top of page

Fifty Years of Joy! Joy! Joy!

An International Christmas at Ascension Cathedral

One of the joys of the season is the many wonderful musical offerings to embrace. On Friday, December 6, the Ascension Liturgical Choir presents its annual holiday concert “An International Christmas” for the 50th time.

Held at the award winning Ascension Cathedral in the Oakland hills, the location is also home of the East Bay treasured Oakland Greek Festival. What makes this year’s concert uniquely special and personal for yours truly is that the concert will include a “tipping of the holiday hat” to Perry Phillips, my late father who has also shared this space on occasion.

The former Night Club editor of the Oakland Tribune conceived the concert 50 years ago as a gift to the Bay Area music scene and its music lovers. The free concert welcomed the greater Bay Area to hear many fine local musicians and friends of Perry as well as Ascension. While he passed on in 1991, the concert continued and this year is no exception, as an evening of “joy” is in store. He would be thrilled!

Oakland School for the Arts Chamber Choir

Joining the choir will be the Oakland School for the Arts Chamber Choir, the Kairos Youth Choir, and the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, the second oldest youth orchestra in the country. The concert is under the baton and leadership of conductor Laura Kakis Serper with many special guests as well.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. to the sounds of holiday music and the concert begins at 8 p.m. There is plenty of free parking in the Parking Pavilion and a free-will offering will be offered. Ascension Cathedral is located at 4700 Lincoln Avenue, next to the Mormon Temple. For more details, call 510-531-3400 or visit

RESTAURANT BITES. This past October, I reported on the annual Halloween transformation at the Fat Lady Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square. Well there is no resting on any laurels happening here

because owner Patricia Rossi and team are at it again. The restaurant has transformed into the holiday theme of “The 13 Yule Lads of Icelandic Christmas.” Rossi doesn’t disappoint with their elaborate decorations. The Fat Lady is open for lunch and dinner along with Saturday and Sunday Brunch. Located at 201 Washington Street at the corner of 2nd Street, there is plenty of parking across the street at the Jack London Square parking garage. Call 510-405-4996 or visit for reservations …Over in San Ramon, City Center Bishop Ranch is still growing with Bamboo Sushi its latest addition. The Portland-based restaurant opened this first California location on Monday with a menu dedicated to sustainability. “Today consumers are increasingly mindful of the sourcing of the food they eat,” said Kristofor Lofgren, founder and chief executive officer of Bamboo Sushi. “Our commitment to sustainability enables us to produce healthful and delicious food without compromising future generations’ abilities to do so.” The restaurant serves a menu of signature sushi rolls, poke, traditional nigiri and Japanese inspired shared plates, salads, and meat dishes as well as a unique cocktail program, an extensive sake selection, and a regionally focused wine and beer selection. Bamboo Sushi is open for lunch and dinner Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday to 10 p.m. with a Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Visit for more details.

WEEKEND SCENE. Carlos Reyes Thursday, David Benoit Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown with Sara

David Benoit and Sara Gazarek

Gazarek Friday, Roy Ayers Saturday- Sunday at Yoshi’s Jack London Square Oakland, yoshis.comStu Allen and Mars Hotel Friday, Byrds of a Feather, Trios Caminos Saturday, Soul Sanctuary Dance, Community DRUMMM Circle, BandWords Awards Show Sunday at Ashkenaz Berkeley, www.ashkenaz.comJim Cordiss Friday, Saturday at Zio Fraedo’s Pleasant Hill, www.ziofraedos.comCarlos Mencia Friday- Sunday, Kabir Kabeezy Singh Holiday Toys For Tots Wednesday at Tommy T’s Comedy Club Pleasanton, tommyts.comMichael Feinstein – Home for the Holidays Thursday-Sunday, Feinstein’s at the Nikko San Francisco,

TAHOE SPOTLIGHT. TAHOE ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL. This fun high-energy festival promises to fuel your passion for action and ignite your senses as the best adventure sports films of the year showcase the action sports world best talent. All of the films are specially selected to fit the festival’s fast-paced format. Slated for this Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the MontBleu Showroom at the MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa at Southshore, TAFF also includes guest speakers, action photo displays, break-dancers, DJs, and surprises ( This year the festival has partnered with the Sierra Avalanche Center to host the biggest raffle of the year as it features such prizes as season passes, heli-ski trips, and plenty of gear and swag. Tickets start at $28 in advance with reserved seating available. For more information and tickets, call 888-829-7630 or visit or

Back with you again Thursday, December 19th with Frosene’s annual Christmas column.


bottom of page