Home Boys 

...and girls, from Hayward


Everybody knows that the East Bay is a hotbed of athletic achievement, but how many big-time sports stars can you name from Hayward? The Hayward Area Historical Society can name a lot -- from baseball players Ed Sprague, Mike Young, and Bud Harrelson to boxers Max Baer and Dick Sadler to roller derby queen Big Joanie Weston of the Bay Area Bombers. They and many more famous and unknown athletes -- like 1950s-era boxer Joe Blasquez -- finally get their due in Root for the Home Team: Sports in the Hayward Area, a special exhibit on display through September 13 at the society's museum in downtown Hayward. Baseball, football, wrestling, boxing, tennis, golf, fishing, archery -- they're all there in a collection of photos, archival material, and memorabilia. On July 31, Dr. Henry Reichman of Cal State Hayward talks about "Baseball's History in the East Bay." The Hayward Area Historical Society Museum is at 22701 Main St., and it's open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is only $1 for adults. For more info, call 510-581-0223 or visit Haywardareahistory.org -- Kelly Vance


Russell City Roots

Russell City, a small, unincorporated community in the West Wenton Road area of Hayward, was once a thriving African-American enclave, a place where blues clubs presented such legendary acts as John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Big Mama Thornton, and Big Joe Turner. Those days are long gone, but Ronnie Stewart and his Bay Area Blues Society are determined to keep the music rocking, and this weekend's fourth annual Hayward Russell City Blues Festival is back doing what it does best. The fest kicks off Saturday with guitarist Michael Burks and Guitar Shorty, musical comedian Chick Willis, guitarist Chris Cain, blues harp player Paul Delay and his band, and John Lee Hooker Jr. Sunday's lineup includes Hubert Sumlin, New Orleans' Mem Shannon, singer Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums. And don't forget the barbecue. Tickets cost $15 advance from Tickets.com or $20 at the gate. For more information, visit BayAreaBluesSociety.net -- Kelly Vance


Art on the Run

Say what you will about Emeryville's rampant development and traffic congestion -- it's made a place for art amid all that spiffy concrete and glass. Three new temporary public artworks have just been installed around town: Seyed Alavi 's "wrap" piece Un-Covering at City Hall (1333 Park Ave.); a sculpture, Water Birds, by Pamela Blotner in Christie Avenue Park; and Andy Cao 's Dancing Spirits, cocoons of filament spinning in the wind at Point Emery. See them before next January 31. There are some forty other permanent public art pieces scattered throughout E'ville. -- Kelly Vance

WED 7/9

Scientific Set

We don't have a lot of space here, so listen up: múm. Mogwai. Boards of Canada. Tortoise. Do I have your attention? Because San Diego's Aspects of Physics are worth far more than their weight in print if you like your electronica textured and luminescent. The band plays Wednesday at the Ramp (2236 Parker St., Berkeley) with Saxon Shore and Map. $6; doors at 6:30 p.m. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 7/13

Benny in the Grove

Backyard jazz in the Berkeley hills

Jazz pianist Benny Green sounds classy in any setting, but this one is unique: Sunday afternoon, he plays a benefit for the new Jazzschool Foundation in Coventry Grove, a lushly forested private backyard amphitheater high in the Berkeley Hills, his post-bop musings surrounded by greenery. The event is fairly exclusive, limited to just 250 jazz lovers with big wallets, since the tickets are $125 (tax deductible), for an important cause: jazz education. Green, one of the most heralded graduates of the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble program, joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers when he was eighteen, and has worked with vocal great Betty Carter as well as Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and the Ray Brown Trio, before leading his own groups and recording a series of albums for the Blue Note label.

On Sunday he plays solo, as well as duos and trios with Jeff Chambers, Harold Jones, and Jamie Davis, and at least two "surprise guests" whose other Bay Area appearances prevent their names being released before the concert. The nonprofit Jazzschool Foundation (true believers in the music-education vision of Jazzschool founder and director Susan Muscarella) has also coaxed Muscarella into playing a piano duet or two with Green, something she rarely does these days, since she's too busy turning her dream of a school for jazz into a reality. She recently added Dave Brubeck to her advisory board.

Jazz at Coventry Grove begins at 3 p.m. with wine, hors d'oeuvres, and sweets. Green plays at 4 p.m. For further info and reservations: 510-845-5373 or JazzSchool.com-- Larry Kelp


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