Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm
Tickets are $15 / $10 Students
Ashkenaz and Women Drummers International celebrate Women’s History Month with our March series of special concerts and workshops, the Maestra Series, featuring women musicians, dancers, and poets from around the world. The nights are filled with inspired culture, singing, dancing, drumming, performers in new groupings, once-only collaborations, and reunions of pioneering women musicians. Tonight’s concert is “Black Women Who Rock,” featuring three Bay Area groups: the band of bandleaders Skip the Needle, the Anita Lofton Project, and singer Sandy House with the Afrofunk Experience.
Skip the Needle was born from friends jamming, four Bay Area bandleaders, each a lead singer and multi-instrumentalist and a veteran of bands, tours, and recording: electric guitarist Shelley Doty (Shelley Doty X-tet, Sistas in the Pit), drummer Kofy Brown (Kofy Brown Band, Sistas in the Pit), guitarist Katie Colpitts (Dolorata, Year of the Fist), and bassist Vicki Randle (the Tonight Show, Mavis Staples). Lead singing duties rotate among the members while the others add background vocals. The songs are collectively written to showcase each member’s contributions, bringing together rock, funk, soul and fusion in an amalgam that rocks hard and carries a strong, socially conscious message.
Formerly of punk trio Sistas in the Pit, the guitar-slinging singer-songwriter Anita Lofton moves on to more complicated crafts with the Anita Lofton Project. With her former Sistas she toured China and Europe, and toured supporting Iggy Pop and the Stooges during that band’s reunion in 2007. Now Lofton uses a minimal and acoustic approach to express a new direction in songwriting.
The Afrofunk Experience is an ambrosial mix of musical interpretations influenced by the African diaspora, created in a collective grouping. With Sila Mutungi they comprised the award-winning Sila and the Afrofunk Experience until 2010, providing songs and grooves that earned them the title “The Bay Area’s Dance Kings” and the SF Weekly Music Awards’ Best International Act. The group has continued with its blend of Fela-style funk, thick jazz horn riffs, and rhythms from funk to rock to reggae. The recently added singer, sultry-voiced and powerful Sandy House, brings a fresh focus to the Afrofunk Experience’s deep dance grooves. The band is guitarist-singer David James, lead guitarist Ken House, drummer Paul Oliphant, bassist Wendell Rand, saxophonist David Boyce, trombonist Alan Williams, and percussionist B. Lee.