To the River 

Jazz vocals in the sunlight

9/11 - 9/12

It's Saturday afternoon, and vocalist Nicholas Bearde is kicking it at Grooveyard Records in North Oakland. Surrounded by vintage vinyl, he speaks admiringly about his recent European tour with Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, of which he has been a member since 1986: "The Bobby McFerrin gig has taken me around the world. It's completely improvised. We never rehearse anything. We walk on stage with blank slates and jam for two hours." But right now Bearde is excited by his latest album All About Love. "All About Love is a combination of jazz and R&B," he continues. "Seven songs are originals of mine, and five are some of my most cherished covers. It's a potpourri of things I love to do and needed to get out."

Bearde has lived in the East Bay since the 1970s, and stepped out as a solo artist in 1999 with his CD, Crossing the Line. This Sunday at Jazz on the River at Johnson's Beach in Guerneville, alongside headliners Chaka Khan and Michael Franks, Bearde wraps his warm tenor around Donny Hathaway's "Tryin' Times," John Coltrane's "Naima," and jazz ballads like "Moonlight in Vermont." The strong, soulful, jazzy vocals begin at 11 a.m. Info: 510-655-9471 or -- Jesse "Chuy" Varela

Sat 9/11

Not Fishy

Bonin' in the basement

Say what you will about Fishbone. You may think the band is touring way past its prime, but eyewitness reports from as recently as 2001 say it can still bring the funk, punk, and ska to live heights that no one else can touch. The version coming to Blake's on Telegraph this Saturday night features the face of the 'bone, singer, sax, and theremin player and all-around madman Angelo Moore, plus original bassist and songwriter Norwood Fisher. Sure, Fish is gone, but the current lineup is filled out by Suicidal Tendencies' Rocky George, solid session players like keyboardist Deandre Gibson (Eek-a-Mouse), guitarist Tory Ruffin (Morris Day and the Time), and others. Chances are the basement at 2367 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, will be a sweaty-ass boneyard by the time the band is through. Audio Agency opens the show at 9:30 p.m. or so, and tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. 510-848-0886. Go tell yer Ma and Pa about it, Cholly. -- Stefanie Kalem

Sun 9/12

Wang-dang doodle at Danny's

Republicans will boycott, neighbors will moan, and voters without ticket money will have to stay home, but this weekend's Sunday in the Park Without George is sure to be one of the season's biggest ballyhoos -- a conjunction of well-heeled liberals and entertainers to raise money for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Will Durst head the bill Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Coventry Grove, Danny Scher's private-residence backyard amphitheater in Kensington, with exhortations from members. Alas, tickets are $250-$1,000. Info: 510-238-8702. -- Kelly Vance

9/11 - 9/12

Lamborghini in a box

Not so easy to assemble

Automotive enthusiasts who build replicas of fabulous sports cars from kits -- or from scratch, in a few cases -- have a few advantages the owners of the original cars don't, including stereo sound systems, air-conditioning, and power steering and brakes. But all the replicas and unique vehicles (most made of fiberglass) in this weekend's Handcrafted Automobile Concourse at the San Leandro Marina -- the Cobras, Austin Healeys, Mercedes 500Ks, Jaguar SS-100s -- reflect the hobbyist's desire to build that glorious ride from the ground up. The event, sponsored by the Northern California Kit Car Club, happens Saturday and Sunday. $3 donation. Info: -- Kelly Vance


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