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Marty Stuart.

The winning chemistry between Campbell and Ghost has already set yet another recording project in motion — a gospel album, a genre beloved by both artist and producer

 

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Mama Africa: From Congo to Oakland - Sistahs of the Drum and Mabiba Baegne with special guest Nikki Campbell
Mar
31
8:00 PM20:00

Mama Africa: From Congo to Oakland - Sistahs of the Drum and Mabiba Baegne with special guest Nikki Campbell

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 advance / $25 at the Door

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This is also a fundraiser for Women Drummers International

Mabiba is an internationally acclaimed teacher, drummer, and choreographer of traditional and contemporary African dance. Mabiba was born in Brazzaville, Congo, and initiated into dancing by her grandparents at the age of eight. 

Mabiba is also an inspiring drummer. In addition to her Congolese dancing, for many years she studied West African Dunun drumming with master drummer Famoudou Konate in Guinea, and she was the first woman to teach this form in the U.S. Mabiba is also an acclaimed singer and has toured and recorded with Salif Keita, master drummer Mamady Keita, and Samba Ngo.

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Sistahs of the Drum are students and teachers, listeners and communicators, consumers and creators, protectors and nurturers, friends and lovers. We drum from the heart, for the heart, to the heart, and with our heart. Absorbing the teachings of West African rhythms, songs, and dances, Sistahs of the Drum respectfully represent the essence of our traditional African roots in harmony with our African-American cultural rearing. The resulting sound is from somewhere deep within; playing through us and resonating with you. Current members are Mar Stevens, Sandy Mills, Charlene Gumbs, Shawn Nealy-Oparah, La Tanya Carmical, Mya Cross, Nina Roberts and Jillian Lyles.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Apr
1
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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 CZ & The Bon Vivants plus Dance Lesson
Apr
3
8:00 PM20:00

CZ & The Bon Vivants plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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A hot band of Cajun/zydeco veterans, CZ & the Bon Vivants dish out classic Cajun dance tunes and originals. Along with singer and fiddler Catherine Matovich (whose day job is playing with symphony orchestras), the Bon Vivants are Lake Charles, Louisiana, native and East Bay great Andrew Carriere on accordion, guitarist Jim Scott, bassist Elaine Herrick, and drummer Timothy Orr. Over the last few years they’ve appeared frequently on the festival and outdoor event circuit – from downtown Oakland to the Solano Stroll, the Kaiser Rooftop concert series to Bay cruises – and at many a Bay Area dance hall. And India may be the next stop. The band’s CD, “Good to the Bon,” has been used as a tool for teaching world music at the American School in New Delhi; CZ has an international fan base as a result. 

The group was born when Matovich got home after playing in Neil Diamond’s touring band and saw a concert by Cajun/zydeco fiddler Tom Rigney. “I loved working big shows, but seeing Tom’s band made me want to be in a group like that, that had so much fun playing together.” The Bon Vivants came together to play a benefit concert in 2004, “and we’ve been busy ever since,” Matovich says. Nobody could agree on a group name, so eventually they were dubbed the Cajun Babes (after the Dixie Chicks), and through democratic process came up with the current group moniker, although there is no CZ. Just high-energy Cajun and zydeco music.

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Balkan Folkdance
Apr
4
7:00 AM07:00

Balkan Folkdance

Doors at 6:30 pm; Dance at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $7

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience

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Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes
Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 at the Door

Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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Sheree Seretse and the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble
Apr
7
8:00 PM20:00

Sheree Seretse and the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

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Sheree Seretse, Director of the Anzanga, Shumba Youth and Zambuko Marimba Ensembles has been teaching, studying and performing for over 40 years. Affectionately known as “mama marimba”, Sheree’s passion and drive for Zimbabwean Marimba music shines through the five recordings she has produced and numerous other recordings on which she made appearances. 

Sheree received her initial training through renowned musician and composer Dumisani “Dumi” Maraire. She has facilitated many workshops around the country and has toured extensively around the globe. 

Sheree believes that marimba music is accessible to everyone.

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For over 20 years Anzanga has brought the electrifying energizing music of African marimba to weddings, schools, festivals, culture events and more. We draw our repertoire primarily from Zimbabwe influences from Mozambique, South Africa and Gambia, in addition to playing compositions of our own. We are based in Seattle, Washington, and have toured nationally and internationally. 
  
Our ensemble plays using eight marimbas – three Sopranos, three tenors, a baritone, and a base – and hoshos, or gourd shakers. The marimbas are handcrafted xylophones made from various hardwoods. The keys are fine-tuned to reflect tones playing African societies. Each key sits above a resonator with a vibrating membrane to amplify the sound and add a unique “buzz” to the music. 
Anzanga, which means “to our friends” draws its name and music<br>from the rich cultural heritage of Africa. We’re honored to share this joyful and vibrant music, and our goal is to entertain, enlighten and inspire all who hear us! 
  
“Anzanga always gets people up out of their seats. The kids love them, and they’re great at attracting people to the event.” 
— Rainier Chamber of Commerce

 

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Apr
8
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Heart of Rock and Roll Series: Freestone Peaches - A Tribute To The Allman Brothers Band
Apr
8
6:30 PM18:30

Heart of Rock and Roll Series: Freestone Peaches - A Tribute To The Allman Brothers Band

Doors at 6:00 pm; Show at 6:30pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Allman Brothers Band tribute Freestone Peaches captures the feel, excitement and raw energy of the Allman Brothers Band live in concert. The SF Bay Area based band is comprised of veteran jam, jazz, blues, rock, country and Allman Brothers Band enthusiasts. 

Freestone Peaches features: 
Ned Patchett on lead/slide guitar (Duane Allman) 
Jeff Faust on bass (Berry Oakley) 
Michael Berry on lead guitar (Dickey Betts) 
Mark Corsolini on drums (Butch Trucks) 
John Hanrahan on drums (Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson) 
Jefferson Bergey on vocals (Gregg Allman) 
Paul Rustigian on B3/keyboards (Gregg Allman)

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Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson
Apr
10
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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He may have been crowned Emperor of the 2011 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, but violinist-fiddler-composer and singer Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau have always been royalty at Ashkenaz. When not globetrotting – last year they covered ground from Alaska to Alviso Slough to a Caribbean New Year’s cruise – they hold court here almost monthly, playing Rigney’s own tunes and their usual high-energy mix of Louisiana Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans R&B, and down-home blues favorites. Some songs are pulled from the recent CD/DVD recorded at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, “Swamp Fever – Live at Three Stages,” whose video was part of the 2015 PBS series “Music Gone Public.” Featured songs range from “Iko Iko” to “Orange Blossom Special” and “C’est la Vie.” 

What sets Rigney and Flambeau apart is Rigney’s fresh musical takes on Cajun and zydeco, and other styles he loves to play from rock to classical, creating a celebration of life through dance rhythms. Flambeau is a tight ensemble of virtuoso musicians, with guitarist Danny Caron (Charles Brown’s bandleader; he and Rigney met when both backed up Rockin’ Sidney in the ’80s), boogie-woogie keyboardist Caroline Dahl, bassist and singer Steve Parks, and drummer Brent Rampone.

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Comedy at Ashkenaz! with Maureen Langan, Bob McIntyre & Joe Nguyen
Apr
12
8:00 PM20:00

Comedy at Ashkenaz! with Maureen Langan, Bob McIntyre & Joe Nguyen

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15-$20 Sliding Scale

Berkeley, CA… Bay Area comedian/comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy), and Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center joined forces last Fall to bring the East Bay a new monthly (the second Thursday of the month) comedy series Comedy at Ashkenaz! featuring a different line-up each month.

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Maureen Langan is a stand up comic and radio personality. Her wit and rants on today’s “reality culture” make her a powerful voice on stage and radio and earned her the prestigious MAC Award. Maureen performs at clubs, theaters and festivals across the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and Canada, where she was named “Best in the Fest” at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. She was a top finalist in the San Francisco Comedy Competition. Maureen has performed on Broadway with Rosie O’Donnell, and she has opened for Joy Behar, Steven Wright, and Dennis Miller. Her TV appearances include Gotham Live, HBO, Red Eye, Comics Unleashed, Cozi TV, NBC, CBS, and national commercials. Maureen is currently touring the country with her solo show “Daughter of A Garbageman,” a moving and comedic tale of growing up in the 1970s, a time when hard work trumped sex tapes. It debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before landing a 6-month run at The Marsh Theater in San Francisco, where it was declared one of the “Top 3 Solo Shows of 2017” by Theatre Eddys. The San Francisco Examiner said, “Maureen has something to say about family relationships, self acceptance, and American culture...without sacrificing her killer sense of humor.” Maureen is the host of “Hanging with Langan,” a 3-hour talk show heard Sunday nights on KGO Radio in San Francisco and is a frequent guest host on WABC Radio in New York City. She grew up in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, where there is no lake. www.MaureenLangan.com
“Maureen is to comedy what James Brown was to soul.” - Jerry Stiller

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Joe Nguyen, subtle but sharp, laid-back yet engaging, is a smart slacker beloved by audiences for his easygoing delivery and good joke writing. Raised in the state of Georgia by immigrants of Vietnamese and Jewish descent, Joe was destined to become a stand up comedian. At home in all venues from clubs to cafes, Joe is a regular at the Punch Line and other Bay Area comedy clubs. He was featured at Kung Pao Kosher Comedy in 2010 and tours nationally with the “You’re Funny, But You Don’t Look Jewish” comedy tour. www.vietjew.com

 

 

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Bob McIntyre is a San Francisco-based waiter, comic, and occasional actor who is currently binge watching his recently purchased 38-disc, 325-episode “Mary Hartman Mary Hartman” box set. He currently sees everything in shades of avocado green, mustard yellow and burnt orange with a waxy yellow buildup. He is single.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lisa Geduldig is a Bay Area-based comedian and comedy producer who is the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year) and Comedy Returns to El Rio! (now in it 10th year). Lisa moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) freelance publicist. www.KosherComedy.com • www.SFPublicist.com

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Evolutionary Blues... West Oakland's Music Legacy Film Screening
Apr
13
7:00 PM19:00

Evolutionary Blues... West Oakland's Music Legacy Film Screening

Doors at 6:30 pm; Film Screening at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $15 / $20 at the Door

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Evolutionary Blues... The Blues is an earthy, soul-stirring mélange of roots music and personal narratives that became the defining soundtrack of Black America. Wherever Black people settled that soundtrack took on a local flavor. In Northern California, the influences came from the musicianship of Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Seventh Street in West Oakland supported and bolstered Blacks who answered the call of the war effort in the late 1940’s. Entrepreneurship created a fully contained community that provided work, homes and all the necessities of life including a fully developed music scene. Watch as more than 30 local musicians share their inspiration and describe the trajectory of the Oakland Blues: how it evolved and what it has become. 

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Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of The Warmth of Other Suns, Robert O. Self, author of American Babylon: The Struggle for Post War Oakland, and Rickey Vincent, author of Funk and Party Music, provide background giving these musical stories a historical context. The film incudes a catapulting soundtrack, amazing period images - newly digitized negatives from EF Joseph’s Collection, film clips from Marlon Riggs’ and Peter Webster’s film Long Train Running, others from private collections, even the Library of Congress.

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Listen to entertaining interviews from Blues Legends like Sugar Pie DeSanto, Bob Geddins, Jr., Marvin Holmes, Faye Carol, Larry Vann, Lenny Williams, Ronnie Stewart, John Turk, Leon Williams, Alabama Mike, Ron Wells, Fantastic Negrito, The Hartfield Brothers, Freddie Hughes, Wylie Trass, Jesse James, Lady Bianca, Tom Bowden, and D’Wayne Wiggins. Then Lee Hildebrand, a music journalist and James C. Moore, Sr., record producer and talent manager, share their perspectives. We have incorporate legends such as Charles Sullivan, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Big Mama Thronton, and Omar Sharriff with short vignettes. Bob Geddins, Sr. and Johnny Talbot and De Thangs, and even Larry Graham are included through the stories the musicians tell about their impact on the scene.

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Don Carlos
Apr
14
9:30 PM21:30

Don Carlos

Doors at 9:00 pm; Show at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $30 Advance /
$35 at the Door

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A singer whose lyrical messages echo the spiritual side of the late Bob Marley, Don Carlos has led the cause of conscious reggae for more than three decades. Born Ervin Spencer, he grew up in the impoverished Waterhouse district of Western Kingston, Jamaica, along with other future reggae greats including King Tubby, King Jammy, and Junior Reid. Carlos started popular Jamaican vocal trio Black Uhuru in 1973, then left for a solo career in the ’80s and ’90s that began with his solo album debut, “Suffering,” along the way joining a reunion of the original members of Black Uhuru in 1992. For most of his life Carlos has been an influential singer of conscious lyrics – songs of peace, love, politics, understanding, freedom – all driven by the classic reggae sounds and dance rhythms he helped popularize in such albums as “Day to Day Living” and “Them Never Know a Natty Dread.”

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Apr
15
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Tango Revelation Milonga: Vocal Showcase in Memory of Roberto Traina
Apr
15
8:00 PM20:00

Tango Revelation Milonga: Vocal Showcase in Memory of Roberto Traina

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance /
$25 Day of Show / 

$17 Student & Senior Advance /
$20 Student & Senior Day of Show

Performers TBA

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As a boy (born Feb. 17, 1931) in the Italian corridor of Buenos Aires, Roberto came to the attention of the local church community for his talent and passion for singing. Able to artistically sing tenor and baritone, music would lead him to a career in opera. He landed a prestigious role as ensemble cast member at La Scala in Milan.

After marrying Francisca and moving to the United States, Roberto continued to sing opera in the basement of the couple’s New York home.

On the cusp of his retirement from U.S. Customs, the family relocated to San Francisco, where he became a staple of the local music scene, specializing in Italian and Neapolitan song and Argentinean tango. He was a regular at Caffe Med on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue where he would sing tango in the evenings.

Roberto had a congenial smile that made others feel welcome. He will be affectionately remembered for his openness and enjoyment of life, which he generously shared with others through song. His creative efforts enabled a young Italian stroke victim to recover both speech and the ability to walk through music therapy.

Roberto Traina passed away suddenly at his home in Berkeley on March 12, 2017.

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 Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience plus Dance Lesson
Apr
17
8:00 PM20:00

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

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For 35 years, two- time GRAMMY award winning artist Terrance Simien, 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience band, Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his band mates have performed over 7000 concerts, toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career. 

Simien was born in 1965 (appropriately) into the hippie folk and soul music era that still intrigues him today. He grew artistically being influenced and inspired by all of the music from that period. He was as influenced by Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel as he was by Sam Cooke and the Commodores. Since his family is documented in history books as one of the first Creole families to settle St. Landry Parish, his musical roots are firmly planted alongside the great zydeco pioneers like Chenier, Delafose, Chavis, Ardoin and that other Simien, Rockin Sidney, to name a few. He counts himself one of the fortunate few who hail from a generation with a direct link to these artists, some of whom mentored him as an emerging talent. He has assumed that same role to a new generation of young Zydeco hotshots because he understands how critical mentoring is to the success of his indigenous music that has become synonymous with the cultural identity of Louisiana and an important part of the musical landscape of this country. 

In 1983 at the young age of 18, Simien began touring professionally and by 20 he was sharing the stage with Fats Domino and Sarah Vaughn at the Bern Jazz Festival. His career exploded after that and Terrance remains a pivotal part of Zydeco music history. In the early 1980’s there were only 2 emerging bands touring nationally; the young Terrance and The Sam Brothers were the only artists reaching a younger audience with their indigenous roots music. Simien was also vital to the “renaissance” of a genre that was becoming extinct with the passing of each pioneer starting with Clifton Chenier in 1987. By the end of the 1990’s, all of the other influential pioneers had departed. This placed Terrance at the forefront of an exciting period of growth and popularity for his genre. 

Simien is blessed with an extraordinary talent that expresses the deepest human emotions through the original instrument: The Voice. He takes his audiences on a multicultural tour of the world as the many countries he’s visited while on tour have informed his musical language. He creates a hypnotic blend of New Orleans funk-reggae-flavored-world-blues-American zydeco roots music that beckons you to your feet and into the groove. He has found a seamless and artful way to deliver his eclectic music as a relevant, evolving artist who is clearly rooted in Creole tradition. Well known for his legendary live performances, Simien also helped change the vocabulary for his genre by introducing complex vocal harmonies, diverse repertoire and carefully crafted high quality recordings.

Terrance and his loyal and skilled band mates, together have shared studio & stage with Robert Palmer, Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, the Meters, Alan Toussaint, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. Their music has been featured in TV commercials and a dozen or more films, including the blockbuster “The Big Easy” which changed the game for Louisiana music in the late 80’s. His music has been heard on NPR syndicated radio shows like World Café, American Routes, E-town & House of Blues Radio Hour. Rolling Stone, Billboard, and other notable music industry publications, as well as major daily newspapers have praised his recordings. His extensive discography dates back to vinyl 45’s. In 1991 he was signed to rock label Restless Records by A&R rep Ron Goudie who brought the band Poison to the same label group. 

Simien’s groundbreaking Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco for student, youth and family audiences has reached nearly 500,000 since its debut in 2000. This dynamic program is presented at performing art centers, schools and festivals. Simien is helping build a more culturally literate young performing arts patron who is more knowledgeable about zydeco roots music because of his program. Simien has received countless awards, grants and recognition for his work and artistic contributions as a respected Cultural Ambassador for his state and country.

 

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Mafaro eZimbabwe Part 1, Roots: Traditional acoustic music from Zimbabwe
Apr
19
8:00 PM20:00

Mafaro eZimbabwe Part 1, Roots: Traditional acoustic music from Zimbabwe

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $20.00

Tickets for both shows (April 19th & 21st) also available.
$30 Advance / $40 Day of Show

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On April 19, 2018, the first of two concerts of ancestral Zimbabwean music will feature traditional mbira music: drumming, marimba, dance and choral music. Audiences will enjoy the transformative sound of mbira music as it was played over one thousand years ago in traditional ceremonies in Zimbabwe.

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The KTO Project is collaborating with Bay Area musicians and dancers from Zimbabwe to celebrate the music of the people - Chimurenga music - and to explore its roots in traditional mbira music played by the ancestral Shona people in Zimbabwe. 

The KTO Project will bring more than 15 musicians and dancers and a community choir of up to 25 people together to perform one concert of ancestral songs of Zimbabwe, then one concert of the popular, socially impactful music developed from the ancestral forms generations later.  

A second concert, on April 21, 2018, will feature Zimbabwean mbira music played with modern amplified instrumentation and drum kit, with lyrics characterized by social and political commentary. The performance will feature arrangements and song by Kelly Takunda Orphan and Zivanai Masango.

Both concerts will feature Voices of Zimbabwe, the community chorus led by Kelly Takunda Orphan, developed in residence at Ashkenaz (that will run from February to April 2018). Members of the Zimbabwean, Southern African and World Music choral communities have a chance to participate in this choral project that will be featured at the Mafaro eZimbabwe: Zimbabwean Mbira Music for the People concerts.

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Mafaro eZimbabwe Part 2, Branches: The KTO Project explores Chimurenga music and beyond!
Apr
21
9:00 PM21:00

Mafaro eZimbabwe Part 2, Branches: The KTO Project explores Chimurenga music and beyond!

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance /
$25 at the Door

Tickets for both shows (April 19th & 21st) also available.
$30 Advance / $40 Day of Show

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The KTO Project is collaborating with Bay Area musicians and dancers from Zimbabwe to celebrate the music of the people - Chimurenga music - and to explore its roots in traditional mbira music played by the ancestral Shona people in Zimbabwe. 

The KTO Project will bring more than 15 musicians and dancers and a community choir of up to 25 people together to perform one concert of ancestral songs of Zimbabwe, then one concert of the popular, socially impactful music developed from the ancestral forms generations later. 

The second of 2 concerts will feature Zimbabwean mbira music played with modern amplified instrumentation and drum kit, with lyrics characterized by social and political commentary. The performance will feature arrangements and song by Kelly Takunda Orphan and Zivanai Masango, The KTO Project’s Zimbabwe-born guitar player who has made his mark touring with Zimbabwean master musicians Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo. 

Both concerts (the first on April 19th) will feature Voices of Zimbabwe, the community chorus led by Kelly Takunda Orphan, developed in residence at Ashkenaz (that will run from February to April 2018). Members of the Zimbabwean, Southern African and World Music choral communities have a chance to participate in this choral project that will be featured at the Mafaro eZimbabwe: Zimbabwean Mbira Music for the People concerts.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Apr
22
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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The Uptones plus Recyclists & Skank Bank "Bring the Family" Show
Apr
22
3:30 PM15:30

The Uptones plus Recyclists & Skank Bank "Bring the Family" Show

Doors at 3:00 pm; Show time TBA

Tickets are $15 - $30 adult, $8 kids,
family of 4 $40

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Formed in 1981 in Berkeley, while they were still in high school, the Uptones were the first band devoted to playing Ska on the West Coast. The Uptones played to skanking crowds all over the West. Several of their recordings were regional hits, and for a time they were the most popular band in the Bay Area.

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 4th Saturday Swing - Cal Alumni Big Band plus Dance Lesson
Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

4th Saturday Swing - Cal Alumni Big Band plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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The multi-generational
Cal Alumni Big Band brings dancers’ favorite arrangements from the golden age of 1930s swing through Frank Sinatra’s ’50s hits and more modern dance tunes. Directed by Paul Siebel and managed by Sam Lind, tonight’s band includes 18 instrumentalists and three singers, ranging in age from their 20s to 70s. Established in 1980 to enable grads and alumni of the UC Jazz Ensembles a way to continue playing big band music after leaving Cal, the nonprofit band also sponsors a scholarship fund for current students of the music program. The Cal Alumni Big Band plays monthly gigs at the Bistro in Hayward, as well as occasional fundraisers for the Cal music program. Over the years scores of alums have become members of the Cal Alumni Big Band. Members include students of the first UC Jazz Ensembles (1968) through recent grads.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Apr
29
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Grateful Dead Open Mic
Feb
21
8:00 PM20:00

Grateful Dead Open Mic

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 pm

Tickets are $10

Tickets are $10

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Back by popular demand! Come dance to a great night of the good old Grateful Dead music! Sit in with the band - vocals, keys, bass, guitar, horns, then dance to an awesome house band set! Sign ups: 8 PM show: 8:30 PM. Sign ups are limited and are first come first serve.

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Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Feb
20
8:00 PM20:00

Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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The Funky Gators is a band of Cajun, zydeco, and R&B veterans whose credits include many of the most popular local bands of the past couple of decades. They take zydeco and mix in some R&B and funk flavor while still keeping the zydeco tempos that dancers love. The Funky Gators play zydeco hits by Boozoo Chavis, Rosie Ledet, and others, plus Motown classics such as “Heatwave” and “Walking the Dog.” Along with rubboard player and lead singer Myrna, the band is accordion player Dana Mandell, guitarist Ian Lamson, bassist Marty Holland, and drummer Rasheed Wedlow. Myrna was a star in Gator Beat, and after that band’s leader Richie Domingue died several years ago, she retired from the zydeco scene. But after much coaxing from fans, she and Mandell put together the Funky Gators. Myrna’s many years of R&B experience combines with Mandell’s zydeco dance knowledge to create a sound that R&B listeners enjoy and that also keeps zydeco dancers out on the floor.

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JUNIOR REID, YUNG JR & JUJU REID and the One Blood Band - The Living Legend Tour
Feb
18
9:30 PM21:30

JUNIOR REID, YUNG JR & JUJU REID and the One Blood Band - The Living Legend Tour

Doors at 9:00 pm; Show at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $25 Advance / $30 at the Door

Reggae music has been telling the stories of the people's revolutions of Jamaica in the 1960's, and has been bringing messages of unity and the power of the people to the world ever since. 

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Delroy “Junior” Reid (born 6 June 1963) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician, best known for the songs “One Blood” and “This Is Why I’m Hot”, as well as being the lead vocalist for Black Uhuru on three albums Brutal, Positive and Black Uhuru Live in New York.

Opening the show on this tour are his sons Yung JR and Juju Reid.

 

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Feb
18
3:00 PM15:00

Monthly Creole/Cajun Jam: February host Andrew Carriere

Doors at 3pm / Jam 3pm-6pm

Tickets are $5

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You can’t get much more authentic than Andrew Carriere. A native of Southern Louisiana, accordionist and singer Andrew Carriere brings a long family tradition into his playing. His father was the legendary Creole fiddler “Bebe” Carriere, his uncle was accordionist Eraste Carriere, and cousins Chubby, Calvin, and Roy Carrier are popular in the zydeco arena. Carriere moved to the Bay Area in the ’60s, learned accordion from the late Danny Poullard, and is featured vocalist on the California Cajun Orchestra’s “Not Lonesome Anymore” CD. He performs regularly with the Creole Belles and CZ & the Bon Vivants, and more occasionally in the Cajun Classics.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Feb
18
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Black, Brown, and Beige - A Celebration of the Harlem Renaissance in Word and Music: D. Scot Miller, giovanni singleton, Mark Sabb, and Michael Warr with music by the Tiffany Austin Quartet
Feb
17
8:30 PM20:30

Black, Brown, and Beige - A Celebration of the Harlem Renaissance in Word and Music: D. Scot Miller, giovanni singleton, Mark Sabb, and Michael Warr with music by the Tiffany Austin Quartet

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $17 Advance / $20 at the Door

Black, Brown and Beige: A Celebration of The Harlem Renaissance in word and music. Bay Area poets, artists, and cultural leaders D. Scot Miller, giovanni singleton, Mark Sabb, and Michael Warr read excerpts from literary works of the Harlem Renaissance, with music of the era by the Tiffany Austin Quartet.

curated by Bay Area poet, novelist, and AfroSurrealist D Scot Miller

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Vocalist Tiffany Austin’s tradition-rooted yet totally modern style has established her as one of the fastest rising jazz stars in Northern California. Austin’s music and voice draw upon influences such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin, yet she also infuses songs with her own signature style that is precise, intelligent, and soulful. In fact, her arrangements vary from classic swing to contemporary R&B à la Robert Glasper or Jose James. Her emotional and nuanced delivery has caught the attention of eminent artists, whom she has joined onstage: vibraphonist Roy Ayers at Motion Blue (Japan), drummer Tommy Campbell at the Blue Note (NYC), and saxophonist John Handy for a three-night engagement at Dizzy’s (NYC) commemorating his 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival performance. 

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D. Scot Miller is a Bay Area writer, visual artist , teacher, curator. He sits on the board of directors of nocturnes review, and is a regular contributor to The East Bay Express, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Popmatters, and Mosaic Magazine. He is completing a book of poems, his Afro-surreal novel, Knot Frum Hear, and has recently published his old fashioned manifesto simply titled: AfroSurreal.

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giovanni singleton  is the author of the poetry collections AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper (2017) and Ascension (2011), which won a California Book Award for Poetry. The book earned praise for its evocative use of white space, silence, and omissions. Poet Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon noted that singleton’s “poems are minimalist, while engaging a concern for the historical, the personal, the spiritual, as expanses… The buildup is slow, and culminates as play, in the clear space left as we literally watch an I disappear. Thereafter, we find the blank page again. And time to make another poem.” 

singleton is founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts. Her honors and awards include fellowships from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Cave Canem, and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. Her work has been anthologized widely and appeared on the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts building. Coordinator for the Lunch Poems reading series at the University of California–Berkeley, singleton has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and New Mexico State University.

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Michael Warr is the Poetry Editor for Of Poetry & Protest – From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin  (W.W. Norton, 2017). He received a Creative Work Fund Award for his multimedia project Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point in which he partners with Digital Artist Mark Sabb. His poems are being translated into Mandarin by poet Chun Yu in their collaboration Two Languages / One Community. In 2017 he was named a San Francisco Library Laureate. Other awards include a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, and more. Often working with musicians, visual and performing artists, his poems have been dramatized for theater, depicted on canvas, and set to original musical composition. For more visit hisAmazon Authors page and armageddonoffunk.tumblr.com.

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Mark Sabb is a digital strategist, artist, and designer dedicated to the intersection of arts and community. Through independent collaborations Mark has cemented himself as a cutting edge digital artist in San Francisco, and in 2014, along with Michael Warr, Mark was granted the Creative Work Fund award as a part of the multimedia project, Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point.

 

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There's A Message in the Music - Hope, Pride, Freedom, and Peace in African American Music: Rhonda Benin & Soulful Strut and MJ's Brass Boppers
Feb
16
8:00 PM20:00

There's A Message in the Music - Hope, Pride, Freedom, and Peace in African American Music: Rhonda Benin & Soulful Strut and MJ's Brass Boppers

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advance / $20 at the Door

"There's A Message in the Music" with Rhonda Benin, presenting an interactive workshop explores the lyrics of 6 African American Singer/Songwriters whose music details the events of Post Civil Rights Urban America. (Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble). followed by a second-line celebration of the quintessential New Orleans art form seeded in Congo Square and grown through the New Orleans black experience with the MJ's Brass Boppers.

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MJ’s Brass Boppers Brass Band is an authentic New Orleans singing and swinging brass band fusing traditional NOLA standards, funk, jazz, modern pop & more with a second line twist!

 

 

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San Francisco Bay Area vocalist, Rhonda Benin has earned a reputation for not just a good voice but showmanship, magnetic stage personality, humor, and of course her great dancing. Rhonda’s impressive resume includes performances at SF Jazz, Yoshi’s, MOAD, The Healdsburg, Sonoma, Burlingame, Sausalito, Filmore, and Calistoga Jazz Festivals. In the summer of 2012 Rhonda traveled to Hangzhou, China for a 3 month engagement at the JZ Jazz Club and was 2014 USA headliner for The Kigali Up Music Festival in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition to singing, Rhonda is producer and founder of the annual Women’s History Month show “Just Like A Woman” a tribute to Bay Area Women In Music. Benin is a 26 year member of The GRAMMY nominated vocal ensemble Linda Tillery and The Cultural Heritage. She appears on the CHC’s 7 Cd’s and has toured 30 countries performing and recording with legendary artists such as Taj Mahal, Wilson Pickett, Richie Havens, Odetta. Al Green, Keb Mo, Santana, Patti Austin, Janis Ian, Jackson Brown, Hugh Masekela & Sweet Honey In The Rock. 

In 2006 Rhonda produced her first solo CD, A Matter of the Heart a classic mix of jazz, blues, and soul and is currently working on her 2nd CD. 

Rhonda is on the teaching staff of Healdsburg Jazz ‘s Operation Jazz Band, San Francisco Arts Project, LEAP, California Conservatory of Music, Cal Performances and conducts her own school assemblies and workshops, “The Voice, The Hands The Feet” “Twist and Shout” and “Love Letters Make Me Misty Blue”.

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Sāmi Brothers Album Release Party with Lauren & Melita
Feb
15
8:00 PM20:00

Sāmi Brothers Album Release Party with Lauren & Melita

Album release party for their new album "Ch'aska Punku"

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advance / $20 at the Door

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The Sāmi Brothers are a spiritual and musical duo devoted to offering uplifting and inspiring ceremonial music. Madhu Anziani and Alexander Kugler are the sanctioned Medicine Song Carriers for the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Cross Cultural Shamanism, bridging ancient Peruvian indigenous wisdom with contemporary musical composition.  The songs they offer have been inspired by the teachings of don Oscar Miro-Quesada, a high ritualist, Kamasquero Curandero, from Peru.

Their music has been featured in the documentary film, The Roots Awaken, and they have released two studio albums, Ch'aska Punku (Star Portal) and Nuna Kallpa (Soul Power).   Listening to these albums you will hear songs in English, Spanish, Hebrew, Tibetan and Quechua (a language indigenous to Peru).  Using words from these living languages, the Sāmi Brothers write songs to enliven the ceremonies they hold in Berkeley, California, as well as to musically support the larger, global Pachakuti Mesa community. 

Alexander weaves his 15 years as an opera singer and cantorial soloist into his teaching and facilitated community prayer.  Alexander also leads people in group singing workshops to help liberate their voice and is passionate about his Men's Evolutionary Coaching work at ManhoodEmbodied.com.

Madhu is a musician, ceremonialist and sound healing artist.  Through the journey of recovering from being paralyzed Madhu discovered sound as a healing modality and regularly shares his gifts in workshops and private sessions.  Check out his latest offerings at Patreon.com/MadhuMuisic

 

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Lauren and Melita are Bay Area  songstresses that both in their own right have for many years written songs that celebrate the sacred, the magical and the beloved.  They also both tend toward using songs as tools of healing toward the broken and the void.

For the past couple years they have collaborated in weaving their songs and their voices together to bring forth an experience that is both gentle and powerful, soothing as well as awakening.  Blending harmonies with meaningful lyrics, they create an inclusive field of prayer and depth as well as lightness and playfulness. 

 

Lauren Arrow: www.processsing.com

Melita : www.melitamusic.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Feb
14
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Mardi Gras Celebration with Tri Tip Trio & Aux Cajunals plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Feb
13
8:00 PM20:00

Mardi Gras Celebration with Tri Tip Trio & Aux Cajunals plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $15

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Steeped in Louisiana and New Orleans zydeco and swamp blues, Tri Tip Trio comes with a vision and nearly a generation of its members playing together in other groups. The Tri Tip Trio concept is based on “King of Zydeco” Clifton and his brother Cleveland Chenier’s early zydeco/blues dance hall sounds. Lloyd Meadows’ propulsive washboard and harmonica and soulful vocals, along with Bruce Gordon’s pumping accordion and Louie Rodriguez’s rock-solid drumming, are all Tri Tip Trio needs to capture raw and exciting sounds for both dancers and listeners. The three musical musketeers play classic zydeco, blues, and New Orleans funk as well as band originals. They also like to integrate cover tunes that were never originally zydeco songs into their sound. The group’s CD, “3 of a Kind,” is a tribute to Clifton Chenier and includes a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” alongside original and traditional tunes. Gordon and Meadows are longtime Bay Area blues and zydeco veterans. They have shared the stage for many years, performing in the Zydeco Flames, a band Meadows and Gordon co-founded in 1991. The members have had varied and extensive careers on their own, playing with a who’s who of local and national talent, including Elvin Bishop, Tom Rigney, Annie Sampson, Mal Sharpe, Brenda Boykin, Chris Cain, Luther Tucker, and Sonny Rhodes.

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The Aux Cajunals play kick-ass Cajun dance music like it was played at celebrations in southwest Louisiana 100 years ago. Hard-driving, but not ear-splitting, the Aux Cajunals focus on the old-time acoustic sounds that can be heard in the earliest Cajun recordings of the 1920s. In addition to all of the Cajun and Creole standards, their repertoire includes many unusual songs and tunes learned from rare 78s, field recordings, and directly from master musicians. The bandmembers have performed and recorded with many of the most respected names in Cajun and zydeco music, including Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil, Marc & Ann Savoy, Queen Ida, Dewey Balfa, and D.L. Menard.

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DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH
Feb
12
4:30 PM16:30

DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH

Mondays 4:30 - 6 pm

Front Studio

NO DROP-INS

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A program of Afsaneh Arts & Culture Society, Danceversity promotes a positive experience of different cultures for youth (ages 7-17) through an innovative curriculum of multicultural dance and music. The programs encourage and celebrate diversity and artistic expression and serve to build cross-cultural competency, self-esteem, leadership skills and physical education opportunities. We provide a variety of weekly classes throughout the school year as well as hosting a 2-3 week summer camp in August.

DanceVersity is currently offering the following classes in Winter and Spring 2018:

Kalaripayattu South Indian Martial Arts with Kamala Devam for youth (ages 7-17). 

Time: 4:30-6:00 pm

Dates: Jan. 8, 18, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12 (Monday's except for 1/18)

Rate: $120 with performance at end

This is an exciting martial art form from the southern Indian state of Kerala called 'Kalaripayattu'. This martial art is thought to be the mother of all others, incorporating the fighting actions of animals found in India and moving in graceful, circular motions between fantastic kicks and flying jumps. Students will become stronger, more flexible and have fun learning a new way of moving. No previous martial arts or dance experience is needed.

Be on the lookout for a tour of Central Asian dance in the Spring:

Afghan Traditional Dance with Samia Karimi beginning February 26, 2018

Tajik Traditional Dance with Natalie Nayun beginning April 16, 2018

Both the Afghan and Tajik dances will be performed at the Berkeley Himalayan Fair in Berkeley on May 20-21, 2018

 

Contact:

Samia Karimi | (805) 407-8877  | info@danceversity.com

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Tango Revelation Milonga: Alejandro Ziegler Quartet from Buenos Aires, and DJ Ashvin,  plus Dance Lesson and Performance with Count & Mirabai
Feb
11
8:00 PM20:00

Tango Revelation Milonga: Alejandro Ziegler Quartet from Buenos Aires, and DJ Ashvin, plus Dance Lesson and Performance with Count & Mirabai

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm;
Milonga with live music at 9:00 pm; Dance Performance at 10:30pm

Tickets are $25 at the Door / $20 seniors & students with ID
Advance tickets: $20 / $17 seniors & students with ID

Please join us to celebrate St. Valentine’s with the compelling, sensual and romantic Argentine Tango live music of an exciting new international formation of the Alejandro Ziegler Tango Quartet!
As part of the World Dance Hall program, Ashkenaz and in house Tango Teacher Sonja Riket pair up to host a monthly Milonga every 2nd (sometimes 3rd) Sunday of the month.

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Tango Revelation Milonga is a social Argentine Tango dance gathering. It is led by award-winning Tango teacher Sonja Riket, who teaches at Ashkenaz since 2008. This Milonga series includes a dance class, dance performances and live music by local and international Tango guest artists. Argentine Tango was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay in the late 1880’s as a dance and music of immigrants. Grown into a worldwide phenomenon, it continues to cross the boundaries of race, culture, language and social status. It encourages the spontaneous inclusion of music and dance in our everyday life as a communal experience.

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Alejandro Ziegler is a  Buenos Aires native pianist, composer, and conductor. As a pianist with the Buenos Aires “Orquesta escuela de Tango,” he performed under such great conductors as Emilio Balcarce and Nestor Marconi. His quartet has developed its own style inspired by the great tango orchestras of Carlos Di Sarli, Alfredo De Angelis, Juan D'Arienzo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal Troilo, and Alfredo Gobbi. Ziegler’s music recasts the idea of the "Orquesta Tipica," with a modern sound, which is partly reflected in his study of classical music. Between 2009-2015, the Alejandro Ziegler Tango Quartet has embarked on 6 European tours with 175 concerts in 84 cities around Europe and 4 North American Tours with 86 concerts in 50 cities around USA and Canada. Alejandro Ziegler has given master classes, lectures and workshops on tango musicality and tango history in many universities and educational centers around the world.

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Dance lesson and performance with award-winning choreographer and director Mirabai. 

In 2017, this event evolves out of the “Tango Revolution” Milonga, which began in 2005 at Café Revolution in SF’s Mission District , then found a home at Café Trieste Downtown SF from 2007-2012 (with the Tango Revolution Orchestra) and at Berkeley’s Café Mediterraneum from 2012-2016. With a slight change of name to “Tango Revelation”, we continue to envision Argentine Tango as a relational matrix of connection to ourselves, each other and our world.

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We offer the beautiful connection between human beings in the Tango Embrace as a common language and antidote against the isolation, separation and fearful existence we are led to believe is necessary. To complement our screen-oriented lives, we need to slow down, rediscover the joy of body-based expressions and create live gathering places among ourselves in a spirit of harmony and well-being! What better way to come home to ourselves and connect with each other across our differences than the non-verbal power of a music and dance embrace, listening and moving together as one? Come find out what Tango can reveal to you!

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Hip-Hop, Racial Justice, and Social Change for the Next Generation: the Alphabet Rockers
Feb
11
3:00 PM15:00

Hip-Hop, Racial Justice, and Social Change for the Next Generation: the Alphabet Rockers

Doors at 2:30 pm; Show at 3:00 pm

Tickets are $8 Adults / $6 Kids

Grammy-Nominated Hip-Hop for Kids artists the Alphabet Rockers present powerful, engaging conscious hip-hop for racial justice and social change for the next generation.

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Alphabet Rockers make music that makes change. Since 2007, this Oakland-based group led by Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd, has created the soundtrack for families dedicated to shaping a more equitable world through hip hop. Their latest album Rise Shine #Woke is packed with intergenerational anthems that bring joy to tough topics, with songs about standing up for one another, speaking out, and being proud of who you are. More about us: alphabetrockers.com

 

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Feb
11
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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The African Diaspora in South America: De Rompe y Raja (Afro-Peruvian) and Fogo na Roupa (Afro-Brazilian)
Feb
10
8:00 PM20:00

The African Diaspora in South America: De Rompe y Raja (Afro-Peruvian) and Fogo na Roupa (Afro-Brazilian)

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 / $20 at the Door

Follow the African Diaspora through South America on this evening of dance and music performance. Experience the music and dance that emerged where indigenous Peruvian, African, and European cultures intersected with De Rompe y Raja, followed by Afro-Brazilian drum and dance ensemble Fogo na Roupa.

                                         photo by RJ Muna

                                         photo by RJ Muna

De Rompe y Raja was founded in 1995, as a cultural organization dedicated to preserving and promoting traditions and culture from the coastal region of Peru, where the music and motifs of European, African and Indigenous peoples intersect. 

Afro-Peruvian music, song, and dance are a single continuum of rhythms, developed during Peru’s colonial period, when Africans, brought to Peru as enslaved workers, merged their syncopations with the lively dance and music of Spanish colonialists and indigenous Peruvians. These forms have been celebrated, preserved, and reinvented by countless drumming hands and dancing feet.

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Founded in 1989, Fogo na Roupa is a Bay Area, award-winning, Grupo Carnavalesco and performaing company. Fogo Na Roupa combines the community's raw spirit with the technical expertise of its illustrious Founding Director, the late Mestre Carlos Aceituno. The name, which means "Clothes On Fire", is symbolic of the hot energy generated by the innovative rhythms and infectious dance moves that has created dedicated students and Canavalescos in the greater Bay Area. Under the artistic direction of Jose Rivera and Metzi Henriquez, Fogo continues to fire up the crowds, winning multiple San Francisco Carnaval Grand Championships, , Best of the Bay 2011, and a 2012 "Corazon Del Barrio Award" from Mission Cultural Center. Fogo Na Roupa’s performance highlights include Bay Area opener for Brazil’s popular Olodum and collaboration with prominent Bay Area jazz ensemble, Mingus Amungus, opening for Carlos Santana, internationally acclaimed Brazilian recording artist, Carlinhos Brown, SF Ethnic Dance Festival, SF Symphony 100th Anniversary, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers halftime shows.

 

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Feb
9
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets $20 Day of / $18 Advance / 
$18 Students

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

View Event →
Balkan Folk Dance
Feb
7
7:00 PM19:00

Balkan Folk Dance

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $7

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience

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Les Amis Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Feb
6
8:00 PM20:00

Les Amis Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson w/ Ted Sherrod at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance/ $15 at the Door

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From festivals to farmers’ markets, Les Amis Zydeco turns every event into a dance party. Its members are all longtime veterans of Cajun and zydeco bands. Les Amis Zydeco has its roots in the swamps of Deep South Louisiana as well as the Bay Area Cajun/zydeco dance scene. Formed in 2009 and based in the East Bay, Les Amis Zydeco strives for an authentic sound whether it is playing Cajun, Creole, or zydeco. Some band members are longtime Cajun/zydeco dancers, and they draw on their ingrained knowledge of what makes for an enjoyable dance evening. Les Amis Zydeco is Dwight Shackelford (accordions, fiddle, washboard, and vocals), Nazar Eljumaily (electric and acoustic guitars), Linda Hutchinson (bass), and Sam Siggins (drums). They draw mostly from traditional roots music and some modern artists from Clifton Chenier and Danny Poullard to the Pine Leaf Boys and Rockin’ Dopsie, as well as original songs rooted in traditional sounds.

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DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH
Feb
5
4:30 PM16:30

DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH

Mondays 4:30 - 6 pm

Front Studio

NO DROP-INS

hula.jpg

A program of Afsaneh Arts & Culture Society, Danceversity promotes a positive experience of different cultures for youth (ages 7-17) through an innovative curriculum of multicultural dance and music. The programs encourage and celebrate diversity and artistic expression and serve to build cross-cultural competency, self-esteem, leadership skills and physical education opportunities. We provide a variety of weekly classes throughout the school year as well as hosting a 2-3 week summer camp in August.

DanceVersity is currently offering the following classes in Winter and Spring 2018:

Kalaripayattu South Indian Martial Arts with Kamala Devam for youth (ages 7-17). 

Time: 4:30-6:00 pm

Dates: Jan. 8, 18, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12 (Monday's except for 1/18)

Rate: $120 with performance at end

This is an exciting martial art form from the southern Indian state of Kerala called 'Kalaripayattu'. This martial art is thought to be the mother of all others, incorporating the fighting actions of animals found in India and moving in graceful, circular motions between fantastic kicks and flying jumps. Students will become stronger, more flexible and have fun learning a new way of moving. No previous martial arts or dance experience is needed.

Be on the lookout for a tour of Central Asian dance in the Spring:

Afghan Traditional Dance with Samia Karimi beginning February 26, 2018

Tajik Traditional Dance with Natalie Nayun beginning April 16, 2018

Both the Afghan and Tajik dances will be performed at the Berkeley Himalayan Fair in Berkeley on May 20-21, 2018

 

Contact:

Samia Karimi | (805) 407-8877  | info@danceversity.com

View Event →
Soul Sanctuary Dance
Feb
4
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

SoulSanctuary_square2.jpg

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

View Event →
Creole Culture's Indigenous Sounds: The Zydeco Flames plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Feb
3
9:00 PM21:00

Creole Culture's Indigenous Sounds: The Zydeco Flames plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 at the Door

The Zydeco Flames kick off Black History Month with one of the United States' most unique art forms. Zydeco is rooted in Creole music, where Black American, Afro-Haitian, and French-Canadian cultures collided, then amplified through American Blues music.

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The Zydeco Flames have gained a reputation as the West Coast's premiere Zydeco band. The Flames consistently pack the house in venues ranging from contemporary clubs to major festivals and traditional dancehalls. Their sizzling roots rhythms are timeless and the execution of them relentless, with a stunningly powerful groove. The Flames' seventh CD release “FIRE DANCE”, provides fans with hot Zydeco in the tradition of masters like Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco and Queen Ida.

“The Flames' seventh CD release “FIRE DANCE”

 

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Taraf De Akacfa
Feb
2
8:30 PM20:30

Taraf De Akacfa

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advance / $20 at the Door

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Taraf de Akácfa is an international 6 piece ensemble based out of Budapest, Hungary performing Balkan and Eastern European folk music. The band was formed 5 years ago by travelling street musicians who met in Budapest, and decided to stay there for their common passion and appreciation for this tradition of music. Over the years members of the band have had the opportunity to study and perform with world renown folk musicians such as Taraf de Haidouks, Tcha Limberger, and Mercel Ramba. They mix their knowledge of different musical backgrounds to blend traditional styles with new ideas and arrangements. Their repertoire ranges from danceable Macedonian Coceks; and complex odd time Bulgarian melodies; to Romanian Gypsy Horas and heart wrenching Transylvanian songs. Taraf de Akácfa has performed at weddings, festivals, dance halls and concerts throughout the US and Europe. They successfully toured the USA in March 2016 and released their first full length album recorded in Budapest, Hungary in October 2016. They will tour through California for 3 weeks beginning in January 2018.

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Bachata Nightz 1-Year Anniversary Celebration with Bachata Urbana Singer JR
Feb
1
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz 1-Year Anniversary Celebration with Bachata Urbana Singer JR

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $25 Advance / $30 at the Door
$20 Early Bird Special before January 11!                                                                    

 

Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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Growing up in the diverse streets of New York City, JR. recalls walking in his neighborhood and hearing music and rhythms from all over the world. While he listened to Aventura and Merengue Típico at home, he also listened to artists like Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and John Mayer. It’s no wonder his music today resonates a rhythmic fusion of Latino pop, electro-beats and soul.

JR.’s songs echo an innocence yet seductive storytelling that provokes nostalgia and excitement, romance and reality, all at the same time. His sound is original, smooth, sonic, and sexy. His suave vocals complement an array of percussive rhythms and bass that will surely have the masses turning up the volume and hitting the dance floor. Under music label 848 Enterprises and Bisono Management Company, JR. is about to explode into the Latin music scene and showcase the next generation of pop music

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Jan
31
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 pm

Tickets are $15

stu4.jpg

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

View Event →
Sauce Piquante plus Dance Lesson with Kevin and Ann Hutchinson
Jan
30
8:00 PM20:00

Sauce Piquante plus Dance Lesson with Kevin and Ann Hutchinson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30

Tickets are $15

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Sauce Piquante has been playing for Bay Area dancers since 1999, when accordionist Blair Kilpatrick started the band. The group’s high-energy dance tunes and French vocals are rooted in two musical traditions: Cajun and old-time Creole, or, as some call it, early zydeco. Sauce Piquante captures the authentic sound of southern Louisiana’s dance halls, house parties, and church dances while appealing to a contemporary audience. Along with Kilpatrick on accordion and vocals, the band includes fiddler Steve Tabak, guitarist-singer Jim Ruth, bassist-singer Kathy “KP” Price, and David Hymowitz on drums. Sauce Piquante was inspired by the late Danny Poullard, the Bay Area accordionist who suggested the group’s name. During more than two decades of Louisiana travels and music camp attendance, band members have been influenced by many other gifted musicians. They have learned from Creole masters (Bois Sec Ardoin, Delton Broussard, Canray Fontenot, Edward Poullard) and legendary Cajun accordionists (Steve Riley, Jesse Lége, Eddie LeJeune, Sheryl Cormier). The band’s debut recording “Sauce Piquante Live” got a thumbs-up in a Dirty Linen magazine review. Kilpatrick is also the author of “Accordion Dreams” (University Press of Mississippi, 2009), which documents her musical journey. She and her husband Tabak were among the musicians profiled in “Zydeco Nation,” a recent public radio documentary about the Louisiana Creole migration to Northern California.

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DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH
Jan
29
4:30 PM16:30

DANCEVERSITY WORLD DANCE FOR YOUTH

Mondays 4:30 - 6 pm

Front Studio

NO DROP-INS

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A program of Afsaneh Arts & Culture Society, Danceversity promotes a positive experience of different cultures for youth (ages 7-17) through an innovative curriculum of multicultural dance and music. The programs encourage and celebrate diversity and artistic expression and serve to build cross-cultural competency, self-esteem, leadership skills and physical education opportunities. We provide a variety of weekly classes throughout the school year as well as hosting a 2-3 week summer camp in August.

DanceVersity is currently offering the following classes in Winter and Spring 2018:

Kalaripayattu South Indian Martial Arts with Kamala Devam for youth (ages 7-17). 

Time: 4:30-6:00 pm

Dates: Jan. 8, 18, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12 (Monday's except for 1/18)

Rate: $120 with performance at end

This is an exciting martial art form from the southern Indian state of Kerala called 'Kalaripayattu'. This martial art is thought to be the mother of all others, incorporating the fighting actions of animals found in India and moving in graceful, circular motions between fantastic kicks and flying jumps. Students will become stronger, more flexible and have fun learning a new way of moving. No previous martial arts or dance experience is needed.

Be on the lookout for a tour of Central Asian dance in the Spring:

Afghan Traditional Dance with Samia Karimi beginning February 26, 2018

Tajik Traditional Dance with Natalie Nayun beginning April 16, 2018

Both the Afghan and Tajik dances will be performed at the Berkeley Himalayan Fair in Berkeley on May 20-21, 2018

 

Contact:

Samia Karimi | (805) 407-8877  | info@danceversity.com

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