Filtering by: BLACK HISTORY MONTH

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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