Bay Area Beats

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.

Bay Area Beats: Bobby Hutcherson

Jan 22, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons

For more than 40 years, Bobby Hutcherson has lived a life most artists can only dream about. After making his name in the 1960s in New York as one of the youngest stars on the iconic jazz record label Blue Note, Hutcherson returned to his native California. He and his wife Rosemary settled into a new house near the San Mateo coast and raised a family, as Hutcherson built his international reputation and toured the world as one of the great jazz vibraphonists.

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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