KQED's Cy Musiker and David Wiegand share their picks for great events around the Bay Area this week.
Aug. 12-14: San Jose Jazz Summerfest is packing 13 indoor and outdoor stages over the next three days, so maybe you can't go wrong. But we're most excited about shows by San Francisco singer Tiffany Austin, and Oakland's Terrie Odabi (sounding terrific last week at Cafe Stritch), guitarist Will Bernard, drummer Allison Miller, Red Baraat, not to mention Chico Freeman making a comeback. Plus there's sax man Miguel Zenon (the SFJazz Collective), and, to put you in an Olympian Latin jazz mood, Sergio Mendes and Brazil 2016. Details here.
Aug. 18: Here's another killer show for the South Bay, The Do List Live in San Jose. I'll be with my co-host David Wiegand, South Bay Arts Reporter Rachael Myrow, and our producer Suzie Racho in the Corinthian Room at 7pm Thursday. And while we love to talk, we'll spend most of the evening listening to our talented guests: bluesman Aki Kumar playing songs from his new album Aki Goes to Bollywood (he's also at San Jose Jazz Summerfest), comedian Nato Green, and an excerpt from a new play getting its premiere at Theatreworks New Works Festival. Details for this Cheap Thrill show ($10 including a drink) at San Jose's Corinthian Room are here.
Aug 12-21: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley New Works Festival has developed a number of thoughtful crowd-pleasers, including the just closed Confederates. This year's edition look just as promising: a new play about World War I by Rajiv Joseph (he wrote Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Min Kahng's The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga, and more. For The Do List Live in San Jose, we'll feature an excerpt from a theatrical adaptation of Ray Bradbury's old school fantasy novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. Details for the New Works Festival are here.
Through Oct. 23: Sojourner Truth was an escaped slave, abolitionist and women’s rights activist in the mid-19th century; and she a master of the social media of the time. Those were the square photographs called cartes de visite, which Truth used to support herself and spread her message (see above). She went to court three times to claim her legal rights to her own image. This show focuses on the scholarship of Cal Professor Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, showing the way paper became a tool for political messages and federal power in the 19th century. Details for the Berkeley Art Museum show are here.
Through Aug. 14: It seems impossible that there are any great premieres left in Baroque music (1600-1750), the period during which musicians like Bach and Pachelbel thrived. Yet The American Bach Soloists Festival are promising the first North American performance of Parnasso in Festa, an opera written by Handel in 1734 for a British royal occasion. Anything by Handel is worth a listen. This weekend the festival will also present a selection of Italian concerti, and Bach's Mass in B Minor, all at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Details here.
Aug. 13: Blackalicious doesn't record very often, but when they do the results are choice. Their album from last year, Imani, Volume I, is a great example of how the duo of Gift of Gab and DJ/Producer Chief Xcel make smart, tongue-twisting, and positive rap that’s never misogynist or about the bling. And they're from Sacramento. Details for their show at Yoshi's in Oakland are here.
Aug. 11-21: The 3rd annual Desi Comedy Fest (not Desi Arnaz, but 50 South Asian comedians from the US and eight other countries) are touring nine cities throughout Northern California. Details for their shows in San Francisco, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Union City, Livermore, Kenwood, and Sacramento are here.
Aug. 12-14: West Oakland's Antoine Hunter has always wanted to dance, and never let being deaf stop him. Today he's Artistic Director for Urban Jazz Dance, and the mastermind for the 3rd annual Bay Area Deaf Dance Festival, celebrating the creative talents of deaf and hard of hearing dancers. There's a lovely profile by our video producer Claudia Escobar here, and details for the weekend's concerts are here.