Sirak Tegbaru leads young members of Oakland’s Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church in an unusual extracurricular activity: a traditional Ethiopian jazz band. The young musicians, ranging in age from 10 to 15, had their first performance on Sunday, at Rasela’s Jazz Club in San Francisco’s Filmore district.
Since he was kid, Dvondre Woodards has gone by another name, Pooka. Given to him by his grandmother, the name stuck, be it with friends, family, and even teachers. It doesn’t have any meaning as far as 22-year-old Woodards knows. “It’s just unique. So I’m making my own definition of it,” he said.
Meet Los Cenzontles, a Mexican folk band and musical academy based in San Pablo, California. To say that this group’s sound is eclectic would be an understatement. Their sound ranges from Tejano music to classic rock to re-imaginings of traditional Mexican musical genres such as the boleros, corridos, rancheras and the Son Jarocho.
In our latest installment of Bandwidth, we introduce you to Drop Apollo, a 5-piece indie rock band that been playing shows around the Bay Area for little more than a year. The band’s sound can be best described as a mixture of soul, R&B and modern rock.
Meet The 21st Century, a a eight-piece indie pop band from Oakland, who released their first album “The City” earlier this month at The Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco. A fan-funded endeavor several years and $11,000 in the making, the album features catchy harmonies relating the challenges of youth, adulthood, dating and everyday hardship.
Oakland singer/songwriter Alexa Weber-Morales sat down with Oakland North to discuss her new album, “I Wanna Work For You.” The album consists of 10 original songs which range from jazz to salsa and across multiple languages.
Oakland North caught up with The California Honeydrops to talk about their unique soulful gospel, second line New Orleans-style second line jazz, blues, swing and R&B sound, how they got their start playing at BART stations, and to confess that they love Oakland.
Oakland residents John Morgan and John Boomer graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009. A few months later, they faced a decision: make some quick cash, or move back home. On a lark, Morgan wheeled a full-size piano out to Macarthur BART station, sat down, and played.
Brother and sister Sarah Lynn and Aaron Goeth were raised on church service and bar music while growing up in San Antonio, Texas. Now living in Oakland, the ginger-haired duo have been playing as Aquarena Springs, a country, honky-tonk band that incorporates the ukelele, drums, bass, melodica and keyboard.