Local Music

The music you are hearing is by Roem Baur. He says his first name came to his mother in a dream, shortly before he was born. Though classically trained as a lyric tenor, he now favors music inspired by American soul singers.

Roem Baur will be performing in his hometown of San Francisco on Friday, February 21st at The Lost Church. Music starts at 8:15pm, sharp!

What do you call a band with a Matt, a Steve, a Chris, a Nathan, two Bens and a Nicole?  That would be the Bay Area Brass Band, from San Francisco, who you are hearing now.

They describe themselves as a hip hop/R & B group ... even with all that brass. The Bay Area Brass Band takes the stage at San Francisco’s 50 Mason Social House on Thursday, February 18th, starting about 10:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is Frankie Boots and the County Line. They are coming in from Sebastopol to take part in the weekly Free Twang Sundays at Thee Parkside in San Francisco.  The motto of Free Twang Sundays is, “If it’s twang, it’s our thang!” If this sounds fun to you, show up around 4:00pm on Sunday, February 16th, when Frankie Boots and the County Line are scheduled to start playing.

Ben Trefny

Thao Nguyen grew up in Northern Virginia, and started playing music at age 12. Since then she has released three critically acclaimed albums, and spent most of her 20s touring, including a national stint with NPR’s RadioLab. It was coming back home to San Francisco and getting involved in her community that inspired her latest album, We The Common. Thao tells us a little more about how she’s grown up through her music.

Do you have plans yet for Valentine’s Day? No? Then consider going to hear Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. NPR says Thao, of San Francisco, “infuses everything around her with electricity and mischievous boldness.”

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down appear at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Friday, February 14th. Doors open at 8:00pm.

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 on Friday, February 14th at The Eagle's Hall Valentine's Day in Alameda. The show begins at 9:00pm.

This music is by a band called Naked Fiction. They describe their sound as “sexy, jazzy, indie, chamber-pop, with a twist of James Bond.”

If any of that sounds appealing, you can hear Naked Fiction live on Thursday, February 13th. They are the headliners at Hotel Utah, in their hometown of San Francisco. The opening band starts at 9:00pm.

Michael Rauner

Right now you’re hearing Professor Burns & the Lilac Field, a musical project of Sean Burns – who is actually a professor, and author. And now Professor Burns is a new father, so he isn’t performing much these days. But you can hear him on Sunday, February 9th at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. He is participating in a performance exhibition called “The Story of This Place,” which starts at 5:00pm. 

Ted Wong

The band playing now is called Tea Leaf Green. A review of their current album says these San Francisco jam-rockers “pull the listener right in for a sonic journey, with a compelling array of twists and turns.” 

 You can experience these twists and turns yourself when Tea Leaf Green plays at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael on Friday, February 7th. The show starts at 8:00pm.

What’s that you’re hearing? It’s Afrolicious, that’s what! And on Friday, February 7th they become the Afrolicious Soundsystem. That’s the expected energetic band set, paired with DJ dance beats. The first show starts at 10:00pm at San Francisco's Public Works and is expected to go for about three hours. Dance to the music!

San Francisco-based band, LoCura, bring their Califas-Mestizo beats to their 3rd album, "Dale de Comer". They will celebrate their CD release show on February 8th at the Independent in San Francisco. Music starts about 9:00pm.  

The music you’re hearing now is by the Galax Quartet. This Bay Area group is modeled after 18th Century string quartets, but they also commission new music, some of which they’ll be playing this weekend.  The Galax Quartet will be performing on Saturday, February 1st at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. This is part of the San Francisco Early Music Society’s 37th annual concert series. The performance begins at 7:30pm.

Berkeley native Joshi Marshall, who you’re hearing now, has been drawing attention to his music since his high school days.  He was a founding member of the Mingus Amungus group, and has performed with such names as Carlos Santana, Pete Escovedo and The Black Crowes.  The Joshi Marshall Trio plays Friday, January 31 at the Jupiter pub in Berkeley, starting about 8:00pm. 

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.