“Claudia Schmidt is a true artist-she has talent AND the fire of genius.”-The Boston Globe
Claudia Schmidt has been moving and delighting audiences of all sizes and locations (from small venues to festival stages in front of 20,000 people) for over 40 years. Her soaring vocals, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer weave a sonic outpouring that at once soothes and excites. Stories and poetry deepen the experience, and laughter and tears coexist as she radiates love, for her craft of performing, the audience in front of her, and the whole human rigamarole. She effortlessly travels from folk to jazz to Americana to comic stories & topical songs. A Claudia Schmidt concert is a journey.
“Schmidt’s shows are a lot like falling in love. You never know what’s going to happen next, chances are it’s going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory and you know you’ll never be the same again.” – Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian
“The group seamlessly careens from blues to bluegrass and rock in a way that really shouldn’t make sense but somehow does.” – The LA Times
Led by vivacious cross-over cellist Rebecca Roudman, Dirty Cello brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Dirty Cello is cello like you’ve never heard before. From down home blues with a wailing cello, to virtuosic stompin’ bluegrass, and great vocals, the band gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!
On May 20th, they’ll celebrate the release of their new album, I May Not Be Perfect. This hard working, foot-stomping, blues and bluegrass band built a recording studio from the ground up and recorded a full length album of high energy cello led music that incorporates many different genres; from China to Italy and all over the United States. Dirty Cello is led by the dynamic cellist & vocalist Rebecca Roudman, backed up by a hard rocking 4 piece band featuring Jason Eckl – guitar, Colin Williams – bass, Hannah Miller – mandolin/vocals and Anthony Petrocchi – drums.
From quirky originals to hard hitting versions of classics like Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, “Dirty Cello’s music is all over the map: funky, carnival, romantic, sexy, tangled, electric, fiercely rhythmic, and textured…..and only occasionally classical.” – Lou Fancher, Oakland Magazine.
“The band plays every style imaginable, and does some fantastic covers. (Their rendition of “Purple Haze” is incredible.) But what is most spectacular about them is hearing the depth of soul in Roudman’s playing—it goes beyond what most people would expect from the instrument. She plays it with so much heart, you’ll wonder why more bands don’t have a cellist.” Good Times Santa Cruz
“Quirky and smart, a poet with a guitar, SONiA is a master of crafting songs that make you simultaneously want to dance, sing and change the world.” –Georgia Voice, USA
SONiA (Rutstein) disappear fear delivers powerful songs of passion and hope, that challenge injustice as she performs to a devoted and always expanding fan base in over 20 countries. SONiA has been described as the “female Dylan”, using one voice and one guitar, bending sound and light into her own songs and helping fans leap to their feet for nearly 30 years.
SONiA was awarded of the Coin of Honor from a joint coalition of United States military for her humanitarian efforts. Some of the other honors she has received include the GLAMA Award (Gay and Lesbian Music Awards) for Female Artist of the year and the GLAAD Award (Gay and Lesbian American Anti-Defamation) for Best Album.
As SONiA has toured from the Opera House in Sydney, to bomb shelters in the Middle East, to the Woody Guthrie Festival, to Phil Ochs nights and to intimate living room corners, she has had the thrill of sharing the stage with many of her heroes including Bruce Springsteen, Peter, Paul and Mary, Chris Thile, Sarah McLachlan, Emmy Lou Harris, Ferron, Sheryl Crow, Pete Seeger and many more.
“In SONiA, I found a contemporary artist with Lennon’s way with a phrase. From that night until this, she’s been my favorite singer/songwriter.” – Cliff Weimer, In the Balcony
Arwen Lawrence and Jorge Liceaga, a mariachi torch singer and Mexican flamenco guitarist founded Cascada de Flores in 1999. Adding other virtuoso musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area, they began journeying into hidden corners of Mexico. They have since spent 17 years swimming in a magical place somewhere between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, where music from México, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Colombia meet. They have recorded 5 albums, created theatrical concerts such as Radio Flor and The Tree & the Donkey, collaborated in projects with local masters of Latin cultures, and have scored music for film, shadow-theater and modern dance. Cascada de Flores draws their audience into the music, and every song, and each instrument has a story.
Tarimba is a collective comprised of local Bay Area musicians who have embraced the traditional genre of Son Jarocho music, a regional folk musical style from Veracruz, that combines African and Mexican elements. The core members of TARIMBA, Lolis García and Kyla Danysh, are master multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who actively perform and teach in the Bay Area music community.
Dolores “Lolis” García is the Co-Director of the East Bay Center’s resident arts company, Son de la Tierra and has mastered a number of string and percussion instruments in a variety of Son traditions including Huasteco, Jarocho, Tixtleco, and Mariachero. She has taught workshops and performed at festivals in Mexico and the U.S. and teaches extensively at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.
Kyla Danysh grew up studying classical and Klezmer music, and discovered her passion for improvisation through the exploration of Son Jarocho, Son Huasteco, boleros, “gypsy jazz”, and Balkan music. She has since traveled to Veracruz a number of times to study, record and perform.
‘Tarimba’ is believed to be the African root word of ‘tarima’, the wooden dance platform that serves as the heart of the Son Jarocho tradition of El Sotavento.
NOTES AGAINST TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN: A musical response from the 7 Countries
A concert by Aswat Ensemble and Guest Performers showcasing the music of the Seven Countries listed on January 27th’s Executive Order
“These artists put on a stirring performance.” -BBC
“Presenting music from Libya, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Iraq, the concert serves dual roles as ambassadorial outreach and as a healing salve.” -Gabe Meline, KQED
Internationally renowned performers from each of the seven countries listed in the January 27 travel ban will perform music from their homeland, assisted by the Aswat Ensemble. Reverend Michael Yoshi will reflect briefly on the executive order that interned the Japanese (including his parents) during WWII and the current ban against Muslims.
This special evening will start with Basma Edrees, a Juliard graduate who will play violin and sing a Muslim prayer of Supplication and will feature: Sudanese vocalist Salma Al Assal, Michael (Mohammed) Nejad, an Iranian musician who plays 45 instruments, Jalal Takesh, performing on Qanun (Arabic autoharp), Persian singer & Setar player Abolhassan Mokhtabad, and many others. Iman Hassen, a Somali American will be reading Somali poetry about the immigrant experience. Two pieces of music from each of the seven countries that are part of the Jan 27 travel ban will be performed. The songs may be religious, secular or folk, but in every case will showcase the most-loved, most-typical music from each country the music that makes people think of home. Translations of each song will be projected on a screen for the audience.
Music is a microcosm of a culture: it is the element that accompanies most rituals and rites. Its rhythmic structures are the pulse, its tonal/melodic structures are the soul, and its poetry is the language of the heart and mind. We are convinced that once one has experienced the artistic richness of another culture, they are much less likely to dehumanize them by seeing them through media-propagated stereotypes. -Nabila Mango, Aswat Ensemble Director
The Aswat (meaning voices in Arabic) Ensemble uses bowed and stringed instruments along with percussion; such as the violin, oud, qanun, tar and other drums. The performers include Iranian, Arab and American musicians. Part of our Women in Music series
Here is a video from Sudanese singer, Salma Al Aasal