Nov
14
8:00 PM20:00

Countercurrent

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Countercurrent is a folk music and contra dance band that hails from western Washington. They have delighted dance halls and concert audiences throughout the country, and now bring their unique mix of traditional music and modern innovation to he Back Room!

After over a decade of playing together, Brian Lindsay (fiddle) and Alex Sturbaum (guitar) have developed a style that brings forth joy and nuance in the music they play. The combination of Brian’s technical and tasteful tune-smithing with Alex’s powerhouse rhythm and gifted songwriting is not to be missed. Countercurrent draws from many traditions, including Irish, old-time, maritime, and more contemporary sources, and melds them together into something new and exciting.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission, and $10 for students and low-income guests. 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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Nov
15
8:00 PM20:00

Levoná Ensemble: Music and Stories from Around the World

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The Levoná Ensemble combines Flamenco, Arabic, Jewish, and other musical traditions, and weaves them together with stories, both ancient and new. Five master musicians create a rich tapestry that is at once a taste of the orient, and a new creation all on its own - the kind of energy that only comes when distant cultures overlap, and celebrate their differences.

Levoná began as the band for the highly acclaimed Bay Area musical Love Sick, winning the Theatre Bay Area Award for “Best Ensemble” along with the cast in 2017. Love Sick went on to receive the prestigious Glickman Award for Best New Play in 2018, and audiences and critics alike praised its vibrant music as the heart of the play's energy and wide appeal. Levoná have since continued to perform as an independent group, keeping that same energy alive in both dance and concert halls.

Tickets are $15 and 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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Nov
16
8:00 PM20:00

Ramana Vieira

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Ramana Vieira’s parents hailed from the Madeira Island of Portugal. Vieira was born in Northern California, where she blossomed in a rich cultural mix that celebrated both a Portuguese and diverse American heritage.

Simultaneously, she loved Broadway and American jazz, but also the traditional music of Portugal; she was particularly enamored with the Fado of Amália Rodrigues. This passion drove her to study music at the esteemed American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) of San Francisco, and then back to her roots and heritage in Portugal.

Today, Ramana’s repertoire captures traditional Fado and influences from the Portuguese diaspora in a musical tapestry that ranges from whispering, haunting, ballads to jazzy blues. A proficient pianist and gifted songwriter, Vieira composes original Fados, several of which have been nominated at the International Portuguese Music Awards.

Vieira has been described by the New York Times as an American at the forefront of the Fado resurgence. The San Francisco Examiner calls her “the Rising Star in World Music." Her authentic and individual style, brilliant musicality, and colorful heritage appeals to a wide audience. Vieira pays tribute to time-treasured Fado classics of Amália Rodrigues, and also performs other Portuguese folk music, jazz, blues, and original compositions.

Tickets are $17 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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Nov
17
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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Nov
18
3:00 PM15:00

VOENA - Talent on the Move

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VOENA - Talent on the Move is performing a special concert with an elite group of talented young performers singing their unique renditions of global or popular music.

VOENA is a captivating, multi-cultural, world music experience that redefines “choir” the way Cirque du Soleil redefines “circus.” Director Annabelle Marie inspires over 130 children from ages 6-18 to celebrate music through voice, sound, rhythm, and physical expression.  

Singing in over 25 languages, VOENA has performed around the globe, inspiring audiences at the 2012 London Olympics, the Grand Ole Opry, as repeat guests at the White House, for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, and as goodwill ambassadors to Bali, Italy, Ireland, China, and Japan. VOENA was the first American Choir to sing at the Soweto Festival in South Africa, and VOENA will be heading to Carnegie Hall in April 2018 to perform at the magnificent Isaac Stern Auditorium, under the direction of Grammy-winner, composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, spreading their mission to unite the world and empower future leaders through music.

“If the world had the heart and the courage to see you and hear you, we would be different - we would be changed. You are exactly what the world needs. In your innocence and in your youth and talent, you can teach us so much.” - Dr. Maya Angelou

Watch VOENA's Presidential promo video here.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 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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Nov
18
7:00 PM19:00

The Novelists

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

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

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Nov
23
8:00 PM20:00

Hayden Everett

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Gearing up to release his debut EP, Hayden Everett is a 20-year-old indie songwriter from Los Angeles. He is currently studying jazz piano performance at UCLA, with a minor in Music Industry. Hayden was the overall and audience choice winner of UCLA's 2018 Spring Sing, joining past competitors Sara Bareilles (a two-time winner), Maroon 5 and Linkin Park.

Hayden's music is raw and vulnerable, and boasts a unique sound influenced by his upbringing in jazz and R&B, folk, and worship music. Some of his main influences include Ben Howard, Bon Iver, The Oh Hellos, and Kevin Garrett.

Tickets are $10 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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Nov
28
8:00 PM20:00

Rebecca Hass: Florescer CD Release

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In her Berkeley debut, pianist Rebecca Hass presents a solo show of original compositions and arrangements in Brazilian styles (from samba and choro to baião and maracatu) from her new album Florescer (Bloom).

Rebecca’s multi-decade love affair with Brazilian music led her to join Minneapolis percussion group Batucada do Norte over a decade ago, and it’s clear that her many years as a percussionist inform her compositions on piano. Inspired by influences as diverse as Hermeto Pascoal, Ernesto Nazareth, and Debussy, the songs on this album range from nostalgic to upbeat, but with plenty of infectious rhythm.

Even without the addition of percussion, the rhythms of the traditional percussion instruments of Brazil are infused throughout these creative arrangements and original compositions. With great variety from Maracatu do Manatim, an un-traditional maracatu about a grooving manatee, to Borboleta Azul, an effervescent pandeiro-driven tune that switches between baião and samba styles, these compositions give a slightly new take on classic Brazilian styles.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 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!

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Nov
29
8:00 PM20:00

Peter Case with special guests Heart Hunters

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Peter Case returns to Berkeley for one of his rare Bay Area shows, with new songs, tales and surprises, along with his friends from Georgia, Heart Hunters, opening the show.

Heart Hunters were named the number one Folk Music band in Atlanta in Creative Loafing's year-end poll. Peter produced their current album, American Eclipse.

Peter Case’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, landing a deal with Geffen Records.

The Plimsouls achieved success with the single, "A Million Miles Away,” but broke up shortly after. Case’s 1986 solo Geffen record revealed deep roots in folk and blues, and earned him his first Grammy nomination for the song “Old Blue Car,” as well as the Number 1 spot on the New York Times’ 1986 Best CDs list. Six CDs later, Case earned another nomination for Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, a remarkable collection of songs that features Case’s voice and a single guitar.

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. 

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Heart Hunters’ Drew de Man founded his first band, No River City, in 2001 and spent the next several years making records, touring the country and sharing bills with artists such as Iron & Wine, Calexico, and Alejandro Escovedo.

After a decade away from the spotlight, his new project Heart Hunters—a duo with his wife, singer/songwriter Brianna Blackbird—builds on the moody indie/alt-country sound de Man explored with No River City, updating them for a new era with debut LP American Eclipse. The record’s alternately haunting and wistful folk songs find De Man and Blackbird engaging in potent social and spiritual commentary, clinging to silver linings while wrestling with an increasingly turbulent country. But while the subject matter is often heavy, the duo’s hook-laden melodious songs offer all the balance the record needs.

Produced by Peter Case (T Bone Burnett, John Hiatt, Mike Campbell), American Eclipse puts Heart Hunters’ gorgeously wounded harmonies front-and-center. Sonically, the record ranges from sparse acoustic ruminations to lush, complex Americana anthems, some tracks—“The Good Fight” and “Cristo” come to mind—drawing not just from the country-music tradition, but also Celtic and Eastern influences, taking cues from songs like The Beatles’ “Within You Without You” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”

"Heart Hunters' music might sound delicate on first listen, but it packs a heavy punch. American Eclipse is simultaneously a deeply personal and overtly political album." - No Depression

"Best Folk Act." - Creative Loafing Atlanta, Best of 2018

Listen to their new album here.

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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Nov
30
8:00 PM20:00

Paul Smith Stewart

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Paul Smith Stewart is a composer, professional musician and music educator. He has recorded and performed with many different artists, but is best known for his work with the Central Coast band Still Time.

Beginning in 2004, Still Time steadily expanded from a local college band to a national touring act and successfully released four albums on their independent record label, When It Hits Records. In 2012 Paul became the Director of Performing Arts at his alma mater Marin Catholic College Preparatory in Marin County, CA.

Along with his colleagues, Paul helped to create a contemporary performing arts model which has since led to many graduates pursuing music and acting in both the collegiate and professional worlds. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2017, Paul released his first EP, Transitions, with Oak Ring Records. Now working on his Master's in Music Composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts, he just released his second EP, Renewal, in April of 2018. Paul also continues to perform as a bass player with notable SF Bay Area artists such as Jacob Aranda and The Good Bad.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 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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Dec
1
8:00 PM20:00

Celtic Winter Concert with Four Shillings Short

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The Celtic/Folk/World music duo Four Shillings Short present a special Celtic Winter Concert featuring music, poetry and stories from the Celtic & World music traditions to celebrate the Season.

Four Shillings Short is the husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California. They perform traditional and original music from the Celtic lands, Medieval & Renaissance Europe, India and the Americas on a fantastic array of instruments (over 30), including Hammered & Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki, Tinwhistles, Recorders, Medieval and Renaissance Woodwinds, North Indian Sitar, Charango, Bowed Psaltery, Banjo, Bodhran, Guitar, Percussion, vocals and even a Krumhorn.

Touring in the US & Ireland since 1997, Four Shillings Short are independent folk artists who perform 150 concerts a year, have released 12 recordings, and live as full-time troubadours traveling from town to town performing at music festivals, theaters & performing arts centers, folk societies, libraries, house concerts and schools.

Aodh Og O’Tuama grew up in a family of poets, musicians and writers. He received his degree in Music from University College Cork, Ireland and received a Fellowship from Stanford University in California in Medieval and Renaissance performance. He plays tin whistles, Medieval & Renaissance woodwinds, recorders, Doumbek (from Morocco), bowed Psaltery, spoons and sings in English, Gaelic & French.

Christy Martin grew up in a family of musicians and dancers. From the age of 15, she studied North Indian sitar for 10 years, five of them with a student of master sitarist Ravi Shankar. She began playing the hammered dulcimer in her 20’s and has studied with Maggie Sansone, Dan Duggan, Cliff Moses, Robin Petrie, Tony Elman and Glen Morgan. In addition she plays mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, banjo, guitar, bodhran (Irish frame drum), ccharango, bowed Psaltery and sings in English, Irish, and Sanskrit.

WHAT FOLKS SAY ABOUT FOUR SHILLINGS SHORT:

“Sunday night’s concert featured a husband and wife duo called Four Shillings Short. They are astounding. They both have wonderful singing voices. They play an incredible variety of music from Indian Ragas to Celtic, Traditional folk and about anything else you can think of. They are very charismatic with great stage presence.” - Columbus Folk Music Society, OH

“Their musical virtuosity makes old songs sound new and new songs sound like time-worn Celtic spells.” - CITY PAGES, Wausau WI

"They are not the Clancy Brothers or Jean Richie or Ravi Shankar, but a combination of all three, laced with Irish humor. Their collection of instruments is museum-like and I've never seen the place so packed." - San Gregorio General Store, CA 2005

“Four Shillings Short, celto-indo fusion duo, is a world class act.” - Late Night Liz/KMFB, Fort Bragg, CA 2012

“Four Shillings Short takes you on a musical journey through time and across the seas as they perform everything from traditional Irish tunes and airs to Indian Ragas.” - The Foothills Sun-Gazette, Exeter, CA 2010

“A husband-and-wife duo of mystical musical abilities. Their sound is haunting, crystalline beauty.” - Monterey County Weekly, Monterey, CA 2010

“The Celtic/Folk/World music duo performs on a bevy of unusual instruments and in myriad styles. This is a great show for kids of all ages, who’ll be amazed by the duo’s thematic range.” - Glen Starkey, New Times, San Luis Obispo, CA 2010

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students with ID and limited income, kids 16 + under free w/adult. 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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Dec
2
2:00 PM14:00

Jaeger & Reid with Michelle Kwon

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Audiences from New England to the Northwest, east coast and west, have been captivated by the honest, intelligent, original and collected songs of Judi Jaeger (JAY-gur) and Bob Reid, the delicate interplay of their voices and guitars and the stunning harmonies which brought them together.

They will be joined at The Back Room by their cellist, Michelle Kwon. Prepare to be moved.

“Moving, kind, and beautiful material - both covers and originals - speaking to powerful emotions and important issues in our world today. Wonderful harmonies for a world in need of harmony.” - Marc Stern, WMBR/Cambridge, MA

“Jaeger & Reid fill the air with amazing energy, unique harmonies and insightful original songs that are both meaningful and memorable. Their musical synergy is truly infectious!” - Neil Scott, iHeart Radio

“Smart, with heart!” -“Auntmama” Moorman, KBCS-FM

"As contemporary singer-songwriters, Judi Jaeger and Bob Reid are strictly top tier. They know how to work within the folk idiom to craft a song that is personal and introspective without ever being self-indulgent.

That skill alone sets them apart from most of the pack, but that is not all they have to offer. For Judi and Bob can take a familiar song, a chestnut if you will, something from Bob Dylan or John Lennon, make it their own, and shine a new light upon it.

Let's be honest. Any competent musician can cover an old standard. But it takes a particular combination of insight, intelligence, talent, skill, and courage – yes, courage – to let us see and hear the nuances and intricacies that were always there, but which perhaps we had never previously noticed. Judi and Bob, I am pleased to say, possess that very rare combination." - Steve Suffet, Peoples' Voice Cafe, New York, NY

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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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Dec
6
8:00 PM20:00

Jim Kweskin Quartet with Meredith Axelrod & Suzy Thompson

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Jim Kweskin is probably best known as a singer and bandleader, gaining national prominence with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the '60s. Kweskin created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Blind Boy Fuller to the more complex chords of pop and jazz.

Kweskin has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician and jazz with the communal simplicity of a folk artist.

"...Still a masterful guitarist and storyteller... effortless, gently driving finger-picking style..." - Robin Denislow, The Guardian

“Mr. Kweskin’s music is a blend of blues, jug music, rhythm & blues and jazz – rag-timey stompdown party music.” - Alex Ward, New York Times

"Jim Kweskin continues to perform his vast repertoire of folk, blues, swing, jug band and early standards with his own brand of infectious personal interpretations. His guitar finger picking of songs like ‘Some Of these Days’ and ‘Exactly Like You’ is recognized by his peers and fans as some of the best there is." - Nat Hentoff

Meredith Axelrod
Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.

The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire, is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and / or sheet music) which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia, and Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music; she has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore.

Suzy Thompson
Suzy Thompson is one of the rare musicians today who has mastered the acoustic blues violin, following in the footsteps of Lonnie Chatmon, Clifford Hayes and Eddie Anthony. A powerful blues singer in the styles of Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith, and a highly respected blues fingerpicking guitarist, Suzy is unique in her ability to combine fiddle, vocals and guitar in the blues and ragtime idioms.

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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Dec
7
8:00 PM20:00

An Intimate Evening of Music with The Keller Sisters and Misner & Smith

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The Keller Sisters are Sheryl and Kerry, who grew up in San Francisco and started singing and performing together in glee clubs, choirs and musical theater. Daughters of film and theater performer Eileen Christy, their summers were spent on the road learning from the best. They were also discovering guitars and folk music, and started playing as a duo in their teens, performing an eclectic mix of folk, country rock and jazz standards.

In 2012, after several years of playing rock and blues with a cover band in the San Francisco Bay Area, and missing the stripped-down sound of their youth, they decided to reform the duo. The sisters began performing at local venues and, armed with original songs, started getting booked at festivals and songwriting showcases. Their original music combines storytelling, humor, warmth and the close harmony that comes from being sisters.

Sheryl and Kerry released their first CD, Shine, in November 2012, and followed up with House of Cards in December 2014. Songs from both CDs have received honorable mentions in three international songwriting competitions and House of Cards received extensive NPR play and charted on the AMA and Roots radio charts.

Four songs from House Of Cards made the top 10 for airplay on the Roots Radio chart and in September of 2015 they licensed two songs for an independent film. Their third CD, Hourglass Dance, received two honorable mentions from the WCS International Song Contest and was released in January 2018.

The sisters say, “After a lifetime of singing other people's music, we are thrilled to be sharing our own."

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Hailing from Northern California, Misner & Smith’s music is a combination of soaring vocal harmonies, extremely tight instrumental arrangements, and story-filled, poetic songwriting, adding up to some of the most electrifying music on the scene today. The band’s sound harkens back to the bedrock of American rock & folk, but the diversity of styles and genres are one of the things that set M&S apart. They can shake the walls like a freight train and then quiet the room to a whisper in a single song. With two singers who could easily lead a band independently, Sam and Megan sing with one voice, with music that captures longing and belonging in the same moment. Close your eyes and you’ll be swept up in a sound that you’ll swear is a full band.

Misner & Smith’s combination of vocal blend, lyrical potency, and diverse songwriting make this duo one of the most unique and loved bands around. The award-winning original songs range from folk to rock to Americana to country, but essentially are something all their own, defined by the stories that each song tells. Misner & Smith create an extraordinarily full sound for only two people, and tour extensively both in the U.S. and overseas. Headlining regularly at venues such as the Freight & Salvage, and the Palms Playhouse, they have also appeared at The Kate Wolf Music Festival, San Francisco Folk Festival, and can be heard on radio dials all over the world. They recently celebrated over a decade of making music together; a decade that has produced five albums, including their most recent release, Headwaters. The combination of Misner & Smith’s musical dexterity and vocal prowess packs a punch that will linger with you for a long time to come.

The Keller Sisters open up the night with an hour set from 8pm-9pm; Misner & Smith will play from 9:30-10:30pm.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door general admission, $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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Dec
8
8:00 PM20:00

Belleville with special guests

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Nearly 20 years after they first formed in Oakland, CA, Belleville's well-honed musical craftsmanship has finally yielded their fourth and most fully-realized official album, Turn The Medicine Down

The album features the talents of music veterans Tommy Dunbar and Al Chan from the legendary Rubinoos, drummer Jim Bogios of Counting Crows and Sheryl Crow, and keyboardist Suzie Davis - whose credits include Mick Jagger's solo touring band, Prince's "I Would Die 4U," and Sinead O'Connor's notorious Pope-photo-shredding Saturday Night Live appearance.

Fronted by guitarist Mark Caputo, Belleville is Marc Burnstein (guitar), David McCullough (bass), Hal Marcus (piano/keys) and David Zirbel (pedal steel guitar) and Jim Bogios (drums).  

Teilyn and Teri Falini will be opening the show.

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About Teilyn:
The hook-filled and dreamy sounds of Teilyn‘s ukulele are a mesmerizing display of wistful acoustics and raw vocal power. Her music is Americana nostalgia retold in the queer pedagogy of loss, heartbreak and melancholic rage. The somber pessimism of her harmonic refrains are loyal to female singer songwriters of the 90's, paying homage to giants like Dolores O'Riordan and Shirley Manson, while also diverging from the contours of the genre and emerging as a distinctive folk-rock voice in a category of entirely her own making. Teilyn is working on her debut record with members of The Counting Crows, including drummer Jim Bogios, who will join her for this performance.

Teri Falini currently has three records available on Spotify and is working on her fourth.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $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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Dec
9
5:00 PM17:00

Ian Carey Quintet+1: Fire In My Head (the Anxiety Suite)—East Bay Premiere

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The Ian Carey Quintet+1 (with Adam Shulman, piano; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Sheldon Brown, woodwinds; Fred Randolph, bass; Jon Arkin, drums; and Ian Carey on trumpet) has been performing its blend of original creative jazz across the Bay Area for over a decade at venues including The Sound Room, California Jazz Conservatory, SFJAZZ's Joe Henderson Lab, the Presidio Sessions, and InterMusicSF's SFMusic Day festival.

The group has released four albums: 2006's Sink/Swim ("An exciting set of music with a heavy-hitting lineup of musicians" — Greg Bridges, KCSM Jazz 91), 2010's Contextualizin' ("I can’t stop playing this CD” — Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com), 2013's Roads & Codes, which received 4½ stars from DownBeat Magazine and was featured on many critics’ “Best of 2013” lists, and 2016's Interview Music, featuring the 55-minute title suite composed by Carey and commissioned by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

For this performance, the group will be performing Carey's brand new 5-part composition “Fire In My Head (the Anxiety Suite)”, which was commissioned by Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works program and deals with the subject of anxiety (on both a personal level and as a community), as well as material from their acclaimed albums.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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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Dec
9
8:00 PM20:00

Emily Scott Robinson

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With her forthcoming album Traveling Mercies, Emily Scott Robinson offers a complex, thoughtful portrait of a real itinerant artist, one who carries the lessons of her past as she searches for a hopeful future. She and her husband live full-time in a motorhome and spend long stretches on the road, turning chance encounters with strangers into stirring folk meditations on the human condition.

Though this is Robinson's first proper studio release (having already released a full-length album, Magnolia Queen, and a live EP), it's by no means her first introduction to the songwriting community.

In 2015, she won American Songwriter's May/June lyric contest for the Magnolia Queen cut "Marriage Ain't the End of Being Lonely." She followed that award with two more, notching a Kerrville New Folk Winner trophy in 2016 and a Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest win in 2017. In an early nod to Traveling Mercies, AmericanaFest announced Robinson as an Official Showcasing Artist for the 2018 lineup in Nashville this September.

With Traveling Mercies, Robinson has announced herself as one of our important emerging voices in Americana and roots music. Beyond that, she's given us a beautiful album, a balm for trying times which shows, through intricately crafted melodies and hard-earned wisdom, that we all have the same struggles at our core, and there's no better time than now to take that to heart.

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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Dec
12
8:00 PM20:00

Experimental Music Night: George Cory Todd, Dunkelman/Fluke-Mogul Duo, Omar Akrouche

Please join us for an evening of experimental, ambient and exploratory sounds.

george cory todd is a musician and sound artist based in Berkeley, California. He utilizes various computer-based musical elements to forge new sounds. Born in Maryland, george has studied, performed, and toured throughout the world as both an instrumentalist and composer. His debut release, Icon, will be available soon.

gabby fluke-mogul is a violinist, improviser, composer & educator living in Oakland, CA. gabby explores the depths, infinite sounds, hues, & multitudinous voices of the acoustic violin. through improvising//composing, gfm hopes to create space for individual & collective intersectional process, intimacy, & vulnerability. they are interested in the sensual nature of sound—how desire & eroticism are embodied & translated within the political & poetic context(s) of improvisation.

Omar Akrouche is a multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and audio engineer based out of San Francisco. As a self-recording artist, his approach to making music is equally inspired by sound as it is from visual mediums, such as analog photography, filmmaking, and painting— with William Basinski meaning as much to him as Richard Diebenkorn. Omar frequently collaborates with friends and artists to produce their musical ideas, he values the role of the curator in making records, and believes in a cross-disciplinary process that engages with more than just the music.

With visuals by Molly Monahan.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $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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Dec
14
8:00 PM20:00

The Lucky Losers CD Party

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Danger meets sophistication in the soulful music of The Lucky Losers, San Francisco’s premiere male/female duet-fronted band.

Accompanied by a dynamic four-piece ensemble, veteran Bay Area blues singer Cathy Lemons and top-flight harmonica player/vocalist Phil Berkowitz deliver a truly signature sound, layering elements of Stax/Volt-styled R&B, electric Americana, and psychedelic rock atop a Chicago blues foundation. Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz breathe new life into American songwriting tradition and the vanishing art of duet singing. The Lucky Losers May 2018 release, Blind Spot, has been on the Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Album Chart” for 18 weeks (4 weeks/ Top 10), and the RMR “Contemporary Blues Album Chart” for 19 weeks (13 weeks/ Top 10). They were nominated for “Best Blues/Soul Artist of 2018,” “Best Blues/Soul Album of 2018,” and “Best Blues/Soul/R&B Song of 2018” by The Independent Blues Awards. Critics from all over the world have hailed Blind Spot as a great album.

In the Fall of 2018, The Lucky Losers embark on their sixth national tour.

The group includes guitarist Ian Lamson (Elvin Bishop), drummers Chris Burns (Maria Muldaur) & Robi Bean (Primus), and bassist Mike Phillips (Charlie Musselwhite).

“California’s Cathy Lemons sounds genuinely wise, gritty, tender, wounded, and flirtatious, sometimes all at once. Fortunate to have harmonica champ as her partner in songwriting and singing…a program of smart, likable originals, that sport winning riffs. Refreshingly mixing rock, blues, R&B, soul, and a dash of country, The Losers lean on technique and spirit equally.” - Downbeat, August 2018

 “Whether solo vocals backed by the other, or duets, they are a match made in heaven! Blind Spot is the modern-day blues album.” - American Blues Scene, July 2018

“A seamless melding of blues, soul, and Americana styles, coupled with introspective songwriting. Berkowitz has earned renown as one of the West Coast’s most distinctive harp players, as well as for his sharp, resonant tenor. Lemons is a recovering addict who blogs freely about her previous life on the other side of the tracks.” - Living Blues, May 2018

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door for general admission; $10 in advance, $12 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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Dec
16
7:00 PM19:00

Barber Shop Collective

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Please join us for a rare opportunity to witness these notable and diverse local Bay Area musicians together on one stage. The members of the Barber Shop Collective merge elements of jazz, soul and rock into a lively soul-stirring blend sure to make you hungry for more.

Featuring songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Carlos Sanders (Uncle Los Music), the legendary Jay Lane on drums (Charlie Hunter, Primus and RatDog), Scott Martin on sax (War), and music producer and in-demand session guitarist Cam Perridge.

Don’t miss a chance to see these local legends in an intimate setting.

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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Dec
28
8:00 PM20:00

Ethan Ostrow Quartet

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New York based, Berkeley-raised pianist Ethan Ostrow returns to California with his quartet of BHS Jazz alumni! The group will be playing many of his compositions, as well as the works of legendary jazz composers such as Cedar Walton and Horace Silver.

Having led a double-life as an actor for many years, Ethan understands the power of storytelling, and brings it to his music in every performance. His groups strive for an intense, lush sound, and demonstrate deep personal expression. Ethan has had the opportunity to perform at some of the Bay Area’s finest venues, including Yoshi’s, The UC Theater, The Fox Theater, The Freight & Salvage and more. He is currently studying jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, soaking in all that the clubs and streets of New York have to offer.

In addition to his passion for music, Ethan has spent much of the past year fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He released his debut album, Confused, as a fundraiser for the LLS, and led an annual benefit concert with his trio at the Freight & Salvage.

"Ostrow's original compositions are dynamic, passionate, and gorgeous." - East Bay Express

Ethan Ostrow - Piano

Owen Storey - Bass

Nora Stanley - Saxophone

Pele-Or Greenberg - Drums

Tickets are $15 general admission 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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Jan
5
8:00 PM20:00

Undone In Sorrow & Sauce Piquante

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A Night of Old-Time Appalachian and Creole Music with Undone In Sorrow & Sauce Piquante, and special guests Rebecca and Bill Kimmons.

The members of Undone in Sorrow met as contributors to the Bay Area Old Time collective The Clementine String Band, a larger form ensemble which hosts jam tents at summer festivals, parties, and local dances in the tradition of Round Peak music. As a trio the group focuses on old time ballads, songs and fiddle tunes from throughout the Appalachians.

Banjo player Katelyn Kimmons was born and raised in West Virginia, and grew up in a house filled with old time music. Her parents, Rebecca and Bill Kimmons, are both a capella singers and many of the ballads she sings today were learned from her mother. As a rare treat, this very special performance will also feature a guest performance by Katelyn's parents who will be visiting from West Virginia!

In addition to her immersion as a child, Katelyn learned to play banjo as a student of Carrie Norris, granddaughter of Lily May Ledford. Fiddle player Susan Sullivan first heard old time music at a jam in O’Donoghue’s bar in New York, while on vacation from her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Papua New Guinea. She instantly knew what she wanted to do, and returned to New Guinea with a fiddle and a few tapes – which she rewound and rewound and rewound… Guitarist Max Lopez has played traditional music of various kinds since he was a teenager in Berkshire Hills of the tri -state area of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Max is a longterm employee of Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center in Berkeley where he has been immersed with traditional music and musicians of all walks.

As a small ensemble, they take special attention to arrangement that both honors and elaborates on the traditions of Old Time Music with a nod to narratives and rhythmic forms that make the genre unique. Most importantly, and true to the tradition, the group is primarily a group of friends who delight in any opportunity to assemble and share the music which is their passion.

Sauce Piquante has been playing for Bay Area dancers since 1999, when accordionist Blair Kilpatrick started the band. The group’s high-energy dance tunes and French vocals are rooted in two musical traditions: Cajun and old-time Creole, or, as some call it, early zydeco. Sauce Piquante captures the authentic sound of southern Louisiana’s dance halls, house parties, and church dances while appealing to a contemporary audience. Sauce Piquante was inspired by the late Danny Poullard, the Bay Area accordionist who suggested the group’s name. During more than two decades of Louisiana travels and music camp attendance, band members have been influenced by many other gifted musicians. They have learned from Creole masters (Bois Sec Ardoin, Delton Broussard, Canray Fontenot, Edward Poullard) and legendary Cajun accordionists (Steve Riley, Jesse Lége, Eddie LeJeune, Sheryl Cormier). The band’s debut recording “Sauce Piquante Live” got a thumbs-up in a Dirty Linen magazine review. Kilpatrick is also the author of “Accordion Dreams” (University Press of Mississippi, 2009), which documents her musical journey. She and her husband Tabak were among the musicians profiled in “Zydeco Nation,” a recent public radio documentary about the Louisiana Creole migration to Northern California. Tonight they will be playing an all acoustic set and will be joined by guitarist and accordion player Max Lopez.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 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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Jan
9
8:00 PM20:00

Ed Gerhard

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From sold-out tours of Japan to festivals in Italy and venues across the U.S., Grammy-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard’s music has touched audiences all over the world.

Performing on six-string, slide guitar or Acoustic Hawaiian Lap Slide, Gerhard’s virtuosity, generosity and humor shine through. His distinctive touch is unmistakable. Whether performing a lush, sensual ballad or a haunting, bitter lap steel melody Gerhard will mesmerize. His connection with his audience is palpable.

Gerhard’s releases have all received high praise from critics and guitar fans worldwide, including the Boston Globe Critic’s Poll “Top Ten Albums of the Year.” Ed’s CD, Luna, was chosen by Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 20th Anniversary List of 240 Essential Albums.

“This soulful album of original compositions rich in melody, chordal complexity and stylistic variety proves why Gerhard is considered to have the most exquisite acoustic guitar tone on the planet.” - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Gerhard was awarded a GRAMMY® for his inclusion on the compilation CD Henry Mancini; Pink Guitar, for which he arranged and performed “Moon River.” His guitar work can also be heard on CDs by Arlo Guthrie and Jorma Kaukonen, and he is featured in the Ken Burns films Mark Twain and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

“…Gerhard does not write instrumentals. He writes songs only a guitar can sing.” - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

“I am glad to be living in the time of such a great guitarist, when a single note can say so much.” - Seymour Duncan

Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door, general admission, 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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Jan
11
8:00 PM20:00

American Guitar Masters with Larry Pattis

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Larry Pattis succeeds in merging styles of instrumental guitar not normally found in the same room together. His love of classical composers and performers is evident in the lyrical nature of his compositions.

Strong melodic themes are developed, explored and reprised in ways that harken back to the early innovators of the guitar as a solo instrument. But Pattis is very much rooted in the modern world, with the textures and sensibilities of the steel-string guitar as it exists today. His pieces are inspired by his relationships to places and friends, but also to the strong emotions we all have in common. His musical explorations can be strong or tender, lighthearted or melancholy, but an artful contrast is always at the forefront of his compositions.

Pattis is known for his original, lyrical and emotive music, and for his beautiful interpretations of pieces such as “Ashokan Farewell” and “Waltzing Matilda.” His vision is in bringing forth the highest level of emotive qualities of the acoustic guitar, the goal is to delight the audience with landscape and mood of the life experiences that are the foundation of the music.

The Salt Lake City Weekly wrote, “Pattis approaches every note with the ethics of a perfectionist, but without sacrificing the passionate center his compositions inhabit. You may find yourself wondering if guitar music has ever sounded this good,” and the Salt Lake Tribune chimed in with, “...a lesson for the ears, heart and soul about acoustic guitar music.” Acoustic Musician Magazine wrote, “Pattis creates tunes that are clean, pure as stream water, and warmly pleasing.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door general admission, 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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Jan
13
4:00 PM16:00

Audrey Martin

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Berkeley Jazz vocalist Audrey Martin will be joined by Larry Dunlap (piano), Ruth Davies (bass) and David Rokeach (drums) for this performance.

Martin knows all about the power of a song to provide hope and spiritual sustenance in dark times. A rapidly emerging talent, she reveals a lifetime of hard-won wisdom. Martin has cultivated a highly personal repertoire encompassing American Songbook gems and singer/songwriter treasures from Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Blossom Dearie, and Abbey Lincoln.

Like some of era’s most incisive jazz singers, Martin dedicated herself to mastering the art form at midlife. Possessing impeccable taste and blessed with a gloriously warm and clear voice, she makes every note count. More than setting a mood, Martin renders strikingly vivid scenes. It’s not much of a stretch to hear her training and experience as a psychotherapist deeply informing her sensibility as a singer.

“I’m attracted to the chance to communicate the emotion of a lyric sensitively and in a deeply felt way, to find my way in the world of a song so that I am speaking to the listener,” Martin says. “As a therapist I hold the deeply felt and personal life stories of my patients, and as a vocalist I get to tell my own story and the stories of others through song.”

“What attracted me to jazz from the beginning was the room it provides for improvisation and personal expression,” she says. “There’s freedom to experiment and make the songs my own, and I can work with these amazing musicians who are in communication with one another on the stage, developing new language while at the same time adhering to the tune.”

"A welcome dose of therapy for the mind and heart." — AllAboutJazz.com

"Dive in and dig the cool." — AcousticMusic.com

"Jazz vocal fans will rate this set as essential." — Midwest Record

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. 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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Jan
13
8:00 PM20:00

Jason Yeager & Randal Despommier: CD Release featuring Aubrey Johnson

New York musicians Randal Despommier (saxophone) and Jason Yeager (piano) make their Berkeley debut at The Back Room, presenting their new collaborative album, All At Onceness (Red Piano Records).

The record is a soulful mix of improvisational arrangements of Baroque, Romantic, twentieth-century and contemporary pieces, melding the spark and spontaneity of jazz improvisation with the sensitivity of chamber music. With source material ranging from Bach to Stravinsky, Scriabin to Messiaen, these intrepid composer-improvisers stake out their own territory in a diverse program that combines folk-like melodies, evocative harmonies, and infectious rhythms.

Critical to the project is featured vocalist Aubrey Johnson, who has collaborated with top artists ranging from Fred Hersch to Bobby McFerrin. Despommier notes that, “Aubrey sings with such soul and warmth; she’s a real singer/poet who ‘breathes life into the words’ as the madrigalists would say.”

He goes on to say, “Jason and I were both interested in building off of the jazz tradition by turning to the classical oeuvre and vice versa. During our jam sessions, we’d mess around with jazz standards, preludes by Scriabin, and folk songs; then we’d arrange, rearrange, and sometimes ‘de-range’ pieces, as Jason puts it; the result was what we felt to be a coming-together of various musical styles from the past and present. We decided to call this approach All At Onceness, a term coined by the Canadian media scholar, Marshall McLuhan.”

Randal Despommier is a New York-based composer, saxophonist, and educator from New Orleans, LA. His unique and extensive background in jazz, blues, and Western classical music results in a distinct twenty first-century compositional voice. Despommier's original music ranges from contemporary art songs to jazz adaptations of Medieval and Renaissance music. His debut album, an original song cycle entitled Circus of the Soul, will be released on Albany Records later this year. He directs the music program at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan and has taught jazz history with the Bard Prison Initiative.

Jason Yeager is a New York-based pianist, composer, and educator, whose music is informed by jazz improvisation, contemporary chamber music, and Latin American folk rhythms. His most recent album, United, with violinist Jason Anick, was awarded 4.5 stars and named one of 2017’s top releases in Downbeat Magazine. His fourth recording as a leader, All At Onceness, with composer/saxophonist Randal Despommier, was released on Red Piano Records in April 2018. Yeager has performed and recorded with such artists as Luciana Souza, Matt Wilson, Ayn Inserto, Linda Oh, Greg Osby, Sara Serpa, and George Garzone, and has performed across the US and abroad in Argentina, Panama, and South Africa. In addition to his performance and composition work, Yeager teaches piano at Berklee College of Music.

Tickets are $18 advance, $20 door general admission, and $15 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
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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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.

Biographies:

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
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); $60 (includes pre-show meet & greet and concert); and $35 general admission.

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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Nov
11
7:00 PM19:00

West of Roan

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Soulful, unique harmonies are at the center of West of Roan's minimalist arrangements. Both fiddle players and vocalists, Annie Schermer and Channing Showalter are voracious musicians whose original compositions sit comfortably alongside the ancient ballads and tunes they render. Steeped in the traditions of Appalachia and the British Isles, West of Roan's haunting, searching, heartfelt music explores home, self, loss, and love.

West of Roan's puppetry performances are one of a kind: part storytelling, part musical performance, part experiential installation. Drawing on the ancient and simple elements of shadow, light, sound and harmony, the duo guides audiences inward, to a place of possibility for inspiration, transformation and healing.

Annie and Channing have been collaborating as West of Roan for three years, though they have been singing together for much longer. Their conversations and friendship lead them deep into explorations of love, grief, and the wild self. This depth is the well from which their work is drawn.

Tickets are $15 advance, $20 door general admission, and $10 for students with ID/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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Nov
10
8:00 PM20:00

The Jolly Gibsons

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Keyboardist Jennifer Jolly and guitarist Steve Gibson lead The Jolly Gibsons on a journey of celebratory roots music. Along with drummer Mark Bernfield, bassist Dave Fischer, and special guest Jean Fineberg on sax and flute, Jennifer and Steve mix original compositions and unsung classics: twangy blues, calypso/soca, African, boogie-woogie, transcendent rock, jazzy funk, New Orleans second-line, and more.

Jennifer Jolly is renowned as a specialist in New Orleans R&B, blues, Americana, and world roots keyboard styles. She is a faculty member at The California Jazz Conservatory and at Cazadero Family Camp. She has performed or recorded with Phil Lesh, David Grisman, Barbara Dane, Hot Links, and many others. In addition to The Jolly Gibsons, Jennifer currently performs with Zulu Spear, Kotoja, Big B & His Snake Oil Saviors, Bait & Switch Blues Band, The Party Monsters, and guests frequently with Tom Rigney & Flambeau.

Steve Gibson is renowned for his masterful jazz, rock, and blues guitar chops. His festival credits include the High Sierra and San Jose Jazz Festivals. He co-founded Bandworks, the Bay Area's premier "school of rock." Steve has taught at and co-directed Cazadero Family Camp, directed and taught in London and Dublin (Ireland), and contributed to Guitar Player magazine. In addition to The Jolly Gibsons, Steve currently performs with the Funk Revival Orchestra, Michelle Jacques, Bait & Switch Blues Band, and others.

Mark Bernfield (drums) has played drums professionally in Bay Area jazz, funk, and rock ensembles for over twenty years. Mark teaches music and directs band programs at Oakland's Redwood Day School. Since 2001, Mark has been the music director of the community a cappella chorus East Bay Harmony. Dave Fischer (bass) performs regularly with gypsy jazz groups and singer-songwriter groups including Eclair de Lune, Douce Ambiance, and Greenwood News. Special guest Jean Fineberg (tenor sax, flute) is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and composer.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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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Nov
9
8:00 PM20:00

Stadler Gibbons Band

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov
8
8:00 PM20:00

Jed Holtman

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Jed Holtman is a budding guitarist and composer in the San Francisco music scene. His stated goal is “to make music as weird as you look.” He does not fear experimentation, going off the musical deep end, or sounding like a chainsaw on a chalkboard. In the end, he wants to have fun making good music.

Jed has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with prominent Bay Area and Los Angeles musicians, including Danny Janklow, Nick Mancini, Howard Wiley, Doug Beavers, Gerald Clayton and Chase Jackson.

Jed holds a high school diploma from Berkeley High School, and is a proud dropout of California State University, Northridge. He has studied with guitar machine-guns such as John Pisano, Mimi Fox, Graham Dechter and Chris Solberg.

This concert will feature original compositions and more.

Jed Holtman - Guitar

Howard Wiley - Tenor Saxophone

Colin Hogan - Piano

Giulio Cetto (a.k.a. The Jazz Thug) - Bass

Mike Quigg - Drums

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission, and $15 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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Nov
7
7:30 PM19:30

Joni Mitchell 75th Birthday Tribute concert

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Please join us for an evening of songs by one of the greatest poet-composers of our time.

Joni Mitchell celebrates her 75th birthday on November 7, 2018. What better way to pay homage to this beloved songwriter and musical pioneer than with a musical tribute, offered in love and admiration to the woman who has inspired generations!

East Bay vocalist Ann Moss leads a consortium of musicians active in the Bay Area's jazz, classical, rock and experimental scenes, including Matt Berkeley (keyboards), Emil Miland (cello), Meredith Clark (harp); d'Pajo, a Gypsy Jazz duo; The Mean Old Daddies, a funk ensemble; and A Sweeter Affair, a vocal ensemble.

Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music whose voice has been singled out for “beautifully pure floated high notes” (Opera News), “powerful expression” and “luminous tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her albums Love Life and Currents, produced by multi-GRAMMY® award-winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, feature premiere recordings of works by composers including Jake Heggie, John Thow, Liam Wade and Vartan Aghababian, as well as songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Weslie Brown. She can also be heard on releases from PARMA, Naxos, Albany, Arsis, Angels Share Records, and Navona Records. As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, Moss has created and premiered over one hundred and fifty new vocal works. She recently made her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony singing the music of George and Ira Gershwin.

"This evening's performance is an expansion of my ongoing and evolving project, The Joni Mitchell Suite. This project explores the broad and multifaceted spectrum of musical worlds I inhabit, through the processes of arranging, performing and recording the music of Joni Mitchell. These original arrangements, conceived and created in a spirit of open collaboration, allow my colleagues and me to pay homage to the music that has nurtured and guided us to become the artists we are today. In many instances, they also serve to highlight Joni Mitchell’s own artistic ties to the classical vocal genre of Art Song." — Ann Moss.

10/29: Advance tickets are now sold out but a few tickets will be available at the door on the night of the show. Tickets are $20 and 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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Nov
4
7:00 PM19:00

Rachel Garlin

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Berkeley native Rachel Garlin is a well-traveled singer-songwriter whose songs explore the human experience with poignant, playful, and artfully painted lyrics. For this performance, Garlin will be joined onstage by her producer Julie Wolf to share songs from the album they are currently recording at Fantasy Studios.

Garlin writes in the contemporary folk tradition. Her character-filled songs tell stories inspired by street art and poetry billboards, letters and words exchanged between friends and loved ones, and observations about regular people doing the stuff of life. Garlin’s live concerts combine a natural stage presence with a seamless interplay of storytelling and music as she guides listeners on a winding road of language, images, and the creative process. Media fans include Curve Magazine (“storytelling at its best”) and the SF Chronicle (“Garlin manages to touch songwriting bases as far back as Woody Guthrie”).

Garlin will be joined by Julie Wolf on piano and James DePrato on dobro and mandolin. Garlin lives in San Francisco with her wife and three kids.

Tickets are $20 general admission; and $12 for students, children under 18 and seniors. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door on the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Nov
3
8:00 PM20:00

Sam's Corner presents Valeriana Quevedo, Roberta Donnay & Kay Kostopoulos

Sam’s Corner is pleased to present three Dynamic Divas in an extraordinary night of music. Valeriana Quevedo, Roberta Donnay and Kay Kostopoulos will knock you out with their unique styles of hot jazz.    

Valeriana Q has been singing, dancing and playing percussion professionally since age 10.  She's traveled throughout the United States as well as Asia and Europe. She is an exciting and vivacious performer who sings from her heart and her passionate and rhythmic vocal stylings are filled with sincerity and warmth. 

Roberta Donnay is an award-winning singer & songwriter with tracks on TV and film. Donnay has opened for, or performed with, George Benson, Bob Dorough, David Grisman, Bela Fleck, John Hammond, Dan Hicks, 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.

Black Olive Jazz artist Kay Kostopoulos is an elegant singer, actress and Stanford professor, whose unique sound is informed by her Mediterranean heritage and percussive finger cymbals. Her theatrical background lends an emotional sensitivity to her lush and sensuous three-octave vocal range.

Sam Rudin is the creator and owner of The Back Room, and he is also one of the most exciting pianists you are ever likely to hear. He can evoke the spirit of Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Mose Allison and Jerry Lee Lewis...sometimes all at the same time. His repertoire reflects the whole range of 20th Century popular music, and that broad range will be put to good use tonight as he joins bassist Chris Amberger and drummer Bryan Bowman to back up all three of tonight's vocalists.

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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Nov
2
8:00 PM20:00

Specs Band

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The Specs Band plays standards from Jazz, Latin, Soul and Pop. They are a mainstay of the famous Specs bar in North Beach and are often joined by a stellar assortment of guest vocalists.

This performance features Jerry Kennett (drums), Dan Keller (bass), a special guest on piano, and a passel o' singers!

Tickets are $15 ($5 off if you mention “Specs” 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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Nov
1
8:00 PM20:00

Princeton Katzenjammers

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Founded in 1973 by members of Princeton's single-sex a cappella groups, the Katzenjammers started the tradition of co-ed a cappella singing as the oldest co-ed group in the Ivy League.

Their diverse repertoire and wide range of voices formed the basis of a new, versatile style of singing that set them apart from the many single-sex groups nationwide.

45 years later, the group continues to value variety in its music for the purposes of both entertainment and musical integrity, with their current repertoire consisting of a vibrant mix of jazz, pop, and classical music. Nearly all of the group's music has been arranged by members of the group, either past or current, and after touring Montreal, Boston, and Miami over the past few years, they are excited to bring their music to the Bay Area.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission; $13 in advance and $15 at the door for students & seniors. 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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Oct
28
8:30 PM20:30

Erik Jekabson Sextet

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Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students.

Erik has four CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club, (released in 2014) which like Anti-Mass (2012) and Crescent Boulevard (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label. A fourth CD, Intersection, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label. Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: Vista: the Arrival and New World Funk Ensemble. He’s recorded as a sideman on over 25 other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.

Erik currently leads his own ensembles in the Bay Area, and has brought them to the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the DeYoung Museum, the SFJAZZ Center, Kuumbwa Jazz, the Jazzschool, the Napa Valley Jazz Society’s Parlor Series, Jazz at Pearl’s, The Sound Room, Pacifica Performances, the Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival, the Red Poppy Art House and the Piedmont Piano Company. He also works with local Bay Area musicians such as Jeff Denson, Mario Guarneri’s tbd, the Michael O’Neill Quintet featuring Kenny Washington, Patrick Wolff’s Sextet, Larry Vuckovich, Adam Shulman, Smith Dobson’s Prez Kids and Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers.

Erik has a Bachelors Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is currently the director of the Young Musician’s Program at the Jazzschool, and serves on the board of Jazz in the Neighborhood. He is on the faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory, Los Medanos College and Diablo Valley College, and has given clinics at Santa Rosa Junior College, Cal State East Bay and Loyola College in New Orleans. He’s a regular instructor at Jazzcamp West, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop and at the Brubeck Institute. Erik has also written two books of jazz duets for trumpet, and is currently leading the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra on a regular Sunday residency at Doc's Lab in North Beach, SF.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $15 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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Oct
28
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol with special guest Freddie Hughes

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The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol and Dynamic Duo host "The Heart of Soul," featuring Bay Area soul legend Freddie Hughes. 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. Ms. Carol 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. 

Freddie Hughes is a Berkeley native who gained attention singing in the gospel group The Five Disciples and on the Oakland club circuit in the late 1950s. He recorded his first hit single "Send My Baby Back" in 1968 to international acclaim. Freddie Hughes delivers blues and soul like no other! Freddie Hughes and Faye Carol have shared the stage together countless times since the 1960s and this reunion of Bay Area royalty is sure to close out Miss Faye's October Residency with a bang!

"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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Oct
27
8:00 PM20:00

Sheldon Brown Group

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A surreal pre-Halloween CD release event!

Sheldon Brown Group is celebrating the upcoming release of their new CD, Blood of the Air, with this special pre-Halloween concert.

Blood of the Air is a suite of pieces based on the poetry and speech melodies of surrealist poet Philip Lamantia. Blood of the Air premiered at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival in 2014, and has also been performed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Duende in Oakland, and SF Inter Music’s annual Day of Music and Presidio Club series in San Francisco.

Philip Lamantia, whose mystical work is noted for its wild imagery, is widely considered America’s greatest surrealist poet. He was mentored by Kenneth Rexroth and was closely associated with the beat writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Michael McClure In his youth. Lamantia was recognized by Andre Breton as “a voice that rises once in a hundred years.”

The music of Blood of the Air is by turns passionate and grooving, dark and moody, and playfully reflective. Sheldon Brown Group consists of some of the Bay Area’s most distinctive and accomplished jazz and new music performers.

This show features:

Sheldon Brown - Soprano, Alto, and Tenor Saxophones, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Darren Johnston - Trumpet
Lorin Benedict - Voice
Andrew Joron - Theremin
John Finkbeiner - Guitar
Jonathan Alford - Piano
Dan Zemelman - Piano
Michael Wilcox - Bass
Alan Hall - Drums

Tickets are $18 and 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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Oct
26
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. LB's songs come from a lifetime of hearing American music in it's many incarnations...If you can 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. 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 music scene.

LB's current performing lineup includes:

Eric Burkhart - songs, guitars, vocals

Steve Epstein - pedal steel, guitars

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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Oct
25
8:00 PM20:00

San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival presents Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood, and special guests

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International Boogie Woogie master Wendy DeWitt, known for her powerhouse left hand, paired with the brilliant, jazz-trained drummer Kirk Harwood (formerly with Norton Buffalo, Huey Lewis and Roy Rogers) make for a high-energy duo capable of holding its own on any stage with power, pizzazz and presence. When adding Steve Freund on guitar, Steve Evans on bass, or Nancy Wright on sax, the combination is unstoppable.

DeWitt performed for four years with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and with Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush, Big Time Sarah, and Jimmy Thackery. She has appeared at the Cincinnati Blues Fest, Boston Symphony Hall and the San Diego Museum of Art with Hadda Brooks in one of her last performances. DeWitt also performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival, St. Croix Blues and Heritage Fest, Les Nuits de Boogie Woogie in Paris and festivals in Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Belgium. A festival producer as well, DeWitt produces the Queens of Boogie Woogie and co-produces the San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival.

Introduced to the blues at the age of 10, with help from Western Swing Hall-of-Famer Tommy Thomsen, Wendy DeWitt’s passion for music led her to Chicago Blues and Texas Boogie Woogie, with influences ranging from Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, and Professor Longhair to Katie Webster and Bessie Smith.

DeWitt teaches workshops at JazzSchool in Berkeley, California, and the duo has inspired students in Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington, Augusta Blues Week and, in conjunction with the US Embassy, Budapest, Hungary.

In 2012 and 2014, Wendy and Kirk Harwood represented The Golden Gate Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge, Memphis and are 2014 Finalists.

The duo’s third album, Getaway, maximizes Kirk’s Jazz and Big Band background, creating a compelling mix of modern and traditional blues.

“All the cool kids already know DeWitt is one smoking boogie woogie piano/organ gal and it's time for the word to spread beyond her regional awards.” - Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“She has rightly earned the title of ‘Queen of Boogie’ in the Bay Area and beyond.” - Bernie Butcher, Blue Wing Festival

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door general admission, and $15 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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Oct
24
8:00 PM20:00

Reasons For Moving w/ Fred Frith, Darren Johnston, Larry Ochs, Jordan Glenn, Jason Hoopes

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Reasons for Moving is Darren Johnston (trumpet), Fred Frith (electric & prepared guitar), Larry Ochs (tenor & sopranino saxophones), Jason Hoopes (bass) and Jordan Glenn (drums).

Initiated by Darren Johnston and imagined originally as a one-off recording project, this un-categorizable quintet spearheaded collaboratively now by Johnston, Frith and Ochs has reformed in 2018 for tours, live recordings and unchartered adventures in sound and space. For this performance, the core players will be joined by Frith cohorts Jordan Glenn and Jason Hoopes.

"There are bands which you start listening to and you think, 'this is great, this is it!,' and sometimes that’s a disappointing thought when the rest of the music does not meet the initial expectation, but that is definitely not the case with Reasons For Moving. The great thing about it all is that the focus is never lost, all tracks speak the same musical language, with lots of variations, but with raw emotions always on the surface, varying between sad melancholic moments to agonizing angst. These contrasting emotional fields are well brought up by this stimulating, creative, entertaining, and boundary-shifting music. — Stef Gjissels, The Free Jazz Collective

"One of the great things about this band is that Darren's trumpet and Larry's saxes work so well together, in similar tonal areas. Fred Frith is the perfect middle man, balancing between the horns and rhythm team perfectly, whether dealing in dark colors and shades or occasionally soloing underneath or with the spinning horns. On a few of these pieces, Frith gets a chance to lead and stretch out and turn the quintet inside-out into a strange twisted (prog?) rock unit. These pieces fall somewhere between Massacre and Material, yet they are still unique in their own way." — Bruce Gallanter, DMG Monthly

"Reasons for Moving stamp their class as improvisation and free jazz explode in aural splendor and imaginative propulsion in this collaboration. Each has established an undiluted reputation as a forward thinker in taking improvised music into new realms. Change for them is a constant challenge, one they meet on-the-go as they play with their own bands and with other musicians who answer to a similar calling. Composition has a certain place in their vocabulary, but the larger attributes come when they work outside of the framework. Notation can be the bridge between improvised passages as much as it can herald the beginning or the end. Surprise is welcome, and adds to the impact, but the bigger bang comes from the interplay between the members." — All About Jazz

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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Oct
21
8:00 PM20:00

Bill Staines

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Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat.

For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston/Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area.

From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer," Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, "He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic."

Bill's music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers that make up this land.

Many of Bill's songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals, and scouting campfire songbooks; he is one of only a few songwriters to have eight songs published in the classic song collection, Rise up Singing. Composer David Amram recently described Bill as "a modern day Stephen Foster…his songs will be around 100 years from now."

Over the decades, you have heard Bill singing on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, HBO's award-winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio's Mountain Stage. Additionally, his music has been used in a number of films including Off and Running with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles' debut as a writer-director.

In 1975, Bill won National Yodeling Championship in Kerrville, Texas. Another important recognition was given to him in 2007. Presented by the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association, The Jerry Christen Award recognized Bill's contribution to New England folk music. 

Bill has recorded 26 albums; The Happy Wanderer and One More River were winners of the prestigious Parents' Choice Award, taking a gold medal and silver medal respectively. His songs have been recorded by many artists including Peter, Paul & Mary, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, The Highwaymen, Mason Williams, Grandpa Jones, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough and others.

As well as recordings, over 100 of Bill's songs have been published in three songbooks: If I Were a Word, Then I'd Be a Song, Movin' It Down the Line, and Music to Me, the latter published by Hal Leonard Corporation. His song, "All God's Critters," has been recently released as a Simon and Schuster children's book with illustrations by Caldecott honor-winning artist, Kadir Nelson.

"Folk music is rich in the human spirit and experience. I've always wanted to bring something of value to people through my songs." With these thoughts, Bill continues to drive the highways and back roads of the country year after year, bringing his music to listeners, young and 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. 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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Oct
21
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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Oct
20
8:00 PM20:00

City Folk

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City Folk is Keith Greeninger, Kimball Hurd and Roger Feuer. The group is renowned for their award-winning songwriting, tight vocal harmonies and expansive musical arrangements.

They began playing together in the late 1980's and quickly rose to the top of the Bay Area music scene, enjoying immense popularity on the National Folk and Americana circuits and performing at major festivals, concert halls, and legendary acoustic venues throughout the Country. They were winners of KFOG's prestigious Best of the Bay music award.

The trio’s current tour celebrates the release of a brand new live DVD that captures a sold out concert the band performed in November of last year at the Nevada City Theater.

City Folk’s performances are rare these days since each of the artist has gone on to pursue other musical directions. When they do come together there is the added essence of long-time musical collaborators with a history, a respect and a sound that only happens when they share their combined talents and enjoyment of making music together.

Create an effortless flow of music and harmonies the group has often drawn comparisons to such legends as CSN and The Eagles, and though such comparisons are easily understandable, the listener is immediately aware that this group has created a sound and a message completely their own and unlike any other.

Tickets are $20 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!

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Oct
19
8:00 PM20:00

Terry Robb, Sam Rudin opening

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“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 since the release of his latest album Cool On The Bloom. Terry is touring solo performances of this acclaimed album, nominated as 2017 Best Acoustic Album by Blues Blast Music Awards, and other songs from his award-winning discography of original Delta blues, Americana, ragtime, old-timey, country blues and more.

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.

Terry Robb was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, raised in the United States and resides in Portland, Oregon.


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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Oct
18
8:00 PM20:00

Tracy Grammer

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Called "one of the finest singers and musicians anywhere in folkdom" (Boston Globe) and "a musician and singer of dazzling versatility" (No Depression), Tracy Grammer is among contemporary folk music's most beloved artists.

Renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar and violin work, and incantatory storytelling, Grammer has recorded and performed with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio's 50 top-played artists, both solo and in a duo with the late Dave Carter. She is on tour celebrating the release of Low Tide, her highly-anticipated eleventh album and the first to showcase her original songs. "Hole," the album opener, was the #1 most-played song on folk radio in February. 

Though she currently lives in Greenfield, Mass., Grammer is still a West Coast girl at heart, having grown up in Southern California and earned her degree from UC Berkeley (English '94). The Back Room is pleased to welcome her "home" to the Bay Area.

“[Tracy Grammer's] pure voice conveys the simple truths of these songs; her gifts as a musician are like that of a painter who is a master of chiaroscuro, offering light and shadow at every turn.... A treasured part of my music collection.“ - Mary Chapin Carpenter, liner notes for Flower of Avalon.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. and $15 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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Oct
17
8:00 PM20:00

Toby Tobias: Journey from Johannesburg

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South African-born Toby Tobias shares his story of hope during a time of war and upheaval across three continents, from Johannesburg to Jerusalem...then here.

Toby shares the vivid tale of his life in South Africa under the rule of an apartheid government, then in an Israel on the brink of battle for its' own identity, before finding a home, and many stark parallels, in the United States of America.

His inspiring story and his original songs will enlighten, entertain and touch your heart. Come along on the Journey.

Tickets are $15 general admission 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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Oct
16
8:00 PM20:00

Marcus Fischer, Benoit Pioulard, Hotel Neon, r beny

Join us for an evening of ambient sound and immersive visual projections featuring Marcus Fischer (Portland - 12k), Benoit Pioulard (Seattle - Kranky), Hotel Neon (Philadelphia), and r beny (San Jose).

About the artists:

Marcus Fischer (Portland, OR): Marcus Fischer is a first generation American musician + interdisciplinary artist based in Portland, Oregon. His work typically centers around memory, geography + the manipulation of physical audio recording mediums. Slowly unfolding melodies and warm tape saturated drones have become a trademark of his recordings + live performances alike. These sounds have found their way into multimedia installations, short flims, and even into the award winning public radio program Radiolab.

Benoit Pioulard (Seattle, WA): Since a young age, Thomas Meluch has been fascinated by natural sounds and the textures of decay. He began playing piano before his feet could reach the pedals, and for more than a decade has sought to create a unique sonic environment by combining remnants of pop song structures with the lushness and unpredictability of field recordings. A veteran drummer of a half dozen bands and an avid collector of instruments and analog devices, Meluch relies on guitar and voice as the bases for his work as Benoît Pioulard.

Hotel Neon (Philadelphia, PA): Hotel Neon is the Philadelphia-based trio of Michael Tasselmyer, Andrew Tasselmyer, and Steven Kemner. Together they create immersive and atmospheric soundscapes aided by projected film and images. Known for its heavy emphasis on enveloping walls of sound, Hotel Neon also injects subtle melody and improvisation to create a rich musical experience, one that rewards any level of listener scrutiny. Since forming in early 2013, the group has released four full-length albums through the Home Normal, Fluid Audio, and ARCHIVES labels.

r beny: As r beny, Austin Cairns uses modular & hardware synthesizers and tape machines to explore a uniquely beautiful ambient sound, tinged with nostalgia and melancholy.

Tickets are $15 general admission 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!

View Event →
Oct
14
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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Oct
13
8:00 PM20:00

House of Soul: Dee Dee Simon, Yolandra Rhodes and Tracy Cruz

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Dee Dee Simon
A native of Oakland, California, Ms. Dee Dee Simon was born to sing. Her skills have been compared to the sassy vocal ability of Patti LaBelle, the richness of Gladys Knight, the fire of Chaka Khan, the edge of Tina Turner and the pureness of Whitney Houston. With a five-octane range, this songwriter, thespian, and executive producer has been hailed as the Soul of the Bay.

Dee Dee has opened for Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Faith Evans, Jeffrey Osbourne, Charlie Wilson and many more. She is a winner of the Steve Harvey National competition, twenty-two Black Music Awards, a Best Female Vocalist award, and is the reigning Entertainer of the Year. She sings with all of her heart and soul because that’s all she knows.

Yolandra Rhodes
Recently nominated as Best Jazz Vocalist by the Northern California Entertainer Music Awards and Semi-Finalist in Jazz Search West 2018, Yolandra is able to uplift spirits and stir the emotions of her listening audience with an easy grace and a subtle confidence. 

A Jazz songstress, Yolandra brings her singular style to selections of tunes previously performed by visionaries such as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Rachelle Farrell.

She has performed with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and on Clifford Brown Jr’s (formerly with KBLX) “Jazz Cruise to the Caribbean,” which also featured Gerald Albright and Alex Bugnon. Other appearances include Oakland's renowned Art & Soul Festival, Yoshi's, The 57th Street Gallery, The Fenix, The Back Room and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle with Mr. Yancy Taylor, in addition to  several performances of the National Anthem at Golden State Warriors games and for the U.S. soccer team.

Tracy Cruz
Tracy Cruz has a voice that will melt even the toughest of hearts. Her unique musical and lyrical blend - Bay Area urban soul tinged with the influence of her indigenous Filipino roots - has captured the ears of music lovers around the world. Boasting a vocal range that might be bigger than her, Cruz emanates a classic and timeless feel.

Two full-length albums (Feel’osophy and Universoul Symphony) and two EPs (H3artifacts and Illuminate Love) have garnered numerous awards including three Bay Area Black Music Awards for "Best Neo Soul Female," "Best CD/Recorded Performance," and "Bay Area Rising Star," two Gran Royale Awards, three Muse’s Muse Awards, as well as nominations for five Hollywood Music in Media Awards, three Soultrack.com Readers' Choice Awards, and three Northern California Entertainers Music Awards.

She has supported several established acts including Kenny Lattimore, Pete Escovedo, Miki Howard, Keke Wyatt, Bilal, and others. The songstress approaches her music unapologetically and freely, staying true to herself, while her stellar band "Instrumentali-T" provides a grown and sexy soundtrack for her vocal creations. 

Tickets are $25 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one 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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Oct
12
8:00 PM20:00

Sam's Corner, featuring Roberta Donnay

Sam's Corner  

About once a month, 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 Roberta Donnay.

A long-time favorite of audiences in California and beyond, Roberta has been associated with several genres and styles of American music. For many years she has been a featured member of Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks. More recently she formed the Prohibition Mob, a terrific band dedicated to the music of the 20's and 30's. Their debut album has gotten, and continues to get, very favorable treatment from the national Jazz press, and radio stations around the country.

“Roberta Donnay is a Jazz Age preservationist, guardian of Depression-era sounds, and extender of traditions.” - All About Jazz, 2015

“With her singularly enticing sound, few contemporary vocalists are as well suited to dustily vintage material as jazz-blues stylist Roberta Donnay.” – Jazz Times

Donnay has performed with, or opened for Joey Alexander, George Benson, Elvis Costello, Bob Dorough, Dave Ellis, David Grisman, Dan Hicks, John Hammond, Herbie Hancock, Dr. John, Christian McBride, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Reed, Leon Russell, Joe Sample, David Sanborn and more.

Tonight she will bring that same material to the more intimate setting of a piano/vocal duo. Sam, as you may know, is right at home with this old-time jazz, and they intend to have a lot of fun.

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. 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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Oct
11
8:00 PM20:00

Lucinda Belle, CelloJoe

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Harpist, Chanteuse and Songwriter Lucinda Belle disrupts the classical form of the harp.

Much like her hero Harpo Marx, Lucinda’s path has been more extraordinary than ordinary. From London to Nashville to transform her Classical to Jazz, Lucinda began to steer a different path.

From the stages of the UK’s greatest classical concert venues as a child harpist with the National Children’s Orchestra, very soon she became the go-to harpist and singer in the pop and jazz worlds, working with a myriad of iconic artists such as Natalie Cole, Annie Lennox, Robbie Williams, Pet Shop Boys and Gregory Porter. Through grit and dedication to her craft she left time along the way to receive an Oscar nomination, appear in Punch Drunk’s The Drowned Man, and leaves in her wake several record deals, two albums and one EP in the ether.

It’s these things, and her authentic drive to take the road less travelled, that prove Lucinda has 'more strings to her harp' than many…and is making waves in the US through her bold presentation and timeless rebellion.

CelloJoe records on stage with a loop pedal and produces intricate tapestries of harmony, melody, and rhythm. His beatboxing and funky cello grooves form a rich soundscape for intelligent lyrics and his music spreads love, joy, laughter and conscious vibrations. Classical Hip Hop.

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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Oct
8
8:00 PM20:00

Nate Najar Trio "Under Paris Skies" CD Release

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In an industry that likes to conveniently pigeonhole even its most innovative and adventurous artists, Nate Najar stands out with his all-encompassing embrace of the transcendent possibilities of jazz.

Inspiring growing numbers of fans with his distinctive approach of playing acoustic classical guitar with right hand classical technique, the multi-faceted composer and performer scored a Top Ten Billboard Jazz single, recorded tribute projects to his idol Charlie Byrd and the music of Brazil; and has performed hundreds of trio dates throughout the US, Europe and Australia. 2010 saw Najar release Groove Me on Woodward Avenue Records. A collaboration with Tony Award-winning vocalist Melba Moore, Groove Me reached the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz chart.

A St. Petersburg, FL native who began playing guitar at age eight and considers Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Byrd his primary influences, Najar’s full-length recordings on Candid Records – including 2012’s Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd – earned him accolades from critics and influential jazz voices alike. Other recent recordings include 2014’s Aquarela Do Brasil and the swinging This is Nate Najar (2016). 2017 saw Nate’s return to Woodward Avenue Records with Christmas In December. Under Paris Skies (2018), Nate’s most recent recording for Woodward Avenue Records, explores many of the great French melodies in jazz, classical, pop and film music.

Featuring the music of Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, Django Reinhardt, Gabriel Fauré and more, Under Paris Skies brings together an empathetic trio of Nate, Tommy Cecil on bass and Matt Home on drums. Vibraphonist Chuck Redd guests on two tracks. Rick Anderson of All Music Guide called Najar “one of the most consistently interesting and stylish young guitarists on the jazz scene.” JazzTimes Magazine referred to his playing as “intimate and soulful.” Edward Blanco of All About Jazz wrote “This is Nate Najar will provide one with an exciting introduction to one of the finest classical guitarists in the business today on a set of music that swings lightly with a touch of class,” and Becky Byrd, wife of the late guitarist Charlie Byrd, said, “There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers. Get ready, world, here comes Nate Najar!”

For more information, contact Ron Moss, Musician’s Services: roncmoss@gmail.com +1 213 760 9781. 

Tickets are $18 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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Oct
7
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol: Faye Sings the Blues

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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Oct
6
8:00 PM20:00

Adrienne Shamszad

Adrienne Shamszad.jpeg

Adrienne Shamszad is a singer-songwriter known for her special blend of Americana and Persian classical music. Adrienne is an Oakland, California native of Persian heritage who has traveled extensively, studying theater, music and dance throughout Asia, India and the Middle East. Her mission is clear: to weave together the threads of her study and creativity into an original musical fabric that moves and inspires her audiences.  

Adrienne's lyrics are poetic, intimate, genuine and inspired by the mystic Poets of Iran as much as the folk poet-songwriters of the '60s and '70s. Her strong and soulful voice, skillful and complex guitar work and bold performance style have made her a popular performer for well over a decade. Her musical range extends from the sacred to the profane, the mystical to the earthy, the lofty to the down-low, and she is equally at home with acoustic or electric, improvisation, singing gospel, Indian mantras, rock and roll, rhythm and blues and Persian classics.

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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Sep
30
7:00 PM19:00

Ray Bierl

Ray Bierl.jpg

For well on to six decades, Ray Bierl has performed music from across the broad American landscape. Drawing on a wide range of musical genres and styles - cowboy ballads, Appalachian fiddle tunes, traditional folk songs, vintage rock & roll hits, Tin Pan Alley songs and country classics - Ray delivers in the songs he sings a travelog not just of places, but of time, human emotions, and imagination. And he plays a pretty mean fiddle too.

 "No one knows how to weave you into a song quite like Ray Bierl."  - Tom Waits

 "Every song Ray chooses becomes his own, fresh and personal. He's a great storyteller." - Laurie Lewis

 "Ray Bierl not only knows how to make a song his own - he knows how to make it yours." - Chuck Poling

Ray's new album, Solo Ray-Easy Street, features thirteen great songs, old and not-so-old, from near and far, sung in an intimate and engaging style with simple yet compelling guitar accompaniment.

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. 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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