Masego, Rexx Life Raj, Vadia, Jane Handcock Bring Live Music to Blk Girls Green House

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EMPIRE artist Rexx Life Raj.
Rexx Life Raj. (Nastia Voynovskaya/KQED)

Oakland’s Blk Girls Green House is putting on its first live performance since the plant nursery and event space opened its doors in August 2020.

Grooves From The Green House,” a series where talented musicians perform in front of an intimate gathering of folks, is scheduled to start promptly at 8pm on June 19.

The first show in this series features a lineup of forward-thinking hip-hop and R&B artists with thoughtful lyrics and a soulful vibe: Jane HandcockVadiaRexx Life Raj, Masego and DJ Mujie.

The evening honors Juneteenth—Freedom Day, which marks the anniversary of enslaved Africans in Texas receiving notification that slavery had been abolished two and a half years earlier.

Co-founders of Blk Gilrs Green House, Kalkidan ("Kalu") Gebreyohannes and J’Maica Roxanne, stand next to each other as they pose for a photo.
Co-founders of Blk Gilrs Green House, Kalkidan ("Kalu") Gebreyohannes and J’Maica Roxanne, stand next to each other as they pose for a photo. (Samantha Tyler)

The owners of Blk Girls Green House see significance in hosting their first concert on Juneteenth. Kalkidan “Kalu” Gebreyohannes, who co-owns the shop with J’Maica Roxanne, says, “It honors our ancestors who fought and endured suffering, it honors our community who yearn for healing, joy and celebration, and most importantly it unifies all those who stand for equality and justice and continue to fight for freedom.”

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While the concert inside the shop is already sold out, there’ll be a simultaneous community screening at Oakland’s 7th West, where a $20 ticket will give attendees room to groove with their friends and a live set from DJ Sake1.

The show will also be streamed online for those who want to watch from the comfort of their homes, a link will be sent via email to people who register on the waitlist ahead of time.

The view inside of Blk Girls Green House in West Oakland.
The view inside of Blk Girls Green House in West Oakland. (Samantha Tyler)

The evening’s affair is backed by The San Francisco Foundation, as well as Washington D.C.-based health and entertainment group Broccoli City. Support from the Empower Initiative will come in the form of an educational session about Juneteenth, and the event has additional backing from Endeavors Oakland.

Gebreyohannes says the assistance of the organizations listed above is key to the overall goal of this series. “We’re planning on doing this quarterly,” says Gebreyohannes, “and we want to have [Blk Girls Green House] recognized as a space for community and arts.”

More information about the show can be found here.