Jazz

Freedom of Choice

With a musical love letter to his rapidly changing hometown, Oakland's favorite sideman takes center stage

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It's 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon in East Oakland, and on stage in the amphitheater at Castlemont High School, Kev Choice is trying to keep a straight face. Read more »

Live at the Rrazz is closing for good

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Sadly, another music institution in the city is shuttering. Live at the Rrazz (otherwise known as the Rrazz Room), which went through a series of difficulties and legal issues this past year, including an ill-fated venue change, has announced it will be closing for good.

In an email to its patrons last week (including the Bay Area Reporter's BARtab, which tipped us off) and now on the front page of its website, Rrazz said, “As many of you know. the last several months have been monumentally challenging for us. It seems like all the forces in the universe have been working against us.” Read more »

Softly, with feeling

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Jazz chanteuse Veronica Klaus is our nightlife spirit of autumn. Plus: Trap City, Amon Tobin, more upcoming fall parties

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SUPER EGO Veronica Klaus, jazz chanteuse extraordinaire, is one of the most sincerely charming people I know — especially when she breezes up to Momi Toby's cafe in Hayes Valley on her bike one recent morning, fresh from a brisk ride to Ocean Beach, flawless in a casual black wraparound top, ivory kid gloves, and a vintage black bag full of her chihuahua, Charisse. (Yes, queens, named after Cyd — and no, not sporting matching gloves.) "Sorry I'm a little late," she smiled, barely out of breath, gesturing toward her sculptural figure. "Just trying to keep it all in place."Read more »

Local jazz, blues behind bars, and backing-band memories: new music docs

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Jazz singer Jacqui Naylor — Buddhist, Hayes Valley resident, mash-up innovator — premieres her new doc, Lucky Girl: A Portrait of Jacqui Naylor, with a live concert at the Palace of Fine Arts Sat/16 (the DVD will be available in stores Tue/19).

The film, produced by the Bay Area's ARTiDOCs, is about as far from Behind the Music-style tell-all as you could get; Naylor seems blissfully happy with her life, being completely creatively and personally fulfilled (see also: the film's title, named for her 2011 CD). No scandals or dark secrets revealed here; this is a straightforward look at a working artist, briefly touching on her career beginnings (at the suggestion of teachers at American Conservatory Theater, she chose music over acting) and including mini-profiles on the artists she collaborates with, including husband Art Khu.

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Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Weirdo jazz, San Pedro punks, free daytime brewery parties, the highly desirable remains of the Misfits, and more, in this week's Heads Up. Read more »

Even more from the tUnE-yArDs interview

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Despite a relentless touring schedule, and an intense side-project, scoring the upcoming SFIFF-presented evening of Buster Keaton shorts at the Castro Theatre with Oakland-based guitar virtuoso Ava Mendoza, Merrill Garbus, the artist otherwise known as tUnE-yArDs, gave us a great interview, and not all of it could fit in this week's print feature on Garbus and St. Vincent.

While currently living in Oakland, Garbus hails from the East Coast, and has also lived in Kenya and Montreal, a combination of influences that allows her and her singular, quixotic music to avoid falling into a trap of regionalism or simple categorization. Catch tUnE-yArDs with Ava Mendoza at the Castro on April 23, and at the Fox Theater April 24, in concert with St. Vincent. Read more »

Nite Trax: Red Bull Music Academy schools the Bay

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We're not usually ones for product placement, but Red Bull has been making some serious roads into quality nightlife. Tonight (Thu/1) the always impressive annual Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition comes to Ruby Skye, pitting several local DJs -- and two from farther up the Coast -- of various styles against each other for regional championships that could lead them to glory in Vegas later this year. (The "thre3style" refers to the requirement that DJs mix at least three different genres of music into their 15 minute sets.) 

Red Bull Music Academy Radio is a go-to for dance music lovers who want to get clued in to what some of the best techno, house, hip-hop, and global bass DJs and producers are doing. And last month, the Red Bull Music Academy itself came to San Francisco to kick off the open-to-all Academy application period, participating in an excellent series of talks and performances by some music greats. What is the Red Bull Music Academy, you ask? (Don't worry, there's no quidditch involved.) You can actually be a part of it!

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Techno is expensive

Are clubs moving out of reach? Plus: Masters at Work, Gary Bartz, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito, SuperDre, Rocket, and C.L.A.W.S. in a church

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Let's be honest. Let's start the new year out a month late with honesty. (Gung Hay Fat Choy, btw). Going out these days can really cost you someone, and that someone is named Pretty Penny, if not Armina Leg.Read more »