Filtering by: BLUES
Mamadou Kelly
Oct
26
8:00 PM20:00

Mamadou Kelly

Doors Open 7:30 pm / Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advanced / $20 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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MAMADOU KELLY hails from Goundam near Timbuktu in the heartland of Mali’s Niger River Delta. Born in 1969, KELLY first picked up the guitar at 17 and traveled up the river to the town of Niafunke to learn from the great Ali Farka Toure, legendary master of Mali’s acclaimed “desert blues” tradition. After Farka Toure’s death in 2006 KELLY went on to become a key member of Alkibar, the group formed by Afel Bocoum, a Niafunke contemporary of Ali Farka Toure.

In 2013, KELLY released his first solo album with the well-received “Adibar”. Returning in October 2015 with “Djamila”, KELLY established himself as a formidable performer and composer full of subtle music - one of Mali's emerging contemporary masters. Backed by veteran sidemen collectively known as BanKaiNa, the band cooks refined rhythms into profound grooves.

Kelly has toured North America several times: in 2011 as part of the Acoustic Africa tour, in 2013 as part of the Festival au Desert - Caravan for Peace tour. He is the leader of the Ali Farka Toure Tribute Band and last was in the USA in May of 2017. Among the venues where Kelly has performed are: New York’s Lincoln Center, Chicago’s World Music Festival, the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, Sante Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center, Montreal’s Festival Nuits d’Afrique, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and many other celebrated venues.  In the summer of 2016, KELLY returned for a US tour of his own appearing at concert halls across the US from New York to Los Angeles. His third album “Politiki” was released in 2017 and has received strong reviews.

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Sauce Piquante plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Sep
11
8:00 PM20:00

Sauce Piquante 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 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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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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4th Saturday Swing Series - Lisa Gonick & the Damfino Players - plus dance lesson w/ Cheryl McBride & Michael Marangio
Aug
25
8:00 PM20:00

4th Saturday Swing Series - Lisa Gonick & the Damfino Players - plus dance lesson w/ Cheryl McBride & Michael Marangio

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with instructors Cheryl McBride & Michael Marangio at 8:00 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Lisa Gonick & the Damfino Players continue 4th Saturday Swing dance series with their hot jazz, swing, and blues styles. As always, the live music at 9 p.m. is preceded by a fine swing dance lesson at 8 p.m.


The Damfino Players are a rare but wonderful treat; this is their first visit since last October’s crowd-pleasing debut.  Singer Lisa Gonick is a longtime Ashkenaz performer, formerly with SwingThing (her singing partner in that group, Cheryl McBride, will join Damfino Players for a few songs tonight). Damfinos guitarist and ukulele player Cliff Moser is also a SwingThing alum; in fact, he and Gonick have been partners in all sorts of projects over the last 16 years. Their current band allows for a more intimate and diverse feel. Tonight they offer a mix of swing, blues, and New Orleans-style hot jazz, along with hokum, novelty tunes and ballads. As they explain, “Think Ukulele Ike with a sweet late ’30s jazz guitar feel.” Their song list includes “Honeysuckle Rose,” “ Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Blue Skies.” 

 Gonick says, “We love dancers so even when it’s just the two of us, we try to make it so you can’t stop movin’ your feet.” In addition to Gonick on ukulele and vocals, and Moser on hot guitar, the Damfinos are banjo player and guitarist Jeff Green, reeds player Jamison Smeltz, bassist Vic Wong, and pianist Virginia Tichenor.

For updates and more information check out: http://swingatashkenaz.comteams.com

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Runa
Jul
13
9:00 PM21:00

Runa

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

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show

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Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music. 

The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and three Independent Music Awards including Best LIVE Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song. 
“Timeless and flawless...” – Jim Allford, PA Music Scene


RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Zach White of Missouri on mandolin, vocals, banjo, and flat-picking guitar, and Maggie White of Kentucky on the fiddle. 
RUNA recently released their fifth album, RUNA: LIVE, which was recorded at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD on Thursday, March 17th, 2016. Receiving lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic, the album has been hailed as “an incredible masterpiece” - Marcene Bronson, The Celtic Crier

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Evolutionary Blues... West Oakland's Music Legacy Film Screening with performances by Lady Bianca and Larry Vann
Apr
13
7:00 PM19:00

Evolutionary Blues... West Oakland's Music Legacy Film Screening with performances by Lady Bianca and Larry Vann

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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With roots in Kansas City, Macon , Georgia and a father teaching her Texas Blues piano as a child, Lady Bianca has evolved into an icon in the San Francisco Bay Area where She's known as "Queen of the Blues and Gospel".
She sang, recorded and toured the world with Van Morrison for a decade as well as playing for John Lee Hooker and as featured vocalist with Frank Zappa.
With her writing partner, Stanley Lippitt, she has written over 300 songs and produced, arranged, and recorded 8 albums , including the August 2014 release "Real People Music on her own Magic-O Records label (Home of the Mighty Oakland Sound).
Lady Bianca has toured the country with her trio and was featured in last year's International Boogie Woogie Festival in Lugano, Switzerland.
In January 2015 Lady Bianca  represented The Golden Gate Blues Blues Society in Memphis as a contestant in the International Blues Challenge in the Solo/Duo Category. 
Lady Bianca has a new a new concept of a digital 45 entitled Blues is on the Menu released on  Magic-O Records in 2016.
2017 finds Lady Bianca's voice singing "Oh Freedom" in the Roots award winning film Documentary Gina's Journey. The Search for William Grimmes.

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Larry Vann has made an impressive mark on the Bay Area music scene over the years with his authentic, piercing, all-encompassing musical technique. One listen to his compelling, penetrating and intoxicating grooves clearly demonstrates why he has been in such huge demand for sessions and tours with the likes of Elvin Bishop and Merl Saunders. His top-notch drumming and percussion has garnered him popular and critical success throughout the United States and Europe, but Vann has also wowed critics and crowds alike with his sultry singing voice, buoyed by his melodic, inventive songwriting.
A professional performer since age 15, Vann draws from a deep well of musical influence, including gospel, blues, funk, jazz and soul. These various genres have collectively shared his unique sound, which is in full display on this CD.
Vann's resume reads like a “Who's Who” list, having toured and recorded with those musicians listed above, as well as The Whispers, Martha Reeves, The Marvalettes, Charles Brown, Buffy Saint-Marie, Randy Crawford, and many more. His work with the popular San Francisco Bay Area Blues Group, Ron Thompson and the Resistors contributed to the band earning two Bay Area Music Awards.

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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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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

Maestra Series Packages $48 - $150

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Albany High School Jazz Ensembles
May
28
7:00 PM19:00

Albany High School Jazz Ensembles

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

Tickets are $15

The Albany High School Jazz Lab and Jazz Band, under the direction of  Craig Bryant, perform to celebrate the end of the school year and to support music education in Albany schools.  Bands from Albany have received top marks and awards at the Folsom, Reno, and Santa Cruz Jazz Festivals. In previous years, the Albany High School Jazz Band has performed at the CMEA State Conference in Sacramento, and been selected as a finalist for both the Next Generation Festival presented by the Monterey Jazz Festival and the “Essentially Ellington” contest presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Bryant’s students participate in the Jazzschool Studio Band and SFJAZZ  High School  All-Stars; the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco Youth Orchestras, and the CBDA All-State bands and orchestras.

Tonight's performance is a fundraiser for Albany Music Fund, with proceeds supporting music programs in the Albany USD.  For more information, please visit www.albanymusic.org.

Eventbrite - Albany High School Jazz Band and Rhythm Bound R&B Band
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