Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm / Film at 8:30 pm
Tickets are $7 in advance/$9 at the door
Buy Tickets on Eventbrite
Get on your feet or stay in your seat! This unintentionally humorous movie "Kingdom of Zydeco" intersperses history and commentary with complete musical performances by Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocque. On Dance-A-Long Movie night we will offer seating for those who would like to view the movie and plenty of dance floor for those who can't resist the opportunity to dance to these Zydeco legends!!! Laissez les bon temps rouler! The movie will be followed by tunes from other Zydeco musical legends mentioned in the movie, DJ'd by Jim Scott.
"THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is both a cunning little comedy of manners and a sweet-tempered celebration of American roots music. It chronicles the sea change that took place in the black Creole music scene of southwest Louisiana with the deaths of both Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie, king and crown prince, respectively, of zydeco music. Who, then, assumes titular leadership of this righteously rocking, washboard-driven sub-genre of rhythm-and-blues? A colorful, engaging cast of disc jockeys, club owners, record dealers and other zydeco artists have their own opinions and biases in the matter. The Chavis-Jocque tussle is prototypical American status buffoonery painted in folk miniature. Both these men kick out the jams in thrilling performances filmed with blissful authority by Mugge, a specialist in roots music documentaries such as 1991's DEEP BLUES. It's Chenier's legacy - and Mugge's observational skills - that triumph in the end."
- Gene Seymour, New York Newsday
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm, Film at 8:45 pm
Cascada de Flores will be performing as a duo tonight
Tickets are $12 / $15 at the Door
Maestra Series Packages $48 - $150
Ashkenaz is celebrating Women’s History Month with a presentation of
Chavela, a thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela
Vargas. (2017, 93 min.) After the film, we are presenting a live performance by retro-acoustic Mexican/Caribbean musical ensemble Cascada de Flores.
“Chavela” is produced and directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself – the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.
Winner of the Golden Athens Award for Best Documentary at Athens Internation Film Festival (2017), Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize at both OutFest L.A. and OUTshine Fort Lauderdale (2017), Audience Award & Honorable Mention Jury Award at Frameline (2017), Second Place Audience Award at Berlinale Film Festival (2017), Audience Award & Best Documentary Feature at Reeling35 (2017), Official Selection of AFI Docs, Hot Docs, Austin Gay &
Lesbian Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest and many more.
Cascada de Flores presents concerts as a duet to a sextet, bringing the nostalgic song and traditions of Mexico and its neighbors into simple and beautiful arrangements that allow space for both improvisation and pure expression.
The ensemble also offers special programs such as Radio Flor, a creative concert set in an old-time radio format as well as storytelling with song and dance for children of all ages.
"Honoring and advancing tradition, building multicultural bridges, and celebrating life, the performance was a demonstration of the best of what can be done with music."
No Depression, 2016
"Featuring Arwen's ravishing voice and guitarist Jorge Liceaga's supple accompaniment, Cascada de Flores brings intoxicating energy to the Latin American songbook. Playful, witty and artfully staged, the show is as charming as the music is breathtaking."
Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News
"Cascada de Flores is a delicious discovery of retro acoustic music with Mexican and Caribbean roots. Radio Flor is a trip into nostalgia, into our musical past and heritage, with the respect and elegance that it deserves."
Hector Aviles, Latino Music Cafe
+ live music