Local Music

Many musical styles have washed up on the shores of the Bay Area, and LoCura – the band you’re hearing now – has scooped up several of them, swirled them together, and created their own sound from these diverse ingredients.

LoCura will be performing at Stern Grove on Sunday, August 17th, opening for Sergio Mendez. The Stern Grove Festival has been presenting “concerts free to the public and for everyone’s enjoyment” for 77 years.

Matt Jaffe may be tiring of comments about how young he is. “Your birthday is no measure of your age,” he sings in “Young Enough.” But there’s no way around it: hearing a performer this good at 19 years old is notable.

Matt Jaffe & The Distractions have a strong live performance. They are not kidding around, yet it is clear that they are also having a lot of fun.

Emily Kiyomi

The music you’re hearing now is from the new release by the band Mr. Kind, from Oakland.

You can hear this and other songs, old and new, when Mr. Kind plays at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Friday, August 15th. They are the second of three bands that evening. Music starts at 9:00pm.   

Erik Anderson

Ever wonder what “progressive pop” sounds like?  Well, wonder no more: you’re hearing an example right now, performed by Odd Owl.

Odd Owl, from San Francisco, is influenced by a wide range of styles, ranging from Talking Heads to Vampire Weekend.

Odd Owl will be performing at El Rio in San Francisco on Saturday, August 16th.  Expect the music to begin about 9:00pm.

This song?  It’s by Kim Rea. Rea started playing music over three decades ago, including several years as a street musician in towns across America.  

Now Rea has settled in the Bay Area, where she and her band, The Dreamdogs, perform every Monday at The No Name Bar on Bridgeway in Sausalito. Music starts about 8:30 or 9:00pm.  

The song you’re hearing now is by Jesse DeNatale from Sonoma. He has organized a benefit show for the Powell–Porrata family of West Marin. The father of the family died early this year and now their pre-school son has cancer, and all proceeds from this event go to the family.

You probably don't need to be told that the music you're hearing now is by The Grateful Dead. Their songs will be performed live this week at a one-night-only, all-star tribute, celebrating Jerry Garcia's birthday, which was August 1st.

Musicians participating in the "Very Jerry" event include David Gans, Henry Kaiser, James Nash … and KALW morning man Joe Burke, along with many others.

“Goodnight, Moon” is a beloved children’s book. But this isn’t about that. This is about Goodnight, Texas, the band you’re hearing now. There is a weak connection, though, since this song is titled “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme."

Today’s local music is by Bay Area bluesman Tommy Castro. This song is from his latest album, “The Devil You Know.” Castro says he challenged himself to add different sounds and new rhythms to this record, while staying true to his core.

Tommy Castro and The Painkillers are among the performers taking part in this year’s Art & Soul Festival. The festival takes place Saturday, August 2nd and Sunday August 3rd in downtown Oakland from noon to 6:00pm, both days.

Did you know that there is a “West Marin County sound”?  Well, there is, according to the group Loyal Rose.

Loyal Rose is a folk-jam band that usually gets people up and dancing. If you’d like to take part, they’ll be at Peri’s Saloon in Fairfax on Thursday, July 31st. Music starts about 9:00pm. 

Have you heard of The Droptones?  They are from San Francisco, but their recent single – which you’re hearing now – was a hit this spring in England.

You can hear the West Coast Soul of the Droptones on Friday, when they’ll be at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Doors will open at 8:00pm. 

The smoky voice you’re here now belongs to Bay Area singer Liz Kennedy. She’s been writing music since she was 12, and now fifty years later, she says, “I’m old enough to have found some style.”

Liz Kennedy is having an album release party on Saturday, July 27th at the Fenix Bar on 4th Street in San Rafael. Music starts about 6:30pm.

The sounds you’re hearing are by the Quartet San Francisco. They aren’t your typical chamber quartet. As they say, “When the music says swing, we swing. When the music says groove, we groove.”

The Quartet San Francisco might be swinging and grooving on Sunday, July 27th; that’s when they open for Rufus Wainwright at the Stern Grove Festival in -- where else -- San Francisco’s Stern Grove. Music starts at 2:00pm, but everyone knows to get there much earlier!

The music you’re hearing is by a quartet called Gojogo from Berkeley. To create their sound, they combine elements of Western classical and jazz music with the traditional rhythms of India. 

Gojogo will be performing Thursday, July 24th at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.  The lights go down at 7:30pm.

It’s summer, when festivals fill the air with music, such as this Mozart composition featuring the San Francisco Boys Choir, now in its 65th year.

The Boys Choir will be featured in “A Mozart Bouquet” this weekend as part of the 2014 Mid-summer Mozart Festival.  Concerts are planned in San Francisco on Friday, in Berkeley on Saturday, and at Stanford University on Sunday. You can find all the details at their website.

Take some Latin percussion and add some old-school funk. Mix in a little reggae and R & B, and you have the recipe for the music you’re hearing now, performed by a Bay Area band named Vinyl. Vinyl’s musical mix-up provides the audience with plenty of fuel to dance -- and dance some more.  

Vinyl performs on Saturday, July 26th at the Boom Boom Room on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. They start about 9:30pm.  

It’s summertime -- a perfect time to experience the sunny sounds of The Corner Laughers, who you're listening to now.

The Corner Laughers, from Redwood City, have an afternoon show planned on Sunday, July 20th at the Public Library in Mill Valley. Music starts about 11:00am.


The sound you’re hearing now is called Rockabilly Revival, as played by The Royal Deuces. But you won’t be hearing the Royal Deuces this week, so how about settling for their founder, Mitch Polzak?

The Mitch Polzak Show is described as a one-man show with guitar, banjo and jokes. If this sounds intriguing, head to the Forbidden Island tiki lounge in Alameda on Thursday, July 17th.  The fun begins about 8:30pm.

Thomas Heinser

This voice belongs to Jacqui Naylor of San Francisco. JazzTimes Magazine says Naylor “remains one of the most superbly arresting vocalists around."

Jacqui Naylor will be on stage Friday, July 18th at the SFJazz Center. She’ll be singing songs from her new album, which pays tribute to songwriters ranging from Johnny Mercer to Amy Winehouse. The lights go down about 7:30pm.

This music is samba music and it’s being played by SambaDá. The band started in Santa Cruz in the late Nineties, and has since gained a strong following for its high-energy shows. They give the audience plenty of opportunity to dance.

Does this sound like fun to you? Then have your dancing shoes laced up about 9:30pm on Saturday, June 21st when Samba-Da’ takes the stage at the 19 Broadway Club in Fairfax.

What’s this you’re hearing? Well, that’s easy: it’s the Blues! But what you might not know is, this is the Blues as sung by Tia Carroll of Richmond.

Tia Carroll is the guest vocalist with Grand Avenue Soul on Friday, June 20th. Their guarantee? You will be entertained. Show up at San Francisco’s Hotel Utah about 9:00pm to see them make good on that promise. 

The band you’re hearing now is Jeremiah Johnson & the Soulmates from San Francisco. They specialize in a style of reggae rock that they say is “good for the ears, heart, soul, mind and body.”

Jeremiah Johnson & the Soulmates are playing a benefit show this Friday, June 20th at the FAME event space in San Francisco. This program benefits the Real Options for City Kids, or R.O.C.K.  Music begins about 8:00pm.

It’s understandable if you hear the name Pangea Futbol Club and think it’s a soccer team -- but it’s not. The Pangea Futbol Club, who you’re hearing now, is a multi-national band based in San Francisco. Their goal (get it?!) is to bring people from around the world “to dance to one festive heartbeat.”

The blending of East and West that you are hearing in this music was created by the Ultra World X-tet. Why an “X-tet”?  Because the number of players and their instruments keep changing. They admit to a “world fusion” sound, but their elements come from classical music rather than popular tunes.

Who’s this you’re hearing?  It’s Guy Fox. This Oakland band combines alt-rock energy with big band arrangements. And they have a reputation for getting folks to dance!

Guy Fox is in San Francisco tomorrow evening, June 10th at The Chapel, starting about 8:00pm.  It’s a free all-ages show.

This isn’t just any old Dixieland Jazz band you’re hearing. It’s Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz. Sharpe is well known as half the team of “Coyle & Sharpe", creating elaborate man-on-the-street interviews for San Francisco radio in the 1960s. Now Sharpe is known as a respected trombonist with his own combo.

Once upon a time, probably before you were born, live musicians provided music as the audience watched motion pictures. The Marin Symphony plans to revive this custom on Sunday, June 8th. That’s when they’ll play the entire score of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” as the film is shown.

Listen to this! This is tUnE-yArDs, from Oakland, and this track is from their latest album, Nikki Nack.

tUnE-yArDs is primarily singer/songwriter Merrill Garbus. She’ll be introducing her new songs on Friday, June 6th at the Fillmore in San Francisco, with help from a bass guitarist and a loop pedal. Doors open at 8:00pm, with music beginning at 9:00pm.

The music you’re hearing now is being performed by the Davis Senior High School Baroque Orchestra. Davis, California, is beyond our usual local music limits, but we’re featuring them today, because the orchestra is taking part in this year’s Berkeley Festival of Early Music – and second, they’re the only public high school Baroque orchestra in the United States.

The music of Ensemble Mik Nawooj blends techniques from Western European classical music into rock, pop and hip-hop songs. The East Bay Express calls their sound “the future of hip hop.”

The Ensemble Mik Nawooj, who you’re hearing now, has a free show on Saturday, May 31st at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco. It starts at 1:00pm, so bring a lunch.