An All-Star Oakland Lineup for Black Lives

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Sheila E., on stage with Pete Escovedo. (Courtesy Photo)

During the current pandemic, the loudest sounds at Yoshi's in Oakland have been the rumbling Amtrak trains going by the famed jazz club. That's about to change, as an all-star cast of musicians hits the stage on Thursday, July 23, for an online broadcast of live music and guest speakers.

The event, titled We Stand Together, brings together a who's-who of Oakland talent on the Yoshi's stage: Sheila E., Tony! Toni! Toné!, Goapele, Ledisi, Freddie Stone, Lynn Mabry, Pete Escovedo and more. But the event's emphasis goes beyond music and into the relationship between art and politics, and specifically the urgent movement of justice for Black lives. To that end, you'll see celebrity guests like Damian Lillard, Dr. Angela Davis, Mahershala Ali and Dolores Huerta dropping in on Thursday's broadcast as well.

It's a natural fit for Oakland, a city where politics and art have never been mutually exclusive, from the Black Panthers' funk band The Lumpen to Boots Riley's subversive silver-screen surrealism. Proceeds from the event go to YR Media, ensuring a continuum of culturally relevant work from new generations, as well as Black Lives Matter's Arts & Culture initiatives and Elevate Oakland. The broadcast is free, and can be streamed here.