Local Music

The band you’re hearing now is called Cherry Royale. And all they want you know about their music is: “It’s funk music.”

Cherry Royale splits their time between Oakland and New Orleans. You can hear them on Thursday, January 30th at the 19 Broadway Club in Fairfax. Expect the music to begin about 9:00pm. It’s a free show.

This singer is named Tom Rhodes. He started out as a songwriter for other musicians when he was only 14 years old. He established himself as a performer while living in Brooklyn, and now calls the Bay Area home.

Tom Rhodes will be performing tomorrow, January 27th at San Francisco’s Bazaar Café, where he has been songwriter-in-residence on Tuesdays all month. Music starts at 7:00pm. 

The band you’re hearing is The Patrick Wolff Sextet from San Francisco. Leader Patrick Wolff has been a jazz side-man on both coasts – and he also plays Mexican folk music and African high-life. 

The Patrick Wolff Sextet will probably stick to jazz sounds when they perform on Saturday, January 25th at Duende in Oakland. It’s a 9:00pm show.

The sounds you’re hearing now are by Easop, a Richmond-raised rapper who calls his style “street gospel.” 

Easop takes the stage at The Mink Bar & Lounge in Daly City on Saturday, January 25th. He’ll no doubt be featuring music from his new album – it comes out next week. The show starts at 9:00pm.

The hard driving, trippy sounds you’re hearing now are by the Wooden Shjips. This song is from their new album, “Back to the Land.” Listeners to “Sound Opinions,” heard Sunday afternoons on KALW, know that it is a Top Ten Album of 2013, as featured on that program.

Wooden Shjips will be performing at The Chapel in their hometown of San Francisco on Thursday, January 23rd. Doors open at 8:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is called Sweet Felony. No, they're not criminals – the name comes from a friend’s pit-bull. 

This San Francisco duo is one of over half a dozen groups participating in the twelfth annual “Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music" taking place on Saturday, January 18th at The Great American Music Hall. The show starts at 9:00pm.

The toe-tapping style of music you’re hearing now is most often played in New Orleans. But this band, The Zydeco Flames, was formed right here in San Francisco, way back in 1990. 

The Zydeco Flames are on the schedule this Saturday, January 18th at the venerable Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center on San Pablo in Berkeley. Doors open at 8:00pm, with a dance lesson at 8:30. The show begins at 9:00pm. 

R. Black

The song you’re hearing now is from the album, “Stand!” by Oakland legends Sly and the Family Stone.   No, the band is not back together, but over 75 performers are going to play the songs from that album, live, as part of the locally produced Under Cover series.

This San Francisco song is being sung by San Francisco native Maya Castleman. Trained in musical theater and jazz, she has more recently been influenced by collaborations with hip hop producers and rappers. 

Maya Castleman has an album release concert scheduled for Saturday, January 11th at the 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco. Music starts about 7:00pm.

Federico Cusigch

The music you’re hearing now is by the Beth Custer Ensemble of San Francisco. Beth Custer wears many hats. She is a composer, bandleader, and proprietor of a record label. But The San Francisco Chronicle says the best way to describe her is as “a virtuoso of collaboration.” 

The Beth Custer Ensemble will be performing on Friday, January 1oth at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco, starting at 7:30pm. 

Bay Area Discovery Museum

This is a version of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” featuring master drummer E. W. Wainwright. Wainwright played his first music festival in 1965, and last year performed at Carnegie Hall. He is currently a curriculum development consultant for the San Francisco and Oakland School Districts. 

The music you're hearing is by The Tommy Igoe Big Band. Igoe says he began drumming at the age of two, something many of us can probably claim. But no one else but Igoe can claim creating the drumming cues for "The Lion King" on Broadway. Currently, Igoe plays, and teaches, in and around San Francisco.


The U.S. Congress currently has the lowest approval rating ever recorded.  That’s not true, though, of musician Marcus Cohen and his band, The Congress. This twelve-member San Francisco outfit, who you’re hearing now, has been described as “a velvet freight train of passion.” Dig it! 

Marcus Cohen & The Congress will bring their deep soul grooves to the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco on Friday, November 22nd. Music starts at 9:00pm.   

No, your radio hasn’t gone into a time warp. That’s a current-day band known as Tin Cup Serenade. These Crosscurrents favorites are more of a concept than an actual band – meaning the lineup changes from time to time, drawing from talents on both sides of the Bay. 

Tin Cup Serenade will be playing their original tunes on Saturday, November 23rd at the Surf Spot in Pacifica. Expect the music to begin about 8:30pm. 

The piano you’re hearing now is being played by Sarah Cahill, host of the “Revolutions per Minute” program, which is heard Sunday evenings here on KALW. 

Cahill will be joined Friday, November 22nd by Regina Schaffer in a performance that is part of the "New Keys" series. It highlights new works for “pianos and their cousins” – instruments such as vibraphones and toy pianos. It all takes place at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. The concert begins at 8:00pm.   

This is music for hammered dulcimer, an instrument that Robin Petrie has been playing publicly since 1980. Petrie is one of the five members of Panacea, a group specializing in Baltic, Celtic and Medieval music. Panacea doesn’t have any recordings, but the music you're hearing now gives you an idea of their sound. 

If this intrigues you, you can hear Petrie and other members of Panacea on Saturday, November 23rd, at Wisteria Ways in Oakland. It’s an 8:00pm show. 

The band you’re hearing now is called Honey Archer. This San Francisco group pulls from 60 years of rock to create their sound. 

Honey Archer is the headliner on Saturday, November 16th at 50 Mason Social Club, located on the cusp between Union Square and the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Music starts at 9:30pm. 

When you think of music from Brazil, you may think of bossa nova, but you’re not likely to think of choro. Well, Grupo Falso Baiano - who you're hearing now - is working to change that. Some call choro the “ragtime of Brazil,” with its mix of African and European sounds.  You can hear Grupo Falso Baiano this Friday, November 15th at The Sound Room in Oakland. Music begins at 8:00pm. 

This music?  It’s by The New Thoreaus of Oakland. They started off a few years ago as a group of special education teachers playing music just to release some stress. Now they’ve been together long enough to release an album.  The New Thoreaus are playing for free on Thursday, November 14th at the Mission Community Market in San Francisco. That starts about 6:30pm.  

Have you heard of The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players? Now in their 43rd season, the SFCMP performs music exclusively from the 20th and 21st Centuries, because, they say, “our collective societal imagination requires the stimulation of the new."   The next performance by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is this Thursday, November 14th at the Lam Research Theater, in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There’s a talk at 7:15pm, prior to the performance at 8:00pm.

The music you’re hearing now comes from one of the bands in the Diablo Valley College Rock, Rhythm & Blues Revue.  The Revue features over 20 bands with over 80 students participating.

You can hear the Diablo Valley College Rock, Rhythm & Blues Revue next Sunday, November 10th at the century-old Empress Theatre in Vallejo, starting at 2:00pm. 

The music you’re hearing now is by Fito Reinoso. He was born in Cuba but has called the Bay Area home since 1980.

He played in his first orchestra when he was 12-years-old, and continues to share classic music styles from his homeland, along with current urban sounds from Havana. 

That may sound like a spirited audience, but it is actually the performers of San Francisco’s Taiko Dojo unit. The San Francisco Taiko Dojo has transformed this ancient style of drumming, and it must be seen to be believed. 

You have the opportunity to do that this weekend, November 9th and 10th, when the San Francisco Taiko Dojo joins special guests from Japan for the 45th International Taiko Festival, taking place at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. 

Stephanie Shea

That’s The Plastic Arts you’re hearing right now, but they could easily be called "Kyle Terrizzi and Friends," because he’s the creative force behind The Plastic Arts. 

Reviews call his music “achingly beautiful” and “poetic.”  You can provide your own review if you go hear The Plastic Arts at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on Thursday, November 7th. Music starts at 7:30pm. 

The sounds you’re hearing now are by The Sydney Ducks. San Francisco history buffs will know of a Gold Rush era criminal gang by that name. These modern Sydney Ducks aren’t criminals, but they do plan to tear up the stage at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill tomorrow, November 1st. Music begins about 8:30pm.  

Something radio people try to avoid is a list of words starting with “P.” The Ives Quartet of Palo Alto doesn’t know that, which is why they say they that the quartet “has established a reputation for passion, precision, and provocative programming.”  

The King is dead, but he’s not forgotten. That is an Elvis Presley song you’re hearing, but it’s being played by Dave Crimmens & His Band.

Dave Crimmens also performs original tunes. You can hear some of both on Saturday, October 26th at Nick’s Restaurant in Pacifica, from 8:00pm until midnight.   

There are all sorts of sub-categories of music, but we think the band called Sage, who you are hearing now, may be the only practitioners of what they call Ukulele Rock. 

What you’re hearing now is Orquesta Borinquen. They call themselves, “The Bay Area’s Salsa Powerhouse Band.” And the root of that power comes from Bill Ortega, Jr. He is the group’s director, and trumpeter, and percussionist. 

 You can experience the power tomorrow, October 24th when Orquesta Borinquen plays the Shadow Ultra Lounge in Oakland, starting about 9:00pm.