.Calendar Picks: Week of Apr. 11-17




Drum Tao is a mixture of traditional taiko drumming and high drama performed by 40 performers with acrobatic pedigree. The drums, which come in every size, emanate rhythms and timbres reminiscent of not only the human heartbeat but tumbling rocks, crashing thunder, a giant’s footsteps—even the lightest spring rain falling on fresh grass. Played with incredible skill, finesse and full-body gestures, these men—and a few women—in skirts never sounded or looked so good. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 7:30pm, UC Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley. $43 – $106. 510.642.9988.




Long before Katy Perry sang “I kissed a girl, and I liked it,” Jill Sobule had massive success with “I Kissed a Girl,” off the Denver-born singer-songwriter’s self-titled second album. It became a surprise radio hit, catapulting Sobule to the upper echelons of ’90s women like Alanis Morissette and Lisa Loeb writing personal, narrative-driven songs. Sobule has continued churning out work that merges comedy and political consciousness to take on everything from the death penalty to anorexia and LGBTQ+ issues. Tracy Bonham, a classically trained violinist turned alt-rock songwriter, joins her for a night sure to bring laughter and tears. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $20/adv, $25/door. 510.526.5888.




Jeremy Pelt is a prodigious trumpeter who has released some two dozen albums as a leader and appeared on another five dozen as a sideman. Embracing his role as an established veteran, he’s mentoring younger players while sharing wisdom from older cats in his book Griot: Examining the Lives of Jazz’s Great Storytellers. Pelt plays the intimate Rendon Hall with an all-star faculty cast featuring Venezuelan-born piano maestro Edward Simon, bassist Jeff Denson and drummer Gerald Cleaver, who’s featured Pelt on several excellent albums, including the 2019 Live at Firehouse 12. The two-night run, and Saturday afternoon masterclass, is part of the school’s energy bar-supported JAMBAR series, bringing some of jazz’s most celebrated artists to the campus. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 8pm, Jazz Conservatory, 2040 Addison St., Berkeley. $45. 510.845.5373




Who says science and politics can’t be catchy and fun? Not Chad Matheny, a.k.a. Emperor X. The prolific musician started writing music at the age of nine when his grandparents gave him a Casio. His songs are poppy and catchy, even when they are about medical debt, radiation cats (look it up) or not thinking about that girl who dumped him while writing a whole song telling himself not to think about her in some Dantesque level of Hell. Oh, and he’s also famous for hiding rare, physical copies of his releases in a worldwide geocache scavenger hunt. Science, politics, fun. What else to expect from someone who dropped his master’s degree in physics to pursue catchy tunes? – MAT WEIR

INFO: 7pm, Gilman, 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. $15. 524-8180.




Lifting the heavy baggage of her ancestral past, Magree addresses her complex identity and tells the story of a road trip to disperse her mother’s cremains. Magee identifies as Metís (French/Indigenous) and has ancestors currently living on and around the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Other promises an irreverent romp for “dysfunctionals, genealogists, historians, truth-tellers, survivors, social activists and anyone who loves their family even though …” Content advisories mention topics related to sexual abuse and genocidal practices waged against Indigenous people, while Magee’s background as a registered nurse and experience presenting theater in prisons, homeless shelters and recovery houses underscores the sensitivity and humanity she brings to the weighty topics. – LF

INFO: 5pm, The Marsh, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. $20 – $100. 510.282.3055.




The Qamp project, now in its third year, involves 20 of the Bay Area’s most talented musicians camping out in the studio for a weekend to create a full-length album from scratch. With no prep or prior collaboration, the album comes together entirely through the chaotic and communal spirit of a hyper-condensed summer camp. The happy accidents and unrestrained experimentation that come out of the three-day process have created experimental but surprisingly cohesive albums. Now, a new group of artists, including Casey Cope, Marquito, Qing Qi, Marika Sage and Rittybo, are celebrating the release of Qamp 3 at Cornerstone. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 9pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $16/adv, $20/door. 510.214.8600.




After listening to Fox and Bones—the folk-pop rock duo Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore—it might not be surprising that they hail from the city of Portland. Their whimsically down-to-earth attire perfectly matches a neo-folk sound that fits comfortably in a vinyl collection alongside Nathaniel Rateliff, Shovels & Rope and the Dead South. Fox and Bones have shared international stages with greats like ZZ Ward and won several awards, including first place for songwriting at the 2023 Tucson Folk Festival. Always looking to build something new, this adventurous duo also founded the annual three-night Portland Folk Festival. Suffice it to say, Fox and Bones lives and breathes folk, and that’s no lore. – MW

INFO: 7pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. $20. 510.654.3808.




New York City-based group Flor de Toloache creates mariachi fusion music from a “fiercely feminist mosaic of genres.” Mariachi’s history and range are expansive, having reached throughout South America and the U.S., and the all-female group carries the genre even further, incorporating members and sounds from across Latin America and the world. The three-time Grammy-nominated and Latin Grammy-winning group performs both rebellious originals and reimaginings of mariachi classics, fusing Mexican folk music with pop, jazz, Afrobeat and classical. – SBB

INFO: 8pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $30. 510.644.2020.




Shannon Curtis asks what’s currently on a billion minds: How will empathetic people survive? How do we rescue our overburdened spirits from disasters like fascism and climate collapse? While many twiddle their thumbs, dumbfounded by these impossible quandaries, Curtis created a genre-defying synthpop performance piece called Good to Me. The Bay Area debut of the show at Yoshi’s promises to bring joy even as Curtis stares down the worst the world has to offer. “If you’ve been feeling like your tank is a little low,” she says, “this show is for you.” – AM 

INFO: 8pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $25 – $35. 510.238.9200.


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