May
23
7:00 pm19:00

Brazilian Jazz with the Ami Molinelli Quartet

Jazz in the Neighborhood presents...

A fresh take on the traditional jam session, we're calling it Neighborhood Sessions: Concert-Masterclass-Jam, and it's your opportunity to get on stage and play with the best jazz musicians in the Bay Area.

Each event has three components: first, a short set by some of our best Bay Area pros, followed by two pre-professional combos who will perform in a masterclass format with critique and advice provided by the pros. 

Following the masterclass, audience members will have an opportunity to join in during the jam session. Sign-up forms will be available at the door. Please bring your own instrument with the exception of piano and drums. Sheet music or charts will not be allowed except for vocalists, who should provide charts for the band members. All instruments and vocalists—amateur to pro—are welcome at every session.

Tickets at jazzintheneighborhood.org/events/tix/
$10 general admission. CJC-degree-students, free with ID. Doors open one half hour before showtime. Show time is 7pm. 

Send inquiries to sessions@jazzintheneighborhood.org

May
25
8:00 pm20:00

The Page Turners CD Release Show with special guests Bill Evans and Max Schwartz

The Page Turners are headed by Carolyn Kendrick (Stockton, CA) and Jake Howard (Akron, OH). Winners of the 2016 Freshgrass "Best Duo" award, they met at the Berklee College of Music, and perform mostly original acoustic music.

The Page Turners blend their love of bluegrass, whiskey-fueled old-time, and classic country into one big all-purpose seasoning of delicious Roots Music. They recorded an EP this past September and will tour following the EP's release.

Bruce Molsky had this to say about the band, "The Page Turners harness the best and deepest parts of bluegrass and old-time sounds as their own unique springboard for some wonderful new music. I love what Carolyn and Jake are doing and can’t wait to hear more!”

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

Bay Area banjoist Bill Evans is an internationally known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a career that spans over thirty-five years.

Bill is the author of Banjo For Dummies and Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies, two of the most popular banjo books in the world. He has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performed on a program with the San Francisco Symphony. Bill’s CD In Good Company features over 26 musicians, including the Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, and Joy Kills Sorrow, performing Bill’s innovative compositions that blend jazz, classical, folk and world music influences. This release charted #1 on the Roots Music Report/Cashbox Folk and Bluegrass Charts and the Folk DJ-List chart and was named to many Best Of lists, including Pop Matters, Folk Alley and Prescription Bluegrass. Bill’s new CD, Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us, was recorded with the 86-year old fiddler Fletcher Bright and acoustic legends Norman & Nancy Blake.

“Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for colour…treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent release In Good Company is a virtuoso master class in exploring bluegrass from the tradition to the far edges of alternative.” - Tom Franks, FolkWords

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
26
8:00 pm20:00

The Reckless Saints

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Roy Schneider, and his partner in all things Kim Mayfield, have recently reincarnated as The Reckless Saints.

The Americana duo are based in Florida and have been touring since 2008, sharing their “Blue-Twangled Folk & Roll” across America, Canada, the UK, Netherlands, and Belgium. The last two CDs (released as ‘Roy Schneider’), were entirely fan-funded and have received generous airplay on Americana radio shows and stations like KPIG.

The duo are hard at work on the upcoming Reckless Saints debut album, which will feature some instrument swapping, and lots of marital harmonies. Notable past performance venues include 30A Songwriters Festival, Kerrville NewFolk, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist, Nashville's Bluebird Cafe, Yorkshire England's MadFest and Roy’s appearance as a contestant on NBC's The Voice

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
27
8:00 pm20:00

Lila Nelson, No Pardon

Lila Nelson

Lila Nelson

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lila Nelson began her lyrical life in the River Valley of Southern California with stints in Washington State, Idaho, and Santa Cruz, California. Later she spent years in beautiful and remote Arcata, California where she honed her skills as a performer, earning a degree in theatre arts, and working between tour dates as a DJ on the award winning independent radio station, KHUM.

What began as knack for lyricism and harmony blossomed into full fledged crafts-woman-ship and stage savvy. Her early guitar- and piano-based songs often echoed the stark, often wry first person of her old pen-pal, Loudon Wainwright III. But her sound gradually found a home in its own rich elliptical song-scapes.

Loudon remarked on her 2004 debut: “Great songs…poetic tendrils that cling…”

In 2005 she was featured on the front page of Neil Young’s website with her song “Fresh Paint,” which “hit home.” She was also named semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for “Hold it in Your Hand,” and she played with the celebrated Richie Havens. She has sung and acted with the internationally acclaimed Dell’ Arte Players. In 2008 she recorded with Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, k.d. lang, Carla Bruni) in Santa Monica, CA and toured with the late Kenny Edwards (Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon). “Letter Home” features Koella, Edwards, Don Heffington (Jayhawks) and Stewart Cole (Sara McLachlan, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros).

Upon moving to Oakland, CA in 2009, Nelson played with Ben Folds at the premiere Bay Area venue, The Fox Theater, and toured overseas. About her recently released sixth album, The Fret & the Fray, Lila says, “The album has a kind of energy I’ve been wanting to record for a long time. The liveness–the danciness–on some of the songs is a new, but fitting frontier for me. I grew up dancing. That paradox of the deeply contemplative and the wholly unrestrained speaks to me. Plus, sometimes you just have to make some noise.”

She recently gave birth to her greatest work: Viva Caliendo.

No Pardon

No Pardon

No Pardon is a New Folk trio based out of Eureka CA, featuring the songwriting of Chris Parreira (guitar) and Rosalind Parducci (fiddle), with Amber Grimes on the lusty upright bass.

Fresh and bluesy, this trio plays a blend of indie-folk-jazz. Their sound is inventive and illustrative, every song tells a story or paints a picture with the mood of the instruments. Parducci and Parreira each have distinctive, dynamic voices: their harmonies are clear and gripping. Parreira's rhythm guitar is chunky and delectable, an articulate blend of folk, funk, and country and Amber Grimes plays soulful bass in tandem with the lively groove.

Parducci's fiddle has been dubbed her “second voice,” so much does it resemble her first - she dynamically accompanies her singing on fiddle with chops, chords and drones. Her songs invite listeners on a journey with pure and unembellished song, tinted by the pigments of jazz, pop and blues.

In 2016, No Pardon played at the regional Folk Life Festival, Mateel Summer Arts and Music Festival, and the Lost Sierra Hoedown, and they released their first 7-track EP last spring.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

May
28
8:00 pm20:00

Harry Taussig & Max Ochs

Fifty years ago, Harry Taussig and Max Ochs were featured on a sampler LP, Contemporary Guitar - Spring '67, alongside John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Bukka White. Both guitarists were "re-discovered" by Tompkins Square in 2005, and have since released new recordings for the label.

On May 26th, Tompkins Square will release The Music of Harry Taussig & Max Ochs, featuring newly recorded material, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Takoma sampler they first appeared on. The pair will also meet for the first time and play select shows on the West
Coast. The May 28th concert in Berkeley will also feature Tompkins Square recording artist Richard Osborn, a student of the late Robbie Basho.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
29
5:00 pm17:00

Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. With roots in jazz, a cappella and folk, Be composes a soulful blend of genres into what she calls queer pop. In her live performances, she utilizes loop pedal vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her
songs on stage. Be's self-produced albums feature her earnest lyricism, proud LGBTQ content, unapologetic silliness, and the art of the simple love song.

As she pursued her career in music, she began a career in film. Shooting and editing her own music videos, Be combined her love of music with narrative film.  In 2014, Be completed an MFA in film from Howard University. This year, Be was selected to be a 2016 Strathmore Artist in Residence. The D.C. Commission on the Arts awarded Be the Artist Fellowship for 2016. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence (2014)
internationally.  

Ticket are $18 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
1
8:00 pm20:00

Jill Sobule

Jill Sobule is a Denver-born, critically acclaimed, singer-writer with over 11 albums and more than two decades of recording and performing.

1995’s Jill Sobule proved a major popular breakthrough and included the hit singles “Supermodel” (featured in Clueless) and the original, “I Kissed A Girl.” Considered a pioneer in the crowdsourcing revolution, Jill remains a prolific and diverse writer and performer today.

Jill has recently collaborated on a re-imagining of the 1970 Broadway play Yentl, as well as on the original musical Times Square. In addition, Sobule is a vocal political force, contributing songs, essays, and poetry to NPR, The Huffington Post, and more, while regularly performing at TED conferences, house concerts, and charity events, including a recent series of concerts for inmates imprisoned across the country. Her latest project is My Song Is My Weapon – an online platform for artists and musicians to showcase their more socially conscious and political work.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
2
8:00 pm20:00

Stevie Barsotti & Robbie Dunbar, with Special Guest Sam Rudin

Stevie Barsotti writes nature and spirit songs, bringing the forest, mountain, and ocean right into the room through the music. Robbie Dunbar writes open-hearted, emotionally satisfying pop and rock music. Together, they are a joyous presence on stage, filtering a 60's sensibility through a lifetime of expert musicianship.  

Sam Rudin (who is, of course, the owner of The Back Room, and is better known for his virtuosity at the piano) is a uniquely engaging percussionist, his bongos sounding sometimes like a scaled-down drum set, and other times like an Indian tabla. With (mostly) acoustic guitars, some electric bass, and the bongos, you can expect a real coffee house flavor.

Stevie and Robbie met in the Sixties in a magical time of transformation, and started playing in various rock & roll bands while still in high school. The new, electric aspect of the music was very exciting to them, but they were drawn to the acoustic side of the music as well. 

Robbie and Stevie (who also have a more electric project called Dapper Shindig) have enjoyed participating in the evolving rock & roll scene in the East Bay and beyond over the last 50 years, playing in many different bands: Robbie in the Purple Earthquake, then Earth Quake for a long stint touring and recording albums, and writing most of the material on those albums. He still plays with Larry Lynch and the Mob, Earth Quake, and Lovers Leap. Stevie played in Haymarket Riot and Lazarus in the 60's, Grayson Street in the 70's, Stevie B and the Hornets in the 80's, Country Joe McDonald in the 80's and 90's, and Beeswax for more than 20 years.   

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
3
8:00 pm20:00

Don Burnham's 70th Birthday Party

Guitarist & vocalist Don Burnham and his Kiwi bride Sarah Dee present a swinging concert to celebrate Don's 70th birthday.

The milestone evening's lineup features all-star musicians from the Western Swing Hall-of Famer's bands, THE BOLOS, and LOST WEEKEND WESTERN SWING BAND, as well as special guests.

LINEUP:
Bobby Black,  steel guitar
Mark Holzinger, lead guitar
Bob Schulz, cornet
Scott Lawrence, piano
Jeremy Cohen, fiddle
Karen Horner, bass & vocals
Peter Lind, drums
Sarah D. Burnham, vocals
Don Burnham, guitar & vocals

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
4
2:00 pm14:00

KaDaoYin 卡到音

KaDaoYin 卡到音 is a world music improvisation ensemble based in Taipei and London. With their singular combination of Woodwinds (C-Tenor, C-Soprano Saxophone, Flute), Sheng (Chinese Mouth Organ), Guzheng (Chinese Zither) and Piano, KaDaoYin stands at the crossroads of Contemporary Classical music, Chinese Folk Music, Free Improvisation and Jazz.

The name 卡到音 (spoken Kǎ Dào Īn) is a wordplay in Mandarin meaning ‘being caught up in something' - music, in this case. The unmistakable, 100 percent acoustic group sound, the loosely structured but deeply felt improvisations, and the intuitive musical understanding between the four musicians will captivate every audience.

Founded in 2009 by pianist Shih-Yang Lee and saxophonist Klaus Bru, KaDaoYin has collaborated with film makers, choreographers, writers, sound artists and musicians from Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and Taiwan. The group has played dozens of concerts in Taiwan, most notably at the prestigious National Concert Hall in Taipei and several times at the Taichung Jazz Festival. Internationally, KaDaoYin appeared at Semaines des Cultures etrangères (2013), Jazzycolors Festival and Musee Guimet (2016) in Paris, and headlined the Sound of Dragon Festival in Vancouver in 2016.

KaDaoYin has so far released 2 CDs. Both of them are concept albums: the improvised pieces on Four Characters (2012) take their moods and titles from Cheng Yu, popular Mandarin idioms consisting of four Chinese characters, which depict the essence of a life situation in a poetic or humorous way.

Slow (2013) was inspired by the character 慢 (spoken màn), which is often seen on Taiwanese roads signaling drivers to slow down. The mix of half-composed, half-improvised pieces on Slow has a distinctly meditative air, suggesting a slower pace for our busy lives. Both CDs have won prestigious awards in Taiwan: Four Characters received the Golden Indie Music Award 2012 for Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Track. Slow received the Golden Melody Award 2014 for Traditional Arts and Music ("Taiwan Grammy") for Best Crossover Album.

Currently, KaDaoYin are working on their third album, which is inspired by traditional and aboriginal Taiwanese music, as well as the Chinese Folk music styles of Nanguan and Beiguan.

MUSICIAN BIOs:

Li-Chin Li - Sheng (Chinese Mouth Organ)
Li-Chin Li is a young sheng player and composer from Taichung, who graduated from Tainan National University of the Arts. Li's rendition of the Super Mario Theme for her instrument has gone viral on YouTube with over 4 million hits and worldwide media coverage. She is active both as a soloist and a chamber musician, and after being a member of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, lives now in Taipei. In 2014, Li staged her own recital in Taipei's honorable National Recital Hall with the addition of DJs and multimedia.

Chun-Te Liu - Guzheng (Chinese Zither)
Guzheng player Chun-Te Liu is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese music. He graduated from the Chinese Music Department at Tainan National University of arts, majoring in guzheng. Later he studied composition at Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu. He now works as a dancer for Taiwanese dance companies, while often contributing the music scores and his outstanding guzheng skills to their productions.

Klaus Bru - C-Saxophones, Flute
Klaus Bru, previously based in Taipei, now in London, has worked with an abundance of artists in dissimilar musical contexts, covering the spectrum from Experimental Noise and Electronica to Mainstream Jazz and Pop Music. Bru is possibly the only saxophonist who specializes in the rare C-saxophones, which he likes to electrify. He has performed and recorded with Marc Ribot, Sunny Murray, Franz Hautzinger, Peter Herbert, Michael Moser, Bilal Karaman, Li Jianhong, Sabu Toyozumi, Eddie Prevost, Orphy Robinson, and many others.

Shih-Yang Lee - Piano
Shih-Yang Lee from Taipei has performed and recorded in Asia and Europe, among others with illustrious names like Sainkho Namtchylak, Jaap Blonk, Hans Koch, Luc Houtkamp, Umezu Kazutoki, Audrey Chen, and many more. In addition, he has made himself a name as a composer and live musician for some of the best drama and dance companies from Taiwan. His live album Galactic Alignment with Fred van Hove won an Honorary Mention for New Releases 2014 in New York City Jazz Record. He also won the “Best Musician” at the 6th Indie Music Awards of Taiwan. He is the founder and music director of the Taiwan International Improvised Music Festival. 

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
9
7:30 pm19:30

The 5th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering with Larry Conger

Larry Conger

Larry Conger

Faculty Concert featuring Larry Conger, Steve Eulberg, Deborah Hamouris, Holly Tannen, Dusty Thorburn and The Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra.

Larry CongerA graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Larry has been involved with music as a vocation for almost 40 years. He is a popular instructor at dulcimer workshops around the country, and has been a participating artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission's Arts in Education program & the Kentucky Arts Council's Teacher Incentive Program, bringing dulcimer music into the public schools. He won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Mountain View, Arkansas, and the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Larry has authored fifteen dulcimer books and has three recordings to his credit.

Steve Eulberg & Deborah Hamouris are Co-Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra, as well as the Artistic & Executive Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, respectively. Steve travels nationally to perform & teach, and is an active member in the Musician’s Union Local #1000. Deborah teaches dulcimer at the Freight & Salvage and directs community singing groups.

Holly Tannen is a well-known folk musician and humorist, offering traditional and original takes on familiar songs, accompanied by dulcimer.

Dusty Thorburn, the founder of River City Dulcimers in Sacramento, is a long-time guitarist and occasional mandolin player who discovered the dulcimer several years ago and has been obsessed ever since.

All will be teaching at the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering on June 10th at the Freight & Salvage.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
11
1:30 pm13:30

Queer Country West Coast with Eli Conley & Secret Emchy Society

Why queer country music? Because sometimes you love a culture that doesn’t always love you back. We do it because we love the music and want to build a community to support queer country musicians. We do it because everybody needs a honky tonk angel to hold them tight. We do it because we believe in country music for all cow-people.

Eli Conley's voice shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. This Americana songwriter with Virginia roots has been featured in the Huffington Post and the Advocate, and opened for Grammy-winner Kimya Dawson. Now based in Berkeley, he hosts this special edition of his Queer Country West Coast series to celebrate the release of his sophomore album Strong and Tender. He’ll be joined by cellist Conrad Sisk and some other special guests.

The Secret Emchy Society plays foot-stompin,' heartbreakin' queer cowboy songs about good friends and hard times. Come celebrate the release of their debut album The Stars Fall Shooting Into Twangsville. Front-person Cindy Emch uses her unique & nuanced voice to sing deeply personal Americana music for modern times. She has previously sung, strummed, and squeeze-boxed her way around the country with the bands Vagabondage, Rhubarb Whiskey, Sinners Tonic, Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, Jerk Church, and Feral. 

**Please note this is a matinee performance and starts at 1:30pm. Doors open at 1pm.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
11
8:00 pm20:00

Berkley Hart

Berkley Hart have found something that works. The combination of Kerrville New Folk Songwriter Award winner Jeff Berkley and stand-out wordsmith Calman Hart creates a pairing that has become one of the premier acoustic duos touring the country.

Every Berkley Hart show is packed with entertainment as the duo combines their natural down-home humor with poignant, delicate, masterfully crafted lyrics delivered with stunning harmony and musicianship. Between songs, the obvious camaraderie between these two top songwriters shines as they effortlessly play off each other in what can only be called genuine comedy. Add in virtuoso playing and it’s easy to see why the two have become live favorites.

With their 6th studio album, Crow, the duo explore the ups and downs of life in song. Much like how the crow symbolizes despair and darkness in some cultures, while in others it is a harbinger of hope and light, this contrast fits the yin and yang of the songs on Crow both musically and lyrically, and thus inspired the title. Long-time fans are sure to find Berkley Hart at their best on this album while new listeners will definitely understand why this incredible duo is so admired.

Crow was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards. Each of their previous five albums has earned nominations or won San Diego Music Awards (SDMA) and critical acclaim. In their 2009 effort, Las Vegas, Berkley Hart explored the sonic landscape as it relates to absence, love, loss, religion, redemption, and the power of rock and roll wrapped around the duo’s unique twists of observation.

The North County Times said the record was, “A throwback celebration of the glories of harmonized vocals, San Diego’s Jeff Berkley and Calman Hart are such gifted performers that they instantly elevate any song they touch. Soaring vocals in the model of Seals and Crofts or Loggins and Messina combine with virtuosic playing on guitar to create that elusive sense of magic that most bands never manage.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
15
8:00 pm20:00

McNally / Pearlman / Alexander

Hailing from extreme corners of the US, Katie McNally, Elias Alexander, and Neil Pearlman are three of the brightest young voices in Scottish traditional music today. Their new collaboration draws deeply on the Gaelic music of west coast Scotland and Cape Breton, weaving an unprecedented synergy of Gaelic song melodies, percussive step dance, and the ground-breaking instrumental creativity all three are known for. 

"Poised to become one of the most influential players of Scottish music," (Fiddler Magazine), Katie McNally broke new ground with her 2016 release, The Boston States. Fluent in both the Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle traditions, McNally has appeared across North America at the Newport Folk Festival, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Cape Breton.

Elias Alexander is swiftly distinguishing himself in traditional music circles as a border-piper, singer and composer. He tours with several bands including Soulsha, MAC, and his own Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band. His debut album Bywater is making waves nationally and internationally and he has performed at many top festivals including Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland, Austin Celtic Music Festival, KVMR Celtic Festival, and Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.  

Hailed as "a tremendous pianist" by BBC Radio Scotland, Neil Pearlman tours with his own band Alba's Edge, whose debut album Run to Fly was produced by legendary fiddler Aidan O'Rourke. Also in demand as a sideman, Pearlman tours and records with the top Celtic musicians in North America including 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award-winner, Adrianna Ciccone. 

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
16
8:00 pm20:00

The Freight Hoppers

The Freight Hoppers are a four-piece string band presenting hard-driving Old Time music with an emotional, raw excitement that keeps one foot planted in the past and the other in the present. Of course that's only when they keep their feet still!

The band started presenting their energetic take on fiddle band music four times a day, seven days a week at the Great Smoky Mountains Railway shortly after forming in 1992. Their repertoire includes music that was first recorded in the late 1920's and early 1930's and spans geographically from Mississippi to West Virginia.

The heart of the band is the fiddle and clawhammer banjo combo of Merritt Smith and Frank Lee, while the rhythm section of Allie Burbrink on guitar and Andy Smith on string bass hold down the ensemble. Based out of the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, The Freight Hoppers draw from a deep source of rural southern music for their inspiration, and they are proud to present this music that is still meaningful today. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
18
8:00 pm20:00

The Barefoot Movement

Heartfelt, energetic, and down home. Heralded by CMT Edge as "one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene," the music of the Nashville-based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while.  

All the worries and frustrations of the world melt away as the charming four-piece acoustic band takes listeners back to a simpler place and time. Whether you're seeking emotional ballads or rip-roaring barn-burners, you can expect a collection of music that offers something for everyone.  With two full length albums, several cross-country tours, and appearances at some of the top bluegrass festivals in the United States already under their belt, the possibilities are endless.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
23
7:00 pm19:00

An Evening of Indian Classical Music with Pandit Nirmalya Dey & Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma

Nirmalya Dey

Nirmalya Dey

Mohan Shyam Sharma

Mohan Shyam Sharma

Pandit Nirmalya Dey is a premier exponent of Dagarvani dhrupad, which represents the purest form of North Indian classical music as embodied through the raga system. He learned his art primarily from the great musician and teacher Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, who taught him the techniques and the subtleties of dhrupad closely and with great
affection. Pandit Dey's initial training at an early age was from Prof. Nimaichand Boral, a disciple of Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar. Nirmalya Dey is a Top Grade artiste with All India Radio and with Indian National Television (Doordarshan), and has regularly performed in major music festivals in India and abroad.

Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma is one of the leading pakhawaj players in India. Mohan Shyam learned the pakhawaj from Pandit Tota Ram Sharma of Mathura, and started his career accompanying Zahiruddin and Faiyazuddin, the junior Dagar Brothers, and the rudra-veena player Ustad Asad Ali Khan, in India and abroad. He has accompanied world-renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and is a much sought-after accompanist in dhrupad and in other genres of Indian classical music.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jun
30
8:00 pm20:00

Sound Underground

Sound Underground is a compact trio with an expansive imagination. Saxophonist David Leon, trumpeter Alec Aldred and guitarist Jonah Udall draw on a broad array of influences from Cool Jazz to Americana, to Bulgarian folklore and the avant-garde, to distill a unique and deeply personal voice.

Hailed by AllAboutJazz.com as “a fresh sound... uncluttered and open... capable of grabbing a listener's attention and holding it indefinitely,” Sound Underground steers through inventive textures far beyond the limits of their unconventional chamber instrumentation. At once serious and whimsical, thought-provoking and smile-inducing, the trio spins colorful stories that ring immediately true.

Sound Underground released its self-titled debut in 2014 with a tour of Eastern Europe, performing at major international jazz festivals in Bulgaria and Serbia. Now based in Miami and New York City, they have been on the rise ever since, touring on across the U.S. as well as returning to the continent. Their sophomore album Quiet Spaces was released in September 2016.

Tickets are $10 for students and $18 general admission. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

Jul
2
8:00 pm20:00

Freddy & Francine

Freddy & Francine is an Americana-Soul duo comprised of Bianca Caruso & Lee Ferris. With voices reminiscent of Aretha Franklin & Van Morrison, their songs blend Soul, R&B, Folk, and Americana with a modern, yet timeless appeal to all ages.

“Ferris and Caruso have found their respective vocal soulmates, the kind of perfect harmonies that send a gripping shiver down the backbone of the listener,” says The Deli Magazine.

No Depression says, “Freddy & Francine currently top my list. There is definitely a palpable chemistry between these musicians, with their vocals blending like milk and honey.”

Freddy & Francine have released 2 EPs & 3 full length records since 2008. Their latest, Gung Ho, was produced by renowned producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell) and featured members of Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, and Andrew Bird’s touring bands. 

National audiences continue to be drawn to the duo as they “bring it all out on stage from a lullaby so sweet you’d swear a choir of angels were harmonizing just for you; to gut-busting, foot stomping tunes befitting a New Orleans gospel choir.“ - Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ.)

With featured sets scheduled this year at the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and past headlining performances at Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Sisters Folk Fest and Madison Square Park, the sky is the limit for Freddy & Francine.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jul
3
8:00 pm20:00

Echo Pearl Varsity

Echo Pearl Varsity (EPV) is cutting a new slice into the Portland, OR music scene with a burgeoning genre known as Post-Fusion. In the Spring of 2015, the three-piece pizza-shop colleagues - lead songwriter Sam Luna, drummer Ian Taylor, and bassist Nolan Henderson - were joined by saxophonist Levi Downey to form EPV.

EPV's debut album, Fires, was released in November 2016 with a West Coast tour, and it is available for download, streaming, and custom flash drives.  The "good boys" (as they are referred to by friends and fans) will be launching another tour West Coast tour in July 2017 to support their coinciding cover-song EP release.

Learn more about the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jul
13
8:00 pm20:00

Pacific Drive

Pacific Drive is a traditional bluegrass band with a youthful twist, consisting of four college students and a high school student about to enter college.

With David Thiessen on mandolin, Dana Frankel on fiddle, Jesse Fichman on guitar, Helen Foley on bass and Sam Reed on banjo, they carry a hard-driving groove, with Helen and Jesse sharing lead vocals, and the harmony parts sung by Dana and David. David, Jesse, and Sam grew up in Sonoma County, and David and Jesse began playing bluegrass music at around 7 years old, while Sam began playing banjo in later years.

David also sits in with a less traditional band called One Grass Two Grass, and Jesse is in another band called Blue Summit. Helen grew up in Los Altos Hills and plays guitar as well as the bass. Dana is from Pacifica and began playing the fiddle when she was 5 years old. In addition to Pacific Drive, she also performs in the Dim Lights Bluegrass band with her parents and Larry Cohea.

The members of Pacific Drive became close friends around the time of the Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival 2015, and over time they discovered that their music brought them even closer, and they decided to create a band. It took them a while to decide on a band name: Pacific Drive encompasses each of their paths - from where they each grew up, to the hard driving bluegrass feel of their music.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Jul
15
8:00 pm20:00

Peter Case, Wayne Haught

One of the most well-respected singer/songwriters of his generation, Peter Case is an artist whose eclectic body of work embraces rock & roll, contemporary folk, blues, and a number of points in between. As a songwriter, Case has shown himself to be a master storyteller with a special understanding of underdogs and lost souls, and his direct, passionate style as a singer and guitarist has served him well in both electric and acoustic contexts.

On his most recent release, Peter put his focus back on acoustic music for his 2015 album, HWY 62, which features guitar work from Ben Harper. It is Case's first album for Omnivore Recordings, which brought out an expanded edition of his solo debut in time for its 30th anniversary in 2016.

Opening the show is Wayne Haught, whose new album Fingers was produced by Peter Case. Love and death are the big themes on the record, along with horseshoe tattoos and chewing tobacco. Plus blind mariachis, Memphis, Black Moses, and fried chicken. Rhubarb pie too. The simple, open-hearted, spiritual music slipping through Fingers will most certainly bring Wayne’s songwriting and singing to a bigger audience, and he’s looking forward to seeing new places and making new friends.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

Jul
29
8:00 pm20:00

The Pittson Family Band

The Pittson Family Band brings together three accomplished performers with a forward-looking view into the future of jazz music.

Vocalist Suzanne Pittson is widely acclaimed for her groundbreaking albums of the music of John Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard. Multi-keyboardist Jeff Pittson brings solid skills honed through playing with such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Ruth Brown, Larry Coryell and many others. Evan Pittson presents a modern direction for the post-Coltrane language on the Electric Viola, with influences including Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Brecker. The Pittson Family Band presents an eclectic array of material that explores a diverse spectrum of sonic colors.

Suzanne Pittson
Jazz vocalist Suzanne Pittson is recognized for her musicianship, phrasing and technical facility as an improviser. All About Jazz states: “More than just a singer, Suzanne Pittson is a jazz musician,” and Jazz Inside says, “Some controversy exists over just what makes a jazz vocalist. Listen to Suzanne Pittson and you’ll know.” Ms. Pittson has performed and/or recorded with John Patitucci, Buster Williams, Dave Liebman, Mike Clark, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, Harvie S, Mark Soskin and others, and has released three critically-acclaimed CDs: Blues and the Abstract Truth, Resolution: A Remembrance of John Coltrane, and Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard. Suzanne is Assistant Professor of Jazz Vocal Studies at the City College of New York, where she directs the BFA jazz vocal program.

Jeff Pittson
Jeff Pittson is a dynamic force in the world of jazz piano, having performed with such luminaries as Joe Henderson, Ruth Brown, Eddie Henderson, Buster Williams, John Patitucci, Steve Wilson, John Handy, Jack Walrath, Craig Handy, Larry Coryell, Ruth Brown, Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Garrett, Buster Williams and many others. He brings a deftness of touch, a virtuoso technique and a poet sensibility with his fine originals, jazz standards and imaginative arrangements of the Great American Songbook. He is the leader on his two highly acclaimed releases, Go Where It's Dangerous and Invisible Love on Vineland Records. The late Phil Elwood, a quintessential jazz critic, wrote in the San Francisco Examiner, "Jeff Pittson is a superb pianist!”  

Evan Pittson
Evan Pittson presents a modern approach to the viola in contemporary music. With his own voice as an improviser on the electric viola and 5-string violin, Evan brings a new musical context to these instruments, from a modern jazz sensibility, to a funk, to atmospheric sound design. Playing viola since the age of 12, he also plays bass guitar and keyboards. Evan also works as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in print & digital layout, illustration, and fontography.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Aug
4
8:00 pm20:00

Rupert Wates

Rupert Wates was born in London and has been based since 2007 in New York City and Colorado.  His material is acoustic, melodic art/folk, with flavors of jazz and cabaret.  

He is the winner of well over 30 songwriting and performing awards. In the last two years alone, no less than two tribute albums to his material have been recorded by artists in Nashville and Los Angeles. He averages 120 live shows a year, in every state in the U.S., in Canada and in Europe, and he is delighted to be playing The Back Room.
 
"This is one gifted s.o.b...If you're not hip to this guy you're missing a lot." - F.A.M.E.

“Sublime folk hymns.” - Colorado Central Magazine

"I was overwhelmed by how good he was." - Circle Entertainment, NC

"Rupert Wates is about as talented as it gets." - Comfortable House Concerts, MD

"These songs will go straight to your heart." - Empty Nest House Concerts, NJ

"An inspirational artist." - Leith FM Radio, Scotland

“The most talented singer-guitarist we have traveling round the country today.” - Rick Leigh Music, WI

"A prime figure in American music." - Folk And Acoustic Music Exchange

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!


May
22
8:00 pm20:00

Claude Bourbon - CANCELLED

Update 5/21/17: This show has been cancelled by the artist. Tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase. Thank you for your support.

Ready for a unique and talented take on a wide range of musical traditions? Claude Bourbon is known throughout Europe and America for his amazing guitar performances that take blues, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Russian stylings into uncharted territories. Each year Bourbon plays more than 100 shows around the world.

Born in France in the early 60’s, Claude Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained for many years. This finger-picking guitarist has performed and studied all over the world. He has played countless venues, including Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Colne Great British & Blues Festival, Rock O'Z Arene, Avenches, Switzerland, among others. He has shared the stage in Europe and the USA with countless musicians, including Calvin Russel, Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Gary Moore), Jan Akkerman (Focus), Steve Grossman (Miles Davis), Herbie Armstrong (Van Morrison), Jose barrense Dias and many more.

Now based in the UK, some of this guitarists’ influences allow us a fascinating insight into this remarkable musician: Paco De Lucia, Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, Joaquin Rodrigo, JJ Cale and JS Bach…

One reviewer even noted that although “Claude’s roots were in blues, that is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a painter.” Intrigued ?

Experience an evening of exploration in the unique ambiance of the Thumb!

“ Claude Bourbon is a unique figure today… his playing is almost indescribable“ - The Hook, Charlottesville, USA

“A breathtaking acoustic fusion of blues, jazz, folk, classical and Spanish guitar from a stunning guitar virtuoso…”- Altadena News, USA

Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door the night of the show. Advance tickets can be purchased at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. If you have any questions or need more information, please call us at #510-654-3808.

 

May
20
8:00 pm20:00

Yolandra Rhodes, Rod James

Newly-signed Sony Music/MPRE/Orchard Records recording artist Yolandra Rhodes is a Jazz songstress, uniquely interpreting works by jazz visionaries such as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Rachelle Farrell.

She has performed with both local and nationally-known performers, including Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes at Kimball's East, where she brought down the house with her interpretation of Sharon Paige’s “I Hope That We Can Be Together Soon." 

Other appearances include Yoshi's, The 57th Street Gallery, The Fenix and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, and she has sung our country's National anthem at Golden State Warriors games and for the U.S. soccer team.

Yolandra Rhodes

Yolandra Rhodes

Rod James

Rod James

Rod James is a native of San Francisco who began performing in local clubs with several vocal groups in the mid-'60s. In the '70s, he joined Talk of da Town singing a cappella and has performed in the U.S. and Europe. 

In 2002 he became a member of the iconic group Natural Four, performing with them at the Monterey Blues Festival, the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Seattle, the City of Oakland's 150th Birthday Celebration, and Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco. Recently, Rod expanded his vocal chops to include his passion for Jazz, as he's currently attending the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. If you like the smooth baritone of Johnny Hartman, Gregory Porter and Will Downing, you're going to love RodJ's style!

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
19
8:00 pm20:00

James Lee Stanley

An evening with James Lee Stanley is a complete joy. A folk singer with strong ties to rock, jazz, and blues, he is an internationally known veteran with 31 albums to his credit.

Possessing a remarkable voice, extraordinary guitar orchestrations, songs that run the gamut from political outrage to romantic ballads, and a sense of comedic timing that engages every audience, James Lee Stanley provides an unforgettable experience.

“So where have they been hiding James Lee Stanley? We could say that James Lee Stanley is probably the last great undiscovered singer-songwriter in America. But true as that may be let’s say something else, let’s say that a diamond has been smuggled into the wasteland…and here is where the wasteland ends” – Tom Robbins, Author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

“It is simple, really. With James Lee you get great songs, great guitar playing, great voice and a gifted comedian as well. You are in for a very entertaining evening.” - Village Voice

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below or you may purchase your tickets at the door on the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
18
8:00 pm20:00

Scroggins & Rose - CD Release Party

Scroggins&Rose.jpg

Award-winning instrumentalists and composers Tristan Scroggins and Alisa Rose have a new album, GRANA, that explores both the dynamic capabilities of a string duet and the creative overlap between baroque and bluegrass improvisation.

With vast experience and knowledge of both traditional folk music and classical styles, they create new music that utilizes risky improvisation and innovative musical techniques that are captured in both the original and familiar tunes present on this recording. Their effort presents a study of both active listening and performance skills as the listener is invited into and pulled to each others spur-of-the-moment musical colors and ideas to create an ever-changing exciting performance. 

TRISTAN SCROGGINS
Tristan Scroggins is an award-winning mandolinist and composer from Denver, Colorado. He has toured extensively in the U.S., Canada and Ireland for the last six years with the critically acclaimed bluegrass band Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. At 22, he already has a decade of professional experience as a stage performer, instructor and recording artist.

In 2016, Tristan was nominated for the Instrumental Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and in 2017 was accepted into the Acoustic Music Seminar run by Mike Marshall as part of the Savannah Music Festival. Son of two-time national banjo champion Jeff Scroggins, Tristan originally gained notoriety as a young phenom, winning multiple state championships before the age of 16. Around then Jeff and Tristan got together with five-time Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America Guitar Player of the Year, Greg Blake, to form Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. While working with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Tristan has been a featured artist at the International Bluegrass Music Association's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, The European World of Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, Rockygrass, the Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley, RTE Ireland's National Radio, and the Station Inn in Nashville. In addition to performing, Tristan has taught mandolin at several workshops and camps including Nimble Fingers in British Columbia, Northern Lights in Saskatchewan, NCBMS Camp in Alberta, and Wintergrass in Washington. Tristan has one studio recording of all original tunes, one of which was a finalist for the International Acoustic Music Awards Instrumental Song of the Year. Tristan has also had the privilege of working with and being featured on recordings with Grammy-winning producer Bil Vorndick, Sally Van Meter, Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, Mark Schatz, K.C. Groves, Andy Leftwich, Don Rigsby, David Peterson, and Jono Manson.

ALISA ROSE
Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as the rich American musical tradition, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin. Alisa Rose has performed with a wide range of artists including the Real Vocal String Quartet, 2008 Rockygrass winners 49 Special, and Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Alisa performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe as an Ambassador of the State Department, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, NPR's Weekend Edition, the historic Carter Family Fold festival, TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Song of the Mountains on PBS, as well as numerous international tours.

In 2015 Alisa premiered Richard Marriott's Metropolis Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra with the Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, and in 2016 premiered her own Piano Trio for Luisa as part of the Trinity Arts Chamber Music Festival. As a member of the Real Vocal String Quartet, she appeared on the Feist album Metals, and in 2015 released an album of her cross-genre virtuoso works for solo violin entitled Fiddle Caprices and Pizzicato Pieces. Alisa teaches privately as well as in the pre-college division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her B.M. and  M.M. in Chamber Music studying with Camilla Wicks and Bettina Mussumeli.

For more information, please visit the band's website at www.scrogginsandrose.com

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

May
14
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors including the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4:30pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
14
12:00 pm12:00

Happy Hearts Singsation Celebration: A Fun-Filled Family Event of Music, Song & Color

The Back Room is pleased to announce a FREE event for the community (although donations will be accepted), hosted by Jillee Tree - well-known to some of you as a community activist, as well as the most prolific chair-massage-giver in the world.  

This is NOT a Back Room benefit (Jillee paid for the time), but is Jillee's own project for a family-friendly Mother's Day. Snacks and drinks provided! Bring your friends, bring your kids, bring your mom...and enjoy a lovely afternoon of music and community. 

Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds.

You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808.

Thank you for your support!

May
12
8:00 pm20:00

Bob Kenmotsu Quintet

Bob Kenmotsu and Friends will play jazz standards and original music and will be exploring a deeply personal way of phrasing musically that also grooves and swings!

Bob Kenmotsu was born in Stockton, Ca. He first learned music in the public schools starting on clarinet in the 4th Grade. He switched to alto sax while a senior in high school, and switched to tenor sax in college.

Bob graduated from San Jose State University and began working local music jobs. After working a cruise ship job out of Los Angeles, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance jazz saxophonist.

While in New York, Bob was a member of the Jack McDuff organ combo, and the Ruth Brown Band. He recorded The Spark with Billy Hart and Ira Coleman, and Bronx Tale with Pat Martino and Jack McDuff. Bob also played on Pat Martino’s Nightwings with Bill Stewart and Marc Johnson. While living back east, Bob received a New Jersey Arts Commission Grant for composition.

In 1994, Bob went to Japan on a Japan/US Fellowship cultural exchange grant, and lived there until 1997. While there, he played many clubs, concerts, festivals, and toured the country several times.

In 1997, Bob returned to the US, this time to the San Francisco Bay Area. He recorded Looking at Air, with Bill Stewart, Essiet Okun Essiet and Joel Weiskopf.

Bob now lives in Berkeley, CA and is performing at jazz clubs and concerts on the West Coast. His latest recording, Reunion, features Bob Corwin (piano), Danny Flahive (bass), and Ron Marabuto (drums). This performance features Tim Lin (sax), Luke Westbrook (guitar), Simpei Ogawa (bass), and Ron Marabuto (drums).

Tickets are $15. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
11
8:00 pm20:00

Mozaik plus Erica and Friends

The women of Mozaik have been making music together for many years. They share a love of singing and the unique qualities of vocal expression and harmonies of different folk traditions. Mozaik's repertoire includes songs from the Balkans, Ukraine, Russia, other areas of Europe, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Georgia. Mozaik is Hilary Seamans, Sandy Hollister, Natalia Ukrainska, Adina Sara and Liz Stuart.

Erica Hockett

Erica Hockett

Erica Hockett and Friends perform old songs and tunes from the British Isles. 

Erica Hockett, vocalist/Bodhrán: Lover of folk music, the tales of woe and the history embedded in the old songs, and enjoys bringing them to new audiences.

Anne Goess, Violin/Vocal/Tin Whistle.

Fiddler Anne Bingham Goess has played for many a ceili, English Country and contra dances in the Bay Area.

Lucas Gonze, Mandolin/Guitar: Lucas plays traditional acoustic music on stringed instruments. He gigs steadily with The Joy Drops.

Chris Hammond, Guitar and vocals: Chris’s first musical love is bluegrass and Appalachian music. He grew up in North Carolina and loves to sing those high lonesome harmonies.  

Troy Dillinger, Accordion/Vocals: Troy has graced the Macaroni Grill in Escondido with his playing of Italian music. He also loves to play Gypsy Jazz and traditional Irish music.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
9
7:00 pm19:00

Experimental/Free Jazz with the Lisa Mezzacappa Group

Jazz in the Neighborhood presents...

A fresh take on the traditional jam session, we're calling it Neighborhood Sessions: Concert-Masterclass-Jam, and it's your opportunity to get on stage and play with the best jazz musicians in the Bay Area.

Each event has three components: first, a short set by some of our best Bay Area pros, followed by two pre-professional combos who will perform in a masterclass format with critique and advice provided by the pros. 

Following the masterclass, audience members will have an opportunity to join in during the jam session. Sign-up forms will be available at the door. Please bring your own instrument with the exception of piano and drums. Sheet music or charts will not be allowed except for vocalists, who should provide charts for the band members. All instruments and vocalists—amateur to pro—are welcome at every session.

Tickets at jazzintheneighborhood.org/events/tix/
$10 general admission. CJC-degree-students, free with ID. Doors open one half hour before showtime. Show time is 7pm. 

Send inquiries to sessions@jazzintheneighborhood.org

May
7
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors including the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4:30pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
6
8:00 pm20:00

John Klopotowski and Rave Tesar

John Klopotowski

John Klopotowski

Rave Tesar

Rave Tesar

Oakland-based jazz guitarist John Klopotowski and his longtime musical partner, pianist Rave Tesarcelebrate the release of their new CD, Dedication

John and Rave have been performing together since 1975, when they met when they were both growing up in Northern New Jersey. During that time period they performed regularly and appeared as featured artists on the Monday Guitar Night program at Gulliver's Jazz Club in West Paterson. John also performed at that time with jazz trumpeter Thad Jones and then went on to work with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh in New York, in addition to leading his own groups. Rave was very busy in jazz groups with his brother Bill on drums, and also went on to become keyboardist and musical director for the band Renaissance, a gig that is ongoing.

John and Rave reunited in 2015 and have been rehearsing and recording since then. The CD Project 59 was released in 2016 and featured jazz quartet and quintet performances with John on guitar and Rave at the piano, and the new CD with Rave and Bill Tesar will be available for sale at the performance.

The Berkeley performance will present an intimate duet setting that promises both swinging jazz and quiet music for contemplation.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). Doors open one half hour before show time.

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

May
5
8:00 pm20:00

Matthew Charles Heulitt

Matthew Charles Heulitt has been on the Bay Area scene for 20 years doing session work, touring internationally, and working for a multitude of artists as a side-man as well as leading his own groups.  

He spent 15 years with master drummer Zigaboo Modeliste of The Meters, and the last 10 touring and recording with Grammy Award winning producer/drummer Narada Michael Walden (Jeff Beck, The Mahavishnu Orchestra).  He’s also been a member of East Bay art-pop band MoeTar which landed him a feature article in Guitar Player Magazine in 2015.  

The MCH Trio offers an opportunity to explore the jazz side of his playing which has influences of Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, and John Scofield.  Joining the trio will be Dan Feiszli (Raul Midon, Julio Iglesias) on acoustic bass and Celso Alberti (Airto Moreira, Steve Winwood) on drums.

Tickets are $10-$20 sliding scale, and are available in advance for $15 at the link below.
Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
30
8:00 pm20:00

Reverend Screaming Fingers - CANCELLED

Lucio

Lucio

4/27: UPDATE - THE ARTIST HAS CANCELLED THIS PERFORMANCE. ALL TICKETS SOLD WILL BE FULLY REFUNDED. THANK YOU.

As visual as it is visceral, The Reverend Screaming Fingers' music has been described as “Morricone composing surf music on laudanum…performed at a secret opium den in the basement of CBGB’s."

From solo guitar to full band ensemble, the music provides a front seat view to the
soundscape ahead, down whatever road traveled, from the morning light to the end of the world. The Rev's Music for Driving and Film material, influenced as much by traversing vast distances as fleeting moments on the silver screen, serves as a base for further exploration and brings a healthy dose of improvisation into its performance.

The Reverend Screaming Fingers is:

Lucio Menegon (guitar) - Lucio's work encompasses melodic composition, avant-garde improvisation, ambient soundscape, noise, weird pop, film soundtrack and experimental rock. His style is rooted in primitive Americana and punk, with extended technique and forays into minimalist textural spaces informing a fusion of traditional song structure and abstract modern soundscape.

He has collaborated with a gaggle of creative artists including Myshkin Warbler, Wally Ingram, Victoria Williams, Danny Frankel, Lisa Mednick Powell, Richard Lainhart, Amy
Denio, Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Moe! Staiano and Kim Boekbinder.

Janie Cowan (upright bass) - Aside from a strong technical foundation, fat tone and deep feel of rhythm, Janie possesses the rare ability to adapt to any musical situation and bring the ensemble to a new cohesive level. Janie finds herself touring nationally and internationally with an impressive array of musicians from different backgrounds such as
Nefeshâs, Bob Hoffnar and Go: Organic Orchestra.

John Hanes (drums) - John has been living and drumming in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1977. Some of a long list of folks he's played with include Chrome, Etta James, Grizzly Man soundtrack, Floyd Dixon, Henry Kaiser and Victor Krummenacher.

Wil Hendricks (guitar, piano, organ) - Wil is a super-solid musician who has playing steadily in the SF Bay area for many years. He has toured and performed with the likes of Califone, Lofty Pillars, Val Esway, Mississippi Mike and Invisible Cities.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

Apr
30
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
28
8:00 pm20:00

Shepherd Canyon Band

The Shepherd Canyon Band had its origins as a casual weekly jam consisting of Jerry Barush on banjo, Bernie Bishop on guitar, and the band’s founding fiddle player, Josh Jakus. The group jelled with the addition of Ken Smith on mandolin and Jess Beebe on bass, and – after several years in the woodshed – the Shepherd Canyon Band was born, named after the holler where Bernie lives. In 2016, Betsy Kenny joined the band, bringing along her fearless and flawless fiddling. Everyone in the band sings, with Bernie’s piercing lead vocals injecting the “high lonesome.” Ken contributes original tunes. While traditional bluegrass is the core of the band’s sound, they also like to explore around the edges, venturing into country, western swing, pop, or whatever songs might take a “grassin’.”

Collectively, the five band members are alums of more than ten other Bay Area bluegrass bands, including Pick of the Litter, Straight Ahead, Stay Tuned, and Dry Creek (Jerry); Grizzly Peak (Bernie and Jerry); the Barefoot Nellies (Liz and Jess); the Alhambra Valley Band (Liz); and the Avocado Brothers and the Bay Island Ramblers (Ken).

The Shepherd Canyon Band has played at numerous Bay Area venues, including the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival in Hollister, the Potomac in Oakland, the Back Room in Berkeley, and Amnesia and the Plough & Stars in San Francisco. Don’t tell anyone, but their very favorite gig is the annual Fourth of July fundraiser for the Graniteville, California volunteer fire department.

Tickets are $15. Advance tickets are available at the link below and we accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). Doors open one half hour before show time.

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
23
8:00 pm20:00

Kazemde George

Kazemde George is a saxophonist with a unique brand of improvised music that incorporates his many musical influences. Kazemde originally hails from the Bay Area, where he studied Jazz with mentors such as Charles McNeal and Khalil Shaheed through the Oaktown Jazz Workshops. 

While studying to receive his bachelors in Neurobiology from Harvard University, he continued his study of music through the New England Conservatory, eventually receiving his masters in Jazz Composition in 2013. While at NEC, Kaz studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Cecil McBee, Donny McCaslin, John McNeil, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez, and Miguel Zenón. He currently lives and works as a musician and educator in New York City.

In 2012, Kaz began a 10-month George Peabody Gardner Fellowship in La Habana, Cuba, where he studied Congas, performed around the island, and learned about many styles of Cuban music like Rumba, Changui, Timba, and Son. In addition, Kazemde is a prolific Hip-Hop Beat-Maker, making electronic music inspired by producers such as J Dilla, and Madlib. He also has a passion for Brazilian styles such as Bossa Nova, Samba, Pagode, and Choros.

Kazemde’s improvisation and compositions draw from all of these disparate traditions, but seek to find the connections between them all. This is his second appearance at The Back Room, and we are happy to welcome him back.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

Apr
23
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
22
8:00 pm20:00

Earth Day Bluegrass Concert with Windy Hill & The Town Howlers

Windy Hill

Windy Hill

The Town Howlers

The Town Howlers

Please join us for an Earth Day Bluegrass Concert in support of The March For Science, with Windy Hill and The Town Howlers. All band proceeds will be donated to this important cause (see below for more info). 

Windy Hill
It's immediately evident at a Windy Hill show that the band is excited about bluegrass music and has big fun picking and singing. They're becoming increasingly well-known – and are winning awards – for their entertaining performances. With their third album just completed, the group plays frequently around Northern California and recently performed tributes to late bluegrass giants Bill Monroe and James King. Windy Hill includes Ryan Breen (banjo & vocals), Thomas Wille (Guitar & Vocals), Kyle McCabe (standup bass), and Brandon Godman (fiddle). 

The Town Howlers
Disciples of the godfathers of bluegrass, the Town Howlers deliver their high-lonesome bluegrass sound all over Northern California and beyond. The band's repertoire ranges from the bluegrass classics of Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers and Flatt & Scruggs, to original tunes that stay true to that classic mountain style. The Town Howlers are John McKelvy (guitar and vocals), Michael Small (banjo & vocals), Rowan McCallister (mandolin & vocals), Matt Crimp (fiddle & vocals), and Mike Gubman (upright bass). 

The March For Science
ON APRIL 22, 2017, WE WALK OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE STREETS.
The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $15-$20, sliding scale, at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
21
8:00 pm20:00

The Stadler Gibbons Band

The Stadler Gibbons Band features the fabulous singing and playing of Mike Stadler and Mary Gibbons. Chuck Ervin drives the bass and Jon Mitguard butters it all up with steel. 

Seasoned musicians all, they travel the common ground between early country and bluegrass, great story telling and picking.  Along with classic material from the past, they include original songwriting and great works from other writers toiling today to produce tomorrow’s classics. The product is a soulful blend. The band features the clean, intricate harmonies of Stadler and Gibbons set on the firm foundation of Gibbons’ guitar and Ervin’s bass. In the spaces between, Stadler and Mitguard intertwine stunning melodies and improvisations whether on guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar or dobro.

"... a typically eclectic set on any number of instruments; [Michael Stadler] is one of those musicians who  believes you don't have to be flashy to be good -- and he's much better than good." - Larry Kelp, East Bay Express 

“[Mary Gibbons] is a strong, stylish singer, whether burning through some bluesy bluegrass or wearing out a country weeper.“ - Bluegrass Unlimited  

Now ain’t that what Country music is all about?

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
20
8:00 pm20:00

The Mountain & the Moon, Adrianna Ciccone & Colin Cotter

The Mountain & The Moon was formed during the spring of 2015, when bassist Noah Laniakea and banjoist Casey Holmberg met at UCLA. Both musicians shared a love for bluegrass and old-time music, and as they rehearsed and performed together they began to explore a larger musical space around that idiom.

"What has emerged is a form of classically informed roots music – a blend of the string arrangements on Nico’s 'Chelsea Girl' and the banjo playing of Béla Fleck, perhaps...we are thrilled to have their singular brand of bluegrass represented in our contest." - Freshgrass, 2016 

The banjo/bass duo released their debut self-titled EP in January of 2016, a compilation of original music which synthesizes folk, bluegrass, and classical music in a bold and innovative way. Following up on their precocious start, they were invited to the Freshgrass Festival in North Adams, MA as finalists in the international duo competition during the 2016 season. Even more recently, the pair released another album, Live at the Stork Club, which features all the tracks from the EP as well as new originals and arrangements. They are currently engaged with planning their first full length album as well as preparing for the exciting summer festival season, which includes shows at Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Festival and the Sutter Creek Jug Band Festival.

"The new blend of musical composition and musicianship between them marked the sensation of that first impression...they push against the form from both bluegrass and classical forms; they are teaching the form itself new moves.” - Bruce Milton Cooper, Los Angeles, May 2016

Few young Canadian fiddlers today can show off the breadth and range of North American fiddling like Adrianna Ciccone. With a “distinctive stamp and swing that is both rooted and infectious,” she crosses back and forth across the continent with ease. Adrianna showcases Cape Breton reels, crooked French-Canadian brandys, the rollicking rhythms of Ottawa Valley step-dancing tunes, way down to Southern Appalachian string band tunes; even incorporating Irish and Métis influences. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, her debut album, The Back of Winter, produced by Bruce Molsky, won Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Colin Cotter picked up the fiddle at the age of 4, beginning a life-long journey building upon several generations of his family’s intimate relationship with traditional Finnish music. Over time, musical influences from Scotland to Quebec to New York City to West Africa crept in, rendering him a genre-defying folky, unencumbered by traditional convention yet warmly familiar with it. A self-taught guitarist, he has created his own accompaniment style that, in tandem with his hard-hitting, poignant songwriting, bridges the gaps between American and Celtic folk music and rock.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
18
7:00 pm19:00

The Blues with the Ruth Davies Blues Band

Jazz in the Neighborhood presents...

A fresh take on the traditional jam session, we're calling it Neighborhood Sessions: Concert-Masterclass-Jam, and it's your opportunity to get on stage and play with the best jazz musicians in the Bay Area.

Each event has three components: first, a short set by some of our best Bay Area pros, followed by two pre-professional combos who will perform in a masterclass format with critique and advice provided by the pros. 

Following the masterclass, audience members will have an opportunity to join in during the jam session. Sign-up forms will be available at the door. Please bring your own instrument with the exception of piano and drums. Sheet music or charts will not be allowed except for vocalists, who should provide charts for the band members. All instruments and vocalists—amateur to pro—are welcome at every session.

Tickets at jazzintheneighborhood.org/events/tix/
$10 general admission. CJC-degree-students, free with ID. Doors open one half hour before showtime. Show time is 7pm. 

Send inquiries to sessions@jazzintheneighborhood.org

Apr
16
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
15
8:00 pm20:00

Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots

Sam Rudin, who is of course the creator and owner of The Back Room, is also one of the most exciting pianists you are ever likely to hear. Sam attacks and caresses the keyboard, romping through the whole range of 20th century American music. He can evoke the spirit of Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Mose Allison and Jerry Lee Lewis...sometimes all at the same time. He is also a compelling vocalist whose rough-hewn voice conveys both drama and humor.

Rudin’s first gig under his own name as a bandleader came when he was 24 and it proved to be ill-fated. He and his group had been hired to play on a cruise ship. They’d been at sea only a day when a hurricane struck off the North Carolina coast, destroying all of the band’s equipment.

After that incident, some of Rudin's musician friends, referring also to his high-energy, can't-sit-down performing style, started calling him Hurricane Sam. Eventually he embraced the moniker and launched a career as a solo performer, earning a reputation for bringing the rhythmic intensity of an entire band, and for utilizing every possible genre of American music "from blues to be-bop and from ragtime to rock & roll," as some early publicity put it. When he formed a band several years later to concentrate on that blues/jazz borderline, they were "Hurricane Sam and the Hot Shots."

From 1990 to 2008, the band could be found in clubs, concerts, and jazz and blues festivals throughout the state, and was a particular fixture at Berkeley's late, lamented Anna's Jazz Island. But the financial troubles of 2008 made the festival gigs a lot harder to find, and Anna's closed down, and other life events intervened...so Sam started performing less and less, and the band not at all, and Sam started thinking about the ideal music venue, and wouldn't it be nice if he could put something like that together.

And now here we are, years later, and The Back Room is a reality.  It is definitely time for the Return of Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots!  

And who are these Hotshots?

JEFF ERVIN (SAX)
Years ago, Jeff was playing classic rhythm & blues with the Zazu Pitts Memorial Orchestra. More recently, he has been touring the West Coast and Europe with the classic swing of Stompy Jones. Along the way he has recorded with Bill Withers and Taj Mahal, among others. He’s a versatile pro, but more than that—Jeff knows how to wail. When he steps up to the mike he blows the house down, and there are plenty of folks who say he is the most exciting saxophonist they’ve ever seen.

 JIMMY HOBSON (DRUMS)
Jimmy spent his early years carving out a name for himself in the highly competitive world of Los Angeles recording sessions. He earned several gold records there, and his long and varied list of credits include Billy Preston, Hall & Oates, Evelyn “Champagne” King, and even Celine Dion. When he came to the Bay Area, he joined Tom Rigney in the Sundogs, which subsequently became nationally known for their blend of zydeco and rock.

JOEL KRUZIC (BASS)
When Joel was fresh out of school (The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC) he met up with the aforementioned Jeff Ervin, who needed a bass for his North Bay based band The Acrosonics.  Jeff soon discovered that Joel was not only skilled beyond his years at a variety of jazz and blues styles, he had a genius for blending them together in just the right proportions to stay on the jazzy side of blues, and the bluesy side of jazz. Since this was exactly what Sam needed, Jeff made an enthusiastic recommendation, resulting in Joel's debut with the Hotshots this past Fall. It was a big success, and we are glad to have him back again.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
14
8:00 pm20:00

Greg Blake Trio

You'll hear it in his voice immediately: the original strain of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all great modern bluegrass and country. Greg Blake grew up in the mountains of southwest West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl, and the kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the high, lonesome sound.  

He's twice been nominated for the SPBGMA's Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and is a five-time winner of the SPBGMA's Guitarist of the Year, not to mention the Kansas State Flat-picking championship. After moving to Conifer, Colorado, Greg joined all-star progressive bluegrass band Jeff Scroggins & Colorado as the lead vocalist. With both Jeff and his son Tristan breaking new ground instrumentally on the banjo and mandolin, Greg stepped up to the plate as a guitarist, and crafted the band's sound around his signature high tenor vocals. They've recorded two albums and have a third about to be released. 

Greg is joined by multi-instrumentalist Isaac Callender. Isaac began his musical career as a contest fiddler winning titles all over North America. As a teen he had the great fortune to be able to study and travel with Western Swing Hall of famers Dick and Lisa Barrett as well as playing bluegrass and country music with various local bands. He has produced three albums, multiple tune books for both guitar and fiddle, and continues to write, teach, and perform with some of the greatest musicians in the world.  

The trio is rounded out by Portland, Oregon native Ellie Hakkenson. Ellie's
fiddling background is a unique blend of classical training simultaneously blended with years of traditional bluegrass fiddling. Her family band was a festival favorite throughout the Pacific North West for many years. Ellie is currently the fiddler and vocalist for Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, and recently won the 2016 Rockygrass Fiddle contest.  

Together the three make up the Greg Blake Trio. Their music ranges from traditional bluegrass favorites to vintage country and old-time music, along with a sampling of original material. Three-part harmonies, spectacular instrumental abilities, and great songs make their shows a must see for any lover of quality acoustic music. 

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
13
8:00 pm20:00

John Schott’s Actual Trio

John Schott’s Actual Trio, featuring Dan Seamans and John Hanes, is “one of the Bay Area’s most brilliant diamonds,” according to Jazz Times.

All acknowledged masters on their instruments, the Actual Trio have spent years playing together in the studio and on the road, forging a singular group voice in the crowded world of modern guitar-oriented Jazz. Schott’s compositions put groove, free improvisation, humor, melody, and harmony into a blender, and bring out the stellar musicianship of bassist Dan Seamans (New Klezmer Trio, The Lost Trio) and drummer John Hanes (Henry Kaiser, Fillmore Slim, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions).

The group has had a five-year gig at the Actual Cafe in Oakland, tours on the East and West coasts, a festival performance at SFJazz, and a critically acclaimed debut CD on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. 

Paul de Barros of the Seattle Times writes, “With a bright and bold, slightly twangy sound, Schott grazes rock, blues, Thelonious Monk and James 'Blood' Ulmer with lithe, original, single-note lines full of swing, surprise and humor. If you like swinging jazz guitar with a zany, eccentric bent, see this threesome.”

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
11
8:00 pm20:00

Jim Dalton

jim-dalton-guitar-bw-portrait.jpg

Jim Dalton is a Colorado-based singer, songwriter, and musician. Dalton is the lead guitarist for the Tempe, Arizona rock band Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, a band formed after the break-up of The Refreshments.  

He also fronts the Denver-based alt-country band the Railbenders, and co-founded the Hickman-Dalton Gang with Johnny Hickman of Cracker fame. His live solo shows are known for their loose, fun, sometimes serious, and bawdy nature.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below and tickets are available at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
9
5:00 pm17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the link below, or you may buy at the door the day of the show with no service fee. Doors open at 4pm. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
8
8:00 pm20:00

Syd Straw

Syd Straw is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, and scene-maker who has made a career out of helping some of the most interesting people in the world make their music (and they, in turn, have helped her to make three critically acclaimed albums of her own).

A partial list of luminaries she has performed and recorded with includes Pat Benatar, Matthew Sweet, Michael Stipe, Dave Alvin, Wilco, Rickie Lee Jones, John Doe, Ry Cooder, Loudon Wainwright III, Daniel Lanois, Don Was, Richard Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw and Van Dyke Parks...

Although she is a veteran of the large concert stage, she has a special love for the small intimate listening room, and, before trading her L.A. digs for the Vermont countryside, was a regular performer at McCabe's, the celebrated Santa Monica-based listening venue. She'll be there again this month, but this time she is also swinging up north to appear at The Back Room, which she is excited about (and we, of course, are excited to have her). She sent us this mini-bio and invitation:

Syd Straw came out of her mother singing, swinging, and two months premature. She wanted to get going, and to be here now, and now that she is she wants to sing for you and maybe tell some stories, and most of all, to make you happy for a while.  ...Geoge Jones, Emmylou Harris, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin...oh heck, just come to the show, we will be having a time of it.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Apr
7
8:00 pm20:00

Michael on Fire

Michael on Fire, singer, songwriter, musician, and storyteller, is known by his fans and friends and fellow musicians for his energetic and emotional performances, his insightful and uplifting lyrics, his blending of familiar musical styles to create his own unique, original style, and his unswerving conviction and commitment to expression and connection.

“...one of the most powerful and personal performances I’ve ever seen. Michael On Fire lights a room and connects with something deep in the psyche in a way that makes you feel you have known the songs and ranged over the emotion of them for your whole life. His tunes are as though they were preordained in memory. Almost his entire playlist clicked open a receptor that made it immediately recognizable, though I’d never heard his music before. Over the decades I’ve seen big acts, major stars, impressive tours, but there is something about Michael on Fire that connects like no other. He is singularly peerless.” - Tom Cochrun, Light Breezes [Cambria, CA]

“Michael on Fire projects a combination of musical strength, unbridled energy, and pure joy that continually elevates those around him.” - Dave Zimmer, BAM Magazine, and author of Crosby Stills & Nash: The Authorized Biography (St. Martin’s Press)

Michael on Fire has forged a path as an intensely independent and spontaneously creative musical artist. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and UK, performing in every kind of environment - from bars to beautiful theaters, private homes to major festivals, from prisons to playing for the President of the United States. He has released 19 full-length albums, has appeared on regional and national radio and TV programs, and has created
vocal and instrumental music for film, stage and television.

“Michael on Fire is so good you’ll be stuck trying to invent new adjectives to describe it all. He’ll make you laugh, cry, see God and tap your feet…all at once.” – Bill Locey, Ventura County Star

In a recent radio interview, Michael said, “Every day is a challenge to maintain our humanity and our dreams. My job is to somehow gift the world with the courage it takes to follow one’s own heart and path; to play that magic chord in a way that I’ve never played it before, and somehow be of service to myself, my children, my family, my friends, my generation, and the people who truly need something beyond the obvious nonsense that we are all faced with on a daily basis.”

Tickets are $18 and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you have any questions or need more information, please call us at #510-654-3808.

Apr
6
8:00 pm20:00

The Good Time Travelers

Built by two singer-songwriters, The Good Time Travelers are a multi-instrumental duo with a vibe so big that they have been described as a “2-piece power-trio." 

Pete Kartsounes and Michael Kirkpatrick have a sound that is rooted in bluegrass and folk music, but the sentiment is pure rock and roll. The Good Time Travelers have been traveling the country writing, touring, and performing since their first gig with Del and Dawg in 2014. They have recently released their debut self-titled album which consists of mostly co-writes of their own. The Good Time Travelers road has quickly taken them to the stages of well-known festivals like The Northwest String Summit, Big Sky Big Grass, Sisters Folk Festival, SalmonFest and other popular string-parties. They may only pass through your town for a short time, but it will most certainly be a "good time!"

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!