KQED's Cy Musiker and David Wiegand share their picks for great events around the Bay Area this week.
This is such a rich week for picks, I wanted to start by noting a few items we couldn't fit on the show: It's the final weekend for Litquake; the terrific R&B band Con Brio is celebrating a new record with a concert Friday (10/14) at the UC Theatre; Patrick Makuakāne's Na Lei Hulu dance company revives his The Natives are Restless for two weekends at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre; and there's a fundraiser on Tuesday (10/18) for the fire damaged First Congregational Church in Berkeley and the music groups that played there.
Oct. 18 & 19: Leyla McCalla, who explored the African American roots of folk music with the terrific Carolina Chocolate Drops, is now working solo, and finding fresh inspiration for her songs from her Haitian and family history (not to mention the fight for social justice). The songs on the album Day are so intriguing and her cello playing is terrific. She's touring with former band mate Dom Flemons, a terrific harp and banjo player with who brings a fresh touch to delta blues. It's not clear who's opening for whom, but it doesn't matter -- they're both amazing. Check details for their shows at Felton's Don Quixote's here, and their show at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage here.
Oct. 16 & 17: Hannibal Buress is a very funny guy. He's one of the regulars on Broad City, and a former writer for SNL (just one sketch in a year's work, but who's counting) and 30 Rock. He was also an early voice calling out Bill Cosby for abusing women. We have two chances to see Burress: at the Fox in Oakland on Sunday night and the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco on Monday. Details for both shows are here.
Oct. 14: Music Director and Conductor Michael Morgan always packs Oakland Symphony concerts with delights. For this season opener, the cupboard is overflowing. Start with Hadleigh Adams (named by Queerty as one of ten hottest opera hunks in the world) singing Mahler's hyper-romantic "Rückert Lieder," the award-winning Delphi Trio performing a piece by Paul Juon, plus Berkeley composer Clark Suprynowicz's election piece Red State Blue State written two election cycles ago. Details for the show at the Paramount Theater in Oakland are here.
Oct. 14 & 15: Dance is still alive and well in San Jose, despite the death early this year of Silicon Valley Ballet. sjDANCEco, celebrating its 14th season, is bringing its co-artistic director Maria Basile, together with former San Jose Ballet (SVB's predecessor) Principal Dancer Karen Gabay and Abhinaya Dance Co. member Rasika Kumar. So modern meets, classical European, meets classical Indian dance in a piece called Goddesses and… There’s also live music from the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Details for the California Theater performances are here.
Oct. 18-Nov. 12: Every 28 hours a black man is killed in the US by a police officer or someone using a stand your ground law. That statistic has been challenged, but it gets at the essential truth -- that black and brown men and women are often treated very differently than whites by police. Last year the One Minute Play Festival and Oregon Shakespeare Festival staged an evening of 70 or so one minute plays about race and policing in America called Every 28 Hours, and now a coalition of Bay Area theater companies are doing the same, including Faultline, A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Crowded Fire, Campo Santo and Lorraine Hansberry, where Steven Anthony Jones is artistic director. Jones told me that working with this material reminded him a lot of the lectures he used to give his sons:
"During that period in their lives when they were younger, saying to them, 'make sure the taillights work,' etc. etc. and 'don’t speed,' and you hope your kids don’t get stopped. Because it can go very wrong, from the most routine kind of a circumstance." Details for Every 28 Hours are here.
Oct. 15 & 16: There are lots of good reasons to go to the Treasure Island Music Festival (TIMF) this weekend: a chance to hear Ice Cube singing "Life in California"(it's not the Fred Rogers version), or Mura Masa, or Oakland rapper Kamaiyah, or Car Seat Headrest, or just to ride on the ferris wheel with those grand views of the Bay. This year it'll be a different view, from the east side looking at Oakland, where you could try to guess at the festival's future home. San Francisco's plans to develop the island mean that TIMF is looking for a new home. Do take public transit. Details here.