Bay Area Beats

Freda Banks

In 2008, double bassist and founder of the Musical Art Quintet, Sascha Jacobsen regularly attended the Sunday night chamber music jams at Cafe Revolution. But after his umpteenth time through Dvorak’s Opus 77, String quartet No. 2 in G major—one of the few chamber music standards that includes The double bass—he realized that if he wanted to play something else, he’d have to write it himself.

KALW’s Jayme Catsouphes brings us the story in this Bay Area Beats profile from our archives.

The chemistry between people on a dance floor and the DJ mixing for them is not something to take lightly. The DJ is like a combination of artist, entertainer, and performer – taking the crowd on a musical journey.

Sarah Cahill is considered one of the architects and champions of the new music scene in the Bay Area. She founded the annual Garden of Memory concert at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, which is one of the many ways she tries to make contemporary music more accessible to a wider audience. She also does that Sunday nights on her radio show Then and Now on KALW on Sundays at 8pm. Cahill spoke with KALW's Martina Castro and played some songs for her, as she described why she ended up leaving the more formal classical world, for the freedom of the experimental genre.

It may have the word “noise” in the title, but San Francisco's Noise Pop festival is all about highlighting the best indie art, film and music in the Bay Area. It kicks off tonight with concerts including Oakland’s Will Sprott.

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. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, McFarling tells KALW’s Martina Castro why she credits San Francisco with helping her launch her musical career, and better understanding the idea of home.

Courtesy of LoCura

The San Francisco band LoCura reflects the Bay's diverse mix of cultures, histories and people through music that surfs genres and shuns labels. Members of the band come from as far away as Spain, and as close as the Mission district. They blend flamenco, Cuban son, reggae, cumbia, ska and more to make their own border-crossing brand of revolutionary party music. With the release of their new album, Semilla Caminante, the band deepens this mixture of musical and political cultures.

Matthew Washburn

San Francisco’s Bhi Bhiman set out from his home in St. Louis in pursuit of the mecca of classic rock and roll – a city where Jefferson Airplane still haunts the streets. But once he arrived on the west coast, Bhiman found only a few remnants of this once golden age of American music.

Not to be discouraged, the first-generation Sri Lankan singer/songwriter steeped himself in the rich American musical traditions of blues and folk.

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