The Women Sound Off festival, formerly known as Women in Music, is a weekend-long extravaganza coming to Oakland April 5–7. Evangeline Elder, manager of standout Bay Area R&B artist Rayana Jay, and DJ Red Corvette started the homegrown event two years ago under the name Women in Music, and expanded the festival to include talks, panels and workshops for a variety of artists and entrepreneurs. (Disclosure: I spoke on panels at the fest in 2017 and '18.)
The centerpiece of the event is a concert at the New Parish on April 6, with R&B singer Mereba as headliner. Mereba's pensive, storytelling-infused album The Jungle is the Only Way Out dropped at the end of February, and features electro-R&B star 6lack. Singers Swsh, who captivates with a retro neo-soul style, and Jean Deaux, with her smoky, suspenseful voice, will perform as well, along with rappers Queens D.Light and Lil Kayla and a host of other live acts and DJs.
The rest of the Women Sound Off weekend includes a vendor market with local artists; panels with subject lines like 'Women of Color in Tech,' 'Money Talks' and 'Changing Women of Color Narratives'; and a bottomless mimosa and networking brunch.
It all goes down in Oakland April 5–7. Details here.