Filtering by: AFRICAN
Kizomba Nightz
Oct
18
8:00 PM20:00

Kizomba Nightz

Doors at 7:30 pm; Intro to Kizomba Dance Lesson at 8 pm; Open Level Semba at 8:45 pm; Open Practica at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $15 Gen Adm / $12 Students

Buy Tickets Here

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Kizomba is a popular genre of music and partnered dance from Angola. Its is known to be smooth and slow, with grounded movements, danced in a close partner connection. The origin of Kizomba dance comes from Semba, a traditional type of dance and music from Angola known for its energetic movements.


For any questions please contact Kathy Reyes at
kathyreyesdance@yahoo.com

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Orchestra Gold + Joseph’s Bones
Nov
16
8:30 PM20:30

Orchestra Gold + Joseph’s Bones

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

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Two of Bay Area’s most phenomenal ensembles of top-notch musicians bring the sounds of Africa and the African Diaspora in one evening.

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Orchestra Gold: Led by the ferocious Mariam Diakité from Bamako, Orchestra Gold {OG} promotes pre-digital age (OldStyle) music from Mali, West Africa.

OG hypnotizes audiences with danceable, funky, high-energy 1960's orchestra music from Mali. These roots are colored by tinges of 60’s era analog psychedelic rock and funk from West Africa.

The building blocks of OG’s music are folkloric songs, often told in parable. These songs contain inspiration, wisdom, and deep insight into the human condition. They have served to uplift Malians beyond the harsh realities of daily life. Especially in this time of social turbulence, this age-old wisdom brings us a renewed perspective on modern-day existence.

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Composer and drummer Jason Levis leads his instrumental dub-reggae orchestra, Joseph’s Bones, in bringing the electronic sound-transformation processes of Jamaican dub to an acoustic setting. The ensemble pulls the thread between visceral groove and abstract sonic suspension. 

Featuring 14 of the Bay Area’s best musicians, Joseph's Bones draws inspiration from the roots reggae of Bob Marley and the Wailers, the dub sounds of King Tubby and the soaring horn lines the of Skatalites. This instrumental group is new to the scene, but old in its tradition, bringing an ecstatic spirit to deep appreciation for reggae music’s traditions.

Levis, who holds a PhD in classical composition from UC Berkeley, says “The exploration of experimental techniques in classical music takes place in the concert hall. Jamaican music experiments are brought to the dance floor. Joseph's Bones blends those worlds to create "Avant-Dub Instrumentale" and bring the rich, colorful sound-scape of dub to life.”

In the lineage of experimentation by dub masters Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby, Joseph's Bones reconstructs and re-imagines echo, reverb and delay without the use of electronic effects. The ensemble employs an acoustic language of dub-improvisation to subvert traditional song form and fragment the music's surface texture while never losing the physical impact of dance music. This is real-time live acoustic dub.

Levis has been deeply involved in reggae music for over 30 years, and has performed internationally. In his studies of jazz, improvisation, and modern classical music, he realized that dub is an intersection point where texture and sonic space can be invested with meaning and stand side by side with rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Each of the band’s members is a serious performer in their own right, leading groups from ska to salsa, jazz and blues. The blend of influences is distilled down into a singular sound through their love of reggae.      

Joseph's Bones, a member of the Bay Area Reggae Collective, is currently working on the vinyl release their double album "Nomadic Pulse - Pulse in Dub" planned for 2018.

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Baba Ken and West African Highlife Band
Oct
13
9:00 PM21:00

Baba Ken and West African Highlife Band

Doors Open 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Babá Ken Okulolo is a beloved SF Bay Area-based Nigerian bandleader, vocalist, bassist, teacher and multi-instrumentalist, one of the few popular African musicians of today whose roots extend deep into his country’s musical history.

He now leads several distinct African bands and teaches students of all ages. His lively performances, recordings, drum circles, and classes spread an uplifting message and bring the joy of African music to every audience.

Babá Ken was first seen in the U.S. as bassist on King Sunny Ade’s world tours. He is known for his work with Nigeria’s legendary Afrobeat creator Fela Anikulapo Kuti, highlife master Dr. Victor Olaiya, and the seminal Afro-rock group Monomono.

He has countless Nigerian and American recording dates to his credit, and the Nigerian Journalists' Association five times voted him the country's top bassist. He founded the international super-group Babá Ken & KOTOJA, famed for its bubbling brew of Afrobeat, highlife, juju, and jazz, and which inspired the start-up of Putumayo World Music.

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Piwai plus Adrian West Band
Oct
12
8:30 PM20:30

Piwai plus Adrian West Band

Doors at 8pm ; Show at 8:30pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Piwai combines the sounds of her Zimbabwean homeland with her original songs about Africa, struggles both political and personal, love and hope. In her music Piwai describes her musical journey, the challenges she faces in the American music industry, and how her dreams told her to follow the mbira. In early 2012, Piwai recorded her first album, “African Turquoise,” in collaboration with James Buzuzi of Bongo Love. It fuses jazz and traditional African rhythms, including mbira and percussion from Bongo Love’s Jacob Mafuleni and John Mambira. As with her album concept, Piwai’s concerts take the listener on a journey: glimpse life through the eyes of children in war-torn Congo; walk the streets of Harare; bear witness to the slums of Soweto, India, and the favelas of Brazil; or play along the proverbial paths of Zimbabwean folklore. For Piwai, music is all-encompassing: “The sum total of my very existence and every action I make manifests in music – the rhythm of my life.”

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Piwai was surrounded by music from an early age. Her first influences include music from the Shona and Ndebele people of Zimbabwe, Suthu and Zulu tribes, and the Zimbabwean Catholic Church. She joined her first choir at the age of 10, wrote her first song at 13, and hasn’t stopped since. Piwai went on to study with renowned percussionists Yagbe Onilu and Butch Haynes, trained vocally at the Jazz School of Berkeley, and delved into the mbira – a traditional African instrument associated with profound spiritual union – with maestro Cosmas Magaya.

Adrian West

Ask him what kind of music The Adrian West Band plays and Adrian will answer "Yes." Or if he's feeling cocky, he'll answer "Good."

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The long answer: a catchy mix of original songs and instrumentals that hover between acoustic rock, classical and West-African styles. Their songs have drawn such diverse comparisons as Paul Simon and Nelly McKay, artists seldom mentioned in the same breath.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Adrian is an exciting performer to watch. He sings in an uplifting, almost child-like voice as he moves effortlessy between guitar & violin, often using live looping to add layers of sound (and intrigue) to his songs. He's not afraid to tackle difficult topics in his songwriting; Safe Streets tells an allegory about police violence, Close Your Eyes laments the beauty bias that pervades in the mass media, and Senses implores that you enjoy your senses while you can. Despite this philosophical streak, Adrian's lyrics are infused with a sense of hope and a touch of whimsy. The band features vocal harmonies, guitar, electric violin, bass, drums, and live "looping”.

 

Adrian started playing violin at the age of four and in his teens studied classical violin at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal. He later learned to play drums, guitar and developed his vocal and songwriting technique.

He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 where as a sideman violinist he began supporting local Bay Area bands, playing some of the area's better known venues including the Fillmore, Yoshi's SF (main stage), Slim’s, The Independent and The Sweetwater.

In 2005 Adrian formed the Adrian West Band and in 2010 he released his first full-length CD Chameleons and Butterflies. Since then the band has performed at small venues and festivals all over the Bay Area.

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Ousseynou Kouyate with the Makru Band
Aug
31
9:00 PM21:00

Ousseynou Kouyate with the Makru Band

Thumbnail Photo taken by : Ken Pordes

Doors Open 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day Of Show

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Singer, Historian, Master Dance Instructor, Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grant recipient Ousseynou Kouyate was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa, of a family line originating in Mali.  He is a singer, historian and master dance instructor, descending from a long line of Griots, known in their native Wolof language as Djialys (Jelis).  He and his twin brother Assane have been singing, dancing and performing professionally since the age of thirteen, and have toured throughout South and North America, Europe, Africa and Taiwan.The Kouyate twins were dancers/choreographers with the National Ballet of Senegal and the Sinomew Ballet of Senegal.  

Osseynou's work creates an image of West Africa through music and song with traditional melodious lyrics in Bambara, Mandinko, French, and Wolof. 

 

 

 

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Karamo Susso featuring "Black Panther" lead drummer Massamba Diop
Jun
22
9:00 PM21:00

Karamo Susso featuring "Black Panther" lead drummer Massamba Diop

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

$15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

 

International Kora master Karamo Susso returns to Ashkenaz stage with an all-star ensemble featuring the lead drummer from the "Black Panther" movie, Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, Ousseynou Kouyate of Sekou Senegal, Tony D on Drumset, Moussa Camara on Djembe, and Ben Isaacs on Bass.

 International Kora master Karamo Susso

International Kora master Karamo Susso

 Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop

Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop

Karamo Susso is of the best-known African performers to grace our stage, he has appeared in the past few years in numerous settings, contributing his unique spirit, from solo to such world fusions as the World Blues Band, Symphony of Koras, Soul Union, and the Manding Band. Susso was born in Gambia, raised in Mali, and is a singer and kora master. He grew up in a compound of griots, next door to Toumani Diabate. His uncle was Ballake Cissoko. Susso was playing kora and performing before he was big enough to hold the instrument. He has since gone on to perform with many of Africa’s top stars and American musicians including Taj Mahal.

 

 

Massamba Diop is perhaps the world's most renowned master of the Tama, a talking drum from West Africa, known for its ability to emulate the tonalities of human speech. He came into the limelight as lead percussionist and a founding member of Daande Lenol, the band of Senegalese super-star Baaba Maal. Over the past 30 years the group has been playing all over the world, working with many notable musical figures and releasing dozens of albums, including "Firin' in Fouta", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music in 1996. Massamba himself has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Harry Belafonte and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. He also appeared on Peter Gabriel's landmark release "Passion", which won a Grammy in 1990. 

ABOUT KARAMO SUSSO'S INSTRUMENT:
The kora, the 21-stringed harp lute of West Africa, originated in the ancient Kingdom of Mali more than a thousand years ago. Tradition tells that djinns brought it into this world and gave it to the griots: families whose place in the culture was to sing the epics of heroes and relate histories. The griots played kora and sang in court to praise the kings, and in the villages to carry news and to celebrate traditional ceremonies. The music is intricate, elegant, and potent. It is sweet while strong, percussive while lyrical, active while calm. Centuries of complex tradition are heard in it, as are simple truths.

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Fula Brothers and MaMuse
Apr
27
9:00 PM21:00

Fula Brothers and MaMuse

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

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

*ticket price increased since the printed calendar,
due to the addition of a second band*

This special shared evening brings together two uplifting bands, both of whom will nourish you in spirit and body. MaMuse will play a stirring set of folk/gospel/harmony inspiration, then Fula Brothers will light the dancefloor with a West African-California Groove experience. Expect a full heart, a lively community of dancers, and collaborative magic when the bands play together.

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Fula Brothers is the high spirited meeting of three seasoned touring performers - each of whom has spent decades pursuing the shared heartbeat in music from around the globe. Here is a history filled with inter-continental collaborations and colorful apprenticeships, from West Africa and Scotland to Haiti and the US. Each of these cultural threads stirs a unique part of our universal human experience, and Mamadou, Walter, and Kendrick weave them into a rich tapestry of sound and rhythm. The result? An ecstatic and intricate groove-based dialogue which the heart - and the feet - cannot resist.

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With deep roots in the folk and gospel traditions, and their hearts in the present, MaMuse (Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker) create uplifting music for the next seven generations to thrive on. Interweaving brilliant and haunting harmony with lyrics born of honed emotional intelligence, MaMuse invokes a musical presence that inspires the opening of the heart. Playing a family of varied acoustic instruments including upright bass, guitar, mandolins, ukulele, and flutes, these two powerful women embody a love for all of life. The synergy that is created through this musical connection is palpable and truly moving to witness.

 

 

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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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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.

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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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

Maestra Series Packages $48 - $150

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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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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

Maestra Series Packages $48 - $150

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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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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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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

Maestra Series Packages $48 - $150


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


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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Chinyakare and Zulu Spear
Dec
2
9:00 PM21:00

Chinyakare and Zulu Spear

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

Eventbrite - Chinyakare and Zulu Spear

Tickets are $15 Advance, $20 at the Door

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Chinyakare uses its colorful performances for “creating community through music and dance.” The ensemble boasts a collection of diverse and experienced musicians from both Africa and the U.S. under the direction of Zimbabwean dancer and musician Julia Tsitsi Chigamba, who started the group when she moved to Oakland in 2001. True to its name, “deep traditional,” Chinyakare represents traditional music and dance from Shona, Ndebele, and other tribal groups from around Zimbabwe. Some of the main instruments the ensemble plays are mbira (thumb piano), hosho (shakers), ngoma (drums), marimbas, and chipendani (mouth bow). Chinyakare’s performances feature the complex weaving of all of these instruments into beautiful melodies and polyrhythms that are still performed regularly at spiritual ceremonies throughout Zimbabwe. 

In addition to her Oakland classes and workshops, Chigamba has recently started a nonprofit organization, the Kumusha Foundation, to preserve and promote traditional Zimbabwean performing arts in the U.S. She also founded the Chinyakare Cultural Center in Harare, Zimbabwe, a recreated village that is used to teach, present, and preserve Zimbabwean traditional music, dance, and traditional arts, and also develop educational projects for adults and children. Chigamba is the 2016 recipient of the Bay Area Dance Week Dancer’s Choice Award.

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Award-winning band Zulu Spear’s inspired and uplifting African and World Beat dance music returns to Ashkenaz for two full sets of music, beginning with the group performing mostly traditional South African songs and dances in costume, followed by original Zulu Spear songs and South Africa-world beat music rearranged by the band. 
Zulu Spear was a pioneer and leader in the Bay Area’s World Beat scene of the ’80s, a movement that quickly spread across the country. The band of African and American musicians combined South African rhythms and songs with American rock and blues, using electric guitars and drums, resulting in South African pop music before Paul Simon’s 1986 “Graceland” album popularized the style. Additionally, members presented traditional South African dancing along with the music. The group was created by the late South African expatriate singer-composer-dancer Sechaba Mokeoena and Soweto-born singer Gideon Bendile. In the U.S. Mokeoena started U-Zulu Dance Theater and, after moving to the Bay Area, he and Bendile formed Zulu Spear to play traditional South African mbaqanga rhythms and harmonies using modern and electric instruments. The band quickly became a Bay Area audience favorite and issued a debut album on conglomerate Capitol Records. Bendile went on to work with such stars as Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel. 
The band reunited a few years ago when Bendile, who was featured in the Walt Disney animated film “The Lion King,” issued a new CD, “Come Over to Our House,” that included tracks from the original band’s unreleased Capitol sessions as well as new music. Featuring most of the original band lineup along with a couple of “new” recruits, the current Zulu Spear is singer-dancers Bendile and Morgan Nhlapo, guitarists Ron van Leeuwaarde and Matthew Lacques, drummer Jerome Leonard, bassist Patrick Owens, keyboardist Jennifer Jolly, percussionist Pope Flyne, and the horns: trumpeter Scott “Sven” Vento and saxophonist/keyboardist Zack Pitt-Smith.

 

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KTO Project
May
19
9:00 PM21:00

KTO Project

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

Tickets are $20 Advance / $22 Day of Show

The KTO Project is a musical passport of songs created with the intention of healing and celebration.

This concert will be a reflection of the multitude of musical influences, including Cuba, Mexico and Zimbabwe, whose songs are created to uplift us, sustain us and give us cause for celebration. Bring your dancing shoes!

Despite the political climate, the bans, the bombs and the disregard for those who do not fit in the privileged minority, we the people must continue to do our work. We need the arts now, more than ever. Singing and dancing together continues to affirm the statement "We are still here!" and provides inspiration to collectively create solutions for our future. 

This is where we can meet - not on the internet, but in person, where we can experience the call and response of the music and create a joyful experience together.

Featuring Kelly Takunda Orphan on lead vocals & various instruments with:
Ayla Davila: Bass
Bob Crawford: Keys
Colin Douglas: Drums
Jose Roberto Hernandez: Guitar & Vocals
Amber Hines: Vocals & Percussion
Fernanda Bustamante: Vocals
Tony Peebles: Saxophones
Bill Ortiz: Trumpet
with Luis Morales-Guidos: Vocals

...and featuring Yismari Ramos Tellez and Cali Dance Company!

Bay Area native Kelly Takunda Orphan has been singing, dancing, playing percussion, writing, arranging and band leading since the 90's, often collaborating with amazing artists from Zimbabwe, Mexico, Cuba and more. Their music is personal and political, soulful and spiritual – and it makes you want to dance.

Spirit Calling: The KTO Project

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