Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

By Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Huzzah, it's the weekend! Put off your holiday shopping and check out these five awesome events happening between today and Sunday:

Toro Y Moi
In 2009, Toro Y Moi (aka Chaz Bundick) rose to fame as an exemplar of chillwave — ambient, atmospheric, borderline-lethargic pop music that’s easy to listen to. But for his third album, 2012’s Anything in Return, Bundick (who lives in Berkeley) ditched his computer in favor of instruments. At this year’s Fuck Yeah Fest in Los Angeles, the shift was evident: Bundick and his band took full command of the stage, defying the idea that chillwave is primarily bedroom music. Live, Anything in Return’s mesh of smooth R&B and funky pop sounded every bit as sensual and groovy as Toro Y Moi’s previous material, but louder and more assertive. Toro Y Moi will get the crowd dancing at The Fox Theater this week; Classixx, a duo from Los Angeles that makes glittering, sun-soaked electronic music (and perform it excellently with a full band), will start the night. Friday, Nov. 15. 8 p.m., $27.50. TheFoxOakland.comMadeleine Key

K-Ci and JoJo
Much as Sam Moore and Dave Prater did in the Sixties, Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and Joel “JoJo” Hailey draw on the Southern gospel quartet tradition for their emotive soul vocals. The Monroe, North Carolina-born brothers were half of the hit-making new jack swing group Jodeci in the Nineties, and topped the R&B charts as a duo in 1998 with “All My Life.” K-Ci sings in a raspy, back-of-the-throat low tenor reminiscent of Bobby Womack, while his younger brother answers with higher pitched cries. Their one-two punch guarantees a knockout performance. The two, who recently released My Brother’s Keeper, their first full-length album in more than a decade, open for new jack swing king Keith Sweat on Saturday’s KBLX Hot Winter Night concert at The Paramount Theatre. Saturday, Nov. 16. 7:30 p.m., $68.45-$142.80. ParamountTheatre.comLee Hildebrand

Savage Jazz dancers Evan Kharrazi and Alison Hurley.
  • Mark Kitaoka
  • Savage Jazz dancers Evan Kharrazi and Alison Hurley.

Savage Jazz Dance Company
“Jazz” is more than a musical genre to Reginald Ray-Savage, artistic director of Oakland’s Savage Jazz Dance Company. He choreographs to the pulse of the city, finding jazz in the rhythm of the streets and the energy of the people who live here. The company’s 21st season opens this weekend at Laney College Theater, with dances that offer abstract and concrete perspectives on its hometown. Designed to recognize the company’s legacy and offer a glimpse into its future, the bill includes a world premiere, along with two repertory pieces: an evocation of spiritual hope danced to a Wynton Marsalis score, and a pulsating, high-energy work set to Philip Glass’ “Meetings Along the Edge.” A longtime teacher who cultivated many of the company’s artists from their youth, Savage is also chair of the dance department at Oakland School of the Arts, whose top students will take part in the show. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16. 8 p.m., $5-$20. SavageJazz.orgClaudia Bauer

Joshua Redman Quartet
Berkeley-born bandleader, composer, and saxophonist Joshua Redman may be lining himself up for a third Grammy nomination with his new album, Walking Shadows. Backed by longtime, best-in-the-biz associates — pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Brian Blade, and bassist Larry Grenadier — Redman also employs a sweet string orchestra, which lubricates half of the album’s twelve ear-massaging, romantic tracks. Redman is the son of jazz royalty (his father, now deceased, was the outstanding saxophonist Dewey Redman), and took up the saxophone at age ten. He was a member of the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo from 1983 to 1986, but he never intended to become a full-time musician. (That changed, obviously.) His style incorporates the varied influences of The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Led Zeppelin, in addition to legendary jazz masters. Whether he’s caressing the sound of his saxophone into smoky atmospherics or blowing audiences out of their seats, Redman exhibits a technical prowess that’s impossible to mask. He’ll perform this Saturday with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson at Zellerbach Hall. Saturday, Nov. 16. 8 p.m., $22-$65. CalPerfs.Berkeley.eduLou Fancher

  • Nick Sebastian of World Wide Communications

18th Annual Crush Festival
Beer, food, and wine are basically all the essential components of a festival, and the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce’s Crush extravaganza has them all. The annual event, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, will celebrate the beginning of the wine harvesting (crush) season and showcase local businesses such as Pyramid Alehouse, KoJa Kitchen, and Urbano Cellars. Lounge in the beer garden, sip coffee from Berkeley Coffee and Tea, or get a sugar high from the cotton candy machine as you listen to live music from The Jazzschool and get your portrait drawn by student artists from California College of the Arts. The chamber is partnering with the Berkeley Food and Housing Project on the event, so feel free to bring a donation in the form of household goods like sheets and pots and pans. Sunday, Nov. 17. 3-6 p.m., $25. BerkeleyChamber.comZaineb Mohammed

Plus... Get your cheapskate on: This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Zaineb.Mohammed@EastBayExpress.com.

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