Bay Area Beats

"Sheila E. performs at the Jan. 20, 2013, Green Inaugural Ball" by CC Flickr Brendan O'Hara/Newseum, resized and recropped

Oakland’s very own Sheila E. is revered by many as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

Local musician Kelly McFarling wrote her song “Atlanta” as an ode to her hometown, but she didn’t write it — or any other song, as a matter of fact — until she settled into her current home in San Francisco.

Bay Area Beats: Maya Songbird

Sep 28, 2017
Vanessa Crawford

Maya Songbird is an eclectic, electric, lo-fi musician born and raised in the Castro in San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of quinndeveaux.com

Oakland-based singer/songwriter Quinn DeVeaux is one part city, one part country. When he plays with his band, the Blue Beat Review, he taps into Ray Charles and plays the savvy bandleader, burning his way through tune after tune and keeping his audience dancing late into the night.

Bay Area Beats: The Sons Of Soul Revivers

Aug 16, 2017
Courtesy of The Sons of Soul Revivers

 

The Sons Of Soul Revivers are a San Francisco-based quartet who come from a family of gospel singers; their songs are grounded in the gospel tradition.

Bay Area Beats: Bang Data

Aug 14, 2017
Odell Hussey / cropped and resized

When Deuce Eclipse and Juan Manuel Caipo joined forces in 2008, they wanted to make music that could do two things: provide information, and make beats that bang.

Bay Area Beats: Antique Naked Soul

Jun 13, 2017
photo courtesy Antique Naked Soul

Oakland's Antique Naked Soul describe themselves as a “beatbox-sing soul band,” which means they use only their own voices, looped on-stage, to create their sound, and their message.

Bay Area Beats: LoCura

Apr 12, 2017
Courtesy of Locura

The San Francisco band LoCura reflects the Bay Area’s mix of cultures and histories. Locura blends flamenco, Cuban son, reggae, cumbia and ska to make its own revolutionary party music. LoCura will join fellow Bay Area musical groups Bang Data and Rupa & The April Fishes at a benefit concert at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley this Friday, April 14th. For details, click here.

Courtesy of Sefa Karatekin, Anastasia Kuba, and Serina Koester / cropped and resized

 

The dozen-plus members of Oakland-based Balkan brass band Inspector Gadje come from all over the world. They’re serious students of Roma, sometimes known as “Gypsy” music, but none of them are actually Roma.

 

Bay Area Beats: Sahba Aminikia

Feb 1, 2017
Matthew Washburn

Contemporary classical composer Sahba Aminikia came to San Francisco as a refugee. Born and raised in Iran in the 80s, he left as a young man to study music in Russia, and then got his bachelors and masters of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Bay Area Beats: Village Road Trio

Jan 26, 2017
Courtesy of Village Road Trio

 

The Village Road Trio reimagines classical music with folk influences. The trio shared some of their music in this edition of Bay Area Beats.

Bay Area Beats: Gautam Tejas Ganeshan

Dec 1, 2016
Courtesy of Guatam Tejas Ganeshan

Berkeley-based singer Gautam Tejas Ganeshan plays Carnatic music -- a devotional form traditional to South India. But he's bringing a local twist to this centuries-old sound.

Bay Area Beats: Marco Polo Santiago

Oct 31, 2016

 

Musician Marco Polo Santiago was raised in L.A., in a big Mexican-American family, with the sound of cumbia always in the background. He grew up to be a musician, but his tastes ran more to metal and hip hop than anything Latin.

 

Bay Area Beats: Diana Gameros

Sep 7, 2016

Berkeley-based singer songwriter Diana Gameros comes from Ciudad Juárez — a Mexican border town ripped apart by violent drug cartels. Gameros hasn’t been home in 13 years. 

Bay Area Beats: Lorin Benedict

Aug 25, 2016
http://lorinbenedict.com

Lorin Benedict is a theoretical and computational physicist at Lawrence Livermore labs. His work focuses on predicting the properties of materials—chiefly within extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, like at the center of giant planets and in stars. At the end of a long day studying the hearts of the stars, Benedict often finds himself heading out beneath their flickering light to sing the 12-bar blues in his double life as a Bay Area jazz singer.

Under CC license from Evert-Jan Hielema.

 

Bobby Hutcherson, the jazz legend and internationally renowned vibraphonist, passed away last week. He was 75. A few years ago, KALW’s Ben Trefny joined reporter David Ross at Bobby’s home near the coast in Montara. They talked about music and life and things larger than life. The result was this piece Ben and David produced about Bobby for our series Bay Area Beats.

Photo credit: Robbie Walsh

The name “Fantastic Negrito” might throw you off step a little bit. Musician Xavier Dphrepaulezz says that, just like the sound of his music, the name Fantastic Negrito is rooted in blackness and also international. It’s exuberant, but there’s a sharp point to it.

Photo courtesy of Matt Beardsley

In order to talk about Andre Thierry, first you have to talk about the godfather of Zydeco music, Clifton Chenier.

Courtesy John Givens. Cropped and resized from original.

Berkeley based guitarist and songwriter John Givens brings a sensibility for visual art into his songwriting; he used to be a filmmaker and art director. Together with his 8-piece soul band, No Lovely Thing, he also explores themes ranging from the political to the emotional. He shares the stories behind some of their songs in this edition of Bay Area Beats.

photo courtesty of Dirty Cello

 

Rebecca Roudman and Jason Eckl are willing to play music just about anywhere. In fact, they seek out unusual places.

Bay Area Beats: Karina Denike

Jan 11, 2016
Joe Picard

Watching Bay Area singer Karina Denike perform is like going back in time, to an era of torch singers. You can hear a lifetime of musical influences in her music — a jazz vocalist’s depth mixed with a punk edge, a little doo wop, an Eastern European lilt, and some 1960’s soul.

Bay Area Beats: Zena

Sep 14, 2015

Zena, from Oakland, is a singer songwriter, visual artist, storyteller –  and one of the few women masters of the kora – a West African harp – taught directly by Malian kora master, Toumani Diabate. She blends West African music with American Delta Blues and Appalachian tunes, to create what she calls "Afrofolk." Zena came to our studios - kora in hand- to tell KALW's Hana Baba about her story of migration and music.

PHOTO COURTESY NAIMA SHALHOUB, TAKEN BY SARAH DERAGON

San Francisco musician Naima Shalhoub performs for incarcerated women, and recorded her latest album live inside the San Francisco County Jail. We meet the Lebanese American musician in this segment of Bay Area Beats.

Bay Area Beats: Flesh World

Jun 15, 2015
Top L-R: Andrew Luttrell (Bass), Scott Moore (Guitar) Bottom L-R: Jess Scott (Vocals, Guitar), Diane Anastasio (Drums)
Melissa Farley

In our latest episode of Bay Area Beats we'll hear from the band Flesh World. They've been playing together in San Francisco since 2012. Guitarist Scott Moore comes from the hardcore punk scene while singer Jess Scott used to play a punk genre called noise pop. Together, they make something altogether new. They talk about their new album The Wild Animals in My Life and the naked truth about how they met at Maximum Rock and Roll Headquarters where Scott Moore lived at the time.

San Francisco rapper DaVinci says it was hard to ignore the gentrification in his neighborhood when he was growing up. He’s from the Fillmore District, which has been in phases of decline, redevelopment, and change since the 1960’s. In the past decade, the Fillmore has undergone a surge of economic activity that’s changed the face of the famous jazz quarter of the city once again. In this installment of Bay Area Beats, DaVinci shares how growing up in the Fillmore influenced his music.

Bay Area Beats: Howell Devine

Apr 15, 2015


The band Howell Devine -- Josh Howell, Pete Devine, and Joe Kyle Jr. --  is bringing the southern blues to the Bay. For this episode of Bay Area Beats, we caught up with the founding members to find out how the blues got into their souls.

Bay Area Beats: Briget Boyle

Apr 8, 2015
April Renae / brigetboyle.com

You can hear all sorts of different musical ingredients in the work of Briget Boyle. In the mix is everything from Eastern European harmonies to Balkan brass bands to pop rock. You can hear all those influences, plus a little country western twang, on Boyle’s new solo album, ‘The Parts Interior.’

BRIGET BOYLE: Every person in some way can be a singer, and can tell their story, even if it's just singing along with the radio or singing in the shower. There's something really human about it, and really simple.  

 

“You know, you can only paint a painting once. But a song, you can replay, re-envision, re-imagine virtually an infinite number of times,” says Matt Jaffe. And that’s one reason he wants to devote himself to music.

This Mill Valley singer-songwriter has opened for the legendary Mavis Staples and will do the same March 7th for Megan Slankard. One thing he couldn’t do, if he wasn’t on stage, is legally attend many of his own shows; Matt Jaffe is only 19.

Bay Area Beats: Madeline Tasquin Trading Company

Jan 22, 2015
Photo by Peter Earl McCollough

Berkeley-based musician Madeline Tasquin has been singing all her life -- first back in Canada with her opera-singing mother and gold-mining father, and later here in the Bay Area with bands like Whiskerman and Antioquia. Now she’s working on a new LP with her band, Madeline Tasquin Trading Company, and getting ready for a European tour. We caught up with her for this episode of Bay Area Beats.

Some of all Parts, is a San Francisco rap group made up of old high school buddies Carlos Teasdale, Daniel Velarde, and Joe Truss. Truss is Assistant Principal at San Francisco’s Academy of Arts and Science. He says he was skeptical about joining a rap group at first. He wasn’t impressed with a lot of mainstream rap out there at the time.

Pages