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From East Oakland, Music for the Soul

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Aneesa Strings and an upright bass bond at Oaktown Jazz Workshops (Pendarvis Harshaw/ KQED)

Aneesa Strings has traveled the world playing the upright bass, but her story starts right here in Oakland.

Strings grew up playing in Oakland public schools and at a local nonprofit, Oaktown Jazz Workshops. She just released a single, called “Lovealution,” from her forthcoming second studio album. She says the song explores the validity of nature—the only thing, she likes to say, that’s not a scam.

Music is clearly Strings’ second nature, as she’s mastered the art of the upright bass, the piano and vocals. She’s performed as a background musician for L.A. rapper Ill Camille during an NPR Tiny Desk Concert last year, and also played a major role in Duckwrth’s European tour in 2018.  In 2109, Strings went on tour with jazz singer José James.

And Strings is scheduled to be in the SF Jazz collective this fall through spring 2021.

In between all of these movements, Strings was in Oakland for a stint, and I caught up with her to discuss her love for music and how she walks the tightrope between R&B and jazz. Click the link above to hear her story.

A shorter version of this episode was first broadcast on March 8, 2019

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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