A Playlist to Entice New Listeners to the Oakland Symphony

Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony Jan. 19 in a concert curated by W. Kamau Bell. (Photo: Courtesy of Oakland Symphony)

Conductor Michael Morgan is always looking for ways to bring new audiences out to hear the Oakland Symphony, and in this first concert of the new year, he's got what we think is a winner — comedian and social activist W. Kamau Bell curating the Jan. 19 program.

For his "playlist," Bell has chosen songs by Nina Simone, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and even a segment from John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." Arrangements for this very big band are handled by the Jazz Mafia's Adam Theis, and some of the Bay Area's best singers and players will be on hand to perform, including singers Tossie Long and Zakiya Harris as well as the Jazz Mafia horns. Details here.

W. Kamau Bell describes his new CNN series, United Shades of America, as a travel show that will take him places he is afraid to go.
W. Kamau Bell describes his new CNN series, United Shades of America, as a travel show that will take him places he is afraid to go. (Photo: Courtesy of CNN)

On his own, Kamau Bell does a standup gig at the Punchline in San Francisco Jan. 29 and 30. Details here.

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