music in the park san jose

.Calendar Picks: Week of Mar. 14-20

music in the park san jose




Barely into his 30s, Zack Fox has already had about eight careers. He started as Twitter meme lord “Bootymath” and has since branched out into stand-up comedy, rap, illustration and a recurring role in Abbott Elementary. He illustrated an album sleeve for Thundercat, wrote and acted in Flying Lotus’ horror-comedy movie Kuso, and invented the “Bootymath blunt” (eight Skittles wrapped in a slice of ham). In performance, Fox amps up all the qualities his fans love about his creative style; he’s immersive, unhinged and joyful. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 8pm, Crybaby, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $22 – $27.




It’s hard to pinpoint which genre to put the Jennifer Hartswick Band in. The soulful singer and trumpeter is deeply steeped in jazz, but when she plays with an all-star band, the results are soul, rock and even elements of funk, which isn’t surprising when looking into Hartswick’s career. The Vermont native was an original member of the Trey Anastasio Band and has also collaborated with the late Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones, Herbie Hancock, Aaron Neville, Christian McBride—who also plays bass on Hartswick’s sophomore album, Something in the Water—and more. Toubab Krewe opens, blending rock, international folk and traditional African music into heavy and heady jams. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $21/adv, $26/door. 510.214.8600.




Paul Simon fans know that the spirit and rhythms of South African street music fueled the singer-songwriter’s 1986 album Graceland, but how many know the names of the musicians who harmonize on those iconic tracks? Founded in 1960 and led by Joseph Shabalala, the South African male vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo played an enormous role in creating Simon’s Grammy-winning album. Their expertise with traditional styles like isicathamiya —derived from the Zulu word for walking softly—and mbube led Nelson Mandela to pronounce them “South Africa’s Cultural Ambassadors.” Now celebrating 64 years, the group sings on under the leadership of Shabalala’s sons. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Friday and Saturday, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $52/adv, $57/door. 510.644.2020.




Bassist Pablo Menares, drummer Rodrigo Recabarren and pianist Yago Vazquez make up a jazz dream team. The trio bonded in the ’90s as Spanish-speaking immigrants with a love of music in New York City. Menares and Recabarren brought the Chilean influence, while Vazquez supplied melodies from his home of Galicia in northern Spain. Their 2017 debut album, Desde La Lluvia, met with heaps of praise, winning the 2018 Martin Codax Music Award and extending the group’s reach to worldwide audiences. Their latest album, Familia, celebrates all the sounds that shaped them, from South America to Europe. – AM

INFO: 7:30pm, The Sound Room, 3022 Broadway, Oakland. $25. 510.708.7691.




When indie sleaze-rock duo Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince first formed the Kills, neither one thought it would still be putting out music 23 years later. Not only are they still creating, they are thriving. Their sixth studio release, God Games, is 12 tracks that find the Kills at the top of their game, homing in on tones and pitches for a bluesy, punk-influenced sound that punches life into the bloated corpse of rock music. Their live show is raw, with Hince and Mosshart baring their souls onstage, laughing when it hits perfectly, starting over if it’s not up to their standards. If anyone is keeping rock dangerous, it’s the Kills. – MW

INFO: 8pm, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $45 – $55. 510.302.2250.




With a light breakfast, gourmet catered lunch, book signings, meet-and-greets, raffles, swag bags and a bumper crop of impressive, mostly BIPOC women writers, what’s not to like? The lineup this year includes Ingrid Rojas Contreras (The Man Who Could Move Clouds, a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Oakland’s Dorothy Lazard (What You Don’t Know Will Make a Whole New World), National Bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama (The Brightest Star, Dreaming Water) and Independent Press-winner Irene Sardanis (Connections, Out of the Bronx). Each writer offers a presentation, and yes, attendees can have books purchased at the onsite bookstore autographed “to my favorite reader” or “for Aunt Josie” or any other personalized message. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 8:45am, DoubleTree by Hilton, 200 Marina Blvd., Berkeley. $120. 510.848.6370.




With his light, rounded tone and bountiful technique, guitarist Lee Ritenour thrives at the intersection of straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz and instrumental pop. Whatever idiom he’s working in, Ritenour puts a premium on lyricism, phrasing with the melodic assurance of a crooner. Ritenour returns to Yoshi’s with his longtime collaborator, pianist Dave Grusin. At 89, he’s a legend with a track record of successes that would satisfy anyone. Grusin is also the co-founder of the pioneering digital label GRP and a prolific, Academy Award-winning Hollywood composer who wrote memorable scores for The Graduate, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Three Days of the Condor, Tootsie and The Firm, among many others. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $39. 510.238.9200.




Pioneers of West Coast punk rock, the Zeros (a.k.a. the “Mexican Ramones”) developed a straightforward, high-energy style that has continued to influence DIY punk. Their songs are markedly to the point, with aggressive, catchy melodies and concise, urgent lyrics, favoring stripped-down intensity over elaborate instrumentation and frilly riffs. Members Robert Lopez (a.k.a. El Vez, the “Mexican Elvis”), Javier Escovedo, Hector Penalosa, and Baba Chenelle are bringing that energy to the Ivy Room, joined by Hot Laundry, Garras Sucias and Lost Puppy Forever. – SBB

INFO: 5pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $15/adv, $18/door. 510.526.5888.




In a landscape where capitalism rules and the mantra is commerce-is-all, there’s a need for a film that pairs up a road trip with a rom-com and arrives with a spicy, intriguing title like this one. RocketJump’s first feature film hits the pavement running with a wound-up EMT and a beekeeper transported cross-country by an enormous tentacle. Expect trouble—and laughs, love and all that other creepy good stuff the creators of Dungeons and Daddies do so well. Writers/directors Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold will be around to discuss We’re All Gonna Die and other pivotal experiences they “ran into” while making action comedy short films. – LF

INFO: 7pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Free. 510.214.8600.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition
music in the park san jose