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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

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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.”

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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Baraka Moon plus DJ Neptune - Celebrating the Life of Catherine Henry
Sep
14
8:00 PM20:00

Baraka Moon plus DJ Neptune - Celebrating the Life of Catherine Henry

Come celebrate the life of Catherine Henry, local yoga teacher, and rescuer over 100 feral cats, by dancing the night away with Baraka Moon.

Doors 7:30 / Show at 8pm

$15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

BARAKA MOON is a quartet of talented musicians:

Sukhawat Ali Khan (Vocals, Harmonium), Stephen Kent (Didgeridoo, Percussion, Bass, Guitar), Anastasi Mavrides (Guitar, Bass, Bkg. Vocals) and Peter Warren (Drums).

Sukhawat Ali Khan – Baraka Moon’s charismatic and passionate vocalist draws from his luminary family’s 600 year old Pakistani singing tradition with a voice that comes straight from the heart and soars to the heavens. He can also be heard squeezing and cajoling sweet ragas and shredding blues riffs from his harmonium.

Stephen Kent – A one-man-band Didgeridoo/Percussion virtuoso, he is a globally acclaimed pioneer in bringing the ancient Aboriginal instrument to the contemporary world. With a primal shout, he conjures a deep and earthy pulse that is the vibratory core of Baraka Moon’s compelling groove engine.

Peter Warren – Our Drummer/Percussionist is responsible for the irresistible and dynamic power of Baraka Moon’s full on dance beats, with grooves honed over many years performing with African musicians and dancers in the U.S. and his native Canada.

Anastasi Mavrides – Bringing his seasoned and unique guitar work to the music, Anastasi blends shimmering chordal voicings, soaring anthemic melodies and downright super-funky rhythms. He also provides lush supporting vocals to Sukhawat’s singing.

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Our Backstory

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been fertile ground for the confluence for creative spirits and artists from all over the world to gather, exhibit and explore cross-cultural and counter-cultural ideas and bring new and fresh themes into the wider world. So it was that in the last years of the 20th century the individual members that form Baraka Moon arrived on their variously convoluted journeys from their respective homelands and began to exert their influence on the Bay Area scene and open the doors of possibility, expressing their musical forces through creative projects that have inevitably culminated in the creation of Baraka Moon.

Born into a centuries old family tradition of Indian/Pakistani classical musical culture that manifested in the 2nd half of the 20th century in the renowned vocal duo, The Ali Brothers -Sukhawat’s father, the great Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and his brother Nazakat Ali Khan –Sukhawat Ali Khan grew, along with his brothers including Shafqat Ali Khan, himself a contemporary giant of Indo/Pakistani classical music, and sister Riffat Sultana, the first female vocalist in the family to gain public acclaim, Sukhawat’s career flourished when both he and his younger sister arrived in the SF Bay Area in the mid 1990’s. Together with Riffat’s husband, guitarist/MD  Richard Michos they formed The Ali Khan Band performing in the Bay Area and beyond and releasing 2 recordings on the SF based label, City of Tribes (which also featured much of Stephen Kent’s 1990’s catalog) Changing their name to Shabaz the siblings continued to plow the multicultural groove connections into the new century touring and producing a self titled CD on Miles Copeland’s Mondo Melodia label before parting ways to pursue new directions. For Sukhawat these included appearances at the 60th anniversary of the United Nations in San Francisco, where he performed with a multi-cultural ensemble to a luminary gathering of global leaders, both from both the political and cultural worlds (eg Jane Goodall and Mikhail Gorbachev) collaborations with DJ Cheb i Sabbah on his first release, “Sri Durga”  (Six Degrees Records), Soundtrack work on the Disney Film, Hidalgo (directed by), LA based Sufi band leader, Yuval Ron and many other musical outings. Sukhawat released his 1st solo CD “Shukriya” (Jah Nur Records).

The germinating seeds of Baraka Moon were sown when Stephen Kent formed a group of musicians to accompany the Rumi scholar and translator Coleman Barks in a celebration of the 800th anniversary of Jalalludin Rumi’s birth and invited Sukhawat Ali Khan and percussionist Geoffrey Gordon to join him. The first edition of Baraka Moon, a trio, was formed on the night of a blood moon eclipse soon afterwards in Feb 2008.

To this point Stephen had traveled a wide ranging and diverse creative path from his upbringing in Uganda and rural UK, setting the tone for a deep and abiding interest in world cultures and arriving in the Bay Area in 1991. After early years in the British New Wave avant-garde scene with Furious Pig (Rough Trade 1980) he traveled to Australia as Music Director of Australia’s contemporary national circus, Circus Oz (1981-83). With the Oz collective’s concerns for Aboriginal land rights and social justice this inevitably led to SK’s interest in the didgeridoo. Having grown up a classical brass player he adapted circular-breathing techniques to brass in the Oz show and composed new music, making a cultural bridge that set him on the journey of pioneering the ancient Aboriginal horn into contemporary music, which continues to this day. In late 1987 after 7 years in new circus now back in Europe his evolution on the didge manifested in soundtracks for contemporary dance companies in Barcelona and the formation of the band Lights in a Fat City, first appearing in the streets and markets of London and other European cities in the mid 80’s. LIAFC was the first ‘Didgeridoo-oriented’ band to tour Europe and North America and their LP, “Somewhere”(These Records 1988) caused them to tour widely and perform musically diverse festivals including WOMAD, Zurich & Leipzig Jazz festivals (Oct.1989), New Musique Actuelles Montreal, Winnipeg Folk Festival & The New York International Arts Festival when he arrived in the USA in 1991 to stay. San Francisco provided a dynamic creative base and there began a period in which Kent formed the band Trance Mission, joined the Beasts of Paradise (also with Geoffrey Gordon) & released a series of over 20 recordings featuring the didgeridoo in both group and solo contexts with cross cultural collaborations in concert including projects with Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussain, Glen Velez, R.Carlos Nakai, the Tuvan throat-singing group Chirgilchin, Habib Koite and Doors drummer John Densmore among many others. He also met Sukhawat Ali Khan and worked on sessions for the Ali Khan Band and recorded with Producer Richard Michos on a “chillout” CD featuring Ustad Salamat Ali Khan. Since 1995 he has hosted and produces a popular weekly “Music of the World ” radio show on KPFA FM. He has played in 5 continents to great acclaim and continues to perform all over the world.

Anastasi Mavrides cut his musical teeth playing with soul and rock bands in the Philadelphia area. His playing later came to the attention of the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, who heard him performing in Europe and invited him to come on tour with the band as guitarist. Since that time, Anastasi has become a musician, composer and producer of wide-ranging styles and media. He’s produced albums of instrumental music for the Real Music label, as well as creating the award-winning children’s series, The Classical Child®, a whimsical collection of eight classical music CDs for kids (www.classicalchild.com). In addition, he has scored music for national broadcast commercials, as well as film shorts. Over the last few years, ‘Stas’ has been music director and composer for the regional cult musical, Zen Boyfriends, as well as producer for The Marin Project concert and album, benefiting Bay Area homelessness.

Anastasi entered the Baraka Moon orbit via his musical involvement with their common collaborator, Geoffrey Gordon. It was during his years performing in Gordon’s Indian-style, raga-based sacred music ensemble that Anastasi met Sukhawat, and the three performed together at one of the Bay Area’s annual Himalayan  Festivals. In 2010 – together with drummer, Peter Warren – Anastasi and Sukhawat formed JI, a stylistic pre-cursor to the funky and driving present-day Baraka Moon band. Peter and Anastasi brought with them their West African and Malian rhythms and influences from the group they co-created, called MAKURU, which found them playing with an array of outstanding Senagalese, Ginean and Malian musicians (Bolo Kade, Karamo Susso, Ousseynou Kouyate and others.)  It was sometime after the sad and untimely passing of Geoffrey that Sukhawat, Anastasi, Peter and Stephen decided to join musical forces in a way that, looking back now, seems to have been inevitable.

At a young age drummer Peter Warren was influenced by the ‘art rock’ of the 70’s. Inspired by Peter Gabriel and his Real World label, at the age of 20 he became immersed in world music, meeting many African and Indian musicians in Toronto, with whom he started to form world-drumming and chant groups.

In the 1990’s, Peter created the “Real Tribal” drum show, which he took to nightclubs, raves and festivals on Canadian music scene. The lineup featured master drummers from West Africa, Brazil, Japan and India in performances that seem to magically bring audience and musicians together in joyful, ecstatic dancing and singing. It was this spirit of bringing people together with the power of rhythm and dance that led Peter to the San Francisco Bay Area to create Makuru and JI (with Anastasi). Later, when they both teamed up with Sukhawat and Stephen, Peter brought the core of his drum and dance-infused energy with him into Baraka Moon.

NEPTUNE (Beat Church)

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For over 30 years Neptune has been a professional DJ and avid collector of tunes across the entire musical spectrum, compiling one of the most vast and eclectic collections in the world.
He has mastered the art of reading and tapping in to the dynamic of a room and crowd while reaching into his musical pallet to play the perfect music for the moment. With no limits on style or genre, he eloquently, creatively and seamlessly transitions between tracks.

On an even deeper level, as a Sonic Shaman, Neptune continues to develop the art of transforming people through Music as he guides the dancer into their Bodies, awakening Emotions, and calling upon their Spirits. Through the Magic and Mystery of a Sonic Journey, he helps to create a Musical Map of the Soul’s Evolution.

He is a rotating resident DJ for most of the Ecstatic Dances throughout California & you can see him on the lineups for many of the conscious dance events & festivals throughout the west coast & abroad.

http://mixcloud.com/therealneptune
http://soundcloud.com/therealneptune

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Tradition on the Fringe with Avotcja & Modupue and Chelle Friends
Sep
8
8:00 PM20:00

Tradition on the Fringe with Avotcja & Modupue and Chelle Friends

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

Tickets are $20 Advanced / $25 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru's Susana Bacaat San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles' Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc. Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue.  Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. She both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famoudou Don Moyé (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York's Dance Mobile. She's appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.  She's been featured 5 times at Afro-Solo, twice at San Francisco's Carnival, The Scottish Rite Temple & Yoshi's in Oakland & San Francisco, Jose Castellar's play "Man From San Juan", Club Le Monmartre in Copenhagen Denmark, Stanford University, at San Francisco’s Brava Theater For The Arts with Cine Acción, New York's Henry Street Settlement Theater and The Women On The Way Festival in San Francisco. Avotcja a is popular Bay Area DeeJay & Radio Personality, and the founder/Director of "The Clean Scene Theater Project (AKA) Proyecto Teatral De La Escena Sobria". She continues to teach Creative Writing, Storytelling & Drama in Public Schools & thanks to the California Arts Council she was also an Artist in Residence at the Milestones Project & San Francisco Penal System. Avotcja is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates Of Minorities  Organization), PEN Oakland, California Poets In The Schools,  IWWG & is an  ASCAP recording artist.

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CHELLE! and Friends commemorates the music of Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and celebrates it’s Creole people and their remarkable music. Michelle Jacques was born in New Orleans and raised in Oakland, CA.. She began this journey to find out what it means to be Creole, to understand her culture, her language and her history...and after the devastation of Katrina in 2005, her mission has evolved into her determination to keep the history and the music of New Orleans alive through concerts, children's performances, workshops and residencies.

Ask 20 people how to define the music of New Orleans and you’ll get 30 answers. It could be jazz, funk, soul, Creole, Cajun, or gospel, Caribbean, African, Zydeco, rock or the chants and stirring rhythms of Mardi Gras Indians.

New Orleans native, MICHELLE JACQUES along some "very special friends" take all of these influences and a few more, and stir it into this stewpot of musical gumbo that is sweet, spicy, aromatic and definitely intoxicating.

CHELLE! and Friends is made up of some of the most distinguished and accomplished musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. CHELLE! And Friends perform music that is vibrant and alive with the driving voices of artistic director and founder MCHELLE JACQUES, RHONDA CRANE, JAY LAMONT AND BRYAN DYER, DONNA VISCUSO on woodwinds, ERIC SWINDERMAN on guitar, KEVIN SCOTT on bass and BOB SCOTT on drums. 

 

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