Little Village Foundation Presents
A Cavalcade of Stars featuring Aireene Espiritu, Aki Kumar, Chris Cain, HowellDevine, Maurice Tani, The Sons of the Soul Revivers, and Xochitl Morales
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA, 94704
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
A Cavalcade of Stars
A Cavalcade O' Stars Benefit Concert for Little Village Foundation, presenting music rooted in fascinating cultural stories yet to be discovered.
Little Village Foundation is a non-profit cultural producer and record label that searches out, discovers, records and produces American roots artists who might never be revealed to the masses. Founder Jim Pugh scours all corners of the country searching for obscure artists to bring from their local communities out to the world.
Aireene is a singer/songwriter based in Oakland, CA, playing mostly original songs accompanied by latin/african rhythms, folk, bluegrass pickings and inspirations from gospel music - a mix of stompin', swayin', and timeless Americana.
Front man and harp player for the San Francisco Bay Area band Tip of the Top, Akarsha Aki Kumar is an ardent student of the blues and a master of the amplified Chicago blues sound.
Kumar derives his style mainly from American harp masters Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton and George Smith, among others. His own playing reflects elements of these players, blended in with a signature sound of his own.
He has shared the stage with some of the finest contemporary harmonica players alive: Rod Piazza, Lazy Lester, Gary Smith, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite and Lee Oskar. Aki Kumar's latest venture, Tip of the Top, is a collaboration with Bay Area blues veterans and has been the culmination of his journey through American roots music. The group performs vintage blues with subtle flair and a respect for the deep history of the genre. Tip of the Top can be seen performing regularly at various venues and festivals in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aki Kumar is a Seydel endorsed artist and plays Seydel 1847 Classic harmonicas at his shows. He is also a featured contributor on David Barrett's Bluesharmonica.com.
Chris Cain's jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity are a blend of his mother's Greek ancestry and his father's soulful black heritage.
"Nowadays most young blues players are Strat-wielding Stevie Ray Vaughan-a-bes. Not Chris Cain. With a voice that recalls B.B. King and a thick toned Gibson guitar sound reminiscent of Albert King, Cain is forging a unique style. With his own highly personalized songwriting, "Hall Of Shame" is a giant step in the development of one of the most compelling young bluesmen on today's scene."
-Larry Nager (syndicated Scripts-Howard music critic)
HowellDevine, became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past. HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.
San Francisco native, Maurice Tani is a "rye-to-romantic" singer-songwriter with seven albums to his credit -the latest being The Lovers Card, released on the Little Village label. With his band, 77 El Deora, Tani has been the source of untold, but exquisite suffering on the Bay Area Americana scene for over 15 years.
Tani uses the term, “Supercalifornigraphic” to describe his particular flavor of Americana. While rooted in country music, Tani's writing is centered on a West Coast perspective. “Though much of my material is based on fictional characters and situations, I still write what I know. I'm not particularly comfortable or interested in the rural imagery of tractors, 4x4s or general agriculture common in much country music. What attracts me most about country is the story telling side of it. My stories are more likely to be centered around an urban experience. I'm a Californian from a large metropolitan area and I write about the things that hold my attention. I think of these songs as a sort of cinema for the blind. Short musical narratives of life on the left coast.”
The Sons of the Soul Revivers
Mainstream audiences don’t get to hear traditional gospel quartets very often, if ever.
“When we sing, people say, ‘I felt something,’ and they wonder what it is,” says the Sons’ Dwayne Morgan. “We tell them that some people call it energy, but we call it the Holy Spirit. And it moves. It touches people’s hearts.”
Dwayne, 45, and his older brothers, James Morgan, 50, and Walter Morgan Jr., 55, form the vocal core of the group. They’ve been singing together in church since they were kids. Walter Jr. founded the Sons in 1970 to continue the quartet tradition that the brothers’ father, Walter Sr., and his brothers started with the original Soul Revivers.
“Quartets are down home with a groove that’s out of this world,” Morgan says. “When you get a good, driving fast song and that beat locks in, oh, my goodness, you can’t help but skip.”
$18 ADV / $22 DOOR (plus fees)
All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.
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