music in the park san jose

.Calendar Picks: Week of Jan. 25-31

music in the park san jose




If a lover who had promised to respect your flashy, fleshy privacy spied on you while you were bathing, who wouldn’t want to become a dragon and fly away like the French mythological Melusine, who was half-woman and half-serpent? That’s the provocative theme for songstress and composer Cecile McLorin Salvant’s latest album, Melusine. Salvant graces the stage this week with her jazz-infused smoky tones and commanding, multilayered presence, singing primarily in French, along with Occitan, English and Haitian Creole. Every song tells its haunting, spectral, noble, joyful, fiery or upbeat story through sublime sound emitted by one of today’s most intriguing enchantresses. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 7:30pm, Zellerbach Hall, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley. $42 – $108. 510.642.9988.




Jules Leyhe might look like your everyday, average, unassuming guy, but he’s one of the world’s foremost blues slide-guitar players—so much so that even Premier Guitar magazine called his music “the best blues slide licks since Derek Trucks, maybe even Duane Allman.” Those might sound like some big boots, but this Oakland native not only fills them, he wears them out and has to order new ones. This year, he is showcasing a new blues series at the Sound Room, where Leyhe and his Family Jules Blues Blowout will be joined by local blues players from around the Bay each month. This month, they’re joined by singer, songwriter and saxophonist Nancy Wright. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 7:30pm, The Sound Room, 3022 Broadway, Oakland. $25. 510.708.9691. 




Since their 2008 inception in Las Vegas, the Delta Bombers have defied expectations. A glance at pictures of the furiously tattooed band might lead one to anticipate a heavy metal sound, but with Chris Moinichen’s mournful country drawl at the forefront, the band falls into a kind of “hard” rockabilly realm. Their latest album, Neon Sounds, is a triumph of bluesy storytelling set in their favorite desert haunts. “We listen to Cypress Hill and Johnny Cash. The Beatles, Sam Cooke and Hank Williams; why not try to incorporate all of that into our sound and make people dance?” says guitarist Andrew Himmler. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $23/adv, $25/door. 510.214.8600.




A nighttime shipwreck in 1912 from which roughly 700 people escaped included six survivors who were Chinese men. Arriving in New York with the other survivors of the tragic Titanic event, their noble stories became skewed and spoiled by speculation and slanderous suspicion. Their histories were seemingly lost until a team of researchers and film writers dove into the fraught mystery and brought it to the surface. Following a film screening of The Six, co-creator Steven Schwankert and nonprofit consultant Grant Din will discuss what was discovered about the six surviving Chinese passengers of the Titanic and examine the anti-immigrant policies and sentiment that continues more than 100 years later. – LF

INFO: 7pm, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St. #290, Oakland. Free. 510.637.0455.




Slick Rick is a foundational hip-hop artist. His track, “La Di Da Di,” is one of the most sampled in history, and he was one of the first rappers to be covered when Snoop Dogg rapped part of “La Di Da Di” on his track, “Lodi Dodi.” The English-American rapper and producer is known as one of hip-hop’s greatest storytellers, who brought narrative art into hip-hop in the ’80s with story raps that incorporated different characters, arcs, goofy humor and the odd X-rated detail. Slick Rick’s releasing his first album in 21 years and going on tour to celebrate hits old and new. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 9pm, New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $30. 510.227.8177.




October London almost didn’t call his soulful R&B album The Rebirth of Marvin—those are big shoes to fill—but his mentor and label head at Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg, talked him into it. Snoop was right, and the title landed well. London’s velvety vocals and clean falsetto successfully wrap his music in Marvin Gaye vibes without sounding like a copycat, and his single “Back to Your Place” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Adult R&B Airplay chart. London, originally from South Bend, Indiana, is kicking off 2024 with The Rebirth of Marvin Tour, supported by fellow rising acts J. Brown and the Shindellas. – SB

INFO: 8pm, The UC Theater, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $62. 510.356.4000.




Is there a better duo in the entertainment world than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? The SNL vets have been friends for 30 years and collaborated as writers and co stars in some of the greatest comedies of all time, including Mean Girls and Baby Mama. They are now on the road with Restless Leg, their first live tour together, combining their signature witty banter, brilliant improv and zany sensibilities. The comedic geniuses may just have hit their absolute peak. “If this tour goes right,” they say, “we can finally end this friendship!” The duo performs on Saturday and Sunday. – AM  

INFO: 4pm, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. $85 – $255. 510.893.2300.




English drummer Simon Phillips earned renown by providing a high-octane injection of power and finesse into acts as diverse as Judas Priest, the Who, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger and Toto. He’s proved equally adept at providing rhythmic inspiration for jazz artists like Al Di Meola, Hiromi and Stanley Clarke. The skilled producer and composer’s talents have converged in Simon Phillips’ Protocol V, a quintet featuring electric bassist Ernest Tibbs, saxophonist Jacob Scesney, guitarist Alex Sill and Venezuelan-born keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz—a commanding player who’s toured and recorded with masters such as John McLaughlin, Dianne Reeves and Brian Bromberg. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 8pm Tuesday, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $36 – $79. 510.238.9200.




One of the most amazing things about music is how malleable it is. With each new generation it changes, never settling to remain classified as just “this” or “that.” When music and art come to a crossroads, the results are often only as limited as the creator’s imagination. That’s where Grex enters the conversation. The Oakland-based duo builds a unique sound for themselves using an amalgamation of rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop and the avant-garde. The result is a dissection of experimental songs across the musical spectrum, from intricately built movements to spoken-word manifestos on top of free-form bass and electronic static. If there ever was a new type of music for the beautiful, confused nihilism of the 21st century, Grex is it. – MW

INFO: 8pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $12/adv, $15/door. 510.526.5888.


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music in the park san jose
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