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Music, All Shook Down MLK — As Read By Bay Area Musicians — On the Importance Of Jazz

MLK — As Read By Bay Area Musicians — On the Importance Of Jazz

Should you need a reminder that the fight for social justice has always been intertwined with music, you'd be hard pressed to find a better, more succinctly eloquent authority on the matter than Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech about…
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Music, All Shook Down Marcus Shelby and Co. Explore Duke and Shakespeare at UC Berkeley, 5/2/14

Marcus Shelby and Co. Explore Duke and Shakespeare at UC Berkeley, 5/2/14

By LOU FANCHER Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra: The Legacy of Duke Ellington: 50 Years of Swing! Friday, May 2, 2014 Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Better than: It's Ellington. What could be better than that? San Francisco bassist and band leader…
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Calendar, Night&Day Flying the coop

Flying the coop

In 2011, choreographer Joanna Haigood and composer Marcus Shelby were commissioned by the Equal Justice Society to make a piece about the restoration of 14th Amendment anti-discrimination rights to prisoners on death row. Making Dying While Black and Brown,…
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Music, Hear This Undercover Presents Sly and The Family Stone's Stand!: Show Preview

Undercover Presents Sly and The Family Stone's Stand!: Show Preview

What happens when a sprawling cast of local talents — like Marcus Shelby, the Jazz Mafia, and Tumbleweed Wanderers — get together to perform highly original covers of classic albums? You never really know, and that's part of the magic.…
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Music, Mission Label Porto Franco Plans to Stop New Releases

Mission Label Porto Franco Plans to Stop New Releases

Big-time success was never a likelihood for Porto Franco, a family-run Mission District record label that prides itself on championing local artists, rather than ones working in the same musical genre. Russian immigrant Peter Varshavsky started the project with his…
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Calendar, Night&Day Jazz for Kids

Jazz for Kids

Marcus Shelby is a great composer. He's a heavy-duty jazz bass player, a music historian, and an engaged political thinker; he's a sharp-dressed handsome bandleader who's held many a San Francisco audience rapt and happy. You probably already know all…
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Calendar, Night&Day Shakespeare, Shaken

Shakespeare, Shaken

We've told you that the African-American Shakespeare Company (as its name suggests) likes to take familiar productions and turn them on their heads. That's worth reiterating because of the really cool ways it makes the familiar seem new. Last fall…
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Calendar, Night&Day Digging in the Garden

Digging in the Garden

Playing quietly: It's cause for suspicion when children do it. We feel sort of the same way about really great Bay Area artists — if we haven't heard from them in a while, we start to suspect they're making something.…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Good Music of the Bad Old Days

The Good Music of the Bad Old Days

Maybe you think you know everything about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. already. But let us be the first to say it — you don’t. The legends are rightly repeated, the songs are often sung (badly), and the photos have…
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Music, All Shook Down Coda's Jazzy, Snazzy Opening Night

Coda's Jazzy, Snazzy Opening Night

As Jennifer Maerz reported last week, SF has a new go-to spot for jazz. The site of the former Levende/Butterfly is now Coda (a musical term meaning outro) a name which sounds cool and hip and is easy to…
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Music, Let's Get Killed The Father, the Son, and the Holy Sax

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Sax

Last week was a holy one in segments of the music community, a time to celebrate the passing of a giant to whom followers have pledged loyalty for decades. It was a moment for them to reflect on their personal…
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Music, Nefasha Ayer’s nation of aural immigrants

Nefasha Ayer’s nation of aural immigrants

We live in an era where the global music village has shrunk to a navigable size. From live overseas Web feeds to international podcasts, eager listeners are tuning their antennae to far-flung aural landscapes. Closer to home, San Francisco ensemble…
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Music, Reviewed Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra

Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra

Jazz bassist Marcus Shelby is a composer, bandleader, and Bay Area educator. He combines these talents on the magnum opus Harriet Tubman, a two-CD orchestral tribute to the iconic African-American nurse, Civil War spy, and antislavery activist. While such a…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Old Story, New Art Form

Using a form he calls a "secular oratorio," jazz musician Marcus Shelby wrote what we call a modern opera. Quilting together bebop, blues, gospel, and more, Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land is jazz on a grand scale. Written…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Feast Bay

The Feast Bay

Oakland's annual Art & Soul festival is one of the best street fests in the Bay Area, no contest. What other event pulls in national acts like Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Lucinda Williams and also features high-grade locals…
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Culture, Stage

Wheel of Fortune

John Steppling has a reputation in L.A. as an edgy experimental playwright, but his newest script -- being world-premiered at Intersection for the Arts -- has no edge at all. As in Contagion, the last play he premiered at Intersection,…
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Culture, Stage Black and True

Black and True

Like The Fever, a monologue Wallace Shawn first performed, semilegendarily, in his own Manhattan apartment, the AfroSolo Arts Festival started in front of a small circle of friends. Thomas Simpson asked a few actors over to entertain people at his…
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Culture, Dance Dance to  the Music

Dance to the Music

May is the month of exuberantly blooming flowers, a seeming profusion of women overripe with babies, and boisterous assemblies of birds and bees. It's also the lush, green bridge to summer, so it seems fitting that two romantics, Michael Smuin…
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Culture, Stage

Kinetic Energy

Robert Moses takes a large bite of his rather undancerly bacon burger lunch and watches the NBA highlights playing on the restaurant TV with the same look of impenetrable concentration he gets while creating a new dance. He's been asked…
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News, Night Crawler Night Crawler

Night Crawler

16 Reasons to Produce Next Year's Wammies 1) Patsy Cline puts the "cunt" back in country within the first five minutes of the awards ceremony. 2) Mongoloid and Plan 9 arrive in full costume - Devo and Misfits outfits, respectively.…
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