There CAN be a there in Oakland! The embattled city has received bad publicity all year; mainly caused by Occupy Oakland protesters violating City Hall grounds and downtown Oakland; so much so, people don’t want to come to the area. The two-day 12th Annual ART AND SOUL FESTIVAL, held this past weekend, was a breath of fresh air - brought people to Frank Ogawa Plaza, and downtown Oakland to enjoy good food, art, dance, and music from several street stages. Through the years attended several festivals; this year seemed larger than ever! The vibes were good!
Sunday, hopped BART, exited at the Plaza, walked through several closed off streets straight to the Oakland Blues and Heritage stage on 12th and Jefferson, next to the Main stage that included headliners Oletha Adams and Leila Hathaway. Produced by the Bay Area Blues Society, RONNIE STEWART, founder. The blues was off the hook! Radio station KPOO’s ADVOTJA emceed. Performances by Bay Area HOMEGROWN artists that included LADY BIANCA (she has a hot new CD); Oakland Blues Divas, that included TIA CARROLL; Little DEON, JACKIE PAYNE closed out the day!
My heart warmed at the sight of families; especially children enjoying amusements - children rides, games; positive scenes that reflect what Oakland can be!
San Francisco’s award-winning AFROSOLO Theatre Company, producer/founder THOMAS ROBERT SIMPSON, presents it’s 18th Annual AFROSOLO Arts Festival celebrating African American artists giving voice to the Black experience, will run from August 15-October 28, 2012. This year’s theme “RACE,” will use the power of the arts to explore the issue of race in American society today.
The schedule will include the Black Voices Solo Performance series, a theatrical presentation in association with the New Conservatory Theater Center in Oakland, and much more. . For more information call (415) 771-2376.
Last Saturday afternoon, AFROSOLO kicked off the Festival with a Pre-concert, part of the month long Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, embraced the theme “Jazz in the Gardens” which featured jazz musician KASH KILLION and the Killion Trillions, and the DESTINY MUHAMMAD Trio - the HARPIST from the ‘HOOD ( a Bay Area Jazz harpist and composer as well as the principle harpist for the Oakland Public Conservatory Orchestra), featured Lorca Hart on drums, Mark Heshima, on upright bass, and special guest, Blue Note recording trumpeter - Miles Davis flavor - EDDY GALE.
Kash Killion, (bass, cello, sarangi and bolong) has played with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Pharoah Sanders, among others., opened the afternoon joined by Sly Randolph on drums and George Khouri on keyboards.
Just a spiritual awakening afternoon!
T’s the Season for festivals and summertime fun - This weekend...The San Jose Jazz Festival ; Sunday, AL JARREAU and GEORGE DUKE perform at STERN GROVE - HOMECOMING for the two who got their start in San Francisco at the legendary HALFNOTE Club when on Divisadero (Diviz) - I will see a lot of folks I know.
Congratulations to the CASTRO THEATER, San Francisco, in celebration of their 90th Anniversary; AND YOSHI’S Jazz Club celebrates its 40th Anniversary with milestone performances throughout this month. Many a night spent checking out some of the greats in Jazz. Ah, wonderful memories.
HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE ... LOOK FOR ME ... I’LL BE THERE ...
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