Stepping Out for Music in Berkeley, California
By Christie Seeley
Following several years of pandemic lockdown followed by some recuperation from unfortunate, temporarily disabling accidents, I find myself back on my home turf, the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to COVID 19, I spent several years in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico discovering the joys of not only the surf but the marvelous local music scene in that magical community. I enjoyed supporting my favorite bands by writing for an in English newspaper where I did my best to inform the expat and tourist communities about these talented musicians. My efforts culminated in a joint venture with a favorite musician producing a world music festival that was such fun and thrilled our many fans.
Back in the Bay Area for a spell, I am discovering some incredible venues that I plan to frequent. For those of you who have been enjoying their performances for some time I apologize for my redundancy. But if you are just starting to step out again after a long hiatus, let me mention a couple that have me very excited.
I have long been aware of Freight and Salvage and their popularity but was thrilled to find they are attracting shows I have longed to see. A big fan of Django Reinhardt and the musicians he inspired The Django Festival Allstars so attracted me that I flew up from Mexico just to see them perform in November of 2019 as part of SF Jazz’ program. They were incredible! I am thrilled to learn that they will be playing at Freight and Salvage on Friday night, July 29! These guys are all so talented. Samson Schmitt, Pierre Blanchard, Ludovic Beier, DouDou Cuillerier, and Antonio Licusati, are all super respected in French jazz manouche circles and I can’t wait to see them perform again.
My other passion in music in Puerto Vallarta has been flamenco guitar. What a treat to be presented with the opportunity to experience a wonderful flamenco performance at an informal venue called The Back Room on Bonita Street in Berkeley on August 11. “Night Flowers” featuring the already familiar Seattle based flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes and her partner for these shows singer guitarist Diego Amador Jr. from Spain promises to blow minds. Diego performs flamenco that recalls Cameron de la Isla and the likes. Incidentally, his father is a renowned flamenco pianist who has shattered boundaries with his performances right here in Berkeley.
I hope you will be inspired and join me for these and other wonderful local performances. It is summer! What better time to enjoy the music!
Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison Street
The Back Room
1984 Bonita Avenue
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I am a writer who covers film, art, music and culture expanding on my own experience, travels and interests. My goal is to explore and to share, hopefully inspiring my readers to follow my lead and further enrich their lives as well.