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Celebrating the Blues, Janis Joplin, Comedy Noir

CELEBRATING THE BLUES. For the 18th time, blues fans will flock to the Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival in downtown Hayward at City Hall Plaza, 777 B Street in Hayward this weekend, July 8-9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Presented by the West Coast Blues Society (WCBS) and the City of Hayward, the Southern Style Blues line-up features Little Ed and The Blues Imperials and Grady Champion along with King Fish, Little Jimmy Reed, The Russell City Blues Divas, The Kimbrough Brothers, Willie Cobbs, Marcus Cartwright, Carla Robinson, Southern Soul Review, Caravan of All Stars, and many more.

As the story goes according to the WCBS, Russell City was an unincorporated area of Hayward that during its heyday, was a community known for its clubs with dirt floors, bootleg electricity, and a steady stream of musicians playing a unique style of Delta Blues. The small community included African-American’s who migrated from the deep south and included many blues musicians.

“West Coast Blues music eventually influenced the traditional sound when horns replaced the harmonica and West Coast Blues was born. Russell City is a landmark on the map of America’s contributions to world culture giving Hayward a unique musical legacy reflecting the African-American experience,” notes

The Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival celebrates the history, music and culture found in Russell City and Hayward during the post war years from the 40’s through the 60’s. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate or online. Call 510-472-8800 or visit

ENTERTAINING NOTES. Due to unprecedented ticket demand and critical acclaim, American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) announced, last week, a second and final extension of A Night with Janis Joplin at A.C.T.’s Geary Theatre at 415 Geary Street in San Francisco. Tickets are on sale through July 16 and this is great news. “It has been astonishing to watch the singers and musicians in A Night with Janis Joplin blow the roof off The Geary Theater every single night!” said Carey Perloff, A.C.T. Artistic Director. “Now San Francisco has yet another week to celebrate some of the best music in rock and blues history.” I couldn’t agree more. Starring Kacee Clanton as Joplin, the show beautifully juxtaposes her story alongside her musical inspirations with Sharon Catherine Brown, Ashley Tamar Davis, Tawny Dolley and Sylvia MacCalla portraying such icons as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bessie Smith, and more. Clanton brings Joplin to life. Summer of Love is alive and rockin’ on Geary Street. Tickets are available at the A.C.T. Box office at 415-749-2228 or at … Saxophonist Tod Dickow and Bay Area Jazz trio Charged Particles will perform a tribute to the late great Michael Brecker, multiple Grammy Award-winner and legendary tenor saxophonist. The concert is this Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m. at the Livermore Public Library, 1188 S. Livermore Avenue in Livermore. Charged Particles features Murray Low on keyboards, Aaron Germain on acoustic and electric basses, and Jon Krosnick on drums. The trio is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary as well. Call 925-373-5500 or visit

WEEKEND SCENE: The sixth annual Island Reggae Festival with UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey along with Figi, Sammy J, Three Plus, and more Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road in San Jose. Visit www.islandreggaefest.comCount Basie Orchestra Friday, Eric Roberson Saturday, Eric Roberson (6:30 p.m.), Nick Colionne (8:30 p.m.) Sunday, Summertime Blues Series Monday at Yoshi’s Jack London Square Oakland … Lucy Wainwright Roche Friday, Patty Larkin Saturday, Peppino D’Agostino and Friends Sunday, Debra Fong and Friends Monday at Freight & Salvage Berkeley … Jim Cordiss, Friday, Saturday at Zio Fraedo’s Pleasant Hill … Alex Hahn Friday, Shavon Moore Saturday, Diane Moser, Mark Dresser (4:30 p.m.), Blues Jam Session with Pamela Rose (7 p.m.) Sunday at California Jazz Conservatory Berkeley … Delta Jazz Friday-Saturday at Scottie’s Brentwood … Kurt Ribak Saturday, The Quitters Sunday at Armando’s Martinez ... Paula West through July 16 at Feinstein's at the Nikko San Francisco.

COMEDY SCENE: Comedy Noir Competition kicks off this Friday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rheem Theatre, 350 Park Street in Moraga. Slated for the first Friday of each month through November, 32 total comics will compete for the grand prize. Tickets are $15. Call 925-388-0751 or visit lamorindatheatres.comMo’Nique Friday-Saturday, Arsenio Hall July 14-15 at Tommy T’s Comedy Club Pleasanton … Gina Brillon through Sunday at The Improv San Jose … Loni Love through Saturday, Stand Up NBC Sunday San Francisco … Nick Youssef through Saturday, SF Comedy Showcase Sunday at the Punch Line San Francisco.

TAHOE SPOTLIGHT: Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling band Train Sunday at Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. Next up, Lenny Kravitz, July 14 (, 775-588-6611) … Vince Morris, David Gee through Sunday at The Improv (, 855-234-7469) …The Magic of Rob Lake through September 4 in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Tahoe (, 800-427-7247) … Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers Saturday in the MontBleu Showroom at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (, 888-829-7630) … Magic Fusion nightly at the Loft Theatre & Lounge (, 530-523-8024) … Hell’s Belles Friday, Saturday at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (, 844-588-7525).

PHOTO CAPTION: Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A Night With Janis Joplin at A.C.T


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