News Column

Weekend Top 10: Art + Soul brings Pacific Mambo Orchestra to Oakland

August 1, 2014

By Randy McMullen, Contra Costa Times



Aug. 01--1 ART + SOUL OAKLAND: The annual festival used to drum up an almost dizzying mix of American roots music and contemporary hipster acts. This year, the lineup seems more old-school Oakland, with an emphasis on Bay Area blues, Latin (including the Grammy-winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra), funk, gospel, R&B and hip-hop -- and that's a good thing. Of course, the event also features lots of art, activities for kids, dancing, and food and drink.

Details: Noon-6 p.m.Aug. 2-3; Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and City Center, Oakland; $7-$10; www.artandsouloakland.com.

2 DIONNE WARWICK: OK, let's get the obvious jokes out of the way about whether Dionne Warwick still knows the way to San Jose or, of not, if she could use the Psychic Friends Network to help her find it. Then let's give props to the singer for having one of the more regal instruments in popular music history. She will be performing with the San Jose State University Choraliers and other musical groups at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 1 as part of the Sister Cities International Annual Conference and Youth Leadership Summit.

Details: 8 p.m.; $45-$100; www.dionnewarwicksanjose.com.

3 MEX I AM FESTIVAL: The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Mexican Consulate are hosting this extraordinary series of performances, film screenings, exhibits and presentations touching on a wide range of Mexican arts, science, history and culture. Among the Bay Areans taking part are East Bay singer Diana Gameros and Oakland visual artist Favianna Rodriguez.

Details: Through Aug. 3 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Contemporary Jewish Museum; $15-$25; www.ybca.org.

4 STANFORD LIVE: The performance series offers up two tempting shows in the next week. On Aug. 2, the terrific singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin takes the stage. On Aug. 6, up-and-coming Latin/classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic performs in support of his latest album, "Aranjuez."

Details: Both concerts are at 7:30 p.m. at Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University; Colvin, $15-$60; Karadaglic, $15-$45; http://live.stanford.edu.

5 CHRIS O'CONNELL AND THE SMARTALECKS: O'Connell, the Grammy-winning Bay Area singer and guitarist, is best known as a onetime member of the famed Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel. On Aug. 2, she brings her current band, which deals in everything from swing to blues, jazz and country, to Martinez nightclub Armando's.

Details: 8 p.m.; $15; http://armandosmartinez.com.

6 "NIGHT OF THE IGUANA": Is it just me or does it seem that summer is the time to see a Tennessee Williams production? San Leandro Players is staging this Williams work about a fallen priest and a diverse group of desperate characters who hole up at a cheap Mexican hotel.

Details: Through Aug. 17; San Leandro Museum auditorium; $15-$20; www.slplayers.org.

7 "THE GREAT PRETENDER": TheatreWorks in San Jose is presenting this world premiere by David West Read about a popular kiddie-show puppeteer dealing with the loss of his wife. It's a funny and heartfelt show that is very much worth seeing, but this weekend is your last chance to catch it.

Details: 8 p.m.July 31-Aug. 2, 2 p.m.Aug. 3; Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto; $25-$74; www.theatreworks.org.

8 REAL ESTATE: The Brooklyn band garnered a ton of buzz with the release of its 2011 album "Days," which drew comparisons to such guitar-heavy art-rock outfits as Yo La Tengo (high praise, indeed). Now the outfit is touring behind its March release "Atlas" and heads for San Francisco's iconic Fillmore on Aug. 1.

Details: 9 p.m.; $22.50; www.livenation.com.

9 ERIK GRIFFIN: The up-and-coming comedian might be best known for his recurring role on Comedy Central's "Workaholics," but his real rave reviews have come from standup stints on such TV shows as "Payaso Comedy Slam," "Live at Gotham" and "Last Comic Standing." You can catch him in the flesh this weekend when he holds forth at the San Jose Improv.

Details: 8 p.m.July 31- 8 and 10 p.m.Aug. 1, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.Aug. 2; $20; http://sanjose.improv.com.

10 "THE TAMING OF THE SHREW": San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's free touring production features a first-rate cast (including Tim Kniffin and Carla Pantoja as the romantic leads) and, of course, the Bard's lovely wordplay and comedic conceits. The tour continues this weekend at Cupertino'sMemorial Park Amphitheater before moving on to Redwood City and San Francisco.

Details: Schedule and other details are at www.sfshakes.org.

Contact Randy McMullen at rmcmullen@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/randymac57.

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(c)2014 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.contracostatimes.com

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Source: Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA)


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