Apr
19
8:00 PM20:00

Dirk Hamilton

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Dirk Hamilton was born in Hobart, Indiana and raised in California. He was signed to ABC Records in 1975 by Steely Dan producer Gary Katz. In ‘78 his third major label offering, Meet Me at the Cruz, was released on Elektra and named one of the Top Ten albums of the year by Cashbox Magazine.

He toured the country with his crack rock band and released four major label albums in the ‘70s-’80s, and went on to release several more albums and tour the world as both a solo performer and with his band. He is known for his intelligent lyrics and passionate performances. He currently lives in Texas, and his latest CD project is Touch and Go.

“A brilliant live performer.” - LA Times

Tickets are $20 general admission. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

Little Buffalo

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Little Buffalo is the ongoing musical powwow between songwriter Eric Burkhart and a stable of talented players, singers and creative collaborators.

Little Buffalo's songs come from a lifetime of hearing American music in it's many incarnations…”imagine original tunes that fall somewhere between country, acoustic rock, folk and blues, with a nod to the sounds of Tulsa, New Orleans and Funky Kingston, then you'll be somewhere in the neighborhood,” (Berkeleyside). Some might call it Americana .... you can call it whatever you like.

Little Buffalo has finished a debut album and is busy recording new songs, making videos, and gigging around the local SF Bay Area music scene.

LB's current performing lineup includes:
Eric Burkhart - guitars, vocals
Steve Epstein - pedal steel, guitar
Jeff Jewett - live sound mixing
Alan Novidor - bass
James Percy - drums, percussion
Melissa Phillips - vocals, percussion
John Prichard - keyboards, vocals

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
25
8:00 PM20:00

Kate Copeland and Kirsten Maxwell

Kate Copeland is an award-winning singer/songwriter composer/arranger based out of Los Angeles.

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory's composition program, she has worked in the studio with a variety of artists in addition to putting out her own music. Some recent production credits include General Mojo's How Hollow A Heart EP (2016), Mike O'Malley's Growlers EP (2016), and DOUGMORE's debut album Outorboros (2017). She released her first solo album, recollection room, in June 2015, and her follow-up EP Red and Blue in May 2016. ASCAP declared her 2016's winner of the prestigious Robert Allen Award for songwriting.

"With soft instrumentals, enchanting vocals, and gypsy-soul lyrics, Kate Copeland is remarkable." — Planet Stereo

"Kate's songs have a lot of words. They are the right words. Most importantly they say something." — Wise Madness

Kirsten Maxwell is a New York-raised, Nashville-based singer/songwriter. She has toured extensively over the past 4 years, and has shared stages with such musical greats as Melissa Etheridge, Ferron, and Karla Bonoff.

Last year, Maxwell performed a solo show at The Cutting Room in NYC, accompanied by Paul Shaffer. In a review of her latest self-titled EP, John Apice of No Depression writes, “Her voice alone wraps itself around your ears…this is an artist still in the making and not just a singer.” In September 2018, Maxwell performed the single from the EP on Good Day New York.

"I once saw Kirsten Maxwell take the stage in a raucous bar. The patrons were there to drink, not listen. She began a delicate ballad, and by the third line, she had them in the palm of her hand. Kirsten is a strikingly special performer.” — Paul Shaffer

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
26
8:00 PM20:00

Damian McGinty - Young Forever Tour

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Irish singer-songwriter-actor Damian McGinty will be debuting his brand new full-length album, Young Forever, in early 2019 followed by a tour of the same name. The Young Forever tour is his largest to date and kicks off in Philadelphia, PA on March 19th and will feature vibrant, joyful, pop-infused music that will take you back to a time of living in the moment and yearning for the open road.

The 26-year-old Derry, Northern Ireland native is best known for his work with the Irish supergroup Celtic Thunder since the age of 13, and for his role as Rory Flanagan on the Fox hit television series, Glee. Damian’s first EP of original music, No More Time, was released in the Spring of 2018 and reached #9 on the US iTunes Pop chart while garnering more than 750,000 streams online.

Tickets are $100 (includes soundcheck, pre-show meet & greet and concert) - SOLD OUT;
$60 (includes pre-show meet & greet and concert); and $35 general admission (scroll down to see all ticket options).

Advance tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 9th at 10am, and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open forty-five minutes 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!

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Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Eli Cook

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The legendary Son House was known to say, “Blues is a feelin’.” Eli Cooks music expresses that same raw honesty in a unique blend of contemporary and old-school styles, creating an original sound at the forefront of modern Blues and Rock.

Eli took up the guitar as a teenager in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia. Following the tradition of the great blues men, he performed in churches and late-night gospel revivals with only his acoustic and deep baritone voice, while playing every hole-in-the-wall bar that could handle his electric power trio. Blending the influences of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Fred MacDowell, Bukka White and Lightning Hopkins with the likes of Clutch, Soundgarden, C.O.C, and Rage Against the Machine, he forged a fresh sound, alive with the southern blues tradition.

Eli recorded and released his first two albums between 2004 and 2007: the all-acoustic, original-roots album Miss Blues’ Child on the Sledgehammer Blues label, and a heavy blues-rock release, ElectricHolyFireWater. During this time, he was invited to open for B.B. King on King's East Coast tour. Since then, Eli has shared the stage with Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Parliament-Funkadelic, Gary Clark Jr., Roomful of Blues and many others. In 2008, Eli released his third self-produced album, Static in the Blood, a modern R&B/Rock crossover project featuring ornate experimental studio production. The follow up album, Ace Jack & King, a return to roots-blues and heavy guitars, received critical acclaim. The All Music Guide proclaimed that Eli could be “the best blues singer of his generation.”

In 2013, Eli signed with LA-based label Cleopatra Records to begin work on his 5th studio album, featuring guest appearances by rock legend Leslie West of Mountain, Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Reese Wynans of Double Trouble, Vinny Appici (Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio) and Tinsley Ellis. The album was released in Spring 2014.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door general admission; $15 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!
 

 

 

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Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Mamadou Sidibe & Sam Rudin

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Mamadou Sidibe played a groundbreaking role in transforming the popular Wassoulou music of Mali. He was one of the first to break with tradition by creating the now widely used eight-string kamale ngoni, a lute-harp-like instrument that exudes a deep, soulful sound. Mamadou broadened the songs from sacred hunters melodies to a popular music of philosophical observations, politics and daily African life. Stylus magazine calls his music, “an almost seamless blend of blues licks and African rhythms. At the center of his music is the same sensibility that you'll find in Muddy Waters: a sense of music as a tool for the re-creation of everyday life into something special, even magical.”

Mamadou has toured with Malian greats Oumou Sangare, Coumba Sidibe, and Toumani Diabate in Africa, Europe and the US. Since settling on the west coast, he's garnered various awards, including Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Competition (World Music), Winner of the Billboard Songwriting Contest (World Category), and Winner of Global Rhythm Magazine Song Contest.

Best-known as a highly versatile pianist, Sam Rudin, the owner/creator of The Back Room is also a virtuoso percussionist. Sam will bring some piano, but mostly percussion, to this exciting collaboration.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
28
7:00 PM19:00

Stephanie Bruce: Music from the Corridor

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Stephanie Bruce has been singing for a very long time. Her public performance life began in the coffee house circuit, playing guitar and piano, and singing folk music.

When Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro opened the gates for female singer/songwriters, she began to experiment with her own simple four chord tunes about young love, summer days, and broken hearts. After moving to the Bay Area from Seattle, she was introduced to the world of jazz, and that was a major detour of study and performance in a genre that featured expansive harmony, tricky melodies, exciting grooves, and improvisation.

She is a lyricist, composer, and arranger, and her body of work continues to expand. Stephanie will be performing a choice selection of her newer tunes, and a few favorites from years gone by. Many of the newest songs have been written for a musical theater piece (working title: Emily's Deceptive Cadence), a work-in-progress that was recently selected for the Above Ground Festival. The songs are lyrically rich, harmonically adventurous, range in content from joyous to heartbreaking, and a few will be performed for the first time at The Back Room.

Joining Stephanie onstage will be three stellar Bay Area jazz musicians: John R Burr (piano), Aaron Germain (bass), and Kendrick Freeman (drums). lur

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
1
8:00 PM20:00

Martyn Joseph

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Martyn Joseph is a completely unique and mind-blowing artist. Take everything you think you know about singer/songwriters… and rip it up. For one man and a guitar he creates a performance with a huge, far-reaching sound that is energetic, compelling and passionate. Be it to 200 people or 20,000, he blows the crowd away night after night.

2018 saw him honored with a ”Spirit of Folk” Award by Folk Alliance International in Kansas USA, and he also received Fatea Magazine’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in the UK.

He is gifted with the rare ability to speak to the soul with his expressive and poignant lyrics and has a career spanning 30 years, 32 albums, over a half a million record sales and thousands of live performances.

Compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews, he has created his own style and reputation as a mesmerizing live performer and stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives.

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 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!

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May
2
8:00 PM20:00

d'PaJo

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d’PaJo is a new ensemble that focuses on their mutual love and appreciation for a myriad of musical styles – gypsy jazz, jazz standards, great American songbook, Latin, and any other musical forms that speak to them.

Collectively, d’PaJo members have performed on 4 continents, in 45 different States and a dozen countries. Performances have ranged from clubs and house concerts, to notable venues and festivals such as Yoshi’s, Undercover Presents, the Eastern Music Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Davies Symphony Hall, and Carnegie Hall to name a few. Most recently, d’PaJo was invited to perform on the San Francisco Symphonies Holiday concerts as guest artists for the 2018-2019 season. 

Guitarist Patrick Anseth and Violinist Justin Ouellet are both active in the Bay Area scene and perform regularly with artists such as the Nuvo Jazz Quartet, ALQ Quartet, Kev Choice Ensemble, CAPO Ensemble and June & Man. Bassist Joe Kyle Jr. has been active in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, performing in countless bands such as The Americano Social Club, HowellDevine, ALQ Quartet and many many more.

The group will be joined by percussionists Marlan Aldana & Josh Jones, vocalists Alexis Jensen & Ann Moss, and OSA students Raphaella Brown & Luis Peralta.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students 18 and under. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
3
8:00 PM20:00

French Oak Gypsy Band featuring Stella Heath

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UPDATE 4/16: The Billie Holiday Project, led by Stella Heath, HAS UNFORTUNATELY BEEN CANCELLED.

IF YOU'VE ALREADY PURCHASED A TICKET, YOU CAN REQUEST A REFUND THROUGH THE TICKET LINK YOU RECEIVED VIA EMAIL AFTER PURCHASING. 

STELLA HEATH WILL BE PERFORMING WITH HER OTHER BAND, FRENCH OAK GYPSY BAND, INSTEAD:

French Oak Gypsy Band is a wild-around-the-edges experience, melding Django Jazz & French Chanson, New Orleans Jazz & Dixieland Swing, Roma Traditionals & Global Folk. North Bay native Stella Heath, with her magnetic vocals, leads this band of gypsies in their irrepressibly fun performances.

Featuring the tight rhythms and well-loved artistry of French/American guitarist Gabriel Pirard, James Inciardi (tenor, baritone and soprano sax), Skyler Stover (standup bass), and Jamie Foster (drums and percussion), French Oak famously inspires dance! With their global panoply of sounds, you will embark on a magical caravan ride: a song journey through many lands! 

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
4
8:00 PM20:00

The Guitar Trifecta

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In sports parlance, a Trifecta is defined as a run of three wins. In music, the Guitar Trifecta features award-winning guitarists Calvin Keys, Carl Lockett and Lloyd Gregory, a collective of three true champions of their instrument.

Formed in the spring of 2018, the members of the Guitar Trifecta have each individually established impressive careers as band leaders and recording artists, while also performing and/or recording with many of music’s legends and icons, including Ray Charles, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Jimmy Smith, Ahamd Jamal, Bobby Hutcherson (Calvin Keys), Chuck Mangione, Randy Crawford, Hank Crawford, Joey DeFrancesco (Carl Lockett), Martha Reeves, Harvey Mason, Joe Sample, Stanley Clarke, George Duke (Lloyd Gregory) and many others.

The distinct voice of each member, from the soulful and melodic grooves of Lloyd Gregory to the muscular single note solo style of Calvin Keys to the exhilarating creativity of Carl Lockett, combine to create the type of musical conversations that Wes Montgomery would listen in on.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
5
3:00 PM15:00

Noel Jewkes Septet featuring Kay Kostopoulos

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BLACK OLIVE JAZZ MEETS NOEL JEWKES SEPTET, featuring Kay Kostopoulos on Vocals.

Personnel:

Noel Jewkes, Tenor Sax

Charlie McCarthy/Nora Stanley Alto Sax

Dave Bendigkeit, Trumpet

Rob Ewing/Max Perkoff Trombone

Chris Amberger/Adam Gay, Bass

Mark Lee, Drums

Kay Kostopoulos, Vocals

Noel Jewkes is one of the premier saxophone players in Northern California. He has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years, and has earned a distinguished reputation with lovers of Jazz. 

Listening to the majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness of Noel Jewkes is almost like hearing the entire history of modern jazz in a single evening. No wonder he is revered by musicians, critics, and music lovers alike as the premiere Saxist-by-the-Bay. Some years back, Phil Elwood, the legendary jazz critic, said of Noel, "I don't know of a better contemporary modern saxman anywhere."

And Kay Kostopoulos is not only one of Northern California's finest singers, she is also a great friend of Noel's, and their on-stage partnership exudes a rare chemistry and musical rapport.

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 the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). Children under 12 are free.

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!

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May
5
7:00 PM19:00

WildCat Canyon

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WildCat Canyon is a collective of Musical Artists who have been creating together, and inspiring each other, some for 20 years. Their songs and musical styles are diverse - covering Americana, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Blues, and Soul - but their themes of seeking come from similar roots of concern for our world, love and family, political activism, self discovery, and hope.

Experiencing any of these artists individually is a cause for deep and joyful listening, but together, as they support each other musically and artistically, the audience is certain to bask in their gorgeous harmonies, thoughtfully well-crafted songs, fun, intelligent banter and exceptional musical grooves!

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
8
8:00 PM20:00

CelloJoe Presents The Cello MADNESS Congress: May Play

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The Cello MADNESS Congress: May Play

~∞~CELLO JOE, Sam Rudin & THE BACK ROOM PRESENT~∞~

The Cello MADNESS Congress: May Play 

Spring has sprung and now it's time to celebrate and play!
It's a May Play!
This edition is going to go off with:

Josh McClain
CelloJoe
Paul Hyun
The Freewheelers - Ilene McHolland & Bas Vossen
Peter bai
David Lichtenberg 
Gael Alcock 


$18 advance / $25 door

Now's the best time to lock in your spot as the show has sold out in the past:

Doors open at 7:30 pm, show runs 8-11 pm (maybe later!) . Arrive early for best seating as it's first come, first serve.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

All Ages

Selected Artist bios: 

Josh McClain

Joshua McClain is a cellist, composer, and studio artist based in Oakland, CA. He is best known for his unbridled and mesmerizing solo performances which, using a looping pedal and effects processor, create intense, otherworldly soundscapes. He regularly performs with The Handsome Brunettes, led by six-time Emmy winning songwriter Monica Pasqual .

Regarded as one of the top artists in the Bay Area, Joshua was voted Musician of the Year in San Francisco at the Raw Artist RAWAwards showcase in 2013. He has shared the stage with Thievery Corporation, Aj Croce, Over the Rhine, Blame Sally, Gordi, Dagmar, and others.

"Princess of the Plains" by Joshua McClain

Video: https://youtu.be/KbVMUlLYO8E

The Freewheelers

The Freewheelers have been around for over ten years now, and we may say their mission, to bring the cello into new realms of music, has been accomplished. Many new bands now have a cello in the line-up, and some even play blues with a cello standing up, central stage.

Countdown Café - The Freewheelers Cello Band - Jackyl & Hyde @ Q-Factory Amsterdam Video: https://youtu.be/UETjKa6SoUk

Paul Hyun

Paul Hyun is a cellist based in the bay area as a performer, musician, teacher and music coach, offering to numerous age ranges of students from as young as 4 to as old as 70. He graduated from SFCM and Cleveland Institute of Music as well as was a member of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra from 2002-2005. Currently he is teaching ages 4 - 16 in San Ramon as well as teaching and offering improv to students of all levels.     

Paul Hyun performs C. Saint-Saens Concerto for cello and orchestra no 1 Video: https://youtu.be/OT3Tw3xOG6c

CelloJoe 

 Cello + beatboxing + vocals + live looping = Cello Joe 

Cello Joe plays the cello while beatboxing, looping, and singing. It's Classical Hip Hop. He creates fat beats with a cello and his mouth and he does it live! 

His lyrics weave together sustainability, environmental justice, and social awareness. They entertain, inspire, and make you wonder. 

CelloJoe Dubstep Spaceship Official Video Video: https://youtu.be/7ThQNUyU_r0 


Lewis Patzner

Lewis Patzner is a cellist in Oakland and has been involved in many diverse projects including Judgment Day and The Musical Art Quintet.
Video: https://youtu.be/83TqnnUt8bk

Expect mystical moments of musical mayhem. Cellists improvising in ways you've never heard cello before. A bit of background:The Cello Madness Congress is a loose knit group of cellists from around the bay area (90 members strong and growing!) who get together to write a new constitution of what is possible with the violincello or 'cello for short. 

We play the instrument said to be most like the human voice and we create spontaneous, improvised, magical musical moments of pure ecstasy (the aural/auditory kind) that astound and amaze the listener's ear. 

We can go from a stately, majestic promenade of elf gods to a wild, erratic, frantic frenzy of whirling space gnomes dancing in eternity whilst seducing seahorses and sea cucumbers.Our jams can depict the ephemeral wisps of smoke rising from a funeral pyre to the prismatic rainbow colored fanfare of a three ring circus complete with elephants and clowns. 

We also read music arranged for cello. We invite all cellists to come and explore with us.

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May
10
8:00 PM20:00

Jenna Mammina & Rolf Sturm

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"It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a CD that compelled me to listen to every song from top to bottom, and left me wanting for more. The song selections and performances truly reflect the incredible chemistry between Jenna and Rolf. Needless to say, I absolutely love their CD!!! Go Jenna & Rolf!!” – Larry Batiste (Music Director for the Grammys)

Jenna & Rolf first met in NYC at the very end of 1995 in a rehearsal for a rock orchestra called Illuminati. It was a 17-piece ensemble that focused on the music of the Grateful Dead. The band toured the United States and Canada, recording and touring with a couple of members from the Dead. Jenna & Rolf performed for three years together in Illuminati and appeared on three of the band’s recordings.

During this time period, Jenna & Rolf talked about putting a duo together…“someday.” But time passed. In January of 2014 they decided that “someday” had arrived. Jenna returned to New York in June, they played their first gig together in 18 years, and went into the recording studio the next day. The recording they made, entitled Spark, was released in 2015. It is still receiving nationwide radio play and the two have been touring almost every month since its release. Their latest CD, Begin To Dance, was released in 2017. They are happy to be performing so much and audiences are unanimous, this is a very special pairing.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. Children under 12 are free. 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!

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May
11
8:00 PM20:00

Fingerstyle Guitar Summit featuring Eric Skye, Adam Miller & Teja Gerken

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Acclaimed acoustic fingerstyle guitarists Eric Skye, Adam Miller and Teja Gerken are teaming up for an eclectic evening of solo and ensemble playing. With each player known for their original approach to the instrument, this will be an evening that no fan of virtuoso guitar music can afford to miss, and in the case of Skye and Miller, a rare chance to hear them in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A Bay Area native who is now based in Portland, Oregon, Eric Skye is most often billed as a jazz guitarist, but he actually occupies a unique niche, exploring areas between Americana, jazz, and blues, all threaded together with a healthy respect for groove and unadulterated acoustic tone. Skye’s 2012 release, A Different Kind Of Blue —a solo guitar re-imagining of Miles Davis’ iconic Kind Of Blue—was acknowledged by the Davis family and named in Acoustic Guitar magazine’s Top Ten Albums of the Year. In 2015, he released two duet recordings, June Apple, a duet effort of early American fiddle tunes with mandolinist Tim Connell, and Artifact, with guitarist Mark Goldenberg. Skye’s latest album is 2018’s Ballads and Blues, a solo guitar collection of jazz and blues standards, and three originals pieces.

Hailing from Australia, Adam Miller is a one-man groove machine. Playing originals as well as pop and jazz standards, Miller’s complex fingerstyle technique recalls players such as Charlie Hunter and Tuck Andress. He has been featured in North American magazines including Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, and Premier Guitar, and his relentless touring schedule has included shows in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Japan, and his native Australia, where he performed in support of Tommy Emmanuel. Miller’s latest album is 2018’s The Defining of Success.

Teja Gerken is no stranger to fans of contemporary fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical and world music, he is known for his original compositions, many of which employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques. Gerken’s two albums, On My Way and Postcards, have received widespread acclaim, and he has shared the stage with many guitar legends, including Alex de Grassi, John Renbourn, and Andy McKee.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
12
7:00 PM19:00

Twisted Roots with Eric Thompson & Henry Kaiser

(L-R): Henry Kaiser & Eric Thompson

(L-R): Henry Kaiser & Eric Thompson

Twisted Roots brings together two Bay Area guitar icons: Eric Thompson and Henry Kaiser.

Eric first attracted attention with his pioneering flat-picking in the early ’60’s - you can hear his sizzling leads on the recently released Jerry Garcia Before the Dead CD box set. Since then, he’s been digging into every kind of earthy folk music he could find.

Grammy-winner Henry Kaiser is widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz, world, and contemporary experimental musics.

Together they explore traditional material through an eclectic prism, visiting the blues and mountain musics of Appalachia and Puerto Rico, with maybe a side trip to the Mediterranean, or even their own fertile imaginations!

Joining Eric and Henry’s electric and acoustic guitars will be John Hanrahan on drums and Terry Shields on bass.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below or at the door on the night of the performance. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

 

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May
15
8:00 PM20:00

Beth Custer: Drawdown

Photo credit: Federico Cusigch

Photo credit: Federico Cusigch

Beth Custer premieres her latest chamber composition, an evening-length work based on the compelling Paul Hawken book Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming.

The ensemble features Custer on voice/clarinets, cellist Freya Seeburger and her ensemble Juxtapositions with Mia Nardi-Huffman (violin), Naomi Stine (piano) and special guest Jim Kassis on drums/percussion.

An eight-movement piece covering solutions for climate change as laid out in Drawdown, Custer has created a journey of musical styles from driving rhythmic cello loops, to plaintive solo violin, to chaotic chordal movement, Drawdown is Custer's latest installment of her works based on ecology.

Audiences will delight in the interplay between members of this lovely chamber group assembled especially for these premieres. Supported in part by an Individual Artists grant from San Francisco Arts Commission.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
16
8:00 PM20:00

Jenner Fox

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Jenner Fox is a multi-faceted, uber-talented individual. A talented singer-songwriter hailing from Oregon, and an experienced river guide who roams the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and then switches hemispheres to run the rivers of Patagonia.

On the river and on the road, Jenner is a folk singer with music that ranges from a soft mandolin melody to full-blown guitar strumming that has strings on the edge of breaking. He draws his influence from river canyons, urban communities, John Prine, Josh Ritter, and the people, roads, and stories in between.

His lyrics will make you laugh one moment and wipe away tears the next. His CD will live in your player long after you hear him, and will take you right back to the emotions that his talents, voice, and personality crafted. Jenner will be accompanied by several talented musical friends.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door general admission; $5 for low-income individuals. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
17
7:30 PM19:30

Mountain Dulcimer Mastery

Faculty Concert for the 7th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering

Erin Mae Lewis, featured teaching artist

Erin Mae is a mountain dulcimer virtuosa who has taken an obscure American folk instrument, and with it has developed a high level of technical proficiency and musical expression. Erin has been playing for over twenty years and in that time has developed a unique and progressive style. She performs extensively as part of a duo, Scenic Roots. Carrying the rhythm section with her signature percussive chop and flat-picking fiddle tunes with impressive dexterity, audiences nationwide show amazement as they watch her fingers dance over her dulcimer strings. One guitar player quipped, “Erin can do more with three strings than I can do with six.” 

Steve Eulberg, Artistic Director

Steve is a versatile full-time folk musician who specializes in fretted and hammered dulcimers, but his first instrument was his mother’s ukulele. He later bought a kit and built his first mountain dulcimer. It’s been love ever since – through a career performing folk for kids to seniors, as a composer, and as an inner-city pastor, this award-winning touring musician brings joy to all who hear him. He’s been called an Appalachian Jimmy Buffett because of his personable stage presence and warm voice. Steve plays the dulci-bro, banjammer, electric dulcimer and baritone dulcimer, guitar, bass, mandolin, piano and hand percussion. He is a five-time Winfield, KS National Winner in Mountain Dulcimer and a three-time National Finalist for Hammered Dulcimer. He has produced 15 recordings. 

Neal Hellman

Neal Hellman, nationally-acclaimed performer and teacher of the mountain dulcimer, has been active in performing, writing, teaching, and recording acoustic music for the past 30 years. His latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. He is the author of many books on the Appalachian dulcimer, including Celtic Songs & Slow Airs for Mountain DulcimerThe Dulcimer Chord BookThe Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method, and Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer. As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over forty albums, creating a uniquely distinctive sound and featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color. 

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below or at the door on the night of the show. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
18
3:00 PM15:00

Dom Pipkin – The Sweet Sounds of New Orleans

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“The soul of New Orleans in the U.K.,” Dom Pipkin is at the forefront of piano players keeping the classic New Orleans sound alive.  With fans ranging from Hugh Laurie to Pee Wee Ellis, Pipkin has performed all around the world, including sharing the stage with Allen Toussaint at New Orleans Piano Night in 2014.  

Hailing from London, England, and often found in New Orleans, his first visit to the Bay Area was with British trip hop favorites Morcheeba back in the late 1990s – a band with whom he went on to record and perform with Talking Heads’ David Byrne. However, the blues, and particularly New Orleans piano styles, have always been Pipkin’s calling. He has been extensively featured on BBC national radio on the subject, and he regularly tours his “Smokin’ Boogie” solo show about the history of the music of the legendary Crescent City.

Originally a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Pipkin combines performing in theaters, clubs and festivals all over Europe, with a “day job” of directing the bands of pop and rock stars from behind the keyboards.  His shows mix his own touching and quirky original songs with classics and rockers from the New Orleans genre – you can expect the music of Dr John, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, and particularly interpretations of the maverick genius James Booker. Pipkin has been asked to play at many screenings of the acclaimed documentary on Bookers tragic and colorful life, Bayou Maharajah, including at its premiere at SXSW in 2012.  

His solo shows are a treat: intimate, moving, funky and in-your-face.  A real romp through the heart and soul of New Orleans piano and beyond. 

“I can’t hold a candle to this guy.  He’s a great piano player!” – Jamie Cullum

“Dom brings the whole New Orleans thing to the U.K. So good!”  - Zigaboo Modeliste/The Meters

“Your music warms my heart. Straight from the source!” – House star and musician Hugh Laurie

 Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission; $10 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
18
8:00 PM20:00

The Spirit Room - Jai Uttal Solo

Jai Uttal.jpg

Welcome to an intimate acoustic, solo concert with renowned World Music artist Jai Uttal. Stepping into a deeper level of vulnerability, Jai invites you into his 'mystic living room' to share songs, instruments and stories from every phase of his inspiring musical and spiritual journey. From ecstatic love songs of the Bauls of Bengal, to dark banjo ballads of Appalachia, to Bossa Nova kirtans from his latest release, Jai invites you to join him in a heart space of communion, invocation and celebration.

Jai Uttal is a Grammy-nominated sacred music composer, recording artist (20 albums to date!), multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combining influences from India with elements from American rock and jazz, to create a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. Having travelled extensively in India, where he met many great saints and singers, Bhakti Yoga became his personal path. Jai has been performing and teaching around the world for nearly 50 years, creating a safe environment for people to open their hearts and voices.

Early bird tickets are $22 through May 1, and $30 thereafter. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
23
8:00 PM20:00

Virginie Marine: All About the '80's

Virginie Marine.jpeg

Virginie Marine is a well-known French Pop singer with a rare and powerful voice. 

Inspired by top vocal pop singers like Céline Dion, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand, Virginie brings her All About the 80’s show to The Back Room, offering her unique perspective on American pop music from the 80’s and how it was reflected in French culture. 

Discover or rediscover these beloved songs from the past, in a warm and intimate environment.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!




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May
24
8:00 PM20:00

The Old Pals

Old Pals.jpg

The Old Pals is a California-based Bluegrass band bonded by decades-long friendships and a mutual love of traditional Bluegrass and country music. The band members enjoy the camaraderie of playing together whenever schedules permit, and most of the Pals have known each other since the early days of Bluegrass in California.

Craig Wilson (guitar and vocals) and Larry Cohea (banjo), a Springfield, TN native, met as teenagers while living in Bakersfield, CA. They were immersed in the heyday of the Bakersfield Sound and brought their Bluegrass styling to several of the local live TV programs on air at the time, sharing the stage with artists such as Joe and Roselee Maphis, Bonnie Owens and Merle Haggard, among others.

While living in San Francisco in 1968, Craig met Butch Waller (mandolin) when Butch was a founding member of one of California’s seminal traditional Bluegrass bands, High Country. Butch is a highly-acclaimed mandolinist in the Monroe tradition and has composed a myriad of songs through the years. Larry also became a member of High Country in the early 1970s, and the band has not only toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad but continues to perform and recently celebrated their 50th year in the business.

Paul Shelasky (fiddle) emerged on the Northern California Bluegrass scene in the 1970s and has played in bands including The Good Old Persons, Lost Highway and Blue and Lonesome, as well as performing for a number of years at Disneyland. Paul is also an accomplished old time and swing fiddler and adds a dose of comedy to the band’s repertoire.

Matt Dudman (bass) is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist on guitar and mandolin as well as bass, and performs with the Pleasant Valley Boys as well as with Jenny Lynn and The Real Gone Daddies. Matt operates his own sound and recording studio, Pleasant Valley Music in Dixon, CA.

Each member of The Old Pals has been active as “movers and shakers” in the Bluegrass community for many years. Butch, Larry and Paul have been recognized for their contributions and achievements by the California Bluegrass Association with Life member status awards.           

But The Old Pals don’t just rest on their laurels, they bring an old-school, energetic, paint-peeling, and soulful brand of Bluegrass picking and singing that is sure to captivate and have you tappin’ your toes!

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
25
8:00 PM20:00

Brother Yusef: the King of Organic, Deep Fried, Fattback Blues

Brother Yusef.jpg

Brother Yusef is a master solo blues guitarist and passionate vocalist. His raw and authentic performances have been honed over thirty years into a style he calls “fattback blues,” for its rich mix of Delta, Chicago, and Texas blues, alongside a hard-driving Louisiana stomp. With many influences, he takes audiences on an exuberant musical journey, from a backwoods juke joint to the fiery emotions of the sanctified church.

Brother Yusef has gained worldwide recognition through performances at music festivals, dance events and concerts; he was a featured performer at the Downtown Disney Resort in Anaheim, California (2001 - 2016), and has released 7 albums, including his most recent release, I Got The Blues: 10 Years Of Fattback Blues 1999 to 2009. Brother Yusef approaches the blues from a musical, spiritual and social context. He says, “For African Americans, blues has been about survival, healing, and freedom, and I'm pleased to be a part of this tradition.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
26
7:00 PM19:00

George Kahn Quartet - Straight Ahead

George Kahn.jpg

When a young musician’s sources of inspiration are jazz greats like Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, Vince Guaraldi and Wynton Kelly, you’d figure that his own music would turn out to be pretty special — and in the case of jazz pianist and composer George Kahn, you’d be right. His music captures the feel of the West Coast Jazz scene of the '50s and '60s, but with a contemporary edge.

Kahn is a Los Angeles-based jazz pianist and has released nine self-produced CDs. His 2010 release — Secrets From the Jazz Ghetto — is a 2-CD set featuring seven new tracks and a retrospective of George’s original compositions. The newest release, George Kahn Trio - Straight Ahead, features George in a trio setting with Alex Acuña and Lyman Medeiros.

Straight Ahead is just what it sounds like: the songs are melodic and catchy, the feel is contemporary yet classic. Building on Kahn’s strong catalog of Jazz releases, this album will always be a good companion, wherever you are, whenever you listen.

Joining George on this visit to Berkeley is Lyman Medeiros, a young gun on the Los Angeles jazz scene, who has recently toured with Steve Tyrell and Dianne Schuur. Gary Zellerbach on guitar and Chris Gamper on drums round out the quartet.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission; $10 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
30
8:00 PM20:00

The Novelists

Novelists 2019.JPEG

An elderly couple stands precariously on the railing of a 17-floor balcony…two teenagers unknowingly choose a murder scene for their parking date, and a young man throws off the shackles of a bullish culture. These are just a sample of the scenes in which you’ll find yourself immersed when you listen to The Novelists.

Equally comfortable acoustic or electric, The Novelists showcase cliffhanger storytelling, multiple lead singers, and their signature four-part harmonies. The Novelists have become a mainstay on the West Coast festival, college and house concert circuits and are planning several national tours throughout 2017. They've shared the stage with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, John Prine, and Daryl Stuermer (Genesis). Notable performances include the Sail Across The Sun Music Cruise Festival (hosted by Train), Cowboy Stadium (Dallas, TX), Strawberry Music Festival (Camp Mather, CA), California Wordfest, (Grass Valley, CA), Americana Music Festival (Virginia City, NV), The Knitting Factory (Reno, NV), Shank Hall (Milwaukee, WI – w/guest musician Daryl Stuermer of Genesis), Swallow Hill (Denver, CO), and The Living Room (NY, NY).

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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May
31
8:00 PM20:00

Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band

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Join us for this historic, educational and highly entertaining show!

~ The Prohibition Mob Band pays homage to Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven Band early recordings ~

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Roberta Donnay is that rare species of musician who almost lives in another time: she and her Prohibition Mob Band exist to revive the Jazz Age of America. Performing tunes reminiscent of Satchmo, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and more, this group is a festival favorite. With a Downbeat Magazine “Best Album” listing for 2015’s Bathtub GinMy Heart Belongs To Satchmo will be released March 5, 2018 on the Blujazz label. The record features John R. Burr, Sam Bevan (bass), Deszon Claiborne (drums), Rich Armstrong, Sheldon Brown, Mike Rinta, and Matt Baxter.

This show will feature John R. Burr (piano), Simon Planting (bass), Alan Hall (drums), Rich Armstrong (cornet/trumpet), and Mike Rinta (trombone).

The group has appeared and headlined shows, festivals, and performing arts centers including Las Vegas PACS, Exit Zero Jazz, Monterey Jazz, Whiskey Fest, San Jose Jazz, Jacksonville Jazz, guest artist Montreux Jazz (Switzerland) and The Hague Appeal For Peace (Netherlands).
 
Donnay’s interest in roots jazz music was inspired from the radio, performing with Dick Oxtot’s Golden Age Jazz Band, recording with legendary jazz producer Orrin Keepnews, researching lost and obscure material from the Jazz Age, and touring 10 1/2 years as singer/percussionist with Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks. 

As a performer, Donnay has opened for, or performed with, George Benson, Bob Dorough, David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Bruce Foreman, John Hammond, Herbie Hancock, Dr. John, Christian McBride, Maria Muldaur, Lewis Nash, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Leon Russell, Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, Lee Ritenour, Booker T. and Tuck & Patti.

"Roberta Donnay is a Jazz Age preservationist, guardian of Depression-era sounds, and extender of traditions, but her music isn't covered with cobwebs or dated in any way. On Bathtub Gin, this singer-composer puts a new coat of paint on the songs of the '20s and '30s, contributes originals sympathetic to the sounds of those times, and conjures thoughts of life during prohibition." - All About Jazz, 2015

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
1
8:00 PM20:00

The George Cotsirilos Quartet

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A group of accomplished, veteran musicians, the George Cotsirilos Quartet, featuring George Cotsirilos on guitar, Keith Saunders on piano, Robb Fisher on bass and Ron Marabuto on drums, released a widely acclaimed CD, Mostly In Blue, last year - which spent over three months on the national Jazz Weekly radio top 50 charts, rising to number 15, and has received excellent notices:

“Four stars. A pleasure.” — Howard Mandel, Downbeat

“With his perfectly round solo and chordal tone, Cotsirilos weaves a tight, swinging fabric.....bop, beautifully performed…Sounds like it is straight out of Blue Note in the 60s, but all tracks are original, and there isn't a dull track amongst them.” - Tom McCarter/KZSU, 90.1, Stanford, CA

“After three acclaimed trio albums since 2006 with bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, they hooked up with pianist Keith Saunders . . .The results are astounding.” - Miles Jordan/Chico News & Review

In its December 2018 issue, Downbeat Magazine listed Mostly In Blue among the best CD’s of 2018. The group performs primarily original modern jazz compositions along with some gems from the jazz canon. Its members are:

George Cotsirilos: Guitar

"George Cotsirilos' meticulous and tasteful guitar work is marked by remarkably subtle shifts in accents, and minute changes in expression and dynamics. He displays an impeccable sense of timing especially in revealing the hidden rhythms of complex melodies. His approach to harmony is whimsical, but patently beautiful at all times."  - Raul D'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

“One of today’s finest jazz guitarists and composers, Cotsirilos has an unerring sense of swing and melody. His solos, while displaying accuracy and technique, are filled with soul.” - John Heidt, Vintage Guitar Magazine

Originally from Chicago, George Cotsirilos has been a member of the San Francisco Bay Area jazz community for many years and has performed with a wide variety of artists, from San Francisco jazz fixtures like Eddie Marshall, Mel Martin, Pharaoh Sanders and Mark Levine to internationally recognized blues singer Etta James, Bill Evans bassist Chuck Israels, and the jazz/soul vocal group, The Whispers. He has recorded six prior CD’s as a leader and co-led the quintet, San Francisco Nighthawks (Monarch Records), with venerated drummer Eddie Marshall, bassist Robb Fisher and pianist Paul Nagel. His three prior trio CD’s on OA2/Origin Records with current quartet members Fisher and Ron Marabuto received wide critical acclaim (“Sublimely fluid jazz guitar skills...this is about as tight a jazz trio as you'll ever be lucky enough to hear with eloquent bass lines and delicately nuanced percussion.” - David  Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle). Cotsirilos’s last trio CD, Variations, was chosen by erstwhile Washington Post jazz critic and Jazztimes editor, Royal Stokes, as one of the most notable jazz instrumental CD’s of 2013.

Keith Saunders: Piano

Keith Saunders spent his formative years in Los Angeles where he studied with Charlie Shoemake and later, with Horace Silver. He worked extensively in L.A. with such well-known artists as Eddie Harris, Roy McCurdy, and Bill Watrous, then moved to New York City in 1984, where he worked and/or recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including Richie Cole, Frank Wess, Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano, Hank Crawford, and Mickey Roker. In 1991, Keith became the leader of The NY HardBop Quintet, which had begun as a cooperative unit. As such, he wrote and arranged music recorded by The HBQ for the TCB Montreux Jazz label, as well as numerous television spots including promotions for VH1 and ESPN. Now residing in the East Bay, he is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most in demand jazz pianists.

Robb Fisher: Bass

For over six years, bassist  Robb Fisher toured and recorded with the legendary Cal Tjader, anchoring Cal’s Grammy Award-winning album, La Onda Va Bien, and Grammy nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. He has also worked extensively and recorded with such jazz and Latin luminaries as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Tania Maria, Clare Fischer, and Rob Schneidermann. Additional recordings on which he can be heard include San Francisco Nighthawks, featuring Eddie Marshall on Monarch Records, Jeff Pittson’s Invisible Love as well as On The Rebop, Past Present, and Variations by the George Cotsirilos Trio, all on OA2/Origin Records.           

Ron Marabuto: Drums

One of the San Francisco jazz community’s most highly regarded drummers, Ron Marabuto has resided in both San Francisco and New York and has worked with a long list of jazz luminaries, including Pepper Adams, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan, Steve Grossman, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Mark Levine, Bruce Foreman, Buddy Montgomery, Rob Schneiderman, and Warren Gale, among many others. A San Francisco Area native, he is the son of noted jazz pianist John Marabuto and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.  He can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, including all three CD’s on OA2/Origin Records by the George Cotsirilos Trio.

 Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
2
4:00 PM16:00

Tribute to Elis Regina and Toots Thielemans with DARIA & Brian Byrnes

Please join us for this special concert of Brazilian music honoring two legendary musicians: Toots Thielemans and Elis Regina, who recorded one album together, Honeysuckle Rose Aquarela Do Brasil in 1969. Brian Byrnes and DARIA will be performing select songs from this release, as well as songs that Toots and Elis recorded and performed as individual artists, for a magical evening of Bossa Nova, Jazz and Samba!

DARIA is an innovative vocalist and songwriter with a beautiful voice, unerring pitch and a wide vocal range. Her repertoire seamlessly blends different genres of music including Jazz, Pop, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Rhythms. Known for her versatility, soulful and expressive style and putting her own spin on jazz and pop standards, DARIA has delighted audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. She has three critically-acclaimed CDs, including her latest project, Strawberry Fields Forever, Songs by the Beatles. She is included in the book The Jazz Singers by Jazz critic Scott Yanow, and has shared the stage and/or recorded with Dan Hicks, Joe Sample, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Harvie S, Roni Ben-Hur, Bob Dorough, Dave Grisman, Rickie Lee Jones, Maria Muldaur, Tuck and Patti, Alex Acuña, Abe Laboriel, Marcos Silva, Wayne Wallace and Frank Martin. DARIA toured for 10 years with the legendary Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.

"Daria successfully reinvents 10 Lennon-McCartney standards for the jazz idiom. When she purrs, ‘You can knit a sweater by the fireside’ she makes it sound like a sensual delight." — Downbeat Magazine

“She sings with unself-conscious abandon, showcasing her extraordinary range, breaking through the constraints of the conventional, fearlessly reinventing tunes and melodies.” — Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ

Brian Byrnes is a Bay Area Jazz vocalist, harmonica player, guitarist and songwriter. He has performed in the Bay Area in many musical settings for two decades, including notable venues such as The Sweetwater, 142 Throckmorton Theater, The Monkey House, John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room, Armando’s and the Orinda Jazz Festival. Brian has shared the stage with Jules Broussard, Peter Barshay, Damien Masterson, Lee Bloom, Myron Cohen, Keith Saunders, Kai Eckhardt, Laucia Paiva, Ben Flint and many others. His new project, The Brian Byrnes Trio, has been making waves on the local Jazz scene. After playing in Rock, Blues and Brazilian bands, Brian discovered the chromatic harmonica in 2001 and started playing Jazz. In 2009 he was the soloist with the San Francisco Sinfonietta Orchestra on a piece entitled “Chroma,” written for chromatic harmonica by his son Brendan Byrnes. Brian released his debut EP in 2016 with The Brian Byrnes Trio: Only For You. Recently, Brian and Jules Broussard teamed up as the Brian Byrnes Band and can be heard at venues around the Bay Area.

“An ace on harmonica, Byrnes is something special.” — Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ

About the Tribute Artists:
Elis Regina Carvalho Costa (March 17, 1945 – January 19, 1982), known professionally as Elis Regina, was a Brazilian singer of popular and jazz music. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, along with Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, Elis Regina helped to popularize the work of the tropicalismo (Tropicália) movement, recording songs by musicians such as Gilberto Gil. Her 1974 collaboration with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis & Tom, is often cited as one of the greatest bossa nova albums of all time, which also includes what many consider the all-time best Brazilian song, "Águas de Março.”

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans (April 29, 1922 – August 22, 2016), known professionally as Toots Thielemans, was a Belgian jazz musician. He was known for his harmonica playing, as well as his guitar, whistling skills, and composing. His first professional performances were with Benny Goodman's band when they toured Europe in 1949 and 1950. From 1953 to 1959 he played with George Shearing, and then led his own groups on tours in the U.S. and Europe. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, he continued touring and recording, appearing with musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Werner, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Elis Regina and Paquito D'Rivera.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, general admission; $10 students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
5
8:00 PM20:00

Trance Mission

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Formed by world-renowned didgeridoo pioneer and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Kent and award-winning clarinetist and composer Beth Custer, the San Francisco-based “4th World” band Trance Mission makes genre-bending music perhaps best described as a new form of contemporary global jazz, with driving intricate rhythms & gorgeous soaring melodies – worldly and otherworldly soundscapes that invite audiences into a unique universe of groove and new possibility in music.

With a classic catalogue of four globally acclaimed CDs and an upcoming NEW release dropping in summer 2019, Trance Mission, now a trio with virtuoso drummer/electronic artist Peter Valsamis, is reentering the musical stratosphere with energy and vitality.

Beth Custer (bass clarinet, alto clarinet Bb clarinet) is an Emmy award-winning composer and performer writing for film, TV, theatre and dance productions. Both as a solo artist and bandleader she has recorded many acclaimed original works and is renowned for her exquisite & diverse clarinet playing across the entire clarinet family. She has toured internationally with Trance Mission, Club Foot Orchestra, Clarinet Thing, Eighty Mile Beach, and The Beth Custer Ensemble.

Stephen Kent (didgeridoo, cello-sintir, percussion) has received international acclaim as a driving force in bringing the Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo into contemporary music. A multi-instrumentalist & composer, he is well established in the global music scene, collaborating with an extraordinary range of luminary musicians including Airto Moreira (Brazil), Omar Sosa (Cuba), Zakir Hussain (India), Habib Koite (Mali), Leonard Eto (Japan), Chirgilchin (Tuva), Steve Roach/R. Carlos Nakai (USA). His catalog of releases includes 7 solo albums and many more with group projects including Trance Mission and Baraka Moon. Stephen also hosts Music of the World and Off the Beaten Path on Pacifica Radio's KPFA (94.1FM)

Peter Valsamis (drum set, dumbek, electronics) is based in Los Angeles. His extraordinary approach to drumming synthesizes a variety of musical styles into his own unique sound. He has performed with Cecil Taylor, Emeline Michel, Martine St. Clair, Mitsou, Don Preston, Walter Aziz, Steve Lacy, Trance Mission and many others. An accomplished composer and sound designer he has worked on titles such as Transformers, Star Trek, Battleship, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. Peter received his M.F.A. in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College.

What critics say about Trance Mission:

“This dynamic trio gives urban tribalism a whole new soundtrack!” - San Jose Mercury News

“The digital aura remarkably marries the indigenous instrumentation with a rare naturalness, resonating with the full flame of world-derived trance power.” — Sam Prestianni

“A unique Aboriginal, African and European fusion. Their rhythmic, trance-inducing music for didgeridoo, drums and electronics makes a perfect soundtrack.” — j. poet

“This is such deep, exploratory, soulful music...unlike anything I’ve ever heard...its progressive, jazzy, tribal, traditional, jamming, driving, trance rhythms...I hear something new every time I put this CD on.” — Dirty Linen

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!




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Jun
6
8:00 PM20:00

Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves

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Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, two musicians on the forefront of American traditional music, join forces in this powerful new duo.

Together, they create a sound that is adventurous, masterful and original, as they expand on the eccentricities of old songs, while never losing sight of what makes them endure. The duo not only showcases impressive musicianship, but reflects on which voices we seek to hear as we explore the expansive, diverse canon of American roots music. Already leaders in the young generation of roots musicians, de Groot has become known for her intricate clawhammer banjo work with Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, while Hargreaves has brought her powerhouse fiddling to the stage with Gillian Welch and Laurie Lewis.

Their debut, self-titled album released with Free Dirt Records is a powerful opening statement, one not to be missed!

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission; and $10 for students with ID/low-income individuals. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!



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Jun
7
8:00 PM20:00

Roy Book Binder: Bonafide Singer-Songwriter-Storytelling Bluesman

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Roy Book Binder has the goods: the original, the bare-knuckle, the low-down . . . blues.

Who can say they were friends with the Rev. Gary Davis, Pink Anderson and Robert Lockwood? And toured with Arthur Big Boy Crudup, Hot Tuna, JJ Cale & Bonnie Raitt? Roy can. He has the stories, the licks, and the mystery of timeless music in his fingers. He’s been featured on a PBS special and interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

He’s also a regular at Fur Peace Ranch, where he teaches along with Jorma Kaukonen. When he brings his Tour Bus to town, a one-man blues-fest ensues. He plays and he entertains, feeding us music and stories, and the evening is a celebration for us all. We’re privileged to have Roy here to preserve–and extend—the tradition of great American blues music.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
9
3:00 PM15:00

In the Round with Koli, Samantha and Eva

Being a descendant of the Hupa, Yurok and Karuk tribes of Northern California and theatrical relatives on her Anglo-American side, Koli Kohler comes from a long line of storytellers. Koli’s warm personality shines through her songs as she takes us along her journey as a young woman who is “holding her own,” while traversing young adulthood across states and various countries. Koli creatively engages the listener by braiding together catchy tunes, intriguing metaphors, and unique timing. Blending her clear voice with the harmonious sounds of ukulele, guitar, and piano, Koli blurs across the lines of pop, country, and folk.

Samantha is an indie pop singer/songwriter and San Francisco native. She released her first EP, Wandering I, in 2017. Her soulful melodies convey the power of the female voice, and her lyrics tell stories about mental health and acceptance. Her most recent projects include songs for the Bushwick Bookclub, and writing the music for the musical Valley of the Dead (Cutting Ball Theater). She is currently working on developing her skills as a producer for a series of new singles. Her upcoming release will feature layered vocals and ambient synths which create an emotional soundscape.

Eva Snyder is a bi-coastal singer/songwriter. Originally from Western Mass, she taught herself how to play guitar and moved to California. Her pop-country sound is flirty, sassy, and never afraid to slap you in the face with some hard truth. Eva released her first EP, Balance, as her college thesis, and she is currently in the process of recording and releasing a second EP which will experiment with more pop sounds while celebrating country lyrics and stories.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
9
7:30 PM19:30

Cosa Nostra Strings and The Pipes

The Pipes

Trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston’s truly unclassifiable ensemble The Pipes is one of his most recent projects, featuring Cory Wright and Steven Lugerner on bass clarinets, along with Jordan Glenn on percussion, and Darren on trumpet and vocals. Each of these musicians is a ubiquitous band-leader, composer and improviser in their own right on the Bay Area music scene and beyond.

Pieces begin with a focus on storytelling and poetry that blossoms into toe-tapping horn honkery, expansive explorations, and tight ensemble playing, touching on a universe of styles and traditions along the way.

Such musical adventuring is only made possible because of the broad musical interests and experience of those involved, who have collectively played with a diverse cast of luminaries from the worlds of jazz, improvised and “new” music, Balkan brass, reggae, rock, R&B, Afro-Cuban, European classical, and… well you get the picture.

Cosa Nostra Strings

A branch of the illustrious Jazz Mafia, Cosa Nostra Strings specializes in original Hybrid Crossover music. Ranging from acoustic heavy metal to power ballads and everything in between, they utilize their unique instrumentation of cello, viola, violin, trombone, bass, and percussion to the fullest extent. This five-piece powerhouse crew features conservatory-trained classical musicians who bring a provocative, precise, punk-rock personality to a highly distinguished multi-style sound. Spanning centuries of genres, you’ll hear diverse influences from around the world: funk infusion, folk, western chamber music, jazz, and most certainly 80’s rock ballads (because a set wouldn’t be quite complete without them!).

Cosa’s successful 2018 season included feature performances at SFJAZZ - where they were named young artists to look out for - Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Point Richmond Jazz, Yoshi’s, UnderCover Presents, and an eight-week run with The Soiled Dove. They are heavily featured on GRAMMY-winning violinist Shaina Evoniuk’s recent release Hitwoman Honey, recently put out an EP entitled Shadows with soul singer Lilan Kane, and are currently working on their own debut album of original works to be released in 2019.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
14
8:00 PM20:00

Mokai & Friends, featuring James Nash & Julie Wolf

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This evening is a celebration of the release of a new collection of songs by Bay Area singer-songwriter Mokai.

For this special performance, Mokai recreates his latest album of songs with the players who recorded them. An eclectic evening of excellent musicianship and inspired songwriting, with rhythmic folk, spirited folk-blues and moving ballads showcasing Mokai's lyrics, vocals and roots-Americana guitar style.

Arriving on the West Coast in the ‘80’s, Mokai fell in with the San Francisco songwriter community. He became a regular at haunts like the Bazaar Café and was called “…one of the more original players on the Bay Area acoustic music circuit,” by Acoustic Guitar magazine.

On his third studio album, Mokai enlists the support of well-known Bay Area musician, James Nash (Waybacks). Nash produced the album with a roster of well-loved local players. Nash, who Guitar Player called one of "50 Transcendent Acoustic Guitarists," adds harmony vocals and solo work on acoustic and electric guitar, slide and mandolin.

In a special appearance, keyboardist Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco) performs on piano, Hammond B3 and accordion. Wolf is a local treasure, a nationally touring musician and producer who has supported the work of many local musicians.

Bassist Joe Kyle Jr. (Waybacks, Howell Devine) is an in-demand player known for his superb feel. Joe has shared the stage with a host of notable roots music heroes.

Special appearances by more local favorites TBA.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $25 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
20
8:00 PM20:00

The Matt Stoloff Trio featuring Nora Stanley and Chris Amberger

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This chordless trio will feature music from jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and many others, including original compositions from members of the band. Grab a drink or a bite from one of downtown Berkeley's many great shops and restaurants and then hop over to The Back Room for what is sure to be a fun night.

Matt Stoloff is a Bay Area and Northeast Ohio-based drummer. He graduated from Berkeley High School and later attended Oberlin Conservatory, where he was mentored by jazz master Billy Hart (Herbie Hancock Sextet, Miles Davis) and drummer/percussionist Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Bokanté). His influences include everything from The John Coltrane Quartet to CSNY. In 2017, he was recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation.

Nora Stanley is a Bay Area-based saxophonist and composer. Born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, she grew up in a musical family surrounded by a variety of sonic influences. She attended Berkeley High School and participated in conglomerate programs such as SFJAZZ High School All-Stars and Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of SF, before moving to Ohio to study with Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson and Dan Wall at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she received a B.M. in Jazz Studies and a B.A. in Latin American Studies. Nora currently teaches and plays around the Bay Area, leading her own bands and playing on others’ projects, such as the Noel Jewkes Septet. She has shared the stage with such greats as Ambrose Akinmusire, Gary Bartz, Dayna Stephens and Jerry Gonzalez and performed at Monterey Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ and internationally in Spain, Cuba and Brazil.

Chris Amberger is a bassist who has done it all. Chris started playing with Summer of Love-era groups like Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company. After attending Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Gary Burton, Ron McClure and others, he had gigs with Cal Tjader, Art Blakey, George Shearing, and tons more. In the Bay Area he was the house bassist at the Keystone Korner, playing with icons like Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Sam Rivers, and so many greats who graced that stage.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door general admission; $10 for students and low-income individuals. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jun
21
8:00 PM20:00

HowellDevine

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HowellDevine, the massively talented NorCal trio, became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past.

HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.

Joshua Howell (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica)
Within three years of starting harmonica at the age of 14, Joshua was sitting in with many of the San Francisco Bay Area's blues bands. He quickly became the desired house harmonica player in clubs such as Eli's Mile High and Your Place Too, though his under-age status limited his exposure to only those clubs that could circumvent the age restrictions. During this period, he took up guitar, intently focused on learning the techniques of the Mississippi greats such as Fred McDowell, Bukka White, Robert Johnson and RL Burnside. While living in Santa Cruz, Joshua pursued a successful career in guitar making, developing the Howell & Forsyth Guitar Company. Though he continued to focus on playing music and gigging locally, music as a profession took a back seat to lutherie. It wasn't until he moved to Thailand that he dedicated himself entirely to musicianship, taking on over 15 gigs a week as a solo artist. After three years playing professionally in Thailand's mountainous north, Joshua returned to the U.S. and continued to perform in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he crossed paths with drummer and percussionist Pete Devine, they recognized their similar influences and musical sensibilities. Their common approach effortlessly generated a powerhouse combo of inspired and unaffected blues.

Pete Devine (Drums & Washboard)
Originally from Maine, Pete started playing drums when he was six years old. Since his move to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, he has gained a national audience while playing with bands such as Bo Grumpus and Devine's Jug Band. From one of the founding members of Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers to a 20-year stint with Mal Sharpe's Jazz Band, Pete's musical range is extensive. He also kept busy as drummer for the Jug Town Pirates as well as the gypsy jazz band, Gaucho, for nine years, the latter voted "SF's Best Jazz Band of 2009" by the SF Weekly's reader poll. His ongoing recording career spanning the last 20 years has yielded over 32 records, including a recent recording with Maria Muldaur's Garden of Joy Jug Band, an album that was nominated for a Grammy Award. Pete's unique 'old time' drumming and jug blowing styles have taken him around the country, performing at venues such as SF's Great American Music Hall, SF's Davies Symphony Hall, The Danny Kay Theater in NYC for the JVC Jazz Festival, The Louisville Kentucky National Jug Band Jubilee, The LA Classic Jazz Festival, The SF Jazz Festival, The Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Missouri, and the famed Astoria Hotel in NYC, just to name a few.

Joe Kyle Jr. (Upright Bass)
It was during the Great Swing Wars of early-1990s San Francisco, when gigs were plentiful, public cigar smoking was legal, and vintage clothes were still cheap, that Joe was fortunate enough to have been drafted into musical service. Since that time he has become an in-demand player known for his superb feel, musical agility, and adaptability. Joe has been touring and recording with the Waybacks since mid-2001, and in such capacity has shared the stage with a host of notable roots music heroes including Bob Weir, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Joan Osborne, Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Danny Barnes, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Grace Potter, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Jim Lauderdale and Bela Fleck. He might be the only bassist to have played with Martin Denny, Al Kooper AND Pinetop Perkins, although not at the same time, sadly. 

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below or 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. Those 21+ are welcome to bring their own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. Children under 12 are free. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
29
8:00 PM20:00

Mark Hummel & Deep Basement Shakers

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A new collaboration is taking place between Mark Hummel & Deep Basement Shakers, as the two entities have locked forces to commit themselves to rockin' away the pre-war blues & boogie-woogie styles in this piano, acoustic harmonica/vocal & washboard trio. 

Grammy-nominated, two-time Blues Award winner, harmonica master, blues singer, bandleader, author, and entrepreneur Mark Hummel has been active since the early 1970s, when he moved to Berkeley from LA. Hummel has over thirty CDs to his credit and also is the creator of the Blues Harmonica Blowouts, which he started in 1991. 

Hummel's mastery of the blues genre, mixed with a knowledge of where the music comes from, is rare in this idiom. Mark has recorded/toured with Snooky Pryor, Lowell Fulsom, Eddie Taylor, Brownie McGhee, Barbara Dane, Jimmy Rogers, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Huey Lewis, Lazy Lester, Anson Funderburgh (his co-partner in his latest project, Golden State/Lone Star), Charles Brown, Willie Big Eyes Smith & many more. Hummel has been steadily touring around the world since 1984.

Specializing in primal, joint-rockin' barrelhouse blues n' boogie, the Deep Basement Shakers are an East Bay trio with a stripped down but powerful sound, featuring Aaron Hammerman on piano and guitar, and local percussion legend Dave Eagle on washboard, spoons, suitcase, train whistles, animal calls, etc. Known for their floor-stomping appearances around the Bay and beyond, the Shakers bring to life good-time, steady-rollin' grooves from the deep musical traditions of days of old!

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Children under 12 are free. 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!

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Jun
30
5:00 PM17:00

Tony Miceli/Jeff Denson - The East Coast/West Coast Project

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East Coast vibraphonist Tony Miceli and West Coast bassist Jeff Denson have been talking about getting together for a couple years. After a debut performance in Philadelphia last fall, Jeff and Tony decided to try it again on the West Coast! The two will spend the weekend doing a Vibraphone & Bass Jazz Boot Camp at the California Jazz Conservatory that will end with a performance at The Back Room.

Internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli has been performing steadily on the jazz scene since 1980. In All About Jazz, Vic Schermer describes him as ... “a vibraphonist of astonishing virtuosity, musical resilience, and inventiveness. His vibes playing is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Jeff Denson has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with his own groups and has worked with some of jazz’s finest artists, such as Brian Blade, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Douglas, Charles McPherson, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi, Walter Smith III, Vadim Neselovskyi, Florian Weber, Dan Weiss and Paul Hanson, and has had an ongoing relationship with the legendary Lee Konitz since 2007. Lee Hildebrand of the SF Chronicle describes him as “master of the Jazz bass."

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door before the show. Children under 12 are free. 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!



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Jul
18
8:00 PM20:00

Queen Machali

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Queen Machali (Tora Woloshin), an artist who was mentored by Simon Cowell on The X Factor, is having her birthday bash and new project launch party here at The Back Room.

Her music is a fresh new blend that features tones from Jazz, R&B, Soul, Rock and Contemporary music.

Queen Machali was the Queen of Tigers. She was a Bengal from India who helped regenerate some of the tiger population. Her mother was the Queen of Queens whom Machali was named after, not to mention the most photographed tiger of all time. Machali received a Lifetime Achievement Award because of her direct involvement in tiger conservation and contributions to the growth of India’s tourism industry.

Lead vocalist Tora Woloshin was mentored by Simon Cowell on The X Factor. The name 'Tora' means tiger in Japanese. Her decision to name the band 'Queen Machali' was based on several factors: the coinciding names, to honor tigers and other endangered species and eventually to save endangered species. Tora has been singing, dancing, acting and modeling since the age of 4 and has toured the world performing covers and originals. She has opened for Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, Method Man and toured the US with major artist, B.O.B. Her interests range from being a race car driver and chef to training and rescuing animals.

Tickets are $20 general admission. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Jul
21
3:00 PM15:00

The Dred Scott Trio

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Dred Scott grew up in St. Louis and went to college in Ohio to study piano and composition with Pat Pace, but it is the San Francisco Bay Area that will always be home. There, he gained a reputation as an innovative and eclectic pianist and multi-instrumentalist.

He has recorded 11 self-produced albums as a leader and has performed on over 50 others. He was co-founder of the ground-breaking hip- hop jazz group, Alphabet Soup. He has recorded with Anthony Braxton, Cecil McBee, Andrew Cyrille, Joe Morello, Charlie Hunter, Bob Minter, Dave Samuels, Don Byron, Paul McCand­less and Marshall Crenshaw, and has performed with Ziga­boo Modeliste, Steve Smith, Mike Clark, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Levon Helm, Norah Jones, Moby, Bob Weir, Joe Henderson, The Berkeley Symphony (Kent Nagano), Rickie Lee Jones, Dave Garibaldi, Larry Schneider, Nina Hagen and Peter Apfelbaum.

Dred is currently based in NYC and regularly performs with Sasha Dobson, The Bari Koral Family Band, Bump City, The Munchies, and The Dred Scott Trio. For the last 6 years, Dred has been the house pianist at Del Posto, the 4-star Lydia and Joe Bastianich restaurant in NYC.

Dred's new album, Dred Scott Rides Alone, was record­ed in rural Northern California. Dred wrote all the songs and played all the instruments. It is a standard jazz piano trio format: piano, bass and drums. The songs, written during an artist residency at the UCross Founda­tion in Wyoming, are sublime, perhaps Dred's most accessible and gentle writing and playing in his storied career. Dred Scott Rides Alone stands as a mature and melodic statement of life, love and the pursuit of beauty.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Aug
9
8:00 PM20:00

Red's Blues

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Red's Blues is a blues revue, founded in July 2012, that keeps the blues alive with traditional blues, Chicago shuffles, New Orleans-delta, and West Coast blues, both acoustic and electric.

They perform as a three, four and five-piece band, and include a lot of original Americana/roots music in their repertoire. The band has released two critically-acclaimed CDs: Red's Blues (2014), and You Knock Me Out (2017).

"Beth Reid-Grigsby's confident alto vocals are breezy and unaffected by histrionics. In addition to blues, the influence of country and jazz is clearly discernible in her laid-back style." - Blues Music Magazine

"Red's Blues has a finger-poppin' attitude - straight outta the golden years when blues, R&B and swing all meshed together and dance floors every night were filled with snake hips and slow drags. Beth, with her sensual, southern voice and classy behind-the-beat phrasing, finds perfect rhythmic support in bass player and husband, RW." - M. Giles, Swell Productions

They will be joined on this show by Jon Lawton on guitar, of Little Jonny and the Giants and the Aki Kumar Blues Band, and Dave Eagle of the Deep Basement Dwellers, on outstanding percussion. They all know the secret of groove.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID and low-income individuals. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Aug
30
8:00 PM20:00

Larry Vann Trio

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Larry Vann is a vocalist, drummer and bandleader, known as the "Groove Merchant,” who creates authentic root music which fuses the essence of soul-stirring blues, sweet, mellow jazz and genuine soul, R&B and funk.

Mr. Vann has performed with many great artists such as The Whispers, Elvin Bishop, Charles Brown, Martha Reeves, The Marvalettes, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, Charlie Musselwhite, Brian Auger and many others, and also with his own band for over 30 years. His work with the popular San Francisco Bay Area blues group, Ron Thompson & the Resistors, contributed to the band earning two Bay Area Music Awards (BAMMIES). He has also been honored with the Blues Society’s West Coast Hall of Fame’s “Blues Drummer of the Year” award, and The Jazz Institute’s “Man of the Year” award. In addition, he has been honored to serve as a Governor on the governing board of the San Francisco chapter of The Recording Academy® (GRAMMYs).

Tim Landis is a guitarist who performs weekly with the Glide Church Change Band and has performed with the legendary Sugar Pie DeSanto.

Michael Warren is a vocalist, bassist and keyboardist with a funky, progressive approach. He has performed and toured with a great spectrum of dynamic artists including Merl Saunders, BB King, Randy Crawford, Maria Muldaur, Buddy Miles, The Crusaders, The Dave Matthews Band and many others.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Sep
7
8:00 PM20:00

The Real Sarahs and David Starr

The Real Sarahs
As rising stars in the west coast Americana scene, The Real Sarahs have begun to distinguish themselves as master harmony singers and evocative songwriters. With an organic sound that enchants and uplifts the spirit, The Real Sarahs share their special gift of vocal synergy.

This duo creates magic with voices in harmony, acoustic instruments, and the energetic connection between artists and audience. Embracing many genres of music, you are likely to hear threads of folk, jazz, blues, and country running through their songs. Singing from the stories of their own life journeys and experiences, their original music is honest, evocative and heartfelt. With the onset of regional and international touring in 2018, you can expect their voices to ripple out, touching more hearts and minds and carrying their message and influence to an ever broadening field of music lovers.

David Starr

Americana artist David Starr possesses “a compelling voice, something truly special, both accessible and passionate” (Elmore), that has been honed releasing nine albums, touring internationally, and opening shows for esteemed artists such as John Oates, The Steel Wheels, Survivor, The Guess Who, and more.

His prestige extends beyond the stage as well, having launched Starr’s Guitars in Little Rock in 1998, then relocating to Cedaredge in 2001. Today, the store is such an institution that Cedaredge proclaimed the musician’s birthday as David Starr Day in 2016. The year before, Starr released the album Love and Sabotage with special guests John Oates, Richie Furay, Dana Cooper and Steve Cropper. South and West follows acclaimed EP, The Head and Heart, produced by John Oates. The release of South and West coincides with the grand opening of the Grand Mesa Arts Center in Cedaredge, an intimate event space brought to fruition through strong community support.

Starr helped design the space in order to attract traveling musicians and exhibiting visual artists to Southwestern Colorado. Starr divides his time between operating his guitar store and touring internationally to attentive, appreciative audiences.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door general admission; $10 advance and $15 door for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Sep
28
8:00 PM20:00

Aireene Espiritu & Maurice Tani

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Aireene Espiritu is a singer/songwriter with over 20 years of experience performing as a solo artist as well as with her band, Aireene & The Itch, covering various genres from folk, blues, gospel, rhythm and blues to world music - a mix of stompin', swayin', and timeless Americana.

“Folk singer-songwriter Aireene Espiritu works in the elemental substance of vernacular American music with an uncanny ease. Whether blues, hillbilly, soul, folk or R&B...demonstrates masterly command of each. Her original compositions mix deft lyrical construction and classic form just as impressively...An authentic, authoritative vocalist and with distinctly sensitive manner of phrasing...” Jonny Whiteside, Los Angeles Times

“A rare breed of artist, a soul singer, a folk troubadour, a blues artist, a busk show princess, a skiffle tear-stained street singer with a heart as big as the history of the music that drives her. And in the final analysis, she is a storyteller without borders or cultural limitations.” — Terry Roland, No Depression

She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at 10 years old, growing up in the third culture: the old country, the new country and a blend of both worlds. Mainly influenced by listening to Alan Lomax's field recordings from the South and growing up listening to her uncles' Filipino folk guitar fingerpicking, her music is reminiscent of front porch storytelling, of ghosts and the living, times of laughter and tears.

Her fifth album, Back Where I Belong (2016), pays tribute to the great rhythm and blues artist Sugar Pie DeSanto, along with favorite American and Filipino folk songs produced by Little Village Foundation, a non-profit label founded by venerable blues keyboardist JimPugh (Robert Cray, Etta James, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker). The album has received positive recognition and reviews from KQED's The California Report, San Francisco Chronicle, Living Blues and No Depression magazines, and a 4.5 out of 5 stars review in All About Jazz.

Maurice Tani is a "supercalifornigraphic" singer-songwriter known for his wry/rye-to-romantic songwriting, agile guitar style and expressive singing. His band, Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora, has been the source of untold, but exquisite, suffering for over 15 years. Tani now has 8 albums to his credit. The latest is This Is It! (Little Village), a live album recorded at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage.

“This music is neither retro nor country; it's twang noir. A fully realized universe, on a dark night, with an AM radio station sending out a strong signal from somewhere down Highway 99. Are you listening?” — Scott Bloom, Bay Area Twang

“This is thoughtful, heart-wrenching stuff about human asteroids that wonder where and how they lost their way and if there is a GPS that works. …darkly funny comments on power, desire, adrenalin, ambivalence, and narco squad surveillance.” — Jeep Rosenberg, Freight Train Boogie

“Tani's songs sound like buried treasures...He has a quality to his singing that is closer to a Raul Malo or a Roy Orbison, almost a classic cabaret voice, that brings a haunting feeling to many of his songs. His vocals on ‘Radio City’ build on a form that Tani describes ‘as cinema for the blind.’ You can imagine driving along a desolate road when this song comes on the radio: a lost-love song where the protagonist is an all-night disc jockey who laments that he has squandered his chance at love and finds himself alone and lonely in a one way conversation with thousands of people who only know his voice." — Robert Sproul, No Depression

WHAT IS SUPERCALIFORNOGRAPHIC?


Short for “Supercalifornographicexpealidocious,” the term Tani uses to describe his particular flavor of Americana. While rooted in country music, Tani's writing is centered on a West Coast perspective.

“Though much of my material is based on fictional characters and situations, I still write what I know. I'm not particularly comfortable or interested in the rural imagery of tractors, 4x4s or general agriculture common in much country music. What attracts me most about country is the storytelling side of it. My stories are more likely to be centered around an urban experience. I'm a Californian from a large metropolitan area and I write about the things that hold my attention. I think of these songs as a sort of cinema for the blind. Short musical narratives of life on the left coast.”

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
18
8:00 PM20:00

Wind Weavers & StringQuake

StringQuake and Wind Weavers come together in an evening of innovative instrumental music, led by two Bay Area native composers: Amelia Romano (electric harp) and Diana Strong (accordion). Expect superb musicianship, rhythmic depth and playful improvisation with influences spanning classical, modern, jazz, and a range of international folk traditions.

Wind Weavers plays original acoustic music and a range of eclectic repertoire, both traditional and contemporary. The ensemble features accordion (Diana Strong), fiddle (Audrey Knuth), guitar (Christopher Jacoby), double bass (Travis Hendrix) and percussion (Aziz Yehia). Formed just last year in 2018 when Diana decided to throw herself a birthday concert, Wind Weavers brings together many threads of our collective musical backgrounds and interests, including New England trad, Brazilian forró, Swedish, Balkan, classical and modern. We hope to convey to audiences the excitement we feel as musicians when discovering new grooves, weaving together harmonies and rhythms of diverse folk traditions, and finding an ever greater range of musical expression.

StringQuake formed in 2012 with the mission to use their unique instrumentation (electric harp, cello, and percussion) to transcend audience expectations. They have produced an outpouring of original recordings that harken to the diverse collaborative cultural scene found in their native San Francisco Bay Area. Each performance draws listeners in to hyper meticulous musical arrangements while still giving each trio member soloistic freedom. Impossible to genre-fy, StringQuake’s stylistic influences include traditional classical chamber music, jazz, Latin, classical Indian, West African folk and Balkan music. The trio features harpist Amelia Romano, Misha Khalikulov on cello, and percussionist Joshua Mellinger on tabla, cajon, and frame drum.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
14
7:00 PM19:00

Briana Di Mara Berkeley CD Release Concert

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Violinist and composer Briana Di Mara celebrates the release of her debut album, Haven, with a special concert of unique interpretations of the compositions from the album, as well as newly composed originals and beloved traditional favorites.

Briana is influenced by world music from many different countries, including the Balkans, the Middle East and Ireland. Her eclectic style on the violin lends itself beautifully to the intricate melodies and soulful improvisations in her performances and recordings. She is joined by stellar musicians Gari Hegedus (oud), Joshua Mellinger (percussion), and Sascha Jacobsen (bass), as well as dancer Natalie Nayun.

Very special guest artist Ali Paris, co-producer of the album, will also be joining with Qanun (Arabic zither) and vocals.

Opening the night is the Oakland School for the Arts vocal music department's own a cappella superstars, REM.

This is an evening not to be missed! We expect to sell out so please order your tickets in advance.

"Haven is a masterfully crafted album which is almost like a trip around the world, stuffed into one record." - Johnathan Robinson, Bucketlist Music

“A rich variety of different influences which converge into a coherent and very original sound reflecting a clear vision of musical unity.” - Ross Daly

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children 5 and under are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
13
8:00 PM20:00

Terry Robb, Sam Rudin opening

“One of the finest acoustic guitarists on the international scene...finger gawkers flood to his shows…unquestionably, Terry Robb ranks right up there with the heavy hitters, a player of dazzling skill and technique.” - Living Blues Magazine

“One of the best players, on acoustic and electric, embracing a range of blues styles and then some.” – Vintage Guitar Magazine

These are just a few of the accolades paid to multi-award-winning fingerstyle guitarist, singer, composer and producer Terry Robb. He is touring in support of his new album Confessin' My Dues, which comes out worldwide on May 31st.

Robb will have special limited edition advance release CDs of Confessin' My Dues at this show.

Robb draws on his deep knowledge of Delta blues, ragtime and swing in 13 original compositions, ranging from blistering instrumental blues and stunning ragtime fingerpicking to soulful singing, backed by a powerhouse rhythm section. From country blues to Coltrane, ragtime to Hendrix, Americana to American Primitivism, Confessin My Dues will captivate listeners with its melodic and rhythmic invention and musical virtuosity.

Join him in concert April 13th and be among the first to get his new album!

In his prolific career spanning four decades, Terry Robb has built a signature fingerpicking style and unique blues sound which have earned him international acclaim from music critics, peers and fans. A dynamic live performer, Robb is a fingerpicking powerhouse who commands attention from any stage.

A measure of his powerhouse energy is that he asked Sam Rudin to open for him. Sam is himself a powerhouse pianist who is usually afraid to open for anyone other than a full band, for fear of an energy imbalance. Not a problem tonight!

With more than 15 releases under his name, Terry has toured nationally with Buddy Guy and Steve Miller, and performed alongside B.B. King, John Fahey, Albert Lee, Joe Cocker, Bo Diddley, David Crosby, George Thorogood, Leo Kottke, Johnny Winter and many more all-stars. He has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “West Coast Live with Sedge Thomson,” and as a guest soloist of the NBA Trail Blazers and The Oregon Symphony. 

An inductee of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame, in 2011 he was honored with the eponymous “Terry Robb” Acoustic Guitar Muddy Award after winning the prize for 19 consecutive years. In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Muddy Award. A sought-after session guitarist and record producer, he produced seven albums for John Fahey, including the critically-acclaimed LP Let Go, and produced and guested on Alice Stuart’s album Can’t Find No Heaven, nominated for Grammy and Blues Music Awards.

The Back Room’s own Sam Rudin will open the show.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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. Those 21+ are welcome to bring their own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. Children under 12 are free. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
13
3:00 PM15:00

Laura Sherman

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Local Jazz pianist Laura Sherman celebrates her CD release, Earth Resonance, with a special concert! 

The CD features Laura’s original compositions, which include a touch of Latin, Jazz and R&B influences, and reflect her love of nature and movement.

For this performance, Laura will be joined by some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians, including Winfred Williams (bass), David Strong (drums), Chris Cooper (guitar), Helen Palma (vocals), with special guests Rita Lackey (vocals) and Sara Herrera (violin).

Tickets are $15 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets: https://laurasherman.brownpapertickets.com

 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!

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Apr
12
8:00 PM20:00

Ionela Guzic and Taraf de Bernal

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Ionela Guzic is a talented young singer and a rising star in the world of Romanian traditional music. Ionela is from the city of Târgu Jiu, in the Gorj region of the Românian province of Oltenia, located in Southwestern România.

Ionela has performed with many iconic musicians from România (Ansamblul Doina Gorjului, Ionica Minune, Cristinel Turturica) and Moldova (The Lautarii din Chisinau and Fratii Stefanet). She has received numerous awards at national and international folk music competitions. In 2015, Ionela published the CD Spune-mi mamă ce e doru, an album of songs that represent the beauty of the folklore from the Gorj region where she grew up. The album was received with widespread acclaim and was featured on many radio and television stations in Romania, and helped launch Ionela’s international career, including tours in the United States in 2018 and 2019.

The four musicians of the group Taraf de Bernal first met in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco over 20 years ago. All of the musicians have studied and/or performed in Hungary, România and Bulgaria. Jutka Mandoki, Clark Welsh, and David Nebenzahl perform on many exotic, rarely seen musical instruments from Romania, Hungary and the Balkan countries. They were honored to perform a concert featuring Hungarian and Românian music and dance for young audiences at Davies Hall with San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas in the role of announcer.

Their recordings include the CD Danubius in 2002 on the Web of Mimicry label. For this concert they will be joined by Josh Cohen on bass, violin and viola and Balder ten Cate on cimbalom.

Josh is the music director of the Castro Valley Symphony, and he performs with numerous musical ensembles and orchestras. Balder grew up in the Netherlands, but was steeped in Eastern European music at an early age. He studied cimbalom with Romanian master Giani Lincan. Balder performs regularly with Sergiu Popa, Mahala and Euphonos.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
11
8:00 PM20:00

Bell & Moss and Barwick & Siegfried

Dos Duos: East/West with Bell & Moss and Barwick & Siegfried

Bell & Moss

The wide-ranging music of New Orleans vocalist Cindy Scott and guitarist Brian Seeger, who perform together as Bell & Moss, embraces the sounds of the Great American Songbook, the music of New Orleans, Southern soul and Americana. For more than a decade, the duo has wowed audiences around the world, including concerts in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Mexico and across the U.S. and Europe. Equally renowned as educators—Seeger is a Professor of Music at the University of New Orleans, and Scott is a Professor of Voice at the Berklee College of Music in Boston—the duo will be presenting material at this special “Dos Duos: East/West” concert from its’ brand new CD, which is oriented towards “social justice and good living.”

“Cindy Scott sings with a breezy, sunlit style that belies her exacting vocal craftsmanship. Brian Seeger’s sensitive guitar is a perfect match, rippling like generous layers of sea and sky behind Scott’s voice as it reaches full sail.” - Lansing City Pulse

Barwick & Siegfried

From Northern California to Northern Ireland, the acclaimed acoustic roots music duo of Barwick & Siegfried has won over a sizable following, one audience at a time. The duo of Kathy Barwick (guitar, vocals) and Pete Siegfried (mandolin, vocals) blends bluegrass, old-time country and folk into an engaging Americana fusion showcasing Pete’s exceptional lead vocals, Kathy’s amazing guitar work and their sterling duet harmonies. Hailed by Bluegrass Unlimited as “two like-minded lovers of song who’ve found musical gold in their pairing,” the duo perfectly captures the power of two—two musicians, two voices and two instruments—harnessed to a singular artistic vision. Barwick & Siegfried will be performing music from their three albums, the most recent of which is Stones and Gravel.

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 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!

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Apr
7
3:00 PM15:00

Sam's Corner with Michelle Jacques

Sam's Corner  

Every so often, our own Sam Rudin takes the stage in a variety of formats. Last month he had his old band come out for some high energy blues and jazz. Tonight he will deliver some solo performances, and he will also be joined by the wonderful singer Michelle Jacques .

Michelle is a terrific singer with a wide range of jazz and Blues influences. And, as her performing style makes clear, she has a heart as big as her voice -- her great good humor and love for the audience is evident in every note.

She is the Artistic Director & Founder of the CHELLE! and Friends New Orleans Band and CHELLE’S JUKE JOINT a cappella ensemble. And she has toured throughout the United States and Europe performing with and alongside many well-known artists including Manhattan Transfer, Wynton Marsalis, Linda Hopkins, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pete Seeger, Al Green, and The Persuasions. Michelle also performed in Geneva, Switzerland, for the United Nations World Conference of Human Rights, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Gurten Music Festival, and The Berne Jazz Festival.

Michelle’s credits include: recipient of the City of Oakland, Individual Artist grant for 2008, winner of the 1992 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) for “Best Folk/Progressive Song,” Home Africa, studio recordings with the renown Grammy Award-winning producer Greg Landau for Pamela Rodriguez, Susana Baca, Kepa Junkera, and soundtrack for the Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, 2010 movie “La Mission” with Benjamin Bratt, vocalist with Greg Landau’s La Mission Band.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
6
8:00 PM20:00

Songwriters in the Round: Justin Farren, John Elliot & Wes Collins

Justin Farren, Wes Collins and John Elliot met at the Kerrville Folk Festival, an iconic, three-week long music festival in which song craft is celebrated and shared. Many Kerrville performances are in Nashville’s famous “in-the-round” style: a group of songwriters in a circle taking turns telling stories and singing their own original songs. We invite you to enjoy this intimate show format, with three talented wordsmiths, storytellers, and performers.

Justin Farren
Sacramento native, 2016 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner. Justin approaches songwriting with intense focus. The end result is a multi-dimensional creation that is enchanting and also seems effortless. Rich Warren of Folk Stage Chicago said about Justin, "He is an incredibly original artist with a lot of verve and energy and a terrific guitarist. He will absolutely charm you with the strange humor and cleverness of his lyrics."

John Elliot
Born and raised in Minnesota and now living in California, his music has been featured on NPR, in PASTE Magazine, on Neil Young's "Living With War” website, and in various other publications, both digital and actual. John Elliot is "thoughtful, insightful, funny, edgy, unique, intelligent, kind, authentic. John is the real deal troubadour and poet that every lover of great songwriting seeks. A writer who has something to add to the conversation and questions of modern society's issues as well as one who speaks to timeless emotional journeys all humans can relate to." ~ Ford Goodman

Wes Collins
By day a mild-mannered librarian, 2015 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner Wes Collins calls his music “guitar driven folk-pop with teeth.” North Carolina Arts Council said about Wes, “His skill with the guitar makes the most of his imaginative arrangements and nuanced control of cadence and phrasing, underscoring the subtlety and bite of his lyrics.”

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door general admission; and $10 advance, $13 at the door for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Alice DiMicele

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Alice DiMicele and her longtime bassist Rob Kohler return to The Back Room for their second appearance.

Alice is a singer/songwriter and acoustic guitar player that seamlessly works jazz/blues phrasing and R&B and rock & roll rhythms into a broadened Folk/Roots/Americana sound she calls "Organic Acoustic Groove." Whether playing solo or with her band, Alice brings her wide-ranging vocal prowess, humor, and distinctive guitar style to festival stages, theaters, clubs, and house concerts.

For over 30 years Alice has been a grassroots trailblazer in independent music. Bucking the advances of record labels early in her career, she has self-released 14 albums on her Alice Otter Music label including 2018's One With the Tide. DiMicele has stayed true to herself and her mission: to create music that connects people and inspires them to take a stand for the earth and for justice in the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, and firmly transplanted since 1986 in the fertile Southern Oregon soil, DiMicele's music encompasses both city savvy and country innocence.

Alice has played at many festivals including Strawberry Music Festival, Kate Wolf Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Joshua Tree Music Festivals, Oregon Country Fair, Northwest String Summit and many, many more. She's shared stages with some of music's finest, including some of her musical heroes like Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, JJ Cale, David Grisman Quintet, Steve Winwood, Ferron, Peter Rowan, Richie Havens, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and the list goes on. Bonnie Raitt said, "Alice's music has that great combination of earthiness and groove that keeps it funky from the inside out. She's for real."

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for students with ID or accompanied by a parent. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!



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Mar
31
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

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Faye Carol is one of the premiere vocalists of her time. After beginning her career in gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs and performing with her own trio in the jazz and cabaret clubs of 1970s San Francisco.

She is a highly decorated song stylist, having won four Cabaret Gold Awards, the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, and a star on the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, along with many other honors. Miss Faye is internationally regarded for her powerful voice, unique style, and impeccable delivery of a wide range of material from The Great American Songbook to down home blues to contemporary popular music. She has shared the stage with artists such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Brown, Albert King, and Billy Higgins.

"Every Faye Carol performance is a master class - a deep dive into the soul-steeped marrow of jazz and blues. A Bay Area institution, the Berkeley vocalist needs only one set to leave an indelible impression on her listeners who know just what to expect if they pay attention to her billing as The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol."  - Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area News Group

Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
30
8:00 PM20:00

Peter Case

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Peter Case returns to The Back Room for his fifth appearance and we are honored to have him back!

Peter’s work sets the bar for authenticity, passion and imagination and spans a number of genres, including folk, blues, and rock. Raised in Buffalo, NY, Case came to the Bay Area in 1973 and worked as a street musician and played in the seminal power pop group The Nerves, before moving to Los Angeles to form the Plimsouls (”A Million Miles Away”).

Case’s 1986 solo debut, produced by T Bone Burnett, revealed deep roots in folk and blues, and earned him his first Grammy nomination for “Old Blue Car,” as well as the Number 1 spot on the New York Times’ Best CDs of the Year list. Case earned Grammy nominations for his production of Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt, and another nomination for Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, a remarkable collection of songs that features Case’s voice and a single guitar. His thirteenth solo album, HWY 62, was released by Omnivore Recordings to more acclaim: American Songwriter called HWY 62 “An absolute joy from start to finish. A beautifully conceived, executed and lovingly crafted chain of songs from Peter Case, a guy who has been crafting great songs for decades now…”



With or without a backing band, Case delivers his songs with both intense passion and introspective nuance. It’s clear that Case is a major talent on the Americana troubadour landscape. 

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
29
8:00 PM20:00

The Gold Souls

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Sacramento band The Gold Souls just dropped a new single and Berkeley is the first stop on their "True Blue Tour" to New Orleans and back!

The Gold Souls are bringing the driving grooves of funk, the rich textures of soul, and the compelling storytelling of the blues to the Northern California scene and beyond. Drawing from a variety of influences and experiences, they deliver captivating lyrics and fresh arrangements over a vintage sound.

Led by the dynamic Juniper Waller, the group is made up of young talent hailing from the Bay and Sacramento areas. With Matt Hevesh on guitar, Alex Severson on the keys, Billy D. Thompson on the drums, and Jace Dorn on bass, each member has a hand in writing and song composition, making The Gold Souls a truly collaborative effort.

The Gold Souls burst on the Sacramento music scene in early 2017, and are swiftly becoming one of the most promising new talents in the area.

They released a self- titled five song EP in May of 2017 and went on tour down the California coast soon after. Their next single, “Nobody,” was released in late 2017 and was featured on Apple Music Blues’ Hot Tracks list. They released their full length album Good To Feel on June 22, 2018.

Their next single, “True Blue,” was produced/engineered by multi-Grammy winner Timothy Bloom and will be released on February 12, 2019, followed by a spring tour.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!



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Mar
27
8:00 PM20:00

The Music of Paul James Frantz

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Starring:

Paul James Frantz

Stephanie Lynne Smith as "Miss Smith"

Carrie Madsen

Jacqueline De Muro

Paul Araquistain

Donald Martin

ABOUT THE SHOW

A stellar cast will present the work of a local songwriter whose witty and toe-tapping songs are long overdue for a showcase. As heartbreaking as it is hilarious, "The Music of Paul James Frantz" presents brilliant songs of social commentary celebrating, laughing at, and crying about the human experience. Featured favorites will include his most-requested "Mojito," the IT-themed "Your Call's Important to Us," and the infamous "Dancing with the Angels."

Carrie Madsen (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, Titan and Ginny Award), Jacqueline De Muro (Theatre Bay Area Award), Paul Araquistain (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle), and newcomer Donald Martin will join Portland-based pianist, Stephanie Lyne Smith, and the composer himself for the premiere we've all been waiting for....The Music of Paul James Frantz!

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

ABOUT THE CAST AND COMPOSER

PAUL JAMES FRANTZ, SINGER/SONGWRITER

Born in New York City, PAUL FRANTZ spent his formative years outside of Boston. He moved to the Bay Area in 1973 and left a Silicon Valley career in 2001 to pursue his passion for music. Since then, Paul’s original songs have been performed on stages throughout the Bay Area, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, New York City, London and Melbourne. Locally, he and his works have been featured at ODC Theatre, Thick House, Alcove Theatre, Stage Werx Theatre, Cabaret Comico, Shari Carlson Studio, and Society Cabaret. Paul recorded a solo CD, Make Like a Prince, in 2008, and his song, “If People Like Me Marry,” was nominated for an OutMusic Award in 2011. In 2015, a staged reading of Lord Arthur’s Crime, a musical co-written by Paul, was presented by Musical Cafe at Stage Werx Theatre. Piano/vocal arrangements of a selection of his songs are available in the Paul James Frantz Songbook (2012). Due to popular demand, the songbook is currently in edits for re-print due in late 2019. Paul’s songs resonate with today’s audiences as he casts a jaded eye on life, love and politics.

STEPHANIE LYNNE SMITH, PRODUCER/PIANIST

Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, STEPHANIE LYNNE SMITH holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance Degree (1998) from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Music in Chamber Music Performance Degree (2001) from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She served as Artistic Director and Conductor for several GALA choruses in the San Francisco Bay Area, commissioning an opera, a musical and countless works for chorus, was Cantor and Worship Designer for Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and toured with Bugs Bunny at the Symphony as pianist/slide guitarist, performing with the New York Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Stephanie currently tours as concert pianist for Broadway veteran Franc D’Ambrosio (Phantom of the Opera/Godfather III), is a performance coach and producer in the San Francisco Bay Area and Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and is co-owner of SitRunPlay dog walking company based in Portland, Oregon.

CARRIE MADSEN

CARRIE MADSEN is a Stage and Film/TV actress living primarily in Los Angeles but originally from the Bay Area. Carrie studied drama at UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine, where she was selected two consecutive years for the musical theatre intensive at American Ballet Theatre studios in New York City. After college, in addition to some performing, she worked in the SF Bay Area as a choreographer and dance teacher to young adults - knowing personally the crucial benefits the arts provide at that age. Upon her mid-life decision to go professional, Carrie obtained her Equity card and appeared regionally in Cabaret (5th Avenue, Ordway), White Christmas (Sierra Repertory), Breathe (National Black Theatre Festival), Funny Girl, A Chorus Line (American Musical Theater San Jose) and Merrily We Roll Along (Theatreworks), among others. Since moving to Los Angeles six years ago, she’s played recurring characters on Jane the VirginGood Girls RevoltGilmore Girls, and The Late Late Show with James Corden, while doing other TV guest roles and indie films. Recent Los Angeles Stage Credits include the world premiere of How to Raise a Freeman (Joan) at Ammunition Theatre Co., Ah Wilderness (Lily) at Actor’s Co-Op, and It Happened at Roswell (Mabel) at New Musicals Inc. AWARDS: Best Newcomer Ginny Award for role of Dinah in AMTSJ's South Pacific, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Best Performer nomination for Lola in Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s Damn Yankees, and Theatre Bay Area Titan Award for exceptional artistic development. Carrie is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and ACTOR’S EQUITY. More at carriemadsen.com.

PAUL ARAQUISTAIN

PAUL ARAQUISTAIN has worked with many Bay Area theaters, including Hillbarn Theatre (Herr Schultz, Cabaret; Patsy, Spamalot), Altarena Playhouse (Alan, God of Carnage), Broadway By the Bay (The Baker, Into the Woods; Lefou, Beauty & the Beast; the Engineer, Miss Saigon, for which he won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award), New Conservatory Theatre Center (originated the role of John Giraud in the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s CRUCIFIXION), Foothill Music Theatre (Tateh, Ragtime, for which he won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award; Lee Harvey Oswald, Assassins), Contra Costa Civic Theatre (Alvin Kelby, The Story of My Life; Vanya, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as well as TheatreWorks, Bus Barn Stage Company, and Palo Alto Players. In recent years, he has enjoyed performing at Society Cabaret in San Francisco.

JACQUELINE DEMURO

JACQUELINE DEMURO is a San Francisco native, and a fixture in the local theatre and cabaret scene. In addition to being a seasoned actress and singer, Jacqueline's own song compositions have received rave reviews and are gaining popularity. In Spring of 2018, Jacqueline performed with the 70-piece Peninsula Symphony, reprising her award-winning role as Bloody Mary in their concert production of South Pacific. Favorite roles include Lady Thiang (The King and I), Aldonza (Man of La Mancha), Genevieve (The Baker's Wife), Charlotte (A Little Night Music), Lalume (Kismet), Alaura/Carla (City of Angels), Pam (Baby), Marta (Kiss of the Spiderwoman), Madame Liang (Flower Drum Song), Muzzy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and of course, Bloody Mary (South Pacific), for which she won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award.

DONALD MARTIN

DONALD MARTIN is brand new to performing and he couldn’t be happier. Donald’s first public performance was in 1982 in Mumford, New York, as lead in a rock cover band. To pursue love and a career, he moved to Philadelphia before settling permanently in the Bay Area. After a thirty year hiatus from singing, Donald joined the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus in 2010 and performed the Paul Frantz original song “Santa Decorate My Tree” for the holiday show to rave reviews. With the support of Shari Carlson at Shari Carlson Studio and Stephanie Lynne Smith of Miss Smith Presents, Donald burst onto the solo scene at Martuni’s and Society Cabaret in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. His first solo show in February 2018, titled I’m Here, sold out a month in advance with audiences traveling from all corners of the country, and he was an invited guest at The Duplex in New York City in October. He is a regular at Curtain Call, Broadway on Broadway and Martuni’s, bringing passion and discipline to his newly discovered craft.

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Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Uncle Los Music

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The contemporary jazz collective known as Uncle Los Music brings its original blend of soul and jazz-inspired songs to The Back Room.

The group is led by Bay Area keyboardist and songwriter Carlos Sanders, and features Joel Griffin on drums, Clifford Brown III on trumpet, and Cam Perridge on guitar. Special guest Mickala Cheadle will lend her stirring vocal stylings to the evening.

Come out and enjoy this evening of energetic and inspired original music.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
24
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

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Faye Carol is one of the premiere vocalists of her time. After beginning her career in gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs and performing with her own trio in the jazz and cabaret clubs of 1970s San Francisco.

She is a highly decorated song stylist, having won four Cabaret Gold Awards, the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, and a star on the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, along with many other honors. Miss Faye is internationally regarded for her powerful voice, unique style, and impeccable delivery of a wide range of material from The Great American Songbook to down home blues to contemporary popular music. She has shared the stage with artists such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Brown, Albert King, and Billy Higgins.

"Every Faye Carol performance is a master class - a deep dive into the soul-steeped marrow of jazz and blues. A Bay Area institution, the Berkeley vocalist needs only one set to leave an indelible impression on her listeners who know just what to expect if they pay attention to her billing as The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol."  - Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area News Group

Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
23
8:00 PM20:00

Joel Dorham

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Joel Dorham has been part of the Oakland jazz scene for decades. He doesn't perform very often anymore, so when he does a show it's a real event. For this performance, he will be bringing his Latin Jazz Octet, complete with three percussionists, three horns, bass, and vibes! 

The younger brother of the late trumpeter Kenny Dorham, Joel is a notable percussionist and bandleader in his own right. The Bay Area native is a tireless advocate for broader recognition of jazz - a fight he took all the way to congressional hearings. His passion for music is made tangible, and eminently enjoyable, with his long-running Latin Jazz Octet.

"Bandleaders come and go, but Joel Dorham rolls on." - Herb Caen 1993

Joel Dorham is one of America's most prolific and electrifying Latin Jazz timbale players and percussionists of our time, and a pivotal force in Latin Jazz. Joel organized his band in 1963, and has become the pre-eminent outspoken critic of the mass media for its suppression of Jazz. For his efforts he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in 1981.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
22
8:00 PM20:00

Phainopepla, Afferents & Phil Di Leo

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Phainopepla’s music can most easily be described by the bird of the same name. Although the phainopepla is known to travel throughout the summer from the Sonoran Desert of the Southwest to California, its specific migrations are relatively unknown and inconsistent.

Like the phainopepla, Jake Morris began his life in Tucson, AZ, playing small local rock clubs and jazz gigs, eventually migrating to California in adulthood. Now based in Oakland, the multi-instrumentalist and producer experiments with the marriage of electronic beats and pop sensibilities, resulting in a blend of sounds that transcends specific genre. He creates music that represents the ebbs and flows of emotion that we experience throughout our lives: from hard-hitting indie rock to solitary acoustic strums; from house and techno inspired four-on-the-floor beats to soft falsetto sung over traditional jazz chords and structures. While he may find himself lost within the world that he built in Phainopepla, he is unrestricted by any musical expectation.

Afferents is the musical project of Seattle-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Raymond Sanchez. As the neural pathways that relay information from sensory organs to the brain, afferents connect the external world to our internal experiences. Drawing on influences ranging from 60's era psychedelia and jazz to contemporary indie folk rock and electronica, Raymond creates emotionally earnest acoustic-guitar driven songs that seek to bridge the gap between life's trials and the inner monologues we construct in response.

Phil Di Leo has always been fascinated by the relationship between improvisation and composition. Raised in Northern California, he began writing and performing piano in the first grade and grew to love a life completely saturated in the holistic world of music. With his intense and curious affinity for music, Di Leo simultaneously joined the Young Composers Program and started his first band in the same year.

He continued to study and perform alongside many talented artists until he relocated to San Francisco to study Broadcasting. Music remained at the forefront as he started to converse with and record local artists on his weekly college radio show, which allowed him to find a footing within the supportive arts community in San Francisco. Using his previous solo moniker Edward’s Crossing, named after a bridge crossing the Yuba River, he quickly began collaborating and producing a new body of work which led to the release of his first solo record Summer Stitch. Di Leo has released a number of long-form singles including “Sit Down and Say A While" and "House Of Representatives Votes On House GOP Tax Bill," which features a 12 minute speech from former Speaker Paul Ryan. Di Leo loves to explore the curious narrative-like tendencies of classical compositions while melding them seamlessly with reactive improvisational elements. He moved to Oakland in 2016 and has been since performing with notable groups Seemway, Sun Kin, and Known to Collapse as he finishes production of his newest solo record slated for 2019.

Phainopepla, Afferents, and Phil Di Leo are all part of the next generation of indie multi-instrumentalists: those that write, record, produce, and perform their own original music. Each artist will be playing an acoustic set, showcasing original music made for the modern age, while performing in an intimate setting.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
21
8:00 PM20:00

Joyce Kwon - Dream of Home

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Singer-songwriter-zither player Joyce Kwon makes folk music for folks of the diaspora — new-American folk — rooted in Black American Music and Korean traditional music. Her repertoire spans the Great American Songbook and original songs from her new album, Dream of Home, a passing down of stories as told by first- through fourth-generation Americans from Korea, Macau, Japan, Russia and beyond.

Berkeley is Joyce's favorite place in the world, where she spent her formative years as a college student, and she is thrilled to come back to share what she has been working on, among family and friends! Please join us for a rare, intimate concert of Joyce singing and accompanying herself on gayageum, the 12-string traditional Korean zither, and hear stories of home — past, present and imagined.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door general admission; $10 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
19
8:00 PM20:00

Will Jordan - Deep Sleep World Tour

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Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter-producer Will Jordan is performing in select cities before kicking off a world tour for his Latest EP, Deep Sleep. Starting March 8th, Jordan is stopping in major cities along the West Coast before heading to Taiwan, China, Japan, and South Korea.

Jordan will be singing and rapping his original songs from Deep Sleep on stage with his guitarist and mentee Damon Dahl, and The Back Room's very own Sam Rudin on piano. Behind the performers there will be animated visual backdrops to ensure a thematic experience both musically and visually.

City Arts Magazine described the layers of meaning on Deep Sleep as, “the archetypal dark night of the soul; the nurturing succor of sleep; the state of a troubled, exhausted world that can’t seem to wake up despite its blaring alarm.”

The Deep Sleep world tour will continue into summer and fall 2019. Heading further east, the tour will stop in major cities across the U.S., including Houston, New York, Philadelphia and Miami. The Europe circuit will stop in the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Romania and Croatia. Jordan’s vision includes more than sharing his music on a world tour — he is a mentor to a group of young artists pursuing careers in the music industry, and they’ll be joining him on the road.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
17
8:30 PM20:30

Nefesh Mountain

The critically-acclaimed progressive string band Nefesh Mountain ingeniously blends Bluegrass and Old-Time musical stylings with cultural influences from their own Jewish heritage, reimagining a world of American roots music that is all their own.

Leaders and husband and wife team Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff are at the heart of the band, pioneering this new genre alongside band members Alan Grubner, Dave Goldenberg and Tim Kiah.

Their music, called "Highly eclectic" by Rolling Stone, and "Crisp, refined, timeless Bluegrass" by The Bluegrass Situation is complete with the kind of musically adept string virtuosity and through composed arrangements one would hope for from a dynamic newgrass band. Their original songs, whether drawing influence from the Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, Jazz, or folk traditions are all "Songs of the heart" for writers Eric and Doni, and collectively work to spread the beautiful messages of diversity, oneness, and equality for our world today.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
17
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

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Faye Carol is one of the premiere vocalists of her time. After beginning her career in gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs and performing with her own trio in the jazz and cabaret clubs of 1970s San Francisco.

She is a highly decorated song stylist, having won four Cabaret Gold Awards, the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, and a star on the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, along with many other honors. Miss Faye is internationally regarded for her powerful voice, unique style, and impeccable delivery of a wide range of material from The Great American Songbook to down home blues to contemporary popular music. She has shared the stage with artists such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Brown, Albert King, and Billy Higgins.

"Every Faye Carol performance is a master class - a deep dive into the soul-steeped marrow of jazz and blues. A Bay Area institution, the Berkeley vocalist needs only one set to leave an indelible impression on her listeners who know just what to expect if they pay attention to her billing as The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol."  - Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area News Group

Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

Macy Blackman & the Mighty Fines

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Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines are universally regarded as the Bay Area’s premier New Orleans R&B/boogie band. 

On their latest release, Shoorah Shoorah - The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, Blackman and his veteran band pay tribute to the genius of the Soul Queen and King of New Orleans. 

This marks the sixth CD release for Blackman, who formed The Mighty Fines in 2003. Blackman, who has accompanied Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John) and also backed up such national acts as The Coasters and The Drifters during his illustrious career, features a highly accomplished band. 

The Mighty Fines include saxophonists Nancy Wright (John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elvin Bishop), Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs (Neville Brothers, The Band, Temptations, Gatemouth Brown), bassist Bing Nathan (Lavay Smith’s Red Hot Skillet Lickers) and drummer Larry Vann (Martha Reeves, Elvin Bishop, Charles Brown, Buffy Saint-Marie). 

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!

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Mar
15
8:00 PM20:00

Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots

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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)

And joining the Hotshots for the first time is the much younger Joel Kruzic on bass.  Joel has been playing with Jeff Ervin in Jeff's new band for the past year, and has been impressing a lot of people.  He is too damn young to have much of a resume.  He has a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in music performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.  He sounds like an old guy. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
14
8:00 PM20:00

The Adi Meyerson Band

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The Adi Meyerson Band is a hard-hitting ensemble that constantly thrives to paint a sonic portrait that is both reverential to the hard bop tradition and uniquely progressive and relevant.

Led by bassist and composer Adi Meyerson, the group is influenced by the deep tradition of swing and groove (Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Freddie Hubbard, Ahmad Jamal), and has created a project that manages to honor those traditions while creating music that is relevant to the 21st century. Compositionally, the band leans to a slightly more modern approach (Wayne Shorter, Alice Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller), adding vocalist & guitarist Camila Meza to the mix. 

The Adi Meyerson Band is currently touring in support of their latest project, Miss Meyerson's debut album, Where We Stand, which contains all original material. In a live performance setting, the band includes a number of standards, Brazilian and Israeli tunes arranged for their particular instrumentation. 

Adi Meyerson - bass

Camila Meza - voice & guitar

Steven Lugerner - Sax

Nick Lamb - piano

Mike Mitchell - drums


Miss Meyerson was born in the US and grew up in Israel. Although her main influences are strongly rooted in the Jazz tradition, traces of Israeli popular music (Yoni Rechter, Shalom Hanoch, Zohar Argov) can be found in her music. As part of the band's repertoire, Miss Meyerson seamlessly combines some of her favorite Israeli songs with her own original material, recently adding some lesser-known Brazilian and South American songs as well. (These particular songs are known to be a strong musical influence on her favorite Israeli songwriters). The result is a well-blended set that showcases all sides of the bassist and composer's history and personality though music. 

"An instrumental set of swinging post bop that sounds like a lost Blue Note session...Purely smoking throughout." - Chris Spector, Midwest Records

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
13
8:00 PM20:00

Nu-Blu

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Hailing from Siler City, NC, the chart-topping band Nu-Blu was formed by husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Carolyn Routh. The band has turned a lot of heads since forming over ten years ago. In addition to delivering high-profile performances on multiple national TV shows, their duet with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame icon “Soul Man” Sam Moore (from the legendary duo Sam and Dave) was featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

Nu-Blu was also recently named the permanent host of the nationally-syndicated program Bluegrass Ridge, which airs on the Heartland Network. The hit music video-driven show is available in 60 million homes. The band also hosts the bi-monthly Bluegrass Ridge Radio, which includes exclusive, in-depth interviews and content, as well as music from bluegrass music’s biggest artists.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
10
8:00 PM20:00

Atom String Quartet

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Join us for this special concert featuring the "explosive" Atom String Quartet, on tour from Poland.

One of the most talented young string quartets in the world, ASQ's music includes influences from jazz, Polish folk, music of various regions of the world, and contemporary and classical music.

The quartet was established in Warsaw in 2010, where the musicians had studied at the Warsaw Frederic Chopin University of Music.

Since 2011, the quartet constantly performs at the greatest music festivals of the world, such as Berliner JazzStage, Jazz Baltica, Cairo Jazz Festival, Katara European Jazz Festival, Gaume Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Jazzycolors, etc.

Atom String Quartet has performed in many prestigious concert halls including: Carnegie Hall (NYC), Elbphilaharmonie (Hamburg), Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin) and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing).

The group has recorded four original albums, two of which received the Polish music award “Fryderyk”.

The quartet's uniqueness is appreciated by audiences all over the world as well as prominent collaborators such as Branford Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Mino Cinelu, Grażyna Auguścik, and Urszula Dudziak.

Tonight's program will contain original music of ASQ musicians as well as music of notable Polish composers Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Zbigniew Seifert, arranged for the string quartet by its members:

Dawid Lubowicz - violin

Mateusz Smoczyński - violin

Michał Zaborski - viola

Krzysztof Lenczowski - cello

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

View Event →
Mar
10
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

faye carol with furs.jpg

Faye Carol is one of the premiere vocalists of her time. After beginning her career in gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs and performing with her own trio in the jazz and cabaret clubs of 1970s San Francisco.

She is a highly decorated song stylist, having won four Cabaret Gold Awards, the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, and a star on the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, along with many other honors. Miss Faye is internationally regarded for her powerful voice, unique style, and impeccable delivery of a wide range of material from The Great American Songbook to down home blues to contemporary popular music. She has shared the stage with artists such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Brown, Albert King, and Billy Higgins.

"Every Faye Carol performance is a master class - a deep dive into the soul-steeped marrow of jazz and blues. A Bay Area institution, the Berkeley vocalist needs only one set to leave an indelible impression on her listeners who know just what to expect if they pay attention to her billing as The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol."  - Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area News Group

Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
9
8:00 PM20:00

Bobby Black - "Moonlight in Hawaii"

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Steel Guitar Hall of Famer Bobby Black headlines Moonlight in Hawaii, a special evening of Hawaiian steel guitar, hapa-haole classics, and hula dances. Bobby will be playing many of his favorite Hawaiian songs, backed by special guest musicians, singers, and hula dancers, with an opening set by Bay Area Hawaiian band Haopinaka.

Bobby Black is the living legend of West Coast pedal steel guitar. Born in 1934, Bobby's long career includes performing and recording with classic country artists (Hank Williams, George Jones, Jim Reeves) through country-rock (Commander Cody, New Riders of the Purple Sage) and the Western Swing revival (Asleep at the Wheel, Lost Weekend).

But Bobby’s other passion is Hawaiian music. As a child, his parents took him to the famous Tonga Room at The Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco, where he saw the legendary Sol K. Bright on steel guitar, and he was hooked. Bobby went on to perform with many icons of Hawaiian music, including Cyril Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Dennis Kamakahi, Jerry Byrd, Richard Ho’opi’i, Benny Kalama, and George Kahumoku. In 2012, he released a fine album of Hawaiian steel guitar instrumentals, Steel Guitar Paradise.

Bobby will be backed by Bay Area jazz veterans including Myles Boisen (Tom Waits, Club Foot Orchestra), Tony Marcus (Cheap Suit Serenaders, Laurie Lewis) and others. Special guest vocalists include Sheilani Alix (Sheilani Alix Quartette, Kurt Ribak Trio), Jill Rogers (Crying Time, Imperial Jazz Co.), and Hawaiian music artists Casey and Nadine Vargas.

Opening the show will be Bay Area Hawaiian band Haopinaka (Vanessa Alputila, Sil Castillo, Peter Garellick and Rod Valdez) who have been performing at Aloha festivals, hula competitions, and hundreds of backyard luaus for over 20 years. The evening will also feature hula performances by Leilani Chow, Kalena Gregory, Casey Vargas, and others.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, general admission, and $10 for seniors and students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
9
2:00 PM14:00

"MonkHardt Blues” with Kit Eakle, violin & Sam Rudin, piano

Violinist Kit Eakle and The Back Room's own Sam Rudin will present an afternoon of classic blues featuring the unique blues compositions of Thelonious Monk and Django Reinhardt, giving a bluesy slant on Eakle's 'DjangoSphere’ project.

Kit Eakle is known as one of the most original improvising violinists on the West Coast. He has been a member of the Hot Club of Marin, the rockabilly band The Sons of Emperor Norton, Jerry Garcia Band’s guitarist Peter Harris' Obscura, his own FiddleJazz, which performs "A Brief History of Jazz Violin," a survey of the role of the violin in jazz from its beginnings to the present, and The Eakle Brothers with his flute playing brother, Matt Eakle, a regular member of the David Grisman Quintet. He has also shared a stage with Dan Hicks, Martín Fierro, Joe Craven, Mads Tolling, David LaFlame and Paul Mehling and many others.

Sam Rudin is 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 Alison, 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. Sam has worked with all types of musicians, playing rock'n'roll with Chubby Checker, western swing with Back in the Saddle, classic blues with Frankie Lee, and slick pop-soul with SisterSledge. He has even worked with bluegrass great Frank Wakefield, who has proclaimed Sam to be the only true bluegrass piano player in the entire world.

Tickets are $15 general admission. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

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Mar
8
8:00 PM20:00

Elliott Levin and the Newer Olduvai Ensemble – Fusion of Jazz and Words: Free Jazz, Priceless Words

Elliott Levin.jpg

This evening’s show will feature the work of Elliot Levin, who along with the Newer Olduvai ensemble will continue his exploration of expression in poetry and jazz improvisation. Elliott is a Philadelphia poet and jazz musician who has played with a stellar range of performers from Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes to Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Don Preston, formerly of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

Elliot Levin's words and tenor sax and flute work will front an ensemble including his two longtime collaborators Mogauwane Mahloele (master African musician) and Tom Rollison (co-founder of the New Olduvai group), as well as new collaborators Mika Pontecorvo/guitar, Kersti Abrams/sax and north-african reeds, Eli Pontecorvo/bass, and Mark Pino/drums, members of the Bay Area collective improv group Cartoon Justice. The sound will be an adventurous and accessible traversal of jazz fusion and free jazz, with some world music and funk to spice things up.

Opening will be Underweather Kitten, a Bay Area band with Phillip Greenlief, Tenor Sax; Brett Carson, Piano; Kazuto Saito, Bass; and Jason Leavis, Drums. Their music is a constantly shifting prism of sound that is both intellectually rewarding and emotionally compelling.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, general admission; $10 for students with ID and low-income individuals. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your 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!

View Event →